1 Wednesday, 10 July 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 WITNESS: WITNESS K25 [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
10 Q. [Interpretation] Considering that you had been to Kosovo six times
11 within a relatively short time, I suppose that you are pretty familiar
12 with the situation there, so I now have a specific question. Did the
13 local population, according to what you know, frequently dig trenches for
14 the KLA?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you have any knowledge about whether they did it as a form of
17 forced labour? Were they forced to do that?
18 A. I can't tell you that. I don't know.
19 Q. Did you talk to that --
20 JUDGE MAY: We've lost the translation.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear me now?
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's go on.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Did you talk about that with Albanian villagers?
25 A. Yes, sometimes they --
1 JUDGE MAY: We don't have the translation.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sometimes they dug trenches of their
3 own free will --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear on this microphone? Can you hear
5 the English now? "A. Sometimes they dug trenches of their own free will,
6 sometimes they were forced to do so."
7 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Yes. Let's go on.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. All right. Do you know about stories or rumours that in Mala
10 Krusa - and that's precisely the area where you were deployed at the
11 critical time - there are over a hundred people? You were there. Did you
12 hear or see anything that would indicate that a crime had been perpetrated
14 A. No. I never heard or saw anything about a hundred people being
16 Q. Was there ever any shooting there that could be linked to such an
18 A. No. I never heard shooting of such intensity that it could kill
19 such a number of people.
20 Q. Since you were a member of special police units, you were there
21 many times with a lot of your friends, comrades, and you had been in the
22 police for a long time, although you're a young man, do you consider it
23 possible for our police to round up some citizens and take them away to
24 execute them? Can you possibly imagine even the worst policemen in our
25 services do that?
1 A. I can't imagine anyone that I know doing anything of the kind.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, it doesn't matter what the witness
3 could imagine or what you could imagine. What we have to deal with is the
4 evidence, so that sort of question is totally irrelevant.
5 Yes. Let's move on.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, if we were dealing only
7 with facts, none of this would be happening. You didn't allow me to quote
8 to Vollebaek Clinton's own speech where Clinton is lying through his teeth
9 about women and children being executed in Racak.
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you have heard what we've said. Now,
11 there are bounds to what's relevant, and the sort of question of what a
12 witness could imagine or not imagine is wholly irrelevant. It doesn't
13 matter what he could imagine. It's the facts and the evidence with which
14 we are dealing, particularly the evidence.
15 Now, let's move on.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. We'll stick to facts,
17 Mr. May.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. So, you would certainly remember if you had seen or heard anything
20 about that, if you had heard shooting or anything?
21 A. Yes, of course I would.
22 Q. Did you see any houses burnt down in Mala Krusa?
23 A. Yes, perhaps two or three. I can't tell you the exact number.
24 Q. Were those fires of a large scale?
25 A. There was nothing on a large scale. I don't know how they were
1 burnt down; from rifle fire or otherwise, I really couldn't tell.
2 Q. You say you didn't see how they were burned. Can you even guess
3 how they were burnt down?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Please answer me precisely: Did our police, for instance your
6 unit, burn anybody -- burn anybody's house down?
7 A. No.
8 Q. So did you have occasion to speak to your colleagues about those
9 events? Do you have any knowledge that your colleagues had heard anything
10 about what was talked about, those operations in Mala Krusa, torchings, et
12 A. No, nobody knows anything.
13 Q. When were you there exactly?
14 A. From the 25th to the 27th or 28th.
15 Q. Well, this specific event took place on the 26th of March. So you
16 were there at the critical time, on the spot?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. From your written statement, I understand that you first heard
19 about this event from investigators of this Tribunal when they interviewed
20 you. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes. But I first heard of it actually on the television.
22 Q. And when you heard that news on TV and you had been there
23 previously, what was your conclusion?
24 A. I didn't believe it. And I talked to my colleagues later, and
25 nobody could tell me anything about it. Nobody knew anything.
1 Q. So you took part in the operations. You had been to Mala Krusa.
2 You hadn't seen any of those vehicles coming to Mala Krusa. You don't
3 know who could have possibly done such a thing, and according to your
4 testimony, the police couldn't have done it; is that correct?
5 A. From our company, no.
6 Q. And is it possible that when they were burying some people, that
7 those were actually members of the KLA who had been killed in fighting
8 with our forces?
9 MR. NICE: Your Honour, that's well outside the ability of this
10 witness to deal with. It's entirely speculative.
11 JUDGE MAY: He was there. Do you know who was buried? First of
12 all, do you know if anybody was buried, Witness K25?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is the first I hear of it.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. What do you know about stories concerning alleged planting of hand
16 grenade booby-traps in Mala Krusa?
17 A. I know nothing about it.
18 Q. While you were in your positions around Mala Krusa, was there any
19 artillery fire from your positions, such as from cannons, tanks, and so
21 A. No.
22 Q. And what did you in the PJP use except for your infantry weapons,
23 hand-held Zolja rocket launchers? Did you have any heavier weapons,
24 artillery weapons?
25 A. No. Our company didn't, at least.
1 Q. And do you know anything at all about removal of dead bodies in
2 Mala Krusa?
3 A. I heard of it here for the first time. I know nothing.
4 Q. While you were in Kosovo, did you or your colleagues hear about
5 this event, about such an event?
6 A. No.
7 Q. While you were responding to questions in chief yesterday, you
8 said that ribbons were worn, and I understood you as saying that you had a
9 code which told you every day what colours are to be worn, and that
10 prevented the KLA from coming close to the police and playing a dirty
11 trick on them.
12 Do you have any knowledge about the KLA using or, rather, abusing
13 uniforms of our police in order to commit crimes?
14 A. Yes. I know of one incident in 1998 when they were dressed in our
15 uniforms, and they called out to our colleagues who were standing on the
16 road, and as a result, those people were injured by the KLA.
17 Q. Here in this room we heard about municipal Crisis Staffs and
18 things like that. Have you ever heard anything about that? Did you know
19 about it? And do you know that such staffs were organised within
20 municipalities to deal with their everyday problems during crisis
21 situations and to organise citizens? Do you know anything about that?
22 A. No, I don't.
23 Q. Yesterday in response to a question of the opposite side, you
24 explained what the task was of the local reservists, and I noted down what
25 you said. You replied, "They protected and defended themselves." Is that
1 in fact the entirety of your answer? Does it mean that there was not
2 enough police there to protect the civilians, that reservists defended
3 their own houses and settlements?
4 A. Yes, that is correct, because the necessity for them to protect
5 themselves indeed existed.
6 Q. From what you know, did they have any other task except to protect
7 their own settlements?
8 A. No. Not as far as I know.
9 Q. Yesterday during examination-in-chief, there was talk about an
10 event where I noted down here robbing of refugees, namely three persons,
11 as you described, had attempted to rob some refugees, and you drove them
12 away. Would you please explain when that happened, what exactly happened,
13 who these people were, and were you at all able to determine any of it?
14 Could you please describe this event.
15 A. The incident happened. Indeed I can't tell you the exact date,
16 but it was during our stay in Mala Krusa. Three policemen -- I suppose
17 they were policemen because they were wearing blue camouflage uniforms and
18 masks on their faces -- they tried to rob refugees, but the commander of
19 our company took a stand in front of them and put on his rank insignia in
20 order to drive them away. However, they cocked their weapons at him, and
21 we had to approach too and support him. We eventually drove them away.
22 They retreated. They got into their own vehicles, which were civilian
23 vehicles, and drove away.
24 Q. Civilian vehicles?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Three persons. Why didn't you arrest them?
2 A. They were in uniform. I said they were in uniform, although they
3 were using civilian vehicles. That was normal there.
4 Q. I didn't understand what you said.
5 A. Civilian vehicles were in use down there.
6 Q. A policeman, when caught red-handed committing a crime is normally
8 A. We were afraid they would open fire at us.
9 Q. Did they actually succeed in robbing anyone?
10 A. No.
11 Q. How did they approach and what did they want?
12 A. They approached refugees who were moving along the road.
13 Q. Did you have a similar experience anywhere else where you met
14 those predators preying on columns of refugees?
15 A. No. This was the only time.
16 Q. Yesterday, Mr. Nice said something about men, women, and children
17 who were at the railway station of Mala Krusa to the effect that they
18 would never have gotten any water there if you hadn't intervened. Could
19 you please explain, did anyone refuse food, water, or medical aid to those
20 refugees? What was the problem with those refugees? Did anyone forbid
21 them from using water, from having access to it?
22 A. I said yesterday that something like that was not customary. It
23 was normal for them to have everything they needed.
24 Q. At that railway station, did the police force those people to stay
25 at those railway stations to board trains or were those people who came
1 there of their own free will, wishing to leave the territories affected by
2 combat operations?
3 A. They had received an explanation that transport would be organised
4 from the railway station, so they stayed there and waited.
5 Q. Did you see at or around those railway stations that the police,
6 local or otherwise, was mistreating those citizens, beating anyone, doing
7 anything to hurt those people who were waiting for the trains to come?
8 A. At one point there were over 500 refugees at the railway station.
9 They were not guarded by anyone. They were alone there. One policeman
10 was standing on the road in order to protect the children who were
11 crossing the road in order to fetch water. There were no other policemen
12 except those few on the road. They were alone at the railway situation,
13 although they were not transported by trains but by buses.
14 Q. That makes no difference, and that was not my question. You say
15 one policeman was on the road, protecting children crossing the road in
16 order to fetch water, from anything that might come up and hurt them.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So that was to protect their safety?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I didn't quite understand something you said yesterday. You said
21 there were many refugees there, but I noted down, "Nobody came from Velika
22 or Mala Krusa but from the direction of Celine." Were there refugees from
23 the Krusas or elsewhere, or did I misunderstand this?
24 A. Not a single refugee came from the direction of Velika or Mala
25 Krusa villages. All the refugees came from the direction of Celine
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 village. I don't know from which villages they were originally, but
2 that's where they came from, not from the Krusas.
3 Q. We often hear it said here that the policemen - meaning our
4 policemen - took away money, valuables, watches, rings, jewellery from
5 people, that our police committed many crimes, robberies, murders, rapes.
6 Do you know anything about that?
7 A. No, I don't. I know only about this incident which we thwarted,
8 but that's all I know. At least nothing happened which would involve the
9 people I was with.
10 Q. Could you please tell me one more thing: I understand you have a
11 university degree.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You have a law degree?
14 A. No, not a law degree.
15 Q. You said in your written statement that the commander of all those
16 units was General Obrad Stevanovic and the commander of all Kosovo units
17 was General Sreten Lukic. Have you ever, from either headquarters, either
18 from the commander of special units Stevanovic or from General Lukic
19 received any assignment which would run counter to the law or would
20 constitute a violation of the rules governing police work?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Including even discrimination in terms of treatment of the
23 population in Kosovo?
24 A. No, never.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
1 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I have no questions, Your Honour.
2 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
3 Q. At the time of these events, you tell us you were a corporal, I
5 A. Corporal first class, if that's what you mean.
6 Q. Did you receive instructions directly from generals in the course
7 of your time as a corporal?
8 A. No.
9 Q. You've been asked about what other policemen may have done or did
10 in the course of the incident that you've described. You, I think, were
11 on the road at the junction; is that correct?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. On the road, as you've told us, there were tanks, other armed
14 police officers, and other deployments further up the road, also armed; is
15 that correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. The road itself, from time to time, was filled by -- or not filled
18 by, used by refugees, all walking in the same direction; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you have -- did you yourself ever go to the houses in the
21 Krusas at the time when the people were leaving the houses?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Were you ever in any position to hear what was said to them or
24 done to them at the time they left their houses?
25 A. No, but no one from my company ever entered the village because we
1 had no such orders. We were holding blockade lines.
2 Q. The police of which you speak -- I beg your pardon. The police of
3 which you've been asked questions in the most general terms, was it in
4 fact composed of several different components, coming from several
5 different places?
6 A. I don't understand your question. If you mean along our road,
7 then yes, but ...
8 Q. The people -- if there were police or other armed units in the
9 villages themselves, if there were, were they from a unit different from
11 A. There was no one in the villages. Along the road, there was the
12 army of Yugoslavia, our company, and the local police, but there was no
13 police inside the villages.
14 Q. To your knowledge; is that right?
15 A. Fire was opened at us, and it is certain that policemen were not
16 shooting at us.
17 Q. If we look at the map that you've shown, we can see that the
18 area --
19 MR. NICE: Perhaps we could just put the map on the ELMO again.
20 Q. If you look at the map that's on the overhead projector, is it
21 right that we can see the area with which we are concerned completely
22 surrounded on three sides by forces of either the army or the police? Is
23 that correct?
24 A. Yes, that is.
25 Q. Thank you. And as you've explained, you were never present at any
1 house when any resident left the house or was told or advised to leave the
2 house, were you?
3 A. No, never.
4 Q. We've heard something about a Zolja. Just remind us what sort of
5 a weapon a Zolja is, please.
6 A. It's a hand-held rocket launcher.
7 Q. Does that have some form of guidance mechanism that enables it to
8 seek out its target?
9 A. No, it doesn't.
10 Q. Was one fired in the course of the operation, to your knowledge,
11 at the Mala Krusa bridge?
12 A. Yes, only once.
13 Q. And at the time it was fired, were there, to your knowledge,
14 people at the Mala Krusa bridge?
15 A. Not at the bridge. Under the bridge there was activity directed
16 against us, and we could not repel them with a hand-held rocket launcher.
17 And after this one shot fired at them, all activity ceased.
18 Q. Consistent with or --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Nice.
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. Consistent with or inconsistent with casualties being suffered at
22 the bridge as a result of the use of the hand-held rocket launcher?
23 A. On the bridge, no. Let me repeat: Under the bridge there was
24 this going on. And nobody can say whether there were any casualties or
25 not. All I can say is that there was no more shooting from that area
1 afterwards. But that's only my assumption.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 MR. NICE: Thank you.
4 Q. You've been asked about crimes committed by police or otherwise.
5 So far as you were aware, if the six people or the three people that you
6 saw taken away and never saw again, if they were killed, is that something
7 for which people should be held to account, please?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You've been asked by the accused --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. You've been asked by the accused an extensive question about the
13 phrase "mop-up." Just help us, please, with when you first heard the
14 phrase "mop-up" and by whom it was used and in what circumstances.
15 A. It was used all the time, that term. But as I said at the
16 beginning, it was just a phrase, an expression.
17 Q. There was a general suggestion put to you about why it was that
18 the refugees were or were not moving. Help us - it's covered in your
19 materials - just yes or no, were you in fact given accounts of what had
20 happened to them by the refugees when they were in the lines?
21 A. There were different stories.
22 Q. Staying with the refugees, you've been asked accounts of what
23 happened at the railway station, the number of armed people there and so
24 on. If those refugees had wanted to return along the road from which they
25 had come, would that have been along a road where there were tanks and
1 armed police and indeed the army present?
2 A. Would you repeat that question? I'm not sure I understood it.
3 Had they wished to return or what?
4 Q. Had they wished to return along the road from which they had come,
5 would that have been along a road where there were tanks, armed police,
6 and indeed even the VJ army present?
7 A. Had they wished to return, they had to go back the same way they
8 had come.
9 Q. You say that nobody emerged from the village of Mala Krusa itself
10 along the road at the junction where you were. Were there other roads, to
11 your knowledge, from Mala Krusa leading towards other villages or don't
12 you know the geography sufficiently well?
13 A. I was up on the blockade lines. I didn't go in-depth into the
15 MR. NICE: Nothing else for this witness, thank you.
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE KWON: Witness K25, I have some questions about the six KLA
18 members captured by you and handed over to the local MUP. What is
19 suggested is that they might have been executed by the local MUP members.
20 Is that right?
21 A. I'm not sure I understood your question, Your Honour. Could you
22 repeat it, please?
23 JUDGE KWON: They might have been executed by local MUP members
24 inside the house after having been handed over?
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE KWON: You said that you heard the sound of automatic
2 gunfire after they entered the house. What did you do after you heard
3 this automatic gunfire sound? Did you try to find out what it was about
4 or did you talk with your superior about that?
5 A. No. Along the whole blockade line, there was shooting going on.
6 There was firing from rifles, and this noise coming from that direction
7 left no doubt because there was shooting all the time. We just thought
8 that somebody was trying to escape, perhaps.
9 JUDGE KWON: What did you do after you had found some bodies
10 inside the house? Did you talk with your superior about that or did you
11 try to find out what it was about afterwards?
12 A. I don't remember exactly. Everything took place very quickly, so
13 I don't really remember the order and sequence of events, but I think that
14 straight after that, we left the territory and went to engage in our next
15 operation. So I don't know really what happened afterwards.
16 JUDGE KWON: You did nothing after, even after you had seen those
17 bodies, a lot of bodies?
18 A. Well, it was sent on to the higher authorities but -- and I wrote
19 a report to my own service. I wrote a report to my own service, but I
20 don't know what happened afterwards.
21 JUDGE KWON: May I take it that you or your company allowed them,
22 allowed the local MUPs or some paramilitaries doing some bad things? Not
23 by preventing them from doing some bad things or not by punishing them
25 A. How could we prevent them when the orders were that they should
1 give themselves up? How were we supposed to know what they would do? We
2 had orders to hand them over to them.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 JUDGE MAY: Witness K25, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
5 for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You're free to go.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 MR. NICE: While arrangements are being made for the next witness
8 to be called, can I simply at this stage explain that I will have an
9 administrative matter to raise later in relation to a witness forthcoming,
10 but I will be assisted if I can put off making that application until as
11 late as possible in the morning when my information will be as complete as
12 it's going to be by the time I have to deal with the issue. I think the
13 Chamber knows what I'm dealing with.
14 JUDGE MAY: No, but --
15 MR. NICE: Very well.
16 JUDGE MAY: But raise it at the end of the morning. We've had the
17 application in relation to Colonel Crosland, and we will grant it. That
18 means he will give evidence with facial distortion and redaction of date
19 of birth.
20 MR. NICE: Thank you very much, Your Honour. The witness I was
21 dealing with was K33 and the particular order that relates to him, and we
22 must probably deal with that order today given that the Court is not going
23 to be available tomorrow and Friday, but I need to have maximum
24 information to make my decision, and I'll therefore deal with that at the
25 end of the morning, if I may.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
2 MS. ROMANO: The next witness is Shyhrete Berisha. Do Your
3 Honours -- do you have the summary? It's just a question. I believe it
4 was distributed before, but I just would like to confirm. No? I have
5 copies here. My apologies. I believe -- I thought it was distributed
7 [The witness entered court]
8 WITNESS: SHYHRETE BERISHA
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the declaration.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
12 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a seat.
14 Examined by Ms. Romano:
15 Q. Witness, can you please give the Court your full name.
16 A. My name is Shyhrete Berisha.
17 Q. Were you born on 5th December, 1961?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Ms. Berisha, do you remember giving a statement to officers of the
20 Office of the Prosecutor on the 17th of May, 1999?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And do you also remember attending a meeting on the 17th of June,
23 2002 with a presiding officer of this Tribunal, and at that time you had a
24 copy, in the Albanian language, of your statement?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you also remember making an addendum of your statement?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And at that time, you confirmed that the contents of your
4 statement are correct and true?
5 A. Yes.
6 MS. ROMANO: The Prosecution submits the statement of Ms. Shyhrete
7 Berisha into evidence.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked Prosecutor's
9 Exhibit 252.
10 MS. ROMANO: This witness is a survivor of the mass killing by
11 Serb police and paramilitaries in Suva Reka on the 26th of March, 1999.
12 Her husband and four children were amongst those killed. The witness is a
13 female Muslim who lived in Suva Reka with her husband Nexhat Berisha and
14 their four children. They shared the house with the family of Faton
15 Berisha, a nephew of the witness's husband. It is situated across the
16 road from the Suva Reka police station.
17 Can I ask, please, the usher to show the witness the first photo.
18 The photo I'm referring to is located in tab 3, photo 14 of the Suva Reka
20 Q. Witness, can you confirm if this is the house where you lived with
21 your husband and four children?
22 A. Yes. That is the house where I lived with my husband and four
23 children. On the left side. Whereas on the right side was the nephew of
24 my husband, Faton, with Fatime and his wife two children and his sister.
25 Q. Thank you, Witness.
1 MS. ROMANO: In late 1998, OSCE moved from their former
2 headquarters to the witness's house. OSCE used the witness's part of the
3 house as their headquarters and Faton's part of the house as sleeping.
4 After the OSCE pulled out of Kosovo on 20 March, 1999, there were
5 a lot of movement of Serb police and military. On the following days, the
6 witness saw tanks, Pinzgauers and military vehicles. On 25th March early
7 in the morning, the police knocked on the door and forced the witness's
8 husband Nexhat into the part of the house where the OSCE officers had
9 been. He was severely beaten and the rooms containing OSCE equipment were
10 burglarised. The witness and others were robbed of about 50.000
11 Deutschmarks. Throughout these events, a large tank was parked outside
12 with its gun barrel pointing direct towards the house.
13 After this assault, the witness and her family moved over to the
14 house of her husband's uncle, Vesel Berisha, approximately 30 metres from
15 the witness's house. At this time, there were 25 people of all ages
16 living in Vesel's house.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow down, please. Thank you.
18 MS. ROMANO: The witness names these persons.
19 On the morning of the 26th of March, 1999, two tanks were situated
20 outside Vesel's house with their gun barrels pointing towards it. At
21 12.20 p.m., many men, approximately 30 in number, some in police uniforms
22 and some in civilian clothes, all carrying automatic weapons, run over
23 from the police station to the house of the witness. One of these men,
24 known as Zoran, family name perhaps Popovic or similar, from Suva Reka,
25 called for one of the house occupants, Bujar, to come out. And on doing
1 so, Bujar was shot dead. The other occupants were terrified and run out,
2 trying to escape. All the men were stopped. The witness's husband,
3 Nexhat, was told by one named Miskovic to raise his hands in the air. He
4 did so, and the witness saw him shot in the back by --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could Ms. Romano please slow down, thank you.
6 MS. ROMANO: My apologies.
7 She was holding the hands of two of their children at the time.
8 There was a lot of shooting and many people were wounded. The survivors,
9 40 or 50 people, mainly women and children with several Berisha families,
10 were forced into a cafe.
11 Can I have the witness shown the second photo. This photo is also
12 located in the Suva Reka binder, Exhibit 166. It's photo number 2, tab 3.
13 Q. Witness, is this the coffee shop where you were?
14 A. Yes. This is the coffee shop where the Serb police killed my four
15 children, the children of my sister-in-law, and two other -- the members
16 -- the other members of the Berisha family, of the two Berisha families.
17 They forced us into the cafe and told us to sit down. Some were sitting
18 on blankets and some were sitting on chairs. But very soon after that,
19 they began shooting with automatic weapons.
20 The first one I saw who was closest to me was Zoran, with a lot of
21 others. And after that, I didn't see any more because there were so many
22 people around. And I just heard the shooting, the firing. It lasted
23 about 20 minutes, maybe 30 minutes, without interruption at all. Shooting
24 kept on all the time.
25 Then it stopped, the shooting, and then I looked up and I saw
1 Vjollca was still alive and said, "Oh, Shyhrete, look what they're doing
2 to us." I said, "Look at, look at Dafina, see where she is." And I
3 looked around and I saw Dafina, Vjollca's daughter. She was suffering.
4 And the daughter of Musli Berisha said, "Oh, look what they've done to me.
5 Look at my feet, look at my legs," she screamed. And then the
6 bother-in-law of Hajdini said, "Look at my poor Granit. Look what they've
7 done to him."
8 Q. Ms. Berisha --
9 A. Then Majlinda spoke, my largest daughter. She was uninjured, with
10 her son and brothers. And Sebahate was uninjured with her two children.
11 Ismet was 3 and Eron was ten months old. And Altin was near me. He was
12 ten years old. We were uninjured.
13 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Berisha, help us with this: How old were your
14 four children who were killed?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My children were Majlinda Berisha,
16 who was 16; Herolinda, who was 14; Altin who was 11; and Redon, who was
17 only 21 months old -- 22 months old.
18 Then Majlinda said, "Mummy, mummy, look at how they've killed
19 Herolinda." And when I looked around, I saw Herolinda over there and saw
20 her, that she was lying on the ground with five or six bullet holes in her
21 flesh. She had been such a beautiful girl. And Sebahate on the other
22 side said, "Look. They've killed -- they've killed her. They've killed
23 Jori [phoen] and Sherine." Sherine was a brother-in-law, and the other
24 one was his brother.
25 MS. ROMANO:
1 Q. Witness, how did you survive?
2 A. It was terrible for me. I don't know how to explain it to you.
3 It was -- it was absolutely horrible.
4 Q. Did you feign death?
5 A. Yes, I did. I pretended I was dead. And my son Altin and
6 Vjollca, I said to them, "Lie as if you're dead." Because we heard the
7 Serbs talking in their language, saying, "Get the trucks ready and get the
8 bodies out of here as quickly as possible."
9 Q. Thank you, Witness.
10 MS. ROMANO: The witness and two other survivors and the corpses
11 of the dead were then loaded onto a truck which drove off in the direction
12 of Prizren. Two gold chains were removed from around her neck. The
13 witness, although severely wounded, managed to jump off the truck in the
14 village of Malsia e Re (Ljutoglav) where some Albanians took care of her.
15 She was taken to Grejkoc and subsequently Budakova, where she received
16 medical treatment for her wounds. Her husband and four children - two
17 daughters and two sons - were killed in Suva Reka.
18 Can I have the witness just shown the map? This map is also
19 located in the Suva Reka binder, tab 18.
20 Q. Witness, if you can, can you just point out the route from Prizren
21 to -- I'm sorry, from Suva Reka to Prizren and the place where you jumped
22 off the truck. I know that the letters are very small, but if you can.
23 A. It's -- this is it here.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MS. ROMANO: The witness spent six weeks moving around the area
1 under very difficult conditions until around 10th May, 1999, when she
2 managed to cross the border to Albania by joining a convoy. Before they
3 reached the border, they were stopped in the village of Bukosh where some
4 men and women were taken out of the convoy. They were brought to the
5 school and stripped and robbed of all gold and money.
6 Older men and some of the women were released, but the young men
7 were never seen again. At the border with Albania, they had to hand over
8 at gunpoint all their identification papers.
9 The scenes referred to by the witness are all depicted in the Suva
10 Reka binder volume 1, tab 6, photos 1 to 4; tab 3 photos 14 to 24; photos
11 of the firing range in tab 4; and the map at tab 18.
12 Can I have the witness shown the article in the Newsweek
14 Q. Witness, do you recognise or are you aware of any magazine or any
15 article written about what happened to your family?
16 A. Yes. I saw the article.
17 Q. And do you know, how did they get this information?
18 A. I think that the head of the OSCE gave them the information, and
19 all the others in Suva Reka provided information too.
20 Q. Anybody from your family?
21 A. Yes, from Vjollca.
22 Q. Thank you, Witness.
23 MS. ROMANO: The article containing an extensive report about what
24 happened in Suva Reka is in tab 2 of the Suva Reka binder.
25 That's all, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, if you have no questions for this
2 witness, then that will be understood, considering the experiences she
3 went through. But of course if you want to challenge her evidence about
4 how she lost her husband and four children, you can do so, but I suggest
5 for once you try and restrain your questioning and keep it to less than
6 the time which you're allowed, which is three-quarters of an hour, given
7 the circumstances of her evidence.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I will use only one minute.
9 And as for the witness, who obviously lost her husband and children, I
10 have no intention whatsoever to question her. I would only like to ask
11 you to accept as an exhibit the statement of Marjan Krasniqi, your pages,
12 your numbers 03045454 until 03045463. He gave a statement in Tirana on
13 8th June 1999. I received it. He is a former traffic policeman, and in
14 his statement he explains that this crime had been committed by members of
15 a local criminal group, that the reason was money, that among them were
16 people mentally disturbed, and it was not an intra-ethnic thing. There
17 was an Albanian among those criminals by the name of Rexha Berisha. This
18 statement exists and has been disclosed. I just would like to tender it
19 into evidence. This statement proves, or claims, that this crime had been
20 committed by a criminal group. I will not otherwise question this
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well. You can tender the statement. We'll
23 consider whether to admit it as an exhibit. However, if it's going to be
24 suggested that -- just a moment. If it's going to be suggested that this
25 was the work of local criminals, the witness should have the chance to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 deal with it and to give her comments which she may have on it since she
2 was there.
3 Just let me --
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I only mentioned some of
5 what is written in a statement of your witness, not my witness. I refer
6 to that. I just tendered it into evidence. You accept into evidence
7 newspapers which Mrs. Romano tendered a moment ago, and you are
8 questioning a statement of your --
9 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. Let us have the statement. It's
10 right that the witness should have the chance to deal with it. Give me
11 the statement. Will you go and get it, please.
12 Would you tell the usher to go and get the statement.
13 Would you give it to the usher, please.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We have the page numbers; is that right? Can
16 the registry confirm that, please?
17 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, we have the page numbers.
18 JUDGE MAY: The Prosecution can get a copy?
19 MS. ROMANO: Yes. The Prosecution is right now trying to locate
20 and get a copy.
21 JUDGE MAY: No doubt that will take a few minutes.
22 MS. ROMANO: Probably. I just -- I will just confirm. Yes. It's
23 going to be down as soon as possible.
24 JUDGE MAY: I think the sensible thing, I think, would be to take
25 a break now while that's being done, and then we'll deal with it.
1 Mrs. Berisha, there may be just a few more questions you're going
2 to be asked when we've got this statement. It is right that you should
3 have the chance to deal with it.
4 We're going to adjourn now for 20 minutes. Could you remember not
5 to speak to anybody about your evidence until it's over, and that does
6 include the members of the Prosecution team.
7 We will adjourn now for 20 minutes.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.11 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.35 a.m.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Ms. Romano.
11 MS. ROMANO: Your Honours, the statements are coming. And since
12 at that time we cannot find the exact passages that the accused referred
13 to. We have one copy here with us that we are reviewing. In fact --
14 JUDGE MAY: Well, let's have the copy. Let me have the copy and I
15 can examine the witness on it.
16 MS. ROMANO: Your Honours, we believe that this is the one that
17 the accused is referring to. We have two others, but we believe that this
18 is the one that he's referring to. We have highlighted --
19 JUDGE MAY: This is the statement of Marjan Krasniqi; is that
21 MS. ROMANO: Yes, that's correct.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It may be that it's difficult quite to follow
23 what the accused is relying on in that statement, but we don't want to
24 detain the witness here. But on the other hand, she should have a chance
25 of dealing with the particular issues which the accused has raised.
1 Questioned by the Court:
2 MR. MAY: Mrs. Berisha, can you help us with this, please: Were
3 you able to identify any of those who were responsible for the killing?
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE MAY: Can you tell us who they were.
6 A. They were police who were from the police station of Suhareke. I
7 saw them with my own eyes. From the police station, they went first of
8 all to the use of Ismet Kuci, saw that there was no one there, and came to
9 Vesel Berisha's house. They were policemen. They weren't any bands of
10 people, they were police. Not as the accused said. They were actually
11 policemen and I saw them with my own eyes.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: How were you able to recognise them as policemen?
13 A. They were policemen because Sedat, Vjollca's husband, said to my
14 husband, "Look at -- all the policemen of Suhareke are here. And there's
15 policemen we don't even know." And I saw them myself. They were all
16 wearing police uniforms. They were police uniforms with automatic weapons
17 in their hands.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did you know any of them before?
19 A. Yes. Among them I knew one, Zoran, who was wearing a police
20 uniform too. And on his shoulder he had a white insignia. He was a
21 paramilitary, I think, because Zoran didn't used to be a policeman. He
22 was only dressed as a policeman that day.
23 JUDGE MAY: Who was Zoran? You say he wasn't normally a
24 policeman. What did he do?
25 A. He used to drive the bus. He used to be a bus driver. And he
1 spoke Albanian very well. And there were a lot of policemen there. There
2 were about 30. About 30 came to the house where we, 25 members of our
3 family, were.
4 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. What were they wearing?
5 A. They were wearing camouflage green and blue, dark blue, uniforms.
6 They were all the same, with caps.
7 JUDGE KWON: Mrs. Berisha, what did you know about a man called
8 Miskovic? Was he also a policeman or was he a paramilitary like Zoran?
9 A. No, it seems to me he was the commander of the police, but he was
10 wearing plainclothes. He was wearing black.
11 JUDGE KWON: Not in uniform?
12 A. No. Miskovic was wearing black clothes. He wasn't wearing a
13 uniform. But the others, about a hundred, when they surrounded our house,
14 about a hundred of them, there were a few Romany civilians among them
15 apart from Miskovic, who was in plainclothes. His brother, who's guard of
16 the house where the OSCE was, apart from him, all others were all wearing
17 police uniform.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Ms. Romano. Do you have any questions?
20 MS. ROMANO: Your Honours --
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
22 MS. ROMANO: Your Honours, I have right now a copy with me, and
23 the delay was just because we had to redact the address that was in the
24 original statement. So you -- probably Your Honours won't be able to
25 exhibit or use the ones you have, but I have one here that I will produce.
1 JUDGE MAY: First of all, have you any questions for the witness
2 or can we let her go?
3 MS. ROMANO: Yes.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes?
5 MS. ROMANO: Your Honour, no. I just wanted to highlight and to
6 direct Your Honours to page 6 of the statement that you have in hand,
7 where it refers to Petrovic, Zoran Petrovic. And the witness, while
8 answering the questions, she made reference of the man being a
9 paramilitary, and that's exactly what it is stated in the -- and as you
10 can see, he has been -- it says that he had been involved with the
11 paramilitary service since 1998.
12 I also would like to inform that we tried to locate any reference
13 of any mentally or mentally ill or disturbed persons that the accused made
14 reference, and we could not locate that in the statement.
15 JUDGE MAY: If we've finished with the witness, she can go. We
16 will then decide on what should happen to the statement.
17 Do you have any questions of her?
18 MS. ROMANO: No, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MAY: Mrs. Berisha, thank you for coming to the
20 International Tribunal to give your evidence. That concludes it. You are
21 free to go.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE MAY: We will return the copy which we were given,
24 unredacted, of that statement. The issue is now what should happen to it.
25 The accused applies for it to be exhibited. One possible course is this,
1 it being, of course, an uncross-examined statement, is that it should be
2 simply marked for identification purposes.
3 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, that's one possibility. I've only
4 had a chance briefly to review the statement, but I can see from one of
5 the passages highlighted that it is by no means favourable to the
6 accused's position. Entirely to the contrary. And he may, therefore, be
7 acting ill-advisedly and in a way that he would not act if properly
8 represented in seeking to lay before the Court for a very narrow purpose
9 that we still cannot tie down a document that is adverse to his cause. I
10 also observe, and unless I'm wrong, I don't know that we've exhibited many
11 or any witness statements of witnesses other than the witness giving
12 evidence, and the status of such an exhibited statement would be hard for
13 us to identify at a later stage.
14 JUDGE MAY: It may be, of course, that the right course should be
15 that this witness is called to give evidence, if the accused wants him to
16 give evidence, by the accused. Now, that is the normal way in which such
17 statements are dealt with. The question is, at the moment, what action
18 should we take, if any, about it? The accused wants to have it exhibited.
19 It may be that a simpler course is to simply to mark it for identification
20 purposes and then, in due course, we could decide what should happen to
22 MR. NICE: I'm happy with that course because that doesn't give it
23 any evidential status. But there's one question only and that is the
24 accused has made reference to mental ill health as being a feature of the
25 people who were present, or one of the people present. We haven't yet
1 located it. Before we forget the issue altogether, if he can identify the
2 passage, so much the better so we can at least see what it's all about.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you've heard what's been said by the
5 Prosecutor. The position is this: That this is a witness statement, of
6 course, of someone who hasn't given evidence. And while it's true that we
7 do admit hearsay in various forms, we do not usually admit witness
8 statements unless there are particular reasons for doing so or the Rule
9 comes within -- or the statement comes within Rule 92 bis with which you
10 will now be familiar.
11 The Prosecution suggests that the -- you may want to consider
12 whether to admit the statement. The proper course would be for you, if
13 you thought right, to call this witness during your own case, in which
14 case, of course, he could give his evidence. But meanwhile, if you want
15 still to have this statement exhibited, we will -- we have in mind to mark
16 it for identification. That means at the moment it is not admitted, but
17 it is noted.
18 Now, what do you want to do? And I should add that a final
19 decision about whether it's to be admitted will be taken in due course
20 towards the end of the trial.
21 Now, what course do you want to follow? Do you want it exhibited
22 or not?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, you can do whatever you
25 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I merely emphasise that the
2 statement indicates the fact that we're dealing with criminals, and who
3 else could have killed somebody's children, I ask you, but the worst of
5 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will simply mark it for identification
6 with the next Defence exhibit number.
7 MR. NICE: And, Your Honour, the only other thing I would add to
8 that is that when I have reviewed the three statements in full, I will
9 give some thought to whether we should apply to serve him as a 92 bis
10 witness in case there's anything that one way or the other might be of
11 material value to the Chamber. But I'll give thought to that in due
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Defence Exhibit 23,
14 marked for identification.
15 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, the Prosecution calls as our next
16 witness Colonel John Crosland.
17 Your Honours, you will note that I have provided, just moments
18 ago, a summary of this witness's statements in the usual format that the
19 Court is familiar with receiving. In light of Your Honours' order that
20 the witness be partly bis'd and partly live, I will use this summary and
21 indicate to Your Honours where I am. And if there's any particular
22 paragraph which has got a highlight that the Court wants me to deal with
23 live in addition to the ones I propose, I invite Your Honours to simply
24 direct my attention to proceeding with it in a live fashion.
25 At the moment, I propose to summarise paragraphs 1 through 5, take
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 live 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19 -- paragraph 19, I believe, might
2 assist a request from the Court on an earlier occasion to have a live
3 witness concerning Racak on the 15th -- 20, 23, 25, and then deal with 27,
4 which are the SitReps.
5 Should there be anything else that the Court wishes me to either
6 summarise or do live, I would be grateful if you would let me know.
7 JUDGE MAY: The topics which must be dealt with live are the
8 cooperation between the VJ and the MUP and the meetings with the VJ
10 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes. Thank you. Thank you. In light of the very
11 limited protective measures - we have asked for facial distortion of the
12 image - I've asked that the witness be brought in and then these things
13 can go back up, I suppose. And can I be assured that the AV booth is
14 aware? Thank you.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's have the witness, please.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 WITNESS: JOHN CROSLAND
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The witness will take the declaration.
19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
20 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a seat.
22 Examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
23 Q. Yes. Colonel Crosland, I understand, sir, that you are a retired
24 colonel with the British army with some 35 years experience; is that
1 A. That's correct, sir.
2 Q. And you were at one point appointed the defence attache to
3 Belgrade from the August of 1996 to the 23rd of March, 1999. Is that also
5 A. That's correct, sir.
6 Q. Now, your role as defence attache, were you in fact accredited to
7 the VJ in that capacity? In other words, were you the accredited attache
8 to liaise with the VJ of the Yugoslav army?
9 A. That's correct, sir. I was accredited to General Perisic who was
10 then the chief of defence staff, on behalf of my own chief of defence
11 staff, and accredited solely to the Vojska Yugoslavia.
12 Q. I see. Did you have a lot of dealings with the Ministry of the
13 Interior or MUP?
14 A. No, we did not except for when I was travelling in Kosovo.
15 Obviously, I then came into contact with the MUP on a daily basis.
16 Q. All right. And, sir, you left on or about the 23rd of March. Did
17 you then again return, after a hiatus, on the 12th of June, 1999, as a
18 liaison officer for KFOR?
19 A. That's correct, sir. I was then tasked to oversee the withdrawal
20 of the Vojska Yugoslavia and to liaise with them, the VJ and the MUP, and
21 also the Kosovo Liberation Army.
22 Q. And you held that position until mid-July, 1999, I understand?
23 A. That's correct, sir.
24 Q. Now, Colonel, is it true that you provided witness statements with
25 respect to your experiences in Kosovo? You provided statements to the
1 investigators of the ICTY on the 25th and 26th of May, 1999, and then
2 again over the 5th through the 7th of December, 2000. Did you provide
4 A. That's correct, yes, I have the copies with me.
5 Q. And you have had an opportunity to review the contents of those
7 A. I have, sir, yes.
8 Q. In the course of a recent review, did you note any typographical
9 errors made?
10 A. Just one, which is the date of 1988 was changed to 1989.
11 Q. And that would be on page 8, I understand, sir, of the statement
12 of May 1999?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. In particular -- sorry. It helps if I get the right statement in
15 front of me.
16 A. Page 8, in the second last paragraph.
17 Q. Those paragraphs have been assigned numbers. I believe it's
18 paragraph 40 of -- the second to last paragraph on page 8; is that
20 A. That's correct, sir.
21 Q. That's now paragraph 40, numbered 40. All right. Now, sir, did
22 you also yesterday, on the 9th of July, appear before a presiding officer
23 of this Tribunal and indicate that the contents of these statements were
24 true to the best of your knowledge, information, and belief and make a
25 solemn declaration to that effect?
1 A. I did so, yes.
2 Q. All right.
3 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, at this time, I would tender the
4 statements in compliance with Rule 92 bis, with one caveat. I would ask
5 that the date and place of birth marked on the cover sheets be redacted
6 for -- in other words, the copy that the Court can have certainly, I don't
7 have any difficulty with that information being there, but could we have a
8 redacted copy to go into the public record, for security reasons?
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
10 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. Your Honours --
11 JUDGE MAY: Let's have an exhibit number.
12 MR. RYNEVELD: Sorry, I always do that. My apologies.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Prosecutor's Exhibit
15 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. Your Honours, while that is being
16 distributed, perhaps I can give the Court a very brief overview of what is
17 contained in these statements and then turn to those portions that I would
18 propose to deal with live.
19 Your Honours, in these statements you will find that Colonel
20 Crosland sets out the various tours that he conducted of Kosovo in his
21 role as Defence attache and the discussions he had with various senior VJ
22 personnel. You will also note that he submitted regular reports in sort
23 of a telegram form to the Ministry of Defence in London and that part of
24 his duties were to assess the build-up of forces. He monitored equipment,
25 vehicles, members of the various PJP and MUP forces in order to provide
1 data to the British ambassador.
2 You will also note that he describes in these statements with some
3 particularity, especially in his background as a military officer, the
4 kinds of uniforms and equipment used by various Serb forces. He outlines
5 for you the identities and positions of various VJ staff members, the
6 various generals, et cetera.
7 He also outlines the incident referred to as the Ahmeti and
8 Jashari massacres in March of -- February and March of 1998. He describes
9 for you his observations of the roles of the PJP, the SAJ, and the JSO,
10 all of which have been referred to in evidence before you.
11 I will lead further evidence about evidence of joint VJ and MUP
12 operations, his understanding or observations of what appeared to be the
13 Pavkovic-Sainovic-Milosevic chain of command; he will deal with the issue
14 of the JSO and someone referred to as Frenki Simatovic, the commander of
15 the JSO in and around Pec.
16 The statement also reviews meetings that he had with General
17 Dimitrijevic and discussions about the KLA, his observations of KLA
18 activity. Then we will be dealing live with what he noted to be a change,
19 a perceived change in the role of the VJ. He will describe for you
20 accompanying Lord Ashdown, who has given evidence here before, on tours of
21 Kosovo, and the evidence of Serb attacks during his 11 visits in Kosovo.
22 He will describe for you a meeting with General Dimitrijevic, and
23 you will see in the statement about his observations towards the end of
24 1998 the KLA were becoming more organised, the fact that General Perisic
25 was replaced by Colonel General Ojdanic, and also refers in his statement
1 to various other personalities and their roles.
2 I will deal live with his observation of a build-up of forces
3 pre-Christmas 1998, and I will also be dealing with his observations on
4 the 15th of January of the Racak incident.
5 You will be hearing about his observations of burning and looting
6 by VJ and MUP forces in January in various areas and the type of equipment
7 used by a VJ battalion.
8 He will talk about in March 1999 further VJ force build-up. In
9 his statement, you will see the fact that he witnessed on two occasions
10 significant VJ reinforcements being sent to Kosovo and describes their
11 armoured vehicles and the various brigades.
12 Very briefly, Your Honours, he then provides opinions about - as a
13 military man - the capabilities of the combined VJ and MUP forces of being
14 able to displace the bulk of the population. He will deal with the Istok
15 prison visit that he made in June of 1999; and finally, I intend to show
16 him some seven telegram SitReps, which are the situational reports that he
17 prepared which is almost like a contemporaneous note of what he had
18 seen. These are the copies of documents that he provided to the Ministry
19 of Defence. Sort of source documents for some of the opinions that we
20 will be seeking from him.
21 That being the case, then, Your Honours, that is my very brief
22 summary of what is contained in both the statements that you will have,
23 and I propose now to turn to paragraph 6 of my summary.
24 Q. Now, Witness, I've been reading rather quickly. We speak the same
25 language, but we have to wait for translation. Let's both try to remember
1 to observe a pause, if we can, between question and answer.
2 Now, Colonel Crosland, what capacity were you working -- in what
3 capacity were you working on the 24th of March, 1998, in the Decani area?
4 A. Your Honours, I was working in my capacity as the United Kingdom's
5 defence attache, accompanied by other attaches, and we were touring in the
6 province of Kosovo to ascertain just how serious the situation was
7 becoming of an increasing build-up of Vojska Yugoslavia against what was
8 the Kosovo Liberation Army intrusion.
9 MR. RYNEVELD: And if it assists Your Honours, since I'm dealing
10 with Decani, the Kosovo atlas, page 4, I believe, shows Decani. Right at
11 the bottom of page 4, you will see Decani is right at the bottom of the
13 Q. Now, do you have also a map available, Colonel Crosland? Perhaps
14 you can use the ELMO to show from time to time, as and when required,
15 perhaps all on one page, the areas that you were when you made certain
16 observations, during the course of your testimony.
17 MR. RYNEVELD: I will see if that comes up on the screen. Can the
18 audiovisual please put that on for just a moment.
19 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I don't think it's particularly clear.
20 It's certainly not clear from this end.
21 MR. RYNEVELD: Perhaps we'll just continue to use the Kosovo
23 Q. In any event, sir, when you were there, did you note anything
24 regarding the VJ?
25 A. It was on that visit that we first came across a considerable
1 Vojska Yugoslavia presence in and around Decani which included a large
2 artillery position that we managed to visit which was providing the fire
3 support basically for the western area of Kosovo, from Decani down towards
4 Djakovica and north towards the town of Pec. This artillery position was
5 guarded by elements of the JSO and also other Vojska Yugoslavia units.
6 Q. I understand, sir, that your statement is clear, but for the
7 benefit of those who do not have a copy of your statement, the JSO was
8 what? Was that part of a VJ or a MUP organisation or what?
9 A. The JSO is part of a MUP special police force, used for -- for
10 both counter-terrorist and for strike action. I'd also say that in all
11 the major towns within Kosovo during that time, there were joint or there
12 were starting to become joint Vojska Yugoslavia and MUP bases. And on
13 many occasions one noticed that Vojska Yugoslavia equipment had been
14 painted into blue colour, which indicated MUP, but it was quite clearly
15 underneath green VJ paint.
16 Q. When you say "Vojska Yugoslavia," that's the official name for
17 what I've been referring to as the Yugoslav army, the VJ?
18 A. Correct, sir.
19 Q. And from that you're saying that they were repainting army
20 vehicles into police colours? Is that --
21 A. That is correct, sir.
22 Q. I get you. All right. And did you in fact see evidence of that
23 throughout Kosovo?
24 A. I saw throughout Kosovo and throughout the early part of 1998 and
25 the summer and the late autumn numerous vehicles that had been repainted
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 from the Vojska Yugoslavia green to the MUP blue.
2 Q. Referring to the MUP for a moment, sir, did you formulate an
3 opinion or -- I'll leave it at that -- of the MUP forces that were capable
4 of being deployed at about that time, in terms of numbers?
5 A. The estimate was roughly between 8 to 10.000 were capable of being
6 deployed, and that figure went up and down, depending on the role of the
7 MUP units in Kosovo at the time. That was in addition to the approximate
8 15.000 of the Vojska Yugoslavia which were stationed there in their normal
10 Q. Now, those were observations, sir, that you saw March and April.
11 Did that develop in July of 1998?
12 A. Yes, it did, because up until that period, the KLA had technically
13 taken control of three of the major routes across the province of Kosovo,
14 and it was in about July/August time that the Vojska Yugoslavia and the
15 MUP seemed to combine together to start a clearance operation across the
16 whole of the province of Kosovo.
17 Q. Now, this is something that you saw happening, and did you
18 subsequently have a conversation with General Dimitrijevic concerning your
19 observations on a subsequent occasion? Did you refer to the events that
20 you witnessed in July and August of 1998?
21 A. Yes, I did, sir. Under the constitution of the FRY of Yugoslavia,
22 the Vojska Yugoslavia, who was allowed to maintain control over the
23 borders to initially, I think, 500 metres, that was then further enlarged
24 to two kilometres and eventually out to 20 kilometres. This was partly to
25 do with the deterioration of the current situation. But it was in
1 mid-July when Colonel General Ojdanic then informed the defence attache
2 association in Belgrade, of which I was then the president, that the
3 Vojska Yugoslavia would now defend the lines of communications throughout
4 the province of Kosovo, indicating a much more heavy involvement of the
5 Vojska Yugoslavia in support of the MUP operations.
6 Q. On yet a later occasion, did the issue of what they actually did
7 in the summer of 1998 become the subject of discussion with General
9 A. Yes. I took video film and photographic evidence which indicated
10 artillery of various calibres, main battle tanks, and armoured personnel
11 carriers of the Vojska Yugoslavia in direct support of MUP operations. In
12 other words, they were providing the heavy indirect and direct fire
13 support to MUP ground operations.
14 Q. And was that form of assistance within the allowable limits at
15 that stage of the proceedings, in your view?
16 A. Under the Yugoslavia constitution, no. This was a clear break
17 with what had been the current areas of operation and in part was a
18 knowledge of the deterioration of the situation on the ground within
19 Kosovo itself.
20 Q. Did you confront General Dimitrijevic with that? And if so, what
21 was his reply?
22 A. I informed General Dimitrijevic that we had got evidence, and I
23 think I produced it to himself. I confronted Colonel General Ojdanic at
24 that meeting because he, in front of the defence association, said that
25 the Vojska Yugoslavia was not involved in ground operations, and this was
1 clearly untrue.
2 Q. Was there an explanation given for what they did?
3 A. As a professional military man, one could see the reason why it
4 was happening. It was the ferocity of these assaults of artillery, main
5 battle tank, and heavy machine-guns from armoured vehicles that was way
6 outside a reasonable level of force.
7 Q. All right. Were there any discussions with General Dimitrijevic
8 concerning the relationship of the 3rd Army command and Sainovic and
10 A. Yes, there were on two occasions. And on the 3rd of October, we
11 had a meeting with General Dimitrijevic, and on the 5th, at his
12 invitation, with my ambassador where General Dimitrijevic said he was
13 extremely worried about the situation within Kosovo and that General
14 Pavkovic, the commander of the 3rd Army, now currently the chief of
15 defence staff, was working outside the loop of command which went back
16 past General Perisic and General Dimitrijevic to Mr. Milosevic and
18 Q. And was there anything unusual about that to your understanding of
19 the normal chain of command?
20 A. This was totally outside the normal chain of command.
21 Q. Was there any further explanation given as to how that would
22 actually work on a step-by-step basis? In other words, who would do what
23 to whom or how did that relationship work? Were you told?
24 A. We weren't specifically told, no, but it was fairly obvious to
25 work out that General Perisic and General Dimitrijevic within the Vojska
1 Yugoslavia were not fully informed as to what was going on on the ground
2 in Kosovo and therefore were being excluded from the operational chain of
3 command which went direct from General Pavkovic back to Mr. Milosevic and
4 Sainovic who was his day-to-day operational man.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, you've referred to the JSO. Do you happen to
6 know who was the commander in charge of the JSO in and around Pec?
7 A. Yes. He was a man called Frenki Simatovic, who I met, I think, on
8 one occasion in Pec itself.
9 Q. And do you know where the JSO were based?
10 A. They had several bases. One was close to the -- an old hotel by
11 Decani monastery, which is in the western side of Kosovo. They had
12 another base in the Istok prison, which is east of Pec, on the road
13 towards Ribnik.
14 Q. If I could just stop you there.
15 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, page 4, at the intersection of 40 and
16 14.5, describes this area now in the Kosovo atlas.
17 Q. Sorry. Yes?
18 A. And also they had a base at Srbica in the Drenica, between
19 Kumanjia [phoen] and Gornja Trnava [phoen], in the ammunition factory
21 Q. When we talk about Istok, is there a prison there by special name?
22 A. Yes. There is a very big prison which I refer to as Istok but is
23 sometimes called Dubrava.
24 Q. So when you talk about Istok, that's synonymous with Dubrava
25 prison area?
1 A. That is correct, sir.
2 Q. I see. All right. And did you at some point meet with a person
3 who described himself as the commander of the JSO?
4 A. Yes, I did. On one occasion at least, and that was just before a
5 combat group, which is a combined group. We met on the Pec-Pristina road
6 at a place called Lapusnik, which is about 25 kilometres west from
7 Pristina. And within this combat group, there was Vojska Yugoslavia main
8 battle tanks, there was the JSO, there was the SAJ and PJP who were lined
9 up in two bases, one at Lapusnik and one at Kijevo, prior to assaulting
10 Malisevo, which was then the head of or the base for the KLA, Kosovo
11 Liberation Army.
12 Q. You may have given a date. If so, it's escaped me. Did you give
13 a date, approximately, when you met this commander of the JSO?
14 A. It's on the 28th of July, 1998, sir.
15 Q. And did he refer to himself by any name or nickname or name that
16 you happen to recall?
17 A. I recall -- I think I recall right, sir, it was Legija, and that
18 was about it.
19 Q. All right.
20 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, if I might, I propose now to move to
21 the summary, paragraphs 11, 12.
22 Q. Now, sir, you have earlier in your statement mentioned the
23 capacities of certain high officials, including officials in the VJ, and I
24 believe you mentioned General Perisic. Is that correct?
25 A. That's correct, sir.
1 Q. And what was his role when you knew him in the early stages?
2 A. I was accredited as the Defence attache to General Perisic who had
3 been the chief of defence staff for about three or four years, and he was
4 defence -- chief of defence staff until replaced by General Ojdanic in
5 October 1998.
6 Q. So at some point in October of 1998, General Perisic was relieved
7 of that command function and replaced by General Ojdanic, to your
9 A. That's correct, sir.
10 Q. And prior to October of 1998, sir, what did you understand the
11 VJ's tasks or duties, largely, were intended to be?
12 A. Your Honours, as I explained earlier, under the FRY constitution,
13 they had sole task to defend the borders of Yugoslavia. That was out to
14 some 500 metres. That was then extended towards two kilometres and then,
15 finally, out to 20 kilometres. And then in July 1998, Colonel General
16 Ojdanic, who was the Chief of Staff of the Vojska Yugoslavia army then
17 informed the defence attache association that they would now not only
18 defend the borders but also the training areas which they exercised in
19 within Kosovo, some of which were of tactical importance but also the
20 lines of communication across the province of Kosovo. As I indicated,
21 there were four major routes which allowed supplies coming mainly from
22 Serbia to be brought across to the Vojska Yugoslav units and MUP units
23 operating in the western province of Kosovo.
24 Q. Now -- thank you. I was asking originally about Perisic. You
25 also referred to a General Pavkovic. Can you tell us what if anything you
1 noted in the summer of 1998 concerning VJ operations involving General
2 Pavkovic, and what was his role in relation to Perisic?
3 A. It was quite clear from meetings with General Perisic and General
4 Dimitrijevic that General Pavkovic was -- had sought -- had seen an
5 opportunity to carry out the wishes, presumably of Mr. Milosevic, and to
6 exert far more operational control direct from Pristina and Nis, his
7 headquarters, in the operations within the Kosovo area. And I believe he
8 saw this as a chance to show that he was willing to carry out the orders
9 of the Yugoslav government outside the normal chain of command which
10 should have gone through the chief of defence staff and General
11 Dimitrijevic, who was the chief of counter-intelligence.
12 Q. Now, you've already alluded to the fact that you've had
13 conversations with these individuals a few moments ago, and I asked you in
14 a different paragraph, but am I right that you in fact discussed these
15 observations about incidents in the summer of 1998 with General Perisic
16 and General Dimitrijevic?
17 A. That is correct, sir. We had very long conversations, because as
18 a professional soldier, one has been in several situations not dissimilar
19 to what was going on in Kosovo and, therefore, was attempting to give
20 advice as a professional soldier. And it was quite obvious from General
21 Perisic and General Dimitrijevic's demeanour that they were unhappy with
22 the way that operations were now being organised and that the normal chain
23 of command was being relatively ignored in pursuit of a much more
24 aggressive policy which involved the Vojska Yugoslavia, as I've said, in
25 direct support of MUP operations across the province of Kosovo.
1 Q. Now, just so I understand the functions and what was happening, I
2 believe you may have expressed this, but I'm going to ask you to clarify
3 for me, if you would, please. What the VJ was doing in the summer of 1998
4 as you described, was that purely a border thing or was this now being
5 involved in internal security operations?
6 A. Initially within the -- within the early part of 1998, the Vojska
7 Yugoslavia was deployed on the border and particularly on the Albanian and
8 southern and western borders. And then as the operations became more
9 involved, they had to move back to take -- to support the MUP who were
10 incapable, in some respects, of carrying out these particular operations.
11 Q. So when they supported the MUP, was that part of a different
12 function? Was that internal security?
13 A. Yes, that was bordering on internal security. And this was
14 definitely changed and made formally aware to the defence attaches in July
15 28th when Colonel General Ojdanic made that statement in front of the
16 attache corps.
17 Q. Did you have a conversation with Perisic and Dimitrijevic
18 concerning whether or not they agreed or disagreed with that type of
19 deployment of the army?
20 A. They both were unhappy and disagreed with the heavier involvement,
21 the Vojska Yugoslavia, and said to -- said that to me on at least two
22 occasions, but, rather, said that they were, as I've said already, now
23 more or less outside the regular chain of command and therefore unable to
24 influence, apparently, the situation and the operational tasking that was
25 going direct from Belgrade down to Pristina and Nis, the headquarters of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 3rd Army outside of Kosovo.
2 Q. Sir, you've already made reference to the 27th of August, I
3 believe, when General Ojdanic met with the accredited defence attaches and
4 outlined the new policy. Do you -- would this have been before or after
5 you presented the video? I believe you made reference earlier that you
6 had a video. Did you present that video at all?
7 A. Yes, I did. I believe I had shown it to General Dimitrijevic who
8 had spoken to General Perisic, and I also produced it for the foreign
9 liaison service after General Ojdanic's speech to the accredited defence
10 attache association.
11 Q. And what did this video show? What was it of?
12 A. It showed Vojska Yugoslavia units, heavy artillery, and main
13 battle tanks working within the central region of Kosovo in and around, I
14 believe, Suva Reka, Blace, and Dulje areas, which were then under fairly
15 constant bombardment as a part of the "clearance," in inverted commas,
16 operations that were ongoing throughout July, August, and September of
18 Q. Now, sir, perhaps you can assist us. Your familiarity of the
19 geography of Kosovo; the locations of Junik, Prilep, Rznic, and Glodjane,
20 where are those villages located? Generally in what area?
21 A. These are all in between the western town of Djakovica and Decani,
22 about 10 kilometres south of Decani, and in towards what was called the
23 Jablanica area. The small villages of Rznic and Prilep were just on the
24 main road and just off the main road. We were taken there in I think it
25 was August because there had been a massacre at a place called Glodjane.
1 Whilst we were taken under escort, having been met in Djakovica by the
2 MUP, we actually went past troops still on operations, which included
3 elements from the Vojska Yugoslavia, the SAJ, the JSO, and the PJP, who,
4 as we drove past, were still torching, burning, and firing into various
5 houses as we were driven through, this armoured convoy, and we eventually
6 arrived at the small village of Glodjane.
7 The MUP who brought us there indicated in the deep water channel
8 had been a massacre, and I myself saw six to eight bodies that had been
9 shot, and there were bullet marks on the concrete of the water channel.
10 Who these people were was impossible to tell because we were not allowed
11 to go close to the bodies concerned, but the MUP commander from Djakovica
12 informed me that these were Serb -- Kosovo Serbs who had been killed by
13 the local KLA. But as I said, we could not confirm that. But there were
14 definitely six to eight bodies there.
15 Q. Now, did that incident that you've just told us about that you
16 witnessed, this continual firing, was that raised at all on the 28th of
17 August with Ojdanic?
18 A. Yes, it was. And he, Colonel General Ojdanic, really didn't seem
19 to want to know what was going on in truth. It was witnessed by myself
20 and other defence attaches that, despite what was being portrayed from
21 Belgrade, the truth was very far from that within the province of Kosovo
22 and that many of the operations were extremely heavy-handed. I myself saw
23 over -- between 2 and 300 villages burnt throughout 1998, 1999. Crops
24 were just wantonly burnt. Businesses of all sorts were routed and looted.
25 Petrol stations, any shops. And within towns like Decani, Pec, and
1 Djakovica, the Albanian areas were completely burnt out. And this
2 included damage to mosques, which I, amongst other people, informed the
3 Vojska Yugoslavia was not the clever way of doing operations.
4 So there was significant civilian damage done purely to drive out
5 civilians from both their homes, their farms, and also from the towns that
6 I indicated of Pec, Decani, and Djakovica.
7 Q. Thank you. Sorry to come back to this topic, but those four
8 villages that you mentioned by name - Junik, Prilep, Rznic, and Glodjane -
9 you described to us what you saw. Was the incident of what you witnessed
10 there the subject of discussion with Ojdanic, and if so, did he say
11 anything to you, having been confronted with that, about how that might be
12 viewed in terms of security or humanitarian concerns?
13 A. Not really, sir. I mean, I think he found it difficult to
14 understand. I mean, for instance, Your Honours, the very small hamlet of
15 Prilep on the Decani-Djakovica road was probably 40 to 50 centimetres
16 high; all the houses been bulldozed flat. That is the level of
17 destruction we're talking about, and that was throughout. In certain
18 areas throughout Kosovo, major destruction had taken place, and people -
19 certainly Colonel General Ojdanic - did not seem to want to hear this
21 MR. NICE: All right. Moving to paragraph 12, if I may, Your
23 Q. Sir, during the course of your duties, I understand that Lord
24 Ashdown was also a visitor to Kosovo. Is that correct?
25 A. That's correct, sir. He -- I think if I remember rightly, he
1 carried out two visits, and I accompanied him with our ambassador on both
2 these visits.
3 Q. When would that have been, approximately?
4 A. One was in the latter part of September, I believe the 26th, 27th,
5 but they were about four or five days, so it spread over a good period
6 within Kosovo itself.
7 Q. And just without getting into a lot of detail of the tour, what
8 areas did you visit with Lord Ashdown?
9 A. We carried out, Your Honours, a comprehensive tour throughout all
10 of Kosovo, but in this particular time we concentrated on the area around
11 Suva Reka, Dulje, Blace, and we were accompanied by the BBC who filmed
12 footage of ongoing operations that were quite clearly Vojska Yugoslavia
14 Q. And did you have access to the footage taken by the BBC that was
16 A. Yes, sir. I have seen that, and it was transmitted, I believe, on
17 that evening news.
18 Q. Did you also take any video or photographic evidence of what you
19 had seen?
20 A. Yes, we did, sir, yes.
21 Q. And later on, did you have a meeting with General Ojdanic in the
22 presence of Lord Ashdown?
23 A. I believe we did, sir, yes. And again, Lord Ashdown also went to
24 see Mr. Milosevic directly after his visit to Kosovo, on one occasion at
25 least, and I believe also made those comments to Mr. Milosevic as well.
1 Q. All right.
2 MR. RYNEVELD: Paragraph 13, Your Honours.
3 Q. Between July and October, then - this is sort of summary - how
4 many visits did you make to Kosovo?
5 A. I made approximately 11 visits, Your Honours, and these were
6 sometimes of three, four, five, and six days duration. So I spent a lot
7 of the late summer and early autumn in Kosovo. Also on behest of
8 Mr. Holbrooke when the initiative there was being attempted to be signed
9 in late October, November. And I actually supervised the withdrawal, as
10 on the plan of Mr. Holbrooke, of the Vojska Yugoslavia units back to their
11 barracks in Pristina, in Prizren, and in Urosevac.
12 Q. And on those visits, on each of those visits, did you see evidence
13 of incidents?
14 A. Yes, sir. They were continuous -- there were continually burnings
15 and lootings from villages, and some villages had been looted and burnt at
16 least on three occasions, with the civilian population leaving and then
17 returning once they thought it was relatively safe to come back.
18 Q. And just so that I'm clear about that, when you say three times,
19 you mean they'd burn, they'd leave, they'd come back, it would be burned
20 again, they'd leave, come back, burned again? Is that what you mean by
21 three times?
22 A. That's exactly correct, sir, yes. Because the civilian population
23 would move out to the woods. Bearing in mind it was a very warm summer,
24 but then coming in towards the autumn, the temperature drops quickly. The
25 only shelter they had was either in the woods or back in their dilapidated
1 buildings, which then were starting to get some UNHCR help in.
2 Q. Sir --
3 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, I don't know what time you want to
4 take the break.
5 JUDGE MAY: Well, we --
6 MR. RYNEVELD: I'm going to try and do this --
7 JUDGE MAY: I think we started at 10.35, so you've got another
8 quarter of an hour or so.
9 MR. RYNEVELD: Wonderful. I'm just hoping to try to get through
10 this before the break, but I had no idea as to when that break will be.
11 So thank you.
12 Q. Paragraph 14. Sir, I'll move on a little more quickly. You have
13 already referred to a 3rd of October, 1998, meeting with General
14 Dimitrijevic, and now as part of that discussion, part of which you've
15 already related, did you discuss with General Dimitrijevic some of the air
16 defence assets that you had personally observed in the -- and their use
17 against civilians?
18 A. Yes. Throughout 1998, many of the -- or nearly all of the air
19 defence assets - and these are armoured vehicles, wheeled vehicles and
20 semi-tracked vehicles, what they all BOV 3s and Pragas - were used in the
21 direct fire role against villages, and I personally saw that happen on
22 numerous occasions. And this was a tactic of a standoff, direct attack
23 onto a village in order to destroy the infrastructure of that village and
24 drive any of the population who might have been there out of their own
25 personal houses.
1 Q. From your observations, these villages, did they appear to be
2 apparent military targets?
3 A. No. These were normal civilian villages. Inevitably in some of
4 these villages there would be supporters of the Kosovo Liberation Army
5 because, as you're well aware, the population within Kosovo is probably
6 about a million plus Albanians, or it was in 1998.
7 Q. And to your understanding of the Geneva Convention, was that type
8 of behaviour permissible?
9 A. Not at all. These are 20, 30, and 40-millimetre cannon, which are
10 very destructive and are used, under the Geneva Convention, for use
11 against aircraft and/or other armoured vehicles but certainly not against
13 Q. Now, sir, is there a group or body known as the HMA?
14 A. The HMA is Her Majesty's Ambassador.
15 Q. Thank you. So when you met with Dimitrijevic, you met in the
16 presence of the then ambassador for Britain, is that Ambassador Donnelly?
17 A. That is correct, sir, yes. And it was on his -- on my return from
18 Kosovo and on my ambassador's wishes to speak with the most senior person
19 we could do in order to attempt to rationalise a situation that was
20 rapidly becoming out of hand.
21 Q. And in the company of Her Majesty's Ambassador -- I take it he was
22 present for this October 3rd meeting; is that correct?
23 A. That's correct, sir.
24 Q. And so was there any discussions concerning the responsibility for
25 Kosovo at that point?
1 A. I believe my ambassador made it perfectly clear that he was
2 holding Mr. Milosevic and the Vojska Yugoslavia and MUP responsible for
3 what was going on in Kosovo and indicated that future action may be taken
4 against those who were responsible for quite clearly crimes against
6 Q. Now, was there also a report where you got a message about the MUP
7 PJP detachments operating in Kosovo?
8 A. It was during this time under Mr. Holbrooke's initiative various
9 MUP units were redeployed out of Kosovo, and I personally witnessed them
10 moving out. However, not very long afterwards, other MUP/PJP units were
11 brought back in to replace those who had been on duty for three or four
13 Q. So there appeared to be an initial compliance and then things
15 A. Yes. The Vojska Yugoslavia, as I've said earlier, I personally
16 saw the three battle groups return to their barracks and signal this back
17 to the relevant authorities. We also, as I've said, saw the withdrawal of
18 certain elements of the MUP/PJP, and then we saw other elements coming
19 back in over a period of days, replacing those who had been sent back out.
20 Q. It was a matter of days before other units replaced them?
21 A. As far as I recall, Your Honours, within a week to two-week
22 period, yes, so the status quo was regained in terms of numbers of Serbian
23 security forces within Kosovo.
24 Q. Very quickly skipping down to paragraph 18, just before Christmas,
25 around the 19th, the 21st of December, 1998, did you witness anything in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 relation to the 211 Brigade from Nis?
2 A. Yes, Your Honours. This brigade from Nis, which we could very
3 easily identify by various signs it had on it, was deployed to the west on
4 the high ground just outside of Podujevo, along the main supply route
5 which went back to Krsumlija Banja, which is an advances headquarters for
6 3rd Army from Nis, and therefore, they were protecting their main supply
7 route from the KLA who mounted various attacks within that area. But this
8 was a battalion-plus sizing deployment and also down onto an airfield
9 called Donje Pudenje [phoen] where they had another battalion-minus. So
10 there was, in effect, just under a brigade of armour, including main
11 battle tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and artillery within and around
12 the Podujevo environs.
13 Q. And again I'm sorry, being a non-military person, you may have to
14 state the obvious for my benefit. When you saw tanks, was that MUP or --
15 A. No. The Vojska Yugoslavia maintained control of all main battle
16 tanks and in particular some units were equipped with the later T-84,
17 which indicated that these were units mainly external from Kosovo. They
18 were from either Nis or even from Belgrade.
19 Q. So this 211 Brigade from Nis, that was definitely an army brigade?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. And a brigade is approximately how many men or how many --
22 A. In rough terms, between 3 and 4.000, depending on how much
23 strength it had at the time.
24 Q. I see. This is a large group of people.
25 A. It is a very large and a very powerful organisation, and they did
1 considerable damage to the villages just west of Podujevo; Bradas,
2 Dobratin, Gornja Lapastica and Donje Lapastica.
3 Q. And did you see any MUP at the same time as you saw this 211
5 A. Yes. I visited the headquarters there in Podujevo and also saw,
6 within the perimeter areas, both a combined MUP and VJ presence, and it
7 was quite clear they were working together.
8 Q. One further question on that topic then, sir. As a military man
9 seeing these many people and MUP and police obviously working together,
10 did you form any opinion or speculation as to what was going on?
11 A. It -- Your Honours, it indicated how serious the Vojska Yugoslavia
12 was taking the situation, which was deteriorating with an influx of Kosovo
13 Liberation Army people and equipment. And it was also obviously
14 protecting their major route back into southern Serbia up towards
15 Prokuplje and on to Nis.
16 Q. Were you concerned at all about what you witnessed?
17 A. Very concerned, Your Honours, in that every time there was an
18 operation, there was a completely unreasonable use of force put in against
19 the villages and towns.
20 Q. Thank you. Colonel Crosland, I want to take you now, if you
21 would, please, to the 15th of January, 1999, referred to as Racak. Can
22 you tell the Court in some detail, if you would, in this particular area,
23 I'm going to take -- where were you, what time were you there, what did
24 you see? I'm just going to let you explain for the Court how you happened
25 to be there, where you were, and what you saw.
1 A. Your Honours, the small village of Racak is just west of a place
2 called Stimlje, which is on the -- one of the southern routes across to
3 Suva Reka and on to Prizren. Stimlje was a joint Vojska Yugoslavia and
4 MUP outpost, because just beyond Racak was a small village of Crnoljevo
5 which was really where the Kosovo Liberation Army had a quasi-control over
6 this mountainous road that went up towards Dulje where the Vojska
7 Yugoslavia had a combat group in a fairly isolated position up on the
8 heights that overlooked the village of Suva Reka.
9 If I recall correctly, there was an attack on a MUP - maybe also
10 VJ - patrol just west of the village of Racak, which resulted, I think, if
11 I remember rightly, in three MUP being killed. And it was then quite
12 clear that a major operation would be mounted using Colonel Delic's 243
13 Brigade from Urosevac, the Vojska Yugoslavia formation, and all the
14 combined elements of the PJP/MUP to take out what was disclosed as a
15 Kosovo Liberation Army headquarters, in their terminology. I would just
16 say a base, but that can be debated.
17 Q. I'm going to stop you there just to clarify something. This
18 incident that you referred to about two or three individuals being killed,
19 was that on the 15th or was that some days before the 15th or --
20 A. I think if I recall rightly, sir, it was a couple of days prior to
21 the major operation against Racak which was on the overnight 14th/15th.
22 Q. All right. So -- thank you. It was sometime prior to --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. -- to the Racak incident?
25 A. Yes. It probably was the catalyst for this operation.
1 Q. I see. Sorry to have interrupted.
2 A. Not at all, sir. I arrived, I think, mid-afternoon, about 2.00,
3 in the area, and there was a - and had been - a continuous bombardment of
4 M-80s, which are armoured personnel vehicles, about nine of them on the
5 high ground overlooking Racak, and they were supported by D-30s, which are
6 howitzers, manned by Vojska Yugoslavia.
7 Q. M-80s --
8 JUDGE KWON: Colonel Crosland, how did you come to know that there
9 would be an operation in Racak at the time?
10 THE WITNESS: Because, Your Honour, the Kosovo KVM, Kosovo
11 Verification Mission was also in the area and attempting to monitor the
12 ongoing operations. And by the amount of troops, both the MUP in all its
13 elements and the Vojska Yugoslavia concentrating in that area, it was very
14 clear that an operation was about to take place.
15 MR. RYNEVELD:
16 Q. Is that why you attended Racak?
17 A. Yes. In -- you tend to get, having been in the area for as long
18 as I've been, a feel for what is going on. And this was an extremely
19 dangerous and difficult area for the Yugoslav authorities to have any
20 control over because they needed to, as I've indicated, as one of their
21 main supply routes westwards to Suva Reka and then on to Prizren.
22 Q. I'm sorry, I cut across His Honour's question. I might use this
23 opportunity now to ask you again. You referred to, I think it was M-80s,
24 a continuous bombardment of M-80s, it says in the transcript. Oh, you
25 said they were armoured personnel vehicles. Are they like tanks or --
1 A. No. These are smaller armoured vehicles which have heavy
2 machine-guns and can lay down a considerable amount of firepower. And as
3 I said, there were about nine of these vehicles, firing more or less
4 continuously into and around the area of Racak.
5 Q. And could you determine where this equipment was from or whether
6 it was JNA or MUP or -- were there tanks there as well or not?
7 A. There were elements of the Vojska Yugoslavia from -- we recognised
8 from 243 brigade which is the Mechanised Brigade out of Urosevac. It was
9 that brigade's area of responsibility.
10 Q. Did you see any tanks?
11 A. Yes, we saw some T55s.
12 Q. Sorry. Again I interrupted. The size of this operation, sir,
13 that you witnessed, what level of, shall we say, in the normal chain of
14 command, what level of knowledge or planning or operational cooperation do
15 you think there would have to have been for something like to take place?
16 A. Your Honours, there must have been a close cooperation between the
17 52 Corps was the VJ corps based in Pristina, under command of General
18 Lazarevic, who I knew and had seen on many occasions and given sustenance
19 to Vojska Yugoslavia soldiers who had been wounded and, in fact, one
20 killed. I went to see the bodies and gave medical aid to their sick
21 soldiers who had been wounded. And that's documented in other areas. But
22 it was quite clear that there had been a coordinated move between the
23 Vojska Yugoslavia and the MUP to clear out this nest of the KLA and, I
24 suppose, to teach the KLA a lesson. But it seemed to me a very blunt way
25 of doing it, directly under the noses of then Ambassador Walker's Kosovo
1 Verification Mission.
2 Q. Did you see members of the Kosovo Verification Mission there while
3 you were there?
4 A. Yes, I did, sir. I believe it was Ambassador Walker, but I can't
5 remember precisely.
6 Q. Perhaps you would -- were you there when the actual conflict
8 A. I arrived just after the major conflict had arrived. But there
9 was considerable activity ongoing that afternoon and throughout that day.
10 Q. I believe Their Honours would like to know what you actually
11 witnessed. Who was doing what to whom, when, and where?
12 A. It was quite clear for me the way the M-80s, the armoured
13 personnel vehicles were on the ridgeline above Stimlje that overlooked the
14 village of Racak, that they were providing what we would call intensive
15 covering fire into the area of Racak itself. I then believe there was
16 what we would call a sweep operation which went through Racak. And if I
17 remember correctly, there were seven or eight members of the Kosovo
18 Liberation Army brought out who had been killed. The other people who had
19 been killed, many of them had extremely close burn marks, indicating they
20 had been shot from very close range. Obviously I was not present when
21 they were shot, but one has seen enough, sadly, enough bodies in one life
22 to realize that these people had been shot from very close range.
23 JUDGE KWON: Colonel, did you hear or see the exchange of gunfire
24 at that time?
25 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. You could have heard it nearly
1 back in Pristina. This was a very, very serious engagement, and a
2 complete, in my opinion, a complete flouting of the authority of the
3 Kosovo Verification Mission, because they would -- I believe Ambassador
4 Walker arrived with the world's press, who got not as close as we got but
5 were very clearly able to see the nine armoured vehicles firing directly
6 at Racak and the other units that were spread around the Stimlje area who
7 were in support of this operation.
8 JUDGE KWON: So you -- does it mean that you saw the -- some fight
9 back from the KLAs?
10 THE WITNESS: No. It was impossible to see that, Your Honour,
11 because they are down the other side of the hill, totally overlooked by
12 the Serbian security force position. It's a wooded position which would
13 obviously allow some people to have slipped away southwards. But on the
14 Serbian side, it was very much a bare valley leading from their position
15 down towards Racak itself.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 MR. RYNEVELD:
18 Q. Just to clarify, if I may. Picking up from where His Honour's
19 question left off, when you responded to His Honour's question about an
20 exchange of gunfire and you answered in the way you did, were you focusing
21 on the word "exchange" or were you focusing on the --
22 A. No. Sorry. It was very difficult to know whether there was any
23 fire coming back. The weight of fire going down was -- was extremely
25 Q. Did you, in the course of your duties at Racak, visit the area
1 known as the gully after the fact?
2 A. I did not go down into that area because access was restricted. I
3 think Ambassador Walker went down, and one or two people from KVM.
4 Q. You did not personally?
5 A. I did not personally go down there, no.
6 Q. Thank you. Are you able to give us a time frame as to when you
7 witnessed this heavy artillery being shot into Racak? Approximately when
8 are we talking?
9 A. As far as I can recall, sir, it was from mid-morning of the 14th
10 or the 15th. I think it was mid-morning of the 15th.
11 Q. Until?
12 A. Until late afternoon on the 15th, I would suggest.
13 Q. And your observation point? Like, where, approximately, would you
14 have been in order to witness this?
15 A. We managed to get reasonably close to Stimlje by various routes
16 that we'd worked out from before.
17 Q. All right.
18 A. And there's absolutely no -- the definition of who was involved
19 was absolutely clear.
20 Q. Were there KVM observers in approximately the same opportunity to
21 witness the incident; i.e., was their vantage point known to you?
22 A. There was a vantage point known to me. The KVM, as far as I
23 recall, were not allowed in. I think Ambassador Walker was then allowed
24 in with various people, after the operation, to see what had been done.
25 Q. Would the KVM, to your knowledge, have been in a position to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 observe the same incident you did and would have had an opportunity to
2 make known their observations to people within their chain of command?
3 A. I would have thought so, sir, yes.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Ryneveld, if you're going to move from Racak --
6 MR. RYNEVELD: I am.
7 JUDGE MAY: -- it may be a convenient moment to break.
8 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honour. That's -- yes. I'm about
9 to go to paragraph 20, 23, 25, and 27. That's all I have left.
10 JUDGE MAY: Nonetheless, given the time constraints --
11 MR. RYNEVELD: Absolutely.
12 JUDGE MAY: -- it may not be possible to finish the colonel's
13 evidence today.
14 Colonel, we'll do the best to finish your evidence today, but I'm
15 afraid I can't promise that we'll be able to do so.
16 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MAY: I should warn you formally not to speak to anybody
18 about your evidence until it's over, and that does include members of the
19 Prosecution team. However, if arrangements have to be made for you to
20 come back sometime to complete your evidence between now and the summer or
21 the early autumn, perhaps you could have a word with Mr. Ryneveld about
22 that, just that particular point, to try and find a convenient time.
23 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Ryneveld, perhaps you could report on those
1 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. I might say I don't believe it will be
2 necessary for me to speak to the witness in between. Out of an abundance
3 of caution, we have canvassed that, what I hoped was a remote possibility,
4 and I do believe that the witness might be able to make himself available
5 first thing Monday morning if he can get out of here mid-morning sort of
7 JUDGE MAY: Right. That sounds satisfactory.
8 We will adjourn now. Twenty minutes.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.05 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
11 [Closed session]
13 Page 7955 - redacted – closed session.
13 Page 7956 - redacted – closed session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session.
18 MR. NICE: Your Honour, returning very rapidly to Marjan Krasniqi
19 referred to by the accused this morning, his statements having been
20 reviewed, the position is that his statements are subject to the full 92
21 bis procedure carried out in the region earlier this year on the 13th of
22 March at a time when we were intending to make him part of our case. As
23 the Chamber knows, we've radically reduced the number of witnesses since
24 then, but he remains a potentially useful witness. And since the accused
25 wants his statements in, I give notice now under 92 bis that I apply for
1 his statements, in accordance with the package of documents provided to
2 the accused and the Court, should be adduced subject to the full
3 provisions of 92 bis. That is to say they can simply be read into
4 evidence. It would be surprising if the accused were to challenge that,
5 as he's asked for the statements to go into evidence.
6 The normal timing under 92 bis is 14 days -- 7 days and 14 days, I
7 think, but I'd ask for an appropriate abbreviation so that the accused can
8 make his position clear as to whether this witness is required for
9 cross-examination or not. One would assume not in light of his own
11 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll consider that matter.
12 MR. NICE: Outstanding, then, is the position of Mr. Coo. The
13 Court raised a very practical solution to the problem yesterday simply as
14 a possibility, giving his evidence in chief before de la Billiere were to
15 be called. The only potential problem is that is the normal rule that a
16 witness would not be communicating about his evidence with the Office of
17 the Prosecutor once he's started to give evidence. That hardly applies
18 with the same force if it's only examination-in-chief of an expert, and
19 subject to a resolution of that difficulty, if the Court is minded to
20 pursue that possibility, we would be only too happy to go along with it.
21 But there's one technical issue that we'd like to be resolved in
22 order to help the Court: His exhibits are currently not in a tabbed or
23 divided format. There's a problem about putting tabs on documents or
24 putting numbers on documents that as soon as you change a document at all,
25 you have to have it resubmitted for the whole processing -- process of
1 having numbers put on it and so on and so forth. I'm sure that for future
2 92 bis exhibits we can find a solution to this that won't waste people's
3 time and have documents being numbered twice.
4 As to Mr. Coo's exhibits, we are only too happy to do anything
5 that would assist the management of the exhibits. In particular if it
6 would be thought appropriate for those documents to be placed into tabbed
7 binders, we could do that for their more easy handling. But that's that.
8 But it would help us to know if we can call him on that basis, and we'll
9 get on and make appropriate preparations, discussing the mechanics of
10 handling the exhibits with your legal officer as appropriate.
11 JUDGE MAY: There is in the evidence of Mr. Coo, in any event, a
12 challenge to admissibility of parts. If you're going to oppose what the
13 amici have suggested, then we'll need to have a hearing on that.
14 MR. NICE: Yes. I don't think it will be particularly long, but
15 we're going to submit a written document, I hope today or tomorrow, to
16 narrow the issues.
17 And then finally, we've served the statement of Isuf Jemini, the
18 cousin of the man who overheard the observations from his building. We've
19 been granted leave to call him. Can I give notice that we will seek to
20 call him at any convenient time in the next two weeks? He's the sort of
21 witness who may serve as a useful witness to take a little time if we
22 otherwise fall short.
23 JUDGE MAY: Has his statement been disclosed yet?
24 MR. NICE: Certainly. It was disclosed in the application to call
25 him, and the application was granted, so it's been disclosed already.
1 JUDGE MAY: Disclosed to the accused.
2 MR. NICE: Oh, certainly, yes.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
4 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE MAY: We'll have the witness back, please.
6 MR. NICE: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, Your Honours. Thank you. I believe I was
8 about to turn to paragraph 20 of the summary.
9 Q. Colonel Crosland, I'm going to summarise just a little bit here.
10 I understand, sir, that during your various tours you've already testified
11 about having seen destruction, burning, and looting of some of the
12 villages. Did that also occur in 1999?
13 A. Yes, it did, Your Honours, in the area around Podujevo where the
14 Vojska Yugoslavia had deployed 211 Brigade from Nis and at least 3
15 villages, four villages - Gornja Lapastica, Donja Lapastica, Bradas, and
16 Dobratin - were heavily destroyed.
17 MR. RYNEVELD: For Your Honours, that's -- those villages can be
18 seen on page 3 of the Kosovo atlas.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please pause between question
20 and answer. Thank you.
21 MR. RYNEVELD: I've been cautioned to pause.
22 Q. Now, sir, did you note a VJ battalion involved in what you
23 witnessed in those villages you've just mentioned?
24 A. Yes, Your Honour. The direct and indirect fire was coming from
25 equipment which was manned by Vojska Yugoslavia and also by MUP elements,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 PJP probably.
2 Q. And very briefly, can you describe the method of operation that
3 you witnessed? In other words, who did what, in what order, to whom?
4 A. It appeared that on most operations, warning shots would be fired
5 into the area of the villages that were about to be assaulted, presumably
6 to try and warn the civilian population that worse was to come, and then
7 there would be a very destructive phase of bombardment which would then be
8 followed up by a ground operation which, as I addressed previously, would
9 be torching and burning and looting of the houses concerned that were
10 still standing. Also the crops, both in the field adjacent to the houses
11 and in much wider areas throughout the middle of Kosovo, which is a fairly
12 agriculture area and really the breadbasket of Kosovo itself, particularly
13 the area around Kijevo, in the middle, was burning for probably several
14 weeks as various fires were lit throughout the summer and late autumn of
16 Q. To your observation, what effect, if any, did the burning of the
17 crops have on the ability of the villagers to return at some later time?
18 A. I think initially this caused considerable distress. Also their
19 livestock was slaughtered in a very wanton way.
20 Towards the end of 1998 when the UNHCR and other aid agencies
21 started to get food and materials back into the area, it was not quite so
22 destructive, but why it was done, I'm afraid I can't answer that question.
23 Q. One further question on this particular paragraph, sir: You've
24 told us the method that you saw things happen. What forces would be
25 involved in the looting or the ground operation, I believe that you've
1 called it? Would that be the army again or would that be someone else?
2 A. Most of the -- most of the ground operations that I came across,
3 the direct fire and indirect fire support would be provided by the Vojska
4 Yugoslavia, and the assault troops would come from either the JSO, PJP or
5 the SAJ units who would then move through the area and systematically
6 clear it and carry out most of the destructive work. Obviously the
7 shell-fire and gunfire from the Vojska Yugoslavia and other elements would
8 be very destructive.
9 Q. In your military experience, would there have to be any
10 coordination between the army and the ground forces in order to avoid
11 friendly-fire casualties?
12 A. Yes, Your Honours. I'm sure there must have been a coordination
13 centre, presumably in Pristina, where joint operations were planned in
14 order to prevent what we would term blue-on-blue but also prevent
15 artillery and other long-range fire going into areas that other Serbian
16 security forces may be involved in.
17 Q. When you witnessed these operations, did you see what the
18 villagers did during these operations that you've talked about? What did
19 the villagers do?
20 A. Your Honours, most -- most times, as far as I was aware, as I
21 said, there would be warning shots fired in the area of the village in
22 order to drive out the villagers before the major attack took place. And
23 therefore, the attacks, certainly onto areas like Malisevo and other
24 villages around that area, probably the majority of the villagers had
25 left, and therefore troops just swept through and wantonly destroyed, and,
1 if you like, ethnically cleansed, or attempted to ethnically cleanse,
2 these areas and succeeded really in pushing, certainly in the area of
3 Malisevo down towards the Podgorusa valley, in excess of 30 to 40.000
4 villagers who were camping out for most of the summer and late autumn of
6 Q. These villages that you've referred to, sir, in your experience in
7 Kosovo, were you familiar with the ethnic composition of the majority of
8 the inhabitants of those villages?
9 A. Yes, Your Honours. The majority of these villages were Kosovo
10 Albanian. The major Serb villages were like -- were places like Kijevo,
11 which is a Serb stronghold in the middle of Kosovo. And then most of the
12 other Serbs -- Kosovo Serbs were in amongst the major towns of Pristina,
13 Pec, and Djakovica.
14 Q. Did you make any observations in 1998 and early 1999 about the
15 Serb neighbourhoods of those towns or Serb villages? What -- did you note
16 any similar destruction in regard to those areas?
17 A. No. Most of these Serb enclaves became no-go areas to the likes
18 of myself and were guarded by local defence units which were all organised
19 on a sort of territorial basis of villagers who were armed and guarded
20 their own properties.
21 Q. Yes. Now, your statement refers to the issues in paragraph 23.
22 In order for time, I'm going to skip that, if I may.
23 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours may want to note that at page 3, the
24 intersection of 20 and 06 would assist for the location of those areas in
25 paragraph 23.
1 Q. I want to move on, if I may, to the Istok or Dubrava Prison visit
2 you made in June of 1999. That premises, as I understood it -- you
3 understood it to have been bombed at one point?
4 A. That's correct, Your Honours. It was bombed during a campaign.
5 Q. And did you visit after the conflict was over?
6 A. Yes. I visited in early June, and when we arrived in the area
7 with another defence attache, we found a whole mass of documents, which
8 some purported to be execution orders. There were certainly -- these were
9 handed over to the relevant authorities, along with licna kartas, identity
10 cards and other forms of identity that obviously had been stripped off
11 various individuals which were just inside the main wall adjacent to the
12 major control point in front of Istok or Dubrava Prison, as it's called.
13 Q. Now, quick question, sir: In the course of your duties, did you
14 learn to read or understand the Serbian language in either Cyrillic or in
15 the normal writing?
16 A. Yes. Before taking up the appointment, I learnt Serbian and both
18 Q. And these documents that you saw, you personally looked at some of
19 them, did you?
20 A. I did indeed, sir.
21 Q. And could you determine these identity cards and documents, what
22 ethnicity of individuals they referred to or are you able to voice an
23 opinion concerning that?
24 A. These documents concerned Kosovo Albanian persons and were both
25 identity cards and some were of -- for execution orders.
1 Q. Now, sir, during the course of your duties, I believe you
2 mentioned earlier that you would prepare reports or summaries in order to
3 notify the people to whom you were responsible. Is that correct?
4 A. That is correct, sir. I produced about roughly 70 -- from 70
5 tours. These tours stretched from one day to the outside of a week in
7 Q. And were you present and did you provide information to Her
8 Majesty's Ambassador at that time as well?
9 A. Yes, I naturally worked very closely with my ambassador who also
10 linked in with the political chain of command in Belgrade as the situation
11 deteriorated throughout 1998 and 1999.
12 Q. And some of these reports which may have been under the signature
13 of Her Majesty's Ambassador Donnelly, would you have had an input or be
14 familiar with the contents of many of those documents?
15 A. Yes, Your Honour. I provided most of the military detail because
16 I was based for a long, long period -- a long period in Kosovo and,
17 therefore, contributed towards the report on the military and geographical
19 Q. All right.
20 MR. RYNEVELD: Now, then, Your Honours, I propose very briefly to
21 show the witness a series of some seven documents which are outlined in
22 paragraph 27. In order to avoid confusion, I'm going to do them one at a
23 time, if I may.
24 Q. The first document, Colonel Crosland, bares the date of May 11th
25 and 12th. Perhaps Madam Usher could assist us in distributing those. Do
1 you have a copy of that SitRep available to you?
2 A. I have a copy.
3 Q. You have your own copy of that document? We'll wait until Their
4 Honours get their copy. And we'll just describe --
5 JUDGE KWON: Why don't we get all of them at the same time.
6 MR. RYNEVELD: You want the whole bundle?
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll have the bundle together.
8 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. My apologies, Your Honours. Do we have
9 a bundle now? No. The case manager's going to have to sort those.
10 Perhaps I can deal with the first one while that's being done. I don't
11 want to -- and that's my fault and I apologise for not having them in
13 Q. The first document, sir, maybe you can just describe the format of
14 this so that we know what we're talking about. The first document has a
15 number R0118465, and it appears to be confidential. And then it's
16 Britmilrep Belgrade.
17 JUDGE MAY: We need to have these first.
18 MR. RYNEVELD: I'm sorry, I thought Your Honours had been given
19 the first one. My apologies. I'll wait.
20 JUDGE MAY: It is -- it really would be helpful to have these
21 together in future, clipped together so it's convenient for everybody.
22 How far are we in a position to go now?
23 MR. RYNEVELD: Well, Your Honours, I was just --
24 JUDGE MAY: We don't want to waste any time on it. We're now
25 getting a third one. K2490 --
1 MR. RYNEVELD: There are seven.
2 JUDGE MAY: [Microphone not activated]
3 MR. RYNEVELD: There are seven and I think that the total number
4 of pages would be 15 or 20 pages, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE MAY: Let us start with whichever one you want.
6 MR. RYNEVELD: I was going to do them in chronological order, at
7 least in which they were written. The first one is the 11th and 12th of
8 May, and you can see that, and it says: "Subject: Kosovo SitRep as at
9 11/12 May 1998." Does Your Honour have that?
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. 2490.
11 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll let that have an exhibit number. We'll
13 give them each separate exhibit numbers.
14 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honours. My apologies.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be marked Prosecutor's
16 Exhibit 254.
17 MR. RYNEVELD:
18 Q. Now, this particular document, you're familiar with the details of
19 it? You were the source of much of the information, were you, sir?
20 A. Yes. Your Honours, yes. I wrote this document and most of the
21 other ones, and it's following a very simple format. It gives you the
22 title at the top, the day and the date concerned, and then a summary of
23 the key points and then detail of various areas that we came across and is
24 designed to brief people as to the situation that we incurred during that
1 Q. All right. And in this first document, you refer to the situation
2 in area Ponosevac, Djakovica -- I'm sorry, go ahead.
3 A. The area concerned, Your Honours, is Ponosevac, which is on the
4 western fringe between Djakovica and Decani, which was an extremely tense
5 area bordering the Albanian border and therefore a prime area of interest
6 for the Serb security forces.
7 Q. And in paragraph number 2, did you make some observations there of
8 what the villages south of Ponosevac looked like or what was happening
10 A. Yes. The majority of these villages from the outskirts of
11 Djakovica up towards Ponosevac and on towards Decani have been severely
12 damaged. Most of the civilian population had left and it was being
13 patrolled by elements from the JSO and the PJP in what I've described as a
14 very heavy-handed fashion; i.e., firing at any livestock that happened to
15 be alive and destroying or adding to the destruction already carried out
16 in the areas of the homesteads of the civilian population who had left.
17 Q. All right. That's been given a number. I turn next, if I may, to
18 the one dated 28 May 1998.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be marked Prosecutor's Exhibit 255.
20 MR. RYNEVELD:
21 Q. This appears to be a four-page document. And do you have that
22 document, sir?
23 MR. RYNEVELD: Do Your Honours have that? Thank you.
24 Q. Very quickly. Under the summary, the first paragraph on page 1,
25 you refer there to seeing the villages north of Decani. Can you tell us
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 about that.
2 A. These villages, Your Honour, are on the major western road from
3 Djakovica through Decani up to Pec and particularly in the area of Gornji
4 Streoc, and Prilep, and Rznic that we've already spoken about. These
5 villages had suffered heavy damage. And again, most of the population was
6 either too frightened to appear or they had actually left the area, moved
7 towards the area of Junik, which is west of this particular area.
8 Q. Turning to the next page of this exhibit, under the heading
9 numbered 2, Restriction of Movement, did you attempt access at Zrze?
10 A. Yes, we did, and we were refused permission. Zrze is a small
11 hamlet just north-west of -- sorry, south-west of Djakovica, and it was
12 then a -- I believe a VJ and a MUP control point.
13 Q. In paragraph number 3, did you make some observations about the
14 village of Kijevo?
15 A. Yes, Your Honours. This village is in the middle of the Drenica
16 area, just south of it, and was throughout the entire period of 1998 to
17 1999 a Serb-controlled stronghold backed up by MUP and PJP and remained in
18 Serb hands throughout the period 1998 to 1999.
19 Q. Thank you. The bottom of that page, I believe under numbered 4,
20 burning in villages north of Decani. And then over the top, on the third
21 page, what observations did you make in that report there?
22 A. Basically, Your Honours, in this area there were very few other
23 vehicles on the road apart from ourselves and most of the villages at
24 Ljubenic and Gornji Streoc had been extremely heavily damaged. Their
25 population had either left or was staying hidden for fear of any further
1 retaliation. And the area was rather like a deserted area apart from the
2 vehicle checkpoints or what we call vehicle checkpoints of the MUP and the
3 PJP that were distributed along this area in an attempt to hold the
4 western boundary on this road itself.
5 Q. All right. Paragraph numbered 5.
6 A. This is referring to the area south of Klina, which is in the
7 central area of Kosovo and involved the village of Dolovo down towards
8 Rakovica. Again, there was a transit route for the Serbian security
9 forces, and these villages overlooked this route and had therefore been
10 fired at and, as I reported in this report, fairly large fires were
11 burning throughout that day, which was more or less a very common and
12 daily occurrence throughout 1998 and 1999.
13 Q. Paragraph 6. Did you see any helicopter attacks?
14 A. No, Your Honours. There were various reports indicating
15 helicopters. We saw one Hind, which is a particularly aggressive
16 helicopter, flying in the area of Pec -- sorry, Kosovska Mitrovica, late
17 in 1998, but otherwise we saw very little helicopter activity primarily
18 because the Vojska Yugoslavia does not have many helicopters.
19 Q. Over the page, sir, rather than spend any time on it, you've
20 already testified having seen vehicles painted in various colours. You
21 made reference about repainting in paragraph 9; is that correct? You've
22 already testified about that?
23 A. That is correct, and that was in general evidence throughout all
24 the joint Vojska Yugoslavia MUP compounds or garrison areas as well as out
25 in the countryside, and they were deployed on operations.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, I'm just been advised that these
3 documents we're now dealing with, the OTP reference numbers were 2490,
4 we've just dealt with 2491, and the balance of the bundle you have go from
5 2493 do 2496, for ease of reference.
6 JUDGE KWON: Colonel Crosland, on the same document, number 10,
7 could you clarify the meaning of "MUP turning the screw too"?
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. That is a typing error. The
9 phrase "turning the screw" is really an English phrase, applying a lot
10 more pressure.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, there's a typing error there, sir.
13 MR. RYNEVELD:
14 Q. And just -- what do you mean by that expression, they were
15 applying more pressure? To what? To whom?
16 A. It appeared that the actions of the Serbian security forces, to
17 use a blanket term, would involve the attempted complete dislocation of
18 village life by burning the crops outside, by destroying any haystacks;
19 i.e., winter food for the animals, by slaughtering any animals that they
20 came across; horses, cows, et cetera, and then the wanton destruction of
21 private citizens' houses and also the looting and destruction of any
22 businesses that were useful or not useful to the Serbian security
24 Q. Thank you. Turning to the next document, the next SitRep, the
25 30th of July, 1998. Exhibit number, Madam Clerk?
1 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecutor's Exhibit 256.
2 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
3 Q. I want to go very quickly, if I may, sir. Page 1, you talk about
4 meeting an assault force of SAJ, PJP and VJ in relation to Malisevo. What
5 does that mean?
6 A. This was -- this refers to we had come up south through Malisevo
7 which in July was the KLA's headquarters, or one of their headquarters,
8 and we then met this combat group commanded by the SAJ, but linked to it
9 was elements of the Vojska Yugoslavia with their tanks, other elements of
10 the JSO, PJP, both at Kijevo and Lapusnik. There were two strike forces
11 that were poised to attack down towards Malisevo which, later in that day,
12 they carried out, including one of their vehicles being mined just south
13 of Lapusnik.
14 Q. On the following page where there are -- where the numbers 3, 4,
15 and 5 are written rather than in numerical number, you make some comments.
16 I believe you already testified about what you saw in your evidence.
17 These are just the backup documents that you made at the time; is that
19 A. Yes, Your Honour. Basic -- as I said, we put a summary so that
20 people could read the major summary and get the flavour for it, and then
21 if they wanted the detail, we put in the detail, as you can see, in those
22 particular paragraphs, but it refers to the two strike forces that we
23 encountered at Lapusnik and Kijevo prior to the operation towards
25 Q. And on the following page, under the heading Bravo near the top of
1 page 3 of this document, it says "wanton damage, every village." And then
2 you describe again the same methodology that you described earlier in your
3 evidence today?
4 A. Yes, Your Honour. And I -- I personally had driven up from
5 Malisevo just prior to meeting the Serbian security forces on the main
6 road, and all these houses were undamaged, and these crops were unburnt.
7 So this was done directly afterwards when they made the assault. And as
8 it says in Charlie, I then took the troika group of ambassadors down
9 towards this area and they saw for themselves the amount of damage that
10 had been done following this assault onto the Malisevo area.
11 Q. Thank you. 7th of August, 1998, SitRep.
12 MR. RYNEVELD: Next number, Madam Clerk.
13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecutor's Exhibit 257.
14 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
15 Q. Again, quickly, sir. This refers to an incident on the 5th and
16 6th of August, and you wrote the report on the 7th. You talked about
17 Drenica, Junik, and Jablanica areas. And again you talked about the
18 destruction and damage to infrastructure, crops, businesses in the same
19 way that you've witnessed in other areas?
20 A. That is correct, Your Honours. This was happening all through the
21 middle part of the summer, July, August, and September, when the Serbian
22 security forces were attempting to regain control of the area. And it
23 appeared that their tactics were to -- to try and drive the civilian
24 population out of these areas by destroying their houses and burning and
25 looting any existing businesses or any other areas that might interest
2 Q. Then over the next page, under number 2, you refer to "Civpop." I
3 take it that means the civilian population?
4 A. That's correct, sir.
5 Q. What in particular were you recording there?
6 A. Throughout this period in July, August, and September, there was a
7 massive internal movement of internally displaced persons, IDPs, who were
8 the civilian population of the various areas attacked, and they were
9 driven from their homes and took refuge in either nearby forests or
10 actually moved further south to get to larger areas, like the Podgorusa
11 valley which is just north of Suva Reka. So there was very much a
12 transient civilian population that was just trying to keep out of the way
13 of the Serbian security forces.
14 Q. Next SitRep, dated September 1998. I believe this refers to a
15 situation on the 8th and 9th of September.
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. RYNEVELD: I don't know whether Your Honours have that. Thank
18 you. In due course, perhaps we could have an exhibit number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecutor's Exhibit 257.
20 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
21 Q. Page -- first -- front page, numbered 2. IDP, is that the
22 internally displaced persons that you referred to earlier?
23 A. Yes, Your Honours. That's an acronym used, internally displaced
24 people. And as I've already said, it was in the area north of Suva Reka
25 which was held by the Serbian security forces, sandwiched between there
1 and Malisevo, which was also held by the Serbian security forces.
2 Q. How many people did you see in that cluster?
3 A. This -- Your Honours, this varied between, as I put down here, 5
4 and 15.000 people, and it went up to somewhere in the region of 30 to
5 40.000 at times. It's -- it was a more or less impossible task to
6 ascertain because people were living under ponchos or under polyethene
7 bags or in hedges or anywhere they could to get out of the sun and the
8 elements and in just huge groups that were really very difficult to count.
9 But the general information was between 5 and 15.000 on this occasion,
10 but it rose higher than that later in the year.
11 Q. In points 3 through 6 on the following page, I believe you make
12 some observations about seeing the destruction of the villages. And at
13 point 7, did you make any assessment as to what lay in store for these
14 people in the winter months?
15 A. Yes, Your Honours. It was of great interest to the Kosovo
16 Verification Mission, KDOM, and also who had to coordinate the civilian
17 aid that was by now starting to come in, and as you see there, there was
18 outlined figures of 171.000. But again, as I said, it's very difficult to
19 estimate completely accurately this situation. And the attempt by the
20 UNHCR and other non-governmental organisations to bring in aid was to try
21 and prevent a catastrophe happening over the coming winter months where
22 the villagers who had had their houses destroyed and their crops burnt
23 would have no food for them to eat or their animals who had been killed
24 didn't need food anyway.
25 Q. Turning then to the next one of the 3rd of October 1998, this
1 document refers --
2 MR. WLADIMIROFF: May I address the Court to avoid double
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Something seems to have gone wrong.
5 JUDGE KWON: The previous one should have been 258 and the new one
6 should be 259, in my opinion.
7 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honours.
8 Q. If I may then turn to the 3rd of October, 1998. Is that now 259
9 or is that 260? 259? Thank you.
10 Sir, you've given some evidence about meetings that you had with,
11 among others, Dimitrijevic on the 3rd of October, and you've told us --
12 does this document -- is that more or less a more contemporaneous document
13 with the conversation that you had with Dimitrijevic, or a summary of it?
14 A. Yes, it is, Your Honours. It is a detailed summary of the meeting
15 with General Dimitrijevic where he quite clearly wanted to disassociate
16 himself and the Chief of Staff from what was going on under General
17 Pavkovic's arrangements in theatre in Kosovo and also from the direct
18 chain of command that went from Mr. Milosevic to General Pavkovic.
19 Q. All right.
20 A. And I think we covered that in quite a lot of detail already.
21 Q. Yes. I don't intend to belabour that point. But basically, this
22 is a more contemporaneous memorandum you made immediately after that
23 October 3rd meeting?
24 A. Yes, it was, sir, with -- Your Honours, with also input from my
25 ambassador who began to realise the situation was getting extremely
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 Q. And just so that Their Honours are clear, I believe you told us
3 that Her Majesty's Ambassador was also present during that meeting?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. And finally, sir -- I believe it's finally, yes -- the 6th of
6 November 1998. Now, on page -- I am sorry, I guess I need a number. 261,
7 would it be?
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecutor's Exhibit 260.
9 MR. RYNEVELD:
10 Q. 260, thank you. Paragraph 2, there was a further request to meet
11 with General Dimitrijevic on the 5th of November; is that correct?
12 A. Your Honours, at this time it was a mutual request from both me
13 and General Dimitrijevic to meet to further discuss what was currently a
14 very rapidly deteriorating situation, and the details are in that report.
15 Q. All right. And I want to draw your attention to paragraph 5. I
16 asked you earlier about discussions, and I believe I mistakenly referred
17 to discussions on the 3rd of October. I now right -- I now seem to think
18 that -- I was trying to ask you about something on the 3rd of October
19 where I should have asked you about a discussion on the 5th of November.
20 Paragraph 5, did the summer offensive come up in discussions on the 5th of
22 A. Yes, it did, Your Honours, and General Dimitrijevic quite clearly
23 stated that the Vojska Yugoslavia had, in his opinion, overstepped their
24 rightful course of action during the summer offensive. But in his
25 defence, it was because the Vojska Yugoslavia had to step in in order to
1 salvage what the MUP could not tactically handle. And I think that's a
2 fair comment.
3 He also indicated, just before it in paragraph 4, that General
4 Pavkovic, the 3rd Army commander, may well react without permission from
5 the General Staff, indicating there had been a further, if you will,
6 breakdown and the chain of command was no longer through the normal chief
7 of defence staff but extant from the Supreme Defence Council, or what
8 would be called the Supreme Defence Council, direct to General Pavkovic in
10 JUDGE KWON: Colonel, what was the "DA" abbreviation of in
11 paragraph 5? "Comment: VJ were quite clearly observed by DA."
12 THE WITNESS: DA, Your Honour, is defence attache.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
14 MR. RYNEVELD:
15 Q. And does that mean you in this case or someone else?
16 A. That means myself. And there is also another mistake. MRS is
17 multi-rocket launcher systems MRLS. These are 122-millimetre rocket
18 systems that are extremely destructive.
19 Q. So it looks like "Mrs." but there's an 'L' missing?
20 A. Yes, I beg your pardon. There is an 'L' missing.
21 Q. And that's a military expression for --
22 A. Multi-rocket launcher system.
23 Q. Thank you for clarifying that. It had escaped me. Thank you.
24 One final question, if I may, sir, and I may have -- I may have
25 led you on an incorrect date. Perhaps you could clarify this for me: I
1 asked you whether in October Perisic was replaced by Ojdanic. Do you know
2 whether that was in October or November, or do you know the exact date?
3 A. I think, Your Honours, it was during -- during the October period.
4 Q. All right. Thank you. Those are my questions. Thank you very
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have less than 20 minutes left
8 until the close of business today. Could you please tell me how much time
9 I'm going to be allotted for the cross-examination of this witness in
11 JUDGE MAY: Colonel, you can be back on Monday morning; is that
13 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour, I could be, yes.
14 JUDGE MAY: But you want to get away at a reasonable hour.
15 THE WITNESS: Yes, that would be convenient. I have a further
16 meeting on Tuesday, sir.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, Mr. Milosevic, we anticipate two hours for
18 you for this witness, so there will be 20 minutes, half an hour this
19 afternoon, and you can have a further hour and a half on Monday morning.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. But the opposite side
21 had over two hours, as you can see. First of all, one and a half hours,
22 and 35 minutes in this session.
23 JUDGE MAY: I think your mathematics are out. It was one hour to
24 start with, I don't know about the second session. But let's go on. Let's
25 go on. Let's see how we get on. The witness can come back on Monday
1 morning, but he has to get away.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, please, Yugoslavia in the period when
5 you were the military attache there, was it confronted with the serious
6 problem of Albanian terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija or, as you yourself
7 said in your statement, whether there existed an inherent problem with
8 terrorism? Yes or no.
9 A. Mr. Milosevic, you well know my background, and I have been a
10 professional soldier for 35 years and served all over the world, facing
11 various terrorist threats. There was undoubtedly a Kosovo Liberation Army
12 threat to the state of Yugoslavia. And in my discussions with your staff,
13 I made that very clear that I, as your defence attache, recognised that
14 there was a problem. The question is - and only you and your staff can
15 answer that - is how you went about developing your strategy. I cannot
16 answer that question. I have given you the evidence of what I saw
17 throughout some 70 patrols into that area. There was some very, very
18 heavy-handed attitudes towards what was a majority civilian population.
19 Q. All right. Would you please answer my questions and stick to
20 that. As you said, you gave advice to the General Staff of the army of
21 Yugoslavia; you needn't give them to me.
22 Mr. Crosland, you're talking now about your experience, you a
23 colonel of the British army; that's right, isn't it?
24 A. That's correct, Mr. Milosevic.
6 Q. [redacted]
8 JUDGE MAY: You do not have to answer that question.
9 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Very well. On page 2, paragraph 4 of your statement, you say that
12 in October 1998, the first indications came that the KLA was a factor of
13 military importance, significance. Is that right?
14 A. Sorry. Could you please repeat where you're getting this from?
15 Q. From your statement, Mr. Crosland. Page 2. Actually, page 2 is
16 page 1, because the page 1 is the title page, so it's on page 2.
17 A. And paragraph?
18 Q. The first indication that the KLA was a force was in October
19 1998. You say that in paragraph 4.
20 A. Sorry, which --
21 JUDGE MAY: I think he's looking at the first of your statements,
22 May 1999. The accused won't have the --
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
24 JUDGE MAY: -- but it is in fact the fourth paragraph.
25 THE WITNESS: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. That was a fair statement, and
1 I had a discussion with General Dimitrijevic and also, I think, General
2 Perisic about the potential developing situation in Kosovo and Metohija.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. So that the KLA was a factor of military significance. Now, what
5 did you mean by that, a factor of -- a force, the KLA was a force, in
6 fact, you say. What did you imply by force or a factor of military
8 A. From my experience, Mr. Milosevic, in other counter-terrorist
9 situations, a terrorist organisation can start and grow, and this was not,
10 as you well know, not the beginning of the Kosovo Liberation Army but
11 possibly the first time it had been seen in Kosovo and Metohija in the
12 Drenica area.
13 Q. Judging by what you've just said, you were well acquainted with
14 the fact that the KLA was moving men and materiel from Albania into
15 central Kosovo; right?
16 A. There were indications that this was happening, yes.
17 Q. Was this a case of terrorists, fighters? When you say people,
18 moving men, you say, men and materials, do you mean fighters, terrorists?
19 A. I think, Mr. Milosevic, when I spoke with the General Staff,
20 General Dimitrijevic, on the intelligence picture, it was quite clear from
21 your intelligence, which was presented to me in the map form, that various
22 Kosovo Liberation Army elements, both those dressed in uniform - and I use
23 the word loosely - and civilians who were perhaps helping, were moving
24 arms and ammunition across the Albanian border. That came from your own
25 Vojska Yugoslavia intelligence.
1 Q. All right. But you're talking about the fact in your statement
2 that -- you say these are facts, not just intelligence data, that they're
3 facts; right?
4 A. Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Those were facts given to me by the Vojska
5 Yugoslavia intelligence cell, General Krga and, latterly, General
6 Milanovic, who worked directly for General Dimitrijevic and General
7 Perisic. So it was Serbian intelligence.
8 Q. Well, all right. I hope that you yourself established what was
9 going on. Did you ever ascertain the number of men during that period of
10 time, that is to say at the end of the 1997, in 1998, and 1999, did you
11 ascertain the number of fighters, the number of terrorists that were
12 infiltrated into Kosovo from Albania?
13 A. No, Mr. Milosevic. At that time, I think your intelligence was
14 very limited because the Albanians were doing it both in and out of
15 uniform. And therefore, it was very difficult to put an exact number on
16 the type of activities that were going on in a border area that, as you
17 well know, historically has been a smuggling and contraband area. In
18 amongst all this was potentially the beginnings of the Kosovo Liberation
19 Army effort.
20 Q. All right. You say that our intelligence information was highly
21 limited. But what do you know about this infiltration of moving materiel
22 and trained men from your information and intelligence, Mr. Crosland?
23 What do you know about that?
24 A. As I say, Mr. Milosevic, the initial indications were primarily
25 from your own intelligence. And it was not until I went down in early
1 1998 that other information, and one personally saw on the ground and
2 talked to various people down in Kosovo, that it became clear that a
3 movement was starting to form. To try and say there was anything more
4 than a fledgling movement I think would be very difficult and certainly
5 difficult to prove.
6 Q. Did you hear about the training camps in Albania, for instance?
7 A. Yes. General Dimitrijevic spoke to me about those. And I passed
8 this information on to my own authorities.
9 Q. Did you hear about the training camps, for example, in Switzerland
10 or some other Western countries during that period of time?
11 A. There were indications that the diaspore, as it's being called
12 latterly, was potentially aiding and abetting Kosovo Albanian intentions.
13 But at that period, as far as I'm aware, I personally was not aware of the
14 depth, or the potential depth, of the Albanian support outside of Kosovo
15 and Metohija.
16 Q. And did you hear about the infiltration of foreign terrorists?
17 For example, terrorists of Al Qaeda at that time? Did you have any
18 information and knowledge about that, for instance?
19 A. No, Mr. Milosevic. As far as I know, and I personally saw one
20 potential Middle East terrorist in Malisevo in July when I was apprehended
21 by the Kosovo Liberation Army, but I never saw any or had any proof of Al
22 Qaeda or other activities.
23 Q. Well, all right. Are you claiming here and now that your service,
24 and I'm thinking of the British service, knew nothing -- the intelligence
25 service knew nothing about the activities of those organisations in the
1 Balkans and Albania and Kosovo during the period of time that you were
3 JUDGE MAY: The witness has answered the question. Go on to the
4 next one.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. You're talking about materials that were moved from Albania into
7 Kosovo. Now, do you know what these materials were? More precisely, with
8 respect to type, quality, and quantity?
9 A. Initially, the KLA, UCK, whatever you want to call them, were not
10 very well equipped. Towards the end of 1998, it became quite clear that
11 they had managed to bring in much more up-to-date small arms weaponry,
12 including new rifles and sub-machine-guns, as well as limited quantities
13 of anti-armour vehicle -- anti-armour grenades as well as a fairly recent
14 shipment of better uniforms. I state that was in October, roughly
15 October 1998.
16 Q. All right. Now, you were with Ashdown in the visit to Kosovo, and
17 he was on the other side, on the Albanian border, and in Albania and in
18 Kosovo, and he spoke here in this courtroom about weapons and about the
19 presence of those formations and units on the other side of the border, so
20 I assume you commented with him about this and had your own information.
21 Now, what do you think? How much weapons and men were smuggled
22 across the border from Albania, across the Yugoslav state borders?
23 A. First of all, the information about various -- seeing various
24 changes in the Kosovo Liberation Army became clearer during the summer and
25 the autumn of 1998 when, as I've already stated, it was clear from when we
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 used to see the KLA in our tours around Kosovo and Metohija that they had
2 become better equipped and armed. But I mean, Lord Ashdown should answer
3 your question. I can't answer his question.
4 Q. All right. Would it be fair to say that as Britain's defence
5 attache you were familiar with the intensification of the military forms
6 of an organisation which called itself UCK, involving the smuggling of
7 weapons, international contraband, and training of its members on the
8 territory of Albania? Were you aware of that?
9 A. Mr. Milosevic, as I already said, during the progression in 1998,
10 it became a lot clearer that many or much equipment and manpower was
11 coming across the Albanian border, as well as the Macedonia border
12 probably as well. And as you well know, it is an extremely difficult and
13 demanding area to try and guard. It is also, as you're well aware, a
14 historical smuggling and contraband route.
15 Q. Have you -- or, rather, did you inform your government about these
16 insights and the information you gathered? I see a lot of situation
17 reports that you sent to your headquarters. Did you include in those
18 reports also the information about the smuggling of foreign fighting men,
19 weapons, and also their dynamics, types, quality, and so on and so forth?
20 A. Yes, Mr. Milosevic. In various of the situation reports that we
21 have gone through this morning, I laid out that on - I think it was the
22 28th of July - I was apprehended going north out of Orahovac towards
23 Malisevo and was taken for about the first of five times by the KLA into
24 that area which was then their headquarters. And I made a detailed report
25 which stated there were about 150 men and some women in various uniforms
1 with various arms. And that report was made very clear to General
2 Dimitrijevic and to General Perisic when I returned to Belgrade. And I
3 indicated, as I think I've said in one of my reports, that a determined
4 action might well have seen off this problem then. However, this did not
5 happen, as you're well aware.
6 So from my point of view, I reported in a balanced way on what was
7 happening on both sides on the ground, using my considerable experience to
8 try and ascertain where this situation was liable to lead. The
9 unfortunate problem was that your security forces used some very
10 heavy-handed tactics which, as you must realise, cannot adhere the
11 civilian population to either staying in the area or possibly taking up
12 arms against you. I'm afraid I can't answer that question. That must be
13 answered by your own military personnel and Ministry of Interior personnel
14 who commanded the operations in Kosovo.
15 Q. All right. But please, please be more brief in answering my
16 questions because otherwise you'll take up too much of my time.
17 On page 2 again, paragraph 4, you claim that the Serbs perceived
18 the problem of the KLA as anti-constitutional activity and viewed it also
19 as an Albanian Mafia movement.
20 Do you believe, from the viewpoint of rules which apply in your
21 country and worldwide that this is indeed correct, that this was
22 anti-constitutional activity?
23 A. Yes, Mr. Milosevic. There was definitely an element of this and
24 also Mafia embezzlement that is within the Albanian area. The point of
25 issue is how your security forces dealt with this problem, and I've
1 already laid out what they did in the ensuing days and months throughout
2 1998 and 1999.
3 Q. What does that mean, they did it in the way in which they did it?
4 Is it the usual comment that this constituted an excessive use of force?
5 Is that what you are maintaining?
6 A. Mr. Milosevic, I think it is quite clear from the evidence I have
7 produced in front of the Court this morning that, on my many visits to
8 Kosovo over 1998 and 1999, the wanton destruction and heavy-handed
9 efforts, with all the evidence I have produced, is quite clear, and it's
10 not disputed either by your Vojska Yugoslavia Ministry of Defence staff or
11 by the international people who worked on the Kosovo verification movement
12 and the other NGOs, non-governmental organisations, who worked in Kosovo
13 during the latter months of 1998 and 1999.
14 Q. Mr. Crosland, since you assert here - in fact, you allege - very
15 serious things which you claim happened also while the Verification
16 Mission was there and included 1.300 people, how do you explain that such
17 serious events are not reflected in those reports of the Verification
18 Mission from October 1980 --
19 JUDGE MAY: Nothing to do with the witness. You must ask the
20 mission about that. The witness can only give evidence about what he saw
21 or heard himself. He's given the evidence. And if you challenge it, you
22 should put it to him.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction. From October 1998.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Of course I dispute it, because I never heard a more twisted
1 testimony. And the Verification Mission --
2 JUDGE MAY: You're not here to comment. You're here to ask
4 Colonel, you've heard what the accused has said, that your
5 evidence is twisted. Have you told us the truth or not?
6 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I have told you the truth. It has been
7 written down in several reports. It has been backed up by both
8 photographic and other evidence, and other defence attaches who were with
9 me at the time would also complement it and prove that it was also the
10 truth. However unpopular it may be with Mr. Milosevic, I also, on my
11 return back to Belgrade, used to spend a lot of time in direct
12 communication with the Vojska Yugoslavia General Staff and was perfectly
13 open with them about what I had done. I also, as I said earlier this
14 morning, assisted when the Vojska Yugoslavia had a soldier killed and six
15 were wounded. And I personally gave medical aid to the six young soldiers
16 who had been badly wounded, with General Lazarevic, and that is written
17 down in a statement which is in some other document.
18 So from my point of view, I believe I have delivered a balanced
19 view and attempted to look at it from both sides and advise as necessary.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. All right, Mr. Crosland, if you think you delivered a balanced
22 view, how come we have here several of your reports selected in such a way
23 that in none of them can we see the structure, the volume, the dynamics or
24 intensity of the crimes perpetrated by the KLA which you reflect in the
25 reports presented here as evidence? Did you present that view as well?
1 But please answer with a yes or no, because I've been given only two
3 A. Mr. Milosevic, with great respect, I can't answer a question as
4 complicated as that with a yes or no because that would give a very untrue
6 You're asking about the Kosovo Liberation Army. I have already
7 informed you that I passed back information. The reports that have been
8 presented in front of you today were not chosen by me. So those reports
9 are a general view of my overall nearly 70, 75 reports.
10 JUDGE MAY: It's time to adjourn, but while it's on my mind, could
11 you deal with this, Colonel: You've spoken occasionally about your
12 conversations with the General Staff and the relationship, it seems,
13 between a defence attache and the General Staff. Is there such a
14 relationship normally?
15 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. Because of my background, which I
16 think you're perfectly well aware of, and my extensive experience in these
17 areas, it was only natural that one would attempt to advise our host
18 nation, Yugoslav General Staff, on what was obviously going to become an
19 extremely difficult area and problem. And because I was respected in that
20 view and also we spent and talked with Mr. Milosevic, with my ambassador,
21 on several occasions about the deteriorating situation in Kosovo itself.
22 And I think this is all part of a -- what I would call an adult and mature
23 way of doing business.
24 JUDGE MAY: We will adjourn now. Colonel, would you be back,
25 please, on Monday at 9.00 to conclude your evidence.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Monday, the 15th day of July,
3 2002, at 9.00 a.m.