2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, your next witness?
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Good morning. Thank you, Your
7 Honour. Our next witness is Sasa Antic.
8 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Antic.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
13 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated, and make yourself as
18 comfortable as you can; we appreciate that special arrangements are
19 necessary to ensure that. It doesn't look very comfortable from here,
20 but ...
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot make myself more
22 comfortable than this.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... on behalf of
24 Mr. Lazarevic.
25 Mr. Bakrac.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 WITNESS: SASA ANTIC
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Examination by Mr. Bakrac:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Antic, good morning.
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. Would you please state your full name for the record, your date
8 and place of birth for the record.
A. My name is Sasa Antic. I was born
10 Q. Mr. Antic, did you give a statement to this Defence team on the
11 5th of January, 2008?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you have occasion to review this statement, to read it, and
14 sign it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Does it reflect everything that you stated to the Defence team of
17 General Lazarevic?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. If we were to ask you the same questions today, would you provide
20 the same answers?
21 A. Yes, of course.
22 Q. Mr. Antic, this Court and the Office of the Prosecutor and my
23 colleagues from other Defence teams are in possession of your statement;
24 therefore, it would not be necessary to repeat what is contained in it. I
25 would only like to ask you some additional
questions, or rather, to
1 clarify certain points.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Before that I would kindly request
3 that this statement, which is Defence Exhibit 5D1398 be admitted into
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Antic, you said you were born in Gnjilane. Gnjilane is in the
8 province of Kosovo and Metohija, correct?
9 A. Yes, in the eastern part of Kosovo and Metohija.
10 Q. In paragraph 14 you stated that together with some civilians of
11 Albanian ethnicity you discussed the reasons why they were leaving their
12 places of residence, and some of them told you that they would go either
14 and during the NATO air-strikes to go to Gnjilane; and if so, how often?
15 A. Yes, certainly. My entire family lives in the broader area of
16 Gnjilane, more precisely in a village which is around 15 kilometres away
17 from Gnjilane itself. Before the war, as often as I was able to, I went
18 to visit my family; and during the war, I believe I was able to visit
19 three times.
20 Q. In Gnjilane and around it, were there any civilians before and
21 during the NATO air-strikes and were there more during the air-strikes?
22 A. You could observe in the streets that there were many more
23 civilians than resided there before the war began.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Antic. In paragraphs 15 and 16 of your statement,
25 you said something about the losses of the battalion where you served.
1 Could you tell me, if you know, how many men were killed from your
2 battalion during the war and how many were wounded?
3 A. In my battalion, specifically in my company, because they were all
4 members of my company, a total of 15 men were killed, 13 soldiers, one
5 NCO, and one officer. And there was certainly more than 20 members of the
6 battalion who were wounded. I cannot give you the exact number, but it's
7 certainly over 20, between 20 and 30.
8 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 16, you described an incident on the road
9 from Klina to Djakovica where part of the unit of the 52nd Military Police
10 Battalion was bombed. You said five soldiers were killed as well as NCO
11 Boban Milic. Do you know if an officer from the command of the Pristina
12 Corps was killed on that occasion as well?
13 A. Yes. On that occasion in a combat vehicle of the infantry there
14 was Lieutenant-Colonel Simovic from the command of the Pristina Corps, but
15 I cannot tell exactly which position he occupied in the command. He was
16 killed together with those five soldiers and with my second lieutenant,
17 Milic, who was also deputy commander of my company.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Antic. In paragraph 22, you described an
19 assignment on the 27th and 28th of April in a valley called Caragoj or
20 Reka valley. You said that you had received an assignment to move your
21 forces on the 27th and 28th of April, including a part of your company, in
22 order to prevent a spillover of terrorists from across the border. My
23 question is: Do you recall from whom you received this assignment?
24 A. In the period you mentioned, the company that I commanded at the
25 time was resubordinated to the 125th Motorised Brigade. Sometime on the
1 26th I was told - I don't remember if it was the commander of the 125th or
2 its Chief of Staff - to report to the forward command post in Djakovica to
3 receive an assignment. After that, I went to Djakovica and I reported to
4 that forward command post. The forward command post -- and I must say, I
5 don't know Djakovica very well although I went there more than once. The
6 forward command post was located somewhere behind the main post office.
7 Those were two buildings, the entrance was between them, and there was
8 something like a cafe or a restaurant in the same building where the
9 forward command post was, but I don't know what it was called.
10 When I arrived, I was of course stopped, in keeping with the
11 procedure, outside the building. I was asked what my business was. I
12 introduced myself. They contacted their superiors and allowed me to
13 proceed into the lobby on the ground floor, where I was again stopped by
14 another guard from the security detail of the forward command post to whom
15 I had to introduce myself again and to state my business.
16 I was told to wait, the time it takes someone to come downstairs
17 from the premises of the forward command post and to escort me upstairs.
18 Somebody from the forward command post came down; I don't recall who it
19 was and I didn't know all of them who worked there, and took me into a
20 room. I said I was there to receive an assignment; however, at that time,
21 if I remember well, the Chief of Staff of the corps was not there, so I
22 had to wait for a while. I can't tell you how long. Anyway, I was
23 waiting in that room, and after a while the Chief of Staff arrived and it
24 was he who gave me that assignment for the dates that you mentioned.
25 Q. When you say, Mr. Antic, that you received that assignment, was it
1 a written decision or an order in writing for this action?
2 A. No. The assignment was given me verbally, and I can tell you what
3 it was.
4 Q. We have that in your statement. Let's not waste time.
5 A. Anyway, it was given me verbally.
6 Q. Did you receive a map of a decision of some kind?
7 A. No, no. As I said, it was a verbal assignment. I didn't receive
8 any documents from the Chief of Staff of the forward command post. He
9 just told me what the assignment was, where I was supposed to move and
10 what my destination was, the length of the route, from which point to
11 which point, what had to be done.
12 Q. You say the route you were supposed to move on. Of course you
13 were told which route, but how were you able to locate that route?
14 A. Well, every officer, especially a company commander as well as
15 platoon commanders, have their own topographic maps. It's usually a
16 large-scale map, 1:50.000 or 1:10.000 [as interpreted]. From the
17 beginning of the war from when I began to work at the Pristina Corps from
18 1993, that is, I had my own map that I was issued with. And on that map I
19 sized up the situation and realized what I was asked to do. Of course, if
20 you'll excuse me, if you are working on a certain segment of the
21 territory, because we were in the zone of responsibility of the 125th
22 Motorised Brigade, sometimes you are given large-scale maps for the
23 specific territory where the unit is located but it's a blank map without
24 any markings, classic, topographic, military map.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Antic. I'll move on now to paragraph 26 where you
1 described in detail the conflict you had, the clash you had, with members
2 of the KLA, and when sunrise came you say on the spot from which the
3 terrorists fired you found a dead terrorist dressed in a camouflage
4 uniform. Did you find anything else on that spot where you found that
5 body and around that place perhaps?
6 A. In addition to what I stated in my statement and what the
7 terrorist had with him, that is, his personal weapon, an automatic rifle,
8 a hand-held launcher, and a couple of hand-grenades; on the spot from
9 which the terrorists fired at us, at sunrise we found some bloodstains or
10 pools of blood or -- and parts of discarded military equipment, the
11 military vest they used, some ammunition, some parts of military
12 equipment. I can't remember exactly after all this time, but we found
13 bloodstains and military equipment.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Two matters just I think at this stage. If you
15 look at line -- or page 6, line 17, you said that you usually had a
16 large-scale map, 1:50.000 or 1 in -- what was the other possible scale?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 25.000. We say a large map in the
18 army, 1:50.000 and 1:25.000 are large maps and they are used for basic
19 units at the level of platoon, company, and such.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And the other matter is in the paragraph 26 where
21 you refer to arresting three inhabitants of Ramoc, are these the same
22 three people as you had told to stay behind to secure their own houses, or
23 are these different people?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These are the same three persons
25 from Ramoc.
They stayed back, but these are the same persons.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 Mr. Bakrac.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Antic, in paragraph 27 you state how far your unit got. This
5 is what I want to know: You say your mission was completed about 200 or
6 300 metres north of Korenica village. Did you get as far as Meja village?
7 A. No. Meja was not along my axis of operations at all. As far as I
8 remember, in relation to my final destination, Meja was maybe 2 or more
9 kilometres off to the south-east, I mean from the place where I completed
10 my mission.
11 Q. Mr. Antic, we read your statement and you're telling us today that
12 some components of military police battalion, the component of which you
13 were in command, had been resubordinated at one point to the 125th
14 Motorised Brigade, whereas the remaining components stayed behind to
15 perform security tasks and other tasks that the military police battalion
16 was in charge of. Do you know anything about the fact that at the time
17 you were given this mission and during the actual mission the corps
18 commander, General Lazarevic, was in fact staying in Djakovica?
19 A. No. I never knew that General Lazarevic, corps commander, ever
20 stayed in that sector or in Djakovica specifically.
21 Q. I have another question left for you, Mr. Antic. Before you were
22 subordinated to the 125th during the fighting at Kosare, you had been
23 involved in securing the corps command. Can you tell us your impressions
24 of General Lazarevic as a commander. How did he go about issues related
25 to discipline and was he held in high esteem among his soldiers? Tell us
1 if you know, please.
2 A. The corps commander, General Lazarevic, in my opinion was an
3 exceptional officer, a very fair person and a conscientious professional
4 as well as a model military officer who was always working in keeping with
5 all the military regulations. Since that was the nature of my job, I used
6 to meet quite many generals before the war. I was working in the Pristina
7 Corps territory, and I was performing security tasks there. I know that
8 in terms of cooperation, in terms of how he treated his inferiors, his
9 subordinates, General Lazarevic was the epitome of a professional soldier
10 and he always put service first. I think he even paid more attention than
11 anyone else in his shoes would have to his men, his subordinates and to
12 everything that he was in charge of.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Antic.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
17 Mr. Ivetic -- sorry, Mr. Ackerman.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Antic.
21 A. Good morning.
22 Q. My name is John Ackerman. I am one of the lawyers for
23 General Pavkovic in this case. I understand that during your proofing
24 with regard to your testimony that you had an opportunity to observe a
25 video that I think came from the Kosovska
Junaci barracks. Is that
2 A. Yes. Over the previous days, I was shown a video clip.
3 Q. Just so we have it properly identified in the courtroom and so
4 that you can advise the Chamber that this is the same video that you
5 witnessed, I would like to now play what is 4D18 for you.
12 You can continue with playing the video, Mr. Ackerman.
13 [Videotape played]
14 MR. ACKERMAN: I think that completes the video, Your Honours. I
15 don't know that there's any need to stay in private session.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: We shall return to open session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. Captain Antic, that video that was just displayed here in court,
22 was that the one that you have previously seen?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. The legend on the video indicates that it was from Kosovska Junaci
25 barracks on
1 A. Yes, I was.
2 Q. And did you hear the remarks that were made by General Pavkovic
3 during his visit to the barracks on that day?
4 A. Yes.
In the recording, though, I do recognise one of my officers,
1 Lieutenant-Colonel Tegeltija, commander of the 2nd Platoon. He was seated
2 somewhere in that recording.
3 Q. All right. Do you know if at that time, mid-March of 1999, there
4 was some concern among the ranks of the VJ that there might be a ground
5 attack coming across the border in the near future? Was that something
6 that they were preparing for and concerned about?
7 A. There was certain indications that there would be an attack coming
8 soon. Any officer, any military man would feel a certain concern.
9 Q. Would it be an additional concern if you were in a military unit
10 that was facing that border trying to prepare to repel an attack of that
11 nature that there might be KLA units operating behind your units that
12 could attack you from the rear? Would that also be a concern?
13 A. That would definitely be a concern. Whenever you have the enemy
14 behind your back - I'm referring to what you said about the KLA units -
15 this can always be a problem in terms of you being successful in defending
16 the state border. It can interfere with your tasks, with your defence
17 plans. If indeed it is the case that you have a unit such as a KLA unit
18 behind the back of a unit which happens to be defending the state border.
19 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: I have no further questions.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
22 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
24 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
1 Q. Good morning, Mr. Antic, sir. My name is Dan Ivetic, and as
2 counsel for Mr. Sreten Lukic I will have just a handful of questions to
3 pose for you today, and they will be dealing with the paragraph 22 of your
4 statement wherein you describe the activities of the 27th and the 28th of
5 April, 1999, in the anti-terrorist action Reka. And I see that the usher
6 has left us. I was going to ask for P615 to be called up, page 21 in
7 e-court, and if possible we could have someone in court assist you to make
8 it more accessible for you to view and perhaps mark on the map that will
9 come up some of the things that I will be asking you so that we can move
10 through this quickly. And for purposes of the map if we could zoom in
11 from the second quadrant on the top on the right side, that is the part
12 that I will be focusing on. Page 21 in e-court. If you can zoom in on
13 the second -- right there, if you could zoom in just a little bit more on
14 that first -- that one square right there all the way to the right.
16 Sir, looking at this portion of the map, do you recognise this as
17 being the Reka or Caragoj valley that you mention in paragraph 22 of your
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you, sir. And I would please beg your indulgence, if you
21 could, to using a red pen which the usher I think will now provide for
22 you, if you could illustrate for us the axis of operations, or [B/C/S
23 spoken], that you describe which you follow-- which was followed by your
24 unit as you say from Dobros to just outside Korenica.
1 Q. Thank you, sir. And could you mark at the beginning of that line
2 the number 52 to denote -- the number of your unit to denote -- because I
3 will be asking for the other participants to be marked according to your
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Thank you, sir. And again, I would beg your indulgence if you
7 could in the same manner depict the direction and the axis of operations
8 of your left neighbouring friendly force, the elements of the 63rd
9 Parachute Brigade. Also marking at that origin point the 63 to denote to
10 differentiate their line from the other lines you will be drawing.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Thank you. And now with the assistance of the usher I would ask
13 that the colour be changed to blue if it's available so you could depict
14 the same direction and path of -- or axis of operations of your right-hand
15 neighbouring friendly force, the PJP of the Serbian MUP.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. Thank you, sir. Thank you. Now, we've heard testimony here and
18 from General Zivanovic regarding his 125th Motorised Brigade, and you have
19 also mentioned the 125th. Are you familiar with and are you able to draw
20 in for us the area of blockade that this -- that this unit held during
21 this action I believe from Smonica to Berjan and Nivokaz as
22 General Zivanovic said; are you in a position to be able to mark that on
23 the map in red and with a denotation for 125 to differentiate from the
24 other forces depicted.
25 A. As for the unit carrying out the blockade, I wasn't given a
1 precise definition of who would be doing what and where. I was only told
2 at the forward command post that some elements from my unit, the 549th and
3 the 125th, those units that were busy securing the state unit would use a
4 minor part of their forces to carry out the blockade west of the
5 Molic-Brovina-Popovac-Sisman road, the road that continues in that general
6 direction. I'm not really able to draw for you with any degree of
7 accuracy what was going on, and I don't know how many men were involved in
8 that particular mission.
9 Q. That's fine. If we can have -- one moment, please. And I presume
10 just for the sake of clarity what you have just told me would apply also
11 to the units that were located on Cabrat and the elements of the 549th
12 Motorised Brigade as well; is that correct? That you would not be able to
13 accurately depict those on the map and their areas of blockade?
14 A. Everything that applies to your previous question applies to this
15 one too.
16 MR. IVETIC: If we can have this marked as the next available IC
17 number, I can move on with questions.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC172, Your Honours.
20 MR. IVETIC:
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Antic, and I thank you for your indulgence in
22 depicting this force. It makes it easier for us to situate ourselves
23 since we were not on the ground there. Now, am I correct, as you have
24 depicted on the map that the forces that were clearing the terrain, your
25 unit, the elements of the 63rd Brigade, as well as the MUP advanced in a
1 line, careful not to intersect their axis of movement during the entire
2 action in the Reka or Caragoj valley?
3 A. I don't think you're right in at least one way. We weren't
4 clearing the terrain. My mission was to use my forces in order to search
5 the terrain and prevent any spillover of the KLA forces that were
6 operating in the Caragoj or Reka area along my axis of operations only to
7 prevent any spillover by those forces towards the border and any link-up
8 between those forces and those terrorist forces that were operating from
10 Q. Let me try and clarify -- we are at the end -- I apologise, I
11 cannot have the transcript and the map up at the same time due to
12 technical difficulties, that's why I had to pause -- strike back and
14 Would you agree with me that essentially the three elements or
15 forces that are depicted on this map that you've drawn in, these advance
16 of units, if you will, had the same basic assignment just in a particular
17 assigned direction or axis of operation, as I think you called it?
18 A. I know about my unit and about my mission. I had my own axis of
19 operations which had been assigned to me. This was an axis along which I
20 was to perform my mission. As for what the MUP units involved in this had
21 or my left-hand neighbour, I can only say that I wasn't privy to the
22 detail of their mission.
12 Q. Mr. Antic, just a couple more questions for you. First of all,
13 with respect to the advancing units that you have drawn in for us on the
14 map, which I again thank you for. During the course of the two days of
15 this action did you have knowledge of any fire being opened up or any
16 combat engagement on the direction of the 63rd Parachute Brigade elements?
17 A. Do you mean from my left flank or did the KLA take action against
18 the 63rd Parachute Brigade?
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
20 A. I'm not 100 per cent sure, but I think that there were some
21 skirmishes, as mentioned in my case, I think that they had similar cases.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't understand exactly what that answer amounts
11 Are you saying that you could not see Korenica?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Korenica, as for all of Korenica,
13 from the position where our task ended we could not see Korenica because
14 we were quite literally in the forest, about 300 metres - just a moment,
15 please - about 300 metres to the north-west of Korenica.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 Mr. Ivetic.
18 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
19 Q. Mr. Antic, I would indulge one more question. You mentioned
20 a "vod" or squad in your testimony. Could you tell us the usual numerical
21 strength of a military police "vod," or squad, since I don't think that
22 the denotation has been previously utilised in court?
23 A. I cannot tell you what is customary, but I can tell you what it is
24 in terms of establishment. In terms of establishment a platoon, "vod,"
25 I'm talking about military police units, one platoon has three squads and
1 one squad, "odeljenje," consists of ten men. However, however, if you're
2 asking me specifically about this particular mission, these platoons that
3 I had, or rather, my engaged personnel were incomplete because we had
4 sustained major losses before that in the area of Karaula, Kosare, and
5 Morina, or rather, Rasa and Kosare, so we were insufficiently manned. We
6 did not have enough personnel. We did not have the personnel strength
7 required by establishment.
8 Q. Thank you for your time, and I apologise for any inconvenience it
9 caused you. You I have no further questions for you, Mr. Antic.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
11 Mr. Antic, you will now be cross-examined by the Prosecutor,
12 Mr. Stamp.
13 Mr. Stamp.
14 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
16 Q. Good morning, Mr. Antic.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. If I could get straight to one of the last things you were saying,
19 and I will try to be very brief with this examination. You were saying
20 that you were about 300 metres from Korenica in a forest. If the village
21 was, in fact, burning, couldn't someone see it from 300 metres? Couldn't
22 someone see the smoke?
23 A. Maybe someone could see smoke, but there was no smoke. I didn't
24 see any smoke. If there was no smoke, if I did not see any smoke; I don't
25 know if I would have seen it had it been
1 Q. You described in your statement the chain of command down to the
2 basic units in your company, and you also said that they were
3 resubordinated to the 125th Brigade in early April. Did you, from time to
4 time, notwithstanding the resubordination, receive commands from
5 Major Kopanja, the battalion commander? Or if I could rephrase that. Did
6 the resubordinated company receive commands from time to time from the
7 battalion commander?
8 A. While I was there, and I was there two or three times, I cannot
9 say exactly how many days or weeks that was, I did not receive a single
10 order from the --
11 Q. I'm afraid I'm not getting translation. Thanks.
12 Yes, could you repeat what you just said. I'm sorry.
13 A. While I was there in that area, that is to say with that company
14 that was attached to the 125th, or rather, resubordinated to the 125th
15 Motorised Brigade, I did not receive any orders from the establishment
16 commander of the battalion, that is to say Major Kopanja.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Where is the reference to the resubordination,
18 Mr. Stamp?
19 MR. STAMP: I think it's at paragraph 15 is --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And is that the only reference?
21 MR. STAMP: There is an allusion to paragraph 17, I think.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
23 MR. STAMP:
24 Q. Did you -- did the resubordinated battalion -- resubordinated
25 company receive any tasks from the head of security, that is,
1 Lieutenant-Colonel, I think it is, Stojanovic, while they were
2 resubordinated to the 125th Brigade?
3 A. While I was there Colonel Stojanovic, I think he was
4 Colonel Stojanovic, he was a colonel during the war I think, he did not
5 come and see my unit. I did not receive any orders from him. I already
6 told you that we had these shifts in the personnel that was resubordinated
7 to the 125th Brigade. I cannot say whether he came there while somebody
8 else commanded that unit. However, I don't think that Colonel Stojanovic
9 could issue orders. He could only convey an order of the corps commander,
10 convey an order of the corps commander. I really don't ...
11 Q. Wouldn't it be contrary to the procedure in respect of the chain
12 of command for orders to a resubordinated unit, like the company that were
13 resubordinated to the 125th Brigade, to be sent directly to the company
14 from the corps commander?
15 A. Of course that would not be done directly to the company
16 commander. It would go with the approval of the 125th Motorised Brigade,
17 Colonel Zivanovic; that is to say no one would come directly to the area
18 of deployment of the company that was resubordinated to the 125th and say,
19 Now you're going to do this and that. No, it can't be done that way. One
20 goes to Colonel Zivanovic or to the Chief of Staff, if Colonel Zivanovic
21 is absent, and then together with him -- well, the procedure is that only
22 after that can an order be conveyed with the knowledge and approval of the
23 brigade commander; that is to say the commander of the brigade to which
24 the unit had been attached.
25 Q. Yes, that is my understanding as well. Could we look at P2297.
1 This is the war diary of the 57th -- of the 52nd Military Police
2 Battalion, and if we quickly take a look at page 6 thereof in English; it
page 9 in B/C/S. On the entry of
4 reference here is -- that I want to take your attention to is the -- is
5 that it states: "On arrival in the Morina border post sector, we were
6 tasked with the" --
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the 13th of February is
10 stated in the translation, question to the witness. In the B/C/S we have
11 the 5th, 6th, and 7th of April, and in English you have the 20th and the
12 21st of April. Now we have three completely different things and the
13 interpretation of the question said February.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, can you clarify this?
15 MR. STAMP: Yes, probably I said February, but when I was reading
16 I think I said
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's have the entries for the 13th of April
18 on both sides of the screen, please.
19 MR. STAMP; page 6 in English, page 9 in B/C/S.
20 Q. And it states quite clear there that the unit was tasked by the
21 chief of the security department to capture the border post and that the
22 task was carried out. So you would agree with me, Mr. Antic, that there
23 were occasions when the normal chain of command was bypassed by senior
24 officials or officers in the company -- sorry, in the military police?
25 A. I could not agree with you because I did not receive such orders.
1 As for this, can I clarify it concerning the 13th?
2 Q. Go on.
3 A. This is not the company that I'm talking about. This is a company
4 that had a one-day task, that is to say a task that lasted less than 24
5 hours, that was sent to the state border at the moment when the
6 terrorists, the terrorist forces, amounting to about 1.000 men, penetrated
7 the first defence line of the state border. So they were urgently sent
8 there as a reinforcement to the units on the first defence line.
9 As for this company, the deputy commander of the battalion, Zeljko
10 Gavrilovic, captain first class, went with this unit, and that's why I
11 leave the possibility -- I allow for the possibility that
12 Colonel Stojanovic conveyed the order to him, that is to say the deputy
13 battalion commander, the deputy of Major Kopanja due to the importance of
14 this mission was sent together with this company to accomplish that task;
15 and that task lasted for less than 24 hours. After that, this unit
16 returned to Pristina and another unit that had already been ready, that
17 had already been ready in the area of disposition of the battalion was
18 sent there and resubordinated to the 125th Motorised Brigade, that is to
19 say at this time and for this unit -- as for the 13th of April, it was not
20 the one that was resubordinated. I allow for the possibility that the
21 order was conveyed to this company because it would be insane to think
22 that even a chief of security would issue an order to a unit without
23 approval and without the knowledge of the corps commander, I mean.
24 Q. But --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: So the answer is: This company wasn't
1 resubordinated to the 125th or is there more to the answer than that?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This that pertains to the 13th of
3 April that is stated in the diary, that company was not resubordinated to
4 the 125th Motorised Brigade --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Stop there. I can't see why we've heard all this
6 other material unless perhaps someone can clarify it.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I?
8 JUDGE BONOMY: No.
9 MR. STAMP: No.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Not at the moment.
11 Please, Mr. Stamp.
12 MR. STAMP:
13 Q. Yeah, you have said, however, that Colonel Stojanovic did not have
14 command over the 52nd, he could not task them, but he could only propose
15 the use of the unit, the corps commander, yet we see here --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not my understanding of this, Mr. Stamp.
17 MR. STAMP: At paragraph 7 of his statement.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I see what you're referring to. Thank you.
19 MR. STAMP:
20 Q. So all I want to know is -- and I think that is your answer.
21 There may be occasions, perhaps emergency situations, when a normal
22 commanding chain may be bypassed, as you described now in emergency
24 A. If you are trying to tell me that Colonel Stojanovic, or rather,
25 the chief of security sidestepped the corps command or the corps commander
1 and only on his own responsibility engaged these people and issued a task
2 to them, I could not agree with that. He conveyed an order to this unit;
3 that is to say he proposed, that is what is stated in that paragraph of
4 mine. He can make a proposal to the corps commander to the effect that
5 this unit should be used because he is professionally capable of doing
6 that. He makes a proposal, the corps commander approves it, and then
7 Colonel Stojanovic gets that order of the corps commander and he conveys
8 it to Captain Zeljko Gavrilovic, deputy battalion commander, who came with
9 that unit to the actual spot.
10 Q. Very well. So it was possible then for senior officers like
11 Colonel Stojanovic and Major Kopanja, the battalion commander, to convey
12 orders from the Pristina Corps command to units that were in the field?
13 A. In the field, yes, but -- but, please, if they are not
14 resubordinated to another unit -- this unit on the 13th of April was not
15 resubordinated. I told you that during the night another company was sent
16 to be resubordinated to the 125th Motorised Brigade. Yes. That is to
17 say, if a unit goes out on mission independently, then its task is issued
18 to it by the battalion commander or the deputy battalion commander, and
19 this is an order of the corps commander that is conveyed. And if it is
20 resubordinated, then it gets orders from --
21 Q. Can we try to keep the answers responsive to the questions that
22 I'm asking and as precise as possible.
23 When the unit was resubordinated to the 125th, was this done in
24 writing? Was there a written order?
25 A. I'm a company commander. I cannot know that. In most cases I get
1 oral orders, verbal orders, from my commander and certainly there were
2 written orders from the corps command that had arrived to the battalion
3 command, to my commander; however, I as a company commander did not get
4 orders in writing, or rather, before me it was only --
5 Q. This is a very simple question, and I want to keep this short.
6 Was the resubordinate in writing --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: The answer is I don't know.
8 Please try to confine what you're saying to the particular
9 question that's being asked, and if you don't know the answer to that
10 question there's no point in telling us all sorts of other things.
11 Mr. Stamp.
12 MR. STAMP:
13 Q. Did you see Major Kopanja at any time after you were assigned to
14 the resubordinated company? Do you understand what I'm asking? Perhaps
15 we could -- did you see him after
16 A. I think I didn't. I think I didn't.
17 Q. So do you know whether or not he visited any of the units that
18 were in the Kosare-Morina area?
19 A. At the time when I was -- well, as you said, from the 21st
20 Commander Kopanja did not come to the area.
21 Q. Before that, before the 21st, while the units were there, do you
22 know if he visited the area?
23 A. Well, at that time I was in the broader area of Pristina and my
24 task was to secure the corps command, so I don't know whether he went
5 Q. That was engaged before the 21st in the Morina-Kosare sector; is
6 that so?
7 A. It was engaged -- well, don't take my word for it, on the 17th,
8 18th, 19th, those three days. It had intensive combat up there at Kosare.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, that's the significance of the 21st?
10 MR. STAMP: The 21st in paragraph 17 of his statement he is saying
11 that is when he, the witness, Mr. Antic, was transferred, as it were, to
12 the area of the Kosare border post.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. Thank you.
14 MR. STAMP:
15 Q. So this follows but I'll ask you anyway. I take it, therefore,
21 A. I confirm what I said a few moments ago; namely, I know that from
22 the 21st onwards when I took over the command Kopanja did not come. As
23 for the period before that, I don't know.
24 Q. Thank you. During the operation or the action in the Caragoj
25 valley, you said that you had in your custody four persons that you handed
1 over to the MUP at some point in time. Were you required at any point in
2 time to make any formal reports to the MUP about the circumstances of
3 their capture or did you merely hand them over and move on?
4 A. I turned over the four said civilians to the commander of the PJP
5 unit of the MUP, and I told him why I'm turning them over, the reasons why
6 I intercepted them and detained them, and why I'm turning them over for
7 further processing.
8 Q. So you were not required to follow-up on that, to make any formal
9 report, whether within the army or within the -- or to the MUP?
10 A. Upon completion of the assignment, I informed my superior about
11 the entire assignment, including what I had done with those four.
12 Q. Orally or in writing?
13 A. Orally.
14 Q. Who was that superior?
15 A. I told you, for that period it was 125th Motorised Brigade; I was
16 resubordinated to them, I informed them, and they passed the report on.
17 Q. Was it a person that you informed?
18 A. I think it was the Chief of Staff of 125th.
19 Q. The three people that you describe in your statement as the heads
20 of three groups of houses located in the hamlet, were these the patriarchs
21 of three family compounds?
22 A. They were the elders. You could say patriarchs of the families,
23 although I don't really know; but they were the elders who talked to me
24 and who accepted what I suggested and stayed.
25 Q. And you suspected that these people were involved in the terrorist
2 A. Since some fire had come from the direction of the houses, that
3 is, from east of the houses, part of the fire directed at us during the
4 night, I suspected that in some way either they fired themselves or they
5 informed KLA members that our positions were there. Anyway, I suspected
6 that somehow they were involved in these events.
7 Q. Now, was that -- and this is Ramus?
8 A. Ramoc, R-a-m-o-c.
9 Q. Thanks. Was that the only village that you went to that you
10 encountered civilians as you came down the mountain?
11 A. In the course of carrying out this task on the 27th, apart from
12 that one civilian whom we found hiding in the forest, it was my first
13 contact with civilians outside of the
14 the village.
15 Q. Well, it was your first contact, but were there -- what I'm
16 asking: Were there any other villages or places that your unit passed
17 through that you had contact with civilians?
18 A. We had no other contacts with civilians, and my unit moved through
19 an extremely wooded area where there were no houses. It was only outside
20 Ramoc that we came across clusters of houses, two or three in a group,
21 small hamlets you could say.
22 Q. Now, I think you said in your statement that -- and you also drew
23 it on the map today, that the MUP units were your neighbours to the right
24 and you heard on both days that they were engaged in fighting. Did you
25 see or notice anything to indicate that houses or property was burning in
1 the area to your right?
2 A. I had not succeeded in establishing either visual or radio contact
3 with the units of the MUP, so I could hear fire from that direction; but I
4 couldn't see what was going on, and I was unable to find out. I did not
5 see smoke coming from the house.
6 Q. Apart from -- I'm not sure if I understand what you mean when you
7 say you did not see smoke from the house --
8 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, if I can intervene, as the transcripts
9 going, at lines 14 and 15 I believe the witness said - and you can ask him
10 to verify that - that he did not see smoke or houses ablaze.
11 MR. STAMP:
12 Q. I see you are nodding. Is that what you're saying, you saw -- the
13 only fire you know of --
14 A. I said I did not see houses ablaze and I did not see smoke.
15 Q. So the only fire you know of during that action was the barn and
16 the haystack outside -- around Ramoc?
17 A. One haystack caught fire and the fire moved easily to the adjacent
18 part of the structure so that eventually one part of the house also caught
20 Q. And that is the only structure you knew of that burnt in the two
21 days that you were involved in this action; is that what you are saying?
22 A. That is what I saw and what I know. I did not see or know
23 anything else.
24 Q. How was this action coordinated? Was there a command post at any
25 place for the VJ units?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Was there a command post at any place for the MUP units?
3 A. I don't know that.
4 Q. Did you meet with the commanders of the VJ unit to your left and
5 the MUP units to your right before this action started?
6 A. I had no contact whatsoever with MUP units before the action
7 started all the way until that date, the 28th, and I first met up with the
8 commander of the VJ unit that morning before the action started; and after
9 that, we no longer had any visual contact.
10 Q. Could we look quickly at IC172.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you mean on the 28th or do you mean the 27th?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm talking about the 27th, I had no
13 contact with the MUP; and on the 28th, in the morning, just before the
14 assignment started, I met up with the commander of the unit, which was my
15 neighbour on the left. And on the 28th --
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters seems to have got this wrong.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 27th in the morning just
18 before the assignment started, I met up with the commander which was my
19 left neighbour and then on the 28th in the morning --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, this is very unclear. Let's start again.
21 You have told us in your statement that the 28th was when you
22 handed over the four persons to the PJP. What you're being asked about
23 just now is when you had discussion to coordinate your work with the PJP.
24 Now, when was that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This discussion about coordination
1 of the assignment with PJP did not happen. My first contact with the PJP
2 was around 10.00, On the morning of the 28th.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
4 MR. STAMP: Could we have a look at IC172.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean this map?
6 MR. STAMP:
Q. The border to
8 that is, the left, the line that transects on the letter H, is there --
9 oh, you can't hear?
10 A. [In English] Okay.
11 Q. Yes, I just wanted to identify the Albanian border.
12 A. [Interpretation] Yes, I see.
13 Q. All three units, according to you, were moving down the valley
14 towards Korenica and Meja -- well, your unit was moving towards Korenica.
15 Do I have that correct?
16 A. My unit went along the route of Dobros-Ramoc towards Korenica but
17 not up to Korenica, towards Korenica.
18 Q. Yes. And the -- so I take it, looking at this map, that these
19 three units had a role of pushing terrorists towards Korenica and not
20 blocking the movement to the left or to the
22 A. Our assignment was to move and search in order to find any
23 terrorists that may be there, and if we find any to arrest them and kill
24 them. So it was not a blockade. It was supposed to be a movement and
25 search of the terrain to find any terrorists in that part of the terrain
1 and to neutralize them.
2 Q. And -- well, what, you searched the forests? Is that all you
3 searched while you came down the valley? Or did you search any village or
4 hamlet or settlement?
5 A. I told you that on my axis of advance -- look where I am, south of
6 Dobros. On my axis of advance up to Ramoc there were no houses. So I
7 have a certain width, I go along that route, and I try to avoid at all
8 costs -- in this case there weren't any, but if there is no fire from
9 houses you don't perform any detailed search of houses.
10 Q. Are you aware that there were convoys or -- let me withdraw the
11 word "convoys" - is that there were groups of civilians moving down the
12 mountain away from your advance towards Korenica?
13 A. I've already said this. My first contact with civilians was
14 outside Ramoc village. I didn't see any civilians before or after that.
15 Q. Yes, but you were in an operation or an action and you were in
16 radio contact. I'm just asking: Did it come to your attention that apart
17 from the civilians who left Ramoc there were convoys of civilians moving
18 away from your advance towards Korenica and Meja? Did you become aware of
20 A. No, nobody informed me about that.
21 Q. Did you become aware or did you know that there were police
22 check-points in the vicinity of Korenica and Meja through which these
23 convoys had to pass?
24 A. No, no, I had no information about that.
25 Q. So as you came down the mountain or came down the valley - and I'm
1 speaking of all three units - were you not told what was the plan in
2 respect to any KLA that would be fleeing in front of you?
3 A. The plan was to search the terrain, to find, and to neutralize
4 terrorist forces; that was the plan for my unit, in direct contact, find
5 and neutralize enemy terrorist forces.
6 Q. And when you stopped at Korenica, were you not told of any plans
7 for any KLA forces that might have been fleeing in advance of your units
8 and the MUP units?
9 A. No. I reached my destination, as envisaged in my assignment, I
10 communicated by radio that I had reached my objective and there was
11 nothing further. I was told to return to my prior area of deployment.
12 Q. About what time on the 28th did you disengage from Korenica or the
13 outskirts of Korenica?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Well, maybe I jumped before Mr. Stamp
16 corrected himself, disengaged Korenica, meaning the outskirts.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was around 3.00, maybe
18 In the afternoon. I can't tell you exactly. At any rate, in the
20 MR. STAMP:
21 Q. Can I move on to just ask you a couple of questions about the
22 video you saw. Do you know what events were occurring at the barracks
23 before that video that you saw -- just saw was created?
24 A. Before that incident on the video, part of my unit and other parts
25 of the 52nd Battalion of the military police had performed a tactical
1 demonstration exercise.
2 Q. And do you know how long General Pavkovic remained in the barracks
3 that day?
4 A. I cannot tell you exactly.
5 Q. So while you were in his presence, did you take notes or take a
6 record of everything that he said?
7 A. No, I did not. There was no need -- I didn't take any notes.
8 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours. I have nothing
9 further for this witness.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
11 Mr. Bakrac, you have re-examination?
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will have a few
13 questions, but I believe it's time for the break now and the witness does
14 need a rest because of his leg. I'll be very brief after the break.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before we have our break.
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Antic, have you ever heard of a unit called the
18 14th Counter-Intelligence Group?
19 A. No, never.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 Well, we need to have a break at this stage and that break will
22 last for about half an hour. Just you remain where you are at the moment
23 until we've left the bench, and the usher will show you where you can wait
24 and make yourself comfortable while we have this break.
25 We will resume at 11.15.
1 --- Recess taken at
2 --- On resuming at
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Re-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Antic, I only have three more questions for
7 you, so I shan't be too long, additional ones. Can we please have Exhibit
8 IC172 brought up on our screens.
9 Mr. Antic, you drew the route along which you were moving and part
10 of the 63rd as well. First of all, let me ask you this: How strong was
11 this component of the 63rd Parachute Brigade?
12 A. There was a component of the 63rd Parachute Brigade that was about
13 as strong as my own forces. I can't say precisely, but I don't think it
14 was more than 30 or 40 men.
15 Q. Thank you. Where were they to complete their mission? How far
16 were they supposed to get on the 28th, if you could please point that out
17 to us, that's why I'm asking.
18 A. As far as I know, their mission was to be completed approximately
19 where I drew this line near Ripaj-Madanaj, give or take a hundred metres,
20 but it was in that belt.
21 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Antic, I have another question.
22 Mr. Stamp asked you about when these persons surrendered or were
23 surrendered, and he asked you about some documents.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we didn't know that
25 this issue would be raised on the cross, and I found during the break the
1 methods on the combat use of the military police.
2 Q. Are you familiar with that textbook?
3 A. Yes. This is a book that is used for training ordinary soldiers
4 and officers of the military police.
5 Q. Is there anything there that envisages the manner in which
6 non-military persons are surrendered when the situation is of military
8 A. This is something that is envisaged under the heading: Bringing
9 persons in, so these civilian persons, non-military persons, are to be
10 handed over to bodies of the MUP.
11 Q. I will read out a sentence very briefly, and you tell me whether
12 this is one of the methods described in the book. "Non-military persons
13 or foreigners" --
14 MR. STAMP: Is this an exhibit and this is quite leading as well.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, is it an exhibit?
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, I just found this.
17 I was prompted to do this by Mr. Stamp's question on cross-examination,
18 but I will be tendering this as a bar table exhibit at a later stage,
19 these methods. We didn't realize that this would be raised or challenged.
20 Just a single sentence for the witness to confirm whether this is, indeed,
21 a sentence from that book, not -- or perhaps I should let the witness read
22 this for us.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's a pointless exercise, Mr. Bakrac. It
24 would be a leading question at this stage. The witness has told us what
25 he did, and what you want to do is demonstrate that this is consistent
1 with the practice set down in this book, well you can do that by tendering
2 it at the bar table. There's no need to ask any questions. Move to
3 something else.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will be tendering
5 this as a bar table exhibit. I agree with you. Thank you very much.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Antic. I have no further questions for you.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this completes my
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 Mr. Antic, that completes your evidence. Thank you for coming
11 here to the Tribunal to give evidence. You may now leave the courtroom.
12 The usher will show you where you can now go.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 [The witness withdrew]
24 MR. STAMP: Indeed, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: And to ensure that that is effective, the statement
1 itself should be admitted under seal for the moment. So you would have to
2 consider not only the transcript but the statement, and you should make
3 your position clear on that by the end of this week.
4 MR. STAMP: Very well, Your Honour, that will be done.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Bakrac, who is the next witness?
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the next witness is
7 Pavle Gavrilovic.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Do similar issues arise in relation to his
13 JUDGE BONOMY: So how do you suggest we deal with Gavrilovic?
14 MS. CARTER: The safest measure is to take it completely in
15 private; however, I know that the Court is loathed to do that so we just
16 have to monitor. We can talk about general operations, but to the extent
17 that we are going to talk about any comparison of testimony, that has to
18 be going into private session.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: If and when the statement is admitted, then you
20 suggest it should be on the basis that paragraphs 15, 18, and 20 are
22 MS. CARTER: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: That's correct?
24 MS. CARTER: That is correct, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: And we should start on the basis that we are
1 hearing the evidence in public and counsel should draw our attention to
2 the situation, should it be likely that references would lead to the
3 identity of any of the protected witnesses who have given evidence on
4 these subjects. Is that the position?
5 MS. CARTER: It is, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, that sounds sensible. Do you agree?
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I agree too.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: You will be cautious and alert us should there be
13 any need to go into private session.
14 We shall now return to open session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: And you have just confirmed to us, Mr. Bakrac, that
18 the next witness will be Pavle Gavrilovic.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the next witness for
20 the Lazarevic Defence is Pavle Gavrilovic.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Gavrilovic.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
25 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please take a seat.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: You will now be examined by Mr. Bakrac on behalf of
7 Mr. Lazarevic.
8 Mr. Bakrac.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 WITNESS: PAVLE GAVRILOVIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examination by Mr. Bakrac:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gavrilovic, good morning. Please state your
14 full name for the record, tell us your date and year of birth and your
15 place of birth.
16 A. My name is Pavle Gavrilovic. I was born on the 31st of January,
17 1965, in Pirot.
18 Q. Mr. Gavrilovic, you will have to make a pause for me to ask you a
19 question, that gets interpreted, and then you start answering; and please
20 slow down so the interpreters can interpret accurately what you are
22 Mr. Gavrilovic, did you not make a statement to the Lazarevic
23 Defence team on
24 A. Yes, I did.
Did you have an opportunity to read that statement and sign it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Is the statement an accurate reflection of what you told the
3 Lazarevic Defence team?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. Were I to ask you the same questions today about all the topics
6 that you covered in your statement, would you still provide the same
7 answers, sir?
8 A. Yes, I would.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
10 Q. Or rather, Mr. Gavrilovic, we all have your statement in front of
11 us. We have the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with its substance
12 and there is no need to repeat any of this. I will be asking you one
13 thing, though. We shall try to furnish some additional clarifications for
14 the benefit of the Chamber.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have a couple of
16 questions and these are questions about the evidence given by these
17 witnesses, or rather, I apologise, just before I go there. I didn't give
18 you the exhibit number for the statement and I did not move that it be
19 admitted. This is 5D1397.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can it please be admitted into
23 MS. CARTER: The Prosecution requests that this be under seal
24 until a redacted version is provided.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: You're not content that we simply have the three
1 paragraphs under seal that you identified?
2 MS. CARTER: That is fine --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, yes, I see what you're suggesting, that that's
4 the practical way of doing it. Yes, you're quite right.
5 Mr. Bakrac.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let me just check if
7 we're in private session now.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: No, we are in open session. Do you want to go into
9 private session? Yes. Very well.
10 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We are in private session, Your Honours.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation].
15 (redacted) Were
16 any of the combat groups stationed in a village and were any of the combat
17 groups stationed in the
18 A. There was a combat group that was stationed in Damjane, not in the
19 village itself but rather near the village. I was the commander of the
20 logistics battalion and there was a component of my unit that was in that
21 combat group, that was part of that combat group. I visited them several
22 times then and other combat groups that were deployed across these
23 sectors. But none of the components were in the actual village, they were
24 in the village, around the village, if you like. My own component was in
25 the tents and food was prepared in the open air. I'm not sure if that's
1 what your question was about.
2 Q. I'll interrupt you now because we're using up too much time for
3 explanations that are not strictly necessary.
4 A. Fine.
5 Q. Were there any civilians in that village? Did they remain or did
6 the soldiers drive them out and didn't they tell them to go to their
8 A. The civilians stayed there and nobody ever told them to go or drag
9 them out.
10 Q. Since you were the commander of that battalion, say you appointed
11 someone to be the driver of a particular combat group, would this person
12 not be in charge of distributing food and other necessities to other
13 combat groups as well?
14 A. No. If I may just explain briefly. This person would have been
15 in charge of that specific combat group and his only responsibility would
16 be to furnish supplies for that unit, food and water specifically. He
17 would not have been able to bring supplies to any other combat group but
18 his own.
19 Q. This witness also said that in 1998 he was ordered to take the
20 lorries that were still road-worthy and to seize them for military
22 A. No, that never occurred.
23 Q. Did you seize any lorries back in 1998 when the war broke out?
24 A. No, none.
25 Q. Did you have any civilian lorries?
1 A. There were some vehicles that had been left behind, abandoned, but
2 this wasn't the case in my unit.
3 Q. Did you have any vehicles that had been mobilised for your
5 A. Yes, we had a number of vehicles that had been mobilised, but
6 those came together with drivers.
7 Q. Mr. Gavrilovic, this same witness also gives evidence about an
8 action early in March 1999 in Jeskovo village. You were the commander of
9 the logistics battalion, were you not? In your capacity as commander of
10 that battalion, did you know that any component from your unit took part,
11 took an active part, in the action in the
13 A. No, definitely not. Perhaps in the sense of providing the
14 logistic, but certainly not in any active role.
15 Q. When you say in terms of providing logistics, what exactly do you
17 A. I mean supplying food and drinking-water.
18 Q. Assume there is an action that is supposed to last maybe one or
19 two days, what is the procedure regarding food and water?
20 A. If it takes no more than one or two days, then there is no need
21 for these supplies to be provided. Each soldier would have been expected
22 to carry their rations on them and whatever the amount of water was that
23 they were likely to be using up as well as their ammunition. There is no
24 need to provide any additional supplies and my unit was not called upon.
25 Q. And when supplies were necessary, how many soldiers would normally
1 be required and how would they get there?
2 A. When supplies were required, no matter if food or water, normally
3 there would be a vehicle with a driver and an officer in it.
4 Q. Were they authorised to leave the vehicle, to leave the vehicle
5 behind, and enter an area of combat operations?
6 A. No.
7 Q. You're providing very brief answers now. This is going well
8 somehow, but I asked you to make a pause for my question to be interpreted
9 first. Now we're getting along just fine because the answers are brief,
10 but if they get any longer we might be facing some interpretation trouble.
11 Mr. Gavrilovic, you were the commander of the logistics battalion.
12 Was it ever the case that a water tanker was found at the head of a combat
13 column just behind a tank?
14 A. No, that would have been impossible.
15 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, at this point I'm not clear where in the
16 65 ter summary or in the statement that these subjects are being
17 discussed. I think we've gone outside of the summaries.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't think this
20 exceeds the context of the summary. This witness is telling us about the
21 evidence given by two other witnesses in relation to a particular
22 incident. We're in closed session, in Trnje village, and he's supposed to
23 say something about the evidence of these two witnesses,(redacted); and they
24 talk about this detail, I mean Jeskovo, in their respective statements.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Where is the reference to Jeskovo in his statement?
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] There is none in his statement, but I
2 think there is mention of the fact that he would be commenting on the
3 evidence of (redacted). That's in the 65 ter.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I'm looking at your 65 ter statement and I
5 don't think I see that, but it's in the statement -- it's in his statement
6 that he will be commenting on the evidence of (redacted), but also the 65
7 ter statement doesn't appear to refer to Jeskovo either.
8 MS. CARTER: And respectfully, Your Honour, when he is supposed to
9 be commenting on the other two witnesses' materials, that he's very
10 specific in regards to it's the March incidents and just generally
11 rebutting specific statements made by the witnesses, as opposed to some
12 general overview.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: In any event, you've -- the question that you did
14 ask has been answered, Mr. Bakrac. Now, please continue but confine
15 yourself to what you've given notice of raising.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Sir, Mr. Gavrilovic, this same witness, (redacted), speaking of the
18 blockade above Jeskovo village, says that among others the soldiers who
19 entered Trnje village in order to conduct a search of that village, there
20 was also Private Dejan Milosevic. Do you know Private Dejan Milosevic?
21 A. Private Dejan Milosevic is familiar to me. I know him because he
22 wasn't entirely fit for military service, but he still joined the ranks.
23 He was with the technicians, he worked there as a mechanic. He had some
24 trouble walking, he wasn't properly able to walk, and I am entirely
25 certain that he was certainly not away from this unit. This is entirely
1 impossible that he would have gone anywhere like that because he wasn't
2 entirely able --
3 MS. CARTER: [Previous translation continues] ...
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- to walk. I know him, I know his
5 name, this is a soldier from Pristina who --
6 MS. CARTER: Respectfully, Your Honour, again we are falling in
7 the same trap, that is that I don't see anywhere in the 65 ter summary or
8 within the statement itself with regards to (redacted) that begins at paragraph
9 20, and there's no mention whatsoever of this incident, this person, or
10 this topic.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it certainly was
12 mentioned, and in chief the witness testifies about that. According to
13 (redacted), Dejan Milosevic did take part
in the action in the
14 You have that on page 3 of his statement in B/C/S --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I understand that, Mr. Bakrac. The objection
16 is that you haven't given notice that this witness would be specifically
17 dealing with these matters.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, in 65 ter we did
19 give a more general picture -- rather, a warning, an indication that we
20 would be dealing with the testimonies of these witnesses regarding the
21 village of Trnje. That is precisely what I am talking about now. Clearly
22 in relation to all the things that these witnesses said about the incident
23 in Trnje --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, please show me in the 65 ter summary where
25 you refer to it.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is paragraph 5,
2 paragraph 5, that's the action of deblocking the road between Suva Reka
3 and Prizren. We did announce that, the activities of the 549th Motorised
4 Brigade in destroying Siptar terrorist forces in the deblockade of
5 Retimlje and the Suva Reka-Orahovac road. This is an action that went on
6 for four days, and that is what these two witnesses testified about. As a
7 matter of fact, what was shown to them were these analyses, they were
8 shown to them by the OTP regarding the command of the Pristina Corps. It
9 is a Prosecution exhibit, and it specifically has to do with this
10 particular blockade or rather the participation of this witness in that,
11 in that action.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Carter, both these witnesses identified or made
13 reference to this witness in the course of their evidence. Although the
14 65 ter lacks specification, it's not necessary that it should be specific
15 to the points that you raise unless they were discreet points, and here
16 there is notice that he will be dealing with that particular action. So
17 we shall allow this questioning to continue.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Gavrilovic, I think that you have answered my previous
20 question. At any rate, tell me, you described in detail in your statement
21 your participation in blocking the terrain in the action on deblocking
22 this road. Private Dejan Milosevic, to the best of your recollection, was
23 he involved in this blockade at all during those four days?
24 A. He certainly wasn't; I've already said that. Private
25 Dejan Milosevic, I remember him, I have an excellent recollection of him,
1 he is a soldier from Pristina, and he had a hip problem, due to which he
2 could not walk properly. So he was partially unfit for military service.
3 He worked in a workshop. He certainly didn't do anything there.
4 Q. In your battalion did you have another person by the name of
5 Dejan Milosevic?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Mr. Gavrilovic, or rather, this same witness with respect to this
same action, talking about their descent into the
9 says that the members of your battalion threw hand-grenades into houses.
10 The members of the logistics battalion, did they have hand-grenades at
12 A. They did not have hand-grenades; that is to say that was
13 impossible that any one of these men had them.
14 Q. Are you talking about this action or are you talking about this in
15 general throughout the war?
16 A. I'm saying in general. Soldiers did not have hand-grenades. It
17 is impossible that any one of them had them.
18 Q. Mr. Gavrilovic, could we please have a look at P1995. I have the
19 second page of this document in B/C/S.
20 Mr. Gavrilovic, under paragraph 2 in the first subparagraph and in
21 the first bullet point we see BG-1 and further on. It says: "VJ forces
22 were engaged."
23 Is the logistics battalion included in the engaged forces there or
24 part of the logistics battalion for that matter?
25 A. No, no, the logistics battalion is not there or not even part of
1 it. Simply because we were not the engaged forces, we were the blockade
3 Q. Now let us have a look, perhaps it will be easier for us to have a
4 look from the bottom of the page, the first, second, third, fourth
5 paragraph, and the last sentence there. Could you read it out and could
6 you tell us whether these forces in the blockade refer to your unit or to
7 part of your unit?
8 MS. CARTER: Can I get a page reference in the English, please.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] In English it is the next page, Your
11 Honours, page 3 -- no, sorry, 4.
12 If I may assist my colleague, in English it's towards the bottom
13 of the page, it's a bit lower than this. It is the last sentence. I am
14 sorry. Let me just have a look. I guess it's on page 5, as a matter of
15 fact. It starts with the following words: "During the course of the
16 third day ..."
18 Your Honour -- well, yes, for the Court and for my colleague it is
19 the second paragraph, the first, second, third, fourth, fifth line, that's
20 where it says: "The villages of Trnje and Lesane, the forces under the
21 blockade ..."
22 We can go back to the B/C/S version. I hope that I have assisted
23 the Trial Chamber and my colleague.
24 Q. Could you please read the last sentence?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And tell us, does this refer to your part of the unit?
2 A. "The forces under the blockade along the asphalt road and in the
3 area of Siroko, Smac, and Donja Srbica were still in their positions."
4 This precisely refers to the part of the unit that was there.
5 Q. Did you have any movements during these four days?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Mr. Gavrilovic, Witness (redacted) said that part of your battalion, or
8 rather, that, or rather, that part of your battalion did find a local
9 Albanian in the area of deployment of the technical company of that
10 battalion and that he was interviewed and then executed, shot. Can you
11 remember any such incident?
12 A. I can exactly remember this particular incident because it was
13 just that one and only incident. It was the only such person found in the
14 area of deployment of my unit and in general.
15 Q. Let us now look at 5D228, that's a combat report of --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that all that's to be asked on that?
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: You're still on the same subject. Thank you.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, of course. I'd
20 like us to have a look at this and then I'm going to put two or three
21 other questions in relation to that.
22 Q. Look at 1.2: "Activities of the STS" and then we have paragraph
23 2. Could you read this second paragraph, or rather, subparagraph: "Guards
24 of the support battalion, or rather, logistics battalion ..."
25 A. This precisely pertains to that. This is what it says: "Guards
1 of the logistics battalion of the 549th Motorised Brigade" --
2 Q. Do slow down.
3 A. " ... captured terrorist Gashi Shukri who was under cover around
4 the redeployment area of the unit. Before that he discarded an automatic
5 rifle with three clips of ammunition and a knife marked KLA. He confessed
6 to being a member of the KLA terrorist organization. He is being
7 processed by the security organ and the military police."
8 Q. Mr. Gavrilovic --
9 MS. CARTER: Respectfully, Your Honour, I'm wondering if there's a
10 translation issue. 5D228 is in regards to combat operations that took
11 place on 22 May of 1999. It's my understanding that we were discussing
12 March of 1999. So either there's a translation problem, or I'm not clear
13 how these two items are related.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know. I didn't
16 manage to follow these documents and the translation, we're not talking
17 about March at all. I asked about the war period, and now I'm going to
18 ask him further about the war period, whether there were other such
19 incidents. I wasn't talking about March.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: You were talking about a specific allegation made
21 by (redacted). Now, what period did that relate to?
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the war period, and in
23 the statement of this witness there is no time specified. He says: "One
24 day somebody was shooting at the army, and as a consequence of that we
25 found ..."
1 "As a consequence of that we found a local Albanian. I'm sure
2 that he wasn't the one shooting at us, but he was interviewed and
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gavrilovic, the person you have just referred
5 to as having been arrested, how did he die?
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This person -- well, I don't know
9 whether he lost his life or not, but he certainly wasn't executed by a
10 firing squad or something like that. He was handed over to the organs of
11 the military police, and as far as I know, charges were brought against
12 this person.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you know that?
14 THE WITNESS: [No verbal response]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: What were the charges?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know the exact details now,
17 but I do now how this incident occurred, I remember that, because it was
18 characteristic case. With your permission I may explain.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I would just like to know what happened
20 afterwards, but you don't know anything about the proceedings that were
21 taken against him?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know of the proceedings -- this is
23 the procedure. This person was handed over to the organs of the military
24 police --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: But do you know what actually happened to him after
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I know that criminal
3 charges were brought against him and now later whether he was convicted or
4 not --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: What were the criminal charges then if you know
6 about them?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, this is the way it
8 was. This person had weapons on him, a rifle and ammunition and a knife
9 that was found on the site where the person himself was found, so --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: You've told us all that. Just tell me if you know
11 what the criminal charges were. They're in a document normally. Now, do
12 you know what this document charging him -- or do you even know that there
13 was a document on which he was charged before a military court?
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw this kind of document when I
16 spoke to the lawyer, Mr. Bakrac, that's why I know it exists, but ...
17 JUDGE BONOMY: In relation to this particular person?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely in relation to that
20 JUDGE BONOMY: What's his name?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Gashi, Shukri Gashi.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 Mr. Bakrac.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Mr. Gavrilovic, can we now have a look at 5D903, please.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I would like to draw the attention of
2 the honourable Trial Chamber to the fact that in this combat report of the
3 command of the Pristina Corps that we looked at a few moments ago, because
4 we cannot have both documents on the screen at the same time, in the
5 combat report it says: "Shukri Gashi, son of Dervish," that is what is
6 included in that report; the father's name is included as well.
Q. Is this a criminal report
combat report pertains to
9 the military prosecutor against Shukri Gashi, father's name Dervish?
10 A. Yes. That is precisely the criminal report.
11 Q. To move along faster, does it say in the criminal report that the
12 authorised officer of the military police says: "When I was taking over
13 Gashi Shukri, I told Sergeant first class Ljubisa Stojanovic to search the
14 place where the detainee who was arrested at sunrise."
15 Who is this sergeant first class Sergeant Stojanovic?
16 A. He was a squad commander and on that day he was the duty officer.
17 As for Shukri Gashi, he was stopped by security guards near the technical
18 school where this unit was stationed at .
19 Q. So if I understood you correctly, he was not executed; he was
20 turned over to the military police and later to the military prosecution
22 A. Yes, correct. I don't know whether he was convicted or not.
23 Q. Apart from this incident involving this person, was there any
24 member of your logistical platoon who had occasion to arrest a KLA member
25 or a civilian?
1 A. No, no.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, do you also have documents to show what
3 happened as the result of this report?
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, not for the time being.
5 I have charged someone with reviewing whether there are any documents in
6 the files for terrorist activity and related charges. I expect to find
7 out what the further procedure was like.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Gavrilovic, I have just one more question, and that is -- it
11 has to do with you. (redacted)
13 (redacted) We
14 talked, and as far as I understood there was a plan to drive out Albanian
15 civilians from Kosovo."
16 First of all, it says "during NATO air-strikes." During NATO
17 air-strikes before and after the war, who was your driver?
18 A. That soldier, (redacted) whatever, certainly wasn't my driver. My
19 driver was recruit Goran Stefanovic, a man from around Leskovac who still
20 lives there. So it was certainly not that soldier.
21 Q. Did (redacted) ever drive your car?
22 A. No, certainly not.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, those were all my
24 questions for this witness.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
1 Mr. Ackerman.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
4 Q. Mr. Gavrilovic, I just have a question or two. I'm John Ackerman;
5 I represent General Pavkovic. At the beginning of your testimony you
6 talked about the village of Damjane --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we, by the way, go into open session for your
8 cross-examination or --
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Sure.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: -- is that dangerous?
11 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't think it's dangerous at all.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Let's go into open session now.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Please continue, Mr. Ackerman.
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. During your examination you talked about this village Damjane and
18 you mentioned there was civilians there who remained there. First of all,
19 do you have any idea the number of civilians that were in that village,
20 how many?
21 A. I cannot tell you the exact number of civilians now, but it's a
22 normal village.
23 Q. About how many houses would you say are in the village?
24 A. I really cannot tell you how many houses there were, but certainly
25 around 50, maybe more, because I practically didn't go into the village
1 when I toured part of my unit because my unit was in the broader area of
2 that village, not inside.
3 Q. Do you know if those civilians remained in that village throughout
4 the entire 78 days of the NATO campaign or do you not know that?
5 A. I don't know that. I think they did, they did stay.
6 Q. Was there any NATO bombing that you know of that village or any
7 NATO bombing in the vicinity of that village?
8 A. I really couldn't tell you now. I don't remember.
9 Q. All right. Thank you.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Bakrac, we're about, obviously, to have
11 cross-examination from the Prosecutor; that raises the possibility I think
12 that you will reach another witness in the course of today, and I see
13 concern has been expressed about the short notice given of the statement
14 of the next witness that you propose to lead. Are you going to alter the
15 order of witnesses?
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I dealt with the three
17 previous and two current ones, a total of five; my colleague, Mr. Cepic,
18 should handle the next four, and I believe he had problems with getting
19 translations from the CLSS. He knows more about it because he
20 communicated with the CLSS. I'm not sure if he's ready to report, but
21 I'll ask my helper to call Mr. Cepic to clarify this and to inform you
22 because he will do that better. But I believe the order of witnesses has
23 not been altered. I believe it's the same one that was announced by the
24 case manager to the Prosecution.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
1 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, in addition to what I raised regarding
2 the timing, in going through the statement this morning I discovered that
3 the first 20 paragraphs, the English translation is quite --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: It's incomprehensible.
5 MR. HANNIS: Yes, yes. After that it seems to be translated by
6 someone else and that's much more understandable, but I would request a
7 further translation of those first 20 paragraphs because otherwise I can't
8 deal with it.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: But as far as the timing is concerned, your
10 position is that you will not be in a position to deal with him until
11 Wednesday; is that right?
12 MR. HANNIS: Well, yes, Your Honour, but I don't want to force
13 myself by my own petard by moving him to later and then having Vukovic
14 advance, for example, who is in my estimation a more significant witness
15 who I would rather have some additional time to prepare for. So if I
16 don't have to start my cross-examination of this witness until tomorrow
17 afternoon, I'll probably be ready to do it if we can do something about
18 the first 20 paragraphs.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, who translated the first part of the
20 statement? Or do you not know?
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I'm in the in a position to tell you
22 now, Your Honour, because Mr. Cepic was looking for possibilities over the
23 weekend because he found out from the CLSS on Friday that they cannot
24 manage a translation by then. I was working in the meantime with the
25 current witnesses. I have to find out from him or bring him here to
1 inform you.
2 MR. HANNIS: The concern I have about that, Your Honour, is the
3 statement was taken on the 27th and 28th of December.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, well that's what makes it odd, yes, I agree.
5 It's not one of these statements prepared at the last minute.
6 Mr. Cepic will have to be here later today should we get to the
7 stage of possibly calling that witness, and he should also be asked
8 meanwhile to explore the possibility of advancing someone else but that
9 would be someone other than Vukovic.
10 Now, we will continue with the examination.
11 You will now be cross-examined by the Prosecutor, Ms. Carter.
12 Ms. Carter.
13 MS. CARTER: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Cross-examination by Ms. Carter:
15 Q. Good afternoon, Lieutenant-Colonel. My name is April Carter, and
16 I am here on behalf of the Office of the Prosecution and I have some
17 questions for you with regards to the operations your units were engaged
18 in in 1999. The first thing that I would like to do is call up P3078.
19 THE INTERPRETER: The Prosecutor is kindly asked to slow down.
20 Thank you.
21 MS. CARTER:
22 Q. Sir, the primary feature in your statement is the operation that
23 took place on or about 24 March of 1999 on your place near the village of
24 Trnje. I am showing you a map of those villages, and I would ask the
25 court to draw down to the very middle sector just to the left of
1 Suva Reka, which is where the engagement took place.
2 Sir, do you see the village of Trnje?
3 A. [In English] I don't see -- [Interpretation] I don't.
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. It's not clear at all.
6 Q. Do you see the village of Prizren to the bottom of the screen?
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. Okay. If you look to the line, the straight grid line to its
9 right and go immediately up to the second graphic you should be able to
10 see it almost right on that line. Do you see it now?
11 A. Yes.
12 MS. CARTER: Perhaps we can further blow up that portion of the
13 map. Okay. And a little further. All right.
14 Q. And now the Trnje village is actually to the far right-hand of the
15 screen. Do you still see it, in the middle sector?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. In paragraph 8 of your statement, you indicate that 30 of
18 your men took a position on that hill on 25 March of 1999; is that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And specifically, that hill was between Mamusa and Trnje, and
22 that's about 500 metres off Trnje; is that correct?
23 A. Correct, 500 to 1.000 metres.
24 MS. CARTER: And for ease of reference if we can have the witness
25 mark exactly where those 30 men were deployed on the map.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I cannot mark it exactly on
2 the map, but roughly it's around here.
3 MS. CARTER:
4 Q. All right. And if you could mark that with an A, please.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Now, you've indicated to the Court that the blockade lasted four
7 days and your people never moved off that position; is that correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. What was your line of sight like between your position and the
10 village of Trnje?
11 A. I emphasised in my statement that the weather was very bad, and
12 from the place where we were, we were able to see only a couple of houses,
13 two or three houses.
14 Q. So outside of the weather itself, there was nothing to block your
15 line of sight between your position and Trnje village; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, we were on the hill.
17 Q. Now, you've indicated in your statement that you did not see or
18 hear any movement within Trnje village; is that correct?
19 A. I didn't quite understand. In what sense I did not see?
20 Q. In paragraph 12 of your statement you specifically state that: "I
21 did not observe any movement or combat in the village."
22 Is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And is that true for all four days that you were deployed on that
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Now -- but you have indicated that you did hear combat operations
3 in surrounding areas. Can you please identify for the Court which
4 positions that you do believe combat took place over those four days.
5 A. When I gave that statement, I didn't mean specific positions
6 because it's impossible to determine the exact position. We heard
7 sporadic fire. I don't know from which direction it came. I cannot
8 determine from here or from there. I didn't see anyone shooting, so I
9 cannot tell you from where the fire came, but gun-fire was heard.
10 Q. The gun-fire that you did hear, do you believe that it was further
11 away from you than where Trnje village featured?
12 A. Roughly, yes.
13 MS. CARTER: That's all I'll need off this exhibit, if I can have
14 an IC number, please.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC173, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 MS. CARTER: I'd now like to call up P1995 and looking at page 5
19 in the English, the first full paragraph, and page 2, the fourth paragraph
20 from the bottom in the B/C/S.
21 Q. Sir, the reason I was asking you questions about where you were
22 located as well as where there was combat operations is because you've
23 indicated that while you were on that hill you were not seeing anything in
24 Trnje, yet if you look to the fourth paragraph from the bottom where you
25 had cited that: "The forces under the blockade line along the asphalt
1 road in the area of Siroko, Smac, and Donja Srbica were still in their
3 I would actually direct you just above to where it says:
4 "A part of the STS forces attempted to pull out along the creek to
5 the villages of Trnje and Lesane," and then going down further to the
6 fourth day operations, it indicates that: "Over that night, the STS, they
7 had pulled out of the villages of Trnje and Lesane during the night were
8 also routed and crushed."
9 What I'm asking you is: How did you miss the fact that there was
10 clearly an operation occurring in Trnje village pursuant to the combat
11 report that you yourself cited in your statement?
12 A. I have already said at the beginning that I was able to see only
13 two or three houses of that village from where I was. The village itself
14 was in a depression. I was able to see two or three houses only, so I
15 didn't misspeak. I just heard gun-fire. I couldn't determine whether it
16 was from left to the village, from right to the village, from behind, or
17 from where.
18 Q. But, sir, from paragraph 12 in your statement you indicate that
19 you did not observe any movement or combat in the village. So again I ask
20 you, how do you explain that in your statement you're placing no combat
21 activity whatsoever in that village, yet there very clearly was an
22 operation over the night of the third day going into the fourth morning
23 500 metres from you?
24 A. You see, I did not see that operation that you are referring to
25 and I didn't participate in it and my part of the unit did not take part
1 in it. That's what I meant when I said that in the statement. I don't
2 know which passage from my statement that you're referring to.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I propose that the
4 usher hand a copy of Mr. Gavrilovic's statement to the witness so he can
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Certainly.
7 Ms. Carter.
8 MS. CARTER: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Sir, if you can just read through paragraph 12 of your statement
10 and then I'll further ask some questions about it. Once you've finished
11 reading it, if you can let me know.
12 A. "Since it was the end of winter and the beginning of spring, the
13 weather was cold and foggy all the four days and we were barely able to
14 glimpse" --
15 Q. Sir, we can all read paragraph 12 of your statement. What I'm
16 more concerned about is that again you note: "I did not observe any
17 movement or combat in the village."
18 The sentence does go on: "But we did hear the place where we were
19 located that there was combat in the wide sector" --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Slow down when reading, please.
21 MS. CARTER:
22 Q. "There was combat in the wide sector ahead of us in the course of
23 those four days."
24 I asked you previously when marking the map if the operations that
25 you did hear were within Trnje or if they were in further placements. You
1 indicated that they were actually further than Trnje village. I'm asking
2 you now for a third time: How does that correspond with P1995 that says
3 there was, in fact, an operation ongoing 500 metres from you in Trnje
4 village? Are you now conceding that there was, in fact, an operation
5 going on there and that you did, in fact, observe it?
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment.
8 Mr. Bakrac, just please let this question be answered.
9 MS. CARTER:
10 Q. Will you please answer my question.
11 A. I did not understand the question, but if the question was -- I
12 wrote clearly that I had not observed any movement or combat from my
13 position, because from where I was, I couldn't see the village. But it
14 was audible in the broader area around us, so I cannot determine whether
15 it was from a distance of 1 kilometre on my right or 500 metres on my
16 left. I already explained. Sporadic gun-fire was heard throughout the
17 four days, not only during the night.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would appreciate a
20 reference from Ms. Carter that combat was going on. Where it says part of
21 the STS tried along the brook to pull out towards Lesane and Trnje, it
22 doesn't say that combat was going on there. It says "had pulled out into
23 the villages of Trnje and Lesane."
24 I would just like a reference.
25 MS. CARTER: I would invite counsel to look at the following
1 paragraph that speaks to: "In the course of the fourth day," the final
2 sentence in which: "The STS had pulled out into the villages of Trnje and
3 Lesane during the night were also routed and crushed."
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that good enough, Mr. Bakrac?
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, but attention was
6 drawn to the third day and the withdrawal, and here we see when it is
7 happening, the fourth day, and at what time.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: The question related to the whole period.
9 Please continue, Ms. Carter.
10 MS. CARTER: Thank you.
11 Q. Lieutenant-Colonel, I would direct your attention to the answer
12 that you actually had given previously on page 66 of today's transcript
13 when we were going over where combat operations were actually taking
14 place. You had indicated that you could not be specific, but the question
15 I finally asked you is that the gun-fire that you did hear, do you believe
16 that was further away from you than where Trnje village featured and you
17 indicated roughly, yes. Throughout that entire exchange you held on to
18 the position that nothing occurred in Trnje village. And I want to know
19 from you, given that P1995 indicates that terrorists were being routed and
20 crushed 500 metres from you: Either, 1, were you not that observant; or
21 2, were you telling the Court an inaccuracy?
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not say anything to the Court
25 about --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Hold on.
2 Mr. Ackerman.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I maybe shouldn't have stood up, but
4 the -- I think the questions are decidedly unfair --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I think we can judge when we read them in light of
6 what's been said and what answer is given; but I don't think -- they may
7 be difficult but they're not, on the face of it, unfair.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, she's taken the position that
9 the forces were in the village of Trnje and Lesane and action took place
10 there, and that paragraph about the third day says they attempted to pull
11 out along the creek to those villages but it never says that they actually
12 went to those villages, that they just attempted to go there. And
13 attempted to go there probably means they didn't ever make it. So for her
14 to suggest that there was a battle going on in those villages is just not
15 supported by this document.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: The fourth paragraph, last sentence, rather
17 undermines that proposition I think, and it is a matter of interpretation
18 in the end of the day for us to deal with.
19 Mr. Zecevic.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, Your Honours, actually Mr. Ackerman is right.
21 The translation of this document is not good. It doesn't --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think that's what he was saying,
23 Mr. Zecevic.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry?
25 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think that's what he's saying.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, my understanding of the -- of the -- of the
2 paragraph referring to the fourth day, it does -- the Serbian text is
3 different from the actual English translation.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. --
5 MR. ZECEVIC: Maybe --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: -- Gavrilovic, would you look at the paragraph
7 dealing with the fourth day and would you read the last sentence, that's
8 the last sentence only of that paragraph, and read it out to us.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Also, the Siptar terrorist forces
10 that had pulled out into the villages of Trnje and Lesane under the cover
11 of the night were routed and crushed."
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that wrong, Mr. Zecevic?
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, it would -- the way how it's translated, Your
14 Honour, it would suggest that there was a clash, and that they were routed
15 and crushed in the vicinity of these villages; but that is not what the
16 Serbian text says. The Serbian text says they were routed and crushed and
17 then they pulled out towards the villages of Trnje and Lesane. So --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: But you can't -- I mean, that's rather illogical.
19 MR. ZECEVIC: I don't know why? They're informing in this combat
20 report that there has been a clash with the terrorist forces. They were
21 routed and crushed, and then they pulled out; the terrorist forces pulled
22 out towards the village of Trnje and Lesane. That is what it says in the
23 Serbian text. I mean, I -- I don't want to really put the pressure on the
24 interpreters or anything, but I -- that is at least my understanding of
25 the Serbian. I don't know if I'm correctly expressing myself in English,
1 but that's the gist of it. Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we'll try one final time in light of your
3 comments, Mr. Zecevic.
4 Could you please, Mr. Gavrilovic, read aloud that sentence again.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Only the last sentence?
6 "Also what was carried out was the crushing and destroying of the
7 Siptar terrorist forces, STS, which under the cover of night got out into
8 the village of Trnje and Lesane."
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: A very literal translation.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Ms. Carter, I doubt if there's any more to be
11 gained by further cross-examination on this particular point, and we shall
12 ask CLSS for a formal retranslation of that whole paragraph beginning:
13 "In the course of the fourth day ..."
14 MS. CARTER: Certainly, Your Honour. And the next topic I would
15 like to cover needs to be taken in private session.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We shall go into private session.
17 MS. CARTER:
18 Q. Sir, you have --
19 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We are in private session, Your Honours.
21 MS. CARTER:
22 Q. Sir, throughout your statement you have indicated that (redacted)
23 (redacted)were mistaken in their arguments that they were actually involved
24 in operations in and near Trnje village; is that correct?
25 A. I didn't understand what it was that you asked me. What was the
1 mistake? What was this mistake that was made?
2 Q. No. I'm asking you -- you've indicated in our previous
3 conversation that you were always on the hilltop, and while there may or
4 may not have been anything going on near Trnje village, you were
5 indicating that none of your men were involved in any sort of activity
6 outside of standing guard on that hilltop; is that correct?
7 A. That is absolutely correct. However, I didn't understand the last
8 point --
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the witness to the
10 end. Could other microphones please be switched off while he is speaking.
11 Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what the question
13 refers to.
14 MS. CARTER:
15 Q. I'm simply trying to confirm that it seems that there may have
16 been a mistaken with regards to what was going on in Trnje village. I'm
17 just trying to determine how far that mistake may have gone. You are now
18 saying that there may have been something going in -- in or near Trnje,
19 but your units most certainly were not involved in it. Is that correct?
20 A. As I've already said, my soldiers did not participate in anything;
21 that is to say we were going downhill. Now, whether something was going
22 on in the village or not, I really don't know about that because I was at
23 a relatively far away distance; and I saw only two or three houses in the
24 village from the position where I was.
25 Q. Sir, you have had the opportunity to read the statement of (redacted) and
1 you were commenting on it within your own statement; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Within that statement, which is (redacted)
7 (redacted)in which some MUP reports were provided, they
8 were P2305 and P2304, they are a part of that statement.
9 Sir, both (redacted) as well as the exhibits P2305 and P2304 place four
10 civilians being shot at that same creek bed about 500 metres from Trnje in
11 the direction of Mamusa, which is directly on your position. Can you
12 please explain how both (redacted) as well as the MUP were able to determine that
13 civilians were being killed near Trnje in your area of operation, yet you
14 believe none of your men were involved.
15 A. If I understood you correctly, you said towards Mamusa, that is to
16 the left, that is not towards Trnje. But certainly no one participated,
17 none of the men that I was with there.
18 Q. Sir, to be specific, the bodies were found 500 to 800 metres from
19 Trnje in the direction of Mamusa, where you have described in paragraph 9
20 that the hill in which you were placed was between Mamusa and Trnje about
21 500 metres until you get to Trnje. It's the exact same place or within a
22 couple of hundred metres. Can you please explain if not your people, as
23 (redacted) alleges, then who were killing the civilians that the MUP found and
24 provided reports on?
25 A. I really don't know what civilians this is about. If we
1 understand each other correctly, you're referring to a creek, and I'm
2 saying that part of my unit was up on a hill that's far away. In front of
3 me there was a big meadow and then there was a brook or a creek in that
4 field, so it's very far away from the place where I was with my men. I
5 really don't know who could have ...
6 MS. CARTER: Can we bring back the IC exhibit number --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: 137, is it?
8 MS. CARTER: -- 137, please.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, yes, 173.
10 MS. CARTER:
11 Q. Sir, throughout this area where your hilltop is, there are any
12 number of creeks and streams. And (redacted) was quite specific where he had
13 indicated that he was deployed, and he was actually a part of the group
14 who eventually killed a number of civilians on that spot. If you could
15 see Trnje or at least a few houses of it, how is it you were able to miss
16 the creek beds?
17 A. Are you understanding me right? I said that there was a field or
18 meadow in front of me and that there was a creek or brook in the middle of
19 that field. I'm not saying that I did not see a creek at all.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Carter, is this a convenient time to interrupt
22 MS. CARTER: Certainly, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gavrilovic, we interrupt now for a break for an
24 hour. Could you please leave the courtroom with the usher.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I do apologise. I'm trying to be --
2 I'm trying to be useful. I don't know English very well, but on page 74,
3 line 19, please take a look at it at the break. I think that the answer
4 is not there. I think that the interpreters said that they didn't
5 understand him. If this is important, well and fine; if it's not, then I
6 apologise for taking up your time.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the witness went on to deal with it,
8 Mr. Fila, when he said: "I don't know what the question refers to," and
9 then Ms. Carter asked it again. So I don't know any harm has been done in
10 the end of the day. Thank you.
11 We shall resume at 1.45.
12 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.47 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 1.45 p.m.
14 [The witness takes the stand]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Carter.
16 MS. CARTER: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Sir, when you were testifying on direct examination it appeared
18 that you were saying that the logistics battalion at all times was only
19 involved in supporting the units and was never involved in any sort of
20 combat operations. Is that a correct understanding of your evidence?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. And is this a true statement throughout the war time?
23 A. That's right.
24 MS. CARTER: I'd like to bring up P3081, which was Milosevic
25 Exhibit 925, it's the war diary of the 549th, it's going to be page 115 in
1 the English and page 167 in the B/C/S.
2 Q. Sir, within your units did you have a man by the name of Sergeant
3 First Class Fezik?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Was there another logistics battalion for the 549th?
6 A. No.
7 Q. I would direct you to the assignment, this is from May 29th of
8 1999, where it's indicating an assignment for the logistics battalion.
9 And in fact it goes on to say that: "30 soldiers were sent on an
10 assignment in the area around," an illegible word, "that was the Prizren
11 military department in battle with the STS with members of the MUP and the
12 VJ and seven terrorists were killed."
13 Can you tell me then how you differentiate this assignment for the
14 logistics battalion if they're in operations and seven people are getting
15 killed, how is that not a combat operation?
16 A. In my statement I already wrote and said that we directly took
17 part -- we did not take part in any combat operations directly -- well, a
18 few times we did, part of the unit, as I wrote in my statement; and in
19 this case about 30 men who were used only to prevent spillovers of
20 terrorists, or rather, to get them out of their positions. As for this
21 particular mission, I don't know what this is about exactly. It says
22 Fejzic here, Sergeant Fejzic, he was indeed a member of the logistics
23 battalion, whereas I heard a different name, Fe something in the
25 Q. But, sir, my very first question to you was that when you were
1 testifying on direct examination it appeared that you were saying that the
2 logistics battalion at all times was only involved in supporting the units
3 and was never involved in any sort of combat operations and you said --
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour --
5 MS. CARTER:
6 Q. -- Yes, yes --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: I rise again to protest fairness. If you look at
9 the document it's so clear that first of all you have logistics battalion:
10 And describes what it wants to describe with regards to logistics
11 battalion, which ends with 30 men being sent on an assignment, doesn't say
12 combat assignment, doesn't say to attack anybody. And then the next
13 section deals with the Prizren military department, where there's a colon,
14 and describes what they did which has to do with what she's trying to lay
15 on this logistics battalion. Just anybody could read that and figure out
16 that that's what it's about. It's very clear.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Carter.
18 MS. CARTER: That interpretation is available; however, the
19 witness at page 79, starting at line 1 specifically says: "In my
20 statement I already wrote and said that we directly took part -- we did
21 not take part in the combat operations directly. Well, a few times we did
22 a part of the unit, as I wrote in the statement."
23 There becomes a discrepancy because the witness very clearly on
24 direct examination and at the beginning of this examination was quick to
25 remove himself and any portion of his unit from combat operations, yet
1 he's already conceding at page 79 that he in fact was, or at least
2 portions of it were part of combat operations, and I'd like to explore
3 that topic. So while interpretation may be wrong, I think that we
4 stumbled across the truth one way or another.
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one moment.
7 You spent considerable time examining the witnesses about the part
8 the unit played in the blockade at Trnje.
9 MS. CARTER: Yes, Your Honour; however, this is actually moving on
10 more to the May period --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but you can't possibly interpret his evidence
12 as being to the effect that they never participated in any form of combat.
13 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, during direct examination -- and
14 actually at page 79 starting at line 1 that is what he went on to say --
15 this unit only provide the logistics, I think there was one comment at the
16 very beginning of his testimony --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I've got that, but you're telling us that in
18 direct examination he said that they did not participate in any way in
19 combat, and that's not right. This statement is part of his direct
21 MS. CARTER: Yes, Your Honour but what they always say that they
22 were only a part of the blockade line in fact it went on -- I think it
23 went on with regards to a water truck, did you ever see a water truck in
24 the beginning. So there was always the impression given that the only
25 thing this unit was doing was either providing a blockade line or
1 providing support to the units that were in combat, and that's why I began
2 asking at page 79 --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Being part of a blockade is obviously involvement
4 in some capacity in a combat operation; however, the particular point
5 that's being made here is that what you presented was a misrepresentation
6 of the war diary. Now, I take it you accept that?
7 MS. CARTER: I believe they're -- when I was originally reading it
8 to be quite frank, Your Honour, I didn't -- the semi-colon was lost upon
9 me on the second -- so it is conceivable that Mr. Ackerman's assessment of
10 this is correct. However, I would rely on line 79 -- sorry page 79, at
11 line 1, to begin asking questions about the combat -- direct
12 involvement --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, there is no objection to you asking these
14 questions. The only objection is to you characterizing the entry in the
15 war diary as indicative of combat. So please proceed but without
16 reference to the war diary.
17 MS. CARTER: Certainly.
18 Q. Sir, you've now indicated to the Court that portions of your unit
19 did, in fact, become involved in direct combat operations. When did that
21 A. I did not say that they participated in direct combat operations.
22 I have to repeat that once again or you misunderstood me.
23 Q. Sir, I'm quoting from your answer.
24 "In my statement, I already wrote and said that we directly took
25 part -- we did not take part in any combat operations directly -- well, a
1 few times we did, part of the unit, as I wrote in my statement. And in
2 this case about 30 men who were used only to prevent spillovers of
3 terrorists, or rather, to get them out of their positions."
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, what is that other than saying we participated
5 in a blockade?
6 MS. CARTER: Your Honours, according to this witness, that the
7 blockade is that they never left that hilltop and that that is the only
8 thing they were doing. (redacted)are much more in line with this
9 description, that they did, in fact, go down and they were a part of
10 removing the terrorists --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: That may be so, but you're accusing the witness of
12 saying something different from what he said already, and I'm having
13 difficulty identifying what the difference is.
14 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, I'm saying that --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: And that's the second objection taken to your
16 cross-examination as being unfair to the witness, and that's a rather
17 strong accusation to make. So can you point to me -- point out to me the
18 contradiction you say that exists in this evidence?
19 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, this witness is clearly saying that
20 there is a difference between direct involvement in combat operations and
21 the indirect involvement. I'm trying to determine what was the direct --
22 when and if was there direct involvement, which is much more in line with
23 what (redacted)--
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Where does he say so far that there was -- that his
25 battalion was involved in direct combat operations? Where does he say
2 MS. CARTER: At page 79, beginning at line 1, there appears to be
3 a differentiation. Mr. Ackerman then objected shortly thereafter, and I
4 was not able to fully explore that --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: It says here clearly: "We did not take part in any
6 combat operations directly," and then he goes on to explain that they did
7 participate in a blockade.
8 MS. CARTER: It says "a few times," that does not isolate itself
9 to one single incident, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And you already have evidence from another witness
11 today about much more direct involvement, but in any event if you wish to
12 pursue this please do but based on appropriate questions and not unfair
13 representations of what the witness has said or what the war diary says.
14 MS. CARTER: If Your Honour finds that there was better evidence
15 given to today --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Not previous to today, we've had another witness
17 dealing with the same area today.
18 MS. CARTER: Okay.
19 Q. Sir, I would like to move on to P1981 in the English -- I'm sorry,
20 in the B/C/S it's page 6, section G; and in the English it's page 8 in the
21 first line, specifically drawing your attention to 8.7, subsection G
22 calling for the logistical support. Sir, the witnesses (redacted)had
23 indicated that after the operation took place that was referred to in
24 P1995 that they were, in fact, involved in some sort of clean-up
25 operation. However, in paragraph 13 of your statement you indicated that
1 you never entered that village whatsoever but rather moved directly on to
2 Prizren. What I'm trying to determine is if the order that was coming
3 from your superior command indicates that you were to clear up the
4 battle-field by engaging your own forces and equipment and once the combat
5 group -- I'm sorry, once the combat operations are over in cooperation
6 with organs in the territory. That seems consistent with their testimony.
7 Are you telling me that every other member of the 549th was sent out to
8 clean up this territory, but you however was not?
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, is my colleague
11 suggesting that the entire 549th Brigade went to clear or clean up the
12 battle-field? I don't see where it pertains to the logistics battalion.
13 Where does it refer to the logistics battalion? This is an order of the
14 commander of the entire 549th Brigade, and one cannot see who it is that
15 is exactly involved in the clean-up.
16 MS. CARTER: Respectfully, Your Honour, if there is a combat
17 operation taking place 500 metres from this unit - and there's been
18 testimony from previous witnesses that they in fact were a part of that
19 clean-up - I'm trying to determine how this witness can somehow disengage
20 himself from that provision.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: This -- your question depends on an assumption that
22 the order from his superior indicates that he was to clear up the
23 battle-field. Now, where do we see that?
24 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, this goes to -- well, first off it's
25 under logistical support is what begins 8.7 and the logistical support
1 goes on -- talks about technical support, quarter-master support, medical
2 support, it's going through, and it appears to give logistical tasks --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, but is it issued to the logistics battalion?
4 It seems to be issued to Battle Groups 5, 6, 7, 1, and 2 of the 549th
5 Motorised Brigade or am I misreading that?
6 MS. CARTER: That is what the receipt list indicates; however,
7 this is the order that P1995, which is the combat report that we have been
8 talking about quite exclusively in which this witness clearly says it is
9 speaking about his unit and it placement.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: You should start this exercise again. Your
11 question was really incomprehensible, Ms. Carter. You need to make this
12 much simpler or much clearer, or it's going to be all wasted.
13 MS. CARTER: Certainly, Your Honour.
14 Q. When the combat operations were over after the fourth day as
15 described in P1995, what did your unit do?
16 A. If you're referring to this concrete case that we were talking
17 about, that we have talked about already, I wrote about that in my
18 statement. I had nothing to do with combat operations. Once the task was
19 completed, my unit withdrew to Prizren. We didn't do anything, no
20 clean-up, no clearing up of the terrain, nothing.
21 Q. If there was, in fact, an operation that took place 500 metres
22 from you, who was then responsible for the clean-up of Trnje?
23 A. I don't understand what clean-up of Trnje? I had a specific task
24 and that's what I carried out. I did not receive any other tasks nor did
25 I carry out any other tasks.
1 Q. Sir, if there was a mopping-up operation that took place in Trnje,
2 would you agree with me that that would have provided some deaths or some
3 other destruction to Trnje village?
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Don't answer that question.
5 First of all, what is your basis for saying that there was a
6 mopping-up operation in Trnje? Let's put that to the witness so that he's
7 got the factual basis.
8 MS. CARTER: Certainly, Your Honour.
9 Q. That would be P1995, the fourth day the last sentence that we've
10 been exploring quite frequently in this case where it says that: "The STS
11 had pulled out" --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's see it on the screen.
13 MS. CARTER: Okay.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Microphone not activated]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment, Mr. Bakrac. Let us see.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] It hasn't been announced, Your
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, what has not been announced?
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] The interpretation I got was document
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And there it is, hopefully.
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] It hadn't been part of a notice at
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's enlarge the part that relates to the fourth
25 day. It's the middle of the page, roughly. Thank you.
1 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, please proceed with your question.
3 MS. CARTER: Thank you.
4 Q. Sir, I would direct you to the final sentence where it says:
5 "The STS had pulled out into the villages of Trnje and Lesane
6 during the night, they were routed and crushed" --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you see, this is where we had a dispute about
8 the translation, and the translation that Mr. Zecevic suggested was that
9 they pulled out towards the villages of Trnje and Lesane after they had
10 been routed and crushed, and we asked for a formal translation from CLSS.
11 So I find it difficult to see how productive your questioning can be.
12 MS. CARTER: Respectfully, Your Honour, we're only dealing with a
13 matter of metres. If we look at --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, I agree -- I understand that, but where is the
15 suggestion that Trnje was actually cleansed or mopped up or whatever the
16 word is?
17 MS. CARTER: Respectfully, if you look at what occurred on the
18 third day as well as what occurred on the fourth day, the third day it
19 says: "The STS forces attempted to pull out along the creek to the
20 villages of Trnje and Lesane," and then you look to that final sentence
21 where it says they had pulled out. One says they were trying to and one
22 says they did do that into the villages of Trnje and Lesane during the
23 night, and they were also routed and crushed. So if you look at the two
24 statements taken together, one is saying this was about to happen one said
25 it did in fact happen, and they were routed and crushed. Thus, I believe
1 that my questioning on this point is within the confines of P1995.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, your questioning depends on that being an
3 accurate statement of what this document says.
4 MS. CARTER: Then in the event --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Which is in issue at the moment. But please
6 proceed and see what answer you get.
7 MS. CARTER:
8 Q. Sir, if there appears to be some sort of routing and crushing,
9 either directly in Trnje or just near Trnje, who would be the group
10 responsible for cleaning up the battle-field?
11 A. Well, I don't know in what sense you mean clean-up or mop-up of
12 the terrain. I did not receive such an assignment. I did not carry out
13 such an assignment; therefore, I don't know what group received such an
15 Q. It's found in 8.7, logistical support, in the original order from
16 the 549th. So if you are the logistics battalion yet you are not assigned
17 to that type of support, what is the group that is?
18 A. I don't understand, what group? What does this question refer to,
19 what group?
20 Q. We have heard evidence in this case from (redacted) that after
21 the Trnje operation, they actually went down into Trnje and were cleaning
22 up that area, and specifically that's where you get the testimony about
23 the truck being seized at Hygijena and other items. What I am asking is
24 that if they are, in fact, lying and they weren't any sort of any clear-up
25 operation, who would be the group in this area that would have been
1 responsible for that clean up?
2 A. I don't know that, what group was responsible for any kind of
3 clean up.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gavrilovic, we constantly see in this courtroom
5 orders directing a unit or other -- or units to clear up the
6 battle-field, "asanacija" I think is the word that's used; is that a
7 concept you're not familiar with?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I have heard of that, but it's
9 not that I got any task related to "asanacija," cleaning up the
10 battle-field, or did I see any such thing ordered here.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: It tends to happen where there has been a battle
12 and somebody has been routed and crushed, which seems to have happened
13 here. Can you not help us with who had the task of clearing up at Trnje
14 or in the area surrounding Trnje? You were only 500 metres away, after
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I don't know of anyone having
17 the attack -- the task to carry out the clean up of that terrain.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Carter.
19 MS. CARTER:
20 Q. The final topic I'd like to speak with you about is in regards to
21 some criminal reports and investigations that actually name you as a
22 defendant. I want to pull up P982 at page 23 of the English and page 6 of
23 the B/C/S, it's entry number 82.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, is he a defendant in current criminal
1 MS. CARTER: This is what I'm trying to determine. It's blank in
2 with regards to the final disposition on this.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if the number is
5 correct, the P number mentioned in the transcript, 982, I don't have it on
6 my list of exhibits for this witness.
7 MS. CARTER: And respectfully that is correct because it is 962, I
8 apologise, it is the list of filed criminal reports against perpetrators
9 in the 549th. I misspoke.
10 It appears we have the correct page in the English and not in the
11 B/C/S. It's going to be entry 82, it's page 6 of the B/C/S.
12 Q. Sir, entry 82 lists actually a Major Pavle Gavrilovic of military
13 post 4445/12. It does appear that this is a misidentification of your
14 rank; however, that is your military post, is that correct, or was at the
16 A. That's right. If it pertains to the year 2000, I was a major by
17 then, or rather, 1999 too. I was a major already then too.
18 Q. So the rank is correct. Now, according to this, you were charged
19 under Article 174 for abuse of office. That is actually codified within
20 the FRY criminal code which is at P1736. It indicates that you were being
21 charged with abuse of office. Article 174 indicates that -- it's a charge
22 against an official who by abusing his office or authority exceeding the
23 limits of his official authority or failing to perform his official duties
24 obtains a benefit for himself or another, causes damage to another, or
25 seriously violates the rights of another. It goes on to give the
1 punishment range.
2 What occurred that you were being charged or being investigated
3 under Article 174, abuse of office?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know which specific case
5 you're talking about. The only time I ever went to court, the only time I
6 gave an affidavit in court - and it can't be anything else what you're
7 talking about, there was just that one time that is categorised here or
8 described as abuse of office and so on and so forth; so what was this
9 about? During NATO aggression there was this van that was found in an
10 area covered by my unit, a vehicle, a van. After that, some documents
11 were drawn up that were necessary under the regulations, the documents
12 that were required. So whether anyone thought they saw something or
13 anybody reported theft that the van had been stolen or something like
14 that, well the only thing that matter is in 1999 or 2000 I had to go to
15 court back at our place, I showed my documents, the documents that I was
16 in possession of, and the case was thrown out. I was never punished nor
17 indeed had I ever done anything, and I committed absolutely no abuse of
19 Q. Sir, why would you have been charged under the FRY code, which
20 would be criminal offences against official duty by federal officials, as
21 opposed to to being charged under the Serbian criminal code which tends to
22 be where you find things such as theft, murder, and other common-law
23 crimes. Why were you being charged under the FRY code?
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, let the witness answer the question.
1 You may have the explanation, but it's for him to deal with this.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know. I'm not even
3 familiar with the provisions of this law. I'm not even sure that we're
4 talking about the same thing because there was just this one time that I
5 had to go to court about anything at all, and that's the time I told you
6 about, and I have no idea about this criminal code or anything. I really
7 don't know.
8 MS. CARTER:
9 Q. Okay. Now, you've said repeatedly that you've only been charged
10 once and nothing ever occurred of it. I'd like to direct your attention
11 to P3080, this is a report on the work of the judicial organs from 18 May
12 1999. In this, it indicates that you were actually -- a criminal report
13 was filed against you in this case based on a violation of equality of
14 citizens, which is what's codified under Article 186 of the FRY criminal
15 code and specifically it reads that:
16 "An official who on grounds of difference, nationality, race,
17 religion, political or other beliefs, ethnicity, gender, language,
18 education, or social position denies or restricts the rights of citizens
19 laid down by the constitution, the law or any other regulation or general
20 enactment or ratified international treaty or who on grounds of this
21 difference grants citizens privileges or advantages."
22 And it indicates that there shall be a punishment range. Sir, if
23 this criminal report was filed against you, how is this involving a van
24 and what took place when you were charged under 186?
25 A. I don't know. I've never seen this before. No one has ever told
1 me about anything like this, no one has ever accused me of anything. This
2 is the first I see of it, and you're the first one to tell me about it.
3 Q. So you --
4 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Sorry I'm interrupting. I'm here, Witness.
5 Please tell me you went to court, there must be a subpoena or a
6 summons calling you to court, what were the allegations, were you charged,
7 were you not charged, you have to tell us that. Because saying that you
8 just walked into the court, it was not a courtesy call. They do not call
9 people for a little explanation, this is the simple reaction where this
10 may have happened; but this is a court calling you, so what really what
11 happened? What was the charge?
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE CHOWHAN: We have not got reply even about the first one,
14 this may not be true. But tell us, you admit that you have been once to
15 the court, what was the charge? What happened? What the judge tell you,
16 what you told the judge? What were the allegations, so we find out?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps I misphrased my first
18 answer. I wasn't standing before a court in the sense of being tried. I
19 had to go and see an investigating judge who was investigating certain
20 allegations. The allegations that I explained, and then I came up with
21 some documents which I showed to the investigating magistrate, and the
22 case was thrown out, or rather, the investigation was terminated, whatever
23 the correct expression is, it was dropped.
24 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
25 MS. CARTER:
1 Q. Sir, I would now like to direct your attention to P3079, in
2 subsection 2, that it indicated that: The military prosecutor's office
3 submitted 28 requests for investigation to competent military courts, one
4 of them was against you, this time we have a charge listed under 176 of
5 the FRY Criminal Code. 176 is fraud in the discharge of office,
7 "An official who in the discharge of his duties and with intent to
8 obtain unlawful material benefit for himself or for another submits false
9 statements of account or otherwise deceives an authorised person into
10 making an unlawful disbursement," and then it gives the punishment ranges.
11 Do you know anything about this investigation against you?
12 A. I don't know about this investigation that was launched, but I see
13 this is obviously the same thing that I have been talking about; it was
14 about this van that was found in the deployment area of my unit. Someone
15 or other may have reported a case of theft, I really don't know, but it
16 can't possibly be in reference to anything else simply because I'm totally
17 clueless about any other reports or investigations or anything like that.
18 Q. Okay. So this one may or may not be what you're talking about;
19 however, you have no indication about any charges that were levied against
20 you under Article 174, abuse of office or power, or under 186 violation of
21 equality of citizens. You have no knowledge of either of these two
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, he does. He's told you -- he's dealt with
24 the 174 and he has no knowledge of the 186, as I understand it.
25 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, there's three, 174 is listed in P982 --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, that's the -- 962 is the correct number.
2 MS. CARTER: Thank you.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: And that's the one where he was charged with abuse
4 of office, it was investigated by an investigating judge, he produced the
5 records according to him, and that was it. Have I misunderstood that?
6 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, there are two separate articles. He's
7 indicated that that is this van as well as the charge under 176, which is
8 3079, that that --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: All he's saying is he thinks it may be the same.
10 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, this is two completely different
11 criminal codes. I'm trying to determine which if any of these is the van
12 and what explanation if any he has for the other two.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: But one is -- one is an abuse of office, the other
14 is fraud in discharge of office, and he says he's only been involved in a
15 court investigation on one occasion. So what more do you expect to get
16 from him?
17 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, given that we have heard much evidence
18 about the functioning of the military courts, how once these reports get
19 filed they were properly investigated, they went to an investigative
20 judge, et cetera, et cetera, it appears that this witness is contradicting
21 what that procedure actually took place on the ground. So I want to
22 develop that a little bit further. Obviously this witness -- he's
23 indicating that he's only aware of one charge, yet we have documents from
24 the military that he, in fact, has been charged under three separate codes
25 and most concerning of all is the violation
of equality of citizens. I'm
1 not clear how that has anything to do with the matter.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Carter, two of your documents are requests for
3 investigation and no more than that, and the one which goes further he has
4 dealt with. Now, you're perfectly entitled to pursue these, but please
5 don't misrepresent what you've got in front of you.
6 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, one is actually a request for
7 investigation one is a criminal report --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Which one is the criminal report?
9 MS. CARTER: The criminal report is P3080. It says: "The
10 military prosecutor's office received 59 criminal reports for processing,"
11 and it enumerates these.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. My apologies, but that's a criminal
13 report and that's as far as you seem to have got it at the moment.
14 However, please continue with appropriate questions.
15 MS. CARTER:
16 Q. Sir, when a complaint is levied against an officer within the VJ,
17 is it commonplace for the person to at minimum be questioned about the
18 criminal report?
19 A. Of course, yes. Or at least I think so.
20 Q. All right. Yet in this case you said you were only questioned
21 once. Can you tell me what time-period you were actually being questioned
22 or what the approximate date of the offence was?
23 A. I really can't remember when that was, but I do know that it
24 was -- I don't know. Certainly -- I can't remember the exact date. I
25 know that I did see an investigating judge. I made a statement, I showed
1 him the documents about that van, what I told you about before, and that
2 was the only and that is the only report that I am aware of nor did anyone
3 question me on any other occasion. I don't think charges were pressed
4 ever because I never faced a court.
5 Q. Are you at least given notice that -- when charges -- or when a
6 complaint is filed against you?
7 A. No.
8 [Prosecution counsel confer]
9 MS. CARTER: As it appears that this witness can't enlighten us
10 any further as regards the work of the legal affairs organ, I pass the
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Ms. Carter.
13 Mr. Bakrac, and can you tell us whether we can go into open
14 session or not.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I believe we can.
16 I have a single question about a particular document.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
19 Re-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gavrilovic, a single question for you.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we please have Exhibit P1981.
22 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer].
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, this exhibit is under seal, so we will
24 not --
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I do apologise.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we can still have the evidence in open
2 session, but the exhibit will not be published beyond the courtroom.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. That's fine. I
4 just need the last page of this document, the last page to see who it was
5 delivered to.
6 Q. So my learned friend Ms. Carter showed you paragraph G about the
7 clean up of the battle-field. Please look at the very bottom of the
8 document, the left-hand corner, you don't have to read this back to us, we
9 can see who it was delivered to. But my question is: Was this order at
10 all delivered to your logistics battalion?
11 A. No, I said so, didn't I, a while ago, I mean ...
12 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Gavrilovic.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions for this
14 witness, Your Honour.
15 MS. CARTER: Respectfully, Your Honour, with regards to P1981 the
16 reason it was under seal is because it came in with one of the protected
17 witnesses. We saw no reason for the document to remain under seal.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We shall lift the seal on that
20 Just before we finish, could you look at paragraph 5.6 of that
21 document, please.
22 Can you magnify that.
23 Questioned by the Court:
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you read aloud, please, paragraph -- well,
25 the first two lines of paragraph 5.6.
1 A. "Blockade at the line. TT 357 Trnje village," probably "Jezero
2 facility, Mistra facility TT 330, Smac village TT 316, Donja Srbica
3 village. Ceramija [phoen] carried out by parts of the logistics
4 battalion, signals company HAD and parts of SART PVO."
5 JUDGE BONOMY: What does HAD mean?
6 A. SART PVO self-propelled rocket artillery battalion of the
7 anti-aircraft defence.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: And what does SART PVO stand for?
9 A. That's it, SART PVO. That's what I said. I don't know what the
10 interpretation was, but I'm looking at the Serbian.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: No, the interpretation was something rather
12 different, but it all relates to the one unit. Thank you very much.
13 Mr. Gavrilovic, that completes your evidence. Thank you for
14 coming to give evidence. You may now leave the courtroom with the usher.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
17 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Our next witness is
18 Mr. Radomir Mladenovic. In the meanwhile we informed OTP and other lawyer
19 and subject of colleagues that Mr. Mladenovic will testify live one hour.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I need to be excused for about three
23 minutes and there's no reason you can't go forward without me, I think.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Thank you very much.
25 Good afternoon, Mr. Mladenovic.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you please make the solemn declaration to
3 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
6 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please take a seat.
8 You will now be examined by Mr. Cepic on behalf of Mr. Lazarevic.
9 Mr. Cepic.
10 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 WITNESS: RADOMIR MLADENOVIC
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examination by Mr. Cepic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. Esteemed colleague, for the benefit of the transcript, please
17 state your full name.
18 A. Radomir Mladenovic.
19 Q. Thank you. When and where were you born?
I was born on 10th of July, 1960, in the
21 which is in Kosovo and Metohija,
22 Q. Thank you.
I am a national of
24 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, tell us about your educational background.
I graduated from the law faculty in
1 bar exam in
2 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, what do you do today?
A. Since May 2005 I have been
working as a district judge in
4 still hold the same post.
5 Q. That judicial system works in a different way and there are
6 several different kinds of judges. What exactly do you do in your
7 capacity as district judge?
8 A. I am the president of the so-called trial chamber, I preside over
9 a trial chamber that rules on any charges submitted by the district
10 prosecutor in
11 Q. What kind of law are we talking about?
12 A. Criminal law.
13 Q. I will ask you one thing, sir. When I ask a question and you
14 start your answer, please make a short pause before your answer so that
15 everything may be entered into the transcript accurately.
16 Mr. Mladenovic, which post were you holding back in 1998 and 1999?
17 A. In 1998 and all the way up to the beginning of the war, I was a
18 judge with the military court in Nis.
19 Q. When the war broke out and during the war, what was your
21 A. When a state of war was declared, I was assigned to Pristina.
22 During the war I worked as president of the military court that was
23 attached to the Pristina Corps command.
24 Q. Do you perhaps remember on which date you took up your duty there?
25 A. On the 25th of March when a state of emergency was declared I
1 reported to Pristina. At first there had been a decree to appoint me the
2 president of the military court of the commands of the Pristina Military
3 District. On the 25th I reported and we set up this court, I mean the
4 military district court. And then on the 27th of March, three days later,
5 I was informed that by presidential decree, federal presidential decree, I
6 had been appointed president of the military court of the Pristina Corps
7 command. I took up my post on that day.
8 Q. Thank you. During the war, how many military courts were there in
9 Kosovo and Metohija?
10 A. There were two that were operating, the one where I served as
11 president, the one that was attached to the Pristina Corps command; and
12 there was another one attached to the Pristina Military District command,
13 so those were the two.
14 Q. In terms of jurisdiction, over what persons did you have
16 A. I can tell you about the military court that was attached to the
17 Pristina Corps command, although I do know what the other one had
18 jurisdiction over as well. According to the rules governing the work of
19 military courts in a state of war, the courts that were set up and were
20 attached to certain commands - in this specific case the Pristina Corps
21 command had jurisdiction over criminal matters when crimes were committed
22 by military persons who were members of the corps, and also in relation to
23 some crimes committed by civilians against the Army of Yugoslavia.
24 Q. The court attached to the command of the military district has
25 what jurisdiction?
1 A. That court also had jurisdiction over all members of the district,
2 military personnel, that is, and civilians who committed crimes against
3 the Army of Yugoslavia or its members.
4 Q. In the territory of Kosovo and Metohija during the war there were
5 other units as well, including units of air force and anti-aircraft
6 defence. These two courts that you mentioned, did they have jurisdiction
7 over the members of air force and anti-aircraft defence?
8 A. No. Those were under the jurisdiction over a court attached to
9 the command of air force and anti-aircraft defence. However, for purposes
10 of expediency and efficiency, it was possible for a higher court, the
11 supreme military court, to send a delegation of our corps court to
12 adjudicate such matters, but only along the principles of delegation at
13 the proposal of the prosecutor.
14 Q. I will dwell a bit longer on jurisdiction. You said that the
15 military court had jurisdiction over any crime against the Army of
16 Yugoslavia. If, for example, a civilian had admitted a criminal act
17 against a member of the Army of Yugoslavia who was not on duty at the
18 moment, which court had the jurisdiction?
19 A. In that case, a regular civilian court would have jurisdiction.
20 The military court would have jurisdiction only if the crime was committed
21 against the member of the Army of Yugoslavia on duty. In every other
22 case, the civilian court would be in charge.
23 Q. What about members of the MUP?
24 A. Well, members of the Ministry of the Interior, the police, are not
25 military personnel, and the law governing the military courts stipulates
1 that military courts have jurisdiction over military personnel,
2 enumerating them by category. Policemen are not listed there. Therefore,
3 the court that I presided over did not try members of the MUP.
4 Q. Who was in charge of them?
A. Regular courts in the
6 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I just wanted to learn something. Kindly tell me
7 if a case like a sabotage had taken place or something against the state
8 which attracts military law and there's a civilian with a military person,
9 will such a case also go to a civilian court?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If the criminal act of sabotage is
11 involved targeting military installations or military personnel, then the
12 military court would have jurisdiction. If other facilities are involved,
13 then the military court is not in charge.
14 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, may I continue?
15 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
16 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: There's a question that I wish to ask just to
17 follow-up on that one.
18 What if in the event a member of the police had committed an
19 offence against a member of the military, would the military court have
20 jurisdiction in that case?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that kind of case, military court
22 has exclusive jurisdiction because the military court has jurisdiction in
23 all cases where the injured party is a military person; however, only if
24 that person was on duty. If he got into a brawl with a soldier somewhere
25 in a bar, then the military court would have nothing to do with it because
1 the soldier was not on duty.
2 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: So just when he's acting in the course of his
3 duties but not in a personal capacity, thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry to keep you back, Mr. Cepic.
6 I don't think you answered one aspect of Judge Chowhan's question,
7 which was: If you have a military person who is serving at the time, on
8 duty, commits -- committing a crime along with a civilian against a
9 civilian, is it the military court or the civilian court which has
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That depends on the mode of
12 complicity. If they are accomplices, then the military court has some
13 jurisdiction considering that one of the perpetrators is a military
14 person, if they are co-perpetrators; and the military court remains in
15 charge always in such cases. If they committed a crime against civilians
16 as co-perpetrators, then the military court also tries the civilian.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
18 Mr. Cepic.
19 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Now, again about jurisdiction, did civilian
21 courts operate during the war?
22 A. Yes, of course. I know that in Kosovo and Metohija during the
23 state of war there were five district courts and 19 municipal courts, and
24 they all operated.
25 Q. I know it is very difficult to express this in figures or in a
1 ratio, the relationship between military and civilian courts in terms of
2 actual or personal jurisdiction, but can you try?
3 A. If we bear in mind that these two courts in the territory of
4 Kosovo and Metohija, figuratively speaking, were supposed to try members
5 of the Pristina Corps, I don't know what the strength of the Pristina
6 Corps was at the time, let's say 50 to 60.000, and if we take it that
7 there were certainly over a million citizens of age in Kosovo and Metohija
8 in total, then you can use it for purposes of comparison.
9 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, during this trial it was emphasised that there was
10 a request to resubordinate MUP forces to the army, and it was not
11 implemented. Several witnesses stressed that. Legally speaking, if
12 resubordination had happened, would officers of the army have been able to
13 discipline members of the MUP?
14 A. I don't think so because disciplinary liability in the army is
15 governed by the Rules of Service and the Rule of Military discipline.
16 Members of the MUP and their disciplinary liability is regulated by the
17 Law on Internal Affairs. And during the war there was a decree governing
18 disciplinary liability. Second, as far as military personnel is
19 concerned, a soldier can be punished by detention; an officer can be
20 convicted to two months in military prison by a military disciplinary
21 court, whereas these sanctions were not applicable to members of the MUP.
22 That's why I believe it would be incompatible.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mladenovic. Very briefly, let's try to clarify one
24 point that perhaps remained unclear in prior testimony. Which laws
25 governed substantial criminal law?
1 A. At the level of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, there was the
2 criminal law, the penal code of the FRY, and each republic, Serbia and
4 such things as basic criminal acts, criminal liability, and sanctions, but
5 republics also -- for instance, the federal law dealt with crimes against
6 military personnel, and the federal law also dealt with crimes in federal
7 authorities, whereas republican laws dealt with criminal acts against
8 persons acting in an official capacity.
9 Q. In federal and in republican laws, both, we find the same criminal
10 acts. If a military person commits a crime prescribed by these two laws,
11 which law applies, the federal or the republic law?
12 A. In the federal law we don't have classic crimes against property.
13 We have laws that deal with property offences that are very grave and
14 concern official property. Republic laws regulate theft, property, et
15 cetera. For instance, if you have the crime of abuse of official
16 authority that results in embezzlement and things like that, then that is
17 regulated by the federal law; but that is a criminal act which has
18 property feature.
19 Q. Abuse of official authority is also governed by a republic law,
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. But if a military person commits such a crime, which law applies?
23 A. The federal law should apply because that military person is at
24 the same time an authorised officer in a federal agency because the Army
25 of Yugoslavia is a federal agency, a federal institution, and that's why
1 the federal law would apply.
2 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, who had the authority to file criminal reports?
3 A. In principle, anybody.
4 Q. Thank you. If an officer of the army reports a crime, where does
5 his obligation stop in relation to further processing of that crime?
6 A. It ends with the act of reporting it. It would even be
7 inappropriate for him to try to inquire any further or to try to influence
8 the process any further because the matter is from that point on in the
9 hands of the competent authorities such as the military courts.
10 Q. To make this absolutely clear because we are coming from a
11 different judicial system, could you explain various phases of proceedings
12 that precede the indictment?
13 A. According to our Law on Criminal Procedure, we are talking now
14 about the relevant period of the indictment, year 1999, it is the
15 prosecutor that receives criminal reports. When he receives a criminal
16 report with various appendices, the prosecutor has to evaluate whether
17 there is a well-grounded suspicion that the allegations are true. And if
18 the prosecutor decides that there is a prima facie case then he will ask
19 the competent investigative judge to conduct an investigation; and the
20 investigation already falls into the category of pre-criminal proceedings.
21 Q. So how many stages are there?
22 A. Before the indictment, there is the so-called pre-criminal phase
23 that the investigative judge conducts with the police and other
24 authorities. Then there is the preliminary proceedings, which is already
25 in the category of court proceedings. After that, if the evidence is
1 sufficient, the prosecutor issues an indictment which is subject to
2 verification by three judges, in case there are any objections. When the
3 indictment enters into force, the trial can proceed and those were the
4 stages at the time we are discussing.
5 Q. In response to my previous question you said that the judicial
6 authorities were independent in their work and free of any influence from
7 outside. I would like to know whether there were any attempts to
8 influence your work and the work of the judges of the Pristina Corps.
9 A. I was judge of the military court in Nis for 11 years. It never
10 ever happened that anyone attempted to or had any influence on our work.
11 It was more likely to have a wink-and-a-nod kind of suggestion to help one
12 accused or the another.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. I don't think we have proper interpretation of your previous
16 answer. I'll ask you a brief question and you give me a brief answer,
17 please. Did anyone during the war try to influence you or other judges of
18 the Pristina Corps?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I think we'll have a formal translation by CLSS --
22 MR. CEPIC: Yes, thank you.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: -- of page 109, lines 8 -- sorry -- yes, line 22 to
25 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm sorry, there's a little more I just want to
1 learn about your system. How were the cases assigned if there were more
2 than one court, who did it and what was the criteria? And secondly, did
3 anybody ask you for a progress report?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Cases were assigned depending on
5 when the criminal reports reached the appropriate office. I'm not sure if
6 you can hear me. I'm not sure what reports you have in mind. Our duty
7 was to inform the superior court.
8 JUDGE CHOWHAN: The entrustment of cases if there are more judges,
9 who would entrust case to which one I mean, who was in charge of
10 entrustment or marking of cases to a court?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] During the state of war, the
12 Pristina Corps court had three investigating judges and four of those who
13 tried the actual cases. I was one of those four because I was the
14 president of that court. Cases were assigned on the following basis: A
15 sequence would be established in terms of when they got there, when they
16 reached the registry of the court. I was given one case as the president
17 and then the next judge and then the next judge, one by one; so that was
18 the system that we used. What I'm trying to say is this, there was no
19 particular sequence. It's not that cases were selected specially in order
20 to be assigned to someone. This is exactly what the rules say, too, that
21 cases should be assigned and tried in the order in which they are
22 received. My apologies. Just another additional explanation.
23 As for investigations, it really depended on who the investigative
24 judge happened to be who was on a certain case [as interpreted].
25 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
1 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. May I continue? Thank you.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mladenovic, how many cases did you handle
3 personally during the war?
4 A. I do remember because I continued to work for the military court
5 in Nis after the war, immediately after the state of war was declared
6 over. I drafted reports for myself and for the supreme military court,
7 and I know that during the war we conducted investigations of about 8.000
8 [as interpreted] persons, over 900 of those being indicted eventually.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours, page 111, 12; I believe the
10 witness says: It depended on who of the investigative judges happened to
11 be on duty.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On duty.
14 MR. CEPIC: And one more error in transcript, page 111, line 20,
15 investigation about 8.000, it is not 8.000, witness said 1.000.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mladenovic, if you were dealing with crimes
19 that potentially constituted violations of the international laws of war,
20 how many indictments like that did you have? I know that you can't be all
21 that specific.
22 A. About 230 over a total of these 900 that I mentioned.
23 Q. What kind of crimes predominantly?
24 A. Various forms of murder, robbery, theft, aggravated theft,
25 vehicles being seized, crimes against personal dignity and morale,
1 sex-related offences.
2 Q. Do you perhaps remember how many officers were prosecuted for such
3 crimes, not ordinary soldiers, officers?
4 A. If you look at both these military courts a total of about 40
5 military officers.
6 Q. Thank you. Mr. Mladenovic, we heard evidence several days ago in
7 this courtroom about a major of the VJ Dragisa Petrovic, more specifically
8 it was said that along with another two soldiers, he committed murder.
9 Are you perhaps familiar with this case?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you perhaps know what the conviction was by the Supreme Court?
12 A. Major Dragisa Petrovic got nine years and the two soldiers got
13 seven each. They are all now serving their sentence at the correctional
14 penal institute in
15 Q. Thank you. Mr. Mladenovic, were there any crimes that were
16 discovered after the war?
17 A. Indeed. After the war when the peacetime military court in Nis
18 had already started operating, to call it that, requests for
19 investigations started arriving about crimes such as the ones that we have
20 been discussing.
21 Q. Are you familiar with the Mancic case?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were any rape cases tried later on?
24 A. No, not later on. There was a rape case involving three soldiers
25 who were indicted during the war, sometime in May 1999, I believe. They
1 were accused of having raped three young ladies. They were on remand at
2 the time. I was the one who went forward with this indictment, and I am
3 privy to its detail. If you want to know more, just say so.
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Mladenovic, what about after the war, were there
5 any problems in terms of gathering evidence for trials?
6 A. Yes. If I may, I would like to refer once more to the case that
7 we discussed a minute ago, the rape case. Those young ladies who were
8 victims could not be interviewed while we were still in Kosovo and
9 Metohija. As president of that chamber, I appealed to the international
10 authorities and the local authorities in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as
11 the civilian courts, to try to interview those young ladies or maybe to
12 have them escorted to the military court in Nis so that I might be given a
13 chance to interview them. Unfortunately, all of our appeals were turned
14 down. And after the military court in Nis was abolished, the case was
15 forwarded to another civilian court.
16 Q. What about other investigations, did the same problems occur in
17 relation to the gathering of evidence in any other investigations?
18 A. Yes, especially during the first two or three years after the war.
19 It was always risky to try to get anything at all from Kosovo and
20 Metohija. Secondly, the postal system was not operating properly and the
21 communications system; therefore, it was very difficult to handle these
22 cases before the military court in
23 Q. Did you submit any requests within your own administration system,
24 requests for assistance?
25 A. Yes, both in the case that we mentioned a while ago and in the
1 Mancic case.
2 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have Exhibit 3D1061.
3 Thank you.
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, there's a part
6 of my question that wasn't recorded. May I please repeat the question
7 just in order to clarify?
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
9 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, did you submit requests to the UNMIK
11 administration and the legal authorities in Kosovo and Metohija for
12 assistance in these cases?
13 A. In the rape case the answer is yes; as for the more recent one, I
14 appealed to the district court in Prizren for assistance.
15 Q. What sort of cooperation did you have?
16 A. Sometime in July last year I sent them a letter in order to
17 continue to go on with the trial all the way up until December last year.
18 I never received anything in return, so the trial was deferred until March
19 because I believe that they might, given more time, forward the documents
20 that we had requested.
21 Q. Thank you. Can you please look at the document that is on our
23 A. Yes, I have looked at it.
24 Q. During your -- before I proofed you, had you ever seen this
1 A. No.
2 Q. Is this the sort of information that affected any proceedings or
3 is this the kind of information that you ever received that was delivered
4 to you?
5 A. No, this sort of information was never delivered to us, and I
6 don't think they could have affected proceedings in any way, especially as
7 far as this was concerned, the proceedings that were underway before the
military court in
9 Q. The English translation is not really crystal clear, but there's a
10 reference here to the fact that there were suspicions that members of the
11 TG 2 or members of the Lipljan MUP had committed this crime, and the
12 village mentioned there is Mali Alas. Are you familiar with that village,
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What can you tell me about this village?
16 A. I learned everything that I learned in my official capacity as the
17 president of the court that was attached to the corps. I learned that the
18 military prosecutor, who was also attached to the corps command, having
19 learned of this incident went to the area to carry out an on-site
20 investigation. And he requested the court to launch an investigation in
21 order to shed light on the circumstances under which these civilians had
22 come to grief. They thought that maybe during the investigation they
23 might track down the perpetrators, or rather, that was the purpose of the
24 steps that were taken. And then we pressed on. Our forensic team, a team
25 of experts from the military medical academy, was sent to the site. There
1 was an investigating judge who was in charge of the team that carried out
2 the exhumation work, and this was something that was handled during the
3 war and later by the military court in Nis.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have Defence Exhibit
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you move on, Mr. Cepic, is that translation
8 accurate at line 18 of page 115, "this sort of information was never
9 delivered to us and I don't think they could have affected
10 proceedings ..."
11 What's being said here, is it inappropriate for the military
12 prosecutor to forward this material? If the interpretation's accurate,
13 then I will ask some questions myself, but ...
14 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness is a judge
15 and not a prosecutor, and the interpretation is correct because a judge is
16 not the same thing as a prosecutor and they are independent.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Mladenovic, looking again at the document again
18 on the screen, why would you never receive this sort of information?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I said was that I did not
20 receive this information specifically --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that, but the translation says: "This
22 sort of information was never delivered to us ..."
23 So you're confining that answer to this information in this
24 particular case?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm talking about this specific
2 JUDGE BONOMY: That clarifies it. Thank you very much.
3 Mr. Cepic.
4 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I apologise for a little bit
5 wrong explanation and clarification of this material.
6 Could we have 5D1313, please.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mladenovic, what is this document, the one
8 that we're looking at?
9 A. It is precisely what I was talking about. A forensic examination
10 was carried out on the bodies of those people who had been killed, and
11 minutes were drawn up or a report was drawn up.
12 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ...
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mladenovic, this is page 2, we see the date,
14 we see the time, we see the name of Major Ivica Milosavljevic,
15 Milos Kostov, and all the other ones. Okay now, if you can please explain
16 about this person Zoran Saveljic. Who was he?
17 A. This was a judge of the military court attached to the Pristina
18 Corps command, and he ordered for this explanation to go ahead.
19 Q. Thank you. In addition to this location, was there another
20 location that was found nearby?
21 A. Yes, I remember a place that I think was called Slovinje.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. CEPIC: Could we have 5D1315. Could we have the second page
24 of this document.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Did you ever receive this letter, Mr. Mladenovic?
1 A. Yes, I received it in my Pristina office, and there were
2 photographs attached to it.
3 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for the sake of
4 expedience, there is an attachment to this document containing the
5 photographs and the technical details.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, the final question: Are you aware whether any of
9 the perpetrators of this crime were eventually found?
It wasn't until later when I worked with -- at the
11 court that I found out through the media that a prosecutor was pressing
12 charges against some local Serbs from that village.
13 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... 5D1366, please.
14 We miss one word on page 118, line 25 -- actually, the next line, 119,
15 line 1, UN mission, UNMIK prosecutor.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Instead of media -- sorry, from the media that an
17 UNMIK prosecutor was pressing charges. Thank you.
18 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. As far as charges being pressed against, what did you hear at the
21 A. Some local Serbs.
22 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, what about this document that's in front of you,
23 does it not appear to confirm what you heard? I showed it to you during
25 A. Yes, yes, yes.
1 Q. I don't know whether you were involved in their work, but during
2 the proofing?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the exhibit number for that document?
6 MR. CEPIC: 5D1366.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this might be a good
9 time. I see that my learned friends are getting a little restless.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Mladenovic, we have to terminate our
11 proceedings for today at this stage, which means that you will have to
12 come back tomorrow to complete your evidence. That will be at 2.15
13 tomorrow in courtroom number 3. So please be back in time ready to resume
14 your evidence at that stage. You can now leave the courtroom with the
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Until tomorrow at 2.15.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at ,
19 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 29th day of
20 January, 2008, at