1 Tuesday, 25 October 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, you may continue.
7 WITNESS: MILOS DJOSAN [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 MR. NICE: Your Honours will recall last week --
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson. I promised to get the
11 war diary from Mr. Tomanovic, if you remember, the one we were discussing
12 the last day of business, and I have now here everything that
13 Mr. Tomanovic himself had. I have a copy for myself and I can provide two
14 copies for Mr. Nice.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would the usher please collect the documents.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to stress that this is
17 not the diary in its entirety and that Mr. Tomanovic has made a formal
18 request to be provided with the integral diary. However, even in what we
19 have here, the incomplete one, you will find the critical dates that
20 Mr. Nice was interested in; that is to say the 27th of April, and mention
21 is made there of the anti-terrorist operation that we talked about. So
22 the portions he was interested in are to be found in the portions that I
23 have provided.
24 As to the diary in its entirety, a request has been put in to
25 receive that.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Let it be passed to the Prosecutor.
2 MR. NICE: We were informed last week, after the close of Court
3 proceedings, as to how it came about that documents were in the somewhat
4 confused format that they were in Your Honour's exhibit, and I have no
5 reason to doubt the accuracy of what Ms. Dicklich was told by one of the
6 accused's associates, and that is that the material that was available in
7 the original format, that is to say an actual diary extract, was in part
8 transcribed for legibility for the accused, thus the passages in the
9 exhibit that are in Cyrillic, typed Cyrillic, because he, like the rest of
10 us - there is no reason to doubt this, of course - can have difficulty
11 reading somebody else's handwriting. So there's nothing sinister in that,
12 that just explains that.
13 There was then translation in part of the original from the
14 Cyrillic typed transcript, it matters not which, into English, and that's
15 what we had available for ourselves.
16 Now, as to the -- what the accused says about the 27th and 28th,
17 I'll just look to that now myself. Oh, and I should say as well, I gather
18 -- I gather from Ms. Dicklich and via the accused's representative that
19 CLSS declines to translate documents of a certain category, and I think
20 this may be one of them. Handwritten documents of this kind. And again,
21 there is no reason to doubt what the accused said about that. So none of
22 the things that I was raising last week necessarily can be held against
23 him at all, and I ought to make that clear.
24 Having said that, I'll tell you what I can now see. Of course, if
25 this had come to us earlier -- I make no complaint, yesterday was a UN
1 holiday, but these documents are potentially very important or very
2 valuable. What had been produced then by way of a selection for us in tab
3 6 simply started at the 24th of March. That appears to be the same. So
4 there's no addition to what Your Honours have got there.
5 I had wondered, incidentally, when contemplating if more material
6 would be forthcoming, whether it would be prudent for me to seek an
7 adjournment so as not to consume my limited time in an exercise like this,
8 but I suspect that the process of organising such an adjournment would
9 consume more time than will be taken by doing it in your presence.
10 So the first pages in the original that you have are provided for
11 us here, and there is no expansion on that. There are then original
12 handwritten pages in a different format for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd of April,
13 and the Court will, I possibly recall, that there were some typed up
14 English pages from the 4th of April onwards. So the 1st, 2nd and 3rd, I
15 think, would appear to be new, and I'll have those looked at in a second.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, we are of the view that you should take
17 the break to do this.
18 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, that's very kind. I'm almost done.
19 We then have -- I'm just telling you -- I'm happy to take a break to do
20 it --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, take the break.
22 MR. NICE: Oh, take the break. Well, I was hoping to conclude my
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: By that time. I see.
25 MR. NICE: And that's one of the problems. And I'm very anxious
1 not to break any time limits.
2 There are then other handwritten pages, and there does then appear
3 to be a series of pages that runs from the 25th of April through to the
4 28th. The format again is slightly different, and there are odd days.
5 I'll simply ask that they may be reviewed now by my team members, and I'll
6 come back to it either before the break or, if necessary, shortly
7 afterwards, but there does seem to be some additional material coming from
8 the accused's papers in the way that he's described to us.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nice, I didn't follow the part where you said
11 that CLSS decline to translate the handwritten documents. Why is it --
12 MR. NICE: It's not for me to explain CLSS's practices nor indeed
13 even by implication to criticise them. I suspect the point is that if
14 CLSS is given a substantial handwritten document, the consumption of
15 resources for that is -- yes. They won't do a full document that is
16 handwritten or what is a substantial document that's handwritten, and
17 although I don't know, I guess that is because the consumption of
18 resources by both deciphering and translating is so much greater than for
19 other documents that in the balance of priorities, they make a decision
20 against that type of document. But that's a matter for them. It is, I
21 think, a policy we've known of now for some time.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: If penmanship is no better than mine, then one
24 could understand the difficulty that they would have.
25 MR. NICE: Very well.
1 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice: [Continued]
2 Q. Now, Mr. Djosan, just before we turn from the issue of the war
3 diary that's been touched on, is it your understanding of the way things
4 worked with the VJ Commission for Cooperation that they decided what
5 documents would be provided either to you directly or to the accused's
7 A. I didn't enter into the methods of work practiced by the
8 commission. And as I've already said or, rather, said a few days ago, the
9 commission called me up and showed me the written text in the book
10 mentioned and asked me to give my statements pertaining to certain events,
11 and that was sufficient for me.
12 As to the methods they applied, I really could not go into that
13 nor did I have any need to.
14 Q. Just to recap to this extent: Events that you have described in
15 your statements to the VJ commission were covered by contemporaneous
16 documents held now in archives; correct?
17 A. I assume so.
18 Q. Did you seek, and if you did seek were you allowed to see, any of
19 those documents before making your statements to the VJ commission?
20 A. No.
21 Q. You're sure about that?
22 A. Of course.
23 Q. Do you accept that of course contemporaneous documents are the
24 most valuable for people like judges dealing with events of several years
1 A. It is my conviction that the most valuable documents are those
2 which came into being at the time the events took place.
3 Q. Yes. Contemporaneous documents.
4 A. Events -- yes, yes. If you -- if that is what you like to call
5 it, contemporaneous, yes; I say the specific time.
6 Q. Was any reason given to you by the VJ commission for its acting as
7 a filter between providing original documents frequently requested by the
8 Office of the Prosecutor and this Court? Was any reason given why they
9 acted as a filter in the way they did?
10 A. First of all, they did not filter as far as I could see, and I had
11 no reason to give it a second thought. They gave me no pretext, no reason
12 for me to make conclusions of that kind. They called me up, they said,
13 "General, take a look at what is written here. Please write a statement
14 referring to those concrete events."
15 Q. Well, let's look at tab 7 in your exhibits, if you'd be so good,
16 please. Example.
17 You said -- before we look at it, the two purposes which I have,
18 you said to us this morning at -- they called you up and they showed you
19 the written text in the book mentioned, that is "As Seen, As Told." Just
20 remind us: Did you or did you not read the book yourself?
21 A. I read parts, the parts which relate to the concrete events they
22 asked me about, but I haven't read the book in its entirety.
23 Q. Did you have any doubts as to whose work it was, that book, that
24 it was the work of the OSCE, or did you think that it was the work of
25 Natasa Kandic herself?
1 A. To this day I have reason to doubt the book, because I do not know
2 who the authors of the book are. Who was it who saw what he wrote about?
3 It's one thing to publish a book. It's another thing to write the book,
4 and it's a third thing again to see something and then say it.
5 "As Seen, As Told" brings into doubt or, rather, requires and
6 demands that we see who it is who did the seeing and did the telling. Who
7 published it is of lesser importance. And I personally would like you to
8 give me the name of one of the authors, the ones that saw it and then told
10 Q. Mr. Djosan, don't worry, we've heard in this Court from the person
11 who compiled this book, with a full account of its methodology, but more
12 than that, let's go, please, if we can, to the second page --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think that's the point the witness is
14 making, Mr. Nice. The point he's making is that the real authors of the
15 book are the people who gave the information to the people who compiled
17 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I understand that and it's to that that
18 I'm now turning.
19 Q. If we go, please, to the second page of your statement and the
20 penultimate paragraph, you say this in English translation: "I have read
21 the information that the forces of the FRY allegedly took part in the
22 destruction of those parts of the town in a book published by the
23 Humanitarian Law Centre, "Kosovo: As Seen, As Told." Can you tell us,
24 please, which page you're referring to and which paragraph in the book.
25 A. Well, I state again: I don't have the book before me and I don't
1 remember all the quotations from the book exactly, but I would like to
2 hear who it was who saw. You didn't tell me that.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
4 A. Who saw it and who told it?
5 Q. [Previous translation continues]... repeat. You're here to give
6 evidence of events and you set out in a statement that you've read
7 something and that you challenge it. Now, you must know, as a man of
8 intelligence and education, that if you want to challenge something, we
9 need chapters and verse. I was pursuing the line of His Honour Judge
10 Bonomy before he raised the matter that he did: If you can tell me the
11 page and paragraph number, I can show you how this book is footnoted by
12 references not to named witnesses necessarily but to witnesses. Were you
13 aware of that, that this book is always footnoted to the existence of, the
14 number of, and the pseudonyms of witnesses? Were you?
15 A. I wrote here about a concrete event. I wasn't responding and
16 answering to footnotes from --
17 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
18 A. -- the book named.
19 Q. Please listen to the question. You have complained about the lack
20 of authorship of this book. Here is a passage in a statement you want
21 this Court to rely upon as valuable evidence. I'm asking you, please tell
22 me, which passage of the book are you referring to, and I'll then enable
23 you to join issue with the authors. Can you tell us the passage, please,
24 Mr. Djosan? Because if you can't, we can't deal with this assertion of
25 yours. Do you follow me?
1 A. I tell you again: I wrote a statement about an event which
2 relates to the 24th of March, 1999, based on my recollections and
3 knowledge, that is to say the knowledge and recollections of myself and my
4 subordinates and superiors.
5 Now, had I known that you had wanted me to address every footnote
6 and every detail, then I would know how to respond. But what was asked of
7 me was to provide my own descriptions of the event based on my own
9 Q. [Previous translation continues]... question. Since you make a
10 reference to footnotes, please pick up this part of my question: In
11 saying what you said in this statement about "As Seen, As Told" and in
12 saying what you said to this Court what you said about authorship of the
13 accounts in "As Seen, As Told," were you aware or not at the time that
14 this was a footnoted book, identifying sources? Because the way you've
15 written your statement doesn't make that apparent, does it?
16 A. I'm trying to tell you and I'll try once again. I did not comment
17 or reply to the person writing the footnotes. What I did was to provide
18 the commission with my own statement, which I signed and which I stand by,
19 and I think that that is sufficient for this purpose.
20 Q. Well --
21 A. And I'd like to hear the footnote that you're referring to. Who
22 is the author of that particular footnote?
23 Q. Mr. Djosan, you will recall I've asked you for the page reference
24 and the paragraph reference to what you say you've read in the book and
25 you can't give it, and I'm going to suggest to you that in fact what
1 happened was that the VJ commission probably summarised in the most
2 general terms what they said was in this book and they then asked you to
3 write statements. And the reason I suggest that includes what we've seen
4 in Vukovic with his ridiculous statements about not being able to read on
5 further in the book because he was so disgusted by Natasa Kandic. Is that
6 what happened, they just said, "This is what the book says, and it's
7 Natasa Kandic's book"?
8 A. First of all, you're not right. You're not right. The commission
9 did not tell us about the book. I had the book in my own house for two
10 days and leafed through it and the part relating to Djakovica. It never
11 entered my mind to enter into polemics with somebody who has a name or
12 surname or pseudonym as the writer of the footnotes. I described what I
13 saw based on the knowledge I had.
14 Now, what Mr. Vukovic wrote, well, it's his right to like somebody
15 or not like somebody. I don't want to pursue that point further.
16 Q. The first page now of this same statement, please. And we'll just
17 have a look at what you've said so far about in the way of detail. If we
18 look halfway down the first page in your version, and a little bit further
19 in the English version, there's a paragraph that goes as follows: "On the
20 night when the NATO aggression started --" it's on the overhead projector.
21 "On the night when the NATO aggression started, I was at Cabrat
22 hill near Djakovica. The brigade operations centre was located at the
23 foot of the hill. The logistics battalion was in the town of Djakovica,
24 deployed by element and organisational units. The command battalion was
25 located on the outskirts of town at the foot of Cabrat. In the courtyard
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of a house owned by the Marsenic family we had shelters for personnel and
2 the weapons we had set up earlier on the hill, but we moved our P-15
3 radars we were using to monitor the airspace from that location to other
4 ones. We expected that our area would be targeted by NATO planes in the
5 first moments of NATO aggression."
6 Then the next paragraph: "The first target to be struck by cruise
7 missiles was Devet Jugovica barracks, where the forward command post of
8 the Pristina Corps was located..."
10 Just help me: All of that from memory, was it, or do you have any
11 form of note to which you wish to refer?
12 A. I wrote all that from memory.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues]... did you, and by now a general
14 or retired general, that in November 2002 it was a safe and satisfactory
15 thing to do, to record events of three and a half years before to do it
16 all from memory?
17 A. Such events stay etched in your memory for a long time. The
18 beginning and the end of the war remain in your memory very long.
19 Q. Of course, there are no times in that and there are no particular
20 names apart from one name of one family, so let's go to tab 10, please.
21 Now, tab 10 is another of your statements, this time made on the
22 27th of December, 2002. This is a statement about activities on the 1st
23 of April, 1999. And if we go down to the -- the paragraph following the
24 deployment of forces -- I suppose we might as well look at that.
25 Are you able to remember that the 1st PVO was in the Kijevo and
1 the 2nd in Gnjilane, and the 3rd in the Djakovica sector and so on? Were
2 you able to remember that?
3 A. They had been there since the 9th. That part of my statement is a
4 preamble. They had been there from the 9th April onwards. So at the
5 time, they were still in the area of Djakovica.
6 You were able to see in all my statements that they always begin
7 with a preamble, the introductory part dealing with my duties, when I
8 assumed them, how I performed them, et cetera. So on that date in April,
9 my units were not in Gracanica, in Bec, or Kijevo.
10 Q. Let's look at the next paragraph: "In addition to the above
11 units, there was a rocket battery with a KUB-M missile system from the
12 strength of the 311th Pristina Self-propelled Rocket Regiment settlement
13 in the general area of Bec. At about 2230 hours on the 31st of March ...
14 two NATO aeroplanes approached ..."
15 Well, this is a modest three and a half years -- modest three and
16 a half years later. Where do you get the time from?
17 A. The time was indicated exactly because I was there at that moment.
18 I was directly involved and I was saving those soldiers. Of course I
19 remember such an important event.
20 Q. I see. Didn't even want to check. You didn't think, as a person
21 knowing your evidence would be in court, well, I think it's about 10.00,
22 or I think it's 10.30, but I want to check. No, happy just to do it from
23 memory. Although the documents that could prove all this, documents that
24 the OTP in general if not specifically, I simply don't know, had thought
25 are sitting in an archive waiting for you to review them, yes? Is that
2 A. There was absolutely no need.
3 Q. Oh, I see. Nor any desire on your part, as a military man, to
4 check records.
5 A. Concerning such an event where my own soldiers were killed, I
6 didn't need to go to the archives to check when and how they died. Plus
7 there were so many people that -- who talked to me, including Vukasinovic,
8 whose statement you also have here.
9 Q. What do you mean, talked to you in the commission and shared their
10 recollections rather than going back to the records? Did no one want to
11 go back to the records? Did no one put their hand up to the commission
12 meeting and say, "Please, can we see our documents?" Did nobody do that?
13 A. I don't know about other people. Please ask me questions
14 concerning myself.
15 Q. Was there a meeting of people with the commission, telling you
16 what you were going to be doing in preparing material that this Court is
17 being invited to act on as reliable, or were you dealt with one-to-one?
18 Were you brought into an office and told, "Do this," or were you spoken to
19 generally at a big meeting? You just tell us.
20 A. I was called and told, "General, please look at this book, see
21 what it says, and please write a statement about this event." They did
22 not try to influence me as to what I would write or how I would write it.
23 They just said, "Please bring us your statement. You know that you must
24 be responsible for it in a moral sense and legal sense." They did not
25 tell me what to write and how. And whatever is written here I am prepared
1 to stand by, otherwise I would never have written it in the first place.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did you write this statement then and there or
3 did you take some time to consider it?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wrote the statement in my office.
5 At that time, I was on what is called stand-by, on call. I still had the
6 right to go to work, to come and use my office when I needed to. And
7 before that, I rang up my superior, Colonel Vukasinovic, from whose units
8 the soldiers were. But I was personally on the spot when this stopped. I
9 was saving those soldiers from under fire. I and Lieutenant Colonel Drago
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Djosan, you say that the request you received
12 from the commission was to write about this event. Can you tell me the
13 language that was used in describing this event when you got your request
14 from the commission?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what you mean by
16 "language." Do you mean language linguistically or in terms of style?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: No. I'd like to know exactly what it was they
18 asked you to report on that led to you writing this particular report.
19 You said you were asked to write about "this event." So how did they put
20 the request to you? What were the terms of the request that led to you
21 writing this particular report for them?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They read out to me a part of the
23 book that relates to the alleged events in Qerim. I know where Qerim is
24 located. It is located right next to the place that I'm talking about now
25 where my soldiers were killed, Ljug Bunar, and on that occasion I
1 described the events that I was familiar with, and I described whatever I
2 knew to be true, namely that I remember very well the incident in which my
3 soldiers got killed, that -- I said that I was in the immediate vicinity
4 and that I have no knowledge whatsoever --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: You've answered my question. Can I ask you now
6 whether that was before or after you had read the parts of the book you
7 say you read.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, what do you mean "before
9 or after"? I didn't understand. Did I write my statement before or after
10 reading the statement?
11 JUDGE BONOMY: My first -- my first question was about the terms
12 in which the commission directed their question to you, and you answered
13 that by saying they read out a part of the book to you. What I want to
14 know now is whether that happened before or after you had read the book,
15 as you say you did.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First, they invited me. At that
17 time I hadn't known about the book at all. They called me and they said,
18 "Look, General, this book was published. It mentions certain things that
19 allegedly happened in Djakovica. Please write whatever you know about the
20 relevant events," and I wrote about --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: My question is a simple question. You say you had
22 the book in your house for two days at one time. My question is: Was
23 that before or after you were asked to write this report?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After I was asked to.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Thank you very much.
1 MR. NICE: Your Honours, just give me one second.
2 Q. Would you like to go, please, to tab 29.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, if you're not taking the point up, then, can
4 I -- no, I want to complete it, in that case.
5 My final question, then, General, is this: Did you write the
6 report before or after you read the book?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After I read the book -- rather, the
8 part of the book.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 MR. NICE:
11 Q. Can we go to tab 29, please. Well, now, it's still your position,
12 is it, that you had no documents to refer to, that you were asked to write
13 reports, then shown the book, then wrote your report, so that we've got
14 the information in hand. On this document -- have you got it there, tab
16 If Mr. Nort would be so good as to place the English version on
17 the overhead projector. That's fine. That's fine.
18 And you set out the preamble, and you say this: "Within the
19 framework of the operation by the VJ and the MUP forces to neutralise the
20 activities of the STS in the Trava sector, the unit participated in a
21 seal-off operation on the following line: To the left, trig point 442; to
22 the right trig 478 Batraki, aimed at preventing the withdrawal of the STS
23 on the axis of Racaj village-Skivjan village."
24 Do that from memory, did you?
25 A. That is based on the memory of the battalion commander who
1 commanded that unit, Colonel Odak.
2 Q. Is that why your statement is so similar to his? We see his at
3 tab 30.
4 A. I think if everybody tells the truth about one event, then their
5 accounts are very similar if not the same.
6 Q. Well, now, look: You didn't get original materials, you haven't
7 told us of anybody else asking for or being provided with original
8 materials, but did Mr. Odak have original materials in order to give trig
9 point references? Did he?
10 A. Lieutenant Colonel Odak took a map of Meja, because he's an
11 infantryman, he knows what the deployment was, and he wrote those
12 coordinates. I wrote that I toured those positions during the day and I
13 found them there. When they were at their positions, I toured them,
14 visited them during the day, just like I did with every other unit of
16 Q. [Previous translation continues]... maybe we are but I still want
17 to get the method of writing the statement. Are you now saying you
18 prepared your statement sitting there with Odak, or did he prepare a
19 statement you believe from a map and show you the statement, or did he
20 discuss it with you, or what? Because you can see the difficulty:
21 Without a contemporaneous document, you couldn't be giving the trig point
22 references and I want to know how you did it.
23 A. I wrote my statement based on the statement he wrote prior to
24 that. Just as the commission gave me an assignment to write a statement,
25 I gave him an assignment, as a subordinate officer who was on the spot at
1 the relevant time, to write his own report.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm afraid there is some sort of
4 confusion here, maybe because it was said in the same sentence, but the
5 witness actually said that he had toured that unit on the ground. He
6 didn't go to visit Odak while he was writing the statement. He said he
7 toured the unit on the ground at the time when the unit was on the ground
8 during that operation. That is the sense, the substance of what the
9 witness said in Serbian.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Is that so?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. How does that help you with the position of the trig points?
14 You've already told us you made your statement on the basis of Odak's
16 A. Correct. Odak wrote a statement to me. I had been on that spot.
17 Then I saw him there, and I confirmed that it was exactly as Mr. Odak has
18 written. I confirmed that it's true, because I was there on the spot, on
19 the ground.
20 Q. Show me where your statement says, "I confirm the accuracy of
21 Mr. Odak's statement," or would I be fair in suggesting that your
22 statement reads as if it's your own recollection, reinforced however
23 necessarily by contemporaneous documents or via some other means? Show
24 us, where in the statement does it say, "I'm confirming what Odak says."
25 It doesn't, does it?
1 Have you ever as a senior officer disciplined any of your men?
2 Yes or no.
3 A. Well, you asked me two questions at the same time. Your first
4 question was did I have to write that in my statement to the commission.
5 If I should have written that, that's a different matter. I was satisfied
6 that Odak wrote a truthful, accurate statement, and based on that, I wrote
7 mine. If you think I should have added a clause that I am confirming his
8 statement, that's something else.
9 And the second question: Of course I took certain steps to punish
10 my subordinates whenever they failed to comply with orders.
11 Q. We'll come back to that second question in just one more question.
12 I'm grateful for your answering the first one in the way you did because
13 it stimulates this question: So far as you know, was your practice of
14 simply adopting someone else's statement as your own because you trusted
15 him something that was standard for the commission?
16 A. Mr. Nice, you don't seem to be listening to me at all. I told you
17 I was on the ground and I saw it with my own eyes. If I don't believe my
18 own eyes, then who am I supposed to believe? I completely believe
19 Lieutenant Colonel Odak's statements.
20 Q. Don't divert attention by commenting on my question. Be so good
21 as to go back to what you said. "I was satisfied that Odak wrote a
22 truthful, accurate statement, and based on that, I wrote mine." Those are
23 your words. Now, please tell the Court who is being -- please tell the
24 Court who is -- which is being asked to take statements from people from
25 the commission, was your practice of relying on somebody else's statement
1 and then setting out the same yourself standard for the work done for the
2 commission? Yes or no.
3 A. I can't answer with a yes or no, but I can tell you this: My
4 practice was the following: Odak wrote a statement to submit to me, and I
5 had no reason to doubt it. The same goes for other statements, such as
6 the one by Colonel Vukasinovic. I know. I checked. I know exactly how
7 it was. I didn't take --
8 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
9 A. -- any statement at face value.
10 Q. What did you turn to to check anybody's statements since you
11 didn't have, so you tell us, the archives to hand? What did you go to to
13 A. Can you understand me when I'm saying that I was in the same place
14 at the time --
15 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
16 A. -- just as Odak was? I was there with my unit.
17 Q. Please listen to the questions because we're listening to your
18 answers. Your answer as translated was this: You dealt with the Odak
19 statement, which you had no reason to doubt. You then said - and it may
20 have been a slip by you - you said: "The same goes for other statements,
21 such as the one by Colonel Vukasinovic. I know. I checked. I know
22 exactly how it was."
23 A. About some other event.
24 Q. Well, how did you check it? You either have a memory for
25 something, in which case you don't need to read anybody else's statement,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 or you read somebody else's statement and you go to some raw material and
2 you say, "Aha, he's got it right; he says it was 10.30, the records show
3 it was 10.30." What did you mean by saying you checked?
4 A. My subordinate officer wrote his statement, and when he wrote it
5 he also consulted his subordinate officers in addition to his own memory.
6 Q. I see.
7 A. So I have no doubt to doubt -- no reason to doubt the statement of
8 Lieutenant Colonel Odak.
9 Q. Therefore we have a pyramid of historians, do we? Subordinates
10 reporting, making statements, and eventually it comes to you and you
11 simply sign off it and say, "Yes, it's accurate," without us ever knowing
12 whose actual memory is it. Would that be about right?
13 A. [No translation]
14 Q. Well, look at your statement, please, tab 29 once more, the second
15 to last paragraph, where it says the seal-off operation on the said line
16 was discontinued. That's --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We don't have the answer, the
20 witness's answer on the transcript. He said, "Not correct." It's not
21 correct, and we have no translation.
22 MR. NICE: He did indeed say that. It's not on the transcript.
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear anything.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: We now have that on the transcript.
25 MR. NICE:
1 Q. Now look at the second to last paragraph. The seal-off operation
2 on the said line was discontinued at 1600 hours. If we go to tab 30 in
3 Odak, we see the references to the trig points, 442, 478, but nothing for
4 the 28th. Who else should we look to to find this reference to 1600
5 hours, please?
6 A. Whose statement? We can look at the statement of somebody from
7 the unit.
8 Q. How did you write down and sign and seek to have presented to this
9 Court as evidence something that says, "The seal-off operation was
10 discontinued at 1600 hours"? What's your source of information for this
12 A. There was a report of the duty officer who reported that the
13 blockade is over.
14 Q. Where do we find that report?
15 A. Well, I would have to ask for some documents.
16 Q. Don't you follow the point yet, Mr. Djosan? If you'd have to ask
17 for some documents today, what did you do when you prepared this statement
18 on the 27th of December, 2002? Did you ask for some documents? Did you
19 have some documents? What did you do?
20 A. I'm telling you again: I called the Lieutenant Colonel Odak. He
21 stated to me that at the time he had been at the relevant place, and I
22 visited him at the time. I saw the deployment of my unit. I saw where
23 they were, and it was sufficient to me to believe that it was so.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not an answer to the question you've been
25 asked. You're not doing yourself any justice in answering questions like
1 this in the way you're answering them. You've said that the source of the
2 information about the event at 1600 hours was a report from the duty
3 officer, not from Colonel Odak.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Lieutenant Colonel Odak did
5 not write that. At least, I didn't see.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: That's the point that's being explored. You're
7 being asked how you were able to make a statement to that effect without
8 having any access to records and so on.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time, I didn't have any
10 documentation at my disposal. I called Lieutenant Colonel Odak, and he
11 wrote this statement for me, and that was enough for me to --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: But the problem with that, you see, the
13 Prosecutor's pointing out to you, is there's no reference to this in
14 Colonel Odak's statements.
15 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I think actually his last answer makes it
16 clear that Odak actually wrote this statement for him.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: That's matter you can explore if you wish. I'm
18 just directing attention to the point that you're making, I think, that
19 Colonel Odak doesn't make any reference to this.
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. Can you answer His Honour's point, please?
22 A. The fact that Lieutenant Colonel Odak did not write that may be
23 just an omission. I cannot explain it right now. I can't explain why he
24 didn't mention it in his statement. In fact, he is here, by the way, so
25 you can ask him today or tomorrow. I cannot really account for this.
1 Here's what Odak says, Lieutenant Colonel Odak --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: That answers my question. Thank you.
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. And just because of your answers --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But I want to say something now,
6 because --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: You've answered my question. If either counsel or
8 Mr. Milosevic want to explore it further, that's a matter for them.
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. Mr. Djosan, in the course of dealing with His Honour's concerns,
11 you said, "I called Lieutenant Colonel Odak, and he wrote this statement
12 for me." Now, did you mean that, that in fact your statement, our tab 29,
13 was actually written by Colonel Odak? You said.
14 A. No, that's not right. Just like the commission ordered me, I
15 ordered him. Let me explain.
16 Look, in Odak's statement, paragraph 2, he says: "Around 1600
17 hours I received an assignment to apply measures of combat security to
18 return the unit into the composition of the battalion."
19 THE INTERPRETER: Please put this on the ELMO.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So there's the statement of Colonel
21 Odak. "Around 1600 hours, I received the assignment --"
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Djosan, the interpreter is asking to have it
23 placed on the ELMO if you're going to be reading from it.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course I will. In the heading it
25 says: "Lieutenant Colonel Vlatko Odak. Activities of the unit on the
1 28th of April, 1999. Statement. To the Commission for Cooperation with
3 MR. NICE: I haven't found the tab yet.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's tab 30.1.
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. Well, not for us, I'm afraid. We'll have to find it.
7 JUDGE KWON: It seems to be the last page of 30.
8 MR. NICE: Yes. Last page of 30.1 in the English, Mr. Nort,
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I begin? "Around 1600 hours, I
11 received the assignment to return the unit into the battalion while
12 applying measures of combat security. Throughout this action, there was
13 no activity by my unit or any other contact with the civilian population."
14 JUDGE KWON: So there's no translation of this document.
15 MR. NICE: I've got a translation. Yes, I've got a translation.
16 There are three pages. I missed the third page on first looking at it.
17 Mr. Nort, have you found it? There's a third page in English and
18 it begins -- it's dated the 10th of January, 2002. So similar heading,
19 but it's actually one page and it starts, "On the 28th of April, 1999."
20 Have you got that in English? If not, I'll make mine available. There's
21 one coming your way from the pro se liaison officer.
22 JUDGE KWON: Could you put the document that we saw just now
23 again. Yes. I think there's a similar phrase in 30 and 30.1, in both of
24 the documents.
25 Is that one that we saw just now?
1 MR. NICE: That's what we saw just now, yes.
2 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. That's 30.1. Thank you.
3 MR. NICE: Could you put the English version on, please, Mr. Nort.
4 We've got the -- no.
5 MR. KAY: I think it's an untranslated document within 30 rather
6 than being in 30.1, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes. That's the point I raised.
8 MR. KAY: It's a different sentence.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I have in 30.1 a statement: "At around 1600
10 hours MUP units completed the terrain search and I was given the task of
11 returning the unit to the battalion's defence sector." Is that not the
12 same sentence?
13 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nort, could you put the last page in B/C/S in tab
14 30. I think that's the tab we saw just before.
15 MR. NICE: [Microphone not activated] The page that comes from
16 30.1 in English, a single page, should be associated with a document we
17 hitherto thought to be untranslated in tab 30, and in each case it begins
18 with "On the 28th of April, 1999 ..." and --
19 JUDGE KWON: I have it. I have it. But this is what the witness
20 read out, a different one.
21 MR. NICE: It's different again.
22 MR. KAY: Judge Kwon is holding the very document that I believe
23 was the one the witness referred to.
24 JUDGE KWON: General, if you could tell us whether this is the
25 document you read out just now: "Around 1600 hours ..."
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. Yes, it is.
2 JUDGE KWON: Could you read the sentence again, please.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "At around 1600 hours, I received
4 the assignment with applying measures of combat security to take back the
5 unit to within the composition of the battalion."
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. And that document wasn't translated.
7 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Would you please bear in mind --
10 yes, it's on now. Would you please bear in mind that in this tab 30 you
11 will find two statements by Lieutenant Colonel --
12 THE INTERPRETER: We didn't hear the name of the colonel.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- on the 26th. One relates to the
14 operations of the unit from the 20th to the 28th of April. That is the
15 longer one which has been translated. And the second one, which is like a
16 third page but it's a separate statement in fact of what the unit did on
17 the 28th of April, 1999, and that is the one that he quoted just now. So
18 had those two statements been given two tab numbers, there would be no
19 misunderstanding. It's not the third page of the first statement, it's a
20 separate statement which refers to the 28th of April, 1999, and which was
21 quoted by the witness.
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. We've now tracked down there is a statement, not yet translated,
24 by Odak dealing in different terms with what happened at 1600 hours, and
25 are you simply saying that you copied what Odak had said in his statement
1 into your statement? Is that what you're saying?
2 A. It's not related in a different way. It says that he, on the
3 basis of my order, withdrew the unit from the line. So where is that
4 different if you compare it to my assertion that everything was over at
5 1600 hours?
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness's second microphone be
7 switched on, please. Thank you.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. Before I move back to one of the topics you've stimulated me to
10 ask you about, which is the covering of Djakovica in "As Seen, As Told,"
11 can I seek your comment on the following: You left Djakovica, of course,
12 in, what, June of 1999?
13 A. On the 11th of June, 1999.
14 Q. No doubt you obtained some information on what happened in
15 Djakovica afterwards, and I'd like your comment, if you can, on just the
16 following three sentences: "The UCK/KLA, took control of the streets
17 within hours of the Yugoslav and Serbian security forces' withdrawal from
18 the municipality of Djakovica. It directed and assisted returning
19 refugees to their homes and villages and quickly assumed policing duties,
20 including traffic control. With this increasingly visible UCK presence
21 came a rise in the number of allegations by victims and eyewitnesses in
22 the municipality of UCK involvement in killings, abductions, detention,
23 evictions, house burnings, harassment, and intimidation. There were
24 numerous allegations of UCK involvement in attacks against minorities and
25 Kosovo Albanians not deemed to be loyal to the UCK cause."
1 Now, I know you'd left the area and would be subject -- would have
2 available to you only hearsay information, but does that account of what
3 the UCK did following the withdrawal of Serb troops seem to you to be
4 about right? They took over what they could, and there was a rise in
5 allegations of killings, abductions, detentions, evictions, burning,
6 harassment, and intimidation by the KLA. Does that seem to you to be
7 about right? And this relates to Djakovica specifically.
8 A. That's not right.
9 Q. The KLA didn't do those things?
10 A. First, I would like -- no, that's not what I said. That's not the
11 correct description of the event. My unit was the first to withdraw from
12 the territory of Kosovo and Metohija because it was an air defence unit.
13 Part of my unit remained in Djakovica, and that was the logistics
14 battalion, for example, the forward command post of the Pristina Corps.
15 And the KLA did not direct traffic. It was with the arrival of KFOR, with
16 the arrival of KFOR that they began to reinforce their presence on the
18 Q. What about the other bit, the bit about the KLA doing terribly bad
19 things; killing, abducting, detaining, evicting, burning, harassing, and
20 intimidating? Does that seem to you to be about right for what the KLA
21 did at the arrival of KFOR and --
22 A. After the arrival of KFOR, quite certainly. But before that, in
23 the extent to which this was possible, they could have done that.
24 Q. Were you aware that allegations of that kind about the suffering
25 of people at the hands of the KLA was obtained in another volume of a book
1 "As Seen, As Told" prepared by the same organisation? Were you aware of
3 A. To a lesser extent.
4 Q. Did anybody bother to provide you with this book as a balanced
5 view of events in Kosovo over all? Did anybody show you this book, "As
6 Seen, As Told, Part II"?
7 A. That book cannot offer a balanced view of the position -- about
8 the position that prevailed in Kosovo and Metohija. I was the head of the
9 commission for the application of a Military Technical Agreement, and I
10 had knowledge on that basis --
11 Q. [Previous translation continues]... time. Could you answer the
12 question: Did anybody show you this book?
13 A. I haven't seen that book, no.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. I think that it has --
16 Q. Now, let's go to the book that you say you were shown and that you
17 say you read. If we could have the version on the overhead projector.
18 A. The part which relates to Djakovica.
19 Q. Indeed so. Not all of it. It would take far too long. But if
20 Mr. Nort -- I'm afraid it's in English -- if we could go to page 170. And
21 because we don't have the English -- the Serb version here, because you
22 haven't got the page references or chapter references or whatever, all I
23 can do is explain to you the format of the bit on Djakovica. There is a
24 historical passage, which you can see. That's a reference to the Jakupi
25 family. Do you remember the Jakupi family?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. All I can see here are names and figures. That's as far as I can
2 follow English.
3 Q. No complaints about that. I'm just trying to give you the
4 structure of the book in English because you tell us you've seen the same
5 book but -- which will therefore have the same structure, but in Serbian.
6 So a historical section, a passage about the Jakupi family, then a bit
7 about Djakovica.
8 MR. NICE: Next page, please. In fact, if we could try to have
9 the whole book in view for the time being. If you could come out of focus
10 a bit. That's excellent. Thank you.
11 Q. Then there's a passage about Djakovica town, and we can see events
12 before the 20th of March. That's dealt with.
13 Next page, please, Mr. Nort. And then it goes over the page and
14 we see it turns to events after the 20th of March of 1999. That's down
15 towards the bottom. And if we can go to the right-hand side and focus on
16 the column that's currently at the right-hand side of the screen, it says
17 this as one observation. I'll read you this passage: "The beginning of
18 NATO airstrikes against the FRY on the 24th of March triggered an
19 immediate intensification of the violence and destruction in the centre of
20 Djakovica, in the course of which many houses were burned, shops looted
21 and Kosovo Albanian citizens killed."
22 Now, tell us, please, thinking back, and your memory is good
23 enough to cover two and a half years from -- three and a half years from
24 events to making a statement, so do your best: Did you read this sentence
25 in the version that came to you? The sentence that suggested an immediate
1 intensification of violence and destruction.
2 A. Let me tell you, this isn't clear to me here, but let me -- if I
3 believe the interpretation I've received, or the translation, then
4 possibly that's what was written, but that's not how it was. That is not
5 how it was.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues]... we'll come to how it was in a
7 second. Now, you're a literate man. Just look down, please, at the text
8 a little bit more closely, and Mr. Nort will point his finger to where we
9 see "Albanian citizens killed." Put your finger there, please, Mr. Nort.
10 Three lines down from the top.
11 Now, you see where Mr. Nort's finger is, you see something called
12 a footnote. If Mr. Nort would be good enough, please, now temporarily,
13 keeping his finger in page 173 to go on to page 187. 187, please,
14 right-hand side. Thank you. Right-hand side. Is that 187? It can't be.
15 Page 187. Yes. Back a bit. There we go. Right.
16 Now, you see on the right-hand side here we've got footnote 23,
17 and it sets it all out there and identifies by pseudonyms one, two, three,
18 four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 different
20 Did you at any stage discover that allegations made about what
21 happened in Djakovica were said by "As Seen, As Told" to be based on, for
22 example, this bit, 15 different witnesses? Did you discover that?
23 A. Mr. Nice, how would I be able to establish or discover the
24 statements of 15 witnesses under pseudonyms when I know the witness whose
25 commander I was? I know him personally. I know his name and his surname,
1 and I know that he wasn't telling the truth. Now, you're expecting me to
2 look for 15 pseudonyms and to see whether they were telling the truth?
3 Q. I didn't ask you that. In fact, if you interpret it in that way,
4 it's my error, of course.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Let me just make it clear to you. You're in a court of law where
7 evidence is being presented to the Judges. What we're concerned -- I'm
8 concerned to discover the system whereby the evidence presented through
9 you is coming. That's why I want to know what you actually did before
10 preparing the statements that you say you prepared.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, to interrupt you.
12 MR. NICE: Sorry.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness had earlier said when he was shown
14 the passage from the book that that is not how it happened.
15 MR. NICE: Yes.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: And I wanted to hear his version of how it
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Upon the departure of my unit from
19 Djakovica, and that was on the 11th of June, 1999, in the early hours of
20 the morning --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] How it was relates to a quotation
23 from the book but the witness is unable to follow the quotation from the
24 book which he doesn't have. And the quotation from the book related to
25 the assertion marked by Mr. Nice in the footnote, according to which on
1 the 24th of March, that is to say the first day of the aggression or,
2 rather, with the aggression, the killing of Albanians and setting fire to
3 houses in the centre of Djakovica started. And he said a moment ago, and
4 he assumed that it was correctly translated, but that that was not how it
5 was, and the witness is now saying what happened when he left after the
7 So you must establish this link between what the witness is being
8 asked. A moment ago he was quoted about the 24th of March, how the
9 killing of Albanians started and the burning of houses in the centre of
10 Djakovica. That was the quotation read out to him from the book and then
11 the footnote about the 15 witnesses.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: I was actually referring to the passage which
13 ended with the killing of Albanian citizens, and the witness interrupted
14 and said that's not how it happened, and I thought he should be allowed to
15 say how it happened.
16 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes. Would Your Honour like to take the
17 witness to it or would you like me to deal with it?
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I think you should do that, Mr. Nice.
19 MR. NICE:
20 Q. To clarify matters, Mr. Djosan, the book alleges that on the 20 --
21 or triggered by events on the 24th of March there was an intensification
22 of violence and destruction in the course of which many houses were
23 burned, shops were looted, and Kosovo Albanian citizens were killed. When
24 that was read out to you and before I turned you to the question I wanted
25 you to answer about system, you volunteered this was not how it happened.
1 His Honour would like you to explain that answer, and in particular, I
2 think, he would like you to explain how things on or immediately after the
3 24th of March happened have come to be reflected in this book as a
4 description increasing violence, looting, and killing.
5 A. I spoke about the 24th of March, and I said that the first bombs
6 and the first night a bomb fell on Djakovica, and that it also fell on our
7 barracks, which was located in Djakovica and that I was at Cabrat at the
8 time, that soon after that I saw flames in Katolicka Street, and that
9 after that, in the following days, I was witness to daily operations by
10 the NATO Air Force and their targeting Djakovica and the surrounding
11 parts. Under conditions of that kind, there were all kinds of things
12 happening, and the Siptar terrorists launched their operations to coincide
13 with the first NATO bombs that fell. Once the NATO aggression had been
14 unleashed, at the same time all the Siptar terrorists, for which I said
15 had been hiding in the houses as well and were not able or dared leave
16 them, suddenly they activated themselves, and simultaneously there was
17 shooting in town. And I described that in my book as well. But that's
18 not important, that's not the important point. What is important is that
19 that is what actually happened.
20 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]... your account, every
21 word of this last sentence - if Mr. Nort could take us back to page 173,
22 please, left-hand column, middle of the page - every word of this account
23 is false. No looting, no killing, no burning at all. Hmm?
24 A. That's not right, not correct. There was burning, I said. I saw
25 from Cabrat Katolicka Street burning, and if a whole street is burning,
1 then there is burning. I'm not saying that there wasn't any looting.
2 After the bomb fell, windows shattered on shop windows, the glass
3 shattered, and of course it was normal that there was looting too, that
4 this was accompanied by looting. So I didn't say there was no looting and
5 no burning; yes, there was.
6 Q. Let's read on the next sentence, please. Or just the end of the
7 paragraph, and I'll read slowly. Please follow me: "During the night,
8 police officers and paramilitaries set the old market quarter on fire.
9 Some of the paramilitaries present were described as wearing camouflage
10 uniforms with a tiger's face on the sleeve patches. Local residents also
11 identified local Serbs and 'Gypsies' (Maxhupet) as participating and
12 shooting directly into houses of Kosovo Albanian residents."
13 And then this last sentence: "Tanks, trucks and heavy artillery
14 were seen in the town."
15 So the allegation is quite specific as to who were the seen,
16 visible wrongdoers, the police and paramilitaries, and that the highest
17 that the army gets as a reference at this stage is of tanks being seen in
18 the town. Is this not indeed an accurate account?
19 A. That is not an accurate account at all, and it's very specific,
20 and with the specifics, you're quite right. First of all, I said there
21 were no paramilitary formations. That's the first point.
22 Secondly, what tanks in town? And what tanks at all once the
23 bombardment had started? A tank wouldn't have survived even five minutes
24 if above it there were so many hostile planes flying. It would only have
25 been a mad commander who would have led his tanks into town. Our tanks
1 were all entrenched, camouflaged, and they were not operative. Any
2 operation on the part of the tank would mean its immediate destruction.
3 So that statement is a specific one, you're right there, but I don't want
4 to use another worse term how I would term it.
5 Q. You see, do you remember yesterday -- not yesterday, last week
6 when we were looking at the statements of -- yes, Captain Peraj,
7 Mr. Peraj, he was quite distinct about your good qualities and your
8 limited involvement in these offences, and I suggested to you that that
9 was a reflection of his being an honest account.
10 Where we look at a compilation from a large number of sources, we
11 are going to see that the army might be shown in Djakovica in a different
12 role from the police and paramilitaries. I'm going make the same
13 suggestion to you, that it's actually a fair and balanced account.
14 Now, we've got a Serb version now, at least I think of this part
15 of events, and so I can take you to the next reference to the army, and so
16 far we've just seen tanks, then the next one, I think -- yes. If you'd be
17 good enough to look -- Mr. Nort, if you could come and just hand the --
18 this document to the witness, where my thumb is there, the join of two
19 paragraphs. And then just follow it from about there, and Mr. Nort will
20 take us to the right-hand side of this page. Further up. Further up,
21 please. Bring the book down. That's the stuff. Thank you.
22 You see this entry at the end of one paragraph, we see these
23 sentences, speaking of people who fled "for fear of being expelled by
24 Yugoslav or Serbian forces, they went to relatives or friends in other
25 parts of the town or to villages in the nearby hills so that about half
1 the population remained in the town at the end of the NATO bombing,
2 according to local estimates, as compared with other towns, including Pec
3 in particular, which were virtually empty."
4 Is it right, as recorded here, it was only about half of the
5 population that fled or went into hiding?
6 A. First of all, let me answer the first part of your question.
7 There were no paramilitaries in the town of Djakovica or in Kosovo and
8 Metohija either. The second point, in Djakovica --
9 Q. I'm going to bring you back to this. I'm afraid I'm going to take
10 more time than I wanted. Do you remember last week you made broad
11 allegations -- not allegations, assertions, and before I asked you
12 questions, the learned Judges tested you from time to time and said,
13 "Well, are you saying that? Did you mean to say that?" I'm going to ask
14 you the same thing before we move on.
15 Are you saying that there were no paramilitaries anywhere in
16 Kosovo? Take your time before answering because if you -- because I want
17 to test you if you're going to say that there were no paramilitaries
18 anywhere in Kosovo.
19 A. I state that in Kosovo and Metohija there were no paramilitary
20 formations on the basis of knowledge received by briefing and reports from
21 corps commanders. As for Djakovica, I know that even more directly and we
22 had briefings and reporting in the corps command. We had information
23 coming in from the corps command, and never ever did I hear any piece of
24 information indicating that that there were paramilitaries anywhere.
25 Q. Let's go back, then, to the people fleeing from the hills and half
1 the population remaining. Is that right or wrong?
2 A. To what extent that is true, whether it was half or more or less,
3 I don't know. But how do you explain that they started to flee the same
4 day the planes started to fly? It's like they agreed. How come there
5 wasn't fear before? Why didn't they start fleeing ten days earlier or a
6 month earlier?
7 Q. Let's look at the end of the following paragraph, just to see the
8 accuracy of this book. Where it says -- after dealing with other things,
9 it says: "An interviewee saw the VJ moving from their barracks into a
10 compound at the San Antonio Catholic church." Is that correct?
11 A. St. Anthony church was almost in the barracks. It was a stone's
12 throw away. A soldier could have jumped --
13 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
14 A. -- from the barracks into the church --
15 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
16 A. -- if you know where it is.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
18 A. I don't know what is written.
19 Q. And then finally, if the Court will indulge me, if we go over to
20 page 174. One example of the way the things are associated with
21 paramilitaries but not with the military, if we look at the bottom of page
22 170 -- right at the bottom of page 174. Right at the bottom. Put it up
23 further, please. Further, further. Right up. Keep going. That's it.
24 The sentence there on the left-hand side: "On that day and
25 following --" that which was the 28th of March, and on following days,
1 -- "police continued to go from house to house, street to street in
2 Djakovica --" top of the next column, please, Mr. Nort -- "telling people
3 to leave (often using loudspeakers) and ordering people to go to Albania.
4 One refugee's report of rumours that Serbian forces took women to the
5 Djakovica football stadium and sexually abused them there had not at the
6 time of the writing been substantiated. However, several interviewees
7 reported that young women were abducted by Serbian police and
9 You see, the way this book is written, so far as Djakovica is
10 concerned, is with a focus on police and paramilitaries, and I want to
11 know what it is you say you were shown that led to you making the denial
12 in your statement that you did. Do you follow me?
13 A. Yes, well, that's very simple. I was in Djakovica. I was
14 commander of the garrison. I've never seen any paramilitary units. I am
15 not aware nor have I ever heard at briefings, whereas I should have as
16 garrison commander, anything like that. My subordinate officers were all
17 over town. They should have told me if they had seen anything of the
19 Nik Peraj should have told me. He was the one who should have
20 told me if that had been the case. Not only him, everybody else.
21 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]... at these. I don't
22 know if the Court had any intention of rising --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I think we --
24 MR. NICE: There is now a passage in Serb of the relevant -- It's
25 the passage on Djakovica, and if the witness wishes not to rest but to use
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the time in the interval looking at that passage, it's a matter for him,
2 but we're happy for him to take the document with him to his room.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. You may take the document.
4 We'll adjourn for 20 minutes.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. Mr. Djosan, I don't know if you took the opportunity to review the
10 Serb version of "As Seen, As Told," and I make no complaint if you didn't.
11 Just tell me, are you able now to identify any passage in that book that
12 you read and to which you responded in your statement, our tab 7, saying:
13 "I have read the information that the 'forces of the FRY allegedly took
14 part in the destruction of those parts of the town,'" meaning Djakovica.
15 Have you been able to identify that passage in the text you've been
17 A. I have availed myself of the opportunity to check during the
18 break, and I found the same style, the same authors, the same way of
19 writing, and I can find countless examples of obvious untruths. And I am
20 just looking at one passage like that.
21 Q. Then you better tell us which passage it is. First of all, tell
22 us the heading because the page numbers won't assist us. Tell us the
23 heading and we'll get it placed on the overhead projector by Mr. Nort.
24 What's the heading?
25 A. It says: "Meja, including the first bombing of the convoy of
1 displace the persons."
2 Q. 178, possibly 179. Is it the first, second, third or fourth
3 paragraph of that passage?
4 A. The right column, second paragraph.
5 Q. [Previous translation continues]... organised. Which paragraph?
6 A. How do you call this?
7 Q. Okay.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honours, it will be -- yes. It will be on page
9 179, Mr. Nort, and it will be towards the top of the page, on the
10 left-hand side.
11 Q. Please read the passage you say is inaccurate.
12 A. So it talks about Meja, including the first bombing of a convoy of
13 displaced persons by NATO. "According to a statement of a 13-year-old boy
14 --" in fact, another statement by a 13-year-old boy -- "displaced from
15 Pacaj (near Dobros, Djakovica) that morning, described how as he reached
16 Meja he heard an explosion as a tractor was hit. The police ordered a
17 group into a large three-storey building and a garage. The boy said that
18 after about 15 minutes they were bombed for about 20 minutes by
19 camouflaged military planes, after which he, his mother, and about 40
20 others ran from the village to the mountains, where they met UCK/KLA
21 forces who advised them to go in the direction of Ramoc. The UCK then
22 became involved in fighting with the police, and after about an hour the
23 villagers were called by the police to 'come and see their dead
24 relatives.' He said that in the bombing of the house, about seven people
25 were killed, including the boy's two sisters and two other members of his
1 family, while he and his mother were also wounded. He also said that many
2 others were killed 'as a result of the shelling of the tractor.' (See
3 further Chapter 13, human shields and other endangerment of non-combatants
4 during military operations.)"
5 Q. What do you say is wrong about that and why?
6 A. Well, everything is wrong. Jamie Shea spent so much time
7 explaining how those planes flew and how they came to hit that column.
8 One of these accounts must be wrong. I was near the place. Two F-16
9 planes --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: The question is what's wrong with the account
11 that's been read out to you or that you're -- sorry, that you're reading
12 from. What's wrong with that? Where has that account --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this whole account is wrong,
14 especially the part where he says that the police followed them and that
15 from that place they went to the forest to fight with the KLA. Does that
16 sound logical to you? And if this book is based on accounts by
17 13-year-old boys, then I'm not surprised.
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. Were you there where this 13-year-old boy says he was? Yes or
20 no. Were you physically there yourself?
21 A. Yes. I arrived after the operation.
22 Q. [Previous translation continues]... actually at this place near
23 Dobros where the tractor was hit?
24 A. The tractor, yes, I was there on the spot.
25 Q. How soon were you there after the tractor was hit?
1 A. Well, about half an hour, maybe an hour later.
2 Q. So you can't say what the police did, can you? You see, this book
3 isn't actually complaining about the army at this stage. It's complaining
4 about the police. So this is your best -- your first example, probably
5 your best example, of why the book is unreliable. You weren't even there,
6 Mr. Djosan, were you?
7 A. If I had been there, I would have been killed too. If I had been
8 there at that moment. But I arrived half an hour later, half an hour
9 after the NATO planes bombed.
10 Q. I don't have time to go into it any more. Is there any other
11 example from the passage you've read --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I just ask the witness whether he received
13 any reports that would have contradicted the version in the section that
14 we just looked at?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't receive any special report
16 that would contest that, but I contest it based on my visit there, my
17 statement, and the knowledge I gained on the ground. If police had been
18 there, at least one policeman would have been killed too. They can't have
19 been so lucky as not to have lost a single man if they had been there.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: You just said -- made reference to the knowledge
21 that you gained on the ground. That's what I had in mind, whether you
22 were told anything when you arrived there that would contradict what we
23 just read.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I talked to the man who was at
25 the head of the column. I tried to explain that, but I was interrupted.
1 When I came to the spot, I talked personally with a man who was leading
2 the column. It was a man, an older man. He told me that they were
3 walking. He didn't mention the police at all. He spoke about two planes,
4 and he pointed his finger in the direction where they left, and that
5 direction coincides with the direction indicated to me by my soldiers who
6 were observing the airspace. He didn't say a single word about four
7 planes or camouflage colour of the planes or the police. All he told me
8 he told me in excellent Serbian.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: What I understand the Prosecutor to be asking about
10 is where in this book you saw reference to allegations about the army.
11 Now, the passage you've referred to doesn't make any complaint about the
12 army. And unless I'm misunderstanding this, it seems you haven't been
13 able to identify a part where there's a complaint about the army. Is that
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not correct. What I'm trying
16 to say is I didn't come here to defend the army. I came here to tell the
17 truth based on the knowledge I have. I never covered up any crimes
18 whenever I learnt about any. You can see that from the criminal reports
19 that I filed against my own soldiers in cases of attempted rape.
20 So it is not my intention here to defend the army. That's not my
21 capacity in which I'm appearing here. I came to speak about the knowledge
22 I gained in Djakovica.
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. [Previous translation continues]... His Honour's question.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Djosan, it relates to the statement you made on
1 the -- well, about the events of the 24th of March, but it's tab 7.
2 MR. NICE: 28th of November, 2002, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Where you say: "I have read the information that
4 the forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia allegedly took part in
5 the destruction of those parts of the town in a book published by the
6 Humanitarian Law Centre."
7 Now, what we're trying to find are the passages in the book that
8 you read that said the army took part in the destruction of parts of
9 Djakovica. And you say you've looked through the book and you found such
10 passage but we haven't identified any yet. Now, is there a passage there
11 that you've been able to find that says that? It's a simple question.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a simple question, I agree, but
13 it's difficult to find such a passage in a book like this. It would take
14 me time. In a book like this where every passage speaks about
15 destruction, some paramilitary units, crimes, it's simply impossible to
17 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]...
18 Q. Mr. Djosan, I must deal with matters as summarily as I can. The
19 short truth is this, isn't it: The VJ commission was not just -- it was
20 not in any sense there for cooperation. It was there to filter out
21 adverse material, or adverse to the VJ, the police, and the -- or the VJ
22 in particular, and to enable people like you to provide statements that
23 would whitewash the activities of the VJ in particular in the course of
24 this conflict. That's what it was doing, and you responded to that
25 because you're a weak man, as Captain Peraj said you were.
1 A. I don't know what you mean by a weak man, but let's set that
2 aside. What you said about the commission is not true. What about Nik
3 Peraj says about me? One day he compliments me, another day he says I'm a
4 weak man. In fact, I understand that Nik Peraj wrote two statements.
5 Q. Let's go back to an earlier question of mine and then I must move
6 on. In disciplining soldiers within your command, did you have things
7 like court -- courts-martial? Yes or no.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did courts-martial take evidence not only -- I'm sorry. Did
10 courts-martial in your system allow accused soldiers or subordinate
11 officers to give evidence on their own behalf? Yes or no.
12 A. I don't know that. I did not interfere.
13 Q. Very well.
14 A. I did not interfere with the decision of the court, just as I
15 ignore the way this Court works.
16 Q. Did you ever sit on a court-martial as an adjudicator?
17 A. Yes, I attended.
18 Q. Was the accused in those circumstances allowed to give evidence to
19 defend himself?
20 A. I was the person who was asked to give a statement, and if you
21 call that giving evidence, I gave a statement. I don't know what you mean
22 by that notion giving evidence. I --
23 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
24 A. -- believe that I'm testifying now here.
25 Q. I'm trying to get an answer from you, Mr. Djosan, although I
1 think it's absolutely obvious. If you were on a court-martial trying
2 someone, would you expect to hear from witnesses giving their own accounts
3 of evidence or would you expect to hear witnesses retelling accounts given
4 to them by other people who were also available to give evidence? Which
5 would you expect?
6 A. I never sat in on a court-martial. I gave a statement before an
7 investigating judge. I have never been part --
8 Q. Very well?
9 A. -- of a court chamber --
10 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
11 A. -- and I was never in a court.
12 Q. The VJ commission, in doing all the things it did, was trying to
13 corrupt history.
14 MR. NICE: May we go into private session for one second, please.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, private session.
16 [Private session]
11 Page 45670 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 MR. NICE: I may come back to that, but I doubt I'll have time.
20 Q. Let's revert, please, to Meja. The summary position is that
21 allegations are to the effect that there was an ethnic cleansing operation
22 in revenge for the killing of a policeman, and to that you say not at all,
23 this was a terrorist-only combat. Correct?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. And the KLA at that stage was a very formidable enterprise, was it
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. At that time and at any other time, it was a paramilitary
3 terrorist organisation.
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. It was not a movement.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues]... wasn't it? A pretty
7 frightening group of people.
8 A. It was a paramilitary organisation, a terrorist one, with very
9 large number of members.
10 Q. And indeed we can find this, although I'm not going to take the
11 time to do so, we can find Ojdanic in a Supreme Defence Council meeting,
12 Exhibit 667, tab 73, held on the 25th of December, 1998, saying that
13 certainly in respect of the border areas 90 per cent of the inhabitants
14 had a negative attitude towards the security services. By implication, a
15 very large majority of people supported the KLA at that time. Would you
16 agree with that?
17 A. First of all, I don't know what Ojdanic said. Ojdanic is five
18 rungs higher on the ladder.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
20 A. I don't know what he said.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues]... people probably supported the
22 KLA and 90 per cent of the people were hostile to the VJ forces, to the
23 Serb forces.
24 A. There were not so many people among the civilian population who
25 supported the terrorist KLA organisation.
1 Q. Nevertheless, armed, dangerous, and frightening. Would you accept
2 that for the KLA?
3 A. I would rather say that they were a terrorist organisation on a
4 territory of a sovereign state. A paramilitary terrorist organisation.
5 Q. Let's look, if we may, at the way -- at the way Mr. Peraj drew the
6 operation, just so that we can remind -- here it comes. It's part of
7 Exhibit 143. I didn't give Ms. Dicklich warning and I want to save time.
8 This is the way Mr. Peraj drew this, with the army in support
9 formation, enabling the MUP to drive down innocent Kosovo Albanians to
10 Meja, where it killed them. Thank you. That's the way it's been put
11 against the general forces of Serbia.
12 I'd like to you tell me, please, how many casualties were suffered
13 by the army or the police in the course of these two days fighting
14 against, as you would say, this formidable - or however you describe it -
15 terrorist force? How many?
16 A. My unit did not suffer a single casualty.
17 Q. Fine. Next unit --
18 A. Nor was there any wounding.
19 Q. Next unit, please. You know all about everything that happened.
20 How many casualties, please? How many casualties?
21 A. I don't know that.
22 Q. Might --
23 A. And why would I know that.
24 Q. Might it -- Mr. Djosan, you have been telling this Court of your
25 knowledge of all sorts of matters outside your immediate area of
1 responsibility. Are you really telling us that in as significant and
2 notorious an event as the Meja conflict, if it was a conflict, you're
3 unaware as to whether any of your brother soldiers or fellow police
4 officers, in the degree to which they would be fellows, suffered? I just
5 want know. There may have been some. I want you to take me to the
6 material that would show how many.
7 A. Yes, precisely that. I don't know because my unit that took part
8 had no casualties. The others who took part were not subordinate to me
9 nor were they my superiors, so they weren't duty-bound to inform me, nor
10 did they have the need to inform me about that.
11 Q. Tell us, if the VJ and MUP forces suffered no casualties, might it
12 just have been a matter of good luck? Do you remember using the word good
13 luck earlier when you described how people present at the scene of a
14 bombing would be lucky to escape? Was it again just good luck that there
15 were no victims on the Serb side, if there were no victims on the Serb
16 side in this two-day period?
17 A. Mr. Nice, I did not say that there were no losses in the other
18 units of the army of Yugoslavia or the MUP. What I was talking about was
19 my own unit. So there's no room for good luck here. I didn't mention
20 good luck. And as far as good luck is concerned, I put it into context
21 and said that not every bomb kills, not every bullet in wartime kills.
22 Because if every bomb killed, then no people would have survived.
23 Q. Mr. Djosan, you know, of course, about Racak, don't you?
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat that, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard about it. I heard about it.
1 Yes, there's been talk about Racak recently.
2 MR. NICE:
3 Q. Now, in Racak there were no Serb-side victims. Somebody
4 apparently suffered an injury that would have been worse but for
5 deflection of the bullet from some source. Help us, please: Are these
6 reflections of the same thing, revenge attacks with an absolute excess of
7 force determined to kill whatever men it was wanted to kill?
8 A. First of all, I don't want -- know what you mean by "revenge."
9 Racak was completely outside my area of responsibility, so I don't know
10 about any of that.
11 Q. Okay. Let's review, then, a little bit about your own body, I
12 think, at the material time with the extracts from the war diary now
13 provided, we are told, insofar as they were available to the accused. But
14 as they're being distributed, and don't look to them yet, Mr. Djosan, you
15 can listen to this question and we can save time, did your forces, that is
16 the VJ forces, deploy an intervention platoon in this operation?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What was an intervention platoon, first of all? What was its
20 A. I explained that during that period of time in the town of
21 Djakovica there were my non-combat men, portions of my unit, which means
22 the command artillery battalion and the logistics battalion. At that
23 point in time, the attacks had already started, attacks on members of our
24 unit. And it was a platoon or, rather, a unit made up of soldiers who
25 were duty-bound, in case of an attack on the unit, to be ready to
1 intervene or, rather, to defend themselves, just as any unit has its
2 separate unit to protect it. So that was that platoon, the platoon
3 defending the command post of the brigade, for instance.
4 Q. All right. So did the intervention platoon, if that was its
5 proper function, have to do in the activity at or near Meja on the 27th
6 and 28th of April, 1999?
7 A. We were given the assignment by our superior command, by the
8 forward command post, that our unit, the one described, should set up a
9 blockade at the portion we've already mentioned of the territory, at the
10 features and elevations that were stipulated, with the aim of preventing
11 any overflow of terrorists from the area of Meja or, rather, that was the
12 Carragojs valley already, not to reach town, to enter town. And it was in
13 town that our units were deployed, the logistics battalion, the command
14 platoon, the rear troops, and they could have been jeopardised by
15 operations that the terrorists engaged in. So any normal unit would have
16 forces for its own defence or to defend the most important part of its
17 deployment and men.
18 Q. The intervention force was just in some way defensive; is that
19 right? It's called intervention but it's actually defensive; is that it?
20 A. Precisely that. Yes, exclusively defensive.
21 Q. Have you got with you, please, a copy of the Reka plan? Have you
22 got with you a copy of the Reka plan?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Where is it?
25 A. I don't know, why would I have it here?
1 Q. You know what it is, don't you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Just confirm this: If a party such as the Office of the
4 Prosecutor of this Tribunal has been denied access to documents such as
5 this by the commission or by the VJ itself, there's no way, is there, it
6 could even know the name Reka plan, or Rijeka plan, as it's known in other
7 sources? There is no way it could have known of the existence of that
8 plan, is there?
9 A. Is that a question? Are you asking me?
10 Q. [Previous translation continues]... yeah. This isn't a public
11 plan. This wasn't published, was it?
12 A. Public plan. Would you please ask me a concrete question.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
14 A. You've made an observation, but give us a question.
15 Q. Tell us what the Reka plan was.
16 A. That was an assignment to prevent the grouping of Siptar terrorist
17 forces which had been rallying forces in the Carragojs valley with the aim
18 of strengthening and reinforcing the forces that at that time had come in
19 from Kosare and were attacking with great force.
20 Q. It was the plan, it would sound, that led to the things that
21 happened on the 27th and 28th of April, 1999, and that led to a large
22 number of deaths in the Meja region. Am I right?
23 A. I don't know what happened in the Meja region, but I do know what
24 the role of my unit was in that operation.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues]... please. You know what the
1 Reka plan is because you've told us yes. The Reka plan is the --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. -- by which you and everyone else acted in the Meja region on the
4 27th and 28th of April. Am I right?
5 A. I didn't understand you. Function, act, what do you mean? To
6 function has a different concept. Within the frameworks of that
7 programme, I had my own assignment and task, and that's all I can tell you
8 about that. I do know that the plan was called Reka. I know that.
9 Q. And it still exists. Unless it's been destroyed, there will be a
10 copy of the plan somewhere, won't there?
11 A. Well, I -- I don't have it. I don't know.
12 Q. Do you think as a general, you tell us qualifying intellectually
13 at the level of a Ph.D., that to know what happened in a war it would be
14 helpful to know what the plan was? Do you think that might be helpful?
15 A. It would be extremely helpful to learn about everything that went
16 on in the war. That would be highly useful.
17 Q. Mr. Djosan, let me make it quite clear: My suggestion to you is
18 that you're doing everything you can because you have no choice but to
19 whitewash the VJ and that by your last answer you're making this
20 absolutely clear. You're giving yourself away. I gave you a very simple
21 question, now would you please answer it. I'm going to read it out to you
22 in full.
23 A. Yes, do that, please, go ahead.
24 Q. Do you think that it would be helpful -- to know what happened in
25 a war, do you think it would be helpful to know what the plan was? Yes or
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 A. It would be helpful for all the plans.
5 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Mr. Djosan?
6 A. Of course it wasn't.
7 Q. Very well. Do you accept that until we saw these papers produced
8 this morning that had been available to the accused but that had not been
9 translated or transcribed for us, that we had no knowledge, as far as I'm
10 aware, of the name Reka plan as the plan that dealt with what happened at
11 Meja on these two days in April 1999? Do you accept that?
12 A. I do not accept that, no.
13 Q. Well, can you think of any good reason why a body that describes
14 itself as a commission seeking to cooperate with the Office of the
15 Prosecutor and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former
16 Yugoslavia should not voluntarily produce through a witness like you or
17 someone else the very plan that led to the killings in Meja? Can you
18 think of any good reason why that plan should not be produced?
19 A. The term "killings in Meja" I don't think is appropriate. But how
20 do you know that the commission would not have done that had it not been
21 abolished on the first day after the minister of the interior had been
22 appointed? And I don't want to mention the way in which that was done.
23 Perhaps the commission would have sent that in, would have provided it.
24 Perhaps it wasn't given an opportunity to do so.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness misspoke and said the
3 minister of foreign affairs, and in the transcript it says minister of the
4 interior whereas the witness meant the minister of defence.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant to say the minister of
6 defence, Mr. Borislav Tadic, who was minister of defence at that time. So
7 had he not abolished it, quite certainly we would find it easier to
8 discuss this matter here and now.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Thank you.
10 MR. NICE:
11 Q. Well, dealing with your earlier point, the commission had been
12 effective and in operation for two years, so it had plenty of time to
13 provide this material at the time that it was taking statements from you
14 and Odak and Vukovic and all the others, so there is no problem there in
15 providing the plan, is there?
16 A. I don't know about that, how far it was operational or not. I
17 know that I gave the statement to the commission. Now, how it functioned,
18 I don't know. All I know is that I provided it with the statement, and
19 you have the document to prove that.
20 Q. And when Tadic abolished the commission, was it in an atmosphere
21 where allegations were implied or made that the commission had been acting
22 dishonourably or dishonestly? Was that the undercurrent of its abolition
23 in Belgrade?
24 A. I have been brought up to enter into the minister's head and his
25 ideas. He was the minister of the army. What he wanted, what he
1 intended, it's not up to me to comment nor do I know about that, nor did
2 he ask me whether to abolish it or not.
3 MR. NICE: Your Honours, could we now look at the additional
4 bundle of documents, which, of course, is as yet untranslated. And I can
5 simply asked ask Mr. Nort to place the pages of a spare copy on the
6 overhead projector, for the witness to have his own copy. They came from
7 the accused.
8 I haven't page numbered them, but if we work first of all from the
9 back, Mr. Nort, and on the bundle that we've got come in about six pages,
10 you'll come to a document that looks like this, a document that looks like
12 Q. This document shows, does it not, that the war diary of which a
13 very limited number of pages has been provided, and initially less
14 translated into English, actually contains 198 pages, doesn't it?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I inquired later on about this stamp
18 here that contains this fact of 198. It is introduced when an empty
19 diary, an notebook of a diary is handed -- issued to a unit.
20 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]...
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, that is not a proper comment. A
22 question has been asked of the witness. Let the witness answer it. It's
23 not for you to provide the answer.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I provided an explanation last time,
25 if you remember. I gave you an explanation, but I didn't know this piece
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of information so I've just added that to the explanation already given by
2 me earlier on.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I be allowed to explain? Every
4 command has a book of so-called recorded notebooks, books and so forth.
5 When an empty notebook is issued, or book - let's say notebook - then
6 pages are put on the notebook and you will find the numbers of the pages
7 at the top, and at the end there is a clause which states that that
8 notebook has so many pages, such-and-such number of pages, and it is
9 certified, and here it was the clerk in the department, Captain Dobrivoj
10 Vasic, who authenticated this. And then at the bottom it says it was
11 registered and recorded in the control book of registered books of the
12 military post of 1946, which is that military post, certified books.
13 So the brigade that I was in command had a military post, and it
14 was 1936. That was the number of the military post.
15 Once you have a diary or notebook that has been completed, filled
16 in, all the pages used up and is handed over, it must have the same number
17 of pages. Not all the pages have to be filled in. And had the aggression
18 lasted even longer, perhaps all the pages would have been filled in in
19 that unhappy event. By that is the proceedings that are always followed
20 with records, daily records, with a -- with a record of the targets.
21 Every empty notebook, which is an official document, must be certified,
22 and that means that this war diary has been recorded and registered by the
23 control book of the certified books, and it is found on page 40 and its
24 number is 552, and it says "War Diary," and that's where it says how many
25 pages the diary has. That's what all this is about.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
2 MR. NICE:
3 Q. And how many pages does it have?
4 A. As many days as there were war days.
5 Q. How many pages does the diary have? That's all we want to know.
6 Simple enough question.
7 A. I can't say just off the top of my head. I don't have the war
8 diary before me.
9 Q. Now --
10 A. But sometimes in a war diary you would use up one page, sometimes
11 two pages.
12 Q. All right.
13 A. But at any event, all the pages must be in their proper place.
14 MR. NICE: Mr. Nort, if you would good enough now to go to the
15 beginning and we'll try to work through it from the beginning because
16 that's the only way to make sense out of it, and we'll deal with it page
17 by page, starting at the beginning. Page 1, please. Or not the cover
19 Q. This covers the 24th of March, and I've got nothing to ask about.
20 The next sheet covers a bit more of the same, I think. It takes us to the
21 25th. And then the next sheet after that goes a bit further.
22 Now, the next sheet starts off on the 28th of March. Is it right
23 that if we look at the entry for 21.15 we see the MUP -- sorry, the VJ
24 reinforcing the MUP. Just read out 21.15, please.
25 A. Just a moment, please. "One platoon of the above should reinforce
1 the MUP in the Junik area. Ordered by the commander, the commander of the
3 Q. And does this reflect typical joint operations by the MUP and VJ?
4 A. The members of the MUP and the army of Yugoslavia from time to
5 time in specific situations when there was the threat that members of the
6 MUP would be in an adverse position, they would help each other out.
7 Q. Who was subordinated to whom?
8 A. Nobody was subordinated to anybody.
9 Q. I see. And then 21.16, read that one out, please.
10 A. Another 3 BOVs, or combat armoured vehicles, should reinforce the
11 MUP detachment in the Junik area, and this was ordered by the Chief of
12 Staff of the Pristina Corps. I ordered the command of the artillery
13 battalion, and I was ordered by the head of the Pristina Corps.
14 Q. Chief of Staff of the Pristina Corps was? Who was he?
15 A. That was an officer who was at the forward command post of the
16 Pristina Corps in Djakovica, and he had the right, in the name of the
17 commander, to issue orders to us other commanders.
18 Q. The commander at that time being?
19 A. General Lazarevic.
20 Q. So Lazarevic is able to order the VJ to act with the MUP, and it
21 happened on a regular enough basis. Yes?
22 A. Yes. That happened when there was the danger of the terrorists
23 killing or, rather, destroying members of the MUP.
24 Q. Next page, please, Mr. Nort.
25 Now, this goes down to and starts the entry for the 31st of March.
1 We're now into the eighth day of the war, as it says on the right.
2 Turn over the page, please, Mr. Nort, to pick up a point I was
3 making earlier.
4 There is some reference here to casualties, which is one of the
5 things I've been looking for. Perhaps you'd like to read out the
6 reference to the deaths, I think, of Djordje Cimbaljevic, and if you can
7 find --
8 A. Cimbaljevic, here it is.
9 Q. -- third line down, I think.
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. Just read an account of the deaths, so that we've got that, and
12 the wounded, Aleksandar Tadic, I think.
13 A. "In the radar that was hit and destroyed, the following people
14 were killed and burnt, in brackets, soldiers Cimbaljevic Milic Djordje,
15 born on the 17th of June, 1979 in Barani [phoen], Montenegro, in the army
16 of Yugoslavia from the 23rd of September, 1998, and Ivanovic Tomislav,
17 father's name Zoran, born on the 22nd of July in Trstenik, a Serb serving
18 in the army of Yugoslavia from the 24th of June, 1998."
19 Q. [Previous translation continues]... these two, and I think
20 Aleksandar Tadic, if that's the right chap, who was injured, injured in
21 bombing. They're not injured or killed -- killed or injured in bombing,
22 not by the KLA; is that right?
23 A. That's right, yes.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 A. That's what it says.
1 Q. Right. Let's move on. Next page. We now see -- we come to the
2 1st of April. There's a different format, just in case we have to think
3 about it, because we don't have the original. Can you explain the
4 different format?
5 A. Well, quite simply because keeping a war diary is not prescribed
6 especially. In a war diary what is entered is events which are important
7 for a particular day, for a particular event that occurred that has to do
8 with the unit. And another thing, war diaries were not always kept by the
9 same people. An officer who happened to be at the headquarters in the
10 staff kept the war diary. And they would have furlough, they would change
11 shifts, so it wasn't always the first -- the same person that kept the war
13 Q. Do you know who kept this page, for example, the 1st of April,
15 A. I don't know. I can't remember.
16 Q. No reason to doubt the --
17 A. I can't remember just now.
18 Q. No reason to doubt the reliability or the accuracy of what these
19 people were writing down, is there?
20 A. None at all.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
22 A. No reason whatsoever.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues]... second page of what appears to
24 be the 1st of April. Perhaps you'd read out the entry at 11.50, four
25 lines down, please.
1 A. It says: "The guards from Cabrat noticed a group of 30 Albanians
2 pulling out of the town to Krunic -- Lieutenant Krunic was told to keep
3 them, hold them back until the MUP had arrived. A large group of
4 Albanians left the town. Between 1800 hours and 2100 hours, pursuant to
5 orders from the brigade commander, there was a change of command post from
6 the Kuca Maslenica point to the cultural centre at Djakovica. The
7 conditions for life and work at this command post were favourable. On
8 this day, NATO -- there was no NATO operations against our units nor our
9 units -- nor did our units target NATO planes.
10 Q. [Previous translation continues]... a lot of these documents and
11 the printed orders of the army are careful to refer to all Kosovo
12 Albanians, I must suggest, as terrorists, but on this occasion it slipped
13 through. They're just described as Albanian men who were being kept back.
14 Why? Why were you keeping Albanian men back in the middle of a war? No
15 reference to them being terrorists, no reference to them being KLA, just
17 A. That's right. Not all Albanians were terrorists, and not all
18 Albanians were members of the KLA. Not all of them even supported the
19 KLA. Had these people here been terrorists, then they would have shot at
20 my soldiers. And Lieutenant Krunic would not have occasion -- would not
21 have been able to keep them back, hold them back, 30 of them. And one
22 platoon numbers 20 soldiers.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues]... why shouldn't they be allowed
24 to go free to determine their own destinies?
25 A. They passed through the deploy -- our unit's deployment and our
1 unit was at Cabrat, deployed at Cabrat.
2 Q. Incidentally, before we move on and before I forget it, you made
3 an observation earlier about the coincidence of people leaving the
4 territory of Kosovo and Metohija at the start of the bombing. There's a
5 very simple explanation for that, as you will well know, and that is that
6 nobody really believed that this accused was actually going to walk away
7 from the possibility of negotiation until the very last minute when it
8 actually happened. Nobody believed he'd actually allow the bombing to
9 happen, but he did and it was thus that people delayed - those who were
10 going leave delayed - leaving until that moment. Isn't that the truth or
11 part of the truth?
12 A. Those are your insinuations. First of all, Mr. Milosevic did not
13 allow the bombing to start. Somebody else allowed it. And one day we
14 will hear the truth loud and clear.
15 Second, people started to flee on that day from Belgrade and other
16 cities and towns as well.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
18 A. You received some of those people in your cities.
19 Q. The next page, please, just to make sure that the Court can be --
20 next page takes us to the 2nd of April. Next page to the 3rd of April,
21 Mr. Nort. The following page to more of the 3rd of April. And then we
22 have a change of format - next page, please - and we're now on the 7th of
23 April. Next page, please. 8th of April. And then we come to the next
24 page, which is the 25th of April.
25 Now, we turn over from the 25th, we come to the, I think --
1 yes, the 27th. So I don't know what -- next page, please. I simply
2 don't know where the 26th is. It hasn't been provided.
3 Can you think of any reason why the page from the 26th ought to
4 have been extracted from these papers? Anything happen on the 26th of
5 which you're particularly embarrassed or ashamed, anything?
6 A. No. No. I'm not ashamed of anything, and as for that page
7 missing, it's not the only page that's missing. If you get hold of the
8 complete diary, you will see that every page is in its place and that it
9 completely coincides with the transcribed version over there.
10 Q. All right. [Previous translation continues]...
11 A. I personally have no reason to be ashamed of anything.
12 Q. Just remind us of what you said. This is your -- your group's war
13 diary. You're principally concerned with air defence.
14 A. Right.
15 Q. Would you read out, please, for us the first entry on the 27th of
16 April and tell us what indications we have for timing. "Putarak" [phoen]
17 is the word we have on the left-hand side, I think. What does that tell
18 us, if anything?
19 A. Yes. It says it was the 7th [sic] of April. That year it was a
20 Tuesday. The entry goes like this: "With greater intensity that on the
21 previous day, the enemy aviation is violating our airspace."
22 Q. Read on.
23 A. "From the very morning --" Just a minute. I'm finding it hard to
24 read this handwriting.
25 "Its action is targeted on standard installations like Devet
1 Jugovica barracks and the MUP facility. The clearing operation Reka
2 involving --"
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness read a bit more slowly.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The forces that were involved."
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Djosan, please read more slowly for the
7 MR. NICE: And it will help the Court to know that we have just, I
8 think, reached the line beside 0600, or possibly the line just above the
10 Q. Can you pick it up again where you started with "The clearing
11 operation Reka," and read that slowly, please.
12 A. "The action of clearing Siptar terrorist forces Reka has started.
13 It involves a mixed battery of the 1st Self-propelled Platoon, one
14 infantry platoon from the logistics battalion, and two infantry
15 battalions. The action is going according to plan, as envisaged. Due to
16 the absence of the commander, the Chief of Staff is leading the action
17 Reka. Organs of the command started the work according to plan."
18 Q. Now, we focus on that, but in order to save any anxiety of the
19 Court as to how long this exercise will take, if you look down the rest of
20 the page, and we'll come back to this entry, 0830, 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, are
21 those all entries that relate to air defence?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. There is one wounded soldier referred to at 12 -- 1200 hours, I
24 think. Is it a name Ilic?
25 A. Just a minute. Toplica Ilic.
1 Q. Yes. And he's injured, what, as a result of bombing, is he?
2 A. No. He was wounded in the village of Kijevo by Siptar terrorist
3 forces. That means not here.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues]... just read that entry out so
5 that we can know --
6 A. It says: "Colonel Trajkovic from Pristina informed the command
7 post of the brigade that soldier Ilic Toplica from the 1st SARD of the
8 anti-aircraft defence was wounded and succumbed to the wounds sustained
9 the previous day. Transferred to the clinical hospital centre in Pristina
10 to collect data."
11 Q. So this man who subsequently -- who died from earlier wounds, was
12 not actually injured in the course of the Meja campaign, conflict,
13 whatever -- plan, whatever you like to call it, he was injured the
14 previous day, and I think you told us where he was injured. Where was he
16 A. He was wounded 100 kilometres away from that area.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
18 A. In the location of the 1st Artillery Battalion.
19 Q. Now, let's go back to the entry that we were looking at, and we
20 can focus on to this day.
21 JUDGE KWON: Just one housekeeping matter.
22 MR. NICE: Yes.
23 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nice, you said that 26th of April is missing from
24 this war diary.
25 MR. NICE: Am I wrong? Is it included in the original papers?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE KWON: It's included in English translation but I couldn't
2 find the B/C/S version corresponding to that.
3 MR. NICE: Your Honour is absolutely right that we got the
4 transcription for it because it was the fact that we had that, no two
5 following days and the following day, that alerted to me to search for the
6 27th and 28th. And I think Your Honour is also right that for some reason
7 unexplained by the accused we don't have the original of it. I can't help
8 you with that, that a matter for him. Perhaps he'd further check his own
9 documents and make available the 26th and any other pages he's got.
10 Q. So that if we look at this entry for 600 hours in the morning,
11 this is clearing Siptar terrorist forces under the -- under Reka, and
12 there's a mixed battery of a self-propelled platoon -- is that one of
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. An infantry platoon. Is that one of yours, from the logistics
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Two infantry battalions. They're yours, are they?
19 A. They're platoons, not battalions.
20 Q. Well, wait a minute.
21 A. Two platoons --
22 Q. One thing at a time.
23 A. -- from two battalions.
24 Q. [Previous translation continues]... battalions. It may easily
25 have been a slip of the tongue. Look at the text and tell us what the
1 word is. Is it battalions or platoons?
2 A. It says platoons from different battalions. From the command
3 artillery battalion and it's actually platoon not battalion. Battalion is
4 the larger unit.
5 Q. So what is your unit doing providing -- which is air defence,
6 providing these people for this operation? What were they there to do?
7 A. Well, my unit in that operation, although it's not an operation,
8 it's anti-terrorist action, was on the line of blockade that I spoke to
9 you about when I had the map before me. This describes the situation that
10 we saw on that map, and it coincides with this --
11 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
12 A. -- statement of Lieutenant Colonel Odak.
13 Q. No, it doesn't. All it describes is "going according to plan, as
14 envisaged." The plan as envisaged is the Reka plan. The Reka plan is
15 something of which we had no knowledge whatsoever until this document was
16 handed over this morning. So in answer to your last observation that this
17 describes what we saw on the map, no, it doesn't.
18 Let's look at the next date because we can --
19 A. I want to say that from this sentence where it says that it's
20 going according to plan, it means that the unit that had received the
21 assignment, my unit, is performing the assignment according to plan,
22 meaning that it's holding the blockade line as envisaged. What is
23 written, what is entered into a war diary are the activities of one's own
25 Q. And of course now that we see a number of your units broken down,
1 it will be a very considerable body of contemporaneous material provided,
2 reports up from platoon to whatever the next level after is, company, or
3 company to brigade, plenty of material, all of it stored in the same
4 archive probably as this war diary is stored in. It's all there, isn't
5 it, that contemporaneous material? Isn't it, Mr. Djosan?
6 A. Archives are kept in a certain place. The archives of the brigade
7 which I commanded had their own location. Archives of another unit have
8 another location. The corps archives have a third location.
9 Conditionally speaking, they may be in the same building, but to speak of
10 an archives holding all these documents mixed, such a thing does not
12 Q. Well, I see you're not claiming that any of these archives have
13 been destroyed by NATO bombing, or will you do that now?
14 A. Who mentioned bombing now? I'm not even saying that my own
15 archives were destroyed during the war, let alone other people's. Please
16 do not put words in my mouth.
17 Q. How many -- how many prisoners, by the way, were taken on the
18 27th? Presumably if it's an operation to do with terrorists, you want
19 prisoners. Where are they, a record of the prisoners? Or was it like
20 Racak again, no prisoners?
21 A. My unit did not take a single prisoner.
22 Q. And anybody else --
23 A. No terrorists.
24 Q. -- prisoner? Tell us, did any other part of the VJ or the MUP or
25 the paramilitaries take a prisoner?
1 A. First of all, paramilitaries -- do I really need to tell you five
2 times that there were no paramilitary units? Would you please accept
3 something when I say it?
4 Second, I don't know what other units did. It's not my
5 responsibility or my duty.
6 Q. But you see --
7 A. My unit did not have any contact --
8 Q. You've been very free with secondhand information about whether
9 there were paramilitaries anywhere within Kosovo, and you've told us there
10 weren't. You've had lots of sources of information. When I ask you a
11 question about something rather nearer to home, you plead ignorance. Just
12 yes or no, because we'll eventually perhaps get the records from elsewhere
13 and I don't know what the answer is. I'm going to suggest one but I don't
14 know at the moment because we haven't got all the records. You tell us.
15 Were there any prisoners taken at Meja on the 27th and 28th? Yes or no.
16 A. I don't know that.
17 Q. Yes. Let's go to the 28th, please, have a look at that.
18 Next page, please, Mr. Nort.
19 And I think but I'm not so sure, but just check, the first entry
20 -- and I'll ask my colleague to check as I'm asking the question to make
21 sure I'm not misunderstanding the position. The first entry and the
22 entries from 1500, 1800 onwards all relate to air defence; is that right?
23 A. 1800 hours, daily report to the commander of the brigade.
24 Q. Okay. But let's -- I think the others are air defence. But let's
25 go back to 0700 then. Perhaps you'd read out the 0700 entry, which I
1 think may be of interest to us. Could you read that out, please?
2 A. "Brief agreement reaching meeting between organs of the brigade
3 command for the engagement during the day where the following was
4 emphasised: The intervention unit is still engaged in the Reka action.
5 The engineering and NHB are to scout for alternative routes in case of
6 destruction of the Terup [phoen] bridge and another bridge."
7 Q. Pausing there [Previous translation continues]...
8 A. "Management of motor vehicles --"
9 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
10 A. "-- only by soldiers envisaged by establishment."
11 Q. Thank you. We'll pick it up from there for the next entry in a
12 second, but what's now clear is that there was a meeting between organs of
13 the brigade command planning for the day. Can you tell me, please, where
14 is the record of that plan and why isn't it here?
15 A. That's here. This is -- this is the event --
16 Q. I see.
17 A. -- as it was taking place.
18 Q. It doesn't actually set out where anybody is deployed. It doesn't
19 set out what anybody's got to do. It doesn't give a history of what's
20 happened. It simply says then the intervention unit is still engaged in
21 the Reka action. What does that mean?
22 A. It means what I have been telling you over the past few days, that
23 it was still up there in the same location where it would stay until 1600
24 hours on this day. And that confirms my statement and the statement by
25 Lieutenant Colonel Odak.
1 Q. And which of the earlier referred units is the intervention
2 platoon, please? We had your account of platoons previously. Which bit
3 is the intervention platoon, or is it something separate?
4 A. The intervention platoon is a general name for a unit that is
5 established in the event of an attack or danger to certain forces. Every
6 artillery battalion of ours, if it's attacked simultaneously from the
7 ground and from the air, because it had constant engagement in the air,
8 had to repel terrorist attacks. Terrorist attacks by Siptars were a
9 regular occurrence against our artillery battalions when they were
10 fighting NATO forces in the air.
11 Q. Let's read the next bit of the entry. Pick it up from where you
12 left it off. And we're about, I think, down to either 0800 or 1500. In
13 fact, probably started at 0800.
14 A. Yes. "Command organs working according to plan."
15 Q. Uh-huh. Then?
16 A. 1500 hours: "Commander and the chief of -- chief of operations
17 and training spent time in the 3rd Artillery Battalion of air defence and
18 performed a check of the rocket battery, indicating on the spot a number
19 of omissions and made specific critical comments. Chief of Staff leading
20 intervention unit in the action Reka. Enemy aviation intensively
21 reconnoitering individual and occasionally acts against selected targets."
22 Q. Pause there.
23 A. "At 10.15 they acted --"
24 Q. Pause there.
25 A. "-- against the Devet Jugovica barracks."
1 Q. What we can see in relation to what was happening in the valley
2 leading down to Meja is that the Chief of Staff -- who's that? Leading --
3 A. That's my deputy, Colonel Stankovic.
4 Q. Colonel Stojanovic?
5 A. No, Novica Stankovic. Colonel Novica Stankovic.
6 Q. We've got some statements in our bundle. Have you produced
7 statements from Stankovic? Have you?
8 A. I didn't ask a statement from him but you can get it.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues]... bundle, is he?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Is he still alive and well, Stankovic?
12 A. Yes, he is.
13 Q. Where does he live?
14 A. In Leskovac.
15 Q. Any reason why you know that he's not giving or prepared to give,
16 if that's the case, a statement about these events that he commanded?
17 A. I don't know. I don't know any reasons concerning him, but I
18 don't believe he has anything to hide.
19 Q. Everybody of potential importance was called in by the commission,
20 but the commission was ultimately dependent, I suppose, to some degree on
21 cooperation. Do you know if this man was called in?
22 A. No, he was not called.
23 Q. Everybody knows who has read "As Seen, As Told" or "Under Orders"
24 or the evidence in this case, or countless other accounts of Meja knows
25 that what is alleged is that the army guarded the territory while others
1 did the killing. The man in charge of the intervention platoon would know
2 about that, wouldn't he, whether it's true or false? He'd know it more
3 than you because he was nearer the action.
4 A. No.
5 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
6 A. No, that's not true.
7 Q. Why not? Why isn't that true? Please tell me. Why have I got
8 that wrong?
9 A. Well, it's not true because, first of all, the army did not secure
10 or provide security to anybody who was killing people. The army and the
11 police in Kosovo and Metohija did not kill people. They were fighting
12 terrorists, just like terrorists are fought everywhere else in the world.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, we have to take the adjournment now.
14 We will adjourn for 20 minutes.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. On volunteers, can we look, please, at what you said. You said
20 that volunteers weren't ever allowed to form a significant part or a whole
21 of a unit. Can we look at an exhibit that's been provided for Vukovic,
22 tab 4A, as we understand it, of his materials. And he reports in 4A the
23 following -- top of the page, please. The passage that's highlighted. We
24 can go through this with Vukovic, but he says there's something called the
25 Phantom Volunteer Platoon in the Zverka squad from the reconnaissance
1 company. What was the Phantom Volunteer Platoon, please, if it wasn't a
2 volunteer platoon?
3 A. This is the first time I hear about this. And Vukovic was not my
4 officer nor do I know what he said there. I don't know anything about
5 that, so you would have to ask Vukovic that.
6 Q. So your general knowledge of what was happening in Kosovo may be a
7 bit flawed because things may have been happening under your nose or next
8 door to your nose and you wouldn't know what it was, what was happening;
9 is that right? The way you put it was it was impossible to have ten
10 volunteers among a platoon of 30 people, is one of the things you said.
11 Now we seem to have a full platoon.
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. Yes. Can we look at the next document, please, which comes, I
14 think, from Farkas's proposed exhibits, 13A of those.
15 A. May I just respond. I was speaking about my own unit. Colonel
16 Vukovic was not my unit so I cannot speak in his name.
17 Q. Would it be prudent for us, reviewing your evidence, to shrink
18 everything you've said only to be relevant to your unit and your immediate
19 area of local knowledge? Would that be a prudent course for us to take?
20 A. Abso --
21 Q. You see --
22 A. Absolutely. I'm testifying here exclusively about knowledge about
23 my unit, its activities and its tasks.
24 Q. [Previous translation continues]... unfortunate or dishonest when
25 you gave answers that were broad in their apparent compass?
1 A. It was certainly not dishonest. I came here to tell the truth,
2 and I don't wish to guess and speculate. You expect me to give you
3 half-truths and speculations and I have no intention of doing that nor am
4 I allowed to do that here.
5 Q. Mr. Djosan, we wouldn't be dealing with these matters if you
6 hadn't chosen, volunteered to make wide-ranging statements about military
7 and other practice in all of Kosovo. This follows from your answers, from
8 nothing else.
9 Let's look at 13A of Farkas, please, on the question of both
10 volunteers and paramilitaries and then we'll look at paramilitaries very
12 This is a document that's going to be produced, I think, by Farkas
13 as his 13A. Could you lay it on the overhead projector, please, Mr. Nort.
14 And that's fine.
15 Bottom paragraph, "In the initial --" this is a document of the
16 20th of April, 1999. "In the initial period no processing of volunteers
17 was organised at the Bubanj Potok PC, they were simply rounded up and
18 taken to the 3rd Army PC, often without any agreement or coordination.
19 They mostly belonged to previously formed paramilitary groups, and a
20 number of them were 'unfit' for military service (limping, alcoholics,
21 blind, missing an eye, and so on), and eventually sent back to the 1st
22 Army. A number of volunteers in these groups have a criminal record. In
23 addition, a number --" that's all we need trouble with.
24 Now, this document, of course, purports to show efforts to tidy
25 the position up, but is it right, as Farkas sets out here in dealing with
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the dispatch of volunteers to the 3rd Army, that there were volunteers
2 formed from or mostly formed from paramilitary groups, many of them with
3 criminal records? Yes?
4 A. I don't know what Farkas meant here, meant to say here. You have
5 his statement, so you can ask him.
6 Q. Well, is it right, because you've given -- I know you're now happy
7 to shrink your evidence to your own locality but we've got to deal with
8 the things you said, however briefly. Is it right that there were people
9 fighting on this territory who started off as criminals, became
10 paramilitaries and were then drafted into the army via the process of
11 being volunteers? Is that right?
12 A. I don't have any knowledge of that. I know that my volunteers
13 were decent people, honest people and that they were included in our
14 units. Now, as to some other things that were said here, I really
15 couldn't say because it would be just saying what somebody else had
16 already said.
17 Q. Last point on volunteers in light of your general answers: Are
18 you aware of the Skorpions, the people who it is said killed on the video
19 that's been screened to a very small extent here but rather more fully in
20 Belgrade? Are you aware of the Skorpions?
21 A. I heard about them on television. Otherwise, no specific
22 knowledge about them. Anything that I was able to hear on television,
23 that's the extent of my knowledge.
24 Q. Are you aware that they were deployed in Kosovo in response to
25 perceived need? Their first action was to go and kill innocent civilians
1 in Podujevo. They were withdrawn, they were re-engaged, and according to
2 the evidence of General Vasiljevic given a couple of years ago at page
3 15988, when re-engaged, they went and killed 20 civilians in Gnjilane?
4 Were you aware of that? Killing 20 civilians by a paramilitary group, as
5 General Vasiljevic explains it, is pretty important stuff, isn't it? Were
6 you aware of that?
7 A. I was not aware of that. You'll have to ask him. If he said
8 that, then I suppose he had some idea for presenting that. I don't know
9 about it.
10 Q. [Previous translation continues]... about what General Vasiljevic
11 says, about a matter of factual history like that, do you?
12 A. I do have reason to doubt everything that I did not see myself or
13 hear or read.
14 Q. You heard the question. Feel free to say whatever you like about
15 anybody, because people do in this Court, but you just tell us, do you
16 have any reason to doubt what General Vasiljevic told this Court by way of
17 his evidence? Yes or no.
18 A. I don't know what all the things are that he said here. Only when
19 I hear what he said can I say whether I have reason to doubt or not.
20 Q. As to burning of buildings, can you look, please, at this
21 document, the Delic exhibit. This is an exhibit produced via Delic. So
22 -- do you doubt Delic or have any reason to -- it's D299, tab 72. Any
23 reason to doubt General Delic?
24 A. As I said, let me state again, I doubt everything that I didn't
25 see myself on the spot here and see --
1 Q. Well, this is a record of a MUP staff meeting held on the 11th of
2 May of 1999 in Pristina. And if we go to, in the English, page 12 -- can
3 you go to what is chapter or part 12 and go to the very last part of it in
4 the original. Those are paragraph numbers and you come to number 12,
5 which deals with the 124th Brigade, company commander Colic. Do you know
6 him? Do you know Colic?
7 A. No, I don't.
8 Q. Well, what it records -- have you got to chapter -- or paragraph
9 12? Have you found that? Then when you've found it, simply go to the
10 last paragraph of this record of a MUP staff meeting on the 11th of May of
11 1999, and it says this of Djakovica. It says: "Citizens and refugees in
12 Djakovica town were treated correctly during the operations, however,
13 after all the actions, VJ reservists burnt houses and went into them; we
14 informed VJ commanders in order to prevent these incidents."
15 Well, now, you've told us you were there and how well everybody
16 behaved. Yes or no: Did VJ reservists burn houses, as even recorded in a
17 MUP staff meeting?
18 A. I did not attend a MUP meeting and I'm not aware of that. General
19 Delic had a much wider area. It was my duty to deal with air defence
21 Q. You've been shrinking down your evidence into what you're familiar
22 with. Just tell us this: Is it possible that houses were burned in
23 Djakovica by military reservists without your knowing about it? Or is the
24 MUP lying about it because they were burning houses and they wanted to
25 blame the VJ? Tell us. There's got to be some reason for this entry.
1 A. Many houses in Djakovica burnt down. Most of them were burnt
2 after the 24th of March, after the NATO planes had struck. I never saw or
3 heard that reservists, either of the army of Yugoslavia or of the police,
4 set fire to houses, nor do I have knowledge about that from my subordinate
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I possibly repeat the first part of that
7 question, and just listen carefully and please try to answer it directly.
8 Is it possible that houses were burned in Djakovica by military reservists
9 without you knowing about it?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That would be difficult.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. What about the houses that were burnt before the NATO planes, as
14 you say, struck? Who burnt them down? It wasn't the Albanians burning
15 their own houses, was it? So who burnt those houses down?
16 A. I said that I do not have knowledge about that. I'm not aware of
18 Q. You said -- see, it's your answer, Mr. Djosan. We're not tricking
19 you. We're just following your answers. And what you said was most --
20 many houses in Djakovica burnt down. Most of them were burnt after the
21 24th of March. So you obviously had in mind, as you were giving that
22 answer, those that were burnt before. Or was it some kind of -- was it
23 some kind of spontaneous combustion or a gas explosion, or negligence in
24 the bedroom, or what was it? With a cigarette. Tell us, what burnt the
25 houses down?
1 A. I don't see how -- would you repeat that, please?
2 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
3 A. I don't see how you conclude that I said that. What I said was --
4 would you repeat what you said from the beginning, please.
5 Q. I'll repeat some of it, not the full extent of the answer, but
6 what you said was, "Many houses in Djakovica burnt down. Most of them
7 were burnt after the 24th of March, after the NATO planes had struck." If
8 you say most of something happened afterwards, the clear inference is that
9 the balance happened before, and I just want to know how those houses that
10 burnt --
11 A. No. What I said was that many houses and most of the houses. Not
12 all the houses in Djakovica were burnt. Had I said that all the houses in
13 Djakovica had burnt down and that many had been burnt after the 24th of
14 March, then you could infer and conclude what you're doing. But many
15 houses burnt after the 24th of March, many of them remained standing. So
16 that is how I interpret my answer.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I wonder if that's reasonable. Maybe there's
18 a translation problem here, but it's not been suggested to you that all
19 the houses in Djakovica were burned down. The point that you're being
20 asked about is saying that most of the ones that were burned were burned
21 after the 24th, and the question you're then asked is what caused the
22 burning of the houses which were burned before the 24th? Now, could you
23 deal with that directly, please.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can. I don't know that the
25 houses were burned before that, before the 24th of March. I'm not aware
1 of that. I did not receive any report about that. I didn't see a single
2 house burning before the 24th of March. I don't know about it -- that.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: So in other words, your previous answer was wrong.
4 Was that a slip of the tongue or a mistake or what?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood you to -- or, rather,
6 when I said that many houses burned after the 24th of March, I didn't mean
7 to imply that some of them had been burnt before the 24th of March. I
8 just said that many remained standing, not -- had not been set fire to,
9 had not been burning and so on, had not burnt and so on.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. On bombing and your maps, I don't have time to go through them,
13 but just these two points: Have you read and considered at all the report
14 of -- the expert report of a man called Patrick Ball about the correlation
15 of bombing and movement of refugees?
16 A. No, I have not.
17 Q. He said when -- there is no correlation between changes in bombing
18 rate and changes in refugee flow. I take it that since you have haven't
19 read it you have no way of countering his arguments, obviously. And when
20 we look at your maps, there is no statistics for the dates of bombs, is
21 there, really? There's no detail on any of your maps for the dates of
23 A. Most of those places are authentic. On that map you cannot
24 introduce each individual specific piece of detail. I claim that on
25 certain maps, and specifically on the map that I showed you of the 2nd
1 infantry battalion, that each place corresponds to the NATO Air Force
2 targets. If we were to show all the targets on Kosovo and Metohija, you
3 would need a map the size of one square kilometre.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues]... small bomb, it could be a big
5 bomb, it could be a bomb that had a frightening effect, it could be a bomb
6 that had a surgically defined target and might have a less frightening
7 effect. Do you accept those propositions?
8 A. Of course.
9 Q. And if I was to suggest to you that the majority of people had
10 already left by the time the majority of the bombing started, are you in a
11 position to counter that, or do you accept that? A large amount of the
12 population movement happened before the bombing was at its worst in this
13 area. Do you accept that?
14 A. I don't know what you mean by the largest amount or greatest
15 phase, most intensive phase. The first bomb that fell unleashed the
16 movement of refugees. Individuals left -- some left straight away.
17 Others expected it to last only briefly and stayed on. But as the
18 aggression or, rather, the interval of the bombings intensified -- as the
19 bombing rate intensified, the number of refugees increased. So throughout
20 the aggression, the whole of the NATO aggression, there were refugees.
21 Some stayed put for longer periods of time, others for shorter periods. I
22 didn't say that all the refugees left the same day. But there was refugee
23 movement throughout that time.
24 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you saying --
1 MR. NICE: Sorry.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- Mr. Djosan, that there was no flight of
3 refugees before the bombing?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before the bombing on the 24th of
5 March, they did not leave in the sense of -- they did not exit in the
6 sense of going to Albania. Yes, there were movements from the places
7 where there was a conflict and clash between the army of Yugoslavia and
8 MUP on the one side with the terrorists on the other. People did leave
9 there, but not en masse. There wasn't a massive movement of refugees
10 until the NATO strikes started.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. Crime and punishment. You've produced one document, I think,
14 dealing with allegations of rape. I'm not going to go into that. I don't
15 have time.
16 Is there any evidence of any soldier charged in respect of either
17 something like burning someone's house to drive them out of the area or
18 killing people in order to kill them and drive out others? Is there any
19 allegation like that contained -- sorry, any record of anything like that
20 anywhere, to your knowledge?
21 A. According to my knowledge, I have detailed information about my
22 own soldiers. However, as I didn't have the police and that -- or -- and
23 that -- or I can't tell you specifically about that.
24 Q. But --
25 A. It's the judiciary that was working. There were criminal reports
1 filed. There were criminal reports coming from my unit, too, and I
2 assumed that if the rest of the commanders had cases like that, they would
3 report them. But all I can talk about is my own unit.
4 Q. You're aware, though, aren't you, that there's either no or almost
5 no records anywhere in Kosovo about people being pursued for their
6 destruction or the killing that constitute ethnic cleansing? No records
7 of any such inquiries.
8 A. First of all, it wasn't ethnic cleansing of any kind; and
9 secondly, I have information pertaining to my soldiers alone, those whom I
10 turned over to the military courts. So I can't talk about other units. I
11 don't know what happened there. How would you expect me to know that?
12 Q. Obviously it's for the learned Court in due course to decide
13 whether there was ethnic cleansing or not, but what is clear is that if
14 there was ethnic cleansing, there was no effort made to root out the
15 people who were doing it or to prosecute them. Yes?
16 A. Ethnic cleansing exists. It exists today in Kosovo and Metohija,
17 now. That is when ethnic cleansing is taking part. Kosovo and Metohija
18 is really ethnically clear now. And you know who is in Kosovo and
19 Metohija now?
20 Q. [Previous translation continues]... I understand your question,
21 although I'm not going to answer it, which brings me usefully to my
22 penultimate topic, very briefly, the VJ commission again. Are you one of
23 those Serbs who would say that Kosovo Albanians will say whatever they are
24 expected to say if they're approached by us, to lie and all that sort
25 thing? Is that your attitude to Kosovo Albanians?
1 A. I consider that to be true about individual witnesses who are
2 under threat. I didn't say that all of them would, and I never tend to
3 generalise. So I can't -- just like I didn't speak about other soldiers
4 from other units, I can't make a sweeping statement about all Albanians
5 either. It is to be expected that most witnesses under pressure would be
6 prepared to say a lot, but I didn't say all. How should I know that all,
7 everybody would do that?
8 Q. You see, on a proper analysis of what's happened in Kosovo, the
9 following emerges, doesn't it: In military and political terms, the KLA's
10 won and the Serbs have been defeated and driven away. We express,
11 obviously, no opinion one way or another as to whether it's a good or bad
12 thing, that's just a fact. Yes?
13 A. Where do you get that idea from, that the KLA can win over the
14 regular army of a country? How can you say that?
15 Q. If you don't accept the proposition, I'll move on. But the KLA -
16 would you accept this - are now in an environment where they certainly
17 have nothing to fear -- not that they have nothing to fear but they don't
18 have much to fear from Serbs because there aren't very many Serbs there
19 and because Kosovo Albanians run their own country. Well, not their own
20 country, they run Kosovo, whatever it is, I'm not going to express an
21 opinion on that either.
22 A. Kosovo Albanians now do not run Kosovo themselves, just as the
23 Serbs do not run Kosovo and Metohija themselves either. We know full well
24 who it is that is running Kosovo and Metohija and how that came about.
25 Q. Serbs from Kosovo, such as you, in Belgrade are actually under
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 enormous pressure when organised, to use a neutral term, by something like
2 the VJ Commission for Cooperation, aren't you? You're under enormous
3 pressure, all of you.
4 A. I don't understand what you mean by "under enormous pressure."
5 Q. Have you --
6 A. What enormous pressure?
7 Q. Having lost, having failed to hold Kosovo despite grave
8 criminality, you're now at risk of being exposed, all of you, for the
9 crimes you've committed, and that's why you have to hang together. And
10 that's what we are seeing in your evidence and in these documents you
11 produce -- produced years after the event. You and most of your
12 colleagues are hanging together.
13 A. Where do you get that idea from? I think that that is an insult
14 to this Court, and I'm not going to listen to any political propaganda
15 here. I don't know whose positions you are an advocate of, but from what
16 you've just said, I could conclude that you were very, very close to
17 helping and assisting the KLA.
18 Q. You remember that you had no observations adverse to General
19 Vasiljevic. You said you couldn't, of course, express an opinion on him,
20 on his evidence, without reviewing it all. Fair enough. Nevertheless ,
21 you know nothing adverse to him. Can you think of any good reason why
22 this commission through whom you have been operating to bring evidence
23 should attempt to put him off from giving evidence, should attempt to
24 restrict his access to the Office of the Prosecution until he had the
25 courage to make his own communication? Can you think of any reason why
1 the commission should intervene with a person like that?
2 A. I don't wish to think about General Vasiljevic at all. Why should
3 I? They're his affairs, his business what he thinks and what he's going
4 to say, where and when. It's up to him.
5 Q. Very well.
6 A. How should I know? I don't actually know him at all.
7 Q. Last question, different topic. You were in Djakovica from, on
8 any reckoning, mid-1998. I'm going to ask you to look at a document
9 that's already been exhibited in this case. It's Exhibit 667, tab 35.
10 Let me tell you about the document while it's being distributed. It's a
11 stenographically recorded record of something called the Supreme Defence
12 Council. It was produced by the authorities of Serbia and Montenegro.
13 It's accuracy has thus far never been challenged, and it sets out what
14 various high-ranking people said, word for word. The passage that I'm
15 going to ask you to look at comes from a meeting held on the 13th of
16 April, 1995, and it relates to Djakovica, which is why I'm asking you
17 about it.
18 Now, if you have the page in front you, and we can put the English
19 page 20 -- page 24 like that, Mr. Nort. Thank you. A bit further down
20 the page. And you'll be found it by Mr. Nort. Give it a little context.
21 Give it a little context.
22 The accused, Slobodan Milosevic, is recorded as saying, in a
23 discussion with Perisic and Lilic: "... 'first 15 days of terrorist ...'
24 and you act with 130.000. You don't act with 130.000 ... you have
25 additional 100.000 police forces that will act in terrorist and other
1 situations, special police units - they will act together with the Army."
2 Well, this is 1995.
3 A. Please, could you speak down a little.
4 Q. Certainly. I'm so sorry. My mistake. I'll read it again. He
5 speaks of acting with 130.000 people. "... you have additional 100.000
6 police forces that will act in terrorist and other situations, special
7 police units - that will act together with the Army."
8 Now, this is 1995. You were there in 1998 but you must have
9 learnt something of the history. Is it right that there were 100.000
10 police force available?
11 A. No way.
12 Q. Then let's look over to what General Perisic said. He said,
13 "Fine. I thought I was not in charge of proposing all that." The accused
14 says: "Yes, I understand. But all this must be inter-related. For
15 example, the most beautiful town in Kosovo, the one in which the Siptar
16 separatists invested the most, that is the Djakovica group, is Djakovica.
17 There is no prettier, richer, or more organised town in Kosovo than
18 Djakovica is. It is situated in the most beautiful place, and there is a
19 former barracks a bit uphill, currently abandoned."
20 Well, let's deal with his description of Djakovica. Is he being
21 genuine or is he being ironic? Is it in fact a beautiful place? You tell
22 us. Or was it?
23 A. Djakovica used to be a beautiful town, and the living was good in
24 Djakovica, and this hill that is mentioned here is a beautiful hill.
25 Q. And then the accused goes on to say: "There is a former barracks
1 and an armoured motorised unit should be relocated there so that they know
2 that their treasure will be under attack tomorrow is something that must
3 not and need not start happening. They need to know that the army exists
4 and that it is there."
5 Perisic says: "We have a barracks there."
6 The accused says: "You have nothing there."
7 Perisic: "I have a battalion there."
8 The accused: "No, you don't, you have an empty barracks."
9 Next page, please. Perisic: "What kind of chief of the general
10 staff would I be if I didn't know that, Mr. President? I have a battalion
11 at Djakovica at the exit Dzapa Prusica on the left side. I've been there
12 three times."
13 The accused: "What is up with that barracks uphill Djakovica?
14 Why is it abandoned?"
15 "It's been abandoned for a long time now."
16 "I don't mean that you abandoned it," says the accused, "I'm
17 saying it's been abandoned for a long time."
18 Perisic: "Someone has deserted it. I don't know why. Every town
19 in Kosovo has a barracks and an army. I don't have enough soldiers."
20 Now, before we read the last passage, is it right that there was a
21 deserted barracks and was it filled between 1995 and 1998?
22 A. Let me tell you this: My late father Miko, in 1932 served in the
23 army in Djakovica. He did his military service there in the barracks that
24 was called 156th Iron Regiment.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just answer the question and leave aside the
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there was an abandoned barracks
3 there, a deserted barracks.
4 MR. NICE:
5 Q. Was it filled, was it reoccupied between 1995 and 1998?
6 A. Yes. A brigade of air defence arrived, that I commanded.
7 Q. Exactly. So that when we see the accused saying they, the
8 occupants of this beautiful place, need to know that the army exists and
9 that it is there, it was you, amongst others, who fulfilled that part of
10 his objective. Yes?
11 A. Do your beautiful towns not have an army barracks? The air
12 defence unit of which I was commander had the task, because since 1996
13 pilotless aircraft had started to appear in our airspace and it was quite
14 obvious they were not there to spy on Italy. It was quite normal for an
15 air defence unit to occupy that place to provide observation.
16 Q. Were you aware that Perisic hadn't been in favour of it and that
17 it was this accused's intention, certainly in 1995, to cause a visible
18 armed presence to loom over Djakovica town?
19 A. That air defence unit --
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear what the witness
21 said. It was drowned by another --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: The -- please repeat the answer.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I said is the air defence unit
24 is not really invisible. It's a brigade.
25 Second, how could I know the thinking of General Perisic? Even if
1 I knew something about it, it was not mine to question it.
2 MR. NICE:
3 Q. Let's read the very last passage of this accused on this topic.
4 He said the following: "Kosovo is our safest territory." Remember,
5 Mr. Djosan, these are his stenographically recorded words. "We sent 9.000
6 students there to study at the Pristina University; the Serbian daughters
7 who are their parents' only child, can walk alone in Pristina in the
8 middle of the night. They figured out that it was not a good thing to do,
9 they saw what happened in Bosnia. But it is good to have it there, that
10 you have them there and that it's function -- that is functioning. It is
11 well known that 'Fear keeps the house safe.'" Possibly "Fear guards the
12 house." Maybe the interpreters would be good enough to interpret for us
13 the words which appear in --
14 A. I don't think that I had those papers that you were reading.
15 Q. Sorry. The last part of the passage. Yes. He's describing the
16 reality of life in Kosovo in 1995. Peaceful, safe on the streets, but
17 nevertheless desirable to put places like Djakovica under fear of the
18 military, because fear guards the house. And I invite the interpreters,
19 if they have the original, which they can find on page 26, to read so that
20 we can have an interpretation of what appears to be a quotation. I
21 thought I'd tracked it down once but I haven't at this time. "Strah,
22 kucu, cuva"?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Safeguards, keeps it safe.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The army of Yugoslavia never had the
25 intention or the task to intimidate its own population. Why would it?
1 Those were our citizens.
2 MR. NICE:
3 Q. [Previous translation continues]... placed there to intimidate it
4 when it wanted to take revenge, as it did following the death of a
5 policeman, himself almost certainly a war criminal, I must suggest to you.
6 You, and you know this, guarded not the house but you guarded the MUP
7 while they went down and butchered people in Meja. That's the truth,
8 isn't it?
9 A. Those are your insinuations and maybe wishes, maybe wishful
10 thinking on your part, but certainly insinuations.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Nice.
12 Mr. Milosevic, any re-examination? If there is, let it be short
13 and to the point.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice raised certain things in
15 cross-examination here.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, please go ahead. Just remember, it's not
17 everything that Mr. Nice raises that requires an answer from you in
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have already said, Mr. Robinson, I
20 will be brief and concise, but there are certain points raised by Mr. Nice
21 in cross-examination that I cannot overlook. Of course I never intended
22 to respond to all of them. He raised even some new issues, though, and
23 twisted others.
24 Re-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] General, at the very beginning Mr. Nice asked you
1 some questions related to your activities year by year in your career and
2 place of service.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Among other things, you explained that you were in the army of
5 Serbian Krajina from the 1st of January, until the 30th of June, 1995.
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Please tell us, General, who sent you there?
8 A. I went to the Serbian army of Krajina at my own personal request
9 through the 40th Personnel Centre.
10 Q. You mentioned, although in passing, without any questions from
11 Mr. Nice on that topic, that you did not receive special allowance for
12 living apart from your family. In fact, you said, "While I was in
13 Pristina, I had this allowance for separation from my family but not in
14 Krajina." Please explain. Who receives this allowance for separation
15 from family and how does it work?
16 A. This allowance is given to members of the army of Yugoslavia who
17 work in garrisons which do not house their families. For instance, I was
18 in Pristina while my family was in Belgrade, and based on the costs that I
19 incurred because of living apart from my family, I received an allowance.
20 That is an allowance that an officer receives when he lives away from the
21 place where he has a flat.
22 Q. Does that apply to all members of the army of Yugoslavia?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. When you were in the army of Serbian Krajina as a volunteer, was
25 your family with you in Knin?
1 A. No. They were in Belgrade.
2 Q. Why did not you -- why didn't you then receive that allowance
4 A. I wasn't entitled.
5 Q. Why weren't you entitled?
6 A. The state did not pay that allowance to people who volunteered to
7 go to the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please observe a pause between question and
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Did you say a moment ago that all members of the army receive
13 allowance for living away from their family when they go to work in other
15 A. Yes. If they go there following orders.
16 Q. So why didn't you receive it then?
17 A. Because I was not following orders to go there. I went there at
18 my own request.
19 Q. During that time, were you considered to be a member of the army
20 of Yugoslavia or a member of the Serbian army of Krajina?
21 A. I was a member of the Serbian army of Krajina.
22 Q. Thank you. Mr. Nice asked you about the exhumation of bodies in
23 Batajnica, linking it several times to your service in Batajnica. Do you
24 remember that?
25 A. I do.
1 Q. That location where you served in Batajnica, is it in any way
2 related to the place where the bodies were exhumed?
3 A. In no way whatsoever. I served at the Batajnica airport. At the
4 end of the runway there was the position of the rocket battalion SAM 3,
5 and that was our position. So I served at Batajnica airport, air field.
6 Q. Concerning the incident where bodies were exhumed, you said it was
7 preposterous that something like that could happen during the war, that it
8 took you three days to travel in a passenger vehicle from Djakovica to
9 Belgrade to visit your family. You said it is highly improbable for
10 something like that to happen during the war. Is it more probable in
12 A. It could have happened.
13 Q. Mr. Nice told you that it is well known to you that Albanians were
14 not welcome in Serbia. Do you know how many Albanians live in Belgrade
15 and in other areas of Serbia outside Kosovo?
16 A. In Belgrade, from what I know, there are 100.000 Albanians
17 residing. I don't have exact information, I could not give you the exact
18 figure, but it is a large number of Albanians who live in Belgrade.
19 Q. Very well. Have you ever heard that any --
20 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]... but I certainly
21 have no recollection of saying that and it may be that something's been
22 either considered out of context or whatever, but I stand to be corrected
23 but I don't think I've ever said anything like that.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: I myself don't recall that, Mr. Milosevic. Can
25 you put it in context as to whether --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript is there to jog our
2 memories. Mr. Nice said that when he was questioning the witness to the
3 effect that how could the Albanians have effected this manipulation when
4 they were not welcome in Serbia. So I asked the witness is it true that
5 Albanians were not welcome in Serbia and how many of them were actually
6 living outside Kosovo.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General Djosan, have you ever heard of any Albanian in Belgrade
9 suffering in an incident, even during the war in Kosovo?
10 A. Never.
11 Q. Have you ever heard of an Albanian business in Belgrade having
12 their shop windows shattered or something like that? And I suppose you
13 would be able to see that because you walk the streets all the time.
14 A. No, never. They have their businesses in best locations.
15 Q. Can you see from the shops and the inscriptions on top that they
16 are owned by Albanians?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Mr. Nice asked you something about the evidence given by Nik
19 Peraj, who was your subordinate. He asked you about his character,
20 whether he was an honest man, whether he had any reason to lie. He wanted
21 your answers.
22 Please try to remember, did I ask you about the character of Nik
23 Peraj during my examination or did I ask you about facts?
24 A. About facts only.
25 Q. So if he speaks in three occasions about a brigade from Republika
1 Srpska in Djakovica, is that a fact?
2 A. It's a fact.
3 Q. So can you say in answer to that that that's something untrue or
4 it's something unbalanced?
5 A. It is a fact, because I cooperated with SFOR in Djakovica, and it
6 was not possible for a single soldier, let alone an armoured brigade, to
7 come in from Republika Srpska. It is complete ignorance, untruth. Call
8 it what you want.
9 Q. In any case, I was questioning you about facts, not about the
10 character of Nik Peraj. If he says that you arrested Micunovic, does it
11 have to do with character or fact when you say, "I never arrested him or
12 had anything to do with him"?
13 A. It does relate to character, because he's lying.
14 MR. NICE: First of all, character is always at issue in
15 cross-examination. Second, as a matter of fact, the accused asked the
16 question. He may not have expected the answer he got, but he did ask the
17 question about the honesty of Mr. Peraj to this witness, and got an answer
18 saying that Mr. Peraj was, so far as he knew at the time, honest. And so
19 I'm not quite sure where these questions are really going.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I'm not sure myself where the
21 questions are leading. It's matter for us to determine credibility.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice tried to rehabilitate the
23 evidence given by his witness Nik Peraj, whereas in a number of points
24 that have to do with factual information, General Djosan responded it was
25 completely untrue. Such as the VRS brigade in Djakovica, the arrest of
1 Micunovic, paramilitary units. It is a string of facts given in evidence
2 by Nik Peraj and challenged --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- emphatically by General Djosan.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: The evidence is there for us to analyse, and you
6 can address us on that at the appropriate time, not now.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I wanted to point out
8 that General Djosan contested the facts as alleged by Nik Peraj, whereas
9 Mr. Nice wanted to rehabilitate Nik Peraj by asking whether he was an
10 honest man, whether something was balanced or unbalanced, whether he had
11 any reason to lie, et cetera, whereas notorious lies were put forward.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: We've heard a comment. Please move on.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. So if Nik Peraj said that your officer, Major Winter, had written
15 a report to the staff of the 3rd Army, saying that terrorists had been
16 killed in Meja, was he telling the truth or lying?
17 A. Lying.
18 Q. I will not dwell on Nik Peraj any more because he doesn't deserve
19 it, but I will dwell on something else.
20 Mr. Nice asked you several times from different aspects why you
21 believed that Albanian witnesses were under pressure. Do you remember him
22 asking you that?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Well, I will read out to you now just a brief quotation of an
25 answer from Mr. Nice's side to a request that has to do with Ramush
1 Haradinaj. So it's the same party that claims that Albanians are not
2 under pressure there. In --
3 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]...
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. -- point 7 --
6 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]... another case,
7 apparently. Something said by someone else in another case, I suspect. I
8 don't see how it's relevant.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, in order to ensure that the
10 hearing scheduled this afternoon begins on time, we are going to stop at
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Just this brief
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. It's an official submission of the party represented here by
16 Mr. Nice to a Trial Chamber, Judge Agius, Eser, and Brydensholt, and in
17 point 7, it says: "Kosovo is still a very violent region." Volatile,
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, stop. Let us be told what it is
20 that you're referring to. I don't know what it is that you're referring
21 to. A submission by whom?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am referring to a submission filed
23 by Stefan Waespi, trial attorney.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Oh, I see, filed by an officer of the
25 Prosecutor's office.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. It's their submission.
2 And in that submission, dated 13th October, 2005 - and today we're not far
3 from that - it says: "Kosovo is still a very volatile region. Victims
4 and witnesses have regularly contacted the Prosecution to express their
5 alarm [In English] at the provisional release of this accused --"
6 [Interpretation] they mean Haradinaj -- "[In English] prospective release
7 of any of the other accused. The decision to ease the stringency of the
8 conditions imposed on the accused's provisional release will only
9 accentuate the victims' and witnesses' anxieties."
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. So can we see from this that the party represented here by
12 Mr. Nice is very well aware why Albanian witnesses --
13 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]...
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. -- are upset?
16 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]... this material. If
17 the accused wants to press on with it, or if the Court was even minded to
18 let him press on with it, it's got to recognise that what is being talked
19 about there is Kosovo Albanians giving evidence in cases of Kosovo
20 Albanian accused. Arguably different, as we know the way things have
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, this is not a fruitful area of
23 inquiry. A question like that can't be put to the witness.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Did I get it wrong or did you explain that Albanians in this
2 situation have to testify, as expected by the KLA, fearing from their --
3 for their own lives or for some other reason?
4 A. Fearing for their own lives and for the lives of their dearest.
5 Q. Thank you. Responding to Mr. Nice, you raised a completely new
6 topic that I did not cover in my examination-in-chief, namely that you
7 headed the commission for the application for -- of the Military Technical
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. You mentioned that while explaining why you believed that the
11 representatives on the location were not objective vis-a-vis the Serbs.
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. You started by saying that a mass grave was uncovered, that a Serb
14 body was found, and then at the request of one of those representatives,
15 the mass grave was immediately closed.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: As I indicated --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- we have to adjourn at 1.43, which is now, and
19 we will resume tomorrow at 9.00 a.m..
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.43 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 26th day
22 of October, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.