1 Friday, 1 February 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, everyone.
6 Mr. Cepic, I take it in relation to the order of your remaining
7 witnesses, you're going to do what you can to lead as many of them today
8 as possible.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: If that means altering the order so that as many
11 people as possible do not have to stay the weekend, that's okay by us.
12 You make your judgement on that.
13 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, of course by your leave
14 the position taken by our Defence is to follow the order that we
15 originally announced. The witnesses after Colonel Gergar are all 92 ter
16 witnesses, so we deal with their statements, as we've already said. So we
17 hope that if we finish with Colonel Gergar today before the end of the
18 first session that we'll take our next witness after that, and then
19 depending on the cross-examination, perhaps we'll finish him, say, even
20 before the lunch break on that condition I mean.
21 The next two witnesses are even shorter, Dr. Petkovic and
22 Dr. Milosavljevic.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: That would require suggesting that you might be
24 suggesting putting them in front of Blagojevic so that you could clear the
25 decks more quickly. But that's a matter --
1 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Since you can't predict the cross-examination of
3 Blagojevic, unless you've discussed it with Mr. Hannis, that way at least
4 we would know that two of your witnesses would be completed for sure;
5 however, we'll find out later in the day.
6 Good morning, Mr. Gergar.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Your cross-examination by Mr. Stamp will continue
9 in a moment. Please bear in mind that the solemn declaration to speak the
10 truth which you made at the outset continues to apply to the evidence
11 until it's completed.
12 Mr. Stamp.
13 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 WITNESS: MIHAJLO GERGAR [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp: [Continued]
17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Gergar.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. Could we return 5D3029. Mr. Gergar, it might be very difficult
20 for us to orient ourselves to the map because we are really concerned
21 about civilians more than anything else in this case. Without you helping
22 us in respect to where, for example, the major population centres are and
23 it's really 5D1329, and can we magnify the bottom section of that map,
24 just a little bit more, please.
25 Can you see just about the middle of the map where -- or the
1 middle of that bottom section where some lines join to make a sort of
2 elongated oval? Do you see some writing there?
3 A. Yes, yes. I think I see that.
4 Q. What is that?
5 A. Could it please be moved a bit to the left, I mean the map.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, I presume you know what is. Could you
7 not tell the witness. It's cross-examination and to make some progress --
8 it's a difficult map to read, but I presume you've studied it before.
9 MR. STAMP: Yes, very well.
10 Q. Do you see the broken line in the middle there indicating the line
11 on the 15th Brigade?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And do you see below it the writing "Vucitrn"?
14 A. I cannot discern it exactly, but I think I see it.
15 Q. Could you just circle where it is, please.
16 A. I think that's it.
17 Q. Now that you have identified where Vucitrn is, do you know where
18 Gornja Sudimlja is? Have you ever heard of that town?
19 A. No, no. I've never been to Gornja Sudimlja.
20 Q. Where were your mortar units located?
21 A. My mortar company was in the area of the village of Bajcina.
22 Q. Well, on your military map can you place -- can you locate it?
23 A. I could, but the map has to be moved closer to me, I mean
25 MR. STAMP: I think we have to get an IC number before we can
2 THE REGISTRAR: This will be IC183, Your Honours.
3 MR. STAMP: Could we enlarge IC183. No I think you are going in
4 too close now. I think you need to zoom out a little bit.
5 Q. You see --
6 MR. STAMP: Could you zoom out one.
7 Q. You see to the right your general area of responsibility, without
8 being precise, could you give us a general area then of where your mortar
9 unit would be?
10 A. Somewhere around here. Could the map be lowered a bit more,
12 JUDGE BONOMY: The trouble with an IC exhibit, Mr. Stamp, is
13 that's it, what you see is what you get. You can't move it up and down.
14 If you want to do that with the map, you'll need to go back to 5D1329.
15 MR. STAMP: Very well. Could we do that, please.
16 Q. And while we are doing that, I think you said or the order for
17 this action indicated that you were also to provide support to an
18 artillery unit; is that correct? Did you provide support to an artillery
20 A. No, I did not provide support to an artillery unit.
21 Q. Very well. Now, if you could just locate the general area where
22 your mortar unit was. Once you have identified it there, could you just
23 mark it with an M -- no, no, could you mark it.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. And could you mark with an arrow the direction to which they
1 fired, to which the mortar guns fired.
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. Without moving that map, I have here one of your combat reports of
4 the 2nd of May 1999, it's 5D618, Your Honours, and it refers to
5 expenditure of ammunition and it says that they used -- you used the
6 previous night 28, 122 THG -- sorry, 28, 122-millimetre TFG rounds, are
7 those artillery rounds or are those mortar rounds? Are 122-millimetre
8 rounds artillery rounds or mortar rounds?
9 A. 122-millimetre rounds are artillery rounds.
10 Q. So I don't want to move this map, but I represent to you that that
11 is what your report says, that you also fired artillery rounds. Can you
12 recall if you did fire artillery rounds and from where.
13 A. Well, according to the report we were firing using artillery as
15 Q. So where was your artillery -- can you recall where your artillery
16 was located?
17 A. It's marked here on the map, where it says "Brak 211."
18 Q. Oh, I see. Can you put a put a tick beside that where it says
19 "Brak 211."
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Okay, you have circled it. And with an arrow could you indicate
22 the general direction your artillery was firing to.
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. In respect to the firing to the west, who directed the fire of
25 your artillery? I wonder if you know what I mean. Okay, let me ask you
1 this. When you fired -- when the artillery and the mortar units fire
2 their guns, do they normally see the target or is the fire indirect to the
3 extent that it lands somewhere that they directed the fire at although
4 they can't see it?
5 A. We directed fire according to the requests of the MUP unit because
6 they came along in front of this village, I think it was called Potok, and
7 they came across a very firm defence. So they requested our artillery
8 support in that sector. They observed the targets and they asked us to
9 target that particular point.
10 Q. So you got the bearings for these targets from them, but your
11 gunners would not be able to see the targets?
12 A. Yes. They could not see them but on the basis of the map they
13 knew exactly what it was that they were targeting.
14 Q. We have -- persons testified here that while they were leaving the
15 area heading towards Vucitrn in convoys they were shelled -- that are
16 civilians -- I mean civilians in convoys were shelled from the north. Did
17 you as commander of your brigade hear or discover anything about civilian
18 casualties resulting from shelling?
19 A. No, I as brigade commander did not hear or discover anything about
20 civilian casualties.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. STAMP: Could we give this one an IC number. I think ...
23 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC184, Your Honours.
24 MR. STAMP:
25 Q. The envelope you got with the order for the action and the map
1 from the Pristina Corps commander, where you get it? Where did you go to
2 get it or did it -- was it delivered to you?
3 A. In accordance with the decision map of the Pristina Corps -- well,
4 I got that at my command post, from a courier.
5 Q. Now, when you drew your decision map, did you make any changes or
6 did you add anything to what was on that map?
7 A. On the decision map I only deployed my own units in greater
8 detail. I didn't change anything else in relation to the decision made by
9 the commander of the Pristina Corps.
10 Q. And in deploying your units in greater detail, did you find it
11 necessary to meet with commanders of the MUP?
12 A. We met with the MUP commanders just before the action started.
13 Q. Was that before or after you prepared your decision map?
14 A. This was after I had prepared my decision map.
15 Q. Can you remember who the MUP commanders were?
16 A. Yes, I remember.
17 Q. Can you name them, please?
18 A. Lieutenant-Colonel Zivaljevic and Colonel Lukovic.
19 Q. These were from the PJP?
20 A. From the PJP.
21 Q. Yesterday you also mentioned that within your area in the course
22 of this action -- or I'm not -- I'm not sure exactly whether you're
23 referring to this action so maybe I should ask you. Were there also
24 elements of the Podujevo -- what you call the Podujevo Detachment during
25 this operation?
1 A. I don't know what this is, this Podujevo Detachment.
2 Q. I'll get back to that. We've seen a few orders here related
3 headed "Joint Command," and you have referred to some of them in your
4 statement. When was the first time you became aware that that term was
5 being used in respect to actions that the VJ would be involved in?
6 A. I first learned about this on the 22nd of March, 1999.
7 Q. I'm not sure if I understand. Are you saying you first heard the
8 term, the expression, "Joint Command" used in respect to VJ actions on the
9 22nd of March, 1999? You're probably mistaken because you referenced a
10 document that is dated the 15th of March, 1999, and in that document the
11 term is used. So can I ask you again: Do you recall the first time you
12 heard use of the expression "Joint Command"?
13 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon. Your Honours.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could we please be given a reference
16 for this assertion just made by Mr. Stamp concerning the document dated
17 the 15th of March, 1999, it is the 15th of March, isn't it?
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
19 MR. STAMP: Yes. I'm not sure if I can find that now, but that is
20 not necessary for the question so I'll just rephrase it.
21 Q. Whether you're mistaken or not, you heard about the Joint Command
22 on the 22nd of March, 1999, first?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was that in an order or were you told about it? How did you first
25 come to know about this term?
1 A. I received an envelope which contained an order to crush and
2 destroy the Siptar terrorist forces in the area of Malo Kosovo; and when I
3 studied that I saw this term, Joint Command.
4 MR. STAMP: Can we bring up P1966.
5 Q. When you first saw the term "Joint Command" did you make any
6 inquiries as to what it meant?
7 A. According to our rules, when a brigade commander receives an
8 order, he is duty-bound to study the order and to try to understand the
9 order. Then, he asks his superior about the things he didn't understand.
10 There were some things that were unclear to me in this order, so I called
11 the commander of the Pristina Corps and I asked him to explain them to me
13 Q. Okay. I'm asking you now to focus on "Joint Command" because the
14 document I think which is in front of you first now is not only headed
15 "Joint Command," but at the end it says that the Joint Command for Kosovo
16 and Metohija shall command and direct all forces during combat operations
17 for the Pristina area."
18 So if you could just focus on that. Did you make inquiries of the
19 Pristina Corps commander in that regard?
20 A. That's precisely what I said a moment ago. There were some things
21 that I found unclear, and among other things I asked the commander to
22 explain that to me. Among other things, it was this term, Joint Command
23 for Kosovo and Metohija. Since I had come from another corps, that was
24 the first time that I came across this term and I did not find it clear.
25 So I asked the commander what this meant that is to say what it meant in
1 the heading and also what it meant in the signature. It wasn't clear to
2 me why this order had not been signed, and it wasn't clear to me, this
3 command post over the Pristina Corps; and that is why I spoke to the
4 commander so that he could explain it to me.
5 Q. Well, did he explain to you what the term "Joint Command" referred
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What did he tell you in that regard?
9 A. In light of the fact that I was new there, the commander told me
10 that this was a term used from 1998 onwards and that it referred to the
11 actions or was used for the actions that were carried out by the Yugoslav
12 Army units and MUP, the coordinated actions. Because I had received some
13 other documents from the Pristina Corps command that did not contain this
14 term, "the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija."
15 He explained to me that this was a term, but also that this order
16 was an order from the corps commander, the one that he personally made,
17 and that it pertained to a task that was issued by the corps command. And
18 on that occasion I also asked him why the readiness for the action was not
19 designated. He told me that I would receive the time when the action is
20 to be carried out at a later stage, and in the afternoon a telegram
21 arrived giving me an addendum to the decision based on this order, where
22 the command post was specified, the command post from which the action
23 would be commanded, and also the time was specified for the command; and
24 it was signed by the commander, General Lazarevic. So then everything was
25 clear to me.
1 Q. Well, if we look at this document, P1966, and we look at page 2 of
2 the B/C/S which is also page 2 of the English, the top of page 2 of the
3 B/C/S and the bottom of page 2 of the English you will see the command
4 post for the Pristina Corps would be in the Pristina Corps command
5 building in Pristina.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Which paragraph would that be, Mr. Stamp?
7 MR. STAMP: That's the last line of page 2 in English.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we must have the wrong page then.
9 MR. STAMP: It is P1966.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. Just give us a paragraph number, I think
11 that's easier than pages.
12 MR. STAMP: Paragraph 2.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. Thank you.
14 MR. STAMP:
15 Q. Did you know where the Pristina Corps command building in Pristina
16 was at the time?
17 A. Yes, I was there on the 20th, in Pristina I mean, in that
18 building, but it was empty there, the building was abandoned, there was
19 nobody there.
20 Q. So I take it then this was the reason why you were uncertain about
21 where the command post was that was referred to in this order; is that it?
22 A. Yes, yes, that was a reason too.
23 Q. Well, did you discover where the command post of the Pristina
24 Corps was after you spoke to the commander?
25 A. I spoke to the commander on the phone, and I was unable to
1 ascertain where the command post was. I was told that it was in the
2 Pristina sector.
3 Q. Very well. And you said that you received an addendum --
4 MR. STAMP: And could we bring up P1967 dated the same day, the
5 22nd of March, which clarified where the command post for the Pristina
6 Corps was.
7 Q. Do you recall where in that document that was clarified -- or may
8 I ask you this. Where was the command post for the Pristina Corps
10 A. The command post for the Pristina Corps was in the Pristina
11 sector, and for this action the commander told me that a group of officers
12 from the Pristina Corps would come to the Lausa sector and would exercise
13 control over this action from there.
14 Q. So I take it then that the second order in respect to that action
15 did not designate Lausa to be the command centre of the Pristina Corps;
16 you were told this by the commander?
17 A. That's what the commander told me verbally.
18 Q. If we -- if I may just get back to something quickly. If we look
19 at page 8, line 15, from yesterday I think -- no, it's now page 21504,
20 lines 16 to 18, in response to a question from learned counsel you said --
21 or maybe -- I'll just read the question as well.
22 "Q. Do you recall what Ministry of the Interior forces were in
23 the second half of April 1999 within your zone of responsibility and the
24 354th Infantry Brigade that you have also testified about here today?"
25 And your answer was: "Yes, within the zone of responsibility of
1 the 211th Armoured Brigade there were MUP forces, meaning PJP forces, and
2 the Podujevo Detachment."
3 That is what is recorded here as you say. You having said
4 what's -- is that a mistake or is there such a detachment?
5 A. No, there is no such detachment. It is a section of the Podujevo
6 interior ministry, the Podujevo OUP.
7 Q. Oh, I see. Were they involved in the action from 25th of April to
8 2nd/3rd May, the Bajgora action?
9 A. Yes, they did participate in this action.
10 Q. Earlier in your testimony you indicated that by virtue of the Law
11 on Defence an officer of the VJ of the rank of battalion commander could
12 designate or give duties to unarmed civilians. I would like to ask you a
13 couple of questions about armed civilians. Are you familiar with the term
14 the armed non-Siptar population?
15 MR. STAMP: And while -- could we have 1975 up again I think.
16 Q. Are you familiar with that term, armed non-Siptar population?
17 A. I received the interpretation: Armed non-Siptar population, and
18 that's not a term that I am familiar with.
19 Q. If you look again at this order --
20 MR. STAMP: And if we could go to -- if you look at page 1
21 paragraph 2, and paragraph 2 page 1 on the English version is at page 2.
22 Q. You said the Pristina Corps assignment was a Pristina Corps
23 together with reinforcements and armed non-Siptar residents of Kosovo and
24 Metohija support the MUP forces in defeating and destroying Albanian
25 terrorist forces.
1 You recall seeing that in the order?
2 A. Yes, yes, I did see this in the order.
3 Q. And if you look towards the bottom, the last section of
4 paragraph -- of section 2, you will also see the sentence: "Armed local
5 non-Albanians are to be assigned with guarding military facilities and
6 roads and with protecting and defending local non-Albanians."
7 So I think you will agree with me that this order enabled
8 commanders of Pristina Corps units to give assignments to armed local
10 A. Yes. There was this possibility pursuant to the task of the
11 Pristina Corps to issue tasks to armed non-Siptar population to secure
12 certain facilities or features and roads.
13 Q. And we know that there were many convoys of civilians on these
14 roads -- well, that is not a question. I withdraw that.
15 In your experience in Kosovo during the war, did you have any
16 occasion to give assignments to armed local non-Albanians?
17 A. No. In my area of responsibility I did not have an opportunity to
18 issue any tasks to the armed non-Siptar population or to use them.
19 Q. How many were there in your area of responsibility?
20 A. In my area of responsibility, there were none.
21 Q. Did your area of responsibility not include Podujevo and the
22 villages and hamlets in the environs of Podujevo?
23 A. Yes. My area of responsibility covered all that; but as for the
24 armed non-Siptar population, there were no such persons there in my area
25 and there was no need for me to use them to secure any facilities or the
1 non-Siptar population.
2 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours. I have nothing
3 more for this witness, may it please you.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
5 Questioned by the Court:
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gergar, do you have a hard copy of your
7 statement in front of you?
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you look, please, at paragraph 33. There's a
10 reference to 11 of the brigade being killed and 12 wounded in terrorist
11 and NATO attacks, and then a statement that in the zone of responsibility
12 over 70 were killed and around a hundred were wounded.
13 What's the difference between these two sentences?
14 A. As a result of terrorist and NATO attacks, 11 members of the 211th
15 Brigade were killed and 12 were wounded. It's a reference only to the
16 211th Brigade, and in the area of responsibility where the brigade had set
17 up the defence, that would include the built-up areas, there were more
18 than 70 people who were killed and around a hundred who were wounded.
19 That's a reference both to the personnel and the population and also to
20 the bus that was hit at the bridge near the village of Luzane.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And that's a bus hit in a NATO air-strike?
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 Mr. Cepic, re-examination.
25 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
1 Re-examination by Mr. Cepic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Colonel.
3 A. Good morning.
4 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have the decision map
5 5D1329 on our screens.
6 Q. Colonel, in the section -- well, we can see the map in front of
7 us. What was the task that the 211th Brigade was given, or rather, the
8 elements of that brigade?
9 A. The element of the 211th Armoured Brigade was given the chief task
10 of blockading the Siptar terrorist forces, and also to provide support to
12 Q. Thank you. Did your forces move around in this action? Did they
13 move further than the red lines that we can see here on the right-hand
14 side of this map?
15 A. No, given that the 211th Armoured Brigade had the armour and since
16 the NATO planes were very active at the time, the units did not move
17 around, they remained in their sectors and that's where they set up and
18 maintained the blockade.
19 Q. Yes --
20 MR. STAMP: Just a moment, may I just intervene here.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
22 MR. STAMP: Sometimes it's very difficult to object, and I don't
23 want to be objecting unnecessarily, but the last two questions I don't
24 think they arise from the cross-examination. They are matters which to
25 some degree were covered in chief and in his statement, and so perhaps
1 counsel could preface his questions by relating them to the issues that
2 arise in cross-examination because sometimes the answers begin before one
3 can even rise.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Cepic, you can take account of that, but
5 please continue.
6 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I am
7 referring to the questions that my learned colleague Mr. Stamp did ask and
8 he, in fact, asked the witness to make markings on this map.
9 Q. Colonel, I am a layperson as far as military matters are
10 concerned. Could you please tell me what are the wedges and what are the
11 lines -- or let me be more specific. Who engaged in active operations and
12 who held passive positions?
13 A. The units that were maintaining the blockade held passive
14 positions. These are the red lines. Now, as for the active operations,
15 the units that are marked with the green wedges are the ones that were
16 engaged in active operations. In this case it was the MUP.
17 Q. Colonel, who was in command of your forces?
18 A. The forces of the 211th Brigade were under my command.
19 Q. And who did you report to?
20 A. I reported to the Pristina Corps command and to General Lazarevic.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 Did you exercise any kind of command or did you have any planning
23 activities or any other activities that would go beyond providing support
24 to the MUP forces? Were you in command of their forces or did you plan
25 anything as far as they were concerned, for them I mean?
1 A. No.
2 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 6D709.
3 Q. My learned colleague Mr. Ivetic showed this document yesterday.
4 He showed it the other way around in the order that was not the order of
5 the dates, but I will now follow the order of the dates.
6 While we're waiting for this order to come up, perhaps you
7 remember it from yesterday. This was an order where your unit was issued a
8 task and it is indicated here that you were supposed to operate together
9 with the MUP forces and that they were to be placed under your command.
10 Is this how it was in actual fact?
11 A. No. In actual fact this never happened. Every commander was in
12 command of his unit. I was in command of the units of the 211th Brigade
13 and the MUP was in command of its units.
14 Q. Could you please just give us the date of this order?
15 A. It is the 22nd of May, 1999.
16 Q. To be quite specific, what was the task that you were given in
17 this action?
18 A. In this action it was our task to blockade and to prevent the
19 spillover of the Siptar terrorist forces towards the Bajgora sector and
20 the Malo Kosovo sector.
21 Q. And as far as MUP was concerned, did you have any tasks related to
22 them or was there anything else that you did?
23 A. Well, as regards the MUP, we were supposed to provide support to
24 them of a certain kind.
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could we please now have 5D1070.
1 Q. This was another document that was shown to you by my colleague
2 Mr. Ivetic. While we're waiting for this document -- okay, I can see that
3 it's coming up.
4 Would you please look at the date on this document.
5 A. The date is the 25th of May, 1999.
6 Q. Could you please look at item 2.1. Does this confirm what you've
7 just told us?
8 A. Yes, that's precisely what it does.
9 Q. Since we don't have the English translation, could you please read
10 the first sentence?
11 A. "The brigade units have their chief employment to support the MUP
12 and SAJ forces in the routing and destruction of the Siptar terrorist
13 forces in the broader sector of the Palatna village, and with an element
14 of their forces they are to block the Siptar terrorist forces and to
15 prevent them from pulling out of the Bajgora and Malo Kosovo area."
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could we please now look at the next
18 page in this document.
19 Q. I would like to ask you the same question that Mr. Ivetic asked
20 you about this sentence because there is something that is still not clear
21 to me. While we're waiting for this to come up, could you please tell us
22 whether this is your combat report, is this your signature?
23 A. Yes, that's correct, that's my signature.
24 Q. Item number 6, command and communications, who do you exercise
25 command over and where is the command exercised successfully?
1 A. The communications towards or communications with the superior
2 command and the subordinate units are functioning and they ensure
3 successful exercise of command. NATO forces are jamming the
4 communications intensively.
5 Q. And who are your subordinates?
6 A. The subordinates are my battalion commanders.
7 Q. Thank you. My colleague Mr. Stamp a little bit earlier indicated
8 a page of yesterday's transcript, 2104 [as interpreted] that has to do
9 with the question of my learned friend Mr. Ivetic, where you said that in
10 your area there were units of the PJP in Podujevo -- of the OUP Podujevo,
11 and I'm interested in your area. Who was in charge of law and order?
12 A. The area of responsibility of the brigade had the MUP in charge of
13 law and order.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the transcript reference was 21504.
15 MR. CEPIC: Precisely, Your Honour. May I continue?
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
17 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
18 [Interpretation] Can we look at document 5D595.
19 Q. This document was shown to you also by my colleague Mr. Ivetic.
20 While we're waiting for the document, Colonel, you as a military
21 senior officer, did you have any authority in any other structure outside
22 of the Army of Yugoslavia in your area of responsibility?
23 A. No, I was just carrying out the assignments that I received from
24 my superior that had to do with organizing the defence and anti-assault
25 combat. I didn't have any other duties in respect of the organization of
2 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at paragraph 10 of the
3 document and I believe we also have it in English.
4 Q. Colonel, my colleague Mr. Ivetic asked you to read paragraph 10
5 which says -- can you please read it because we still don't have the
6 English on the screen --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: If he's read it already, it does not need to be
8 read again. What's your question?
9 MR. CEPIC: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel, my colleague Mr. Ivetic showed you this
11 paragraph yesterday. To who does this provision apply?
12 A. This provision applies to the Army of Yugoslavia or to the members
13 of my brigade.
14 Q. Thank you. Now we're going to go on. In respect of paragraph 32
15 of your statement my colleague Mr. Ivetic asked you about the difference
16 between "rukovoditi" and "komandovati." What I'm interested in is who
17 commanded your units and the units of the 354th Infantry Brigade --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Don't answer that question. The answer is set out
19 in the statement. This is to clarify things that are unclear; that's the
20 sole purpose of re-examination. Now, he said in his evidence - and it
21 says in the statement - that Colonel Nikolic and Major Djordjevic
22 commanded the VJ forces. Are you suggesting something different?
23 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, but my colleague
24 Mr. Ivetic suggested something else and that is why I'm putting this
1 JUDGE BONOMY: He's not a witness; this is the witness. It's what
2 he says that matters.
3 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I did not wish to leave any doubts in
4 respect of what the witness has said and this is the reason I wish to put
5 this question. If you permit me, I will continue.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Not with that question. Move to something else.
7 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at 5D591, please.
8 Q. My colleague, Mr. Ivetic, showed you this document. Colonel, to
9 whom does this act refer?
10 A. This act refers to the procedure of the unit if a volunteer should
11 apply in the area of responsibility, meaning that the volunteer would have
12 an interview and then would be sent to Kosovo Polje in order to be
13 deployed among the ranks of the Pristina Corps units.
14 Q. And where did the volunteers that came to your unit come from?
15 A. The volunteers came from Nis and Belgrade, from the Bubanj Potok
16 and Medja reception centres.
17 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at P2809. My colleague Mr. Ivetic
18 also showed you this document and put some questions to you in relation to
19 this document.
20 Colonel, yesterday questions were put to you regarding this
21 document. Can you please look at it. You said that you were not able to
22 see it clearly. What would an act like this represent according to you,
23 if you can say that; if not, let us move on?
24 A. Well, I cannot remember the document from that time, but now that
25 I'm reading it, it explains more to me where the MUP units were and which
1 MUP units were in the area of responsibility of the unit.
2 Q. Thank you. My colleague Mr. Stamp asked you about the arrival of
3 the unit in the Kosovo and Metohija area in March. Can you please tell me
4 what assignments you had and why you came to that area.
5 A. In view of the fact that there was a certain degree of regression
6 in relation to Yugoslavia already and that in the area of Macedonia NATO
7 forces were already grouping, it was decided that the 211th Tactical Group
8 should go to the Kosovo area in the Batlava sector for additional training
9 and possible engagement in the event of an air-borne assault in this area.
10 So the brigade in this period went through combat training and was in
11 readiness for combat against air-borne assaults.
12 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to put some questions to you about
13 the engagement of forces in Podujevo. Can you please tell us whether
14 these units were periodically relieved, and you were already asked
15 questions on this by Mr. Ivetic and Mr. Stamp?
16 A. Yes, I think that they did, but I'm not quite sure.
17 Q. Did you have precise information in the brigade about the
18 deployment of MUP forces in that area?
19 A. No, no one in the brigade knew precise information about the MUP
20 deployment in that area.
21 Q. Do you recall the uniforms that the MUP members wore throughout
22 that whole period?
23 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I don't think this comes out of
25 JUDGE BONOMY: How does it arise, Mr. Cepic?
1 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Just to clarify the things that
2 Mr. Ivetic put to the witness regarding MUP, perhaps a lot of things will
3 be clarified in the course of these questions.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: What things that he put?
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] He asked him about the deployment of
6 forces. He showed him charts where they were deployed, in which area of
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, he asked him about the deployment of MUP
9 units in the Podujevo area; is that what you're saying?
10 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, is that correct?
12 MR. IVETIC: Yes, I asked him about the deployment of MUP units in
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, very well. Well, it does arise out of that.
15 Please continue, Mr. Cepic.
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Can you please answer my question, Colonel?
18 A. They had multi-coloured uniforms, somewhat similar to ours in the
19 army, but I think they were a little bit paler and lighter and more yellow
20 or brown colour.
21 Q. Did they have armoured vehicles?
22 A. Some of them did have armoured vehicles, yes.
23 Q. And what was the colour of the armoured vehicles?
24 A. There were blue ones and also greenish ones.
25 Q. And just one more question arising from questions put by my
1 colleague Mr. Stamp relating to opening of fire. You marked the map.
2 What I'm interested in is this. In organizing the fire support for the
3 MUP, did the mortar unit or the support unit set up observation points
4 closer to the MUP that would be supported in the course of the action and
5 which, if necessary, would observe the fire?
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Please don't answer that question. That's a
7 blatantly leading question.
8 This is re-examination and that should have been an open question
9 about where they were located. Deal with something else now, please.
10 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have no
11 further questions, and I know that time is very precious.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Cepic.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gergar, that completes your evidence. Thank
15 you for coming to the Tribunal to give evidence. You may now leave the
16 courtroom with the usher.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, who is the next witness?
21 MR. CEPIC: Mr. Djura Blagojevic.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: It's Blagojevic, okay.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Blagojevic.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
2 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I solemnly declare
5 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
7 You will now be examined by Mr. Cepic on behalf of Mr. Lazarevic.
8 Mr. Cepic.
9 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 WITNESS: DJURA BLAGOJEVIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examination by Mr. Cepic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Finally we have a prosecutor in the
14 witness-stand, Mr. Blagojevic. Good morning.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. For the transcript, can you please tell me your full name.
17 A. Djura Blagojevic.
18 Q. Thank you. Did you provide a statement to General Lazarevic's
19 Defence team?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, if I were to put the same questions to you now
22 that were put to you when you were providing your statement, would you
23 answer them in the same way?
24 A. Wholly, yes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I would like the usher to provide a
2 copy of the statement to the witness. [In English] Could I ask Mr. Usher
3 just to pass one copy of statement to the witness, please.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Exhibit number, Mr. --
5 MR. CEPIC: Yes, 5D1402.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Is that the statement?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like the
11 statement to be tendered under this number, and that is 5D1402.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Prosecutor, sir, you explained a lot of that in your
15 statement, but I would like to put some questions to you. What sort of
16 indictment documents exist in our legal system?
17 A. There are the following indictment document, the indictment bill
18 is submitted when the perpetrator is subject to a prison sentence up to
19 three years. So this indictment bill can be issued on the basis of a
20 criminal charge. Of course if there is evidence on a founded suspicion
21 that the crime was committed or if the prosecution submits a proposal
22 before a court for certain investigative actions to be conducted, and
23 after which the person is charged. This is one of the indictment acts.
24 There's also the so-called indirect indictment for which --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Direct indictment, interpreter's correction.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- for which it is not required to
2 have a bill, and this is for sentences of prison of up to five years.
3 According to the criminal law, previous one and the one that is in force
4 currently, there is the option for the prosecutor, in this case a military
5 prosecutor, can submit to the court a proposal for no investigation to be
6 carried out, in which case the court is obliged to interview the person to
7 make sure that an investigation is not necessary. And if that is the
8 finding of the court, then within eight days the prosecutor is obliged to
9 issue an indictment. This is for crimes subject to ten years of
11 And there is also an indictment after an investigation is carried
12 out, this applies to all criminal acts, with the following remark. If
13 indictments are always submitted, if there is founded suspicion but in a
14 small number of cases -- unless -- with the exception of a small number of
15 cases an investigation is always carried out before a person is charged
16 with a crime.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the position where the crime is punishable
18 with a sentence of more than ten years, which is the sort of thing that
19 would interest us more than the other ones?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Crimes punishable with a sentence of
21 more than ten years - and I have to explain it like this - there -- up to
22 the war in our legal system there were -- because we had a complex state,
23 in the legal terms, it was a federation, so there are federal and
24 republican laws. The federal laws applied to the SFRY and republican laws
25 applied in the -- and it was the republican Criminal Code of the Republic
1 of Serbia. So there were two provisions, two criminal laws, which
2 regulated this matter differently. They were not in collision, but each
3 in their own field stipulated punishments for certain crimes.
4 As for the federal law, I would say that the most serious criminal
5 acts were the crimes of -- war crimes, genocide, crimes against the
6 constitutional order, which is a very important chapter for us, and we did
7 have such crimes during the war. As for crimes that were -- such as
8 murders, bodily harm, crimes against property, this was regulated by the
9 republican criminal laws. There are also some other crimes subject to
10 this jurisdiction, with the remark that there was special regulations
11 guiding crimes against -- of office or duties --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I wonder if I could stop you. My question is not
13 about that. My question's really based on a failure to understand why
14 your statement only deals with the procedure, the indictment procedure for
15 cases where the sentence is up to ten years. And I wonder if there's a
16 significant difference in relation to procedure in 1999 in relation to
17 military court procedure where the case involved a potential sentence of
18 more than ten years, which many of the cases would.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you permit me, Your Honour, if
20 it's a longer sentence I explained that an investigation had to be carried
21 out because it's a more serious crime. And as far as the actual
22 procedural part is concerned with the declaration of the state of war, a
23 special decree was adopted in relation to the criminal code in order for
24 the procedure to be conducted more efficiently.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Cepic, this is very confusing. It would
1 take hours to try to clarify it if you're going to ask a witness to
2 explain it. Is it not set out in codes which are available to us so that
3 we can read them and follow them for ourselves? We're used to reading
4 criminal procedure provisions. It should be the simplest thing on earth
5 to have all this documented for us.
6 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you permit me, in the
7 dossier of this case I think P1824, if I am not mistaken, is the Law on
8 Criminal Procedure, the ZKP, that is our procedural law.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And is that the federal law or the republic -- it's
10 the federal law?
11 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Yes. [In English] Federal law.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: And is it the law that applied in 1999?
13 MR. CEPIC: Precisely.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Please continue -- I note, by the way,
15 that there are no exhibit numbers given in your -- in this witness's
17 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, no.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Please continue.
19 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, we have been discussing different types of
21 indictments and indictment documents. Tell us, we heard another piece of
22 testimony in this courtroom earlier that around 1.000 persons or 900
23 persons had indictments issued against them. Do you perhaps know what the
24 distinction is, what the percentage of these persons related to
25 indictments that were issued after an investigation was carried out?
1 A. About 500, 600, that would be the tentative figure.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I have no idea what that is about, Mr. Cepic, none
3 at all. We were confused with the witness who dealt with it before, and
4 the answer we've just had is meaningless.
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] May I be permitted to clarify the
7 JUDGE BONOMY: You've no option if you want us to take account of
9 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Q. Prosecutor, could you please be as brief and as concise as
11 possible in your answers, and I'll do my best to put questions that are
12 like that. For what crimes was an investigation carried out? Give us the
13 exact crimes.
14 A. During the course of the war you mean? I cannot mention all of
15 them --
16 Q. The most frequent ones.
17 A. First of all, the most serious crimes, first of all, in the office
18 of the prosecutor where I was the prosecutor it was the crime of
19 espionage, where there was an investigation carried out in view of one
20 case and it was --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please slow down and not
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, overlap, and the interpreter has been
24 unable to interpret any of your question so far. You'll need to observe a
25 pause after the witness completes his answer and before you begin your
1 next question.
2 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 As a matter of fact, I'm looking at the clock more than at the
4 witness in order to speed things up, but of course I'm going to comply
5 with your instruction.
6 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, tell me, what were the most frequently committed
7 crimes for which an investigation was carried out?
8 A. All the crimes envisaging sentences over five years' of
9 imprisonment were those that were the most frequently investigated ones,
10 and after that the office of the prosecutor would make its own decision.
11 Q. Thank you. Could you please give me a few examples.
12 A. The crimes against the constitutional order, like espionage, there
13 are two crimes; then there were crimes against life and limb, serious
14 injuries; and all crimes against the Army of Yugoslavia that dominated, if
15 I can put it that way, in these proceedings, from Article 211, not
16 carrying out an order, not answering a call-up, and so on.
17 Q. I'm interested in war crimes here, homicide, robbery, theft,
18 disappropriation of motor vehicles.
19 A. I can say that in both offices of the prosecutor, and bearing in
20 mind the fact that the total number of criminal reports were 2.382, almost
21 a fifth relates to those particular crimes.
22 Q. Who could file a criminal report?
23 A. As for the filing of criminal reports, first of all let me explain
24 that in most cases this is done by the military police and the security
25 organs, but also any person, any citizen, rather, a soldier, a commander
1 of a unit, et cetera, anyone formally and legally is able to file a
2 criminal complaint. May I repeat once again? 95 per cent of the cases
3 have to do with the military police making such -- filing such reports,
4 and these are of higher quality than other ones.
5 In case a citizen directly files a criminal complaint, then it is
6 the duty of the prosecutor to deal with that. It can be in writing, but
7 if it is done verbally then it is the prosecutor's duty to compile a note
8 about that report to check things out, and then take measures in order to
9 prosecute the perpetrator of the crime, or rather, he requires additional
10 information about what had happened and then makes a decision.
11 Another thing I'd like to note. From a formal and legal point of
12 view, it doesn't only matter to have a report filed. If the prosecutor
13 hears that someone had committed a crime, then the prosecutor himself
14 takes action, of course through the organs of the SUP, or rather, the
15 military police, takes measures in order to have the perpetrator
17 Q. Could citizens file such reports?
18 A. Absolutely. I said a few moments ago, if I said anyone, then no
19 one's excluded, any person can file a criminal complaint.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: The thing I would like a clear answer to here,
21 rather than all the minute detail, is the circumstances in which an
22 investigating judge has to be brought in to carry out an investigation and
23 then make a recommendation to the prosecutor on the action to be taken.
24 Can you give me a simple answer to that question?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When something happens, something
1 that constitutes a crime, that is to say if the military police learns of
2 something like that, they inform the prosecutor about that and the
3 investigative judge. If it is necessary to have an on-site investigation
4 carried out, then the investigating judge comes to the site and also the
5 prosecutor. It is the duty of the judge to carry out an on-site
6 investigation and to write-up a document on this, and then this document
7 is submitted to the prosecutor in order to prosecute the said person. And
8 also, that is how a prosecutor's decision is made ultimately.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: But if the complaint is of looting or theft from
10 someone of his documents or money, something of that nature, is there an
11 investigation carried out by an investigating judge?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whether he'll carry out an
13 investigation primarily depends on the prosecutor who asks for an
14 investigation. If the prosecutor has sufficient evidence, meaning that it
15 is not necessary to carry out an investigation, then the investigation
16 will not be carried out. If there is not enough evidence, then an
17 investigation will be carried out, and then the prosecutor is going to
18 decide whether he is going to bring charges against such a person or will
19 give up on the prosecution or will perhaps extend the charges in order to
20 include other people if there is sufficient evidence, that is.
21 I do apologise, I would like to say something else, Mr. President.
22 Perhaps - how should I put this? - we are dealing with common law and
23 civil law and there is a major difference involved, and I am trying to
24 explain this to the best of my ability. The role of the prosecutor and of
25 the investigating judge are quite different in terms of criminal
1 prosecution when compared to Anglo-Saxon law. So it is really the
2 prosecutor that has to take action, and the court can only do what is
3 prescribed by law.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Bearing in mind what you've just said then, what is
5 the relevance of whether the sentence is up to three years, whether the
6 sentence is up to five years, whether it's up to ten years or more?
7 What's -- what is that distinction that you're trying to make in your
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The sentence is very important, the
10 sentence envisaged is very important for prosecuting crimes. It makes it
11 possible for the prosecutor to deal as quickly as possible with less
12 serious crimes, and as far as very serious crimes are concerned entailing
13 ten-year prison sentences, et cetera, to have an investigation carried out
14 and then a decision is made.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
16 MR. CEPIC: [In English] With your leave.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: It seems to me we'll just have to read this for
18 ourselves in the light of what's been said to us, and you should get on to
19 something more specific. If you have any more questions for the witness,
20 and we can get to cross-examination and then see if what needs to be
21 clarified in re-examination after that.
22 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. By your leave
23 may I just clarify this.
24 Q. Just give me an example of separate maximums. What are separate
25 maximums? What crimes entail a prison sentence of up to three years?
1 A. Up to three years, less-serious crimes. For example --
2 Q. For example, let's say theft, looting, what kind of theft?
3 A. No, theft is five years.
4 Q. What about aggravated robbery?
5 A. Aggravated robbery, ten years, but then there is also petty theft,
6 and that is up to three years. That is Article 173. And if somebody
7 committed petty theft, then -- can I explain once again how it is that the
8 indictment bill can be issued? But then when there is a case of
9 aggravated theft involving up to ten years in prison, then an
10 investigation has to be carried out. That is why it is so important what
11 the envisaged sentence is.
12 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] By your leave, Your Honours, should I
13 clarify this further?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the answer is, as I've said, that we will
15 read it and we will be able to follow the system better I think by reading
16 the procedural documents. In any event, what really matters is what
17 action was taken in the circumstances that prevailed at the time. That's
18 what we really want to concentrate on, rather than get bogged down in the
20 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. I'd like to deal with specific examples now. Mr. Blagojevic, are
22 you aware of what happened in Pusto Selo and Senovac and the mass grave
23 that was found there?
24 A. I heard of this; however, I as a prosecutor and my deputies also,
25 we did not take measures as envisaged by law in these cases. But I know
1 that this incident - how should I put this? - on the basis of the decision
2 of the prosecutor was not dealt with by a military court; it was dealt
3 with by the district court in Pristina --
4 THE INTERPRETER: In Prizren, interpreter's correction.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and I think Dobrivoj Peric dealt
6 with this case because the perpetrators of this crime were not military
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this referred to in the statement, Mr. Cepic?
9 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] No. No. It's relatively late when
10 the statement arrived here, I mean, so we did not have enough time to deal
11 with some questions additionally.
12 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, do you know Lakic Djorovic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did you work with him?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you testify in the proceedings against him?
17 A. As for the criminal proceedings against this person, they are
18 underway. I am a witness in these proceedings and the principle is not to
19 speak of cases that are underway, then I rather wouldn't but ...
20 Q. In your statement you already refer to that, but I'm just asking
21 about whether this is still an active case against Lakic Djorovic?
22 A. To the best of my knowledge the proceedings were initiated before
23 the court in Nis with respect to three crimes -- of course this happened
24 after the war. And then after that it was delegated to the military court
25 in Belgrade. And now, after the military courts were abolished, it's the
1 district court in Belgrade that is dealing with it. I know that because I
2 was summoned five or six months ago to be a witness in that case.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Will you find a suitable time to interrupt, please,
4 Mr. Cepic.
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I would be grateful if it's right now.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Blagojevic, we have to have a break at
7 this stage for half an hour. Could you please leave the courtroom with
8 the usher.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And we shall resume at 11.15.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.46 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.15 a.m.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, let us continue. We mentioned Lakic Djorovic. I
17 showed him your statements, the statement that General Ojdanic's Defence
18 uploaded into the system. It is an interview, or rather, your statement
19 in the proceedings against him where you say that he caused general
20 danger, that there was an incident at the Belgrade bar Railway Track,
21 that's at pages 1169 [as interpreted] and 11680 of the transcript in that
22 case and he said that what you said was untrue. Do you still maintain
23 what you said?
24 A. Yes, I absolutely maintain that what I said is true, and this is
25 the fact that I learned from him when this incident occurred.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Your Honours, we included
3 in our exhibit list two documents recently. My colleague Mr. Hannis is on
4 his feet and I know why. This is the judgement convicting Lakic Djorovic
5 of causing grievous bodily harm to his mother-in-law, he beat her up,
6 that's 5D1406, and we have an official note from the police confirming
7 that this incident took place and corroborating what Witness Blagojevic
8 said, that is 5D1407. Both these documents were received from the
9 Prosecution in January as Rule 68 material, and I can see that my learned
10 colleague Mr. Hannis is on his feet and that he would like to say
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
13 MR. HANNIS: Well, actually, I got up to speak about what I saw
14 was an error in the transcript at page 38, line 24, there's a reference to
15 pages 1169 and 11680, so one of those two I think must be wrong. And I
16 also wanted a reference to this witness's statement that's an exhibit, if
17 we can have that exhibit number for the record.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
19 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] The number of the exhibit is already
20 in the transcript, that's -- anyway, the number of the exhibit is 5D1402
21 and the page reference is 1169 [as interpreted] and 11680 and the exhibits
22 that I would like to tender into evidence are 5D1406 and 5D1407.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you serious about these transcript references,
24 116 --
25 MR. CEPIC: No, your --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I mean, you've given us them twice now.
2 MR. CEPIC: No, actually I said 11679 and 11680.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And are you saying 5D1406 and 1407 are not already
7 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] They are in the record. We filed a
8 motion to have them included on our list, we did that a few days ago. We
9 did not submit a translation of those documents because we did not have it
10 at the time. But let me repeat that once again that we received it from
11 the Prosecution in January under Rule 68.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, have you anything to say on this?
13 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: No. Well, we will mark them for identification.
15 Yes, Mr. Cepic.
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
17 Your Honours, I would like to note one more thing. The witness
18 spoke about the location Pusto Selo Senovac, and we have exhibits that are
19 already in the system indicating that necessary measures were taken by the
20 authorised prosecutor, that's 5D127 and 5D128, these are the documents.
21 Thank you very much.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Any problem with these, Mr. Hannis?
23 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, the Izbica location --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, how long is your examination to be?
3 MR. CEPIC: [In English] Not more than ten minutes.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Please continue.
5 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Blagojevic, the location Izbica is among the
7 charges in this case. Do you have any knowledge of a mass grave in that
9 A. If the Trial Chamber permits --
10 Q. Be very brief, please.
11 A. Before Colonel Stanimir Radosavljevic [Realtime transcript read in
12 error "Milosavljevic"] a military prosecutor -- actually, he received
13 information about this incident, and the military prosecutor took the
14 measures that were within his purview. He put this report in the file, it
15 was filed under KR, that's miscellaneous crimes, and he conducted an
16 investigation against the perpetrator. And once he ascertained that no
17 military personnel were involved in the crime, he informed the district
18 prosecutor in Kosovska Mitrovica about that case and submitted all the
19 relevant documents to him. And I believe that this case is currently --
20 the proceedings are conducted before the Kosovska Mitrovica district
21 court, but I don't have any details.
22 Q. We heard that after the state of war was rescinded and after the
23 personnel no longer were considered military personnel, that those cases
24 were referred to civilian courts. I would like to know how many of those
25 cases were actually referred to civilian courts and why was that so.
1 A. They were referred to civilian courts because once those persons
2 were no longer considered to be military personnel, military courts
3 were -- no longer had the jurisdiction over those cases. And it's about
4 300 to 400 cases that were referred to regular courts.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I take it there is some clear rule to this effect
6 that having had jurisdiction a court loses jurisdiction when a reservist
7 leaves the army, and it would be helpful for us to be -- our attention to
8 be drawn to that particular provision because it does seem an odd one at
9 first sight.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may, let me
11 explain this in some detail. The Law on Military Courts, Articles 9
12 through 12 stipulate the jurisdiction, but let me explain this in brief.
13 Article 9 states that military court can try only military personnel for
14 all crimes. Article 10 stipulates that --
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Slow down, not everything is being recorded in the transcript.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat because of the
18 intervention of the Defence counsel.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a second. We've now lost track of your
20 answer. Go back to what you were saying about Article 10, please.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Article 10 stipulates that military
22 courts may try civilians, that's the legal term, for the following crimes,
23 if you allow me: That's Article 121 through 139 of the Criminal Code of
24 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and for any crimes against the Army of
25 Yugoslavia, that's Articles 201 through 239.
1 Can I continue about this topic of jurisdiction?
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If accomplices in a crime are
4 military personnel and civilians and if a regular court has jurisdiction
5 over this civilian, then the regular court will also have jurisdiction to
6 try the military person, the serviceman. But, if you allow me, if the
7 civilian person is actually in the army and if such a person committed the
8 crime in the course of performing his office, together with the civilian
9 in that case the military court would have jurisdiction to try both these
11 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not addressing the problem at all here
12 Mr. Cepic can ask about it further if he wishes, but all I was suggesting
13 is that if as soon as possible our attention can be drawn to the rule that
14 tells us all of this, then we'll work it out for ourselves.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I quoted the
16 relevant provisions, that's Articles 9, 10, 11, and 12 of the Law on
17 Military Courts, they define in detail the jurisdiction of military
19 JUDGE BONOMY: But the particular question is related to a single
20 person being a military person committing a crime, and then the military
21 court losing jurisdiction over him because he is demobilised. And it's
22 that provision that we would like to have identified. Now, if it's
23 somewhere in that region, we'll find it when we read the code.
24 Mr. Cepic.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, let me
1 explain. The fact that the war has stopped and this military person is no
2 longer -- no longer has the status of a military person, by the very fact
3 that the war has ended, the jurisdiction of the military court no longer
5 JUDGE BONOMY: But that means the military court would not have
6 jurisdiction over a military person either because the war is over.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It absolutely does have because the
8 military person still maintains -- retains --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And similarly, if a civilian assaults, attacks, a
10 soldier and the military court has jurisdiction, are you suggesting it
11 loses jurisdiction if that soldier leaves the army? It wouldn't make any
12 sense if it did. Is there such a rule as well, that if the status of the
13 victim changes the court also loses jurisdiction?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this is a hypothetical
15 question and the only answer I can give you is the following. If a
16 civilian commits a crime - and I've already quoted the relevant articles
17 and described the crimes - the military court has absolute jurisdiction
18 and no other fact can wrest this jurisdiction away from the military
19 court. But if a military person loses this status, then as stipulated in
20 the relevant articles of the Law on Military Courts that I just quoted,
21 this is what happens.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that seems to be the interpretation that's
23 been followed, but that will be a matter for us to consider.
24 Mr. Cepic.
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
1 Q. During the war did you also prosecute terrorists?
2 A. Yes, and let me clarify, if I may. One of the gravest crimes
3 under our law is terrorist acts and conspiracy to commit hostile action,
4 and that is punishable under Article 139. In the year 1998 --
5 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, we have lots of this information in your
6 statement. I was very specific in my question. I'm interested in the
7 war. Were any terrorists prosecuted during the war?
8 A. Yes, and the cases where the perpetrators were unknown were also
9 dealt with.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we already have a
12 system, 4D509, it's in the system, and it deals with the perpetrators of
13 terrorist acts who had been identified.
14 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, was anyone able to exert any influence over the
15 work of the military prosecutors?
16 A. I absolutely and strenuously deny that anybody could influence the
17 work of the military prosecutors and the decision-making process, the
18 decisions that military prosecutors had to take under the law. If
19 anything of the sort happened, nothing like that happened, but the
20 military prosecutor had the power to actually prosecute the person
21 responsible for that. That could be classed as incitement to abuse
22 office. So the prosecutor had the power to prosecute such a person to
23 prevent any such kind of influence.
24 Q. And what would happen if General Lazarevic were to influence you?
25 A. Well, I don't know in what sense he could actually do that.
1 Q. What would you have done had he tried to influence you?
2 A. Well, I've just told you, I could have taken legal measures, I
3 could have prosecuted him, I could have reported him through the police, I
4 could have instigated criminal proceedings, I could have referred that to
5 my senior military prosecutor, Colonel Radosavljevic, and he then had the
6 power to file a report higher up the chain of command and proceedings
7 would have been instituted because it is stipulated by law that military
8 prosecutors are to be independent and the Law on Military Prosecutor's
9 Office stipulate in which way military prosecutors are to go about their
10 business, of course always applying the relevant provisions of the Law on
11 Criminal Procedure.
12 Q. I have just two more questions. Did you send reports on your work
13 to other addressees?
14 A. Well, during the war and after the war, reports were sent first to
15 the higher military prosecutor's office and then also to the commands. I
16 think that if you have any of my memos you will see that this was the
17 command of the military district.
18 Q. Just a moment. While you're talking could we please have 3D533,
19 the last page on our screens, and then you can continue with your answer.
20 A. So the Pristina Military District command, the Pristina Corps
21 command, the 3rd Army command, that would be it.
22 MR. CEPIC: [In English] Could we have on our screens 3D533,
24 [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one more directive while we're
25 waiting for the document. In his statement in several paragraphs the
1 witness referred to the book: "Application of International Law of War"
2 by author Ivan Markovic, and that is Exhibit P1011.
3 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, do you recognise your signature on this document?
4 A. Yes, just one moment, I do recognise it. It is my signature; that
5 is not in dispute, but I believe that on the last page of my report it
6 does state to which organs the report was sent. This is only the
7 statistical part of the report with statistical data. I would like to ...
8 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] If we can look at page 2 or 3 in the
9 B/C/S. The next page, please, in the B/C/S. And the following page. And
10 the following page. Page 6 in the B/C/S.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this page.
12 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Just a brief question. Why is the document being given to all of
14 these bodies?
15 A. According to the military prosecutor in order to monitor crimes,
16 and as for units this is a guide-line for the units to monitor
17 disciplinary and other measures for the purpose of imposing discipline.
18 I'm not quite familiar with how it works there, but it is our duty to
19 provide them with an overview of crimes that are under the jurisdiction of
20 the military prosecutor.
21 Q. And now my last question. I asked you this when we were speaking
22 of yesterday. Did you prosecute Colonel Vlatko Vukovic?
23 A. Yes. Should I --
24 Q. Well, just tell us in one sentence why.
25 A. Well, I don't recollect exactly the time when this was, but I do
1 remember that it was a crime of falsifying an official document. And I
2 think, but I'm not sure, that the proceedings against him were initiated
3 during the investigation. It seems to me that first he was a witness, and
4 then he was interrogated as an accused. And it's about falsifying a
5 document. It's a lighter crime. There is no gain from the crime, but it
6 has to do with entering incorrect or untrue data into an unofficial
8 I think he did that through incitement. He's not the direct
9 perpetrator, but incited the act to be done, which means that he either
10 made the decision or helped for the person who actually perpetrated the
11 crime to make this decision or incited the person to commit that. Why is
12 this a less-grave crime? I think the sentence passed on him was a
13 suspended sentence and I think there -- and I think we did not appeal that
14 decision. We were satisfied with the decision.
15 And I would like to state one more thing. As for that accused, it
16 was my impression that he acted very honourably in confessing the crime
17 because we didn't have any other evidence. Had he not done that, we would
18 not have had any evidence against him, so that is why I believe that in
19 this case he behaved honourably.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: What was the basis for instigating the proceedings
21 if there was no evidence?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know if you followed me.
23 The charges were against other persons, but in the course of the
24 investigation he made his confession, first of all as a witness, and then
25 subsequently he was questioned as an accused, in the capacity of an
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And who are the others that you were investigating?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that there were two
4 professional soldiers or members of the military, but perhaps if you
5 showed me the document I will be able to remember better.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: And who reported it to you?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The police probably. I don't
8 believe that it was someone else. I don't know.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Don't you have the basic information who reported
10 it, who was being investigated? No?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you allow me, I can answer that
12 question if I look at the particular case, the document, but I cannot
13 remember it just like that. It was probably done by the police because
14 this is something that was committed by the professional cadre.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: And in preparing for today were you asked to
16 explain your opinion of the role of Vukovic as an honourable role?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I emphasised this on a number of
18 occasions in conversation, and after that I also met the person so there
19 is no influence in that sense.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Why did you feel the need to tell us that today?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I feel the need for a number of
22 reasons. When in such proceedings it happens that charges are issued in
23 such a way, it's a special procedure and you know that perpetrators
24 usually conceal their acts, they do not speak the truth, and so on and so
25 forth. So this is a case unlike [Realtime transcript read in error
1 "like"] that, so I felt that I needed to mention that particular case.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Which do you think is more serious, being the
3 officer who tells a soldier to falsify a record or being the soldier who
4 falsifies the record?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, naturally it's more serious
6 when it's something that's done by an officer, but I really cannot go into
7 that now unless I see the dossier, whether it's a conscript, a regular
8 soldier, or an officer that is involved, then there is a difference there.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
10 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
11 questions. I would just like to make a correction in the transcript. On
12 page 50, line 1, the witness said that he did -- is not such a case, and
13 here we have a completely different meaning. That part of his answer is
14 missing or perhaps we can listen to the tape.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you for clarifying that.
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, thank you very much. I have no further questions.
18 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you.
19 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I would like to be useful, Your
20 Honours, 1309 is the Law on Military Courts and the Court can look at
21 Article 13, paragraph 1, where the question of jurisdiction is explained
22 on which you put questions to the witness. That's what I wanted. That
23 was one thing.
24 The other thing is that I know that we are short on time, so if
25 Mr. Hannis would like to question the witness about crimes for which a
1 death sentence is stipulated and about perpetrators, then I would not -- I
2 would not have to question the witness. But if he is not going to do
3 that, then I will be the one to put these questions to the witness.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: I assume Mr. Fila should proceed, Mr. Hannis.
5 Yes, please proceed with your questions, Mr. Fila.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Fila:
7 Q. [Interpretation] I would like to ask you something. You know that
8 we were a bit troubled, and this is something that is not easy to
9 understand for other people. During the examination-in-chief by
10 Mr. Cepic, you said that the gravest crimes were covered in a special
11 section of the KPZ of the federal law and that other crimes,
12 not-so-serious crimes were covered by the republican law; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, can you explain how it came about that in 1999 we have the
15 death sentence for murder, according to the republican Serbian law, and
16 there is no sentence or punishment for genocide. Or to put it this way:
17 Under the assumption that I carry out a genocide and kill off a whole
18 people, what is the sentence that I would be subject to and what would be
19 the sentence if I were to kill a soldier and steal 100 dinars from his
20 pocket? We're talking about 1999. And where does this absurd situation
21 come from?
22 A. Well, if you permit me, may I answer? Your Honours, may I answer?
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's like this, the collision and
25 the legal mess with these laws is something that we had to face with. In
1 1996 under political influences provisions of the Criminal Code of the
2 Republic of Serbia [as interpreted] were changed because the death
3 sentence was abolished. Instead of the death sentence, the most serious
4 sentence prescribed by a sentence of imprisonment of up to 20 years.
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Which law? It was wrongly recorded in the transcript.
7 A. The criminal law of the SFRY --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Of the FRY, interpreter's correction.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- but the Assembly did not wish to
10 change the laws of the Republic of Serbia. So all of these provisions
11 regarding crimes remained the way they were in the republican law and the
12 death sentence and most serious sentences remaining, but here it has been
13 reduced, so we had a dual situation in respect to these provisions.
14 So for such grave crimes the federal law had milder sentences than
15 the republican law, and this created major problems in the application of
16 the law.
17 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
18 Q. So you would agree with me that the sentence for genocide would be
19 15 years; and were he to kill a policeman who caught him in the
20 perpetration of a crime, he would be sentenced to death?
21 A. Because this would be aggravated murder under Article 47, which
22 covers the murder of a military person or a policeman.
23 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is just proof that
24 politicians should not be allowed to meddle with the law and meddle with
25 what they don't know.
1 Q. And now another question that is also very important for this
2 court is this: Can you please explain, but briefly, we don't have a lot
3 of time, what is the duty of reporting a crime? When you see somebody
4 committing a crime that has to be prosecuted, is every citizen obliged to
5 report this crime and what sentence would he be subject to were he not to
6 report that crime? Did you understand me?
7 A. Yes, I did. In Article 199 of the Criminal Code of the Federal
8 Republic of Yugoslavia, and according to Article 203 of the law of the
9 Republic of Serbia, failing to report a crime is -- I will now paraphrase
10 the provisions that I mentioned and they are: If a person knows about
11 someone who perpetrated a grave crime subject to a sentence of 40 years'
12 imprisonment, they would be punished by a sentence of imprisonment of up
13 to three years. If he knows that a crime was committed but is not aware
14 of the perpetrator but fails to report it, he will also be subject to a
15 three-year sentence of imprisonment. An official who deliberately fails
16 to report a crime that he becomes aware of while performing his duties
17 subject to the same punishment, and there's also another important
18 provision if we're talking about the spouses or relatives, they are
19 privileged in the sense that they will not be prosecuted if they do not
20 report that crime.
21 Q. Just one thing I failed to mention that we're talking about 1999
22 when the death sentence was still in force and in the other side it was 15
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his last answer.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: We've missed an answer, Mr. Fila. You said: "Just
1 one thing I failed to mention that we're talking about 1999 when the death
2 sentence was still in force and in the other side it was 15 years."
3 Now, what did you say in response to that?
4 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Does your answer relate -- refer to 1999?
6 A. Yes, 1999, the most -- and it refers to the most serious of
7 crimes. That's the essence of it.
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I apologise for taking time, but I
9 think that it was useful. Thank you.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 Now, Mr. Ivetic, what's your interest in this matter?
12 MR. IVETIC: Cross-examination on two paragraphs of the statement
13 and the matter that was brought up with respect to the criminal report on
14 Izbica. So seven or eight questions all total.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
17 Q. Good day, sir, my name is Dan Ivetic and I'm one of the attorneys
18 for Sreten Lukic, and as I indicated I will just have a handful of
19 questions for you. If we can look at paragraph 29 of your statement.
20 A. Good day.
21 Q. That's Exhibit 5D1402, page 4 of both the English and the Serbian.
22 And could you clarify for me in paragraph 29, are you talking
23 about civilian or military prosecutors and in what context are you
24 referring to the internal affairs organs?
25 A. I am speaking only about the jurisdiction of the military
1 prosecutor, and it is just paraphrased here, but we're talking about the
2 military police here so there's just the confusion with the word "internal
3 affairs" here.
4 If you permit me, I would just like to clarify. It's a provision,
5 like I said before, the provision that has the force of a decree, meaning
6 that the military prosecutor can conduct an investigation. I don't know
7 if there was such a case that any prosecutor actually conducted an
8 investigation in the course of the war, but that is the sense of the
9 decree law.
10 Q. Thank you, sir. I apologise. We had to wait for the transcript
11 and the translation. Thank you for clearing that up for me.
12 Moving on to paragraph 69 of your statement, which is page 12 in
13 the English, the second-to-last page in the Serbian original.
14 You cite some kind of commission relating to the Istok
15 municipality. Do you recall that if in that commission there were any MUP
17 A. Yes. I don't know the names. I think you can see that from the
18 report, but I really -- I'm unable to remember that now.
19 Q. All right. Fair enough. Do you recall if the MUP representatives
20 participated in drafting the eventual report that you just made reference
22 A. Your Honours, if you permit me, I would like to answer the
23 question. I did not take part in drafting of the report because that was
24 not part of my duties. If a crime occurred, then the judge and the
25 prosecutor carry out their legal duties. As for the report, that is a
1 matter for other organs. I did not have any part in that.
2 Q. And --
3 A. And if you permit me, just in relation to that event --
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... We have time constraints
5 here, and I have a very limited interest in this, and I think I can
6 dispose of it with one more question. Do you agree with me or do you know
7 that the MUP members of the commission did not participate in the drafting
8 of the final report and did not sign off on the same, given that it was
9 only signed by Colonel Djakovic of the VJ?
10 A. I don't know. I cannot really say anything about the report
11 because it is not part of my legal duties to draft reports.
12 Q. Okay. Fair enough. Now if we could move along to my last item
13 which Mr. Cepic, my colleague, asked you about, Izbica.
14 Just to be clear, before I start asking questions, when you talk
15 about the reporting of that incident are we talking about the criminal
16 denunciation sent by the security organs of the VJ to the military
17 prosecutor of the Pristina Corps on the 29th of May, 1999, number KR2900
18 regarding the suspected criminal act of murder relating to the discovery
19 of 144 fresh graves in the village of Izbica? Is that the incident or
20 event that you are talking about?
21 A. Allow me just to explain. I was not a prosecutor in that case and
22 I cannot speak about it, but I know I heard of this incident and I've
23 already said that if something like that happens, what the prosecutor is
24 supposed to do is to first of all see what kind of a crime is involved,
25 whether there are --
1 Q. [Microphone not activated]
2 A. -- some perpetrators who are known in order to see whether he has
3 jurisdiction to act. However, Stanimir Milosavljevic [sic] informed me
4 that he had taken all measures, asked for information about the incident
5 and who the possible perpetrators could be. When they came to the
6 conclusion that these incidents had nothing to do with military personnel,
7 then it was the local prosecutor's office that dealt with it in Kosovska
8 Mitrovica. I think that was in 2001, I think that was it. I think that
9 that is when he wrote to that prosecutor's office.
10 Q. Did the military prosecutor Mr. Milosavljevic [sic] undertake an
11 actual investigation into the matter before transferring it to the
12 civilian courts; and if so, where can we find that documentation?
13 [Interpretation] Was an investigation carried out?
14 A. Allow me to say this: How --
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note we could not hear the
16 speaker. Other microphones seem to be on or Mr. Ivetic's.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Just hold on please. The interpreters seem to be
18 having difficulty hearing what you're saying, so could you start that
19 answer again.
20 MR. IVETIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Please repeat your answer.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, if you would speak one language things
23 would be simpler for all concerned.
24 Please answer.
25 I'm sorry, what is it you're saying?
1 MR. IVETIC: [In English] Pardon?
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I thought you said something.
3 MR. IVETIC: No.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: No.
5 Very well.
6 Please continue.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, there
8 was no investigation in this case because the perpetrator was unknown. If
9 the perpetrator is unknown, then the investigation cannot be carried out.
10 This is an incident that was registered as miscellaneous crimes, KR, I
11 explained that, in the prosecutor's office. And when sufficient
12 information is compiled, then an investigation can start, but it is only
13 against military personnel that the prosecutor's office acts, the military
14 prosecutor's office. However, since this case was referred to the local
15 prosecutor's office in Kosovska Mitrovica, then the military prosecutor's
16 office no longer had jurisdiction.
17 MR. IVETIC: With the Court's leave, that was my final question
18 for this witness. If Your Honours wish to explore further, by all means,
19 otherwise I pass the witness to Mr. Hannis.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Blagojevic, you'll now be cross-examined by the
23 Prosecutor, Mr. Hannis.
24 Mr. Hannis.
25 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:
2 Q. Good afternoon.
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 Q. I just want to follow-up on that last answer you gave. You said:
5 "If the perpetrator is unknown, then the investigation cannot be carried
6 out ..."
7 That seems backwards to me. Don't you have to do some
8 investigation first to see if you can find out who the perpetrator is?
9 A. The Law on Criminal Procedure states that an investigation is
10 carried out against a particular person, that is to say that the
11 perpetrator has to be known. You are probably referring to the collection
12 of necessary information that in our law, in civil law, is considered to
13 be what you term "investigation."
14 Q. Well, I guess that's right. I'm using the word "investigate" in
15 the sense of gathering information to try and find out what happened and
16 who did it.
17 A. I understood.
18 Q. Okay. Well, in connection with that you said at page 55, line 8,
19 today you said regarding Izbica that no military prosecutor -- well,
20 actually, it was -- I'm sorry.
21 Mr. Ivetic asked you about paragraph 29 of your statement, and in
22 your answer you said no military -- as far as you recall "no military
23 prosecutor investigated."
24 So I guess what you mean is you're using that "investigate" as a
25 term of art because it didn't -- didn't your boss Stanimir Radosavljevic
1 do some gathering of information before being able to reach the conclusion
2 that the VJ was not involved in the killings of those persons at Izbica?
3 He must have done something before he was able to reach that conclusion,
5 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I have said that when he learned of what had
6 happened, he took all measures that he was authorised to take. After this
7 information was gathered, he made this kind of decision. As for
8 conducting an investigation, I'm going to repeat once again, it is only a
9 court of law that is in charge of carrying out an investigation. This
10 decree that was in force during the state of war states that the
11 prosecutor can do so as well. However, I have already said that I'm not
12 aware of any cases when a prosecutor did that, carried out an
13 investigation, during the war. Even during the war it was the court of
14 law that conducted investigations.
15 Q. Well, when you say the prosecutor took all authorised measures,
16 what are the authorised measures he's able to do in terms of gathering
18 A. There are several steps involved, if I can put it that way, but
19 mainly it has to do with the following. He should ask the organs of the
20 military police and the military security to submit information on the
21 incident, to interview the participants, persons who have information
22 about the incident, if there are damaged parties, injured parties, to hear
23 these persons, to interview them, to compile all documents on the basis of
24 which he can make his further decision.
25 Q. And in connection with Izbica, what can you tell us about what
1 Radosavljevic specifically did? This was -- well, let me -- before you
2 answer that --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the name is Milosavljevic --
4 MR. HANNIS: Well, that was said a couple of times, Your Honour,
5 but --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are right, it's a mistake,
7 Radosavljevic, it's a mistake. It's not Milosavljevic, it is
8 Radosavljevic. You're right.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 Mr. Hannis.
11 MR. HANNIS:
12 Q. You are aware that this Izbica incident was a significant incident
13 that had international media attention around the end of May and early
14 June 1999, right?
15 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I learned of this incident after the war. I did
16 not work at the military prosecutor's office, or rather, attached to the
17 command of the Pristina Corps. I was the military prosecutor attached to
18 the command of the military district, and this incident did not fall
19 within the jurisdiction of my prosecutor's office but the prosecutor
20 attached to the command of the Pristina Corps.
21 Q. Okay. How did you learn about it?
22 A. I worked at the military prosecutor's office Stanimir
23 Radosavljevic was my military prosecutor, my superior officer, if I can
24 put it that way, and this knowledge dates back to 2000 or 2001.
25 Q. And you weren't aware of it before that, you didn't know that it
1 had been on the internet and international media?
2 A. Absolutely.
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. HANNIS: Can we show the witness Exhibit P2213.
5 Q. And before I ask you a question about this document, in paragraph
6 44 of your statement, the second paragraph under that number in about the
7 middle, you explain that if a military prosecutor's office got a report on
8 a crime committed by an organ of the MUP, the report would be forwarded to
9 the competent municipal or district prosecutor. Did it -- did that work
10 the other way? If MUP got a report or information that the VJ might have
11 been involved in the crime, did they forward reports to you, to the
12 military prosecutor's office?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. Yes, they were supposed to. That is the legal procedure involved,
16 those who are competent are supposed to take the necessary measures.
17 Q. Okay. Now, if you could look at Exhibit P2213 --
18 MR. HANNIS: And, Your Honours, I don't have an English
19 translation of this, but it's a fairly short document. I'd like to ask
20 the witness to read it, if that's all right with you.
21 Q. And I see, sir, this is a document dated the 27th of May, 1999, in
22 the upper left. Can you tell us who this document is coming from?
23 A. This is the first time I see this.
24 Q. I understand.
25 A. I don't know. I can familiarise with it and then --
1 Q. All I'm asking you to do now is read it. You can read it, right?
2 A. Absolutely.
3 Q. Please.
4 A. "Official note compiled on the 27th of May, 1999, in the offices
5 of the crime and PD technical office.
6 "Following the news broadcast on the internet" --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, just one moment.
8 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm just trying to be of
9 assistance and useful to the Trial Chamber. I think that 6D, the 6D
10 Defence has a translation of this document.
11 MR. IVETIC: [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Ivetic, please.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. --
14 MR. IVETIC: 6D115, and we do have an English translation from
15 CLSS that's in the system.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
17 MR. HANNIS: That would be great. Thank you very much.
18 Q. Now, sir, if you want to read the B/C/S when it's back on the
19 screen to yourself, I can ask you a question from the English that I have
20 now. We see this is dated the 27th of May, 1999, and it appears to be
21 from the crime investigation police department, Kosovska Mitrovica. It's
22 an official note and it mentions that they were investigating a news item
23 reported on the internet about a mass grave in the village at Izbica.
24 You'll see that the person signing apparently went there, and on the way:
25 "We found out about the village of Izbica from VJ members we met. In the
1 village we came upon some ten soldiers and asked them if they knew of the
2 existence of 'mass graves.' They shrugged their shoulders, but they did
3 point out the existence of a new graveyard."
4 And then these people writing this official note went on down and
5 looked at that. And you're telling me that you or your prosecutor's
6 office didn't receive any information about that, either from the MUP or
7 from the internet or from international media in late May or early June
9 A. I absolutely confirm that I did not receive such information.
10 This is the first time I see this official note here in this courtroom.
11 Colonel Stanimir Radosavljevic probably knew about this, whether he
12 received this note and when he received it, if he received it. I cannot
13 state my views on something that I never received.
14 Q. Okay. And did the Colonel tell you what persons he might have
15 talked to in his preliminary gathering of information to help him conclude
16 that the VJ was not involved in the Izbica incident?
17 A. I can give you the following answer. The prosecutor is my
18 superior. He's not duty-bound to report to me.
19 Q. I understand that --
20 A. -- in such case.
21 Q. I'm just asking, did he?
22 A. No, no, no, no, no. I have no obligation in that regard.
23 Q. I understand you have no obligation. I'm just asking if he told
25 A. He did not. This was just an informal conversation during which I
1 found out how this report, or rather, this case was referred to the court
2 in charge in Kosovska Mitrovica.
3 Q. Let me go back to your statement. When did you first join the
5 A. When I completed secondary military school and that was on the
6 18th of July, 1980.
7 Q. And for how long did you remain in the army from 1980?
8 A. From 1980 until 2004, when I went to work at the district
9 prosecutor's office in Nis.
10 Q. What rank did you hold when you left the army?
11 A. Captain first class.
12 Q. I see you went to law school, you graduated in 1995, you worked as
13 a clerk until the war broke out. What were your duties as a clerk in the
14 legal service in the Pristina Corps?
15 A. My duties in the Pristina Corps related to carrying out
16 administrative procedure and taking measures in relation to military
17 disciplinary procedure as well as obligations from the military public
18 attorney's office, and I received my instructions from the then-attorney
19 in Nis.
20 Q. We see that you were appointed military prosecutor at the Pristina
21 Military District command. When was that, right after the outbreak of the
23 A. You mean when I was appointed military prosecutor?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. I didn't quite understand. I was appointed to this duty and I
1 assumed this office I think on the 27th of March, 1999. By a previous
2 presidential decree I was appointed judge at the military court at the
3 command of the Pristina Corps. For two or three days I took part in the
4 preparations, if I can put it that way.
5 Q. Now, prior to this you had no previous experience working as a
6 prosecutor, right?
7 A. I didn't.
8 Q. And when you say you were appointed the military prosecutor, were
9 you the boss? Were you the number one prosecutor in that office at the
10 Pristina Military District command?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And how many deputies did you have working under you when you were
13 first appointed?
14 A. Djordje Aksic, Momcilo Dedic, Dragoljub Zdravkovic, and Miodrag
15 Brkic were my deputies.
16 Q. And then in paragraph 4 you say subsequently you were deputy
17 military prosecutor. Does that mean did you get demoted or did somebody
18 get appointed over you? What happened?
19 A. As prescribed by law, by a presidential decree I was replaced,
20 dismissed from that office, I don't know the reasons, but I assume it has
21 to do with the fact that I rejected 492 criminal reports based on Article
22 214 that had to do with failure to respond to call-up. Later on this was
23 considered to be the right decision, but I have nothing to say in relation
24 to a presidential decision; I can just act in accordance with it.
25 Q. And who was put in your place?
1 A. Then-Lieutenant-Colonel Lakic Djorovic.
2 Q. You tell us in paragraph 5 that the military prosecutor's offices
3 were abolished I think at the end of 2004. Is that the right date?
4 A. Yes, the 31st of December, 2004. Now, why do I know? Because
5 something happened.
6 Q. No, that's okay. Let me ask you this: Do you know why they were
7 abolished on that date?
8 A. I don't know. I don't know.
9 Q. Okay. Now, we understood from an earlier witness that there's no
10 statute of limitations on war crimes. Would you agree with that?
11 A. Absolutely, but there's just something I have to add. There is no
12 statute of limitations on war crimes and genocide.
13 Q. Okay. And so now if unknown perpetrators are discovered or
14 genocide or other war crimes are discovered, who will prosecute those
15 cases now if the war -- if the military prosecutor's offices have been
16 abolished? What's the provision to allow for that now?
17 A. There is a law on the take-over of jurisdiction from military
18 courts, military prosecutors, and military legal offices.
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the date.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And that law states what the
21 military departments will be attached to courts and prosecutor's offices.
22 There are three military departments, in Novi Sad, Belgrade, and
23 Nis. I am the head of the military department in the district court in
24 Nis. For your information, I am counsel for prosecution in the case
25 against Zlatan Mancic, Radivojevic, Tosic, and Sergei who have been
1 charged with committing war crimes. However, since this is an ongoing
2 case I cannot say anything further.
3 MR. HANNIS:
4 Q. Okay.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: The interpreter did not catch the date of that law.
6 Can you repeat that, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not remember the exact date,
8 but I certainly know that it was in the year 2004.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Before we move on, when you refer to your position
10 as a deputy prosecutor -- deputy military prosecutor or deputy district
11 public prosecutor, does that mean you are one of a number of ordinary
12 prosecutors or does it make you number 2 in the department?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not quite understand you.
14 When I say at the military department of the district public prosecutor's
15 office in Nis --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: No, it's the word "deputy" I'm trying to be clear
17 about. "Deputy" could mean that you stand-in for the chief or it could
18 mean that you're just one of the other group of prosecutors at ordinary
19 level. Which is it?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I just say this. Deputy
21 prosecutor, that is below the military prosecutor. They have the same
22 rights and responsibilities; however, the military prosecutor says who the
23 first deputy is going to be, the first among equals, if I can put it that
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
1 Mr. Hannis.
2 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
3 Q. Sir, when you -- after you gave your statement, it's Exhibit
4 5D1402, I take it you had a chance to go through it and review it, make
5 any corrections, and I see in the B/C/S it appears to be a signature
6 and -- yeah, a signature at the bottom of each page. Is that yours?
7 A. In this statement?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. This one? Yes, yes.
10 Q. I want to ask you in paragraph 11 you talked about: "The
11 following bodies were established when the state of war was proclaimed on
12 27 March 1999."
13 I think this -- maybe this is just a translation issue. Wasn't
14 the state of war declared on the 24th of March?
15 A. 24th of March, 1999.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. It was probably a mistake.
18 Q. Okay. And then on the 27th, is that the date when the military
19 court and the military prosecutor's offices were established?
20 A. Yes, yes, that's what it's about.
21 Q. And here you mention the military court at both the Pristina Corps
22 command and the military district command and the military prosecutor's
23 office at the military district command, but wasn't there a prosecutor's
24 office set up at the Pristina Corps command at the same time?
25 A. Yes, yes, there are two prosecutor's offices.
1 Q. Okay. And in paragraph 16, after you've listed the various people
2 that were appointed to these courts and prosecutor's offices, in your
3 statement you say: "The above persons were appointed to these posts by
4 decree of the President of the FRY of 26 March 1999 ..."
5 Now, were they appointed to these positions before the courts and
6 the prosecutor's offices were created on the 27th? Or are the dates just
7 mixed up? Or do you know?
8 A. Well, I cannot but I assume that some time is required for a
9 decree to arrive and to have these persons informed about that because the
10 decree comes from Belgrade. Now, when this is going to be carried
11 through, it probably requires some time.
12 Q. You understand my question, though, you know, how can you appoint
13 people to jobs or positions that haven't even been created yet?
14 A. A state of war was declared on the 24th of March. That is to say
15 legal conditions were created for the establishment. If it's the 26th of
16 March, then it is only logical that it was possible.
17 Q. Okay. At paragraph 17 you mention the Law on Military
18 Prosecutor's Offices, and I think as Mr. Fila helpfully told us, Your
19 Honour, that's in Exhibit P1309.
20 In paragraph 18 you say that "A military prosecutor may request
21 any necessary information from the parties that filed the report."
22 Does the military prosecutor have any authority to take action if
23 the parties from whom he requests information either ignore or refuse such
24 a request? Can you do anything about that?
25 A. Yes, yes, you can do something. The authorities that do not want
1 to implement this decision can be notified, and this is what was done in
2 cases like that. Decisions were made or sanctions were imposed, but in
3 practice I am not aware of a single case where the security organ or the
4 military police would fail to comply with the orders received from the
6 Q. Okay. In paragraph 21 you tell us how military prosecutors are
7 appointed, and that's during peacetime I gather. And in paragraph 26 you
8 tell us how the process works during a state of war. And regarding that,
9 during the state of war you say they are appointed, removed, or relieved
10 of their duties by the president of the republic, I take it that's the
11 republic of the FRY, Mr. Milosevic at that time, right?
12 A. Yes, yes, but for our lawyers the person doesn't matter; it is the
13 provisions that matter, the regulations.
14 Q. Okay. And that's done on the recommendation of the Chief of Staff
15 of the Supreme Command; correct?
16 A. Let me just clarify something. This is what is stipulated in the
17 law, but it doesn't mean that it's an obligation. This is not an
18 obligatory norm, but the president can do that, at least not the way I
19 interpret it.
20 Q. Well, I don't understand. Do you mean somebody else other than
21 the president could appoint, relieve, and remove the military prosecutors
22 and their deputies?
23 A. No, no. What I meant was that formally and legally this proposal
24 need not be made in writing. It can be made verbally by the chief of the
25 Supreme Command Staff. That's what I meant.
1 Q. And I take it when you say it's done on the recommendation of the
2 Chief of Staff, that's a non-binding recommendation, right? If President
3 Milosevic disagreed, he didn't have to follow the recommendation of the
4 Chief of Staff?
5 A. I really can't say that. This is not within my purview. Lawyers
6 who deal with that can do so, they -- those who are in charge of that.
7 Q. Okay. And when you say the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command,
8 what did you understand the Supreme Command to be during the state of war?
9 What person or persons would you be referring to?
10 A. Well, as a lawyer I really can't give you an answer to that
11 question. That's not something that I know, and this is not something
12 that I should know.
13 Q. Well, it's in your statement. Did you put that in there or did
14 somebody else put that in there?
15 A. But allow me. Perhaps this is just a technical mistake. This is
16 not about the Chief of Staff. I think that in peacetime this was done on
17 the proposal of the defence ministry, and otherwise it was the chief of
18 the legal administration, not anyone else, because we are legal
19 professionals and we had nothing to do with anyone else. So I think
20 that's where the mistake is. The person that is in charge, that is the
21 legal profession, the legal administration.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: We've already had evidence from someone else in
23 this case that the appointment was by the president on the recommendation
24 of the Chief of the General Staff.
25 MR. HANNIS: Well, during the army -- during the wartime you know
1 the General Staff became the Supreme Command Staff.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
3 MR. HANNIS: And here he's making reference to the Chief of Staff
4 of the Supreme Command, and I was trying to determine if he knew whether
5 Supreme Command was something different from Supreme Command Staff. But I
6 think he can't help --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: But he's now changing his evidence to say that the
8 recommendation is from the defence ministry and not from the chief of --
9 MR. HANNIS: I think he was referring to peacetime, Your Honour,
10 and that's in paragraph 21 of his statement. It is the recommendation of
11 the defence minister.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I was suggesting we've had evidence to the opposite
13 effect, that in peacetime it was on the recommendation of the Chief of the
14 General Staff.
15 MR. HANNIS: Oh, you --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I was looking for clarification of that.
17 You're quite sure it was the Ministry of Defence that recommended
18 the appointment of prosecutors in a state of peace?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I put here on the
20 recommendation of the minister. Let me just check, or rather, we can
21 resolve this issue in the following way. It is quite clearly stipulated
22 in the law who proposes the appointments and the replacements and the
23 removals from office, both in war and in peacetime, so we can just refer
24 to those legal provisions so I just can't see where we're heading with
25 these questions.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you and I together, Mr. Blagojevic. For
2 about 20 months now I've been suggesting that's the way to do it, but we
3 still hear evidence from people like you about areas that should be
4 absolutely beyond doubt because they're provided for in official
6 Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. In paragraph 28, sir, you mention the decree law on the
9 application of the Law on Criminal Procedure during a state of war.
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I would advise you that can be found in
11 an Exhibit, 1D301 in evidence.
12 Q. And you say: "Pursuant to that criminal investigations are" --
13 it's translated as "are not conducted for crimes punishable for a sentence
14 of up to ten years."
15 And I read Article 9 to say that criminal investigations are not
16 required for crimes punishable up to a sentence of ten years, is that
17 right, during a state of war?
18 A. I do apologise, but could you please show this to me, this
20 MR. HANNIS: If we can look at Exhibit 1D301, please.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it's on the screen.
22 MR. HANNIS: And we need Article 9.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Indictments may be filed without an
24 investigation and without the approval of the investigative judge. The
25 only reason why this provision is in, it's to make the proceedings more
1 efficient, more expeditious, but it does have a legal force of course, but
2 it is only implemented during the war.
3 MR. HANNIS:
4 Q. Okay. In paragraph 30 you make reference to the decree on
5 organization and work of the military prosecutor during a state of war.
6 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, that's Exhibit P2786 in evidence.
7 Q. And in paragraph 31 you make a reference to the Yugoslav Army's
8 security organs or military police organs may apprehend a member of the
9 military caught in a criminal act subject to ex officio prosecution.
10 Can you tell us what that means in that context, "subject to ex
11 officio prosecution," if the crime poses a threat to lives or an important
12 asset, et cetera.
13 A. Let me explain, this is Article 64 of the Law on Military Courts
14 and this means that the military police organs may arrest a person, a
15 perpetrator of a crime, only if that person was found in the very
16 commission of the act. If that person is killing somebody or something
17 like that, this is when this person can be arrested. Not in any other
18 case. So this is an exception, but it is stipulated in the Law on
19 Military Courts and Article 64.
20 Q. In paragraph 32 you're talking about the Yugoslav Army Rules of
21 Service in relation to when a subordinate may receive an order to do
22 something that would constitute a violation of law. Do you know what kind
23 of training, if any, was given to officers and soldiers about these
24 particular provisions of the Rules of Service?
25 A. Well, I can give you my impression, I don't have any direct
1 knowledge of that kind of training, but I know that every soldier.
2 Q. If you don't have any --
3 A. Just allow me, please. What I know is this: Every soldier has to
4 undergo training, every military serviceman has to get acquainted with the
5 obligations and rights he or she has as a soldier, and the main rule that
6 is applied in the Army of Yugoslavia is the Rules of Service. That is the
7 essence of it, the alpha and the omega.
8 Q. Well, as I recall --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
10 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't want to
11 interfere, but just to clarify. The Rules of Service is P1085 in our
12 electronic system, in the e-court.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 Mr. Fila.
15 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may be allowed to
16 assist you, P1309, Article 27 -- Article 37, the state of war, the Law on
17 Military Prosecutor's Offices will tell you who is in power to do what,
18 that's at page 9 -- Article 9, page 9 in e-court, and that would make
19 things clear.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's -- now there are three possibilities for
21 us to look at and we will look at them all.
22 Mr. Hannis.
23 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
24 Q. If we could go to P1085, I think it's page 28 of the English and
25 page 37 of the B/C/S. Sir, I want to look to the items you mentioned
1 dealing with the situation when a subordinate receives an order that might
2 constitute a violation of law. And I hope we'll have it up on the screen
3 here in a minute. In your statement you mention Articles 39 and 40, but I
4 believe it may be Articles 38 and 39 because Article 40 seems to deal with
5 carrying and use of a weapon --
6 A. Yes, yes -- well, it's obviously a mistake.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. 38 and 39.
9 Q. All right. And if a soldier receives an order that would
10 represent a violation of law, then the soldier is supposed to request that
11 that order be given to him in writing; correct?
12 A. Yes, but not only a soldier. Every serviceman, non-commissioned
13 officers, officers.
14 Q. Yeah, thank you. You're right. I meant to use it in the generic
15 sense. And Article 39 says if someone receives such an order he or she
16 should immediately inform a higher superior or somebody senior to the
17 person who issued such an order; correct?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. And that relating you to the prosecution that you were involved in
20 of Colonel Vukovic regarding the incitement to falsify official records
21 regarding the fuel in the vehicles, in that situation the officer who
22 actually made the entry in the official document, should he have reported
23 it to Colonel Vukovic's superior under this provision, just so I
24 understand how it works?
25 A. Sir, this provision has less legal weight than the criminal code,
1 and it cannot automatically apply. Rules of Service are lower in the
2 legal hierarchy in terms of their legal force, and the events that you are
3 talking about, they are dealt with in the criminal procedure. But allow
4 me to clarify. This provision has a bearing on disciplinary proceedings,
5 if we're talking about this kind of a situation. So it's a completely
6 different thing.
7 In accordance with the Law on the Army of Yugoslavia and the Rules
8 of Service for the same incident - allow me please - it is possible to
9 have a cumulative proceedings, both criminal proceedings and disciplinary
10 proceedings vis-a-vis the same act, the same incident.
11 Q. We'll talk about that after the break.
12 MR. HANNIS: If that's agreeable, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 We need to break again, Mr. Blagojevic. Could you again leave the
15 courtroom, please, with the usher, and we will see you again at quarter to
17 [The witness stands down]
18 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.47 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 1.46 p.m.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Judge Kamenova will be absent this afternoon for
21 urgent personal reasons. We have decided it's in the interests of justice
22 that we should continue in her absence, which we will do.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
25 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
1 Q. Sir, we were just talking about the Rules of Service and the issue
2 about a subordinate's alternatives when presented with an order that might
3 constitute a violation of a law. I want to ask you in connection with
4 Colonel Vukovic's case on which you were the prosecutor, did you attend
5 the trial of that matter or did you conduct that trial?
6 A. I was the prosecuting attorney, so I was not in charge of the
7 trial, I was not the presiding judge, but I did participate in the trial
8 as the prosecuting attorney.
9 Q. Were you aware or do you recall Colonel Vukovic ever saying in the
10 course of the proceedings that he had done what he did after speaking with
11 his superior officer, who he told us he thought was Colonel Stojiljkovic,
12 and he did what he did because the Colonel had told him to do that? Do
13 you recall that?
14 A. I don't recall that, but could you please perhaps show me the case
15 file because I can't really talk about in this way. I don't recall every
16 single detail. I know just the key points. I can tell you what I did.
17 Q. Well let me ask you this: If you had that information that his
18 superior had ordered him to do that, wouldn't that have been a cause to
19 open a case and investigate Colonel Stojiljkovic?
20 A. Of course a case should be opened against Colonel Stojiljkovic if
21 that is what he did, but I don't really know that now. But proceedings
22 should be instituted against him, but then the final decision would be
23 made later.
24 Q. But you don't recall having initiated any proceedings against
25 Colonel Vukovic's superior in connection with that matter, do you?
1 A. Well, from the case file you can see that I did not do so. That
2 means that I did not have this knowledge.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you. In your statement in paragraph 33 you're
4 talking about the -- some provisions of the Law on the Army of
5 Yugoslavia --
6 MR. HANNIS: Which, Your Honours, is Exhibit P984 in evidence.
7 Q. -- regarding procedures and jurisdiction with respect to
8 disciplinary responsibility. I'm curious about the phrasing. You say:
9 "We wish to point out that Articles 159 and 206," et cetera.
10 Who's the "we" you're referring to in this statement? Are you
11 talking about you and Mr. Cepic or you and Mr. Petrovic? Those are the
12 two guys who interviewed you. This is your statement. Why are you saying
14 A. Well, it is customary for the prosecutor to use the "we," so this
15 is perhaps just unfortunate wording, but this is a reference to me. I am
16 simply presenting to the Court that there are some disciplinary measures
17 and some measures for the restitution of property that have bearing on the
18 criminal proceedings because let me repeat once again, under our law it is
19 possible to file cumulative charges.
20 Q. I understand your answer then, and I would note that in paragraphs
21 43 and 46 and 47 you did use the personal pronoun "I."
22 In paragraph 34 you are talking about these different procedures,
23 and if I understand correctly it seems like there are three levels or
24 three different means of handling discipline. There are disciplinary
25 matters that can be handled by the superior officer, right?
1 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, I see Mr. Cepic on his feet, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
3 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just to clear any
4 dilemmas about the previous question. In our language the difference
5 between the first person singular and first person plural is in one letter
6 only, so this might be just a typo or technical issue.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
8 MR. HANNIS:
9 Q. One level at which the disciplinary matters can be handled is by
10 the superior officer, right?
11 A. Just one more clarification. There are two kinds of disciplinary
12 responsibility, disciplinary error, this is something that is dealt with
13 by the superior officer, but there are serious infractions of military
14 discipline, disciplinary infractions or violations, and the military
15 disciplinary court deals with those cases. In this case that would be
16 the -- such a court at the 3rd Army command.
17 Q. And if I understand correctly, military disciplinary courts are
18 something different from the regular military courts that we've been
19 talking about before now?
20 A. Absolutely, absolutely.
21 Q. Are those ad hoc courts that are set up just to deal with a
22 particular case or are they permanent?
23 A. Sir, perhaps this is again unfortunate wording, but I think that I
24 did quote the appropriate articles, 159 through 194. These are not ad hoc
25 courts. These are regular courts that exist in peacetime, in wartime,
1 they exist right now, they are set up in accordance with the law. But
2 perhaps now their a subject matter and territorial jurisdiction may be
3 different, but this is very important for military discipline.
4 Q. And who sits on these courts? Who are were judges?
5 A. Let me explain. The president of the court is a military
6 serviceman who does not have the appropriate qualifications but --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the answer.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Blagojevic, the -- you're speaking rather
9 quickly for the interpreter. Could you start that answer again, please.
10 Who were the judges?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The presidents of military
12 disciplinary courts are professional soldiers, so they are not lawyers.
13 They do not have the appropriate professional knowledge. But registrars
14 and prosecutors are professionals, lawyers, they are also military
15 servicemen but they have a law degree. And let me just add, a new act is
16 being drafted now and the courts will become professionalised, and this
17 brings to the fore the importance of those institutions.
18 Q. [Microphone not activated]
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 MR. HANNIS:
21 Q. Related to this, in paragraph 55 you mention the number of
22 criminal reports that were filed which you say about 492 were for
23 violations of international humanitarian law. And can you tell us what
24 kinds of crimes fall under your definition of international humanitarian
25 law. Does that include theft and theft of vehicles as well as robbery,
1 rape, murder?
2 A. For the most part, yes, the most serious crimes and then crimes of
3 robbery against life and limb, rapes, and so on.
4 Q. But you do include theft and theft of vehicles?
5 A. Theft -- let me just explain. Under our criminal law we have the
6 institution of aggravated theft, the article is 166, paragraph 6 or 7,
7 when the injured party is not identified. This is an aggravated theft, it
8 may be aggravated because the person is an invalid or something like that
9 or because it was done in the war or in special circumstances.
10 Q. Okay. So do you include regular theft, non-aggravated theft,
11 among your list of possible violations of international humanitarian law?
12 A. Well, probably. I can't now answer this question off the cuff
13 without the documents, but probably yes.
14 Q. Okay. And related to theft, in your direct testimony you
15 mention -- I think you have a crime of petty theft, correct?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. What's the maximum penalty for that?
18 A. Up to three years, as far as I can recall, for petty theft.
19 Q. And for regular theft?
20 A. Three years in prison.
21 Q. And for regular theft?
22 A. Regular theft carries the penalty of five years, and there's
23 aggravated theft, Article 166, the -- it carries the penalty of up to ten
24 years, and then we have robbery, armed robbery, and so on, where the
25 penalties are much higher.
1 Q. Okay. And for the three levels of theft that you just told us
2 about, what distinguishes them? Does it have to do with the amount of
3 property taken or does it have to do with the way in which the property is
4 taken or does it have to do with who the victims are or some combination
5 of those factors? Can you tell us briefly?
6 A. Well, lawyers cannot make their decision based on who the victims
7 are. The law stipulates the way in which this is to be done. There are
8 also qualifications and the value of what has been stolen. For instance,
9 in one of those articles you have the provision that would be above
10 500.000 dinars, something like that, but there are a number of
11 circumstances that have to be taken into account, time, place, and so on.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you. These crimes that you described as falling
13 under international humanitarian law, for example, a regular theft under
14 some circumstances, could that be pursued as a disciplinary command --
15 disciplinary matter by the superior officer?
16 A. Well, there is a provision -- I don't want to paraphrase it, but
17 it's Article 239 of the Criminal Code of the Federal Republic of
18 Yugoslavia, stipulating in detail that for less-severe crimes the
19 perpetrators may not incur criminal proceedings, but they could be
20 punished with disciplinary measures. But if you showed me this article
21 then I would be able to point you to it.
22 Q. Okay. What I'm trying to find out is if certain kinds of crimes
23 that could be treated as war crimes could also be handled in the military
24 disciplinary courts or as disciplinary matters under the jurisdiction of a
25 superior officer. Was that possible?
1 A. I've already told you, and what I said was true. At the same time
2 a military serviceman can be tried before a disciplinary court for
3 disciplinary proceedings and criminal proceedings for any act, for all the
4 acts where the military courts have jurisdiction.
5 Q. Okay. So in the system I'm familiar with, we have the principle
6 of estoppel or res judicata. How would that work in your system with
7 these three different levels if a soldier was prosecuted in the military
8 disciplinary court for a particular theft, could he also be prosecuted in
9 the criminal court later for the same event? Or would the military court
10 be barred because that matter had already been adjudicated in the military
11 disciplinary court?
12 A. At one point the interpretation was interrupted so I didn't hear
13 all of it, but I have understood the essence of what you were saying and I
14 will respond. Lesser crimes that are referred to have adequate
15 provisions. When the prosecutor decides, or rather, the prosecuting
16 office, if they think that it is not necessary to bring criminal charges
17 but to take disciplinary action, then that is what is done. But when I
18 say "cumulatively," I mean that a military person can be held responsible
19 in terms of being criminally responsible and responsible from a
20 disciplinary point of view. And then of course we have to look at the
21 significance of the crime committed and the danger for society and so on,
22 so even -- if disciplinary measures are sufficient for meeting the purpose
23 of the punishment, then that suffices.
24 Q. Okay. And would the military prosecutor be a person who would
25 make that decision about whether further prosecution was necessary after
1 someone had already been prosecuted for a military disciplinary matter?
2 A. The prosecutor's decision is autonomous, that is to say that the
3 disciplinary proceedings decision cannot have an effect. But it is the
4 autonomous decision of the prosecutor, whether he is going to initiate
5 proceedings or not, it is his decision. I told you why, the importance of
6 the case involved and the danger for society and so on. But as for crimes
7 that entail imprisonment of over three years, then action is certainly
9 Q. Okay. You explained to us how when somebody in the military has
10 been indicted and they have cases pending against them, when he's
11 demobilised then the military court no longer has jurisdiction, right?
12 A. Yes, but I don't know for what reasons. There is jurisdiction if
13 a decision is made and if such a case is adjudicated then the military
14 department does have jurisdiction in terms of rehabilitation on the basis
15 of the law or if there is re-trial and so on because the person in
16 question committed the crime in that previous capacity but then also other
17 measures can be taken. For example, clearing the record and so on, but
18 it's the military department that is asked and it is the district court
19 that decides on such matters.
20 Q. Okay. But the military courts lose jurisdiction and those cases
21 are transferred to the district courts; that's how I understood your
22 answer before. Is that right?
23 JUDGE BONOMY: The translation of that last answer doesn't really
24 make any sense in English, Mr. Hannis.
25 MR. HANNIS: I'm -- that's why I'm trying to follow-up, Your
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
3 MR. HANNIS:
4 Q. Did you understand my most recent question?
5 A. I understood, but let me just inform you of something, again this
6 is a question that has to do with the law, it's a professional question.
7 Article 13 of the Law on Military Courts regulates the way in which, or
8 rather, when the indictment enters into legal force, who is in charge.
9 But the point is that the prosecutor no longer has jurisdiction. It is
10 the court that has jurisdiction. They either say that they do have
11 jurisdiction or that they do not.
12 Q. At what moment in time does that loss of jurisdiction occur? Is
13 it the moment that a conscript is demobilised? Is it the moment the war
14 is declared at an end? When is that?
15 A. It depends on the stage of the proceedings involved, if an
16 investigation is underway or the pre-trial proceedings, and this person
17 then has a different capacity then the case is transferred to another
18 court. If a person is no longer a military person and if there is an
19 indictment against that person before a military court, in accordance with
20 Article 13 of the Law on Military Courts then it is that court that tries
21 that person, although that person no longer has the capacity of a military
23 Q. So is the key then whether an indictment has been returned before
24 the person is demobilised? In that situation can the military keep that
25 person and try their case even though they're no longer a member of the
2 A. We are probably not understanding each other. I don't know what
3 you mean "has been returned." Once the indictment became final, entered
4 into legal force, then the essence is that there was no challenge to the
5 indictment, or rather, it could have been challenged but this was the
6 ultimate decision taken.
7 Q. Well, the reason I ask is I'm looking at an exhibit that is P954,
8 this is a report dated the 20th of August, 2001, signed by Judge Colonel
9 Miladinovic about the work of the military court in Nis and it lists, oh,
10 a couple hundred cases. And many of them it shows what happened is the
11 case -- the court no longer had jurisdiction and the case was transferred
12 to the district court. Sometimes the date is not reflected when that
13 occurred, but the dates vary from as early as I think July 15th, 1999, to
14 as late as June of 2001.
15 My question is, for example, with that case that's transferred in
16 2001, why has that taken so long to be transferred to the civilian court?
17 Can you help us with that?
18 A. Well, I don't know. How should I put this? The state of war
19 gravely impeded the work of the prosecutor's office and of the courts. If
20 there were that many complaints, can you imagine how much work there was
21 to be done after the war? We would work from 7.00 a.m. until 7.00 p.m.
22 even 8 p.m. Well, in all fairness I cannot see this report written by
23 Miladinovic, the one that you referred to, but it probably pertains --
24 well, I cannot go into all the details, it wasn't presented to me that
25 way, but perhaps it pertains to the stages that I mentioned,
1 investigation, criminal report, and other evidence. As for the charges, I
2 think that is quite clear and that I've already explained that.
3 Q. Well, let me show you just one example and maybe you can help me.
4 In English it's page 53 of Exhibit 954, and I'll try and get you a hard
5 copy, sir, because that may be easier to work from. This is -- if I could
6 have the usher -- I'm sorry, my B/C/S page is not matching up. The
7 translation doesn't appear to be consistent across the page.
8 I'll read this entry to you, and then I'll try and find the page
9 for the record, but it involves indictments filed in the military court in
10 Nis, and it involves an indictment against an individual named Radoslav
11 Lazarevic for an alleged crime on the 19th of May, 1999, he's charged with
12 Article 166, stealing a tractor and trailer. And the proceedings were
13 initiated in May of 2000. He's a reserve private. And then in August of
14 2001 there's a finding of absence of jurisdiction and it's handed over to
15 the municipal court.
16 Do you know why that case would have been started against a
17 reserve private in 2000, almost a year after the war was over, and yet it
18 takes another year to determine that jurisdiction should be transferred to
19 the civilian court?
20 A. Well, I cannot give you an answer to that, but I assume that first
21 of all the objection to this indictment -- well, actually, that a decision
22 was not made with regard to the challenge to this indictment, that is to
23 say that it did not enter into legal force. But if I'm telling you --
24 well, a year's time, I don't know what the overall number of cases is, but
25 as for wartime cases are concerned, also cases from the case load of the
1 military prosecutor, well I told you there were a great many of those and
2 I told you how we worked and there were probably priorities, these were
3 very important cases. I really don't know, I can't say.
4 Q. Okay. And one last document I want to ask you about is P1011.
5 This is Ivan Markovic's document that you refer to in your statement: "The
6 application of rules of international law of armed conflicts."
7 One reference you made is that commission that went to Istok that
8 you were a part of, you recall that?
9 A. Yes, I do recall.
10 Q. And do you recall that group of Siptar refugees that were in the
11 school there, do you recall that they reported that earlier they had been
12 trying to travel towards Albania and they had been robbed by a group of
13 armed uniformed men I think -- you recall that?
14 A. Yes, yes, yes, I do. That was the statement made by these
15 persons. I remember this other statement of those same persons. I don't
16 know what the exact number was, I wasn't the chairman of the commission, I
17 was involved in a completely different line of work. I know that they
18 were taken care of by the army and that they were provided everything that
19 they needed at that point in time and in that situation in terms of their
20 food, accommodation, and so on. Please go ahead.
21 Q. Was any investigation started to try and locate the perpetrators
22 of that robbery that took place against those people?
23 A. I do not have knowledge to that effect.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. But that can be checked probably.
1 Q. Okay.
2 A. With regard to that event -- well, it was presented. And then
3 after that, measures could have been taken but I don't know if measures
4 were taken.
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. Because -- well, it was really for the military police to act in
7 accordance with this to see whether these allegations were correct or not
8 and to see who the perpetrators were.
9 Q. And I want to refer you to a report that's contained in that
10 document, it's at English page 164 and in the B/C/S I think it's page 119,
11 if my note is correct. This is a report from the military prosecutor in
12 Nis dated the 6th of April, 2001, to the 3rd Army command. And it's
13 called: "Information on criminal proceedings for crimes committed in
14 Kosovo and Metohija."
15 I'm not sure we have the right B/C/S page. Have you tried page
16 number 110 in the B/C/S?
17 MR. HANNIS: May I have a moment, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
19 [Prosecution counsel confer]
20 MR. HANNIS:
21 Q. While I'm trying to locate that page for you, I wanted to ask you
22 about the numbers you reported of international humanitarian crimes. Do
23 you know what percentage of that number in your statement involved crimes
24 against life and limb?
25 A. Can we just have a look and see whether I signed this report?
1 Q. No, I'm not asking you about the report right now. In your
2 statement at paragraph 55 you mention --
3 A. 55, yes.
4 Q. Yes. You mentioned 2.382 reports and 492 for violations of
5 international humanitarian law. Of those 492 how many involved crimes
6 against life and limb?
7 A. Well, I cannot give you an answer to that. I told you it was
8 almost a fifth of the reported crimes, but I really cannot know because I
9 was not in a position to know what the number was. I am speaking in
10 tentative terms on the basis of the knowledge that I had and on the basis
11 of what was written down. How many, well it must have been over a
13 Q. Okay. And how many of those resulted in convictions?
14 A. Well, let me tell you, if we are talking about very serious
15 crimes, 98 per cent were convictions.
16 Q. Okay. Let me show you now the page in B/C/S on the screen, this
17 is that report from the military prosecutor in Nis that's in Markovic's
18 publication. You recall ever seeing this document?
19 A. Please show it to me. I can't see.
20 Q. Okay. Do you see the page? On the left under 3rd Army command?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. "We hereby inform you that in the period between 1 March 1998 and
23 today," which is dated the 6th of April, 2001, they talk about a total of
24 245 persons for criminal acts committed in Kosovo between 1 March NATO and
25 26 June 1999. Do you follow that?
1 A. Yes, but I think that such reports are reserved for the military
2 prosecutor. And really, I do not recall having seen this. I can confirm
3 that while I was at the command of the Pristina Corps that I gave reports
4 on the number of judgements, et cetera, but obviously this is not written
5 in that style.
6 Q. Well, you'll see --
7 A. I allow for the possibility that this is a correct report. I'm
8 not saying.
9 Q. For the record, this is page 110 of the B/C/S.
10 You'll see it indicates of that number of 245, 183 were charged.
11 An investigation was still in progress against 47, and for 15 others
12 information was being collected. Of the 47 persons charged, it appears
13 that only six of those were for crimes involving life and limb, right?
14 A. Well, I see it from the report, of course.
15 Q. And if we go to page 3 of the English and it's on page --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: This must be a mistake. Of the how many charged it
17 appears only six were for crimes involving life and limb --
18 MR. HANNIS: Of the 47 persons.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I thought 183 were charged and investigation was
20 still in progress.
21 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, I misspoke, Your Honour, for the
22 investigations in progress against 47, six were for crimes against life
23 and limb.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 MR. HANNIS: And if we could go to page 111 in the B/C/S.
1 Q. And at the very bottom of --
2 A. Allow me, please, Mr. President. With your permission, this has
3 to do with 183 indicted persons. Could you please return the document
4 again, if possible.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: No, just you listen to the question, please,
6 Mr. Blagojevic.
7 Please continue, Mr. Hannis.
8 MR. HANNIS:
9 Q. Yes, I'm going to try to deal with that, Mr. Blagojevic. On page
10 111 you should see a reference to that number that you were just talking
11 about. At the bottom of page 165 in English it says the charges against
12 182 persons. I assume that's a typo and it should mean 183, as it said in
13 the beginning. Of those 182 charged it said crimes resulting in death or
14 other consequences to life and limb and crimes of personal moral
15 degradation against 13 persons and crimes against citizens' property 169.
16 So out of the 182 or 183, only 13 were for crimes involving life and limb;
18 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Cepic.
20 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I think that the witness cannot see
21 this document in front of him because in the Serbian version, or rather,
22 B/C/S it is not on the screen. So could that please be done so that the
23 witness could answer the question that is being put to him.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
25 Mr. Hannis.
1 MR. HANNIS: I think we have to scroll all the way to the bottom,
2 Your Honour.
3 Q. You see in the right-hand column near the lower quarter of the
4 page the reference to the 182 persons? Yes.
5 A. Yes, yes, yes.
6 Q. And you see only 13 out of that 182 or 183 who were charged were
7 charged with crimes involving life and limb; the rest were property
8 crimes, right?
9 A. I believe that this report is correct and my information was
10 tentative. I really was not in a position to have the exact data. The
11 military prosecutor absolutely does have such data available.
12 Q. Well, then how is it you come in here and tell us that there were
13 492 violations of international humanitarian law? Where do you get that
14 number from?
15 A. It's a tentative figure. It is the report of the military court
16 attached to the command of Pristina Corps and the command of the military
17 district. It's based on the register, and taking into account - how
18 should I put this? - all these cases, thefts, rapes, and so on, almost a
19 fifth of what I said pertains to that figure. I don't have very precise
20 information because a great deal of analysis is required for that. How
21 many reported, how many investigations, how many trials, how many
22 judgements, how many convictions, so this is not a precise figure; it is
23 of a tentative nature. One-fifth of the perpetrators of crimes who were
25 Q. Well, how is your number in 2008 a tentative number compared to
1 this number from 2001? And you had access to this document. You referred
2 to pages 69 and 70 in your statement of this document?
3 A. Where do I mention this report?
4 Q. You don't mention this report. You mention this document,
5 Markovic's document, or did you only look at the two pages that you
6 referred to?
7 A. I do apologise. Where did I mark that? In what paragraph do I
8 refer to this, in what paragraph of my statement?
9 Q. In paragraph 42 of your statement you mention page 67 of the
10 second edition of Markovic's publication, application of the international
11 law of war."
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay.
14 MR. HANNIS: I have no questions, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
16 THE WITNESS: Just --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: What is it you want to say, Mr. Blagojevic?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just wanted to say something
19 regarding paragraph 42. I did say that it was published in this book,
20 the -- that the instructions what soldiers have to do in a war, how to
21 treat the prisoners, and so on, this was why I included this in my
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but Mr. Hannis is making the point to you that
24 the document to which we've been referred, the report by the military in
25 Nis, is also in that volume. So why did you not take that into account in
1 preparing your material for this court is his question.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I didn't do that because that
3 was not my task, but it would require a comprehensive analysis of the data
4 and I only provided rough data, tentative data.
5 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, for the record I need to
6 indicate two other things. When I was reading from Exhibit P954, the
7 B/C/S page regarding Private Lazarevic is page 50 in e-court of Exhibit
8 954. And there's a second reference to Markovic's book in the witness's
9 statement at paragraph 69.
10 Questioned by the Court:
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Blagojevic, before the war there was a system
12 of military courts and, therefore, military prosecutors; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: And for the area that we're concerned with, were
15 they based in Nis at that time?
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: And there must have been a number of experienced
18 prosecutors there?
19 A. Well, before the war I can't talk about that because I was not a
20 member, so I have very little knowledge of that.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm curious to know why none of them was instantly
22 appointed to the posts in Pristina, but you with no experience at all were
23 appointed there.
24 A. Well, I can't give you any other answer but the following. That
25 was my misfortune. It was a difficult job and I had to do it in
1 accordance with the orders, so I can't really answer why I did that. You
2 have to ask my superiors who actually stipulated all that.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, is it as easy as that? Were you not
5 A. Well, I had to accept the appointment I was given. I was not
6 surprised because I had the most experienced lawyers in this unit where I
7 was, so this was the easiest part because I didn't make decisions just
8 like that. I consulted the collegium. But as to what led them to make
9 this appointment, this is not something that I can tell you.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And you didn't say, Why me?
11 A. Well, I don't know how to answer you. Perhaps it was maybe fear
12 for some part. I really can't give you that answer.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: When you held the post of prosecutor briefly, who
14 did you report to?
15 A. In what sense?
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, who was your superior?
17 A. You mean when I was working?
18 JUDGE BONOMY: When you were military prosecutor at the beginning
19 of the war, who did you report to?
20 A. Colonel Stanimir Radosavljevic.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: What was his position at that time?
22 A. During the war he was the president of the department of the
23 supreme military prosecutor's office headquartered in Nis.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Cepic, re-examination?
1 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I do have a couple questions.
2 Re-examination by Mr. Cepic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Blagojevic, I have just a couple of questions
4 for you. My learned colleague Mr. Hannis and the Presiding Judge
5 mentioned the issue of your appointment and your previous experience.
6 What I wanted to know is the following: Your deputies in the prosecutor's
7 office, did they have experience in this kind of work, prosecution?
8 A. Well, I can say that my deputies had the most experience, the
9 highest qualifications, because, for instance, Djordje Aksic had been the
10 justice minister in Kosovo and Metohija; Dragoljub Zdravkovic had been a
11 judge for over 20 years and he dealt with the most serious crimes; Miodrag
12 Brkic was the district prosecutor for a long time, he had more than 20
13 years of experience; Momcilo Dedic, and so on. I think that he had over
14 15 years of prosecutorial experience at the municipal level.
15 Q. The other judges and prosecutors at the Pristina Corps command and
16 the command of the military district in Pristina, did they have the same
17 kind of experience as Zoran Saveljic?
18 A. Yes, absolutely. But Zoran Saveljic was at a different court, the
19 military court at the Pristina Corps command and Miladinovic was the
20 president of that court.
21 Q. Thank you. The experienced colleagues that you mentioned, were
22 they active-duty servicemen before the war in the military?
23 A. Well, no. The only military persons performing these tasks were
24 Sasa Boskovic, Miladinovic, Zdravkovic, and myself.
25 Q. This may be a leading question. Does that mean that all the
1 deputies and all the judges that were part of that court were lawyers with
2 a great deal of experience who actually reported as reserve officers?
3 A. Well, I've already explained. They did not report, but they had
4 to report, they had to respond to the call-up when the military court was
5 set up.
6 Q. Does that mean that before the war they knew that they had their
7 assignment as reserve officers there?
8 A. Yes, absolutely.
9 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, we talked about the proceedings against Colonel
10 Vlatko Vukovic. My learned colleague Mr. Hannis painted the picture for
11 you, a hypothetical situation, what would have happened had Colonel
12 Vukovic received an order from his superior; and you gave your answer.
13 What I'm interested in is: What would have happened had Vukovic merely
14 informed his superior about that?
15 A. Well, I really can't give you an answer to this kind of question.
16 These are hypothetical questions. I can't tell you what would have
17 happened --
18 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I object. That's not what Vukovic said
19 he did.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed.
21 MR. HANNIS: That misstates the evidence.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the factual basis for that proposition,
23 Mr. Cepic?
24 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, precisely this, because I
25 am almost 100 per cent sure that Colonel Vukovic did say that he had
1 informed his superior, not that he had received an order from his
2 superior. I did not want to object to that during the examination by
3 Mr. Hannis. We can either check the transcript or even listen to the
4 tapes if it was perhaps wrongly recorded.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I can tell you it's not my recollection of
6 the evidence, no one interrupted at the time, and in any event the witness
7 has answered the question.
8 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I think the transcript at 21454, line
10 10, is pertinent.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, we saw a document dated the 6th of April, 2001,
14 and it pertained, if I am not mistaken in my recollection, to persons who
15 were reported and who were identified by their name. Could you please
16 look at paragraph 55 of your statement.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You state here in the second sentence that almost one-fifth of all
19 the criminal reports were filed for violations of international
20 humanitarian law, 492 criminal reports. My question: Can a criminal
21 report be filed against unidentified perpetrators?
22 A. Yes, absolutely, but there has to be an additional clarification.
23 In accordance with the Law on Criminal Procedure, if the perpetrator of a
24 crime is unidentified the prosecutor is authorised to carry out the
25 following actions. He may ask the military police to carry out certain
1 investigative measures to identify the perpetrator of a crime, that's one
2 of the options. Another option is to -- to address the competent military
3 court and to request that certain investigative measures be taken. And
4 then the court will rule on this request or proposal. But if the court
5 dismisses such a request, the investigative judge will then present the
6 proposal before the KV council and they have the authority to make the
7 final decision whether those investigative measures will be taken or not.
8 And then the court of course will order that certain measures be taken,
9 such as, for instance, post mortem examinations and so on and so forth.
10 Q. Let us be very specific here. Did you personally receive criminal
11 reports against unidentified perpetrators?
12 A. Yes, absolutely, and let me explain --
13 Q. But could you please be very brief.
14 A. For terrorist acts and conspiracy, for hostile acts involving
15 multiple victims among soldiers --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel and witness please not
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this is one of the crimes,
19 but, for instance, when you would have soldiers who committed suicide and
20 so on, then the measures I mentioned are taken in order to shed light on
21 to this event to see who did what and so on.
22 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And as for the mass graves, we mentioned them today, the initial
24 criminal report, who is it filed against at the very first moment if you
25 don't know anything?
1 A. Well, if you don't know the perpetrator that would be the
2 unidentified perpetrator.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the counsel and
4 witness please make pauses between question and answer.
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. We saw some criminal reports for violations of international
7 humanitarian law involving unidentified perpetrators, so that is my
8 question, thefts, robberies, and so on.
9 A. Well, yes, naturally we saw that such reports existed then
10 decisions were taken on those reports.
11 MR. HANNIS: Could I have a reference to where we saw unidentified
12 perpetrators for thefts and robberies.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
14 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you look at 5D -- or
15 P954 and P955 we have a clear indication that unidentified perpetrators
16 are reported for the most serious of crimes, and when we talked about the
17 mass graves in the Slovinje and Mali Alas again we have --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Please concentrate on the question. You're being
19 asked for a citation for unidentified perpetrators of crimes against
21 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] May I continue, Your Honours?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Not until you tell us the place where we can find
23 material of unidentified perpetrators of crimes against property. Is it
24 the same exhibits or is it a different exhibit?
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Well, I can't claim that with any
1 certainty. I have to go through all the material that I have at my
2 disposal --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
4 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] -- but I'm certain for this.
5 Q. Mr. Blagojevic --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. You've made the point, Mr. Hannis. It
7 will be checked.
8 Mr. Cepic, I hope we're nearing the end.
9 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Just one more question by your leave.
10 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, after the 6th of April, 2001, were any crimes
11 detected in Kosovo and Metohija and were they investigated and were other
12 measures taken to shed light on those crimes?
13 A. Well, who would commit those crimes?
14 Q. Well, crimes committed by military personnel.
15 A. Well, if there were some incidents in 1999 some would come to
16 light in ten days and some three or four years after the incident. That
17 was not something that was up to the prosecutor.
18 Q. After this report that was dated the 6th of April, 2001, the one
19 that was shown to you by the prosecutor, the report from Nis from the --
20 from Stanimir Radosavljevic, military prosecutor from Nis, were any new
21 investigations launched after this report?
22 A. Well, I don't have the information to tell you now.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
25 further questions for this witness.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Cepic.
2 Mr. Blagojevic, that completes your evidence. Thank you for
3 coming to assist us. You're now free to leave the courtroom.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petrovic, do we recognise you for the next
7 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, our next witness is
8 Dr. Aleksandar Petkovic.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Dr. Petkovic, good afternoon.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
14 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: You'll now be examined by Mr. Petrovic on behalf of
21 Mr. Lazarevic.
22 Mr. Petrovic.
23 WITNESS: ALEKSANDAR PETKOVIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Examination by Mr. M. Petrovic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Dr. Petkovic.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. Could you please tell us your full name for the record.
4 A. My name is Aleksandar Petkovic. I was born on the 24th of
5 November, 1950, in the village of Hum, near Nis. My father's name is
6 Sekula; my mother's name is Milutinka.
7 Q. That's enough. Did you give a statement to General Lazarevic's
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could I please ask the usher ...
11 Q. Were you able to read this statement and to sign it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. If I were to ask you the same -- those questions, would you give
14 the same answers that you gave in your statement?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
18 statement as 5D1403.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Doctor, what is your occupation now?
22 A. I am the chief of the surgery department in the military hospital
23 in Nis.
24 Q. Thank you. And where did you work in 1998 and 1999?
25 A. In 1998 and 1999 I worked in the surgery department of the
1 military hospital in Nis.
2 Q. In your statement in paragraph 3 you say that in 1998, in addition
3 to VJ soldiers, captured and wounded KLA members were also treated in the
4 military hospital in Nis?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Could you please wait a moment for me to finish my question. And
7 could you tell us about that?
8 A. I claim that in 1998 and 1999 the surgery department of the Nis
9 military hospital treated the captured KLA members who had been wounded.
10 Their wounds were of such a nature, they were such extensive wounds, that
11 they required lengthy or complex treatment; and that is why they were sent
12 to Nis to the surgery department of the Nis military hospital.
13 Q. Thank you. And did you keep records of that in the military
14 hospital in Nis?
15 A. Yes, we did keep records. For each person that was examined there
16 are valid medical records, persons who were examined and treated
17 appropriately and who did not require hospitalisation were entered in the
18 relevant protocols at the surgery department, and all those who were
19 hospitalised had their medical files opened and all the relevant documents
20 were placed inside those files. And I can say that the wounded KLA
21 members who were treated in the Nis military hospital received absolutely
22 the same treatment, medical treatment, as did VJ military personnel and
23 all the others.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 4D519 up on
1 our screens. Can we see the next page, please.
2 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, I'm not aware that we got notification
3 that this document was going to be used.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petrovic.
5 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, we did put it through
6 the IC and it was actually tendered by General Pavkovic's Defence, so that
7 was admitted into evidence as their exhibit.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: The point being made is that this was not on your
9 list of exhibits to be referred to in your examination.
10 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, I have to
11 check that with our case manager, but I do think that it was announced, it
12 was notified, and I see that my colleague Mr. Aleksic is on his feet.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's difficult to know why.
14 Yes, Mr. Aleksic.
15 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave, I think
16 that my colleagues from General Lazarevic's Defence did not have a
17 translation of this document. They had it under a different number but it
18 was not translated, but in order to make everyone's lives easier we told
19 them that we had the same document with a CLSS translation. And as far as
20 I know, they did notify it under a 5D number.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: What was the 5D number to satisfy Ms. Carter?
22 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] That was 5D1413.
23 MS. CARTER: I did receive notification of that, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Not only that, you're now getting the English
25 translation as well, for which I'm sure you are even more grateful.
1 Mr. Petrovic.
2 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Q. Dr. Petkovic, could you please look at this document, and could
4 you please tell us whether this is the list that you were telling us about
5 a little while ago, that these are the records that you kept, and could
6 you please comment on it.
7 A. Yes, this is the list. This is the list of the injured terrorists
8 or KLA members who were treated at the surgery department of the Nis
9 military hospital. I would like to stress that we don't have to analyse
10 each and every case, but I focused on two and by your leave I can
11 comment --
12 Q. No, no, no, that's not necessary.
13 A. Well, let me just give you one example, Enver Krasniqi - and I
14 have his medical history here with me, perhaps we can see it, it contains
15 all the documents that were produced at the surgery department - he had a
16 gun-shot wound to his right shin and explosive wounds to his left --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Dr. Petkovic, it's for Mr. Petrovic to ask you the
18 questions he wants to ask you. How exactly this particular person was
19 treated doesn't strike me as something we need to know about in the course
20 of this trial. So just wait until a question's asked before you embark
21 upon an answer.
22 Mr. Petrovic.
23 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Q. Dr. Petkovic, in paragraph 4 of your statement you said that
25 several times during the course of 1998 and 1999 you were in Kosovo and
1 Metohija. In whose composition were you while you were in Kosovo and
3 A. Yes. In 1998 it wasn't only me but the entire surgical team from
4 the military hospital was engaged in the military garrison of Djakovica.
5 At that time I was in Djakovica twice, namely, in July and October and
6 November respectively. We worked at the garrison infirmary that is within
7 the garrison of Djakovica. We turned it into a surgery clinic. We
8 established it ourselves, and in such difficult conditions we tried to
9 help those who were wounded and who were sick.
10 Q. Thank you. Tell me briefly, what was the organization of the
11 medical corps like in the Pristina Corps in Kosovo and Metohija?
12 A. You put this question a moment ago, and I didn't manage to answer.
13 The teams that worked worked in the garrison of Djakovica were under the
14 immediate command of the Pristina Corps, or rather, General Lazarevic. As
15 for the organization of the medical corps in Kosovo and Metohija, I can
16 say the following.
17 In the Pristina Corps it was organized according to the system --
18 Q. Could you please slow down.
19 A. It was organized according to the principle of the medical corps
20 tactics that were in force at the time and the medical battalion was
21 there, Colonel Disic was its commander with two medical companies that
22 were deployed in the broader area of Podujevo. Also, every brigade had
23 mobilised its own medical company, specialists, surgeons, internists,
24 psychiatrists, and many others worked in these medical companies, not to
25 go into all of the details. However, all of these medical companies that
1 were working there were located closer to the front line, or rather, the
2 actual war developments, in order to help the wounded out in the field as
3 best possible.
4 Q. Thank you. Tell me, in these infirmaries in Kosovo and Metohija,
5 in Djakovica and Kosovska Mitrovica, who was treated there?
6 A. In the Djakovica infirmary it was primarily the wounded from the
7 Army of Yugoslavia and the wounded terrorists who were taken prisoner. At
8 the medical centre of Prizren and the medical centre of Kosovska
9 Mitrovica, that are hospitals in actual fact, and also in 1999 our teams
10 were there. In addition to members of the Army of Yugoslavia, captured
11 members of the KLA were treated there, as was the civilian population of
12 all ethnic backgrounds living in that area.
13 Q. When you're speaking about members of the KLA, is that what you
14 actually say in paragraph 7 of your statement?
15 A. Yes, yes, that's precisely what I have in mind. Captured members
16 of the KLA were brought to --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I think we understand the point; it's in your
18 statement. Is there a similar document showing the identities of all
19 these people treated in Djakovica, the same as in Nis?
20 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Are we going to see it?
22 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Yes, Your
23 Honour. We have a list of the terrorists, the captured KLA members, who
24 were treated in Djakovica as well.
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] It's under the same number, Your
3 JUDGE BONOMY: [Microphone not activated]
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, are you intending to present it to the
6 witness or are you --
7 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, Your Honour. 5D1413.
8 MS. CARTER: Respectfully, Your Honour, 5D1413 was the document
9 that I was given notification of. I was told that 4D519 is in fact the
10 same document, that's where we got the English translation.
11 Unfortunately, looking at 4D519 which has been presented to the Court
12 right now, it actually includes an additional page that wasn't provided to
13 us under 5D1413. We have an objection to the first page of 4D519.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Why? Is it going to cause you real problem of some
15 kind or -- or are you just objecting for the sake of objecting? Give me a
16 basis for this objection. I know it's a technical breach of the rule, but
17 is there some good solid reason why you're objecting?
18 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, I need to fully investigate what the
19 entire document is. I am just getting print-outs right now. However, we
20 were not given notification of it. And from a cursory glance of it, it
21 also indicates that there's an attachment of an additional 12 pages that's
22 nowhere in either document. So it seems there's some underlying material
23 and some problems with this exhibit that we were not provided with full
24 documentation on.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: But the problem is the one that's being used is
1 5D1413 and 4D519 was only used for the purpose of giving you an English
2 translation. It's been exhibited, though, in a different connection and
3 presumably the whole of it is part of the evidence in the case; although,
4 I can't be sure as things stand at the moment.
5 How do we get into these ridiculous messes in this case almost two
6 years down the line. We are trying to get through your witnesses help
7 them to get back to their own -- these are doctors who are needed, and the
8 last place on earth they want to be is sitting in a court or sitting in
9 The Hague for the weekend while patients wait unattended.
10 Now, what's your explanation for not giving the full information
11 to Ms. Carter? I think the next witness runs the department -- the whole
12 establishment as I understand it, and we've got a sitting around here
13 kicking our heels. Why are they here at all, in fact? Why is all of this
14 not all done in writing to save the expertise of these very valuable
15 people where it's really needed? It's almost scandalous to bring, you
16 know, people like that here just -- I don't know for what purpose.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you allow me, if I
18 understand Rule 92 ter correctly, in addition to the statement the content
19 of the statement has to be confirmed by the witnesses who have to be
20 brought in; otherwise, if we could have just tendered the statements on
21 their own we wouldn't have brought the witnesses.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Have you tried to reach agreement -- one of the
23 duties that you're supposed to undertake in this court is to reach
24 agreement with the Prosecution about things to save this, and 92 bis is
25 the rule you then use. You don't need cross-examination. What effort did
1 you make to reach agreement on this evidence, Mr. Petrovic?
2 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we tendered this
3 and it just has to do with lists of persons. We just wanted to
4 demonstrate that as our witness stated in paragraph 7, the list contains
5 captured KLA terrorists who were treated in Djakovica.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Right. Well, we will repel the objection for the
7 sake of making progress here. If it causes prejudice to the Prosecution,
8 we will ignore this evidence if it can be shown that you haven't followed
9 the Rules. But the evidence will be before us so we can make use of it.
10 If you don't finish both witnesses this afternoon, we will not hear the
11 other witness; she [sic] will go back and get on with her proper duties
12 rather than spend her time here, so make up your mind how you're going to
13 deal with this.
14 MR. M. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I'll
15 try to be very brief. Just one more question for this witness.
16 Actually, that will do, Your Honours. We have no further
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 Any Defence cross-examination? No.
20 Ms. Carter.
21 MS. CARTER: No cross-examination from the Prosecution.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Petkovic, that completes your evidence.
24 I'm extremely sorry you've had to be brought here at all, and I understand
25 you may have been waiting as well to give evidence. It seems to us quite
1 unnecessary that your duties should have been disrupted in this way, and
2 I'm sorry we have a system where no effort appears to have been made to
3 reach agreement on your evidence in a way that would have avoided
4 inconveniencing you. Thank you for being here. You're now free to leave
5 the courtroom.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Our next witness, Your Honour, is
9 Dr. Ivica Milosavljevic. And, if you allow me, while we're waiting for
10 the witness, Your Honour, I may be making a mistake but since we objected
11 to the 92 bis statements of the OTP it was stated at the very beginning
12 that in principle they would file an objection too. So we really didn't
13 discuss that and we really, therefore, can perhaps explain it by that.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we've still a few more witnesses in this case
15 and I hope note is being taken of the concern expressed by the Bench of
16 bringing here witnesses when no effort has been made to try to reach
17 agreement on their evidence.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not sure whether you
19 meant the Defence that follows. We just have this 92 bis witness and yet
20 another one and that would complete our case.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, your next one apparently is live and unless
22 you're going to change the situation at the weekend -- is that not the
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] This witness, Ivica Milosavljevic, is
25 a 92 ter witness.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I think -- well, I'll try --
3 actually, first I'll ask you to give me the time I asked for for that
4 witness, and I think that it's going to be shorter than the time I had
5 envisaged. However, the statement and the translation will lead to a
6 problem; namely, that Mr. Hannis cannot be made aware of it on time. So
7 perhaps it should be a live witness, but I will do my best to shorten the
8 time involved.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: At the moment you've programmed that witness for
10 two days, and that's a matter of concern to us. He must be awfully
11 important at this stage in your case to be programmed for that length of
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, four hours is what I
14 envisaged and I think I can do with three hours --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Four hours in this court is two days. The
16 mistake --
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I know.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: -- made so often is to ignore the fact that it's
19 the time spent by others, other than the one leading the witness, that
20 actually takes up most of our time.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is a very important
23 witness who was mentioned often. You also asked about that witness, that
24 is, the chief of the operative organ in the Pristina Corps. Perhaps he
25 could have testified today as well. I don't want this to sound as if I
1 were criticising the Prosecution, but we had a longer cross-examination of
2 a few witnesses this week than had been originally envisaged and I think
3 that contributed to the fact that we are running late today in terms of
4 the direct examination.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I need to start, Dr. Milosavljevic, with an apology
6 to you. I had in earlier discussions in the course -- in the court
7 mistaken your gender. The second thing we need to do is for you to make
8 the solemn declaration to speak the truth. Could you do that, please, by
9 reading aloud the document now being shown to you.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
11 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: You'll now be examined by Mr. Bakrac on behalf of
15 Mr. Lazarevic.
16 Mr. Bakrac.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 WITNESS: IVICA MILOSAVLJEVIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examination by Mr. Bakrac:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Milosavljevic, for the purposes of the
22 record, could you please introduce yourself.
23 A. I'm Dr. Ivica Milosavljevic, a specialist in forensic medicine,
24 and now I am head of the centre for pathology and forensic medicine and at
25 the same time the head of the forensic medicine institute that is part of
1 this centre.
2 Q. On the 11th of January, 2008, you made a statement to the Defence
3 of General Lazarevic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. If we were to ask you the same questions today, would you give us
6 the same answers as you did in making your statement?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that is 5D1404, and I
9 would like to tender it into evidence.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Doctor, we are not going to repeat what the statement contains. I
13 just have a few more additional questions. In paragraphs 5 and 6 you said
14 that on the 27th of April -- on the 27th of April you came to Pristina in
15 the afternoon and that you cannot remember exactly where it was that the
16 driver took you. Was it the same afternoon and who was it that you saw in
17 Pristina on that afternoon?
18 A. Yes, it was the same afternoon since I did not go to Pristina
19 often before that and I did not really know Pristina and the surrounding
20 area, I just remember I was taken out of town, I was told it was the
21 temporary command post, I was told it was the building of some mine and
22 that is where I encountered General Lazarevic.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Milosavljevic. In paragraph 12 you spoke about a
24 meeting in respect of the clean-up of the terrain. Do you remember who
25 chaired this meeting?
1 A. It was organized at the initiative of General Lazarevic, and he
2 himself chaired the meeting.
3 Q. Mr. Milosavljevic, I would be interested in the following. As for
4 these two localities where you carried out the post mortems, what
5 methodology of procedure was applied?
6 A. Since we were working in the field and we had to deal with a large
7 number of corpses, we conducted part of the forensic post mortem that is
8 called external findings, which is allowed under such conditions. This is
9 allowed in many international recommendations, protocols, and standards,
10 the Minnesota Protocol and UN protocols in terms of actions taken by
11 forensic pathologists in cases of torture and other forms of unlawful loss
12 of life and documents related to the Council of Europe. All of this was
13 confirmed in the beginning of February and the end of January 2003 at a
14 consensus conference organized by the International Committee of the Red
15 Cross, where clarifications were given in respect of the application of
16 such procedures, like external findings, and also what is compulsory on
17 such occasions so that this external examination would be of forensic
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Milosavljevic. I would be interested in Slovinje
20 and Mali Alas, these two localities where you worked. Did you have
21 contact with the families of exhumed persons?
22 A. Since one of the chief tasks in those circumstances is the
23 identification of the persons who were killed, of course we had direct
24 contact with the families and the families in fact assisted us based on
25 our descriptions, the documents that we found, and their descriptions, and
1 the direct process of identification by sight, that all helped us to
2 identify those people.
3 Q. Mr. Milosavljevic, the examinations that you carried out and the
4 expert reports that you provided in writing, do you have any knowledge
5 whether they were used to prosecute some people?
6 A. Well, to my knowledge, right now both cases are on trial before
7 the district court in Belgrade before the war crimes chamber, and I saw in
8 the media that UNPROFOR, or rather, UNMIK, that was in 2002 or 2003, I
9 don't remember when it was that I heard that, instituted legal proceedings
10 against the perpetrators of the crime in the village of Slovinje.
11 Q. And my last question, Mr. Milosavljevic: What do you know about
12 the experience from other countries in armed conflict regarding such
13 expert reports from the field of forensic medicine?
14 A. Well, unfortunately, not a lot has been published, but fortunately
15 not many people in countries had to experience this. But we always
16 strove, as I just explained when I talked about the standards that we
17 applied, we always tried to deploy full teams with the highest degree of
18 qualifications so that they can do their jobs as best they could.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Milosavljevic. And that is the last question. I
20 don't have any other questions?
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
22 Ms. Kravetz -- sorry.
23 Ms. Kravetz.
24 MS. KRAVETZ: I have no questions for this witness, Your Honour.
25 I just wanted to point out one small detail with regard to an exhibit
1 that's referred to in this witness's statement, it's 5D1316. The English
2 translation of that exhibit does not correspond to the text of the B/C/S,
3 there's an additional page which actually corresponds to a different
4 exhibit, and we have alerted the Lazarevic Defence to this point so that
5 can be corrected. And I just ask that that be admitted once that has been
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. That one will be marked for
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I just wanted to confirm that this is
10 being corrected, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Dr. Milosavljevic, that completes your evidence
12 here. I'm sorry that you have had to come here at all. We consider that
13 this matter could have been dealt with without requiring your attendance,
14 but as it is thank you for coming and assisting us. You are now free to
15 leave the courtroom.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE BONOMY: We shall adjourn now and resume here on Tuesday
19 morning at 9.00.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.27 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 5th day of
22 February, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.