1 Wednesday, 6 February 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, everyone.
7 And good morning, Mr. Stefanovic.
8 [French on English channel].
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour, and good
10 morning to all the ladies and gentlemen.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: The cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic will continue
12 in a moment. Please bear in mind that the solemn declaration to speak the
13 truth which you made at the outset of your evidence continues to apply to
14 that evidence until it is completed.
15 Mr. Ivetic.
16 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 WITNESS: RADOJKO STEFANOVIC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic: [Continued]
20 Q. Good morning, General. I am first going to try and finish up --
21 A. Good morning.
22 Q. I am first going to try and finish up one of the topics we started
23 yesterday before moving on to something else and start with if we can
24 bring up P1459 again and if we can look at the second page, item number 7,
25 in both versions, both languages.
1 And as we're waiting for that, sir, if I can -- there we go. If I
2 can direct your attention to item number 7 it seems to -- okay. Item
3 number 7 says that, "The only positive work of the police is location and
4 detention of military conscripts who failed to report...."
5 Now, is it true that this was the only positive cooperation with
6 the police or -- that is to say, are all other interactions with the VJ
7 negative in your opinion based upon what you know and what you have
8 testified to?
9 A. When I look at this item 7 of this report there were many more
10 positive examples in our -- in the joint work of the military and the MUP
11 in many assignments. First of all, in carrying out actions against
12 terrorist forces, that was the main thing. And in any case, that should
13 have been the priority and it was in this joint activity.
14 Q. Thank you. And just to be clear, any problems in the carrying out
15 of combat operations or actions resulting from any alleged problems with
16 cooperation with the MUP, they would be addressed as part of the
17 post-combat reports that the army commanders would draft and submit; isn't
18 that correct?
19 A. Yes. After every action or in the course of carrying out combat
20 actions against terrorist forces, the brigade commanders would draft their
21 combat reports and would send them to the corps command.
22 Q. Okay. Now, I believe you already mentioned Podujevo and the 37th
23 Brigade and we'll deal with that later when we talk generally about
24 resubordination rather than the -- rather than these specific documents.
25 Do you have knowledge of any other written combat reports, regular or
1 extraordinary, that complain of not being able to realize objectives of
2 anti-terrorist actions or combat due to the non-resubordination of the
4 A. For the most part, all the brigades that were engaged in
5 anti-terrorist actions would report back in written or oral form that no
6 resubordination of the MUP units had taken place.
7 Q. My question was: Did you have knowledge of any written combat
8 reports complaining about not being able to realize objectives of actions,
9 of anti-terrorist actions, due to non-resubordination or lack of
10 cooperation from the police?
11 A. I talked about that yesterday. I'm going to repeat it. If we go
12 back to mid-March, the 37th Motorised Brigade, when we're talking about
13 the Drenica action, because of an attack by terrorist forces it had to
14 engage in battle against the terrorist forces, only that one. The rest of
15 the brigade units could not conduct anti-terrorist fighting because there
16 was no joint coordination with the MUP. An even fresher example is when
17 we spoke about the Drenica 1 action when the commander of the 252nd
18 Motorised and 243rd Armoured Brigade reported that the MUP units did not
19 appear for the execution of that action. So there was a number of
20 instances where there was no joint coordination between the army and
21 police units.
22 Q. Just to be clear, in your answer you started off talking about the
23 Drenica action and you said "mid-March." Did you mean mid- or late May,
24 actually, or is there a third Drenica action I don't know about?
25 A. We should differentiate here between Drenica as the area where the
1 37th Motorised Brigade was and the Drenica mountain, that's the
2 difference. When we're talking about March and April, I'm speaking about
3 Drenica as a region, a sector; when I'm talking about May, the 25th, the
4 28th, then we're talking about the Drenica mountain.
5 Q. All right. Well, we'll get back to Drenica later in my
6 cross-examination, as I will have several questions about your testimony
7 yesterday. Now, just to try and finish up this topic I have a couple of
8 questions left on it. In the course of your work in the field when you
9 were a member of the teams that you say were sent out to discuss -- to try
10 and work out problems between the MUP and the VJ, did you come across
11 knowledge or evidence of crimes committed by MUP units or was merely the
12 complaint about resubordination and privileged status of the police?
13 A. The gist of my work pursuant to the corps command order was to
14 take our subordinate units, the units subordinate to the corps command, so
15 the brigades and the MUP units to solve the problem of resubordination and
16 the problem of actions in anti-terrorist fighting. That was the gist. As
17 for the crimes, eventual or possible crimes, this was a separate organ of
18 the corps command or the army command of the police that dealt with that.
19 I was not in a position to cover all the activities of the corps command.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: That really doesn't answer the question at all.
21 Did you or did you not come across knowledge or evidence of crimes
22 committed by MUP units?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was just informed, I
24 received it in the form of information from the commander of the 37th
25 Motorised Brigade, that the police was committing certain crimes, thefts
1 and so on. I reported to the corps commander about this and he formed
2 three teams after that, one was headed by me, that had to do with
3 resubordination and joint coordination with the MUP, one team was led by
4 the security organs to look into the given information about possible
5 police crimes. The third team was engaged on reviewing the problems that
6 had to do with the "asanacija" of the front.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 Mr. Ivetic.
9 MR. IVETIC:
10 Q. You mention a team that was led by the security organs. Am I
11 correct that they were unable to verify the allegations of crimes by the
12 MUP that the commander of the 37th Brigade was the sole source of, if you
14 A. I'm not aware of the conclusions of the security organ's report of
15 the units of the military police, so I really couldn't say anything about
16 that. But we also have an example here about -- of the 354th Infantry
17 Brigade that also mentions inappropriate behaviour of a part of the police
18 force in one of its combat reports.
19 Q. You keep referring to combat reports. Would you agree with me
20 that any VJ officer with actual knowledge of a crime being committed by a
21 member of the MUP would be duty-bound to report the same in either a
22 regular or an extraordinary combat report?
23 A. Yes, of course. Everyone is obliged if they learned of a crime to
24 report their superior and the person responsible so that those questions
25 are resolved immediately, that they're not left unresolved.
1 Q. All right. As I promised, we'll get back to resubordination a
2 little bit later in my cross. I'd like to try and cover some other points
3 to try and move along as quickly as possible.
4 Sir, do you recall that the military district, the V-O-K or VOK,
5 in Pristina began sending combat reports to the Pristina Corps's command
6 approximately the first week of April or the second week of April 1999?
7 A. I really couldn't give a precise answer unless I see the
8 document. Do you have something to show me?
9 Q. Let me ask you a simple question. Do you recall that the Military
10 District of Pristina sent combat reports to the Pristina Corps command?
11 A. The Pristina Military District, until it was resubordinated to the
12 corps command, was along the army command line, it was in the
13 organizational unit of the 3rd Army; after the resubordination to the
14 Pristina Corps command, they submitted combat reports there, just like
15 everyone else.
16 Q. Thank you. And again, I paused because I'm waiting for the
17 translation and the transcript. I hope you realize that. Now, would you
18 agree with me that the military district command in the course of its
19 duties toured its military departments and military territorial
20 detachments on the territory of Kosovo-Metohija and reported its
21 observations and findings to the Pristina Corps, irrespective of whether
22 the individual detachments were resubordinated to corps units or not?
23 A. The military district command after the resubordination to the
24 Pristina Corps command was obliged to carry out its duties, but what is
25 important to say here is that the bulk of the military territorial
1 detachment's units of the military district were resubordinated to the
2 brigades. Only a small number of the military territorial units remained
3 under the direct command of the military district command.
4 Q. And correct me if I'm wrong, the resubordination of most military
5 territorial detachments to the Pristina Corps units occurred in late April
7 A. Probably, because I cannot be sure until I see the document that
8 regulates that, but I think it's, yeah, in April.
9 MR. IVETIC: I'd like to look at 6D741.
10 Q. Which I think, sir, you will see to be a report about the combat
11 positions and disposition of the 54th Military Territorial Detachment from
12 Colonel Pesic's office at the Pristina Military District dated the 28th of
13 May, 1999, and sent to the command of the Pristina Corps. There we have
14 the document now, sir. Looking at this document can you tell me, was it
15 the regular and ordinary course of practice for Colonel Pesic to send this
16 kind of report to the command of the Pristina Corps, not only for this
17 particular detachment but for other military territorial detachments as
19 A. I cannot see -- the Serbian version has just appeared on the
20 monitor so I would just like a moment or two to look at the document,
21 please. This combat report talks about the combat disposition of that
22 detachment. I don't know if there's another page here so that I can see
23 what else is there.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you know the answer to the question whether
25 Colonel Pesic generally sent reports of this nature about particular MTDs
1 to the Pristina Corps command? If you don't, just say so and we can make
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am seeing this
4 document for the first time, so I really couldn't tell you anything more
5 detailed about it.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 Mr. Ivetic.
8 MR. IVETIC:
9 Q. Can we ask a more general question then. This document, as I
10 said, talks about the combat disposition along various axes and inhabited
11 settlements by the 54th; but generally speaking, do you recall if Colonel
12 Pesic or someone else from the military district would send reports of
13 this nature, that is to say reporting on the combat disposition of
14 military territorial detachments in inhabited settlements and along axes?
15 A. I cannot say definitely if there are other reports besides this
16 one because I really don't know.
17 Q. Fair enough. I'll move on to something else then. Would you
18 agree with me that after an anti-terrorist action was completed it was
19 often the case that the Albanian terrorist forces would very quickly
20 return to that same area and recommence with their terrorist activities?
21 A. Yes, throughout the whole anti-terrorist fight against Siptar
22 terrorist forces there was -- there was the spillover of the forces.
23 After an action the territory would be left or it would be secured by a
24 smaller force, and then after a while it would be retaken again. So it
25 was just a system of joint vessels.
1 Q. And I'd like to look at 5D443, which I believe to be a document
2 sent to I think it's the commander of the 15th Armoured Brigade by the
3 Pristina Corps command dated 31 May 1999 relating to the greater Vucitrn
4 area and identifying significant groups of terrorists and their daily
5 retreats and returns. And as you look at the document you will see they
6 have in -- they have a check-point in Gornja Sudimlja and on the road to
7 Donja Sudimlja, Samodraza, Celina, and we have the terrorists also
8 withdrawing in Cicavica after an action. Does this kind of activity on
9 the part of the terrorists comport with your recollections from the time
10 with respect to this area, the greater Vucitrn area?
11 A. I would like to ask you to put a more precise question to me.
12 Q. All right. This document talks about various activities of the
13 terrorists, including daily setting up check-points and retreating and
14 identifies certain areas where significant amounts of terrorists would
15 return day after day, including Gornja Sudimlja, the road between Gornja
16 and Donja Sudimlja, Celina, Cicavica, Samodreza. Do you recall or does
17 that coincide with your recollections from the time-period about the
18 Vucitrn area? That is to say, can you add anything more to this document
19 and its reporting of the activities of the terrorists in the greater
20 Vucitrn area?
21 A. We see a document here of the corps command that the commander
22 sent to the command of the 15th Armoured Brigade after his report that
23 numerous terrorist forces were reported there, and then he continues with
24 the order to have combat reconnaissance to gather additional intelligence
25 on the strength, deployment, and intentions of the terrorists in the zone
1 and to inform the commander about it in regular combat report. This is
2 what I know on the basis of this combat document.
3 Q. Thank you. I would like to then see about another geographic
4 region. Now we've heard about --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, one of the things we've invited, urged
6 counsel to do is to ration cross-examination to things that really need to
7 be asked of a witness. These seem very general questions about matters
8 that we've explored before. Now, I hope you are going to concentrate your
9 cross-examination on things that you need to challenge this witness on or
10 that he alone can really deal with.
11 MR. IVETIC: Indeed I will, Your Honour, and I --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: How long do you envisage it being?
13 MR. IVETIC: At the start of the day I envisaged between an hour
14 and a half and maybe an hour and 45 minutes for the totality.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So we'll have this witness tomorrow again on that
16 basis, will we?
17 MR. IVETIC: I don't see why that would be the case. I think that
18 the witness would be completed tomorrow probably -- today if my
19 discussions with --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: You expect very modest cross-examination from the
21 Prosecution, do you?
22 MR. IVETIC: Based --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: They've got to face the results of your inquiry, as
24 well as the results of Mr. Visnjic's inquiry, and Mr. Bakrac's inquiry.
25 So let's try and focus this cross-examination. It's been very much a
1 fishing expedition so far. There have been occasional points which have
2 been clearly vital, but a lot of it's fishing, Mr. Ivetic, so let's
3 concentrate the cross-examination on what matters here.
4 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
5 Q. Sir, I'd like to focus on the various anti-terrorist actions that
6 were conducted in and around Izbica in the Srbica municipality, and I'll
7 first ask you if you recall that there were multiple such actions because
8 of the strong terrorist concentration that returned and remained in
9 control of this same region after the various anti-terrorist actions?
10 A. Again, it's the way it was put. It's a general thing. I am
11 repeating this again, the spillover of the Siptar forces from one sector
12 to another, dynamic movement and presence in the overall territory of
13 Kosovo and Metohija. So there was no area that was not affected by
14 terrorist fighting or terrorist presence, and then on our part
15 terrorist -- anti-terrorist fighting.
16 Q. All right. Rather than staying general let's go into specifics
17 then and look at document 6D1307 to refresh your recollection, an order
18 dated the 11th of April, 1999, for the Kladernica region, including
19 Izbica. And we see that at the time there are 300 armed terrorists in
20 that region. As an -- as the chief of the operative office in the
21 Pristina Corps, can you confirm that this action was carried out on the
22 part of the 7th Infantry Brigade of the Pristina Corps?
23 JUDGE BONOMY: There's no English version of this, is there?
24 MR. IVETIC: I thought we had, but -- I myself worked off the
25 Serbian. Perhaps I can --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: No, move to something for which we have a
2 translation, please.
3 MR. IVETIC: All right.
4 Without looking at the document can I ask the witness a question.
5 Can he confirm that the 7th Infantry Brigade undertook an action in the
6 region of Kladernica and Izbica based upon an order dated the 11th of
7 April, 1999 -- or actually, strike that.
8 Let me move on to a document I do have a translation for relating
9 to this action, P2004.
10 Q. And once this comes up, sir, the fourth paragraph of the same,
11 does that refresh your recollection as to whether, in fact, the 7th
12 Infantry Brigade indeed undertook an operation the second week of April,
13 1999, in the Kladernica-Izbica region against terrorist forces
14 concentrated there?
15 A. I've never seen the document before. I would need some time to go
16 through it.
17 Q. Sir, I directed your attention, I believe, to the --
18 A. Can you just tell me which paragraph you want me to be looking at?
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you remember that the 7th Infantry Brigade
20 undertook an operation in the second week of April in the
21 Kladernica-Izbica region against terrorist forces concentrated there?
22 Let's deal with that first of all.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I saw the combat order
24 of the 7th Infantry Brigade. I can't say to what extent the 7th Infantry
25 Brigade carried out the order without seeing the actual report. I can't
1 remember without having the document in front of me.
2 MR. IVETIC: [Previous translation continues]... I believe that
3 is what I need the witness --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: You were talking over the translation there. Can
5 you ask that question again.
6 MR. IVETIC:
7 Q. On the first page, sir, I believe it's paragraph 4 that talks
8 about the Kladernica action. In the middle of the paragraph do you see
9 there where it talks about the region of the village of Kladernica, Srbica
10 municipality, and the finding of various military hardware that was
11 abandoned by the terrorists, et cetera? Does that refresh your
12 recollection if in fact this action in the Izbica region was conducted,
13 this particular action?
14 A. No, no. I can't remember right now. This is quite difficult to
15 read, and I can't follow it all through, the report and all that, I can't
16 say anything.
17 Q. If the -- strike that.
18 You don't have any reason to disbelieve what the combat report of
19 the Pristina Corps says, do you; that is to say if we should rely upon
20 their report?
21 A. I have no reason to disbelieve that. This is a reliable report
22 according to regulations, and whoever produced it is responsible, needless
23 to say.
24 Q. Okay. And if we can look then at 6D725, this is another 7th
25 Brigade order for smashing the terrorists in the Izbica-Krasnic region
1 dated the 8th of May, 1999, and again we saw there were a considerable
2 number of terrorists in the region. Do you recall this action and whether
3 it proceeded -- or was effectuated on the ground?
4 A. I don't know how this action by the 7th Infantry Brigade was
5 carried out.
6 Q. All right. Then let's move on to 6D1493, and once we get that
7 document it will be the second page, the fifth paragraph under section
8 2.1. Section 2.1, and does that appear to be talking in the fifth
9 paragraph of section 2.1 about the Izbica and Krasnic action that we just
10 looked at having been undertaken?
11 A. Yes, there is talk of an action in the second-to-last paragraph by
12 the anti-terrorist forces, parts of the 7th Infantry Brigade were involved
13 in crushing the Siptar terrorist forces in this sector.
14 Q. And one last document related to Izbica, 5D807 --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, where is this leading, asking a witness
16 who can't remember if something in a document says something?
17 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honour, he --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you building up to some crescendo here?
19 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, he has testified about his knowledge
20 that after actions the terrorist forces would return to certain areas.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
22 MR. IVETIC: I'm trying to explore that with respect to areas that
23 are important to our indictment. I would hope that the Trial Chamber --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: You've certainly got loads of witnesses that have
25 dealt with this already.
1 MR. IVETIC: No, we don't, Your Honour. As a matter of fact the
2 commander of the 7th Infantry Brigade was never brought as a witness here,
3 so this is the first witness I have that can address this.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, but your question --
5 MR. IVETIC: Because the commander of the 7th Brigade is deceased,
6 7th Infantry Brigade.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, but the questions are much more general than
8 that, aren't they? They're not confined so far to a particular location.
9 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, these questions have been specifically
10 confined to the locations that have been in the combat orders, which is
11 the region around Izbica.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, well, this witness doesn't know about that
13 area. He gave us a very general answer about no area that was not
14 affected by terrorist fighting or terrorist presence and then
15 anti-terrorist fighting.
16 MR. IVETIC: And since he doesn't have a statement, that's why I
17 explored further to see if he knows of any of these actions, for which I
18 have one more document for, that's a 5D -- 5D807. He is -- you will
19 recall, based upon his position within the Pristina Corps, it's within his
20 purview, it's within the items that he would be doing in the regular
21 course of his duty, which is what I'm here to cross-examine him on,
22 especially where it relates to things that might assist us in
23 understanding the situation on the terrain.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: If I can give you your first question on this which
25 is at page 8, line 18: "Would you agree with me that after an
1 anti-terrorist action was completed it was often the case that the
2 Albanian terrorist forces would very quickly return to that area and
3 recommence with their terrorist activities?"
4 And the answer was: "Yes, throughout the whole anti-terrorist
5 fight against Siptar terrorist forces there was the spillover of the
6 forces. After an action the territory would be left or it would be
7 secured by a smaller force and then after a while it would be retaken
8 again. This is just a system of joint vessels."
9 Now, there you've got his answer in relation to the situation over
10 the province, and you've had that answer from other witnesses. Now you're
11 exploring a particular area that he doesn't know anything about, as I
12 understand it, with documents which you can address us on in due course
13 based on any other evidence that there is or has been or will be from
14 people who know about these operations, and you've got loads of time to
15 lead any evidence you wish to lead on that subject.
16 So let's deal with things that this witness knows about, please.
17 MR. IVETIC: Well, if Your Honour thinks I can lead evidence about
18 military actions through police witnesses, that's fine.
19 Q. I will now move on to action -- pardon me, to activities that were
20 conducted jointly. Do you recall, sir, that the -- that among the
21 activities of the military territorial detachments, the command group of
22 the Pristina Corps for Djakovica proposed a plan for, among other things,
23 organizing joint patrols in town with MUP forces to protect both stores
24 and private residences from criminal activity?
25 And while we're waiting for that we can bring up 6D750 to perhaps
1 refresh your recollection of that.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you recollect this, Mr. Stefanovic?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is a document from
4 the command post of the command group from Djakovica. I'm reading it now
5 and I'm not familiar with it.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Were you a member of the command group?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honour, I wasn't.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, again we don't have any knowledge of
10 MR. IVETIC: Until I ask, I can't find out, Your Honour. I
11 believe that I'm conducting a fair and reasonable cross-examination of
12 this witness that my client is entitled to under the Rules and the
13 Statute. May I proceed?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: On matters that you have a reasonable anticipation
15 of this witness knowing about. We've had a witness, at least one and
16 probably more than one, from the command group already.
17 MR. IVETIC: And we had this witness testify about his knowledge
18 of joint patrols in areas yesterday, Your Honour, which is why I posed the
19 question to this witness.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: This --
21 MR. IVETIC: Believe me, these questions are based upon testimony
22 that this witness has made or I believe has knowledge of based upon the
23 documents, my investigations, et cetera, and what other witnesses have
25 JUDGE BONOMY: So --
1 MR. IVETIC: I don't believe that --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: This is obviously my fault because I don't remember
3 evidence of joint patrols yesterday.
4 MR. IVETIC: I believe there was evidence of joint patrols. I
5 don't have the transcript in front of me, but in any event, I will move
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Joint patrols in Djakovica?
8 MR. IVETIC: No, in general, which is why I asked about Djakovica
9 to see if he could confirm this. He talked about the good cooperation and
10 the success in securing various municipalities --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I have to express surprise that it didn't
12 strike me yesterday, that piece of evidence, because it does seem very
13 important and I'd be grateful for a transcript reference to that. Joint
14 check-points, we've heard of constantly, but I have no recollection of
15 joint patrols and I would imagine the Prosecution would be extremely
16 interested in the concept of joint patrols as well. And I don't see
17 anyone leaping up to tell me the transcript reference.
18 MR. IVETIC: I can't find it right now, Your Honour, so --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, move on to something else.
20 MR. IVETIC:
21 Q. With regard to Djakovica, one more question or so about that and
22 we'll move on. Do you recall that even after the conduct of an
23 anti-terrorist action in the Reka or Caragoj valley that the concentration
24 of terrorist forces in that region continued to be a threat to VJ and MUP
25 units and that there was combat in that region between those elements, if
1 you know?
2 A. At the beginning in Metohija the command post of the Pristina
3 Corps and later the forward command post of the Pristina Corps - and this
4 was something that was led by the Chief of Staff, Colonel Zivkovic - but I
5 really have no more reliable information about what you're asking me than
6 this. I simply don't know.
7 Q. Fair enough. Now if we can move on, you talked about the Pristina
8 Corps being at 80 per cent, I believe was your term, of its manpower.
9 Now, if we could have 6D1470 on the screen from the Pristina Corps's
10 command dated 18 April 1999 on overview of replenishment and losses, and
11 once that comes up on page 2 is what I -- I think the -- what the witness
12 needs to be directed to, page 2 -- oops. I'll have to return to that,
13 that's the wrong document. I have a different reference for that.
14 Let's move on to see if you can assist me about 5D84 relating to
15 check-points. This was a document I believe that was identified as
16 being -- upon which you were going to be led but for which I don't recall
17 any specific evidence in chief. Can you look in the section 5 which
18 should be on the second page in Serbian and can you help me with who would
19 have established the security regime within the zone of responsibility of
20 the Pristina Corps and subordinated units for these check-points?
21 A. The security organ of the Pristina Corps command with the brigade
22 command. They set up check-points along roads in order to check anyone
23 entering or leaving the area of responsibility of these brigades.
24 Q. And one last question about this: Were these -- can you tell or
25 do you know whether these were mixed check-points or not?
1 A. Yes, there were a number of those that were joint or mixed
2 check-points, manned by both army members and the police and there were
3 those that were manned separately.
4 Q. All right. Now I would like to ask you several questions related
5 to resubordination, but first let me ask you one question -- or actually
6 two questions about 1998. During the 1998 anti-terrorist actions
7 involving the MUP and the VJ, were there significant problems in these
8 actions because of the fact that there was no formal resubordination even
9 foreseen at that time?
10 A. In 1998, as I said, I was the commander of the 52nd Mixed
11 Artillery Brigade in the Milane garrison. I know nothing about 1998 in
12 terms of what you're asking me.
13 Q. All right. Then in 1999 we have heard some indication that the
14 true aim of the 1999 order on -- the April order on resubordination from
15 the president of the FRY was to try and calm the stand-off between the
16 republican police and the army in Montenegro. Do you recall anything
17 about that?
18 A. No. This was discussed at a very high state level. I was back at
19 the corps command and I certainly couldn't know anything about that.
20 Q. Now, when you do talk about resubordination of the MUP, what is
21 your specific understanding of how this resubordination ought to have
22 looked? That is to say, was it to be limited only to the act and duration
23 of the combat actions?
24 A. The order of the Supreme Command Staff and the 3rd Army command to
25 the Pristina Corps command formulated a number of sentences that the MUP
1 was being resubordinated to the army as a principle. At the beginning
2 this created a number of problems in terms of implementation. We tried to
3 talk to see what the best solution would be, but we failed. So it was
4 back to square one for us. We could offer support, coordination, and
5 cooperation. There is an order dated the 25th of April which tried to --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stefanovic, the question is much more specific
7 than that. The question is whether resubordination was meant to apply
8 only when you were working together in combat or whether it was a much
9 more general resubordination that was envisaged. Can you answer that?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that order said full
11 resubordination, without separating off certain parts of the unit or
12 services or anything like that.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 Mr. Ivetic.
15 MR. IVETIC:
16 Q. Was it your understanding that resubordination of the MUP was to
17 include the secretariats of the interior, traffic police stations, OUPs,
18 police stations, were they supposed to be subject to resubordination, as
19 you understand that term to be applicable, in April 1999?
20 A. Well, that's precisely what I was trying to explain. We at the
21 corps command certainly understood that it was impossible to see this
22 through as the order envisaged, and then a new document was drawn up by
23 the corps command, if I remember well, on the 25th of April once the
24 dead-line for resubordination had already lapsed. We tried to have the
25 original order and put it into a more operational form by keeping the
1 police unit alone involved and only when necessary as part of actions
2 against the terrorist forces. The remaining services of the secretariat
3 of the interior and the staff should keep on operating according to their
4 laws and regulations. Therefore, we have this order and this order offers
5 an overview of the situation. It would be a good idea probably to go back
6 to that order and have a look if it's available.
7 Q. You say it was impossible to see this through as the -- as
8 envisaged. Do you know if certain military commanders continued to be
9 confused or misled relying upon the initial order on resubordination,
10 which you say was impossible to be implemented insofar as we've had
11 several high-ranking military officers here to testify who have clearly
12 testified that they believe resubordination was to apply even outside of
13 combat actions?
14 A. You're just talking about the first part, the first order, and I
15 believe that we have to go back to the original order and the other order
16 that puts the envisaged implementation from the original order into more
17 operational form, and that is the only context that we can use to explain
18 this, to look at this. An additional effort was made to interpret in a
19 clearer fashion the whole thing and to make resubordination possible.
20 Q. Let me ask a different question. Do you have any explanation for
21 the fact that several high-ranking VJ officers have come into this
22 courtroom and under oath testified that they believed resubordination
23 applied even outside of combat actions? And do you concede that there
24 was -- or do you concede that there was a problem still in getting this
25 second more specific order understood by everybody out in the field?
1 A. This has to be observed on individual basis, whether anyone had
2 the need to resubordinate the secretariat of the interior in their own
3 zone; however, at the corps command and the army command most of the
4 officers weren't thinking about that. That's why we had this new order
5 defining exactly how this very important activity should be carried out.
6 We defined its implementation in real-time, real-place terms.
7 Q. Given that several officers of the VJ have testified here that
8 they thought resubordination was supposed to be wider, do you concede the
9 possibility that some of the complaints about resubordination that you
10 heard stem from a misunderstanding of the legal limit and definition of
11 resubordination under Article 17 of the Law of Defence?
12 A. Well, I wouldn't put it that way. I would kindly ask you to be
13 more specific and would you deal with this one thing after the other. We
14 keep going around in circles in terms of the same story, but what I'm
15 trying to say there is no understand [as interpreted] to have a different
16 understanding in the corps command and in the army command in terms of the
17 order from the 25th. There was a vacuum. We were area of the fact that
18 there were problems ourselves. If individuals had aspirations to
19 subordinate the SUP, the MUP, as a whole that is their personal idea,
20 their own wish. But I'm saying that it was for the system to function in
21 Kosovo and Metohija in terms of engaging the army on the one hand and the
22 police on the other.
23 Q. All right. Now perhaps you can clarify for me a bit your
24 testimony involving the Drenica 1 action that you mentioned yesterday and
25 at the beginning of today. Is it your testimony that one PJP unit
1 actually refused to show up and refused to follow the army's plan for the
2 action, whereas one PJP unit under Colonel Brakovic went along with the
3 joint action?
4 A. Yes. The unit that was under Colonel Brakovic carried out the
5 task throughout, whereas this unit that was there, the 122nd - I don't
6 want to make a mistake - they did not accept to be subordinated to the
7 252nd Armoured Brigade. They wanted to act independently, along an
8 independent axis, and that can be seen from these documents.
9 Q. Well, now you would agree with me, I hope, that there's a distinct
10 difference between a unit refusing and not showing up and a unit showing
11 up but not accepting the ordered tasks presented to them by the army;
12 wouldn't you agree?
13 A. Yes, there certainly is a difference. Now we were talking about
14 Drenica 1 that was planned on the 28th, and the beginning of the
15 realization was supposed to be on the 1st of June. But we're talking
16 about the 25th, that is just Drenica, without the number 1, the Drenica
17 action. Then part of the forces of the MUP did not show up. Let us
18 distinguish between the 25th and the 28th of May. These are two actions.
19 Q. So is it your testimony that the MUP PJP unit refused to show up
20 for the original Drenica action?
21 A. Yes, as I've said, they didn't show up. I'm aware of that on the
22 basis of the report of the brigade commander. It's not I, it's the corps
23 command that knows that they did not show up and that the task could not
24 be carried out, as had been defined and resolved through this order.
25 Q. And you attribute blame to the PJP for not showing up for that
1 initial action, which then required Drenica 1 to be drafted; is that
3 A. Please, I'm not accusing anyone. I'm not saying that they are
4 guilty or not guilty. They did not show up in accordance with the
5 agreement and coordination to have this task carried out. The persons in
6 charge in the police probably discussed the matter. I cannot talk about
7 what the police are doing.
8 Q. Before we move on with that, I have very specific -- concrete
9 questions about that, not related to the police but related to the
10 testimony of one of your colleagues. But first of all, we had testimony
11 of Colonel Gergar last week that indeed he viewed resubordination to
12 include that the units of the police were to be an integral part of his
13 brigade even outside of combat operations. Would you agree with me that
14 that position is not consistent with resubordination under Article 17 and,
15 in fact, the order that came down for resubordination of the MUP to the
16 Pristina Corps?
17 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I think I have to repeat the question.
18 It's my understanding that the translation was the exact opposite of what
19 I said, that it was consistent.
20 Q. General, would you agree with me that Colonel Gergar, and in fact
21 any senior VJ Pristina Corps officer who had testified that in fact
22 resubordination of the MUP included resubordination of MUP units to his
23 brigade outside of combat operations would not be in the spirit and letter
24 of Article 17 of the Law on Defence and the order on resubordination?
25 A. Please, in your complex question there are six subquestions.
1 Please let us deal with them one at a time. You keep asking me the same
2 thing. I really do apologise, but this is the fourth time that I've been
3 saying -- I'll repeat it if the Presiding Judge allows me to. There is
4 the order, the first order, of the 25th, that it clearly defines this.
5 Let us please look at the order of the 25th of April and then --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: You may be having difficulty understanding the
7 question; I appreciate that. But in the end of the day the question is:
8 Does Article 17 of the Law on Defence allow for total resubordination or
9 is it necessary to comply with that article that resubordination should be
10 restricted to combat?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, Article
12 17 of the mentioned Law on Defence speaks of resubordination, that
13 resubordination can be carried out of all forces in the area of combat
14 operations. It does not specifically define what is resubordinated and
15 what is not resubordinated. That is why we had numerous problems and that
16 is why I point this out, this order of the 25th of April. After agreement
17 was reached, we wanted to see what it was that was being resubordinated
18 and what remained within the scope of authority of the police.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: The other part of the question was whether the
20 actual order itself - and you can now elaborate on that - whether the
21 actual order itself was not originally confined to combat.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President,
23 precisely. That is to say it pertained to all, to the entirety.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: So you say that the original order provided for
25 resubordination not only in combat but in the entirety of the operations
1 of the MUPs and SUPs?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President,
3 precisely. If I remember correctly, I will try to paraphrase, I cannot
4 quote it until I see it. All organs and units of the MUP should be
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 Mr. Ivetic.
8 MR. IVETIC:
9 Q. Would you agree with me then that whichever officers would come
10 here today and testify that this, all organs and units of the MUP would be
11 resubordinated in toto, would you agree with me that they would be wrong?
12 JUDGE BONOMY: That's a matter for us to determine now in the
13 light of the evidence, Mr. Ivetic. We've explored this sufficiently with
14 the witness.
15 MR. IVETIC: All right.
16 Q. If we can return to the Drenica action, you mentioned the original
17 action. If we could please have Exhibit P2014 on the screen. I believe
18 you will find this to be the original Drenica order, and if we can --
19 MR. IVETIC: If we could have the witness -- if I could have the
20 usher's assistance to give the witness a hard copy, it might be easier or
21 more efficient to work through these questions.
22 Q. First off, sir, are you familiar with this order; that is to say,
23 did you draft it or are you aware of its drafting and the drafting of any
24 map to go along with it?
25 A. Yes, I'm aware of it.
1 Q. Did you participate in the planning of this action?
2 A. Yes, I did. You can see my initials at the end, yes.
3 Q. Did anyone with the MUP participate in the planning of this with
4 you, of this particular action?
5 A. Yes, certainly. Not a single action was carried out off the cuff,
6 so to speak. There was always coordination and working meetings that
7 preceded it regarding the forces involved, the time of realization of the
8 action in the combat against terrorist forces. This includes this one
10 Q. Is it my understanding and your testimony that the -- for this
11 action the MUP formations -- strike that.
12 Is it my understanding -- is my understanding correct that your
13 testimony is that the MUP personnel that engaged in planning with you
14 planned the portion of this order and the tasks on the map that would have
15 accompanied it for their units, for the MUP units?
16 A. There is a basic difference here between coordination and
17 planning. I've been saying throughout, and let me say it now as well,
18 this was coordination, work discussions and agreements on the engagement
19 of the police forces on the one hand and the units of the army on the
20 other hand. Planning is a different thing. After coordination one starts
21 planning; everyone plans at his own level.
22 Q. All right. Is it your testimony that during the coordination with
23 the MUP for this particular action, that the MUP personnel contributed the
24 portion of this order dealing with the MUP units?
25 A. Well, coordinations are organized in order to find a solution that
1 will create such positive conditions for carrying out the task that had
2 been received. That is the essence of any coordination.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: This is a much more specific question; I think you
4 know it, Mr. Stefanovic. You're being asked what was the source of the
5 planning of the tasks which are set out here for MUP units.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, at the
7 coordination, agreement was reached with the representative of the police
8 what the task was that the MUP could carry out and what the army could
9 carry out; on the basis of that, the operative organ, or rather, the corps
10 command created this decision and the decision map and all the other
11 accompanying documents. I assume that the police command, or rather, of
12 their -- the command of their unit did that at their own level. Then once
13 one goes into the field, realization takes place.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: You see, I certainly am confused now by your
15 answers because you initially told us that the MUP participated in
16 planning, then you redefined that as coordination and said that the
17 planning started after the coordination, but now you're saying the MUP
18 would have had to plan the tasks before the coordination meeting. So
19 you'll understand certainly my confusion at this stage.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, not at a
21 single moment did I say that planning preceded coordination. I do
22 apologise if I misspoke. It is coordination first, invariably, and then
23 planning follows.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Was this document referred to in the examination
25 yesterday, Mr. Ivetic?
1 MR. IVETIC: I don't believe so.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Ah, right. So can we see what the tasks are then?
3 MR. IVETIC: Sure. If we can look at the section --
4 Q. General, could you turn to the section giving tasks to the various
5 units, I believe it should be on the second or third page of this order,
6 although I don't have a hard copy in front of me anymore, relating to the
7 MUP units and --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it not paragraph 5 we're looking at?
9 MR. IVETIC: It ought to be, 4, 5, without seeing --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Paragraph 5.
11 MR. IVETIC: It indeed is the third page of the document,
12 beginning at the top, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Please can we go over the page, please. And the
14 next page, and the next.
15 So, Mr. Ivetic, is the only mention of the MUP in the first task?
16 MR. IVETIC: That is correct, and that's --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: And it's just a very general statement?
18 MR. IVETIC: Exactly.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well ...
20 MR. IVETIC: And I'm about to tie it up with testimony from
21 Colonel Mandic --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Please continue.
23 MR. IVETIC:
24 Q. Now, sir, we've seen the assignments to units and if we can look
25 at the beginning of that again, on page 3, the top of page 3, where the
1 MUP units are mentioned. If in fact the MUP participated in this
2 coordination in the manner that you identified, how do you explain the
3 fact that the order doesn't even identify the specific MUP units that are
4 supposed to take part by their numerical designation? Or is this a
5 situation where the VJ prepared a plan for the police but not knowing the
6 police structure was unable to identify the specific units that would take
7 part in a task?
8 A. In this order we can see the 252nd and the police unit and the
9 JSO. We are certain that when this combat document was written the person
10 from the police could not say which MUP units could be engaged. This
11 happened several times because there was several actions, several tasks,
12 several obligations, so one could not ensure invariably at the very outset
13 what the exact number of the participating unit would be. We will see on
14 the decision map that it is correct; namely, that it is defined on the
15 decision map what unit this actually is.
16 Q. If the MUP personnel did not know what units they had available,
17 how could they be the ones proposing an action for their units?
18 A. The only problem here is in the numeration of the unit, not in the
19 unit itself. Obviously they provided a unit, it's only the numerical
20 identification that is a problem, what is the actual unit.
21 Q. All right. And with the last page of the -- with the last page of
22 the order we see that the 252nd Brigade, that is to say I think Colonel
23 Mandic at the time, was supposed to be in charge of planning, organizing,
24 and leading the action, that's in paragraph 14. Do you recall that being
25 the case?
1 A. Yes, certainly. I have the document, that's exactly the way it
2 was. It was a smaller-scale action. As for the organs of the corps
3 command, at that point in time they could not have known about the command
4 of the 252nd and they couldn't have provided assistance. What was
5 believed was that the command of the 252nd could prepare and carry out
6 this action on its own, which indeed did happen several times. On the
7 other hand, whenever the corps command could ensure a group of officers,
8 they would always send them to subordinate units to provide assistance.
9 Q. Could you explain for us in the military sense the significance of
10 the fact that it says the command of the 252nd Armoured Brigade will be in
11 charge of the planning, organizing, and conducting of the combat
12 operations. Does that, in fact, mean he will lead the overall action, the
13 overall joint action which involves both MUP and VJ units?
14 A. Yes, that's the way this order regulates this. This was the 25th
15 of May. What was still in force was the order on resubordination of the
16 MUP, and it is on that basis that this task was spelled out. We really do
17 know that in real life this did not actually happen --
18 Q. Let me ask you this question --
19 A. Ultimately --
20 Q. That being the case, if this operation, as you say, could not be
21 carried out because of a MUP unit refusing to show up and, in fact,
22 refusing to resubordinate, would you expect there to be a combat report
23 written by Colonel Mandic explaining why he could not carry out this
24 particular order?
25 A. I assume -- well, I don't know, but I assume that the commander of
1 the 252nd Brigade informed the corps commander because after that we
2 started planning a new action, Drenica 1.
3 Q. Well, sir, Colonel Mandic indeed testified in these proceedings,
4 and he identified the problem with this original Drenica action as being,
5 first of all, that the order from the Pristina Corps command arrived too
6 late for him to implement it and that his brigade was, in fact, not
7 equipped and in a position to organize all the things and because of the
8 fact that the order did not have the MUP units -- he didn't even know whom
9 to contact and identified that he could not contact any of his neighbour
10 forces, and that is why the action did not, in fact, become implemented.
11 Are you willing to concede that, in fact, Colonel Mandic's testimony would
12 be more appropriate or accurate to describe why the Drenica action did not
13 proceed, the original Drenica action, so far as he was the officer on the
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] We have information from the
18 interpretation booth that the interpreter did not understand the
19 question. It's a rather lengthy question and perhaps there are some minor
20 inaccuracies. I mean if our colleague Mr. Ivetic could rephrase it and
21 put it in shorter terms.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's certainly clear enough in English, but
23 if there is a difficulty it will need to be repeated, Mr. Ivetic.
24 MR. IVETIC: I'll break it down.
25 Q. Sir, are you aware of the fact that Colonel Mandic testified that
1 the order for Drenica came too late for him to implement it and that he
2 was not equipped to communicate with any of the other forces that were to
3 be involved in the action?
4 A. I don't know about Colonel Mandic's evidence; however, the order
5 was made on the 25th of May, readiness by the 29th of May, that is a
6 four-day period. Do you actually know when he received the order? He
7 wasn't at the barracks at the time, he was on the ground in his own area.
8 It wouldn't have taken him that much time to get himself organized. I
9 can't accept this.
10 Secondly, did he inform the corps commander of this? Did he
11 inform anyone that he was unable to do this? I simply cannot accept this,
12 what you are putting to me now.
13 Q. At page 20936 of the transcript, beginning at line 17, in
14 discussing this order, Colonel Mandic said: "First of all, what I don't
15 see defined here is which unit this is about. This is a very generic
16 term. That is what I was unclear about. This is a very generic term as
17 used in relation to police, as, for example, it said just VJ, whereas of
18 course the VJ comprises a lot of smaller units. But the order arrived
19 late, or rather, I received it late and I was unable to establish contact
20 with these units. Therefore, I didn't even know which units would be
21 operating on the task alongside the brigade."
22 Is that something that you're hearing for the first time; and if
23 so, do you concede now that perhaps there was another reason, that this
24 was, in fact, the reason that the Drenica action could not be implemented?
25 A. No. I really can't accept that. There was a four-day period
1 between the day the order was made and the dead-line. If we have anyone
2 who will show when he actually received the order, perhaps then we can
3 talk. That not being the case for the time being, four days would have
4 been sufficient for him to get in touch with all the units that were
5 envisaged. Apart from the PJP detachment nothing else is really defined
6 here. There is the number of the unit that is supposed to get involved,
7 there is the entire order for him, all the items are listed there, all the
8 paragraphs of the order, so I can't accept this.
9 Q. I'm sorry for the fact that you conflict with Colonel Mandic and
10 his testimony, but that's what he said. Can you now concede that, in
11 fact, you are mistaken about the reason --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: He's answered that question, Mr. Ivetic.
13 MR. IVETIC: All right.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this a convenient time for us to break?
15 MR. IVETIC: I apologise. Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Have you got much longer?
17 MR. IVETIC: I think I should be able to handle it in about 20
18 minutes or so.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stefanovic, we need to break at this stage.
21 Could you leave the courtroom, please, with the usher, and we'll see you
22 again at five minutes to 11.00.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
3 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. General, as you get seated I'd like to call up 6D712 as I have a
5 few more questions about Drenica 1 before moving on to other topics of
6 interest. And the question I have for you is perhaps something you can
7 answer before the document comes up. Am I correct that upon planning the
8 Drenica 1 action the Pristina Corps sent the written order -- sent the
9 written order and a map with the assignments to all MUP units and
10 formations that were to participate?
11 A. I see the order on my screen. No, no, it was sent to the MUP and
12 they were supposed to inform their units. It wasn't sent to everyone. In
13 the brackets you can see it says "to all units." This is by way of
14 information, to all units, as it says.
15 Q. You say "it was sent." Was the map also sent to the MUP with the
16 placement and assignments of all the units participating in the action?
17 A. Right now I can't remember whether it was or not, but certainly
18 there should be a diagram containing the decision, like an excerpt, in
19 relation to the MUP that was supposed to be sent along but I can't be
20 positive about it right now and I can't tell you for sure whether it was
21 sent or not.
22 Q. You say there should be. Am I correct that it was the regular
23 course and practice for actions in 1999 that excerpts of maps prepared by
24 the VJ with positions and assignments of VJ MUP units was provided to the
25 MUP by the Pristina Corps?
1 A. No, that wasn't the practice. It was decided on a case-to-case
2 basis. This was the case perhaps several times because of the importance
3 of a particular action or because of someone's inability to define
4 coordination all the way, but to be quite specific, if such an excerpt
5 from a decision by the Pristina Corps commander was received showing all
6 the army units and all the MUP units, this part of the decision which we
7 referred to as an excerpt can be used as a coordination plan - and please
8 allow me - as a coordination plan. And this is then a basis for planning
9 in relation to all the units that received these excerpts. When a brigade
10 receives this, it's not yet a decision, it's just a basis on which they
11 can then set up their own plans and decisions and orders.
12 Q. With respect to this Drenica 1 action that I believe you testified
13 had problems because one of the MUP units didn't show up, would you, in
14 fact, agree now -- or strike that.
15 Would you -- knowing that Colonel Mandic, in fact, in his
16 testimony identified the 122nd PJP as taking part and in paragraph 32 of
17 his statement said that co-activity and good cooperation did exist between
18 the two structures in the course of the execution of that particular
19 action in spite of the claimed non-resubordination, would you, in fact, be
20 willing to concede and revise your earlier testimony that there was a
21 problem in conducting the action based upon the refusal of a MUP unit to
22 show up?
23 A. I said that yesterday. Based on a report by the commander of the
24 252nd Armoured Brigade, the MUP unit did not show up and they could not
25 start implementing the action.
1 Q. That's what I have a problem with, sir. You see, I have yet to
2 see a combat report for this action that mentions in any way any problems
3 with the functioning of the action as it relates to police participation;
4 indeed for the record there are several I think that are in evidence or
5 that are in the e-court system, 5D953, 5D234, 5D959, 5D1292, from various
6 participants in the action, but I would like to turn to 5D235, which I
7 think is the one that you ought to have the most familiarity with, it's
8 the combat report of the Pristina Corps dated June the 2nd, 1999. And if
9 we turn to page 4 of the same, and that's I believe in both versions if in
10 fact we have an English translation. We may not have an English
11 translation for that one. Can you please read out for me the section
12 under section 6.1 that starts: "Commanders of the 3rd Army in the
13 Pristina Corps were at the 52nd Motorised" --
14 A. I can't see that. I can't see that.
15 Q. I'm sorry. Page 4. I apologise, General. It's up on my screen.
16 Page 4 and it's the section 6.1. Right there. Do you see, sir, in the
17 middle of the screen the section that starts: "The commanders of the 3rd
18 Army and Pristina Corps ..."
19 Could you read that paragraph for us?
20 A. Yes, I see that.
21 "Commanders of the 3rd Army and the Pristina Corps state with the
22 52nd Mixed Artillery Brigade they checked certain issues and the situation
23 turned out to be favourable. The corps command team is providing
24 assistance to the 7th Infantry Brigade, the 37th Motorised Brigade, and
25 the 252nd Armoured Brigade, and they are leading the actions at Drenica
1 and Prekaze on crushing and destroying the remaining Siptar terrorist
2 forces in the sectors of Mount Drenica and the sector north of Mount
4 Q. First of all, sir, from this combat report I take it that you as
5 part of this team from the Pristina Corps command was leading the entire
6 action, Drenica 1; is that correct?
7 A. No, that's not correct. I wasn't the one leading it. I was
8 coordinating this on behalf of the Pristina Corps command together with a
9 team that the corps commander had set up. I was not in command, to be
10 quite precise.
11 Q. Well --
12 A. It was the commanders of each of these specific units that were in
14 Q. I by all means want to be very clear and very specific. While the
15 commanders of the various formations commanded their own formations, the
16 team from the Pristina Corps command led the action, the Serbian
17 word "rukovodili." Isn't that correct?
18 A. Yes, they led, "rukovodili," which implies organisation,
19 coordination, support, and cooperation; not, however, command. This is a
20 functional relationship between various structures while carrying out a
21 particular action.
22 Q. And there were no MUP officers present leading the action with
23 you, were there?
24 A. Aside from the commanders of police units, there was no one else.
25 Q. Did you, in fact, ever author a combat report complaining about
1 the inability to proceed with the tasks in this action due to lack of MUP
2 resubordination or refusal to appear?
3 A. Yes. Several times I orally reported to the corps commander, each
4 time I had been to one of the corps' units, but I never wrote down a
5 report because I would see the corps commander every day.
6 Q. Okay.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: That really doesn't answer the question. The
8 question was: Did you ever report about the inability to proceed with the
9 tasks in this action due to lack of MUP resubordination or refusal to
11 Now, does your answer refer to this action?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, precisely this action,
13 yes, because that's what we are talking about so that's what I had in
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So several times in relation to this action you
16 reported on the failure of MUP units to appear?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as I said yesterday,
18 several days, more days, is how long this action took because of its
19 importance and because of the huge responsibility entailed. We were
20 facing a number of problems, as I said yesterday. Until the 252nd
21 Armoured Brigade and the police unit finally dealt with that problem for
22 each and everyone to get involved on a separate axis, and then the action
23 went forward as planned in the decision.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Ivetic.
1 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
2 I'll be moving from that action, so I don't know if Your Honours
3 had any --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please move on.
5 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
6 Q. Looking at P2809 briefly, sir, this is on engagement of MUP forces
7 from the Pristina Corps command. Could you explain for me why the first
8 paragraph relies upon the earlier order on resubordination and not the --
9 excuse me, relies on the earlier order from the 3rd Army on
10 resubordination and not on the original Pristina Corps order on
12 A. This order by the 3rd Army command is a link to a new order. This
13 could have been preceded by the corps command order that had been issued,
14 but essentially it doesn't change a thing.
15 Q. All right. Let's look at the Pristina Corps order, P1267, so you
16 can have it in front of you for purposes of my question. And the question
17 I have for you is: Are you aware of whether or not commanders of Pristina
18 Corps brigades sent written orders to the MUP units or formations that
19 were supposed to be resubordinated under them according to this Pristina
20 Corps order that hopefully you will have in front of you shortly?
21 A. I can't quite remember right now whether a brigade command in
22 writing requested for one of the police units to be resubordinated to it.
23 All I know is about corps command orders.
24 Q. All right. Moving along then. If we can look at 5D1084, and if I
25 could direct your attention to paragraph 6 on the first page where it
1 discusses resubordination of territorial units of police. Can you explain
2 for us what that term is supposed to mean?
3 A. This is a combat report of the 37th Motorised Brigade, their
4 report to the corps commander that this unit had not resubordinated itself
5 and that matters because it was in his area.
6 Q. Okay. Now, the first paragraph under 2.1 of this document
7 mentions some order Ovcarevo and Obrinje. Do you know if any PJP units
8 participated in that anti-terrorist action?
9 A. I really can't say off the bat before I've looked at the order, at
10 the document. There was so many actions that it's difficult to keep track
11 of them all.
12 Q. All right. Would you turn -- let's turn to Exhibit 5D1085. We
13 don't have the order but I believe we have the combat report, the
14 post-combat report dated the 13th of May, 1999. And as we're waiting for
15 this document to come up, sir, do you recall if on that date you were
16 present at the command of the 37th Brigade and that you, along with the
17 commander of that brigade and the commander of the 7th Infantry Brigade
18 and members of the artillery group of the Pristina Corps and police from
19 the 122nd PJP detailed the obligations and tasks of all participants in
20 this action, Ovcarevo and Obrinje?
21 A. Yes, yes. Based on this combat report I was at the time with the
22 37th Brigade, the 1st Corps artillery group. There was some coordination
23 there, it was a work meeting.
24 Q. All right. Now would you agree with me that your presence there
25 was more for the purposes of coordinating the various VJ units rather than
1 the police, who were not even within the zone of responsibility of the
2 37th Brigade and therefore could not be accused of failing to
3 resubordinate to them?
4 A. Of course. The main reason I went there were the corps units, the
5 brigades; but this is the month of May already, and in that order you see
6 that the police units were resubordinated. Perhaps I talked to them
7 occasionally if -- but certainly there was no form of command.
8 Q. If we can -- well, is it correct, sir, that the 122nd PJP that
9 participated in this action was not within the zone of responsibility of
10 the 37th Armoured Brigade, particularly in light of the fact that you
11 testified several minutes ago -- or a while back that the 122nd Brigade
12 was with the 252nd around this same time, participating in the Drenica
14 A. We are talking about a 15-day period here, a fortnight. PJP units
15 are quite mobile, they're police units used for manoeuvring, and they were
16 involved all over Kosovo and Metohija depending on their mission at a
17 given point in time. They did not have one particular area that they were
18 assigned to and they weren't just staying in one area all the time, such
19 as the army brigades. Therefore, no one should be surprised that police
20 units are showing up in several different areas along with several
21 different army brigades.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Ivetic, since you've had the extra time
23 you were -- or the time after you indicated, are you about finished?
24 MR. IVETIC: About, yes, Your Honour, but I think I have about
25 nine or ten questions left, Your Honour.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Please see how quickly you can now
3 bring this to an end. There was at some stage in the last 20 minutes a
4 prospect that we would finish the witness today, but it now is rapidly
6 MR. IVETIC: I will, Your Honour, and to try and get rid of three
8 Q. General, would you agree that to the end of your -- to the end of
9 your answer to my previous question you could also add that the PJP units
10 had, therefore, orders -- the same PJP unit would have orders from several
11 brigades to resubordinate to them, that is, the same single PJP unit could
12 have several brigades vying for resubordination?
13 A. The way you formulated the question, it's practically
14 impossible --
15 Q. Sir, hold on, please.
16 A. -- if we go back to the order on the engagement of MUP.
17 Q. We're running out of time. Let's go to one of your documents to
18 see how out of line I am. If we can look at 6D1023. This is attachment 2
19 to the Pristina Corps plan on engagement of its forces. Can you, looking
20 at the -- let's go to the -- this is the part we want, isn't it? Would
21 you agree with me, sir, looking at the second page of this exhibit, that
22 the same PJP unit was supposed to be resubordinated to both the 354th
23 Infantry Brigade as well as the 211th Brigade simultaneously for purposes
24 of this engagement plan?
25 A. No. A unit cannot be resubordinated to several commands at the
1 same time because if we look at the text we will see that PJP units will
2 be used occasionally to execute actions in the fight against terrorist
3 forces depending on the specific action and the agreements. So it's a
4 planned activity, it is something that is planned and that is expected.
5 It's not a specific action or a specific assignment.
6 Q. If we can go to 6D1460, that's the document I did not have before
7 me before the break relating to replenishment and the Pristina Corps. And
8 perhaps if I could have the usher's assistance to give a hard copy -- here
9 we go, now it's up on the screen -- just give him a hard copy because then
10 I can ask him to review it and cut it down to one question on this.
11 Sir, you're going to be shown a document, and I'm simply asking
12 you since you testified about the manpower and the mobilisation of the
13 Pristina Corps, if, in fact, this official document from the Pristina
14 Corps coincides with your recollection of the numerical strength,
15 particularly the charts on the second, third page of this exhibit of the
16 Pristina Corps at about the time listed, which is the end of April or --
17 mid-April or the end of April. I can't see the date on my screen.
18 A. Yes, this is certainly an authentic report for that particular
19 time, and we're talking about the 18th of April here. I was talking about
20 the level of replenishment of the corps forces and the command units at
21 the time I assumed my duties at the corps, and this was the 20th of
22 January. So this is a major time difference.
23 Q. If we can now move to 6D1313. This is a Pristina Corps command
24 report -- combat report, pardon me, that at page 2 under the sixth
25 paragraph reports that the -- that in the course of an action in the
1 Runjevo and Stagovo villages, the 243rd Motorised Brigade liquidated five
2 terrorists. Would you agree with me that this Pristina Corps report had
3 to be based on a report from the commander of the 243rd Motorised Brigade?
4 A. Absolutely. How else could it be drafted?
5 Q. And if we look at the fourth paragraph of section 2.1, can we
6 conclude from what is reported here that in the course of a legitimate --
7 of a legitimate anti-terrorist action, the 243rd entered both named
8 villages to rout the terrorists?
9 A. I wouldn't put it that way or understand it that way. Terrorists
10 need not necessarily be in the village. Most often they were on the
11 outskirts of the village at elevations, at such places which made it
12 possible for them to fire at members of the police.
13 Q. Based upon this -- strike that.
14 Had, in fact, the commander of the 243rd Brigade not been able to
15 reach his stated objective and had that commander only reached the points
16 of Stara Kacanik and Kamena Glava, would that -- would you expect that and
17 indeed wouldn't that be mandated to be in the combat report?
18 A. Of course the commander had to report on the actual situation and
19 what he did as part of the action. I couldn't understand it any other
21 Q. And would you agree with me that this combat report relating to
22 this action does not, in fact, reflect any mention of the 243rd Brigade
23 not being able to reach the stated objective and, rather, stopping at
24 Stara Kacanik and Kamena Glava --
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I object. We can all
1 read what it says in the combat report, and this witness now is being
2 asked to speculate. First of all, he should have been asked if he knew
3 about the action and specific details of it in order to be able to put
4 more questions to him.
5 MR. IVETIC: I can withdraw the question, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, Mr. Ivetic?
7 MR. IVETIC: I can withdraw the question.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
9 MR. IVETIC:
10 Q. In any event, had such a report from the commander of the 243rd
11 Brigade been received by the Pristina Corps, it would be reflected in
12 combat reports of the Pristina Corps; isn't that correct?
13 A. Yes, of course.
14 Q. If I can move to my last topic. You testified in direct about
15 Exhibit 5D476, about an order supposedly sent from the MUP staff with
16 which the secretariats of internal affairs, or SUPs, were ordered to plan
17 anti-terrorist actions with specific VJ -- with specific Pristina Corps
18 elements. Do you, sir, or did you have any occasion to physically see
19 with your own eyes any order from the MUP staff for such a thing to take
21 A. No, I personally didn't see such an order, but information came --
22 the information came from MUP in any case. Thousands and thousands of
23 orders and plans were drafted, so you cannot expect one man to do all of
24 that. This has been -- this is something that was done consistently.
25 It's not just one -- a one-off thing. A plan is what should be expected
1 in the coming period, what to be prepared for in order to be able to plan.
2 Q. All right. Now, this list of actions that is here for the various
3 entities --
4 A. Yes, yes, as I said.
5 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Wait for my question and then
6 I'll get through with you very quickly. I apologise. Would you agree
7 with me, in fact, looking at this list of actions on this document - and
8 if you need to turn to the other pages, by all means do so - but that a
9 majority of these anti-terrorist actions were, in fact, carried out
10 pursuant to written orders from the Pristina Corps whether the title of
11 the document said "Joint Command" or simply "Pristina Corps"?
12 A. The planned actions were both for the army and for the MUP, but
13 the plan was such that the police and the military each knew their own
14 plans. But let me be clear. The army did not plan for others other than
15 its own units and commands. This is just a plan, activity, directed at
16 future actions where the military, the army, and the police would both be
18 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, without -- without the need to confront
19 the witness with every document, for the record, we have P1970, relating
20 to action in section 1.1; P1973 for the action at 1.3 in this document;
21 P1878 for the action at 2.2 in this document; P2003 for the action at 2.3
22 in this document; P1974 for the action at 3.1 in this document; P1975 for
23 the action at 3.4 of the document; and indeed 6D1307 for 3.3 of this
24 document. And with that, I conclude my cross-examination.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
1 Mr. Stefanovic, you'll now be cross-examined by the Prosecutor,
2 Mr. Stamp.
3 Mr. Stamp.
4 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
6 Q. Good morning, General.
7 A. Good morning.
8 Q. Thank you. In the course of VJ actions and operations, many of
9 which you have spoken about, you would sometimes receive post-action or
10 post-operation analyses from the brigade commanders who commanded the
11 action; is that so?
12 A. After the action was completed or is completed, the commanders
13 would submit regular combat reports containing the assessment of the
14 executed action. When they were asked for a separate analysis, they would
15 send analysis of the actions that were executed.
16 Q. And once a situation of them being asked for separate analysis I
17 would like to show to you. Could we have a look at 2591, that's P2591.
18 Did some commanders in submitting their analysis complain that in
19 many of these actions and operations the VJ was acting in a heavy-handed
20 way and that is using excessive force?
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you mean to say "VJ"?
22 MR. STAMP:
23 Q. The units of the Pristina Corps to be more precise.
24 Before we get to the document, can you just focus on the question
25 I asked you and answer it.
1 A. I would ask you, please, to repeat this because you are asking me
2 about two topics: Analysis and excessive use of force.
3 Q. As operations officer or chief of the operations section of the
4 corps, did you receive reports or analyses from brigade commanders that
5 many of the operations as planned were conducted by the units of the
6 Pristina Corps using excessive force?
7 A. As a whole, no, but I have a document in front of me of the 37th
8 Motorised Brigade command where the use of excessive force is being
9 treated in a relative way --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stefanovic, you're being asked for your
11 personal recollection and not to refer to the document. It shouldn't have
12 been put on the screen until you had answered the general question, and
13 the general question, you can deal with without reference to this. So did
14 you receive reports that many of the operations or actions I think it
15 means as planned were conducted by units of the Pristina Corps using
16 excessive force?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The brigade commanders sent reports
18 to the corps command, and as far as I know, no one reported on using
19 excessive force or too large a force in actions against the enemy.
20 MR. STAMP:
21 Q. Well, let's have a look at the document now, and if we could look
22 at page 2 of the English, paragraphs 2 and 4 from the top, and this is at
23 the bottom of the first page of the B/C/S. The third paragraph or dashed
24 paragraph in B/C/S and the fifth dashed paragraph in -- this, without us
25 going -- flipping around the document, is a report for the commander of
1 the 37th Motorised Brigade, Colonel Dikovic, and he says: "In our view,
2 the number of units and troops engaged in Kosmac and Cicavica operations,
3 measured against the results achieved, was inappropriate. In other
4 words, 'operations spread across a large area, but the effects of actions
5 aimed at destroying the STS forces were relatively limited.'" ?
6 Is that what you see in your document? Do you see what I just
7 read in the document? And you will see in the --
8 A. Yes, yes, I see.
9 Q. And --
10 A. And that is just one report from the commander of the 37th
11 Motorised Brigade who says here that the use of relatively large forces is
12 here, that is his own opinion. He suggests smaller actions. We're
13 talking about actions here, not operations. Operations are such
14 activities at the operative level, carried out by corps, but brigades
15 would carry out actions, fights and battles. So this is a report that is
16 separate in that sense and he's suggesting a way to be more effective, but
17 it's not something that can be generalised and applied to all units of the
18 Pristina Corps.
19 Q. Well, can you read that paragraph first, paragraph about engaging
20 relatively large forces --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we can read that for ourselves, can we not?
22 MR. STAMP: Very well.
23 Q. We have --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: If you want to highlight expressions used in it,
25 that's a matter for you, but we don't need the whole thing read.
1 MR. STAMP: Very well.
2 Q. In most of the operations or in many of the operations and actions
3 that the VJ forces were involved in where they sealed off areas, so to
4 speak, are you aware that these actions or in the course of these actions
5 significant members of the Kosovar Albanian population were expelled from
6 their homes?
7 A. In the areas of combat actions, the population was aware of that
8 and they left the area. So this was not done because of the military, it
9 was done much earlier. When they come and occupy a certain facility in a
10 special area, the Siptar terrorist forces move out or leave the population
11 there, using them as human shields. I said yesterday that whenever the
12 army observed that civilian population was there, they would stop, and
13 this happened in the majority of the cases. I cannot speak about
14 individual instances.
15 Q. Having seen now the reference in this particular report from a
16 brigade commander about using relatively large forces to fight small
17 terrorist groups, using an elephant to kill a fly, and conducting
18 large-scale mopping-up operations through the area, can you recall now if
19 you got that, this particular analysis?
20 A. No. I'm seeing this analysis for the first time in its written
21 form. I'm not familiar with it.
22 Q. Did you receive any such complaint or opinion orally from any of
23 the brigade commanders or senior members of the VJ?
24 A. No. The commanders reported back to the corps commander. They
25 reported back to the corps commander if they observed something
1 particular. At the corps command level we discussed all these important
2 topics and issues that cropped up in the course of the implementation of
3 an assignment. No one said to me that I used large force to destroy a
4 terrorist group, quite to the contrary. There were more commanders who
5 said that they didn't have a sufficient number of forces or a sufficient
6 force size.
7 Q. Okay. Your answer is: No, you weren't aware of these reports. I
8 take it then that you didn't factor into your preparations and your plans
9 the recommendations made by Colonel Dikovic in this document?
10 A. No, I didn't see him or know anything about his testimony.
11 Q. We have seen a series of documents- and I'm moving on to something
12 else now - where the reference number is -- includes the number 455.
13 Perhaps we could look at one, P2808, because I think that one is 455-1.
14 And this is an order I think you said you yourself prepared. I don't
15 think I need to take you back to it. You recall that, don't you? Don't
16 nod. Do not nod. Can you answer verbally?
17 A. [No interpretation].
18 Q. Thanks. How -- what's the significance of the number existing,
19 455, we have seen many of the orders, how is that decided upon? Is it --
20 or you tell us, please.
21 A. Each command organ had its own list of documents and numbers
22 because the operations organ is a large organ and plans a large number of
23 documents and drafts a large number of documents. This is one of those
24 numbers, 455; it's a three-digit number. And this document was registered
25 at this -- with this number. There were also other groups of numbers to
1 record documents in the archives.
2 Q. So do you just give it the number arbitrarily or does the number
3 relate to a topic or is the number -- or it just gets a number
5 A. The number is assigned. It's not just made up, it's assigned on
6 the basis of the book of records and then it's allocated to commands,
7 organs, everyone has their own lists of documents and they have their own
8 numbers or several numbers that they use when generating their documents.
9 This number that was used here, I cannot tell you right now why it was
10 455, but that was the number used for this particular combat report.
11 Q. Okay. And when you see 455-1 here, this would be the first
12 document bearing the 455 number?
13 A. Yes, precisely.
14 Q. Now, without going into all of these documents, there are
15 documents from March and April bearing 455- various numbers. Does it mean
16 that all of the documents relate back to the original 455 document or are
17 they -- is there a relationship there somewhere?
18 A. No, there isn't, because the numbers were also mixed. It would
19 happen because of difficult work conditions and the fact that different
20 people processed the documents. Sometimes the numbers got mixed up, their
21 register numbers. There should have been a number for specific topics,
22 but there were cases when they overlapped or were mixed up with other
24 Q. I see. So if, for example, we see 455 with the -- with a report
25 dealing with a laundry list of a unit, that would be a mistake. 455
1 referred to the specific topic that this order in front of you deals with;
2 is that what you're saying?
3 A. Well, what I'm trying to say, honourable Prosecutor, is that this
4 is a group of numbers that ensures documents to be based on certain
5 numbers and certain groups of numbers. However, as I say, in practice
6 personnel changes, command posts change, there were certain changes and
7 deviations. However, this is the number of the corps command. It cannot
8 be the number of another unit in the corps.
9 Q. Right. But the question I asked it can be -- I'll ask it this
10 way. Although there might be mistakes in using the number, 455 really
11 should or the intention was that it should refer to the topic that is the
12 subject of the document in front of you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. Many of the documents bearing this number, perhaps all of
15 them, use the expression "armed non-Siptar population," and I think it was
16 your testimony that all documents referring -- or orders arising out of
17 the anti-terrorist combat plan in P2808 had to in the section entered
18 under tasks include reference to the armed non-Siptar population even
19 though you had no authority to command them? That's a correct
20 understanding of what you're saying?
21 A. Yes, in item 2 of every order of the corps command, or rather, the
22 corps commander, that is the task of the Pristina Corps that was taken
23 over completely from the order of the command of the -- from the commander
24 of the 3rd Army. And this kind of task is taken over in its entirety.
25 The corps commander does not have the right to rephrase that particular
1 item at all, not a single word. Also, if we look at paragraph 4 of the
2 order of the corps commander where the decision is and 5 where the
3 assignments of the units are, there is no reference to the armed
4 population, or rather, the armed non-Siptar population.
5 Q. That is what I'm concerned about because your evidence is that you
6 would keep the phrase in although it was meaningless, you couldn't apply
7 it because you had no discretion to take it out. But weren't there Joint
8 Command orders for anti-terrorist actions in which that phrase was not
10 A. Yes, it is correct that that is a phrase that was taken over, and
11 I told you why, because one does not have the right to change it. In all
12 orders where there is the task --
13 Q. Sorry. I think there might be a mistranslation. Weren't there
14 Joint Command orders for anti-terrorist operations where the persons who
15 drafted the order exercised their discretion to take it out, didn't
16 include it, include that expression?
17 A. I don't have any interpretation.
18 MR. IVETIC: No translation on the Serbian channel, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Try again, Mr. Stamp.
20 MR. STAMP:
21 Q. I'm referring to your evidence where you said that there was no
22 discretion. All orders under this head had to include in the task section
23 reference to armed non-Siptar population, and I'm saying to you or I'm
24 asking if you were aware that there were orders by the Joint Command for
25 anti-terrorist operations that did not have in the task section this
1 phrase "engage the armed non-Siptar population"?
2 A. I understood your question. That phrase pertained only to the
3 task given to the Pristina Corps. It did not pertain to the tasks of
4 units of the brigade and so on. It only pertained to the task of the
5 Pristina Corps.
6 Q. Excuse me, but you're not answering my question. My question --
7 or let's just look at one document, let's look at P3049. You see item
8 2 on --
9 A. Yes, I see that.
10 Q. It's a Joint Command order of the 19th of March and it's numbered
11 455-44. Here there is no order to engage the non-Siptar population, is
13 A. Not in item 2. Perhaps we could have a look at item 3 and see.
14 Q. Perhaps it would be quicker if you look at it in the hard copy.
15 Since you have the hard copy in your hands, can you remind us who prepared
16 that order, did you?
17 A. This order was written in the command of the Pristina Corps.
18 Q. Did you -- were you involved in its preparation?
19 A. Well, I do not recall. I think that I personally did not
20 participate in the drafting of this order.
21 Q. You will see in section 3 it doesn't include reference to the
22 expression "engage armed non-Siptar population."
23 A. Yes. This clause is not in this order, but this order omitted
24 item 3. It's not decision, it is neighbours. So it's not my document
25 because I know the way in which I write documents.
1 Q. Now, you notice that this is an order, perhaps you will agree with
2 me, for mainly a simple exercise of unblocking a road, and it was expected
3 that the duration would last one to two days. You will agree with that,
4 would you?
5 A. I didn't understand you. What task do you have in mind here?
6 Q. The primary task was to unblock a road, and it is envisioned that
7 this would take one to two days?
8 A. Yes, one of the tasks was to ensure that the roads were
10 Q. So I suggest to you that the reason in this order or the reason
11 why this order does not make a reference to the use of the armed
12 non-Siptar population is because the armed non-Siptar population were not
13 needed for the realization of this task?
14 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor. The armed non-Siptar population was not
15 involved at all under the command of the Pristina Corps. I spoke about
16 that yesterday.
17 Q. Very well.
18 A. What was probably meant was the forces --
19 Q. And --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you complete that answer, what was probably
21 meant was ...
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can complete that. The armed
23 non-Siptar population as a phrase, as a category that is provided in the
24 task, as far as the Pristina Corps is concerned -- rather, the Pristina
25 Corps never involved the population, never, not in a single task. Why?
1 What is meant here is the forces of the Federal Ministry of Defence, the
2 civil protection and civil defence. In order to have any command engage
3 them for their own needs, the same forces would have to be resubordinated
4 to the command of the Pristina Corps.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
6 MR. STAMP:
7 Q. What is the -- withdrawn.
8 Let's get straight to the document. Could we look at 5D1284.
9 Just for the record, this is an order of the 243rd Mechanised Brigade of
10 the --
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] We did not receive notice regarding
14 this document, but I see that I used it; however, Mr. Stamp did not say
15 that he would be using it but I see now that I did use it in direct.
16 MR. STAMP: Yes, I think our notice says as a caveat that we'll
17 probably use anything that is used in chief and then list the documents.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Please continue, yes.
19 MR. STAMP:
20 Q. You'll see at item 2 - and if we could go to page 2 in the
21 English, top of page 2 - there is a slightly different formulation. Now,
22 this is something that you were asked quite precisely yesterday by your
23 own counsel. It says here in the English: "In coordinated action the
24 175th Infantry Brigade, the 549th Motorised Brigade, and armed non-Siptar
25 population, through decisive defence of the state border, prevent raids of
1 NATO forces along the following axes ..."
2 That's a slightly different formulation. Does that indicate to
3 you that the brigade commander was authorising his battalion commanders or
4 subordinate commands to involve or engage the armed non-Siptar population
5 in the coordinated action?
6 A. No. This is a free formal sentence that the commander, or rather,
7 his command, the commander of the 243rd Brigade entered in this task here;
8 however, without the command of the Pristina Corps' task being involved.
9 They could not introduce what had not been given to them in the task.
10 Q. With regard in the same document, page 12 of the English, this is
11 item 8.4 dealing with the anti-nuclear, chemical, and biological support,
12 and that's at page 9 of the B/C/S, you see in the second paragraph in
13 English and the last paragraph of 8.4 it says: "Coordinate action with CZ
14 organs and units in the brigade zone of responsibility in order to help
15 each other ..."
16 Doesn't it here specifically refer to the civilian protection?
17 A. Yes, yes, and it pertains precisely -- if you allow me. As I said
18 a few moments ago, the armed non-Siptar population, or precisely, the
19 forces of the Ministry of Defence, the civil protection, civil defence and
20 here it says coordination. That is to say that these forces are not
21 subordinated to the brigade, but it is a question of coordination.
22 Q. What are the initials for the civil defence?
23 A. CZ -- oh, CO, sorry, "civilna odbrana"; "civilna zastita," CZ.
24 Q. You see here in this order when it refers to civil protection, it
25 refers to them specifically, it doesn't call them armed non-Siptar
1 population. Do you know of a reason why these orders instead of using the
2 term "armed non-Siptar population" do not say: "Engage the civil
3 protection and the civil defence"?
4 A. Yes, this is a brigade document, a document of the 243rd Brigade.
5 That is how he defined it. He specifically refers to civil protection
6 here because it has to do with protection from chemical agents and so on.
7 So this is a specialised battalion of the ABH. This is just
8 coordination. From here one cannot see that the civil protection is
9 subordinated to the 243rd Motorised Brigade. It only coordinates in the
11 Q. I understand that. I just want you to tell us if you know of any
12 reason why, as this commander has written here, when reference is being
13 made to civil protection and civil defence, these orders don't simply
14 say: Coordinate action or engage the CZ and the CO, instead of employing
15 that phrase "armed non-Siptar population." Do you know of any reason why
16 they just don't use those two initials, CZ and CO?
17 A. Well, one could not use either one. We show through orders,
18 tasks, and decisions that we are not using either name. We can have a
19 look at many documents, the tasks of the units of the corps, it doesn't
20 say the armed non-Siptar population, it doesn't say civil defence, it
21 doesn't say civil protection.
22 Q. That's what I'm asking you. Just focus on my questions. I just
23 showed you this here to show that VJ personnel can refer to an entity or a
24 unit by its proper name. In this order they use "armed non-Siptar
25 population" to refer to one thing, and in this order they're also using
1 the expression CZ for civilian protection. Simply: Do you know of a
2 reason why it is that in the Pristina Corps orders if the
3 expression "armed non-Siptar population" refers to civil protection and
4 civil defence, why they do not use those terms?
5 A. Once again I will try to be as specific as possible. The brigade
6 commander, or rather, his organs took this over without approval from the
7 corps command. He defined this himself without approval. The order of
8 the corps commander. In the decision in the tasks of the units there is
9 not a single formulation, it doesn't say armed non-Siptar population or
10 civil defence or civil protection, except that it appears in paragraph 2
11 where the task of the corps is and nowhere else.
12 Q. Okay. Forget about this order. Don't look at it anymore. This
13 is the last time I'm going to ask you this question. Why in those
14 Pristina Corps orders don't they use the expression "engage the CZ and the
16 A. Well, precisely, these are forces of the Ministry of Defence and
17 they are not involved in the Pristina Corps and that is why they were not
19 Q. But you are saying that the armed non-Siptar population are forces
20 of the Ministry of Defence and were not involved in the Pristina Corps;
21 that reason applies both to the expression armed non-Siptar population as
23 A. Precisely. We did not use either formulation, and what is meant
24 are the same forces and these are forces of the Ministry of Defence and
25 this was not used in any situation.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stefanovic, there may be some difficulty caused
2 by translation, it's not clear to me, but in the document, as you see
3 before you, the brigade commander has referred to civil protection organs
4 specifically by name. And what Mr. Stamp is asking you is why he should
5 do that rather than refer to armed non-Siptar population. Now, can you
6 explain that?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, the
8 brigade commander does not have the right to use either formulation. What
9 was not given to him within the task given by the corps commander. It is
10 correct that it says "civil protection" here and it is correct that it
11 says "armed non-Siptar population," but this is what he did on his own bat
12 without the corps command.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
14 MR. STAMP:
15 Q. You said the brigade commander did not have authority to use
16 either formulation. Are you saying he did not have authority to use the
17 formulation "civil protection"?
18 A. He has the right to use everything in terms of expressions, one
19 and the other and the third one; but when speaking of a concrete task he
20 cannot arbitrarily incorporate anything that was not given to him by his
21 superior commander within the task. And here we can see that it is a
22 question of arbitrariness.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: That's a different matter. We understand that.
24 The question here is why use two separate expressions for one body, and
25 indeed why use a vague, offensive expression like armed -- or
1 discriminatory expression like "armed non-Siptar population" when you can
2 actually use the proper description "civil protection."
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, this
4 formulation at the level of the general -- well, it's the way it is. No
5 one understands it differently. It can only be the forces of the civil
6 protection and the civil defence, in no other way. Formally that is the
7 way it is put at the level of the general, the universal. And then the
8 corps command took this over. They did not incorporate this themselves,
9 they took this over because this stems from the general task that cannot
10 be changed.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
12 MR. STAMP: If I could move on, with your leave, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes -- well, it would be a convenient time to
14 break, if it is for you also.
15 MR. STAMP: Very well, Your Honour, it is.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: We have to break again, Mr. Stefanovic, for half an
17 hour. Could you again please leave the courtroom with the usher.
18 [The witness stands down].
19 JUDGE BONOMY: We shall resume at ten minutes to 1.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.50 p.m.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
24 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Q. You said yesterday that when you took over your role or while you
1 were going through the period of being introduced to your tasks as
2 operations sector chief, you discovered that the peacetime establishment
3 of the VJ or the Pristina Corps was just at about 80 per cent, they had
4 insufficient personnel to realize all their tasks, in particular fighting
5 terrorists. What was the situation on or about the 24th of March in
6 respect to the personnel of the Pristina Corps?
7 A. The manning level of the commanding units of the Pristina Corps in
8 late March, which is the period that you referred to, was better. As far
9 as I remember, a new party of soldiers was received from the training
10 centres by way of bringing up manpower levels. Some of the units pursuant
11 to an order of the command, that is, the General Staff, was sent in to
12 reinforce the Pristina Corps. The combat capacity of the corps and the
13 manning levels were definitely raised in relation to what the situation
14 had been in January.
15 Q. Yes, but in January -- in January, February you said there was 18
16 per cent -- 80 per cent of its peacetime establishment. By the 24th of
17 March it would be a different situation, wouldn't it? It would be the
18 wartime manning strength. What was the percentage at the 24th of March?
19 A. I can't be certain that it was roughly the same as the peacetime
20 establishment or under the peacetime establishment it would have been 95
21 to 100 per cent, but I can't be certain without reliable information that
22 I could use.
23 Q. When you say it would be the same, you mean at the 24th of March
24 it would be about 80 per cent of the wartime requirements or wartime
1 A. No, no, no, no, no. I'm talking about peacetime establishment for
2 manning levels. The order had not yet been issued, or rather, this is the
3 24th of March, so some of the units, or rather, the mobilisation was in
4 progress and manning levels were being brought up because on the 24th the
5 air-strikes began and a state of war had been declared. Both the state
6 and the army were switching to wartime organization mode, therefore the
7 manning levels in the corps were being brought up and there was a
8 mobilisation in progress.
9 Q. How many soldiers or how many personnel did the Pristina Corps
10 have under its command on the 24th of March?
11 A. I can't be specific about the 24th of March, but it was certainly
12 over 100 per cent; it was 110, 115 per cent, so 10 to 15 per cent over and
13 above what it would have been under the peacetime establishment.
14 Q. And after mobilisation, how many did it have by, say, the end of
16 A. By the end of April, after the mobilisation round had been
17 completed, certain command units, because not all the units in the entire
18 Pristina Corps had been mobilised at the same time, it was a gradual
19 process unit by unit, command by command, and by the end of April the
20 corps had about 18.000 or 20.000 men, including those reinforcements that
21 had in the meantime arrived in the Pristina Corps.
22 Q. 18.000 men after mobilisation, is that your evidence? Did I hear
23 that correctly?
24 A. I'm not certain, again, I am not positive. I really can't say
25 without reliable information being available to me.
1 Q. Very well. Now, General Samardzic, the former 3rd Army corps
2 commander, said that the VJ had armed some 47.000 civilians by February
3 1999. Do you know of that?
4 A. No, I wasn't aware of the fact -- I wasn't aware of what General
5 Samardzic said, but I can assume how he arrived at that figure.
6 Q. How did he arrive at that figure?
7 A. I'll try to break this down. Firstly, the reserve forces of the
8 Pristina Corps number about 11.000 military conscripts. If I still
9 remember correctly, about 9.000 military conscripts were actually
10 mobilised and joined the war units of the Pristina Corps. Next, between
11 9.000 and 10.000 for the Pristina Military District, their own military
12 conscripts and they mobilised their own units. As in Pristina, there was
13 the defence administration, which was an outpost of the defence ministry,
14 they mobilised between 15.000 and 20.000 men. So we take all of that and
15 we also bear in mind the fact that the police had their own military
16 conscripts on wartime assignments and reserve police squads had been set
17 up, so the rough figure that we arrive at would be roughly the same as
18 that mentioned by General Samardzic.
19 Q. Well, I think I better show you what General Samardzic said
20 because it is apparent from what he said that he was not referring to
21 those groups that you mentioned.
22 MR. STAMP: If we could look at the record of the session of the
23 collegium of the Chief of Staff of the 2nd of February, 1999, that is the
24 Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army, and that's P931.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think P931 is not on
1 the exhibit list that we got -- oh, right, it was delivered after the
2 witness had been sworn in. It wasn't on the original list, but it was
3 added later on.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 MR. STAMP: Yes, could we go to page 23 of the English, which is
6 similar to page 21 of the B/C/S.
7 Q. General Ojdanic says: "I've heard that there are 50.000 armed
9 General Samardzic: "Judging by the amount of weapons issued, for
10 now, it's 47.000 ..."
11 "What are the war assignments of these armed Serbs and what is the
12 plan for including them in the units?"
13 General Samardzic: "It was my order and we organized the whole
14 thing, for the defence of Serbian villages, commanders at all levels have
15 been sent out, they're armed and they have two combat sets of ammunition
16 each. Their role and assignment is to defend their villages and
17 participate together with army units in operations in the immediate
18 vicinity." For emphasis I repeat: "And participant together with army
19 units in any operations in the immediate vicinity. We have to carry out
20 military and police operations, it can't be done in any other way, and at
21 this moment there are not -- and at this moment there are enough army and
22 MUP members to do their part of the job ..."
23 Do you find that there?
24 A. Yes, yes, I see that, but I've never seen it before.
25 Q. Well, I'm just showing that to you. Can you just read for me the
1 last sentence of what General Samardzic says where he says: "We have to
2 carry out military and police operations ..." Can you read it aloud,
4 A. "We have to carry out military and police operations, it can't be
5 done in any other way, and at this moment there are enough army and MUP
6 members to do their part of the job if it should come to that."
7 Q. Okay. Now, you will agree with me that those entities that you
8 referred to, the military department, the military police - may I just
9 get the record - the military conscripts, the military -- the personnel of
10 the Pristina Military District, defence administration, they are not
11 engaged in arming Serbs to protect villages; they recruit citizens. As a
12 matter of fact, the evidence is that they tried to recruit non-Serbs, they
13 tried to recruit Albanians. So you will agree with me that General
14 Samardzic, when he speaks of 47.000, is not referring to those groups that
15 you just mentioned. Do you have any idea who General Samardzic was
16 referring to when he said that they have armed 47.000 Serbs for the
17 defence of Serbian villages and to participate with the army units?
18 A. No.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
20 A. I'm not aware of that.
21 Q. I suggest to you that this was the armed non-Siptar population.
22 A. And the question?
23 Q. Well, do you agree with what I just suggested?
24 A. No, no, no.
25 Q. Very well. If we could move on. You said in respect to P1967,
1 which is an amendment to a previous order, I remember you discussed that,
2 that -- and perhaps we could bring it up, P1967. In regard to this action
3 you said that the command post was at Lausa.
4 A. That's right. Yes. I said that the command post of the 354th
5 Brigade was at Lausa, and the group of officers designated by the corps
6 commander to go to that command post was to lead the action.
7 MR. STAMP: I think we have the wrong document here. P1967.
8 Q. And that command post where the group of officers designated by
9 the corps command went to and where they were joined, I think you said, by
10 officers of the MUP, that is not apparent from this order or this
11 amendment, is it?
12 A. Yes. It doesn't say here that the group was set up and
13 dispatched, but there was an oral order by the corps commander, the group
14 was set up and it was dispatched to the command post in the Lausa sector,
15 or to be even more specific, the Lausko Brdo sector.
16 Q. So basically as far as the reference to Lausa in this order is
17 concerned, there is no amendment in respect to that command post because
18 it's not referred to here?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. If we could, therefore, move on more generally to the issue of the
21 Joint Command. When was the first time you heard that expression in
22 relation to Pristina Corps activities with the MUP?
23 A. The first time was when I was taking over my duties from General
24 Djakovic. When I was looking at documents I noticed this header
25 saying "the Joint Command"; and then he told me that this was coordination
1 between the army and the MUP in carrying out anti-terrorist combat
3 Q. You were introduced to this term in January, I take it, of 1999?
4 A. Yes, during the take-over, hand-over of duty.
5 Q. How many orders emanating from the Pristina Corps headed "Joint
6 Command" did you see in January of 1999?
7 A. Several, as far as I can remember, but I can't be more specific
8 than that, several.
9 Q. Very well. We have tried, I can tell you, we have tried to get as
10 many of them as we can and -- well, let me ask you this: You saw
11 several. Can you recall approximately when the earliest was dated?
12 A. I don't think I can. It was probably back in 1998, but I really
13 can't remember the date.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Was your predecessor, Djakovic, a colonel at that
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, when I was taking over, and
17 this was January 1999, he was already a general.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: How long had he held that post at the Pristina
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think over a year, but I'm not
21 certain. It was over a year.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: And do you know where he had been before that,
23 immediately before that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know where he
25 had been before he came to the Pristina Corps command.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 Mr. Stamp.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. I take it that you would have been informed that these Pristina
5 Corps documents that were headed "Joint Command" that were issued in 1998
6 would have been issued by General Pavkovic, who in 1998 was the commander
7 of the Pristina Corps?
8 A. Yes. General Pavkovic was the corps commander in 1998. When I
9 had a chance to go through the documents, I saw that they were from 1998.
10 Q. And when you saw these documents saying that they are from the --
11 or being issued by the Joint Command and they -- and saying at the end
12 that the Joint Command shall command the forces, did you inquire what this
13 Joint Command was all about?
14 A. Yes, I did. I asked General Djakovic what this meant - it wasn't
15 common at all - and he said that this was no more than a reference to
16 situations where army units and military [as interpreted] units act
17 together in order to carry out anti-terrorist actions, and he said the
18 name was used only in relation to those situations.
19 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Sorry, did he say army units and military units,
20 in line 73, 6.
21 MR. STAMP:
22 Q. Is that what you meant, army units and military units or did you
23 mean army units and MUP units?
24 A. It's about the army and the police, their units.
25 Q. And you said that you thought it to be an unfortunate term; is
1 that what you thought at the time?
2 A. Frankly, I'm not sure I thought that at the time, but I certainly
3 do now. This is something that is irregular as a name, it's something
4 that was simply made up and was ill-founded because it expressed nothing
5 of the essence.
6 Q. But you nonetheless continued to use the computer template, as it
8 A. Yes, that's right. I would add something there. General Djakovic
9 and the operatives from the army command were there all the time and we
10 planned those actions together. There was a continuity to our work, until
11 such time as the order was issued on resubordination.
12 Q. Did General Djakovic, in briefing you about this term "Joint
13 Command," during the hand-over or in those many contacts you had with him
14 which you just indicated now, tell you that the Joint Command included
16 A. No, no. That was never discussed.
17 Q. Did he, in showing you documents from 1998, show you minutes of
18 meetings with the commander of the PrK, General Pavkovic; with General
19 Lukic; Mr. Sainovic; Mr. Minic; Mr. Andjelkovic?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Language again, Mr. Stamp. Mr. Fila resents your
21 referring to these as "minutes."
22 MR. FILA: Yes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it's sufficient if we refer to them as
24 notes of the meeting. That's --
25 MR. STAMP: Very well, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: -- capable of further interpretation in due course.
2 MR. STAMP:
3 Q. Did he show you notes of meetings involving the command of the
4 Pristina Corps; the MUP staff for Kosovo, Mr. Sainovic?
5 A. No.
6 MR. STAMP: Could we bring up P1468, please.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: While that's happening, can I clarify one thing
8 with you. You said that "General Djakovic and the operatives from the
9 army command were there all the time and we planned these actions
11 Now, in that context are you referring to him and others from the
12 3rd Army command?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President,
14 precisely. General Djakovic, together with a group of operatives at the
15 command post of the Pristina Corps directly took part in the planning of
16 operations with the operatives of the command of the Pristina Corps.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: And what period of time are you referring to?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From February onwards, all the time,
19 up until the 10th of June, or rather, 15th of June, 1999.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Going back just slightly also, Mr. Stefanovic,
23 there -- you referred to the resubordination order, and that date I assume
24 to be the 20th of April. Were there Joint Command documents after the
25 20th of April?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, after
2 the 20th of April, or rather, after the resubordination order was issued
3 concerning the MUP, as far as I know, there were no other combat documents
4 of this kind that were drafted and issued with that kind of heading and
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 Mr. Fila.
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] If the witness says that Djakovic did
9 not talk to him about any kind of notes, I don't understand why this is
10 being shown to him now, on the basis of what. It's on the screen. A bit
11 of caution or could the Prosecutor at least explain to us why he is
12 showing this and what is the foundation for that. You already have the
13 answer, that Djakovic never talked to him about any kind of notes.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not necessarily the end of the inquiry in
15 regard to these notes or their contents with a view to establishing facts,
16 and there can be no objection in general to the use of this exhibit. If a
17 particular question is asked that raises issues of relevance, then you can
18 renew your objection.
19 Mr. Stamp.
20 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 Could we look at page 2 of that -- of this document.
22 Q. Now that you see the document, does that refresh your memory? Do
23 you know this handwriting?
24 A. No, I'm not sure whose handwriting this is. We drafted our
25 documents on computers. I didn't have occasion to see people's
2 Q. And having seen this, you are saying you are not familiar with
3 it? Colonel Djakovic didn't show this to you?
4 A. Yes, I did not have an occasion to see this document because it
5 was not an official document that was handed over during hand-over, if
6 there was something.
7 Q. Well, whether you saw the document or not, your hand-over lasted
8 one month, you said. Were you told about these meetings at all?
9 A. No, no, we didn't have time to talk about that. There were so
10 many tasks that we worked, each one of us, on his own. We could barely
11 have a cup of coffee together during the course of the day. There were so
12 many things that had to be done. I had so many things to do, and there
13 was a pile of documents to look at in addition to the work I was doing.
14 Q. We have had evidence here of a meeting on the 1st of June, 1999,
15 in Pristina at the Grand Hotel, where the leaders of the Pristina Corps as
16 well as the 3rd Army and the commanders of the MUP and Mr. Sainovic
17 attended, and Mr. Sainovic is supposed to have spoken at that meeting.
18 Did you hear about this meeting?
19 A. No, honourable Prosecutor. On the 1st of June, the date that you
20 referred to, I was leading the Drenica 1 action so I was not at the corps
21 command at all on that day, or rather, during those days.
22 Q. When did you return to the corps command?
23 A. I think sometime around the 5th or the 6th of June, after a few
24 days, a few days after that action, that is.
25 Q. Did you attend any collegium meetings of the Pristina Corps in
1 early June 1999?
2 A. During the war special collegium meetings were not held. It was
3 meetings in the morning and in the evening depending on the extent to
4 which the commander could bring all the organs of the command together, in
5 view of the fact that most of the organs of the command were in the
6 subordinate units. However, there weren't any collegium meetings in the
7 classical sense, like in peacetime.
8 Q. There weren't weekly collegium meetings that you attended at all?
9 A. During the war, no, there weren't any collegium meetings.
10 Q. Very well. Now, General Lazarevic testified and he indicated that
11 it was his operation sector staff who met with the MUP for coordination,
12 you would be meeting with the MUP to coordinate. Now, in these
13 coordination meetings, did you meet with General Lukic?
14 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor, except when I came to the command of the
15 Pristina Corps with General Djakovic, I went to the staff, and that's
16 where I met the man. We said hello, and that was it. Never again did we
17 have an opportunity to see each other during the war.
18 Q. Well, did your deputy meet with General Lukic?
19 A. I don't think so. As far as I know, no.
20 Q. Well, which -- at General Lukic's level, General Lukic was the
21 head or the chief of the MUP staff of Kosovo and Metohija. What was the
22 corresponding level in the Pristina Corps or the army?
23 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
25 MR. IVETIC: I have to object to this question since the witness
1 is a -- is not a member of the Ministry of the Interior and I believe he
2 even testified in his direct about the different structures of the army
3 and the police, and so I don't think he's in a position to opine as to
4 whether, in fact, there is a corresponding level between the -- between
5 any position in the MUP and any position in the army for that matter. So
6 I think this question is objectionable on that ground.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
8 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, the witness has indicated that himself
9 and other members of the MUP -- of the VJ and the Pristina Corps met with
10 MUP officers for the purposes of coordinating. He therefore should be in
11 a position to opine or state what he understood to be the situation at
12 that time, whether he's right or wrong, but what he understood the
13 situation to be at that time is relevant.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, we'll allow you to ask that question. You're
15 aware of the limitations upon the answer, but perception I think is -- of
16 Mr. Stefanovic is relevant.
17 MR. STAMP: Yes.
18 Q. Who was at a similar level to Major -- sorry, withdrawn.
19 As you understood it in 1999 during the war, which VJ officer
20 would be of a corresponding level to General Lukic?
21 A. Well, it's not simple to answer just like that because the
22 structures are terribly different in terms of organization and also in
23 terms of level. So it's impossible to say anything that would be relevant
24 and truthful. This is a separate structure, the police is, and the army
25 is established in a different way when compared to the police. So I
1 cannot establish a counterpart of General Lukic's from the army.
2 Q. Do you know of General Lukic meeting with anybody from the
3 Pristina Corps or from the VJ during the war?
4 A. As I've said earlier on, I saw General Lukic only once, that's
5 when we met, we said hello, and as far as I know since I was in charge of
6 my organs no one had occasion to meet with him.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: There is something that needs to be clarified
8 here. When you were asked about the coordination at a high level and you
9 gave the answer that you've just given, you actually said when you were
10 asked if you had met Lukic: "No, Mr. Prosecutor, except when I came to
11 the command of the Pristina Corps with General Djakovic. I went to the
12 staff and that's where I met the man. We said hello and that was it."
13 Now, is that what you actually said "when I came to the command of
14 the Pristina Corps"?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that when you first arrived in January?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honour,
18 precisely when I came to take over my duties as chief of the organ within
19 the hand-over of duty.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you see, let's go back to the original
21 question: "General Lazarevic testified and he indicated it was his
22 operations sector staff who met with the MUP for coordination."
23 Now, who was it in your staff that met the MUP -- who was the most
24 senior person in your staff that met the MUP for coordination?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, I was
1 the highest level from my organ a few times, and my deputy, and a few
2 other officers from the operations organ, along with officers from the
4 JUDGE BONOMY: So who -- from the MUP, who was the most senior MUP
5 officer that you met?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, it was
7 General Obrad Stevanovic, he was the highest, then Brakovic and then
8 Lieutenant-Colonel Arsenijevic. Those are the three persons who I had a
9 chance to meet and to coordinate a certain number of actions.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And who in your staff met General Lukic for
11 coordination? Was there anyone did that?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, none of
13 my staff, none of my staff went to this coordination because there wasn't
14 coordination with General Lukic directly, as far as I know, from my level.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, can you just deal with this issue and
16 then we'll finish for the day.
17 MR. STAMP: Very well, Your Honour.
18 Q. What did you understand General Lukic's role to be during the
19 intervention in 1999?
20 A. I knew that he was heading the staff of the Ministry of the
21 Interior for Kosovo and Metohija, and I didn't know anything else about
22 the purview of that staff and what their duties were. I did not have
23 occasion to talk or to familiarise myself with it. I was just an
24 operations officer, a colonel, in the corps command.
25 Q. As operations officer, yourself and many of the senior persons in
1 the Pristina Corps, you primarily made efforts, according to you, to
2 resolve this resubordination issue with the MUP. Did no one in the
3 Pristina Corps, to your knowledge, meet with General Lukic in respect to
5 A. I confirm that I had most contacts, but as assigned by the corps
6 commander in order to resolve the problem of resubordinating the MUP, but
7 I really do not know whether someone else had contacts of coordination
8 because I really don't know. I was not in a position to know.
9 Q. But you were the operations officer. It was your responsibility
10 to know what steps were being taken in respect to resubordination, wasn't
12 A. Absolutely. That's what I did. That is mostly what I did, but as
13 assigned by the corps commander.
14 Q. So when, according to you, you were told that no orders had come
15 down to the units in the field for resubordination, you are saying that
16 you don't know if anybody in the Pristina Corps asked Mr. Lukic about
18 A. I really don't know. Had this happened in peacetime, I would have
19 certainly known a lot more, but in a war situation bombs and rockets are
20 falling every day, day and night. People are losing their lives every day
21 and the command post is moving several times during the day. We see the
22 commander only for five minutes.
23 Q. Incidentally, Mr. Arsenijevic, he is -- he was a part of the MUP
24 staff for Kosovo?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. STAMP: Perhaps this might be a convenient moment.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
3 Mr. Stefanovic, that completes our session for today again, I'm
4 afraid because there's another case this afternoon, we have to interrupt
5 at this stage. Could you please leave the courtroom with the usher, and
6 we will see you again tomorrow at 9.00, again 9.00 in this courtroom
7 tomorrow morning.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Two -- yes, Mr. Ivetic.
10 MR. IVETIC: Just quickly, we sent an e-mail to everyone due to
11 travel constraints our order of witnesses has changed so that Mr. Paunovic
12 will be our first witness rather than Mr. Joksic. Just wanted to bring
13 that to Your Honour's attention as well.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you have an opening to make or straight into
16 MR. IVETIC: Straight into evidence, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Just one other -- well, two other
18 matters of concern, one affecting you. Outstanding is the identification
19 of some of your witnesses, the PJP chiefs I think in four areas. Now, as
20 we did before, unless this can be resolved soon, then we will exclude any
21 reference to them from the 65 ter list and once you have identified
22 suitable witnesses you will have to apply to amend the 65 ter list, but
23 you can let me know tomorrow whether that process will be necessary or
24 whether you can do this now.
25 The other matter concerns Mr. Visnjic. We have not yet received
1 the untranslated documents which you seek to have admitted from the bar
2 table, and time is passing and that sort of thing really needs to be
3 resolved finally. Now, can you indicate when we will receive the motion
4 to deal with these?
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's a matter of days,
6 within a few days, we're expecting two or three translations, but we have
7 already received the longest translation and we wish to disclose it today
8 to the Prosecution. So it will be done within two or three days. There
9 are a few combat reports that are left for translation, but it's going to
10 be a bit of a complex request and it's going to contain most of these
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we have that then in a week?
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] At the latest.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: So next Wednesday dead-line for that. Thank you.
15 We'll resume tomorrow at 9.00.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 7th day of
18 February, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.