1 Friday, 25 January 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.58 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 WITNESS: ZDRAVKO VINTAR [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Vintar.
9 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: It looks as though there are no questions from any
11 other Defence counsel; and, therefore, you're about to be cross-examined
12 by the Prosecutor, Mr. Stamp. Please bear in mind that the solemn
13 declaration to speak the truth which you made at the outset of your
14 evidence continues to apply throughout your evidence.
15 Mr. Stamp.
16 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
18 Q. Good morning, sir.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. In 1999, during the NATO intervention, you were in charge of
21 morale and information for -- for the brigade, were you?
22 A. Yes, for information, not informatics.
23 Q. And what rank were you then?
24 A. At that time I was a major.
25 Q. And I take it from paragraph 19 of your statement, in which you
1 take issue with Nik Peraj, you're saying that you also had responsibility
2 for barrack security.
3 What was your role in barrack security?
4 A. In addition to my regular duties as officer for morale and
5 information, I had additional tasks. One of them was to be responsible
6 for the security of the barracks located in the centre of the town. I was
7 responsible for guarding it. It was an abandoned barracks.
8 Q. And during the intervention, that barracks was the cultural centre
9 in Djakovica?
10 A. That barracks is next to the cultural hall in Djakovica; ten
11 metres away, perhaps.
12 Q. And the guards to the barracks were billeted there?
13 A. It was outside security of the barracks. It was about guarding
14 the barracks from any outsiders who may come in and take things from
15 inside; non-combat equipment, blankets, and other property that the unit
16 left there when they left their peacetime location.
17 Q. Right. But the guards for the barracks, those people, your staff
18 involved in guarding the barracks, were lodged at the barracks. That is
19 where they had their sleeping quarters. Is that it?
20 A. Yes. We slept in a dugout. I slept together with them.
21 Q. Now, apart from the -- your responsibilities as chief of
22 information and morale, and also additionally guarding the barracks, did
23 you have any other responsibilities during the NATO intervention?
24 A. It was one of my duties to contact with local authorities on
25 orders of the brigade commander, if he would give me one or another task,
1 and to give them assistance if they requested it from us.
2 Q. Now, Nik Peraj also had responsibilities in respect to guarding
3 the barracks. Do you know if he had other responsibilities?
4 Well, for one, you know he was also responsible for transporting
5 the bodies of VJ soldiers to places of burial, from hospital to the places
6 of burial. You know that?
7 A. Yes, I know. Nik Peraj did have that responsibility you
8 mentioned. He participated with me in touring the barracks, and he helped
9 me with the transport of the wounded members of our unit up to Nis and
10 dealing with their funeral arrangements.
11 Q. Did he have any other responsibilities?
12 A. As far as I know, no.
13 Q. You -- you don't know about anything, any responsibilities he had
14 in respect to the security section?
15 A. No. I did not issue him with any assignments. He was
16 subordinated to the operations organ of the brigade. That means he was
17 not directly subordinated to me.
18 Q. Now, could the cultural centre or did the cultural centre, during
19 the intervention, and the barracks ten metres beside, accommodate all the
20 personnel that had tasks in your brigade, or were some personnel
21 accommodated elsewhere?
22 A. The part where I was, and Nik Peraj, there was also Major Zivkovic
23 and two and three soldiers, and that was all located in the cultural hall.
24 The second part of the brigade command was located in other facilities; in
25 the basement of the department store, for instance, and in some other
1 buildings that were abandoned.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Just one intervention for the record.
3 Line 24, it says "in other buildings that were abandoned." The witness
4 said "other socially owned facilities that were abandoned."
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
6 Mr. Stamp.
7 MR. STAMP:
8 Q. Were units of the brigade sometimes accommodated in private
10 A. I'm not aware that units of the brigade were based in private
11 houses, because our brigade was one of anti-aircraft defence. Those were
12 units that had self-propelled weapons, and they were located across the
13 territory in their positions. So they were unable to be in houses. They
14 had to be next -- they had to man their weapons. If possible, crews were
15 even quartered inside their equipment. If possible, they spent all their
16 time there, worked there, slept there, et cetera.
17 Q. So were these units that you speak of, that had their weapons and
18 had to man their equipment, were these accommodated in socially owned
20 A. Part of the unit were placed in socially owned facilities such as
21 Sokara and Bambi, in some depots and warehouses, but the units that I
22 toured I did not find in private houses. I'm speaking only about the
23 units that I inspected.
24 Q. Do you know Marsenic's house? Maybe I have the pronunciation
25 incorrect. Probably, I have the pronunciation incorrect, but do you know
1 Marsenic's house?
2 A. I'm not aware of Marsenic's house.
3 Q. I think I probably -- if I could show you a document, you might be
4 able to get the pronunciation right.
5 MR. STAMP: Could I have a look at P1086, and this in a war diary
6 of the 52nd Artillery Rocket Brigade.
7 Q. I'd like you to have a look at an entry for the 1st of April,
8 1999, at 0845 hours, and that's at page 9 in the English and page 10 in
9 the B/C/S.
10 There's a sentence near the end of the entries for the 1st of
11 April, you'll see, that speaks about events between 1800 and 2100 hours.
12 You see that sentence?
13 A. Yes, I see it.
14 Q. Can you read it, please?
15 A. "From 1800 to 2100 hours, on orders of the brigade commander, the
16 command post was transferred from Marsenic house to the cultural house of
18 Q. Do you know what Marsenic -- Marsenic's house was?
19 A. Your Honours, I really don't know what Marsenic house is. I'm not
20 familiar with that. I went straight from the barracks to the cultural
21 centre. I never went to Marsenic house. I'm not familiar with that
22 surname or the location.
23 Q. Very well. You would not know, I take it, since Nik Peraj was
24 directly subordinated to operations and not to you, whether or not he may
25 have had other responsibilities that he was assigned to with units that
1 were located in houses like Marsenic houses -- house, would you?
2 A. I wouldn't know that. It was not my job to issue him with
3 assignments, and he didn't tell me what assignments he had got.
4 Q. So, therefore, you wouldn't know whether or not what he said at
5 paragraph 62 of his statement, that there was a house where his section
6 lived, is correct or incorrect. Is that so?
7 A. No. Nik Peraj and I were at the cultural centre together.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, do we know what Marsenic house is? Is
9 there any evidence about that?
10 MR. STAMP: I don't think it has been identified. I think it
11 hasn't been shown to a witness.
12 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Likewise, I would like to know what is Bambi and
13 Sokara said earlier by the witness. What he means by socially owned
15 MR. STAMP: Very well.
16 Q. Could you -- you heard His Honour. May I just find the reference
17 to Bambi first.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vintar, you identified some of the socially
19 owned facilities as named Sokara and Bambi. What are these?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. One is a factory
21 producing fruit juice called Bambi. It was part of the complex Bambi from
22 Pozarevac. It was bottling fruit juice and wine, and it was at the exit
23 of Djakovica town. It had empty warehouses that the army moved into, so
24 that they wouldn't have to move into private houses and buildings.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: What about Sokara?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sokara is a fruit bottling and
2 drinks bottling facility. That was the local name for it.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 Please continue, Mr. Stamp.
5 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. You would not know, would you, sir, where any other unit that Nik
7 Peraj might have had to work with was housed, would you?
8 A. No. Nik Peraj also worked with that unit alone, not with other
9 units, as far as I know. He only worked on the security of that barracks
10 in town. He didn't work with other units. It was not his job.
11 Q. Well, as far as you know, do --
12 A. As far as I know, yes.
13 Q. And you don't know what he might have been tasked to do by the
14 section that he was directly subordinate to on every occasion during the
15 intervention, do you?
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe this witness
17 has clearly answered this question twice. He knows that Nik Peraj worked
18 with that unit alone and he knows nothing else, and he also slept in the
19 same quarters.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, there's nothing inappropriate about
21 this cross-examination, bearing in mind the importance of the issue.
22 Please continue, Mr. Stamp.
23 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. You told us --
25 A. Would you be so kind as to repeat the question, please.
1 Q. Yes. You told us earlier that you were not his direct superior.
2 He was subordinate to a different section. You're not in a position to
3 say, sir, what tasks he had every day during the NATO intervention, can
5 A. I am not in a position to tell you. I know only about those of
6 his assignments that I was aware of, such as transporting dead army
7 members. I had no right and no time to question him as to what he was
9 Q. Now, in -- to move on, in your recitation of what Nik Peraj said
10 at paragraph 21 --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Please continue, Mr. Stamp.
12 MR. STAMP: Yes.
13 Q. At paragraph 21 of your statement, you said that one of -- one of
14 the things that indicates that Nik Peraj's lying is that, in his statement
15 at paragraph 67, he said that he spent the night at the cultural centre.
16 Now, I checked paragraph 67 of Nik Peraj's statement, and he said
17 that on the night of the 26th -- well, in paragraph 66, he said on the
18 night of 26th, he was in Vucitrn municipality; and in paragraph 67, he
19 that he arrived at the cultural centre the next day, the 27th, at 1130
20 hours and slept there until 1400 hours.
21 That is what is recorded in statement in paragraph 67. He did not
22 sleep at the cultural centre that night. He was not there in the course
23 of the day for three or four hours.
24 Did you actually read Nik Peraj's statement?
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that the
2 Prosecutor is not quoting well from the statement of Nik Peraj of the 8th
3 and 9th August, 2006, where it says in the second sentence --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment. Let's have it on the screen. What
5 is its number?
6 MR. STAMP: P2253.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: And we wish paragraph 67.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I see that the Serbian and the
9 English version are identical. It is the two first sentences that are
10 relevant, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Where's the reference to "sleeping"?
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I request that the
13 witness be given the Serbian version in e-court.
14 I will read it to you: "At 11.30 ..." --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a second.
16 Mr. Vintar, on the left of the screen, you should have your own
17 statement and paragraph 21.
18 No, no. Please go back to Mr. Vintar's own statement, paragraph
19 21, which I think was on the screen. Was that just delayed action and we
20 can't do that, perhaps, on the technology?
21 You have your statement in front of you, Mr. Vintar.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: And you see the reference to paragraph 67. If you
24 look at paragraph 21 of your own statement, you've got it in paper in
25 front of you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: In paragraph 21, you refer to paragraph 67 of the
3 statement of Nik Peraj. Do you have that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you read that line. Just read the few words
6 before "(Paragraph 67)". Just read it aloud, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Anyway, if you look at other parts
8 of his statement --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Just read the few words before the words
10 ("Paragraph 67)." There's a comma about six words earlier. Read from
11 that comma.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "When he returned from the
13 assignment of transporting the dead members of the VJ, he came to the
14 cultural centre where part of the command headquarters of the brigade was
15 located and spent the night there."
16 JUDGE BONOMY: If you'd now look at paragraph 67 of the statement
17 of Nik Peraj, which will be put on the screen in both languages.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, just be patient, please. Be patient.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] The problem is with the translation,
21 or the interpretation it, because it says "spent the night there," and the
22 transcript --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: And hopefully that's reliable. I have it in
24 writing here in this statement. We've just heard it, and the interpreter
25 has twice told us it says "spent the night."
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The counsel is insisting
2 that it says "slept." The interpreter said "spent the night." It may
3 make a difference.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: We will need to have this formally translated,
5 then, by CLSS. I find it difficult to see that there should be confusion
6 between these two expressions. There certainly wouldn't in the English
7 language. Perhaps, there is some peculiarity in Serbian that makes these
8 two expressions identical, but I find that difficult to understand.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: I mean, even the meaning -- sorry.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I am astonished at this linguistic difficulty,
13 because there is no relationship between spending the night and sleeping.
14 [French on English channel]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: You can be wide awake all night. Now, so you can
16 understand my difficulty in the two versions of the translation that are
17 being offered. They can't possibly both be right. So we will get it
18 formally translated by CLSS.
19 Mr. Stamp, you will have to tiptoe around your cross-examination
20 of this, bearing in mind the possibility of two different translations of
21 what was said by the witness about Peraj's statement.
22 MR. STAMP: Very well, Your Honour.
23 Q. Sir, whether or not --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE BONOMY: You now have paragraph 67 of Peraj's statement on
2 the screen. Could you read the beginning of that, please.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "At 1130 hours, I went to the
4 cultural centre in Djakovica. The army of Yugoslavia put up its
5 headquarters in the cultural centre because that was one of the safest
6 places. I slept in the cultural centre until 1400 hours, and then I went
7 to the Catholic church near Boris Kidric Street to fetch my family.
8 "I went there together with my brother ..." --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, is that what you are referring to in paragraph
12 21 of your statement?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can we just go back for a moment to
14 my own paragraph 21, if that's not a problem, please, Your Honour?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there I meant what Nik
17 Peraj said, where he said that we would meet in some house, he and I, and
18 that I made some sort of lists there; whereas, I was in the cultural
19 centre together with him and he was in the cultural centre together with
21 JUDGE BONOMY: So the real issue is -- well, is the issue over the
22 day or the night-time?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I remember, Peraj was on
24 that assignment when somebody who was killed and transported dead and --
25 from Nis. And when I think back, I know that he returned that day.
1 Whether he slept there or not, I can't remember. Probably he had a rest,
2 because he had a very tiring journey. He was transporting dead army
3 members to Nis.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: And what is abundantly clear is that the passage
5 we're talking about only covers a period of two and a half hours. That
6 may not matter all this debate. I'm not sure.
7 MR. STAMP: The passage in Nik Peraj's statement.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
9 MR. STAMP: I referred to the passage in paragraph 66 first.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, I'm sorry.
11 MR. STAMP: In paragraph 66 of his statement, he said that he
12 spent the night of the 26th at Priluzje village in Vucitrn, and left on
13 the morning of the 27th and arrived in Djakovica at 11.00 in the morning;
14 and in paragraph 67, he says, at 11.30 hours, he went to the cultural
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but paragraph 21 in this witness's statement
17 is talking about the night of the -- if he's talking about night at all,
18 it would be talking about the next night. It would appear he's not
19 talking about the night, from what we're being told. [Priluzje].
20 MR. STAMP: Paragraph 21 reads that Nik Peraj claimed that on the
21 27th of April, when he returned from a task transporting dead VJ members,
22 he came to cultural centre where part of the command was located, and that
23 he spent the night there, and he refers to paragraph 67 to support it.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. I understand that, but the paragraph 66
25 you're referring to --
1 MR. STAMP: Is the night of the 26th.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: -- is the night of the 26th. It's a different
3 night, and it may not matter because all that he, Peraj, is claiming is to
4 have slept for two and a half hours.
5 MR. STAMP: Well, it really boils down to a matter for the trier
6 of fact to conclude, but what the witness, without addressing, is saying
7 is that Peraj, in paragraph 67 - of this statement he makes in paragraph
8 67 - shows that he's not the speaking truth because he says he spent the
9 night, and he doesn't say that in paragraph 67.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand your point, Mr. Stamp, and I doubt if
11 further explanation with the witness is going to make it any witness any
13 MR. STAMP: Very well.
14 Q. Who -- sorry.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE BONOMY: When you were giving this statement, Mr. Vintar,
17 were you shown Peraj's statement?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I can see that
19 there's a problem here. Might I be allowed to say just one word? I'm
20 talking about the fact that in the previous paragraph, I don't know what
21 number it is, but if you show me my statement I'll be able to tell you.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Your statement, you should have there in front of
23 you. Do you not have a written copy in front of you?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, unfortunately not.
25 Unfortunately not.
1 Your Honour, may we please go back to paragraph 20 of my
2 statement, because in that paragraph, on the basis of Nik Peraj's
3 statement, in paragraph 62, who claims that right before the action in
4 Meje, he was put up with his unit in a house which belonged to an
5 Albanian, and where allegedly the massacre in Meje was planned, then I
6 follow on from that and I say that that is not correct, that we were
7 actually in the cultural centre.
8 Then in paragraph 21, I continue to explain the situation. Then
9 if we were to go on further, Nik Peraj claims that that night, the 27th of
10 April, at 10.00, he saw that I was writing a report, a list of those who
11 were killed in the cultural centre.
12 But I have to tell you that after 2200 hours in the evening, he
13 didn't have the right to leave the cultural centre facility or any other
14 facility where he happened to be, because that was the order that had been
15 given. So we were in the cultural centre, and that is a fact.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vintar, are you claiming your understanding of
17 his statement is also that he spent the night of the 27th in the cultural
18 centre? And by "the night," I mean from 1800 hours to 0600 hours.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From this distance and the passage
20 of time, I can say that I'm not quite sure but that I'm almost 80 per cent
21 convinced that he was there, that we were there.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not my question.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He didn't have anywhere else to go.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not my question.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise then.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not my question. Listen to the question.
2 Are you claiming it's your understanding that, in his statement, he said
3 that he was spending from 1800 hours to 0600 hours on the 27th in the
4 cultural centre?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's how I understood it.
6 That's what I understood him to say.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
8 Mr. Stamp, please continue.
9 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Q. In your last explanation, you said or you referred back to
11 paragraph 20 of your statement, again claiming that Nik Peraj is lying,
12 because he, according to you, said at paragraph 62 of his statement that
13 he was put up with his unit in this house.
14 Now, I think you've already said that you would -- that he was
15 subordinated to the operations section, and you would not know where all
16 elements of the operation section were located. So I'd like to refer you
17 to paragraph 62 of Peraj's statement to see exactly what he said.
18 MR. STAMP: And if we could look at paragraph 62 of Mr. Peraj's
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't see the entire paragraph, so
21 could you focus in on that, please, paragraph 62.
22 Next page, please, page 12. I can't see the entire paragraph.
23 Thank you.
24 MR. STAMP:
25 Q. Can you read that sentence, the sentence -- the second sentence.
1 A. I have read it.
2 Q. Please read it aloud.
3 A. "The house in which the meeting was held, and where during the
4 NATO conflict my department was located, belonged to a Kosovo Albanian;
5 and before the funeral of Milutin Prascevic, it was used by the group
6 plan -- the Meje planning group together. Also based there with my
7 section was elements of the military police. Stanisic's own house was
8 near the barracks of Sadik Stavileci Street."
9 Q. So what you're saying in paragraph 20 is also, I put to you, not
10 correct. Nik Peraj did not say that he was put up there with his unit.
11 He said his department was located there, and you would agree with me that
12 his section, operations section, was a different section from the section
13 that you were responsible for.
14 A. Yes, it was different.
15 MR. STAMP: If we could move on, Your Honours.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before we do move on,
17 let's take a look at which of the two questions that Mr. Stamp asked the
18 witness was the answer that the witness gave, what questions it referred
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, the question at line 24 has been
21 answered; and if there's something else you wish to ask the witness, you
22 will have a chance to re-examine him.
23 MR. STAMP:
24 Q. In your experience in the VJ, have you ever seen a report written
25 about an action or an operation during the course of that action or
1 operation; that is, before the operation or action had ended?
2 A. I never saw any report about that operation.
3 Q. I'm not speaking about a specific operation, or maybe I should
4 take you to -- to the paragraph where I'm speaking. We're at Paragraph
5 22 of your statement. I think you have a copy there.
6 You said it was illogical to report losses in an action that had
7 not yet been completed, and what I'm asking is this: Are you saying that
8 one can -- that in the VJ you can only report on an action or an operation
9 after that action and operation has ended? Is that what you're saying?
10 A. What I say is that it is illogical for me to compile a report on
11 losses first, because I was not in a position to do that, to compile
12 reports about any actions which referred to the operative part of the
13 brigade command. So we're talking during combat action. And it is also
14 illogical that if something is ongoing and if it lasted for some time,
15 that I would write something about it without any knowledge to do that and
16 information, because I had no knowledge or information that something was
17 happening at that time or what was going on.
18 What could I know in the basement of the cultural centre about
19 what was going on in that action, and, finally, what Peraj himself could
20 have known, for that matter, if he was with me that evening at 10.00, as
21 he claims he was. He says that he saw me making a list of that kind or
22 something like that.
23 Q. What your statement is saying is that it is illogical that you
24 would be making a report on losses because the action had not yet been
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And I want to know whether or not that it was the standard in the
3 VJ, that there were no -- no interim reports can be prepared during the
4 course of an action. Is that what you're saying?
5 A. As far as I know, bearing in mine the responsibility that I had
6 and duty performed, and I said that I dealt with morale and information
7 and not the operative side of things, the practice was that once an action
8 had been completed, then a report was compiled. You might ask for some
9 supplements or additions, but I didn't know about that for this particular
10 case or for any other case.
11 Q. Do you know when the action in the Reka-Caragoj Valley was
13 A. I don't know, because I heard about the action only in 2002, under
14 that name, of course; when the Milosevic trial started, actually.
15 Q. So if you didn't know when the action had been completed, how did
16 you say in your statement that it is illogical that you could be making
17 this report on the evening of the 27th when the action had not yet been
18 completed? You see, you're representing here in your report that you knew
19 then that the action had not yet been completed.
20 The question is this: How can you say that in your report? How
21 can you represent that you knew then that the action had not been
22 completed when you're saying you only discovered about the action a year
24 A. I was quite resolute that the name of the action is something that
25 I learnt about in 2002. Now, as far as the action itself is concerned, I
1 knew as far as the brigade commander informed us about it. I knew that
3 He supplied us with the information that, on the 27th and 28th, an
4 action would take place - he didn't say what the name of the action was -
5 in which a smaller portion of the units would take part in blocking off an
6 area, setting up a blockade in a given area.
7 So, on the 27th, I had this meeting where the Chief of Staff of
8 the brigade command, as far as I remember, informed us that as far as our
9 unit is concerned, and I'm talking about the 52nd unit, that it was
10 evolving according to plan, that there was no shooting from either side,
11 and that it continued the next day.
12 Q. So, sir, are you saying now that you knew about the action in
13 April of 1999? On the 27th of 1999, you knew about the action?
14 A. As a member of the brigade command, I was informed in the area
15 that the brigade commander thought he needed to inform us, on a
16 need-to-know basis; but I wasn't given any assignment in respect of this
17 action, so it was just general knowledge and information that I had.
18 Q. As the officer responsible for information, would it not be part
19 of your responsibility to send up information about losses incurred in the
20 course of actions by VJ units?
21 A. Yes. But I said a moment ago that we didn't have any losses, nor
22 did we open fire. There was no reason, nor did anybody order me to. So I
23 didn't have the right to send out information on my own initiative, only
24 pursuant to orders from the brigade commander or his deputy.
25 Q. The last thing on paragraph 22 of your statement I wish to ask you
1 about, if you -- if you have it there?
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, you must have other things to ask this
3 witness about, and we're running out of your time very quickly. I hope
4 it's a question worth asking.
5 MR. STAMP: It's the last thing in respect to Nik Peraj.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The microphones are picking
7 up an awful lot of noise in the courtroom, thank you, if it could be dealt
9 MR. STAMP:
10 Q. Looking at paragraph 22 of your statement, can you read the last
11 sentence -- sorry.
12 A. In fact --
13 Q. Sorry. Read the last two sentences.
14 A. Yes, I understand.
15 "In addition, it is obvious that Peraj gave a full statement,
16 because I never prepared and created any report for the staff of the 3rd
17 Army in Nis, because this is in collusion with the rules of subordination.
18 "In fact, this would mean skipping the chain of command because we
19 sent reports to the Pristina Corps command, never to the 3rd Army."
20 Q. And if we look at paragraph 83 of Peraj's statement, can you read
21 the first sentence of paragraph 83.
22 A. "On the 27th of April, 1999, after 10.00 in the evening, I was in
23 the brigade headquarters at the cultural centre in Djakovica. Major
24 Zdravko Vintar, who was employed in the personnel office, was preparing a
25 report for the 3rd Army staff in Nis."
1 Shall I continue?
2 Q. Very well.
3 MR. STAMP: May I just indicate for the record that there is --
4 there appears to be an error in the B/C/S translation of the statement.
5 The original signed copy by Peraj has a report for the Pristina Corps.
6 If we could move on.
7 Q. Wasn't there a necessity for the brigade command to meet
8 frequently with the MUP and the municipal authorities in order to
9 coordinate the activities during the NATO intervention?
10 A. As far as I remember with respect to the MUP, the brigade command
11 did not meet frequently. And if somebody did meet, it might have been the
12 liaison officer of the brigade -- command. Anyway, I did not meet with
13 the MUP. As far as the local authorities are concerned, we did have
14 contacts with them; and on the basis of their requests, we could provide
15 assistance in taking care of the civilian population.
16 Q. Very well. Thank you.
17 MR. STAMP: May I have one moment to consider whether or not I
18 have anything else.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, certainly. You've not quite exhausted your
20 time yet.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may use this
22 moment just to draw the Chamber's attention to something Mr. Stamp pointed
23 out, an error, but I think he was mistaken when he said that the original
24 statement was taken in English.
25 I think the Trial Chamber should pay attention to the following:
1 The statement clearly reflects that both English and Serbian were used,
2 English and Serbian.
3 Nik Peraj only speaks Albanian and Serbian. He actually speaks no
4 English; therefore, I think the original statement was done in B/C/S. He
5 gave evidence before this Trial Chamber in the Serbian language.
6 MR. STAMP: It might be a procedural matter. The original
7 statement, though, is done in English because the investigators wrote and
8 prepare the statement in English. I think, at the end of the statement,
9 it is indicated that it is then -- the English statement which the witness
10 signs is then read back to him in his own language, and he signs the
11 English statement based upon the verification of the interpreter.
12 I think that is the certificate you'll see by the witness and by
13 the interpreter at the back of the statement. Then the statement is --
14 the written statement is translated into Albanian and Serbian as the case
15 may be.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Not an ideal arrangement. Your point, though, from
17 paragraph 22 is that there isn't a reference to the 3rd Army in the
18 statement but a reference to the Pristina Corps.
19 MR. STAMP: Pristina.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
21 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours. I have nothing
22 further for this witness.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
24 Questioned by the Court:
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vintar, can you think of a reason why Peraj
1 would lie about you?
2 A. Your Honour, I believe that someone exerted pressure on Peraj
3 because he remained in Djakovica. He continued to live there with his
4 family. So he simply had no choice but to state some sort of a reason,
5 including me and this notorious list, which never really existed, not the
6 way he describes it.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Why you? Did you have a feud over something with
8 Peraj, or did you not get on with each other?
9 A. No. We got on just fine. After all, I met his wife once, and he
10 met mine. I was treating him in a respectful manner. My general attitude
11 is that I'm a very social creature. I like talking to people regardless
12 of their religion or ethnicity. All of my experiences were very
14 I think someone was leaning on him, and he had to keep in mind the
15 benefit of himself and his family, so that's why he ended up saying what
16 he said.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 Mr. Bakrac, re-examination?
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Indeed, Your Honour. Very brief. I
20 would just like to draw Chamber's attention to one thing and to answer
21 Mr. Stamp about what he said about the translation being authentic.
22 There's one thing that I wish to raise.
23 When Peraj was testifying, which he did both in his statement and
24 viva voce, he was asked whether he'd read the statement. He'd read it in
25 the Serbian language, and he had made no amendments. But in the
1 transcript, if you go back to the transcript, you will see what he said
2 orally about this report and who it was sent to.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: When do you claim he said he had read the Serbian
4 statement? When he was in court here?
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Indeed, Your Honour, because he was
6 asked a question, just like we question our witnesses, and the question
7 was did they go through their own statement, "Did you have a chance to
8 read it?"
9 JUDGE BONOMY: But that would be shortly before he gave evidence
10 in the trial, and indeed in the Milosevic trial. So it wouldn't be at the
11 time of the statement initially being prepared.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I'm talking about our trial.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: But the point I was making and the criticism I was
14 making was that it's not satisfactory, entirely satisfactory, that at the
15 time these statements are taken, they're taken in English, signed in
16 English, when the native language of the witness is a different one, and
17 it's only later he signs a version in his own language. That's what
18 happened with Peraj, as I understand it.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, I do agree. I do agree, Your
20 Honour. Thank you. Thank you.
21 Re-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
22 Q. Sir, Mr. Vintar, can we please look at Exhibit P1086. A very
23 short sentence there that I'd like you to read out for us.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I think there is a translation error,
25 Your Honours; therefore, I think the witness might read it for it us, and
1 I think the page was shown by Mr. Stamp. This is the war log of the 52nd
2 Rocket Artillery Brigade.
3 In order to locate the B/C/S, in e-court, the B/C/S is page 10 and
4 the English is page 9.
5 Q. Mr. Vintar, be so kind, please, read this sentence where it
6 says "KM" -- or rather, to have the whole sentence, "Between 1800 and 2100
7 hours ..." Slowly, please.
8 A. "Between 1800 hours and 2100 hours, the command post was moved from
9 Marsenic house to the cultural centre in Djakovica."
10 Q. I think that's quite sufficient.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think there is
12 something missing in the English. There is one word missing.
13 Q. Can you please read slowly. Does it not say "the command post
14 from the location [Realtime transcript read in error "lot case"] of
15 Marsenic house"?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What does that mean?
18 A. That is the general area around a house. It could be an
19 agriculture land. It could be some sort of a centre or an area, piece of
20 territory. It doesn't necessarily mean that this was actually in the
21 house itself.
22 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: There's a part in the transcript that's
24 incomprehensible to me. Line 23, 24: "Does it not say the command post
25 from 'lot case' of Marsenic house."
1 Can you deal with that again? That doesn't have any English
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that's why I sought
4 explanation. The witness read that "the command post was from the
5 location of Marsenic house," and I asked the witness to explain what this
6 means, "the location."
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, again, we'll require a formal CLSS
8 translation of this passage in light of the varying answers that have been
9 given and the fact that this answer has emerged as the result of a leading
11 Please continue.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] But, Your Honours -- well, all right.
13 The witness read "location," and I asked him what that meant and then he
14 explained what that meant. I don't see that there was anything leading
15 about that.
16 Q. Mr. Vintar, this surname, "Marsenic," is that an Albanian surname?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a second, Mr. Bakrac. I don't want to be
18 unfair to you in any way. Now you show me where in English there is an
19 answer that includes "location" before you put it to him.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness, and you
21 can listen to the tape, read this because that is what the Serbian says,
22 the text. He read "from the location of Marsenic's house," and this was
23 not translated, "location." Then I asked him what that meant, "location."
24 You can check the tape and hear. In the Serbian, it's very
25 clear: "KM, from location of Marsenic's house."
1 JUDGE BONOMY: That may be the case. But in your quieter moments,
2 if you would just read lines 23 and 24 from page 25, you'll see what I
4 Now, just please continue.
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Vintar, am I right if I say that this document shows that, as
7 of the 1st of April, your office was in the cultural centre?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. Mr. Vintar, thank you for this answer. My previous question was
10 about the surname Marsenic. Is that an Albanian surname?
11 A. No, not as far as I know.
12 Q. Mr. Vintar, you told us about this office. The Prosecutor asked
13 you whether Peraj could have any other tasks. I'm asking you: Where was
14 Nik Peraj's office?
15 A. Nik Peraj's office was the same as mine. We shared an office, and
16 I did say this a couple of times as a matter of fact.
17 Q. Could Nik Peraj have or did he actually have another office, or
18 just this one?
19 A. No. Nik Peraj had no other office.
20 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Vintar. I would just like you now to
21 look at P2253. There may be a translation error involved.
22 The Prosecutor asked you to read paragraph 62, the last sentence,
23 which says that: "In that house, together with my detachment, there was
24 stationed also the members of the military police."
25 So, what I'd like you to do now -- you don't have that in the
1 B/C/S yet. All right.
2 Can you please look at the first sentence and read it out loud for
3 us slowly, paragraph 62.
4 A. "I was at a meeting when the massacre at Meje was being planned,
5 because that was going on in the same building in which I was stationed
6 with my unit which was in charge of security."
7 Q. Mr. Vintar, you read exactly what he said. Where was this unit
8 that was in charge of security station?
9 A. What I'm saying is that some of the time the -- for some of the
10 time the unit was stationed in the barracks itself in the shelters and for
11 some of the time in the cultural centre, and that was not his unit. He
12 was an officer from the brigade command, and he was in charge of
13 controlling and monitoring its work.
14 He was not a commander. He was not able to have his unit. He was
15 in charge of monitoring, and this unit had its own commander who was in
16 charge of that unit. He was in charge of no more than monitoring, same as
17 me. He monitored their work. He directed their work, that sort of thing.
18 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Vintar.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you saying this unit was in different places at
20 different times, but your office throughout was in the cultural centre?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Mr. Bakrac.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Was any part of that unit ever stationed in an Albanian home?
25 A. No, not as far as I know.
1 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Vintar.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions for this
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vintar, that completes your evidence. Thank
5 you for coming here to give evidence. You may now leave the courtroom
6 with the usher.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too, Your Honours, for
8 your patience and understanding.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, your next witness.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Indeed, Your Honour. Our next
12 witness is Sergej Perovic.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that a change of order?
14 MR. HANNIS: That is a change of order, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: I understood the next witness was Gloncak.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Gloncak was supposed to
17 be next, but I might as well use this moment to say that we encountered a
18 problem. On the 14th of January, we --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. We can cope. It's just so that we can
20 rearrange the paperwork. I don't have my statement for Perovic here.
21 I'll just need to arrange to get it brought in if that's the next witness.
22 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, it does present a problem for us because
23 we were prepared for Gloncak.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
25 MR. HANNIS: Our notification --
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I think Gloncak may be in the
2 building already. He arrived by plane last night, but I proofed him last
3 night. I did my best, and I think he's ready to give evidence. If,
4 indeed, he's already in the building, it is all right for me to have him
5 appear first.
6 But why this situation? He arrived last night at 7.00. He's
7 ready to give evidence. We did some work last night just in order to
8 avoid wasting time, but that -- at 10.30, he should be here in the
9 building in ten minutes and he will be available to give testimony.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the problem about having Perovic now,
11 Mr. Hannis?
12 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we can proceed. That's Mr. Stamp's
13 witness, and he'll be ready.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Let's have Mr. Perovic then.
15 MR. STAMP: Can I just in the interim just indicate to counsel
16 through the Court that there is one administrative problem, in that I
17 should be sending to the Defence now the document that I might use in
18 cross-examination. We're sending a list now, but the document that are
19 not filed or been settled and there may be one or two documents which is
20 not on the list being sent now which might be used.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I think you may have got lucky then, Mr. Stamp;
22 but, yes, we can all simply note that, and you can do your best to produce
23 the list asap.
24 MR. STAMP: Very well, Your Honour.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 WITNESS: SERGEJ PEROVIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Perovic.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
6 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated. You will now be
11 examined by Mr. Bakrac on behalf of Mr. Lazarevic.
12 Mr. Bakrac.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Examination by Mr. Bakrac:
15 Q. Lieutenant-Colonel, good morning. Would you kindly state your
16 name for the record.
17 A. My name is Sergej Perovic. I'm a professional member of the army
18 of Serbia in the rank of lieutenant-colonel. My station is the Nis
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Perovic. Please appreciate that since we are
21 speaking the same language, you need to make a second's pause before you
22 start answering; and if I make a pause, that means I'm waiting for the
24 A. Understood.
25 Q. Mr. Perovic, is it the case that to the Defence team of General
1 Lazarevic, on the 8th of January of this year, you gave a written
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Have you had occasion to review that statement, read it, and sign
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Does it reflect everything you have stated to the Defence team?
8 A. Yes. It fully reflects everything I stated to the Defence team.
9 Q. If I were to ask you the same questions today, would you provide
10 the same answers?
11 A. Yes, fully.
12 Q. Mr. Perovic, is it the case that, on the 23rd of January, you had
13 the opportunity to review, again, your statement?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you notice that, in two of the paragraphs, certain corrections
16 and modifications needed to be made?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I ask the usher to
19 assist me. I have this supplemental information. I believe you have
20 instructed my colleague, Mr. Cepic, to prepare the supplemental
21 information in Serbian, and you will instruct me.
22 In paragraph 10, there was a typing mistake regarding the number
23 of an exhibit. I don't know if it's necessary for the witness to read
24 this, but we noticed that instead of 5D1149, the number of the exhibit
25 should read 5D889.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Paragraph 11, Your Honour - sorry -
3 should be modified inasmuch as the number of exhibits that the witness
4 talks about are omitted. I would like the witness to read the paragraph
5 as it should read, with your leave.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, these are just examples of you providing the
7 missing information, which is gynaecological reports of 5D1383 and 1384,
8 and that the report -- sorry, the indictment is 5D890. Is that correct?
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct, Your Honour.
10 That and another.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ...
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Nothing else needs to be filed on that. These
14 alterations we will simply insert onto the copies of the statement we have
15 ourselves, and the record will reflect the alteration. Well, on
16 reflection, yes, because the statement's filed, yes, it's better if you
17 file also the supplementary material under the same exhibit number, which
18 is 5D1396.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I believe it
20 will be done shortly. We have both versions, English and Serbian,
22 May I ask to tender this later when we have this supplemental
23 information; that is, 5D1396.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please continue.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Perovic, we have your statement, and there is no need to go
2 back to it or to repeat the things stated in there. I have just a few
3 additional questions to put to you in relation to the testimony of Witness
4 Nik Peraj. In your statement, you have already stated that you knew Nik
5 Peraj. You explained how and since when, and there is no need to repeat
6 these details.
7 Thus, Witness Peraj, in one part of his statement, said that you,
8 Sergej Perovic, had told him that nothing would happen to his family
9 during the action in Caragoj Valley on the 27th and the 28th. Are these
10 allegations correct? Did you tell him anything like that?
11 A. The allegations of Nik Peraj in his statement, that I had told him
12 that nothing would happen to his family during the action in Caragoj
13 Valley, are not accurate. The truth is that I never had a discussion with
14 him about that.
15 Q. Mr. Perovic, have you ever told Mr. Nik Peraj that in order to go
16 to the area where the action would take place he needed a permit?
17 A. I never said to Nik Peraj that in order to go to the area of the
18 action he needed a permit.
19 Q. Mr. Perovic, have you ever had in our possession a mini map of the
20 action that was carried out on the 27th and the 28th of April in the Reka
22 A. No. I never had any sort of map concerning the action in the Reka
24 Q. On the 27th or perhaps the 28th of April, 1999, did you go with
25 Nik Peraj to Duzanj, where allegedly the command post of the police was
2 A. On the 27th or the 28th of April, 1999, I did not go with Nik
3 Peraj to the area of Duzanj.
4 Q. Mr. Perovic, you told us that it was not correct that you had told
5 Mr. Peraj that he needed some sort of permit or approval or permission to
6 go to the area of the action.
7 On the 28th of April, in the morning, did you go with Nik Peraj to
8 the forward command post of the Pristina Corps to seek such approval or
10 A. No. In fact, I met -- I met up with Nik Peraj that morning in the
11 centre of Djakovica town, and then he asked me to go together to a place
12 overlooking Osek Hilja, which was the area a part of our unit was
13 deployed, that is, the 52nd Artillery Brigade of Anti-aircraft Defence, so
14 he could see what was happening around his house and that he would be able
15 to see his house.
16 Q. We have all that in your statement, Mr. Perovic. All I want to
17 know is whether he wanted to see what was going on in his village by going
18 into the village itself, or he wanted to see it from some other place.
19 A. Nik Peraj wanted to see what was going on in his village by
20 observing from a location overlooking Osek Hilja village.
21 Q. Did he tell you that morning that perhaps he had been alone to the
22 forward command post of the Pristina Corps to seek such approval or
24 A. No. He never told me anything about seeking permission.
25 Q. You served in the security organ. On the assumption that it was
1 correct, what Nik Peraj said, would you, as chief of security in the 52nd
2 Artillery Brigade, and considering who Nik Peraj was and in which
3 position, would you have been simply able to walk into the forward command
4 post, especially if the commander was there?
5 A. The system of security of the forward command post, specifically
6 in Djakovica, did not allow for anyone to come in uninvited into the
7 forward command post. It was necessary for a party or a person to be
8 announced to the security of the outside perimeter after which they would
9 be announced to the security at the reception desk, and only then, with
10 the approval of the person who was receiving, would this party or person
11 be able to enter the premises of the forward command post.
12 Q. Mr. Perovic, after the war ended, did you ever hear from Nik Peraj
13 in relation to a house?
14 A. After the security forces were withdrawn from the territory of
15 Kosovo and Metohija, I did not hear from Nik Peraj again.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Those were all my questions, Your
18 Q. Mr. Perovic, thank you very much.
19 A. Welcome.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
21 Mr. Ivetic.
22 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
24 Q. Good day, Mr. Perovic. My name is Dan Ivetic, and I will have
25 some questions for you briefly, hopefully. First of all, sir, do you
1 recall --
2 A. Good morning.
3 Q. Thank you, sir. I apologise.
4 Mr. Perovic, do you recall, in 1999, a meeting in Djakovica with
5 both Generals Aleksander Vasiljevic and Momir Stojanovic?
6 A. Yes. That meeting took place in the period from the 1st until the
7 5th of June, 1999, at the Djakovica Garrison. Apart from those two, there
8 was also the chief of security of the 3rd Army, at that time Colonel
9 Stojadin Antic, now deceased.
10 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, General Stojanovic testified here about a
11 meeting between -- about this meeting and the allegations or information
12 that in Djakovica there was a group called Legija commanded by Colonel
14 Specifically, General Stojanovic, at transcript 19833 lines 19
15 through 23, said, and I quote: "At that meeting, he was given the task by
16 General Vasiljevic of checking whether any such unit existed and to report
17 to me. After a few days, because Major Perovic then said that this was
18 unverified information, after a few days he reported to me that he had not
19 obtained any information indicating the existence of such a group."
20 Sir, do you recall receiving such a task from General Vasiljevic
21 to inquire about this matter and report to General Stojanovic?
22 A. Yes, I recall that. I was given the assignment to check the
23 veracity of those allegations, which I did. I spent a few days trying to
24 establish the possible truth in this allegation; and after that, I
25 informed Colonel Stojanovic that I was unable to confirm these
2 Q. Thank you.
3 A. I would also like to add --
4 Q. Just to be clear before the break, and I think I'll be done after
5 that: Am I correct that you could not verify any of the several
6 allegations raised at this meeting with Generals Vasiljevic and Stojanovic
7 relating to purported crimes by the MUP?
8 A. That's correct. I was unable to verify any of the allegations.
9 MR. IVETIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions for this
10 witness, Your Honour, and I think we have time for the break.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
12 Mr. Perovic, we have to have a break at this stage. That will be
13 for half an hour. Would you please leave the courtroom meanwhile with the
14 usher, and we'll see you again at 11.15.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 --- Recess taken at 10.46 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.17 a.m.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Perovic, you'll now be cross-examined by the
21 Prosecutor Mr. Stamp.
22 Mr. Stamp.
23 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
25 Q. You were born in Djakovica; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that's correct. I was born in Djakovica on the 3rd of
2 February, 1970.
3 Q. And prior to 1999, you had lived most of your life there?
4 A. Up until 1985, I'm talking about the secondly military school, a
5 military gymnasium in Belgrade, up until 1988 I attended that school.
6 Between 1988 and 1992, I attended the Belgrade military academy,
7 and I was also in Zadar and Sarajevo for the academy.
8 After I had completed the military academy in 1992, my first
9 posting was at the Kosovska Mitrovica Garrison.
10 In 1996, I was transferred to Pristina, and after that to
12 Q. Thanks for the detail, but can I just ask you to focus on what I
13 asked; and if you could answer it short and precisely, I would be
15 As the --
16 A. Fair enough.
17 Q. -- chief of the security organ for the 52nd Artillery Brigade at
18 the Djakovica Garrison, you received information about events in that
19 municipality from many sources, did you not?
20 A. My work was about obtaining information that had to do with my
21 unit which was stationed in the Djakovica Garrison -- or rather, the
22 information that might have affected the safety and security of the unit
23 or its members.
24 Q. Well, isn't a little bit more than that? You also were duty-bound
25 to seek out and obtain information that might relate to the detection and
1 prevention of organised and individual crimes by army members, which is
2 what your statement says. Isn't that correct?
3 A. I gathered information on any criminal offences or crimes that
4 were committed wherever members of my unit were concerned, wherever
5 members of my unit committed those.
6 Q. And General Vasiljevic did say that you -- you were known to have
7 reliable operational sources in the field. Would that be your own
8 assessment of the situation you were in, in 1999?
9 A. Within the framework of the implementation of tasks of my
10 functional duty, I had sources for gathering information within the unit
11 and to a smaller extent outside the unit from the -- across the territory.
12 There were several Albanian persons who were involved in this. At any
13 rate, all the units in the Djakovica Garrison had their own security
15 Q. Are you aware of which VJ units were involved in the action or
16 operation at Caragoj or Reka valley on the 27th and 28th of April, 1999?
17 A. I know that in addition to our unit, the 52nd PVO Brigade, that
18 was involved in the blockade of the sector where the terrain was being
19 searched, there were also units of the 2nd Battalion of the 549th Brigade.
20 This was a battalion. A component of the 125th Brigade was also
21 involved in the blockade of this sector where the search was being
22 conducted, and that is as much as I know. Those were the units that were
24 Q. Do you not know that units from the 52nd Military Police Battalion
25 were involved?
1 A. Yes. The military police battalion unit was also involved; one of
2 their platoons or two possibly. I'm not entirely certain about this,
3 though, because this was not part of my work. Therefore, my answer is
4 yes, I'm aware of the fact that military units were involved in this
5 action, some of those units.
6 Q. Were units -- and, you know, this is in Djakovica municipality.
7 That was your -- that was where you gathered intelligence and information,
8 so that is why I am asking about this.
9 Were units of the 63rd Parachute Brigade involved, 63rd Parachute
10 Brigade from Nis?
11 A. Not that I was aware of. This wasn't my assignment. It wasn't my
12 duty to know anything about that.
13 Q. Well, do --
14 A. Probably, they had their own security organ.
15 Q. Do you know whether there existed at the time a unit called the
16 63rd Parachute Brigade that was originally located in Nis before it was
17 resubordinated to the Pristina Corps?
18 A. Yes. I know that a unit called the 63rd Parachute Brigade existed
19 in the Nis garrison, but I'm not aware of the circumstances concerning its
20 possible resubordination or its whereabouts during this period.
21 Q. If you could look at your statement. Do you have it there?
22 A. No.
23 MR. STAMP: Perhaps counsel could help with a copy of your
25 Q. I'm referring to paragraph 30 of your statement. You have it
1 there. Can you read paragraph 30?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Aloud, please.
4 A. Yes. Paragraph 30: "The allegation of Peraj Nika, referring to
5 that fact that I told him where the location was of the 63rd Parachute
6 Brigade, or rather, that this brigade was carrying out operations in its
7 Caragoj Valley, I emphasised that I never told him that because I knew
8 nothing about that. Also, the Yugoslav Army never had any airborne
9 landing brigade within its composition, so it is quite obvious that he
10 invented this."
11 Q. But it was clear -- clearly indicated that he was referring to the
12 63rd Parachute Brigade, isn't it?
13 A. I agree. I assume he meant that. Yes. I assume he meant the
14 63rd Parachute Brigade, because there is no 63rd Airborne Landing Brigade,
15 or rather, to be more precise, Your Honours, I don't know what he had in
17 Q. But --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: What is an Airborne Landing Brigade if it's not a
19 Parachute Brigade?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No such name was ever used. No
21 brigade was called that. There is a Parachute Brigade. As for this name,
22 there was no unit by that name in the VJ at the time, Airborne Landing
23 Brigade. No such unit existed.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
25 MR. STAMP: Thanks, Your Honour.
1 Q. I don't know if you meant what you said. You said when you spoke
2 about this brigade, you don't know what he had in mind. That is what I
3 see here. I am at a loss to understand how it is that you don't know what
4 he had in mind, yet you aver in this statement that based on what he said,
5 you were not speaking the truth.
6 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Sorry, Mr. Stamp. Would you be able to or do you
7 think there's any difference between a Parachute Brigade or an Airborne?
8 Don't you think they are the same thing? It's only a twist on the name.
9 So why don't you kindly clarify it that way.
10 MR. STAMP: Yes.
11 Q. It's clear, is it, or likely that when Nik Peraj referred to the
12 63rd Parachute Brigade, he was referring to the brigade that participated
13 in the activity at Caragoj Valley on the 27th of April, 1999?
14 A. [No verbal response]
15 Q. You nodded, but you need to verbalise or speak.
16 A. I don't know what he had in mind. I assume it was that brigade he
17 had in mind, because there is no brigade that is called an Airborne
18 Landing Brigade. So I assume that that's what he meant when he was
19 talking about how I had told him all of this and all of these
20 circumstances that --
21 Q. Yes, but --
22 A. -- are contained in this paragraph.
23 Q. In the Parachute Brigade, and this comes directly to what His
24 Honour inquired, would a Parachute Brigade --
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness was
1 perfectly clear. There is no way he can know what Witness Peraj had in
2 mind when he said that. He said it twice already.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, please, you will have a chance to
4 re-examine the witness. Do not prompt the witness from your place in the
6 MR. STAMP:
7 Q. Don't you understand that -- sorry.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: He doesn't seem to know. What on earth does a
9 soldier think an Airborne Landing Brigade is? Did they throw them out the
10 planes and let them drop? What other means is there of getting to the
11 ground than a parachute? Tell me. Maybe there is. Let me know. I'm a
12 layman in this area.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, so am I, but my
14 understanding is --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's here the answer from the witness and not from
17 Mr. Stamp.
18 MR. STAMP:
19 Q. Yes. Your understanding of a Parachute Brigade, is it of
20 personnel who are airborne and who, by way of or by means of a parachute,
21 land somewhere?
22 A. Parachute, yes. Yes. Yes.
23 Q. You say twice, twice that you don't know what -- what Peraj meant.
24 How is it, if you don't know what he meant, you can represent to us that
25 what you are saying was a fabrication?
1 A. What I said was I assumed that he had the Parachute Brigade in
2 mind. I did not know anything about the Parachute Brigade. I knew
3 nothing about their whereabouts or activities; therefore, I could not
4 possibly have provided to him any sort of information in relation to that.
5 I could not possibly have provided any information to him about
6 what he asked me in that context. I told him nothing about the
7 whereabouts, about the operations, or the tasks of the 63rd Parachute
8 Brigade simply because I was not aware of any of those.
9 Q. Peraj said, if we could move on, that on the 27th of April, 1999,
10 he went with you in the afternoon to Meje where he saw, and you would have
11 seen as well, four dead bodies at a MUP check-point, and that check-point
12 was close to Sokoli's house.
13 Do you recall seeing that afternoon with Peraj these four dead
15 A. No. I did not see those four dead bodies.
16 Q. Sorry, I think I might have misquoted.
17 He said: "The check-point was in front of the store of Krist
18 Sokoli just opposite the school." That's paragraph 69 of his statement.
19 Do you know the store of Krist Sokoli?
20 A. No.
21 Q. He said that you both that afternoon moved on in Meje and went to
22 the vicinity of Hasanaj's house where there was a check-point; and there,
23 there were the dead bodies of 20 men. Did you see that that afternoon?
24 A. That day I did not enter the combat disposition, because when we
25 came to a certain sector -- or rather, the beginning of the area in which
1 the search was being conducted, the members who were there turned us away
2 saying that we could not access the combat disposition -- or rather, this
3 area where the search was being conducted because we were no members.
4 Q. I'm not asking you --
5 A. No members of those units.
6 Q. I'm not asking you about the combat disposition. I'm asking you
7 about a police check-point in Meje?
8 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Sorry, Mr. Stamp. I just want a clarification.
9 Sorry for this interruption. When the witness says, "We could not access
10 the combat disposition," could you kindly inquire from him what he means
11 by the word "we"? Does it mean that he was with Peraj or can he say that?
12 MR. STAMP: Yes.
13 Q. What do you mean by that? Were you with Peraj that afternoon?
14 A. Yes. We had every intention of going to his home; however, we
15 were stopped from doing this, the two of us.
16 Q. The operation -- the evidence before the Court, and I don't want
17 to have to go into maps now, is that the operation was in the Caragoj
18 Valley from the top in terms of elevation in the Junik village right down
19 to Meje and Korenica at the end near Djakovica.
20 So I'm not asking about the combat dispositions up in the valley.
21 I'm simply asking you about Meje at the bottom of the valley, whether or
22 not you saw the dead bodies of 20 men at a police check-point.
23 A. No. I would like to add this: This was no check-point. There
24 were a group of people there that we came across, a group of persons,
25 members of that unit. This was no check-point.
1 Q. What was no check-point? I didn't identify a check-point. I just
2 spoke. Maybe there's something wrong with the check-point. What are you
3 referring to when you there was no check-point?
4 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, in the question of Mr. Stamp, he says
5 "check-point." So I don't know what kind of linguistic problems we're
6 having here today, but it's driving me bonkers.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: The answer was: "This was no check-point," and I
8 certainly don't understand what that is referring to either. It seems to
9 be a specific location; whereas, the question was much more general and
10 that's the point that Mr. Stamp is trying to clarify, and I would welcome
11 his clarification.
12 MR. STAMP:
13 Q. Can you clarify, or would you like the question repeated?
14 A. Can you please repeat your specific question, sir.
15 Q. I was asking you about whether or not you saw 20 bodies at a
16 police check-point. You are referring, it seems to me in your answer, to
17 a specific check-point. Is that what you are doing? Was there a specific
18 check-point that you're referring to?
19 A. I did not see any dead bodies next to the check-point you are
20 referring to.
21 Q. Okay. Which check-point are you speaking of?
22 A. It was my understanding that you were asking me about whether I
23 saw any dead bodies in the vicinity of a check-point, and that is the only
24 reason that I'm referring to a check-point.
25 Q. I see. Do you know where Hasanaj's house is?
1 A. No. Nor do I know anybody called Hasanaj, if you're talking about
2 a person.
3 Q. Do you know of 20 dead bodies being found in the vicinity of the
4 bus station in Djakovica?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did you report to General Vasiljevic about 20 dead bodies that
7 were found at the bus station in -- in Djakovica?
8 A. I don't remember the report you mentioned. I don't think so. But
9 I know that I did inform him about the activities of the previously stated
10 group, the alleged activities of the previously mentioned group in the
11 Djakovica area. I've already answered that question.
12 Q. Is it possible that you could have made a report to your general,
13 Vasiljevic, about 20 dead bodies and forget about it thereafter? Is it
14 possible that you could have made that report and have now forgotten about
15 making that report?
16 A. I don't think I wrote anything about these specific 20 dead bodies
17 at the bus station because I don't remember it, and I think that I would
18 have remembered.
19 Q. Vasiljevic seemed to be quite certain that not only you reported
20 it to him, according to his testimony, but you were aware of it yourself.
21 I think I will just read what General Vasiljevic said on the
22 transcript at 9034: "But he," and he's referring to you, "did have
23 reliable operational sources in the field who relayed this information to
24 him. But as far as the bodies at the bus station are concern, I think
25 there were about 20 corpses there, and he knows about it well."
1 That was his impression that he got from you. Now, are you saying
2 that not only is Nik Peraj being untruthful about your being present when
3 bodies are located but so is General Vasiljevic about your report to him?
4 Is General Vasiljevic lying when he says that you reported that to
6 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, we're dealing here with two different
7 locations altogether. In the first part, we're talking about Meje and
8 some man called Hasanaj; and in the second part, we're referring to
9 Vasiljevic and the bus station. So they're not the same things at all.
10 Q. That's understood.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: That's quite clear, and you say you don't know
12 anything about either. Mr. Stamp is asking you if that can possibly be
13 right in view of what General Vasiljevic said when he was here.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I presented and I said what I said.
15 Now, what Vasiljevic said, whether he already had some information about
16 that and just asked to test this in talking to me, which is not essential
17 at this point, but anyway, I think -- or rather, I did not give him that
18 information about the 20 corpses at the bus station in Djakovica.
19 MR. STAMP:
20 Q. Sir, if you became aware of significant crimes, war crimes,
21 murders, rapes committed against Kosovo Albanians by security forces in
22 the course of an operation where VJ units, including units from your
23 brigade, were involved, and when I say "operation," operation or action
24 where units including your brigade or from your brigade were involved,
25 would it not be your responsibility to thoroughly investigate those
2 A. Absolutely correct. Had it been my duty that if some members of
3 my unit had committed a crime or there were any indications of the fact
4 that members of my unit had perpetrated a crime, then it would, indeed,
5 have been my duty to look at all those indications and have all the
6 operational data, which was not checked out, to have it checked out and
7 then to report to my superior officer within the frameworks of which a
8 more detailed investigation would have been organised.
9 Of course, let me stress, if they were members of my unit who were
10 concerned. So my operative remit and responsibility was for my own unit
11 and also for the risks involved and that could have an influence on the
12 unit's security and its members in its area of deployment. So much from
14 Q. If you have information that Kosovo Albanians are killed in a
15 action where your unit is -- and you were unit is involved in the action,
16 wouldn't you be responsible to investigate the allegations of the killing?
17 A. If it was perpetrated by my unit, you mean?
18 Q. Well, you wouldn't know if it was perpetrated by your unit --
19 A. Or are you referring to --
20 Q. You would not know it was perpetrated by your unit unless you
21 investigated it. That's why I asked the specific question.
22 If there are allegations that people are killed or serious crimes
23 are committed against persons during an action in which your unit is
24 involved, would you not have to investigate those allegations of killings
25 to see whether or not your units were involved in the killings?
1 A. Precisely so.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 A. Precisely. I was duty-bound to establish all the circumstances
4 which could influence -- or rather, which would indicate that the
5 perpetrator might have been somebody from my unit, the perpetrator of
6 anything that could be in contravention of the conducts of an army and
8 Now, if I were to establish that it was, indeed, one of my
9 members, especially if it was -- if the crime happened in my area of
10 deployment, then this would be an indicator to me to take steps to conduct
11 an investigation in the manner which I described a moment ago.
12 Q. And if it, your investigations, established that the crime was
13 committed by members of the MUP, would it not also be your responsibility
14 to report it and take steps to see that it was followed up by the
15 appropriate organs?
16 A. I personally, as a security organ of the unit, did not have the
17 authority to implement my operational work vis-a-vis the MUP organs.
18 However, if I were to have any knowledge whatsoever about any criminal
19 acts, crimes, then I would be duty-bound to inform my superior officer
20 thereof -- or rather, up the chain of command, my chief --
21 Q. Sir --
22 A. -- in order to establish what was true and what was not of the
23 allegations made.
24 Q. Did you conduct any investigations into allegations of crime,
25 serious crime, against civilians in the Caragoj Valley during the 27th,
1 28th, and the 29th of April, 1999?
2 A. I did not have any knowledge of the crimes mentioned.
3 Q. I take it from your answer you are saying that you did not conduct
4 any investigations in respect of that place at that time.
5 A. That's right. I did not have any information about that, nor --
6 Q. Can I take --
7 A. -- did I conduct an investigation.
8 Q. Can I take it further, that the VJ, to your knowledge -- or
9 withdraw that. May I put it this way: Are you whether or not the VJ
10 conducted any investigation in respect of crimes committed during actions
11 in the Caragoj Valley on the 27th, 28th, and 29th of April, 1999?
12 A. I do not know whether the army of Yugoslavia -- or rather, the
13 leaders of the VJ knew about any of this, the then army of Yugoslavia,
14 about the crimes mentioned. But I did not know of them, and so by the
15 same token I did not inform my superior of the existence of any crimes,
16 but within the frameworks of my unit.
17 Similarly, I did not inform him of the existence of any crimes in
18 the area. I didn't report to him about this, nor did I mention any.
19 Q. You say -- let me see if I understand you. You didn't see the
20 bodies Nik Peraj said you saw. You didn't make the report about the
21 bodies to General Vasiljevic.
22 Did you receive any reports from any of your sources about the
23 disappearance of over 300 Kosovo Albanians from the Caragoj Valley area on
24 the 27th, 28th, and 29th of April, 1999?
25 A. No.
1 Q. As a security officer with the reliable sources that General
2 Vasiljevic spoke about, did you receive any information as to where these
3 bodies were concealed or any information as to how they were disinterred,
4 transported, and re-buried at Batajnica in Serbia?
5 A. No.
6 Q. As the chief of security for the Djakovica Garrison, how -- how
7 could you miss this, or is it that you will not testify about crimes, the
8 crimes committed by the MUP?
9 A. I was --
10 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honour, I've never heard of this type of
11 question being asked. I'm speechless.
12 MR. STAMP:
13 Q. Is it that you will not testify about crimes allegedly committed
14 by the MUP in the valley?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: What do you say is wrong with that question,
16 Mr. Ivetic?
17 MR. IVETIC: Well, the question was -- he's giving two options:
18 Is it this or this? He needs to separate it into two questions, I mean.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's now separated.
20 Let's proceed.
21 MR. IVETIC: Fine.
22 MR. STAMP:
23 Q. You're not going to testify about allegations of crimes committed
24 in the valley by the MUP, are you? You don't know of any?
25 A. I do want to testify about anything I know, but I have no
1 knowledge that anybody perpetrated any crime.
2 Q. Very well. You said that you are -- withdrawn. I'll put it this
3 way: You said that you were unable to verify any of the crimes that you
4 discussed with General Vasiljevic.
5 This is a general question: Do you know of any serious crime
6 committed against Kosovo Albanian civilians by the MUP during the NATO
8 A. It seems to me that there were two questions in that. Now, shall
9 I answer the latter?
10 Q. Yes, I'll rephrase that: Do you --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I've only got one question.
12 MR. STAMP: There was, but I think the witness is adopting what
13 Mr. Ivetic had said.
14 Q. Do you know of any serious crimes committed against Kosovo
15 Albanians by MUP units during the NATO intervention?
16 A. No, I do not. I don't know. I heard of some, but only
17 afterwards. I heard that there were indications from the information
18 media and so on and so forth, but I didn't know about that at the time.
19 Q. We --
20 A. Or more exactly, I heard --
21 Q. We heard from a witness, Hani Hoxha, that on or about the 23rd --
22 27th of March, 1999, while he was at his home in the Kula quarter in
23 Djakovica, Serb security forces, amongst the police, entered the area,
24 fired shots in the neighbourhood, burned houses, and expelled people. Did
25 you receive any information about that event at -- at any time during the
2 A. No. No.
3 Q. We heard from him and Lulzim Vejsa, that is say, Hani Hoxha, that
4 on 1st and 2nd of April at Qerim district, at house 157 Milosh Gilic
5 Street, Serb police burnt the house to the ground killing 20 of the
6 occupants, mostly women.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour. Perhaps I'm wrong, Your
8 Honour, but I don't see how this part of the cross-examination has
9 anything to do with the examination-in-chief. The witness heard Milos
10 Obilic, instead of the correct name, which was Milosh Gilic.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand your point, but the cross-examination
12 does not have to have anything to do with the examination-in-chief. It
13 just has to be relevant.
14 So just please continue, Mr. Stamp.
15 MR. STAMP:
16 Q. You didn't hear of a property on -- at 157 Milosh Gilic Street
17 being burnt to the ground resulting in the death of 20 people, 20 Kosovo
19 A. No. Even now, at this moment in time, I'm hearing that for the
20 first time about that particular event.
21 Q. We had a witness here who was a member of the military police
22 battalions that were involved in the action on the 27th, and he said that
23 he travelled with his unit down the mountain -- or down the valley on the
24 27th and 28th of April, and houses were burnt and people were expelled.
25 You said, in your statement, that you went to some elevation so
1 you could look down into the valley on the 28th. Did you not see any of
2 these houses burning?
3 A. On that 28th, as I have or already stated, I was at the top of
4 that elevation above the Osek Hilja village, and I stayed there for about
5 ten minutes. Visibility was good, very good, that's true; but at the
6 time, I did not see any burning or any smoke or any fire, and I didn't
7 even hear anybody firing, any shooting. I stayed there for about ten
8 minutes, as I said.
9 Q. Nik Peraj, I think you're aware, has described you, so far as he
10 knows, as a good person. I think he said a good man who saved many lives
11 and that he always maintained good relations with you. He indicated and
12 he went out of his way to express very high regards about you and your
14 Now you come and say that he is lying when he speaks of you being
15 present when he saw these bodies. Do you have any reason why he would lie
16 on you or speak these lies about you?
17 A. I wish to stress that I was -- up until that time in 1999 when he
18 stayed in Djakovica and I left the area, left Kosovo and Metohija and the
19 Djakovica Garrison, we had good and proper relations. Now, I was
20 surprised to hear the quantity of untruths which he stated in referring to
21 me, even if it was the simple kind of thing and sentence that said, "I
22 told him something which happened," which did not, and so on.
23 Now, the reason why he's doing this, I don't know. I can only
24 assume. It is my assumption -- or my assumption relates to the fact that
25 he, as a member of the army, was blackmailed in some way by members of the
1 KLA after leaving the security forces in Kosovo and Metohija. Since many
2 members of his family stayed on in Kosovo and Metohija, most probably he
3 had to accept that blackmail and give the kind of statements that he gave.
4 That's my personal assumption, but I think that that's why he
5 acted in the way he did.
6 Q. But any concrete reason why you? Do you know of any concrete
7 reason why you, apart from that assumption?
8 A. I really don't know. I can't say. He mentioned other members of
9 the army with whom he had good and proper relations otherwise, so I don't
10 know why he singled me out.
11 MR. STAMP: I have nothing further, Your Honours. Thank you very
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
14 Questioned by the Court:
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Perovic, at the time, what was your
16 understanding of the outcome of the Reka action?
17 A. Mr. President, within the frameworks of my authorisations and
18 powers, I collected all possible knowledge and information about shooting
19 and actions towards my unit and coming from my unit within the frameworks
20 of the duration of the said action, and I informed my superior officer
22 Now, since the other units had their security organs, I did not
23 have the authority to gather information for those units. Well, that
24 would be my answer.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm assuming that no matter what role precisely you
1 play at any given time that when there's an action being conducted where
2 you're forming a blockade in support of that action, that you're likely to
3 find out what happened.
4 Are you telling me you didn't find out what the outcome of this
5 action was?
6 A. I found out about the result of the action, the outcome of the
7 action, within the frameworks of my unit, that is to say what my unit did,
8 but not the other way round, coming towards my unit.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: For example, did you learn that there was -- I'll
10 start that question again.
11 Did you learn that homes were being searched in the course of the
13 A. No.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: So what did you understand was involved? You're
15 forming the blockade. What did you understand that others who were
16 actively involved in the conduct of the action were doing?
17 A. I'm speaking about my unit. As for members of units which
18 conducted the search of the area, I have no specific knowledge.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Had you no idea what the police were doing, for
21 A. No.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zecevic, you wanted to say something.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honour, there is an intervention in the
1 transcript, 58, 3 and 4. I don't think that the witness said exactly what
2 is in the transcript. It's a bit different.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: What he has said is actually that: Within the
5 frameworks of my unit, that is to say, the shootings from my unit and
6 shootings towards my unit." That was the -- that was the essence what he
7 had in -- in his view.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, re-examination?
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, very briefly. Two
12 or three questions only.
13 Re-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Perovic, we were discussing the participation
15 of the 92nd -- sorry, 52nd Artillery Rocket Brigade in this action called
16 Reka on the 27th and 28th. Tell me, please, how many troops performed a
17 blockade from your unit, and what kind of unit was it, from your brigade?
18 A. The blockade was performed by a force three-platoon strong,
19 equivalent to around 60 troops. The 52nd Brigade, the Rocket Artillery
20 Brigade of Anti-aircraft Defence, was responsible for the anti-aircraft
21 defence support to units of the Pristina Corps.
22 Q. Just a moment ago our colleague, Mr. Zecevic, intervened and
23 corrected something in the transcript.
24 You said that you knew what your unit participating in the
25 blockade did and what activities were aimed at your unit. Did your unit
1 open fire, and was fire opened at it?
2 A. That unit did not open fire, nor was there any fire opened at its
3 members, those who were in the blockade.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Perovic. You were asked about Djakovica, about the
5 town itself. In the town itself, as far as you know, was there any fire
6 from the KLA, and was there any battle, combat, with the KLA?
7 A. From what I remember, there was sporadic fire targeting members of
8 the army and members of police units in the town itself, in some of its
9 parts, specifically in a neighbourhood called Novi, which it was, meaning
10 a new part of town.
11 But as for frequent sporadic fire, individual and in groups by
12 Albanian terrorists, was more concentrated in the old part of town.
13 Q. I have one last question. You have graduated from a number of
14 military schools. Tell me about airborne landing units around the world.
15 Do they also have tanks and artillery?
16 A. No, they don't.
17 Q. Do they transport tanks and artillery by cargo planes as part of
18 their force?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Perovic.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
24 Mr. Perovic, that completes your evidence. Thank you for coming
25 to give evidence. You may now leave the courtroom with the usher.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Understood, Mr. President.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Our next
5 witness is Franjo Gloncak. Your Honours, perhaps this is a convenient
6 moment. This will be our last witness for today.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: You're now going to duck, are you? We'll look at
8 the position in relation to that, once we've heard from Mr. Gloncak.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 WITNESS: FRANJO GLONCAK
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Gloncak.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
15 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
18 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: You will now be examined by Mr. Bakrac on behalf of
22 Mr. Lazarevic.
23 Mr. Bakrac.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Examination by Mr. Bakrac:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gloncak, good afternoon:
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. Would you state your for the record? Your full fall name, date of
4 birth, and place of birth.
5 A. My name is Franjo Gloncak. I was born in 1952 in Palic, Subotica
6 municipality. I currently reside in Nis which is about 600 kilometres
7 away from my birthplace.
8 Q. Mr. Gloncak, I will not have many questions. My examination will
9 be brief. Would you kindly make a brief pause after my question and speak
10 more slowly so that the interpretation may be correct.
11 Mr. Gloncak, is it correct that to the Defence team of General
12 Lazarevic you gave a statement on the 26th of December, 2007?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did you have the opportunity to review that statement, read it,
15 and get familiar with it -- with its contents?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Does that statement reflect what you said, and did you sign it in
18 your own hand?
19 A. I signed it in my own hand, and it reflects what I meant to say.
20 Q. If I were to put the same questions to you today again, would you
21 give the same answers?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gloncak.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is Defence Exhibit
25 5D3095 [as interpreted], and I would like to tender it.
1 Q. Mr. Gloncak, I will have just a few questions and clarifications
2 to seek from you and possibly an additional question or two.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] May I ask the usher's assistance in
4 giving one copy of his statement.
5 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, while that's happening, can I confirm
6 that his statement is Exhibit number "5D1395" as opposed to "3095" that's
7 appearing in the transcript right now.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, it is 1395.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I would like to thank my learned
10 friend Mr. Hannis. I meant to correct it myself.
11 Q. So Mr. Gloncak, in paragraph 8 -- or rather, let's deal with
12 paragraph 7 first. You spoke there of an incident when Pirane, near
13 Prizren, was bombed, and you said in paragraph 8: "The army extended
14 assistance to these people."
15 Whom did you mean when you said "the army?"
16 A. Of course, in that area, it was the area of responsibility of the
17 549th Motorised Brigade from Prizren. When I said the army extended
18 assistance, I meant the members of my brigade.
19 Q. Below, in paragraph 11 of your statement, you spoke of another
20 incident when the NATO bombed a column of civilians near Korisa village,
21 and you said that among several members of the army, I suppose your own
22 unit, you too went to donate blood at the hospital. You noticed, on that
23 day, a large number of doctors and other medical personnel of non-Serbian
25 Were there any other ethnicities and who?
1 A. That day, when I donated blood for the victims of the Korisa
2 incident, I believed that there were more than a hundred victims of
3 thermal bombs that targeted that column. Apart from that medical
4 personnel at the hospital in Prizren, the victims were assisted by our own
5 military doctors.
6 Q. Mr. Gloncak, in paragraph 13 of your statement, you spoke of
7 airstrikes on the Gorozup-Planeja axis in a stretch of five to six
8 kilometres. You said that carpet bombing covered all the settlements in
9 that area, Ceja, Planeja, Ninaj, Binaj, and Seh Mala.
10 What does that mean, "carpet bombing"?
11 A. That means that the entire area on our side of the border, which
12 was the direction in which the offensive of the terrorists went, was
13 targeted by carpet bombing from strategic bombers, B52, and all these
14 settlements were wiped out. Even the foundations of the houses was turned
15 into powder.
16 Q. Mr. Gloncak, if I understood you correctly from your statement,
17 your son, before you joined the army after the NATO airstrikes began on
18 the 24th of March, 1999, was doing his regular military service; is that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Which unit was he in?
22 A. My son was doing his military service from June 1998; and from
23 September onwards, he was in military post box 4445, which means 444th [as
24 interpreted] Motorised Brigade.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it should be 549th
1 Motorised Brigade.
2 Q. Did you have any contact with your son before you joined this
3 brigade yourself?
4 A. Yes. I was in touch with my son in several ways. We wrote to
5 each other; we contacted by telephone that was available for that purpose,
6 for families to be able to contact soldiers; and I visited him personally
7 two or three times.
8 Q. Did he share with you his experience of the army, his views on the
9 army and of his superiors, his officers?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What was his experience with his officers and the corps command?
12 A. His experience was, if I can sum it up in a few sentences, that
13 the training is intensive, that the discipline is very firm, that officers
14 are strict, but that they take good care of them, conscripts doing their
15 regularly -- their regular military service. He didn't only say that
16 about his immediate superior officer. He had that same opinion of the
17 entire brigade command, I'm sure, and the command of the corps.
18 Q. Did he tell you of the prevailing opinion of -- among the troops
19 and the officers of the corps commander, General Lazarevic?
20 A. Yes, he did. His opinion and the opinion of other members of the
21 brigade was very high of the command and General Lazarevic specifically.
22 Q. What about your personal experience once you joined the brigade?
23 Was it the same as your son's?
24 A. What he told me and what he communicated to me in other ways was
25 confirmed from my experience.
1 Q. You are a member of the Association of Veterans or fighting men.
2 What is the prevailing opinion today among them of the commander of the
3 Pristina Corps?
4 A. He still enjoys today, as then, their confidence, and he is held
5 in high esteem. You didn't ask me, but I want to say that I worked for a
6 long time in Kosovo as a travelling salesman. I still have contacts with
7 ordinary people, including Albanians. I never heard anyone say anything
8 bad or negative about General Lazarevic.
9 Q. Mr. Gloncak, thank you very much.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
11 questions for this witness.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 Is there another Defence cross-examination? No.
14 We have to break at this stage, Mr. Gloncak, and resume in an hour
15 at quarter to 2.00. Meanwhile, could you please leave the courtroom with
16 the usher.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I suppose we should address your question,
19 Mr. Bakrac. You say this is the last witness. You never know. He might
20 occupy the afternoon for all we know, but perhaps that is unlikely. You
21 have one other witness available, I gather?
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that one more witness
23 who is here arrived last night at 7.00 p.m., together with the current
24 witness. I suppose that you know the name and that we don't need to go
25 into private session. It's a severely disabled person; and when I saw him
1 last night, he said he was extremely tired from the trip and that he was
2 unable to talk. As I said before, from 7.00 p.m., I nevertheless proofed
3 Mr. Gloncak additionally until late last night. I don't want to shift
4 blame onto anyone. But on the 14th of January, we asked those five
5 witnesses: Zdravko Vintar --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I wasn't asking about the arrival of everyone, but
7 I was simply asking you to explain why it wouldn't be possible to take the
8 witness who is here and we'll consider what you say.
9 Thank you.
10 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.47 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 1.45 p.m.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gloncak, you'll now be cross-examined by the
14 Prosecutor Mr. Hannis.
15 Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:
18 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Gloncak.
19 A. Good afternoon.
20 Q. I want to ask you some questions about your statement. Do you
21 have a copy of it on your table?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In paragraph 1, you tell us about when you first served in the
24 army and that you stayed until 30 October 1982 and transferred to the
25 reserve force. Why did you leave the army at that time?
1 A. At one point in my life, I believed that I would be more
2 successful in other areas, in other jobs, and I was looking for a chance
3 to do something else for a change.
4 Q. Okay. And I understand from reading your statement that -- that
5 you worked for a while as a sales representative for different furniture
6 factories; and in paragraph 3, we see that in July 1998 you were called to
7 a military exercise.
8 Between 1982 and 1998, did you have any active duty in the army or
9 were you simply in the reserve that whole time?
10 A. I was in the reserve, which didn't mean that I wasn't called upon
11 to do my job with the Territorial Defence in Nis from time to time. I was
12 the commander of the signals platoon, and it went on like that until 1991.
13 Q. All right. We read in paragraph 4 that after the -- the bombing
14 started, you joined the army as a volunteer on 25th of March, and you
15 mention when you did that you went through some testing, including a
16 psychiatric examination. What did that consist of? Was that a written
17 test or an oral test? Exactly what was that?
18 A. Psychiatric, is that the only thing you have in mind, that
20 Q. Yes. That's the only one I'm asking you about right now.
21 A. There was a person, rather, two persons from the military hospital
22 in Nis, two psychiatrists, and they checked everyone who volunteered to
23 join the defence forces of their own free will. First, there was a
24 written test; and after that, there was an interview with one of the
25 psychiatrists. They would check your reflexes, that sort of thing,
1 whatever it is that they do; and, of course, motivation was one of the
2 things that was discussed.
3 Q. Okay. How long a written test was this? Is this something that
4 took days or hours or half an hour?
5 A. The written part took one hour, and the evaluation itself with all
6 its other components would normally take an entire day.
7 Q. All right. You tell us that you were first sent with a group
8 volunteers to the 175th, and you arrived there at the end of March.
9 So I take it, then, that you were there until you got transferred
10 to your son's brigade, the 549th, which you tell us in paragraph 5 was
11 around the 4th or 5th of April. Is that right?
12 A. Yes, that's right. I was with the 175th for four or five days.
13 Q. Where exactly did you go when you got transferred to the 549th?
14 You told us you were stationed in the surroundings of Prizren. Can you
15 tell us exactly where you were?
16 A. The exact whereabouts of the unit that I was transferred to at
17 this point was a farm, an agricultural farm, next to Dusanovo village in
18 Prizren municipality.
19 Q. Was that called Ekonomija?
20 A. Yes. It's possible to call it that. There was some agricultural
21 machinery and some livestock there that was bred.
22 Q. And in paragraph 5 you mention, you say: "During those several
23 days that I spent in the surroundings of Gnjilane and then in Prizren..."
24 I'm not clear, sir, from your statement. When were you in
1 A. Zegra. That's the place near which I was. I spent those four or
2 five days near that village, and this village is in Gnjilane municipal
4 Q. Okay. So you're referring to the time when you were with the
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. Okay. Okay. Thank you. Now, I'd like to show you an exhibit.
8 MR. HANNIS: This is a photo. It's Exhibit P3047, and this is a
9 photo we showed when General Delic was here to testify. If we go to the
10 second page, please. It's from a book by a journalist.
11 Q. That's the cover page, but I want to show you the photograph.
12 I don't know how well you can see that on your screen, but this is
13 purported to be a group of volunteers who fought with the 549th; and on
14 the top right of the picture standing on the stairs, if you come down to
15 the third person there, General Delic told us that was -- that was him
16 had. Can you recognise him there?
17 A. On the right-hand side from the top down, the third person in
18 uniform is General Bozidar Delic. He was a colonel at the time.
19 Q. Do you recognise any of the other people in this photograph until?
20 A. I've never been to this place, and I wasn't there with this group
21 of people.
22 Q. Okay. Even though you've never been there, have you -- do you
23 recognise any of these people from anywhere else during the time you were
24 in Kosovo?
25 A. No.
1 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, in paragraph 6, you mention that you
2 saw several examples of -- of NATO bombing, and you said you can mention
3 some about which you have personal first-hand knowledge.
4 By my rough count, I think you describe six or seven different
5 incidents, but it's only the first one, in paragraph 7, on 15 April 1999,
6 in the village of Pirane that it seems to me that you were -- you were
7 actually there. Is that right? You were -- you witnessed that one on the
8 15th of April with your own eyes?
9 A. Yes. That's true, and I also witnessed the strikes on Prizren,
10 the airstrikes. Prizren was teeming with civilians on the 1st of May. As
11 for the airstrikes that were carried out against the refugee column near
12 Korisa, I wasn't there when the airstrike occurred, but I was there to
13 witness the consequences.
14 Q. Okay. We'll talk some more about that in a minute.
15 But this first one in paragraph 7, you mention that between 1400
16 and 1500 hours that day, these Albanian civilians on tractors were bombed,
17 and you say: "As I estimated from a distance of about 500 metres, with a
18 Mark class air bomb ..."
19 So if I understand correctly, you're at a distance of about 500
20 metres away from where the bomb struck the civilians; is that right?
21 A. That's right, with another three persons. The distance between us
22 and place where this occurred was about half a kilometre.
23 Q. You didn't actually see any aeroplane from which this bomb came,
24 did you?
25 A. I saw an aeroplane. It was an F-16.
1 Q. Okay. And you were able to see the bomb at a distance of 500
2 metres and determine that it was a Mark class air bomb; is that right?
3 A. Based on my experience and based on the effects of the same bomb
4 that I saw in other places, I still believe this to have been an M-82
5 missile, bomb.
6 Q. You -- you're -- you're not a bomb expert. Your military
7 speciality was in communications; right?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. And in paragraph 9, you tell us about a second case that happened
10 on the 1st of May from around 2030 hours to 0030 hours. The town of
11 Prizren was heavily bombed. You say it was full of civilians.
12 When you say Prizren was full of civilians, you don't -- you don't
13 mean it was exclusively full of civilians, do you? I mean, there were
14 also MUP and VJ personnel in and around Prizren on that day; right?
15 A. Yes. There were members of the army and the police there, yeah.
16 Q. And can you tell us what - and you'll have to excuse my
17 pronunciation of the Serbian - but can you tell me what the Cviljen
18 feature is? I understand it's some kind of communication device or
19 building or structure, the repeater?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Which paragraph are we in, Mr. Hannis?
21 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, this is not in his statement.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: We've got it now in paragraph 10.
23 MR. HANNIS: Yes. The name of the feature, I mean.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Cviljen is a hill right next to
25 Prizren, and there was a repeater at the top, for telephone
1 communications, TV, and radio. It was a civilian installation.
2 Q. And, approximately, how far from Prizren is it located, and in
3 what direction?
4 A. The distance between Prizren and Cviljen is about three
5 kilometres, as the crow flies, to the west.
6 Q. Okay. What about the Car Dusan Silni barracks? Those were
7 located in Prizren, weren't they?
8 A. The Car Dusan Silni barracks is far from Cviljen. It's at the
9 other end. It's when you leave Prizren and head towards Suva Reka.
10 Q. How far from the town or city limits of Prizren were the barracks
12 A. To all practical intents, it's on the outskirts of Prizren town.
13 Q. Okay. And in Dusanovo, there were VJ artillery weapons located,
14 were there not?
15 A. I saw no artillery units in Dusanovo.
16 Q. But what about artillery weapons?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Okay.
19 MR. HANNIS: Could I show an exhibit, 6D1004.
20 Q. I can give you a hard copy, and I'll ask you to go to page 5. You
21 can look at the first page first. This is dated the 6th of May, 1999.
22 It's a Republic of Serbian Ministry of Interior report for information
23 obtained in the period between 30 April 1999 and 5 May 1999.
24 I assume you've never seen this before, have you, sir?
25 A. That's right. I've never seen this before.
1 Q. If you go to page 5, and in English it's at the top of page 4. In
2 your copy, sir, I've highlighted something in pink, and I'll read it out
3 and ask you a question.
4 It says: "The constant targets of NATO aircraft in this period
5 were the already mentioned Cviljen repeater, the Car Dusan Silni VJ
6 barracks, and in particular the positions of the Yugoslav Army in the
7 village of Dusanovo in the immediate vicinity of Prizren."
8 And at the very end of the paragraph, it mentions destruction to
9 some homes in the village of Dusanovo and VJ artillery weapons located in
10 the village.
11 Now, were you not aware some VJ artillery weapons were subjected
12 to NATO bombing during the week of 30 April to 5 May 1999? You didn't
13 know about that?
14 A. No, I didn't, and I don't. I don't think this is the case. It
15 can't possibly be the case. There were no artillery weapons or units in
16 Dusanovo next to Prizren.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] There is a problem in the transcript.
20 Can I ask my learned friend or the witness to read the last portion of the
21 paragraph that Mr. Hannis was showing to him. It is not my intention to
22 anticipate the actual answer, but I think it has been misinterpreted.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: What do you want to do on this, Mr. Hannis?
24 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I don't have any objection to that.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Can we have the witness read the last
1 part of the paragraph.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean the part that is marked
4 MR. HANNIS:
5 Q. You can read the whole -- the entire paragraph.
6 A. "At this period, the Cviljen repeater that I've mentioned, the Car
7 Dusan Silni VJ barracks, in particular the positions of the Yugoslav army
8 in the village Dusanovo, were constant targets of NATO aircraft, and this
9 is in the immediate vicinity of Prizren. During those airstrikes, an
10 enormous material damage was inflicted, especially by the destroying of
11 over 40 houses in the village of Dusanovo. Also, a number of private
12 agricultural facilities or farms were destroyed as well, as a number of VJ
13 weapons were stationed in that village."
14 It should be "that were stationed in that village."
15 Q. And does it not say "artillery weapons"?
16 A. When we talk about "artillery weapons," we mean artillery weapons.
17 During those airstrikes on those days, some weapons were destroyed that
18 were part of the LAD PVO of the 549th Brigade.
19 Q. Let me stop you there. My question is, though: In my English
20 translation, it says "artillery weapons." Is that what says in Serbian?
21 Can you confirm for me or read it again, because when you read it
22 this time it just said "weapons," but I understood that it says "artillery
23 weapons." I'm just trying to clear that up.
24 A. "Artillery pieces."
25 Q. Okay. Thank you. What was the -- what was the name of the unit
1 that you were assigned to?
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: You're going to have to re-examine on this,
4 Mr. Bakrac. You'll have the last opportunity to deal with it.
5 MR. HANNIS:
6 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Gloncak. Can you tell me what was the name or the
7 number or designator of the unit that you were assigned to in the 549th?
8 A. It is 2787/61. This is a LAD Artillery Rocket Battalion of the
9 anti-aircraft defence, and it was part of the 549th Motorised Brigade.
10 Q. I want to show you another exhibit. This is P2575, and it's
11 described as a war diary of the Light Air Defence Rocket Artillery
12 Battalion of the 549th. That sounds like your unit, but maybe you can
13 have a look and tell me if it is.
14 You can't tell much from that first page.
15 MR. HANNIS: I'd like to start at page 8 of the English, and it's
16 page 8 of the B/C/S as well.
17 Q. And, Mr. Gloncak, I'd like you to take a look at the entry for
18 April 7th. It's item number 16 in the handwritten.
19 MR. HANNIS: I think we have to enlarge the left-hand side of this
20 document, and I don't know if -- do we not have English in e-court? Okay.
21 Q. Mr. Gloncak, can you see that entry for the 7th of April?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. If you could go down, I think it's -- I think it's about
24 two-thirds of the way down on this page. There's a reference to the 3rd
25 Motorised Battalion taking up positions in Dusanovo village. Do you see
1 that? It makes a reference to a location 700 metres west of Ekonomija.
2 A. Yes, I see that.
3 Q. Could you read that sentence out loud for us, since we don't
4 apparently have the English here.
5 A. Is that the one that starts with the time indication, 1920?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. "At 1920 hundred hours, after the support was completed, the 3rd
8 MTB in these villages took up positions in Dusanovo village sector 700
9 metres west of the farm and carried out preparations to conduct," probably
10 it says "anti-aircraft combat.
11 "The quartermaster's detachment -- squad is..."
12 You want me to go on reading that?
13 Q. You can stop there. Thank you. Do you recall seeing this unit
14 set up about 700 metres west of Ekonomija farm?
15 A. I didn't see them the moment they deployed, but I knew that the
16 unit had been transferred.
17 But can I tell you what I think this misunderstanding is about,
18 Mr. Prosecutor? You talk about artillery pieces, guns, Howitzers, --
19 Q. I have limited time. Mr. Bakrac may be able to ask you some
20 questions again when I'm finished.
21 I want to go back to your statement. You mentioned another
22 incident on the 1st of May in Prizren, and then you mentioned in late
23 April and early May when NATO was bombing around the area of the repeater
24 on Cviljen.
25 You mentioned going through a village of Lokvice. Do you recall
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. And you told us that when you went through, there wasn't -- that
4 it was inhabited exclusively by Muslim inhabitants and nobody had -- had
5 left. Is this a Gorani -- is this a Gorani community? Is that the right
7 A. I don't think these are Goranci or the Gorani community. I think
8 these are Muslims. I didn't even want to know then or now. What I'm
9 saying is they weren't Orthodox or Catholic.
10 Q. But you mentioned there were four Orthodox churches in the
11 village; correct?
12 A. That's right. There were in that village until the time we left
13 Kosovo. I don't know what has since become of them.
14 Q. Okay. I guess I'm not clear. The village was exclusively
15 Muslims, but there were four Orthodox churches and one mosque. Does it
16 mean that there were no Serbs living there? Were these Muslims who were
17 Orthodox by religion?
18 A. No. There is no such thing. Those places of worship are far
19 older. The make-up of the local population had probably changed over
20 time, but people cared for these buildings enough to preserve them.
21 Q. Okay. I'd like to take a look at a map to look at the Prizren
23 MR. HANNIS: If we could look at P615; first of all, page 48.
24 Q. Mr. Gloncak, I'm going to show you a map that purports to show
25 basically the -- the city or the town of Prizren. Can you -- can you
1 recognise that, what's on your computer screen or should we enlarge it a
2 little bit?
3 A. I can see it, but I'm not an expert in town planning.
4 Q. Okay. From your time there, are you able to tell us that this
5 generally is consistent with the -- with the layout of the town of
6 Prizren? You see the railroad tracks on the left side running from bottom
7 to top of the page. Does that help orient you?
8 A. Yes, yes, it certainly does. I can see the basic contours now. I
9 can see the main passage and the railway tracks. Yes, that is Prizren.
10 Q. Would the -- the Car Dusan Silni barracks be on this photograph or
11 are they farther away from the town, if you know?
12 A. The barracks, the Car Dusan Silni barracks, should be outside this
13 map but very close to the upper right-hand corner.
14 Q. Thank you. And Dusanovo would be sort of outside this map near
15 the top left, correct, sort of following along the railroad tracks?
16 A. That's right. That's right. Yes. The red route leading up left
17 is the Djakovica-Prizren road, and it is on that road that the village of
18 Dusanovo lies. Of course, it can't be seen on this section of the map.
19 Q. Okay.
20 MR. HANNIS: If we could go to page 22 of this exhibit.
21 Q. I'll try to show you a map that's zoomed out a little bit,
22 Mr. Gloncak, and see if you can help us with that.
23 MR. HANNIS: And if we could enlarge the lower right quadrant that
24 has Prizren. Maybe one more time even.
25 Can you see that, Mr. Gloncak? Do you see Prizren in the lower
1 right corner?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. And do you know see where Dusanovo is written on the map here? It
4 actually appears to be --
5 A. Yes, I do. I see it.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. I do see it, yes.
8 Q. Could you -- the usher will help you. We have a pen there where
9 you can actually draw on this map. If you could mark a number 1 with a
10 circle in it to indicate approximately where you were located.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Okay. Thank you very much.
13 MR. HANNIS: Could we give that an IC number, please, Your Honour.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I think I drew it in
15 too low down, too far down.
16 MR. HANNIS:
17 Q. Okay. We'll give you a clean one and start over again if that's
18 possible. We'll give you a clean one, Mr. Gloncak, and give you a chance
19 to mark again.
20 If you could just put a little number 1 and draw a circle around
21 it. We understand it's approximate.
22 A. [Marks]
23 JUDGE BONOMY: That's all you're getting, Mr. Hannis.
24 MR. HANNIS:
25 Q. All right.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. I have a little more now. Thank you.
3 MR. HANNIS: Could we give that an IC number.
4 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC 171, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
7 Q. Now, Mr. Gloncak, I wanted to move on to one the other NATO
8 bombings you talked about. In paragraph 11 of your statement, you
9 mentioned hearing about something near the village of Korenica -- or
10 Korisa on the 14th or 15th of May. You weren't actually there. This is
11 something you heard about over the radio at the time; and then later on,
12 you found out some more information about it; right?
13 But you weren't there first-hand, that's correct, isn't it?
14 A. Yes, that is correct, and I've already said that.
15 Q. Okay. Let me see. You mentioned around -- in paragraph 12 of
16 your statement, around the 29th of May, you remember a convoy of civilians
17 bombed on the Prizren-Brezovica road before Recani.
18 Again, this is not you personally witnessed, is it?
19 A. No. I wasn't an eyewitness of the bombing either on the first day
20 of the Cviljen column or the Portuguese news crew or the British.
21 Q. In paragraph 13, you talked about the 29th of May and the carpet
22 bombing. You said all villages on that axis, Ceja, Planeja, Ninaj, Binaj,
23 Seh Mala, et cetera, were covered by a carpet bombing.
24 You didn't personally see that at the time it happened, did you?
25 A. I did, yes.
1 Q. From where did you see it?
2 A. I was right near those positions.
3 Q. And you list five villages there and you say "et cetera." How
4 many additional villages do you include in this event?
5 A. Those were the villages and hamlets that were in that area. Nine
6 years after that period of -- after that, I really can't remember all the
7 names of the various little places.
8 Q. Well, can you remember a number? Are you talking about just one
9 more for a total of six? Are you talking about 12 or 20?
10 A. No. They're not that many in the area.
11 Q. And over how widespread an area are you talking about? Can you
12 give us an estimate of how many kilometres or square kilometres you're
13 referring to?
14 A. As for the breadth, I think it's an area of around four to four
15 and a half kilometres. It does not mean that the carpet bombing engulfed
16 the fields, meadows, but the settlements.
17 Q. Okay. You don't know, do you, whether or not there were any VJ or
18 MUP personnel or equipment or weapons located within the area where the
19 bombs were dropped, do you?
20 A. There were units of the army there. I don't know about the MUP.
21 Q. And you told us earlier today when you testified - it's at page
22 64, line 3 - beginning at line 3, you said: "All those settlements were
23 wiped out. Even the foundations of the houses were turned into powder."
24 Are you telling us that in all of those villages over that entire
25 area nothing is left but powder? That's an overstatement, isn't it?
1 A. Perhaps it's a slight exaggeration, but the countryside did look
2 like something on the moon, and there was total destruction.
3 Q. You didn't take any photos, did you?
4 A. No. I did not have a camera, nor did it occur to me at the time
5 to take souvenirs of that type back.
6 Q. You mentioned, in paragraph 16, you say: "Many civilians told me
7 that in addition to fear from NATO bombing, they were also leaving because
8 of pressure exerted by KLA members."
9 How may civilians are you actually talking about? How many
10 civilians did you personally speak to about that issue, fear of NATO
11 bombing and pressure by KLA members?
12 Are you talking about five people or 50 people, a hundred people?
13 A. To the best of my recollection, the figure could be around 50
15 Q. And when did you talk to those 50 people?
16 A. Over a longer period of time, we're talking about the beginning of
17 April onwards up until the end of May roughly.
18 Q. And where?
19 A. On the territory that I moved around in and where I met people,
20 came across people.
21 Q. And these are Kosovo Albanian civilians?
22 A. Not only Kosovo Albanian civilians. I also talked to the Gorani
23 and to some Turks and, of course, to the Serbs, too.
24 Q. Okay. What percentage of these 50 were Kosovo Albanians that you
25 spoke to?
1 A. Well, let's say three-quarters roughly.
2 Q. Okay. Were you in your VJ uniform at the time you spoke with
4 A. Of course, I was. It was my duty to wear my uniform at all times,
5 just as it was the duty of all other members of the army.
6 Q. Do you think that they might be hesitant to tell you, a soldier in
7 a VJ uniform, that the reason they were leaving is because they were
8 afraid of the Serb forces?
9 A. Well, it was wartime. That's possible, too, but what I'm telling
10 you is what they told me.
11 Q. Okay. Fair enough. You say in that same paragraph: "I know that
12 KLA members carried out the massacre in the village of Rogovo because
13 Albanians from that village did not want to obey their orders to move
15 First of all, can you tell me, approximately, when that massacre
16 was that you're referring to?
17 A. I didn't go to that area. The source of information was in
18 talking to people from Rogovo, and the village of Rogovo should be located
19 to the north of Prizren somewhere thereabouts, bordering on the Djakovica
20 and Orahovac municipalities.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you. You mention, in paragraph 17 of your statement,
22 I think when you were in the Zegra area, that you saw two or three
23 conscripts maltreat and seriously injure an elderly woman. You told us
24 they were immediately arrested and escorted to Gnjilane. According to
25 what you found out later, they received prison sentences of 14 years each
1 for this.
2 I will tell you we've had a number of witnesses here, from
3 military judges and prosecutors from the VJ, who brought in a number of
4 reports of those VJ members charged with crimes and sentenced.
5 I'd like to ask you, first of all, how did you go find out about
6 these guys? What was your source of information about them getting
7 14-year prison sentences?
8 A. I talked about that to a member of the 175th Brigade after the
9 war, several months after the war, and I think he was an officer in that
10 brigade. We happened to meet. He was a captain by rank. I remember
11 that, and I remember his nickname, Jovance [phoen]. The man lives in
12 Leskovac to that day. That's less than 50 kilometres away from where I
13 live, the town of Nis.
14 Q. Okay. And these conscripts, were they also from the 175th?
15 A. That evening, as volunteers, together with a group that I had
16 arrived with, they arrived in the broader area around Zegra. They
17 directly violated orders not to enter the village and not to enter the
18 houses, and I saw them with my very own eyes being taken away by the
19 military police, handcuffed.
20 Q. And my question, I think, was: Were they members of the 175th, or
21 assigned to the 175th brigade? Do you know?
22 A. When we arrived in the brigade's area of deployment, of course all
23 of us were included in the composition of that brigade. We were already a
24 part of it.
25 Q. And your only source of information of about them receiving a
1 prison sentence of 14 years comes from this captain whose nickname you
2 gave us, right?
3 You didn't see any media accounts or see any court records about
4 what happened to them, did you?
5 A. No, no. I didn't see anything in respect of that case or any
6 other, because it wasn't what I was interested in job-wise.
7 Q. Okay, Mr. Gloncak. Those are all the questions I have for you.
8 Thank you.
9 MR. HANNIS: Oh, I'm sorry. I just wanted to advise you that the
10 English translation, Your Honours, of that diary for the Artillery Rocket
11 Battalion is now available in e-court in English.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
13 Questioned by the Court:
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gloncak, during the period of the war, what
15 particular actions, combat actions, by the VJ did you take part in?
16 A. Specifically, I took part in combat action during the Strela
17 operation, the attack which began at the end of May along the axis of the
18 Gorozup border hut and the lake there, Planeja, Ceja, the place I
19 mentioned, and it was an attack towards Prizren.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: So you were part of a combat unit at the time and
21 in the area of the carpet bombing that you described to us.
22 A. That's right, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: At the time of the bombing, was there fighting in
25 A. Yes. The infantry attack from the territory of the Republic of
1 Albania was already under way.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And who do you say made up the infantry attacking
3 from Albania?
4 A. They were the forces of the armed rebellion of ethnic Albanians,
5 as you call them, but I would say terrorists.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, earlier in the period of the war, were you
7 involved in any active combat?
8 A. My VES was signals, so I did take part in many of the elements of
9 the work of the defence forces. You asked me about direct combat, and I
10 answered that question. VES being military occupational speciality.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: But as a signal operative, if that's what you were
12 called, did you also in that role participate in other actions during the
13 war, albeit you were not wielding a weapon?
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: And which were these actions?
16 A. It was organisation of anti-aircraft defence, where there are
17 separate points with whom communications were maintained; and when the
18 need arose, I had to do other work on technical maintenance, electricity,
19 the establishment of communications where they had been severed, and
20 things like that.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Were you connected in any way with any other action
22 against the KLA or any other terrorist body?
23 A. Only in one case did I take part in refuting an infantry attack
24 from the village of Vladovo in the period when I was deployed in the 175th
25 Brigade. That was a short period of shooting which went on for about half
1 an hour.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And were there casualties?
3 A. Not on our side, no.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: What about the other side?
5 A. I don't know about that.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Was it only the VJ that were involved or were there
7 other groups apart from the VJ involved?
8 A. Only the army of Yugoslavia -- or rather, members of the 175th
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And who was your opponent?
11 A. On the other side, it is the assumption that they were the forces
12 of the Albanian terrorists or rebels, insurgents.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: How did that action come to an end?
14 A. I don't think it was actually an action but provocation on their
15 part. During the night shooting, we returned fire, and that's where it
17 JUDGE BONOMY: And apart from the matters you've dealt with in
18 response to these questions and your involvement in Strela mentioned in
19 the statement, is there no other planned action of the VJ that you were in
20 anyway involved in, either in your duties as a signalman or in an active
21 combat role?
22 A. If the so-called PVO ambushes are included in those actions, the
23 ones you have in mind, then yes. PVO, anti-aircraft defence.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: You say "PVO ambushes." Is that a correct
25 translation of what was said? Well, what do you mean by an anti-aircraft
2 A. Yes. I meant anti-aircraft defence ambushes where an
3 anti-aircraft defence weapon is put out into the terrain waiting for an
4 overflight of an enemy aircraft in attempt to take it down.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Were your anti-aircraft weapons also used against
6 targets on the ground?
7 A. Those weapons could not be used against targets on the ground.
8 It's a launcher, Strela 2 or Arrow 2, which is exclusively intended for
9 combat against aircraft.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Anything arising from that, Mr. Hannis?
11 MR. HANNIS: No thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 Mr. Bakrac, re-examination.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Very briefly, and we have to clarify
15 one error in the transcript. I have just a few questions.
16 Re-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Please tell me, Mr. Gloncak, you said something
18 about it in your statement, what happened to your family house during the
20 A. The house where I was born, it's actually a resort at Lake Palic.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: It will be suggested, I think, by Mr. Hannis that
22 that doesn't arise out of cross-examination.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe it does,
24 because I believe a whole series of questions of Mr. Hannis had to do with
25 destroyed houses and whether they were destroyed because the army was
2 My next question was whether the army were stationed or based in
3 his house at Lake Palic. I believe Mr. Hannis questioned about bombing of
4 civilian facilities that the witness is aware of, and he tried to suggest
5 that everywhere around such buildings there were army troops.
6 I believe it does follow from --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
8 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour. I don't see how that relates. I
9 ask about houses that is were destroyed in Dusanovo near where he was
10 stationed and artillery pieces were stationed. I don't see the
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Bakrac, you can ask questions about
13 houses in areas which Mr. Hannis dealt with, where you think the
14 suggestion has been left that there were military targets in these areas;
15 but beyond that, it would not be appropriate to go arising out of
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Gloncak, all these examples of NATO airstrikes and buildings
19 destroyed, were they exclusively military targets from what you were able
20 to see and assess, or were they civilian targets?
21 A. Indiscriminate bombing by NATO is what I think. It's not only
22 military installations that were targeted. It was mostly civilian
23 facilities that were targeted.
24 May I correct myself? Mostly civilian facilities were hit.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gloncak.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at 6D1004. Can we
2 have page 5, please, in B/C/S. Can we zoom in, please, on the second
4 Just a minute. That's it.
5 Q. Mr. Gloncak, you've already read this paragraph. I would like to
6 know in the last sentence -- or rather, in the entire paragraph, but
7 especially in the last sentence, is it written anywhere "artillery
9 A. It says "orudje."
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: It means artillery weapons,
11 but the witness says it says only weapons.
12 A. Although, the Prosecutor suggested to me artillery weapons.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, if I may be of assistance to all, so
14 we don't lose the time. I think that the most adequate translation of it
15 would be "pieces of weaponry." That's "orudje," pieces of weaponry. It
16 is not artillery pieces, although it is used also for artillery pieces.
17 But in Serbian language when you say "orudje," it can be mostly
18 anything which belongs to the army; and if it's artillery piece, then it
19 says "artiljerija orduje."
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we will not have arguments, personal
21 arguments, across the courtroom. If you have a submission to make, make
22 it, and Mr. Zecevic should be allowed to make his submission.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, I tried to -- to be of assistance, Your
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it may not be any of your business.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: It appears so, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment.
3 I think, Mr. Bakrac, what else happens in your re-examination, we
4 shall require reconsideration of the translation of this part of page 5 of
5 6D1004 by CLSS who will make a report; and if you have a submission to
6 make about it, you can make a further submission. But there may be other
7 questions you would like to ask.
8 There certainly is one I would like to ask of the witness, which
9 is this: There is no disagreement amongst anyone here but that the
10 reference is to weapons. What weapons do you understand that that refers
11 to or have you just no idea?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will tell you that. I was trying
13 to when the Prosecutor told me there was no more time. What he says was
14 destroyed, the artillery pieces of the VJ, is not artillery pieces. It is
15 an anti-aircraft weapon of the army of Yugoslavia, a combined cannon
16 mounted on a vehicle called Praga with two barrels. It is not an
17 artillery weapon. It is an anti-aircraft defence weapon.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I dare say to Mr. Hannis that he would probably
19 have classed that as an artillery weapon; perhaps not. That may be the
20 question answered, but you'll have a chance to comment on the translation
21 issue when the translation is provided.
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I agree, Your Honour, and I believe
23 it would be useful, perhaps, to listen to that segment of the tape when he
24 read it, but I don't think we should waste any more time on that.
25 With this explanation, the witness now said what he intended to
1 say when he was stopped. I believe it was about Exhibit P2075. I don't
2 think we need to open that exhibit.
3 Those would be all my questions. Thank you, Mr. Gloncak.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
5 Mr. Gloncak, that completes your evidence. Thank you for coming
6 here to give evidence. You're now free to leave us.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: The information we have in relation to your next
9 witness suggests that we ought to grant your motion to postpone hearing
10 him until Monday, which we shall do.
11 There has been some information relayed to us by VWS at my request
12 which suggests not ideal communications about the arrangements for
13 attendance. So I think for the avoidance of doubt, we don't need to get
14 into any dispute about that. I'm not for a minute suggesting that it's
15 all your responsibility or that there's any need to attribute fault here,
16 but there was clearly a breakdown in communication.
17 But for the avoidance of doubt, there is every possibility that
18 all your witnesses will be required next week. So you have to bear that
19 possibility in mind and consider carefully with VWS your arrangements for
20 the attendance of witnesses, so that we make full use of the time
21 available. All right?
22 So we will adjourn now until Monday at 9.00 in this courtroom.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.51 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Monday, the 28th day
25 of January, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.