Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 3002

1 Tuesday, 3 July 2007

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.

6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.

7 Mr. Bouckaert, could I remind you of the affirmation you made at

8 the beginning of your evidence, which still applies.

9 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

11 Mr. Saxon.

12 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour. And, Mr. Bouckaert, let me

13 remind both you and me of the need to speak a bit slowly and pause between

14 question and answer, to assist the interpreters.


16 Examination by Mr. Saxon:

17 MR. SAXON: If we can return for a moment to what was marked for

18 identification as Exhibit -- as P352. Mr. Bouckaert, this is at tab 36 of

19 your binder. It is the report that you drafted entitled "Crimes Against

20 Civilians."

21 And if we could turn to what is page 17 of the English version,

22 and the bottom of page 18 in the Macedonian version. The English version

23 that I'm talking about has ERN number U0000114.

24 I'm wondering -- I don't know if there's a problem with the -- ah,

25 here it's changing now. There we are. Thank you so much.

Page 3003

1 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, we need your assistance to clarify a couple of

2 things, please. Do you see in the middle of page 17 in the English

3 version there is a subtitle called "The Role of the International

4 Community"; do you see that?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And below that, we see in bold letters: "Organisation for

7 Security and Cooperation in Europe." Do you see that?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. The penultimate sentence of the next paragraph says this:

10 "Although the mandate," and we're talking about the mandate of the

11 OSCE, "does not explicitly reference human rights, activities in the

12 OSCE's 'human dimension' are certainly implicit in the mandate and have

13 formed part of the missions' work for years." Do you see that?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. The next paragraph tells us this:

16 "At least two OSCE international observers were present in

17 Ljuboten on Tuesday, August 14th, 2001, when international observers and

18 journalists first gained access to the village after the government

19 offensive. According to the international journalists who were on the

20 scene, the OSCE monitors carefully documented the physical evidence at the

21 scene with a video camera, and they spoke to villagers about the events in

22 Ljuboten."

23 Do you see what I've just read to you?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Now, moving on to, in the same paragraph, onto the next page,

Page 3004

1 which is page 18 in the English version, it says:

2 "The OSCE mission has issued no public report of this

3 investigation."

4 And now we're at -- it's page 19 now in the Macedonian version:

5 "One of the OSCE monitors, speaking on condition of anonymity,

6 confirmed to the Associated Press that the OSCE had found the remains of

7 five persons in the village, including an elderly man, and suggested that

8 they might have been killed while running away."

9 The next paragraph, you describe -- you, as the author of the

10 report, describe how the Minister of the Interior, Ljube Boskoski,

11 immediately and fiercely criticised the OSCE for even attempting to

12 investigate the events in Ljuboten. And then we see a quote from

13 Mr. Boskoski from the 14th of August.

14 And then in the next paragraph that begins: "During a meeting

15 ...," it says that:

16 "The then OSCE head of mission, Ambassador Carlo Ungaro

17 reportedly distanced himself from the reported comments of his OSCE

18 monitors."

19 Do you see that?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. In the next full paragraph, it begins: "The OSCE's continuing

22 silence ..." Do you see that phrase?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. It says:

25 "The OSCE's continuing silence about the serious abuses committed

Page 3005

1 by police in Ljuboten is disturbing because the organisation undoubtedly

2 has sufficient information to speak out publicly about the events in

3 Ljuboten and demand a credible and impartial investigation."

4 Then you go on to say that:

5 "The OSCE silence has helped the Macedonian government maintain

6 its version of the events in Ljuboten and avoid further investigation."

7 The next paragraph, which is at the bottom of page 18 in the

8 English version, is on page 20 of the Macedonian version, and there is a

9 critical -- a sentence, the first sentence of that paragraph, that that

10 says:

11 "The OSCE mission in Skopje has remained largely silent on the

12 grave human rights abuses that have been committed by the Macedonian

13 forces throughout the conflict."

14 Do you see what I've just read to you?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. We turn to the next page in the English version, please, which is

17 page 19. We're still on page 20 of the Macedonian version.

18 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, Your Honour.

19 Perhaps as a matter of clarification, for the sake of

20 cross-examination later on, we would like to know from the Prosecution

21 what's the purpose of this exercise of reading the statement attributed to

22 Mr. Bouckaert in relation to the OSCE. None of those statements were put

23 to Mr. Bolton when he was present in this courtroom, and we're just

24 wondering whether the Prosecution is now minded to attack the OSCE with

25 OSCE for its conduct in Macedonia in general in relation to Ljuboten in

Page 3006

1 particular.

2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon. I want to explore with the witness who

3 wrote this report why he wrote this section of the report and why he wrote

4 this criticism.

5 JUDGE PARKER: Are you saying you're doing that with an open mind

6 or you have a purpose? What reliance are you going to make upon this in

7 due course?

8 MR. SAXON: That -- well, obviously that will depend on the

9 witness's answer, but the -- depending on the witness's answer, the effect

10 may have a certain impact on the Chamber's reliance on at least some of

11 the OSCE documents that have been used to date in this case.

12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Mettraux.

13 MR. METTRAUX: In that case, Your Honour, I would simply insist on

14 upon the fact that none of those documents were either challenged or taken

15 on with Mr. Bolton, who was the best person to deal with those issues.

16 JUDGE PARKER: You're in a rather awkward position, Mr. Saxon.

17 It's your own evidence, and now, by this approach, you're seeking to take

18 away from its quality.

19 MR. SAXON: That's not -- I don't believe that's quite -- I don't

20 believe that's quite correct, Your Honour. I'm not attacking through this

21 evidence the evidence of Mr. Bolton, if that is the concern of Your

22 Honour. I'm -- I have to --

23 JUDGE PARKER: No, it's the fact that you are wanting to deal with

24 matters that you could and should have with Mr. Bolton but did not.

25 MR. SAXON: Then I will move on, Your Honour.

Page 3007

1 Q. If we can turn, please, to what is tab 38 in your binder,

2 Mr. Bouckaert, and this is 65 ter number 333. It has -- begins with

3 ERN number N002-5867.

4 Do you recognise this, Mr. Bouckaert?

5 A. Yes, it's the press release that was released when we released the

6 report "Crimes Against Civilians."

7 Q. And when you say "we," who released this report?

8 A. I drafted the press release and Human Rights Watch, as an

9 organisation, released the press release and the report.

10 Q. And can you tell us to whom this press release would have been

11 sent to?

12 A. Yes. As is our standard practice, it goes to our media, diplomat,

13 and authority list, which includes thousands of people.

14 MR. SAXON: All right. Your Honour, if this report, dated

15 September 5th, 2001, could be marked for identification, please.

16 JUDGE PARKER: It will be marked.

17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P353, marked for identification, Your

18 Honours.


20 Q. If you can turn now, please, to what is -- actually, before I ask

21 you to turn, I need to ask you, Mr. Bouckaert: Prior to the publication

22 of the report that you wrote about the events in Ljuboten, did another --

23 did a media source receive some information about the expected contents of

24 your report?

25 A. Yes.

Page 3008

1 Q. Can you turn, please, to what should be tab 39 in your binder.

2 This is 65 ter number 334. It begins with ERN N002-5869.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. This is an article from "The Sunday Telegraph." It's dated the

5 26th of August, 2001. There is a headline: "Massacre Report Names

6 Macedonia Interior Minister." Then below at the start of the article it

7 says:

8 "Macedonia's hard-line Interior Minister will come under pressure

9 this week to explain his role in the worst alleged atrocity in the 6-month

10 conflict with ethnic Albanian rebels."

11 And then below that it says:

12 "Ljube Boskoski will be accused by Human Rights Watch, an

13 American-based pressure group, of involvement in the incident in

14 Ljuboten."

15 Below that, we see:

16 "The accusation will be made in a damning report to be submitted

17 to the Macedonian government."

18 And then, lower down, it mentions you, Peter Bouckaert, senior

19 researcher with Human Rights Watch, who was writing the report, after a

20 series of interviews with witnesses, said:

21 "However, that the document would detail a massacre and raise

22 questions about Mr. Boskoski's role."

23 Do you see that?

24 A. Yes, although I don't think I used the word "massacre" when I

25 spoke to the journalist.

Page 3009

1 Q. All right. Is the remainder of the information correct?

2 A. That -- yes.

3 Q. Can you recall whether Mr. Boskoski responded to the information

4 contained in this "Sunday Telegraph" article after it was published on the

5 26th of August, 2001?

6 A. If I may just explain, this article was a result of a

7 misunderstanding with a journalist. We didn't want any information about

8 our investigation being released while I was still in country and before

9 the report was released, so we were not very happy that she published this

10 story. It was featured on the Evening News in Macedonia in Macedonian. I

11 watched that newscast at my apartment. Obviously, I couldn't understand

12 everything that was being said, but there was a discussion of the article,

13 events in the "Sunday Telegraph" and Human Rights Watch and

14 Peter Bouckaert, and then -- which I think was the journalist just reading

15 this article in Macedonian. And then it featured Minister Boskoski

16 responding to the allegations.

17 Q. I see. And what reactions or comments did you receive after

18 Mr. Boskoski appeared on television commenting on this newspaper article?

19 A. Soon thereafter I was contacted by two prominent ethnic

20 Macedonians, including somebody who was within the government, who

21 advised me to leave the country as soon as possible.

22 Q. What did you decide to do?

23 A. At that point I was busy with an investigation -- I had completed

24 my Ljuboten investigation, and I was busy investigating the disappearances

25 of ethnic Macedonians at the hand of the NLA, the Albanian rebel group,

Page 3010

1 especially in the Tetovo area, and most of those ethnic Macedonians and

2 ethnic Albanians who had disappeared at the hands of the NLA were former

3 police officers. So that work required extensive contacts with the police

4 to contact the families of these disappeared people. I contacted my

5 executive director, Elizabeth Anderson, in New York by cellphone. We

6 discussed this unanticipated newspaper article and the reaction of

7 Mr. Boskoski, as well as the unfeasibility of continuing with the research

8 on the disappearances at the hands of the NLA. So I took a flight out the

9 next morning.

10 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender the document at

11 tab 41.

12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P354, Your Honours.

14 MR. SAXON: Actually, I apologise. I should have said "Tab 39"

15 "39," my mistake. I was thinking ahead.

16 If we could move, please, to what is tab 41 in your binder,

17 Mr. Bouckaert. This is 65 ter number 335. It has ERN number N002-5871.

18 This is an article from the BBC, dated the 27th of August, 2001. It's

19 entitled "Macedonia's Interior Minister Rejects Human Rights Accusations,"

20 and it begins:

21 "Macedonia Interior Minister Ljube Boskoski has strongly denied

22 claims that he was involved in an alleged atrocity against ethnic

23 Albanians two weeks ago, Macedonian Radio said on Monday."

24 And then the radio said that Mr. Boskoski was responding to "The

25 Sunday Telegraph" report. And down below, and it says:

Page 3011

1 "Asked by the radio to comment," Mr. Boskoski is quoted as

2 saying:

3 "I vigorously reject the accusations against the

4 Interior Ministry and against the regular and reserve police forces, which

5 have demonstrated unprecedented courage in defending Macedonia's

6 sovereignty."

7 The next paragraph:

8 "I view the accusations issued by the Human Rights Watch as a

9 classic act of framing the Interior Minister."

10 Mr. Bouckaert, were you provided with all newspaper articles that

11 were related to the work that you were doing in 2001?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And how were you provided with this information?

14 A. I have support staff in New York who monitor the media on a daily

15 basis, to send me all information about the countries I'm working on which

16 they think is relevant, and this is actually an article which was provided

17 by me to the Tribunal from my files.

18 I should mention that it's not a BBC article, it's a translation

19 of a story on Macedonian Radio on August 27th, as is indicated by the

20 source information at the bottom.

21 Q. I appreciate that. At the top, we see: "BBC Monitoring News

22 File"?

23 A. That's correct.

24 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this item, please.

25 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received. Mr. Mettraux.

Page 3012

1 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, simply to register the objection which

2 we have made at the time in relation to the reliability of this piece, and

3 the fact that Mr. Bouckaert has not given any evidence about the accuracy

4 or truthfulness of the content of that document.

5 We'll say no more.

6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

7 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be received as Exhibit P355,

8 Your Honours.

9 MR. SAXON: If we can turn now to what is tab 40. This is 65 ter

10 number 335. I apologise. 65 ter number 992. It starts with ERN number

11 N002-5903.

12 THE WITNESS: Sorry, that's tab 41 in my binder.

13 MR. SAXON: Okay. It's tab 40 in my binder. Well, then let's

14 call it tab 41. That's fine.

15 THE WITNESS: And the article on the screen is actually not in

16 my --

17 MR. SAXON: Actually, if we turn to page 7 of this ERN range,

18 we'll find the article that I'm looking for. There we see it.

19 This is an article published on "The New York Times" front page

20 September 5th, 2001, entitled "Report Says Macedonians Killed Civilians in

21 Revenge." It's by a journalist named Ian Fisher. And this article

22 contains information about what I see in the third full paragraph:

23 "In a detailed report to be issued today, Human Rights Watch

24 accuses overwhelmingly Slavic forces of Macedonia's government of summary

25 execution of civilians, arson and torture."

Page 3013

1 In the right-hand column, there's a reference to Mr. Boskoski. Do

2 you see that, Mr. Bouckaert?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And Mr. Boskoski is quoted as responding to some of the

5 accusations in the Human Rights Watch report.

6 Can we turn to the next page, please. On the next page, it's a

7 little bit difficult to see on the screen, but in the first full paragraph

8 it begins with the words: "Mr. Bouckaert ..." Actually, even in the very

9 first paragraph, there's a reference to Peter Bouckaert, a senior

10 researcher for Human Rights Watch, who wrote the group's report on

11 Ljuboten.

12 So were you interviewed by the journalist who prepared this

13 article?

14 A. Yes.

15 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, I would seek to tender this article,

16 please.

17 MR. METTRAUX: I would simply make the same point, Your Honour.

18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Mettraux. It will be received.

19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P356, Your Honours.

20 MR. SAXON: If we can turn to what I hope is tab 42 in your

21 binder, Mr. Bouckaert. It is 65 ter number 337. It has ERN number

22 N002-5874.

23 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, this is an article from the Associated Press, dated

24 the 5th of September, 2001. Again, it's a discussion of the Human Rights

25 Watch report that you authoured, and there's a discussion -- there's a

Page 3014

1 sentence in the middle describing how the report also implicated

2 Interior Minister Ljube Boskoski in the bloodshed. Do you see that?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Down below, two paragraphs further on, we see the words:

5 "But Boskoski vehemently rejected the allegations, saying he

6 arrived only after the end of the operation."

7 The next paragraph, Mr. Boskoski is quoted as saying he would seek

8 legal recourse at the European Court of Human Rights to clear his name.

9 And in the next paragraph, Mr. Boskoski is quoted as saying:

10 "I want to end this speculation and these lies presented by this

11 quasi-international organisation,' Boskoski said."

12 Do you see that, Mr. Bouckaert?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Can we turn to the next page, please.

15 The next page, sort of in the middle of the page, there's a

16 sentence beginning: "Macedonian police unions ..." Do you see that

17 sentence?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. It says:

20 "Macedonian police unions issued a statement accusing Human

21 Rights Watch of 'Remaining deaf and mute to claims of attacks against

22 Macedonian authorities and civilians and threats of liquidation of entire

23 families'."

24 Then below that:

25 "This organisation persistently sees violation of human rights on

Page 3015

1 one side and one side alone, that of the allegedly-wronged Albanian

2 minority."

3 Mr. Bouckaert, do you feel that that is a fair and correct

4 statement?

5 A. No, I thought it was one of the most unfair and personally hurtful

6 statements that were issued against my organisation during the work,

7 considering the work that we had done. The demonstrable dedication we had

8 shown to monitoring violations by all sides to the conflict.

9 Q. All right. We will get to this. This particular article, would

10 this have been sent to you by your colleagues in 2001?

11 A. Yes.

12 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document,

13 please.

14 MR. METTRAUX: For the record, Your Honour, we will make the same

15 point.

16 THE WITNESS: And I also saw the original statement from the

17 Macedonian police.

18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P357, Your Honours.

20 MR. METTRAUX: And perhaps, Your Honour, instead of disturbing the

21 next time, I would simply indicate that the point should be made in

22 addition to the other articles.

23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

24 MR. SAXON: If we could turn to what is hopefully tab 43 in your

25 binder, Mr. Bouckaert. This is 65 ter number 336. It has ERN number

Page 3016

1 N002-5872. It's an article from "The Times" dated the 6th of September,

2 2001, headlining or titled "Skopje Minister in Revenge-Raid Village."

3 It begins by talking about how the Macedonian forces under the

4 control of the country's Interior Minister launched a revenge raid against

5 an ethnic Albanian village "last month." Do you see that, Mr. Bouckaert?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And then it says:

8 "The New York-based Human Rights Watch highlighted the presence

9 of Ljube Boskoski, the Interior Minister, in the village of Ljuboten on

10 the third day of the raid when some of the Albanian civilians were

11 killed."

12 In the sixth paragraph, we see that after the raid on Ljuboten,

13 there's a reference to Mr. Boskoski insisting that the village was a

14 bastion of ethnic Albanian rebels and claimed that the only casualties

15 were terrorists.

16 Can we turn to the next page, please.

17 A. If I may just point out, Mr. Boskoski contradicted himself in "The

18 New York Times" story where he said he didn't know whether the people

19 killed were rebels or civilians.

20 Q. If we turn to the second page of this article, the top paragraph

21 says:

22 "During a Sunday house-to-house attack, police forces shot dead

23 six civilians. One man was killed by police as he tried to close the door

24 to his home," et cetera.

25 Did this information -- did that come from the report that you

Page 3017

1 wrote?

2 A. Yes, as the prior paragraph indicates.

3 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this article,

4 please.

5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P358, Your Honours.

7 MR. SAXON: If you could turn to what is hopefully tab 44 in your

8 binder, Mr. Bouckaert. This is 65 ter number 338. It has ERN N002-5876

9 at the top. It comes from the BBC monitoring European. It's dated the

10 6th of September, 2001, and there's a title: "Minister Threatens Law

11 Suit Over Claim of Human Rights Violations." And below we see the text of

12 a report in English by the Macedonian state news agency, and below:

13 "Skopje, 6 September," and there's a quote from the Macedonian Minister

14 of the Interior, Ljube Boskoski:

15 "I will press charges to the Court for human rights in Strasbourg

16 because the claims of the Human Rights Watch organisation undermine not

17 only the dignity of the Macedonian Ministry of Interior but also my

18 personal dignity."

19 Do you see that, Mr. Bouckaert?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Would you have received this article in 2001?

22 A. Yes. All of these -- a lot of the quotes in the previous article

23 came from the press conference that Mr. Boskoski gave, which is referred

24 to in the next paragraph of this statement. That's why the quotes are all

25 so similar.

Page 3018

1 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document,

2 please.

3 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

4 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P359, Your Honours.

5 MR. SAXON: If you can turn, please, to what should be tab 45 in

6 your binder, Mr. Bouckaert. This is 65 ter number 339. This is an

7 article from "The New York Times" by a man named Ian Fisher. It's dated

8 the 12th of August, 2001, and it says -- it's titled "Macedonians

9 Kidnapped by Guerrillas Tell of Abuse," and the start of the article says:

10 "A human rights group released detailed interviews today it

11 conducted with roadworkers kidnapped by Albanian guerrillas this week in

12 which the workers say they were tortured, forced to perform sexual acts on

13 each other, and had initials carved into their backs."

14 Below that paragraph, we see a victim saying he asked everyone for

15 their names," one of the kidnapped men told a researcher with Human Rights

16 Watch.

17 Mr. Bouckaert, who was the researcher with Human Rights Watch

18 referred to in this article?

19 A. It would be me, as is reflected at the bottom of the page.

20 Q. And how did the author of this article receive the information

21 contained in this article?

22 A. Because I read my interview notes to him and to another journalist

23 with "The Guardian."

24 Q. Can you tell us, please, how you came to investigate the torture

25 and other crimes committed against this group of roadworkers?

Page 3019

1 A. Yes. I was contacted by somebody in the Macedonian Ministry of

2 Information, who informed me that these five men had been released, that

3 they were in the hospital in Kumanovo, and asked me if I would be

4 interested in interviewing them. I was the only person contacted by the

5 Ministry of Information. He then put me in contact with police officials

6 in Kumanovo, who facilitated the interview for me, who actually took me to

7 the hospital to interview one of the victims in the hospital and later

8 took me to the house of a second person, who had been released from the

9 hospital, to interview that second person.

10 Q. And just for the record, who, then, did you conclude was

11 responsible for these crimes?

12 A. The people responsible for these crimes were members of the NLA.

13 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document,

14 please.

15 THE WITNESS: And in October of that year, as the conflict came to

16 an end, we actually wrote a letter to the then late president and the

17 Prime Minister, asking that these serious crimes be excluded from the

18 amnesty which was under consideration for the NLA because of their

19 seriousness.


21 Q. And again when you say "we," you're referring to Human Rights

22 Watch?

23 A. That's correct.

24 JUDGE PARKER: This document will be received.

25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P360, Your Honours.

Page 3020

1 MR. SAXON: If you could turn, Mr. Bouckaert, to what is hopefully

2 tab 46 in your binder. It has 65 ter number 345.

3 This is a document entitled "Police Abuse Against Albanians

4 Continues in Macedonia, Peace Agreement Doesn't End Violence." It's dated

5 the 22nd of August, 2001.

6 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, can you tell us what this document is?

7 A. Yes. It's a press release I wrote about yet another case of

8 police abuse.

9 Q. During what time period?

10 A. It happened on August 13th in the capital, Skopje.

11 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document.

12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P361, Your Honours.

14 MR. SAXON: If we could turn very briefly to what was admitted

15 yesterday as Exhibit P334, please.

16 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, you will recall this is the sketch that you drew

17 based on the sketches that you drew when you were in Ljuboten on the 23rd

18 of August. Do you recall that?

19 A. That's correct.

20 MR. SAXON: I'm wondering if we can see this perhaps as a single

21 image.

22 Q. And you mentioned yesterday, when we were looking at this sketch,

23 that you recorded the burning of a home owned by an ethnic Macedonian by

24 the name of Zlatko. Do you recall that?

25 A. Yes.

Page 3021

1 Q. And that home is just to the right and above the words "Ulica 5";

2 is that correct?

3 A. Yes. It says "Macedonian house of Zlatko burned Thursday."

4 Q. Okay. Just below the road and to the left at that point, there is

5 another home which has the words under it: "Burned on Friday," and I'm

6 wondering if the Court Usher could assist us by placing the magnifying

7 glass over that square, so we can read the name of the person who owned

8 that home.

9 No, move to the right, please. No, nope. I'm sorry, can you

10 please go back to where the magnifying glass was? All right, now just

11 move a bit to the right, a bit more, now a little bit down. Can we have

12 that --

13 Are you able to read the name, Mr. Bouckaert?

14 A. I will attempt to. It seems like it says "Rashad Kamberi."

15 Q. And that would have been the home of an ethnic Albanian that you

16 mentioned?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Which was burned on the Friday after the 12th of August?

19 A. Yes, that's correct.

20 MR. SAXON: Thank you.

21 Your Honour, at this time I have no further questions.

22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Saxon.

23 Mr. Mettraux.

24 MR. METTRAUX: Good afternoon, Your Honours, good afternoon,

25 Mr. Bouckaert.

Page 3022

1 My name is Guenal Mettraux, and together with Ms. Residovic, I'm

2 appearing on behalf of Mr. Boskoski.

3 Your Honour, perhaps before I start, there is a document that I

4 will show early on to the witness, and my colleague Mr. Saxon and myself

5 were being asked questions by the Chamber in relation to that particular

6 document. We would simply like to indicate, and I believe the Prosecution

7 agrees with it, that in a recent filing which relates to a Prosecution

8 application to tender a number of documents relating to the destruction of

9 houses, the Defence made reference to a particular OSCE document which we

10 failed to attach. In turn, Mr. Saxon referred to the same document in his

11 reply. We would simply indicate that the document to which both parties

12 were referring was a document which has now been admitted into evidence as

13 Exhibit 1D32, and I will show the document to this witness early on in the

14 cross-examination, so simply to answer the question of the Chamber, Your

15 Honour.

16 Cross-examination by Mr. Mettraux:

17 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, I understand in your statement you indicated that

18 you arrived in Macedonia during your fourth visit on the 17th of August of

19 2001. Is that correct?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. Is that correct also that at the time of your arrival, there was

22 no other investigator or researcher of Human Rights Watch on the ground in

23 Macedonia?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Is that also correct that after the incident in Ljuboten, you were

Page 3023

1 the first representative of Human Rights Watch to visit Ljuboten?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Is that also correct that between the period of time of 18th of

4 August until the 25th of August, you carried out approximately 22

5 interviews with a number of -- with villagers?

6 A. I'm not sure where that number came from.

7 Q. Counsel has simply counted the number of references to different

8 witnesses in your statement. Does that mean that you've referred to each

9 and every interview?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Can you recall how many interviews you've rejected or not --

12 A. They would not have been rejected. They would've just not been

13 included because they would have been repetitive of information already

14 included.

15 Q. And can you recall approximately how many of those were not

16 included in the report?

17 A. I would say that the total number of interviews is probably

18 between 35 and 40.

19 Q. And would I be correct to understand that a 1-week investigation

20 is a short or very short investigation by "Human Rights Watch" standards?

21 A. We've carried out similar short investigations into similar or

22 less serious incidents such as the IDF attack on the refugee attack in

23 Jenin in the West Bank.

24 Q. Is that correct or that in Jenin case you said that mission would

25 last for a period of two weeks, anywhere up two or three months; would

Page 3024

1 that be for such an investigation?

2 A. No, that was a particularly long mission and it was focusing on a

3 wide variety of incidents. The purpose of my visit in August was

4 specifically to investigate Ljuboten, first and foremost.

5 Q. And could you tell this Chamber where these interviews took place,

6 sir?

7 A. Yes. The majority of the interviews took place in private homes

8 in Skopje. We went and tracked down people who had been displaced from

9 Ljuboten during the fighting or who had been released from custody and

10 then interviewed them in private.

11 Q. Did some of the meetings also take place at the office of the DPA

12 political party in Skopje?

13 A. I don't believe so. We had contact with the DPA, but I don't

14 think any witnesses were interviewed there.

15 Q. So if someone were to give that evidence, that would be incorrect,

16 sir?

17 A. No, I just don't recall holding any interviews at the DPA office

18 in Skopje.

19 Q. Thank you. And could you tell who organised those meetings for

20 you, who made the arrangements for you to meet and identify and locate

21 these villagers?

22 A. I did that myself.

23 Q. Did you get any assistance from anyone from the village?

24 A. As we started identifying villagers, we would ask them for the

25 location of people who had been released from Ljuboten or for specific

Page 3025

1 persons such as relatives and eyewitnesses to particular incidents, and

2 then those villagers that we had found would put us in touch with other

3 people.

4 Q. And is that correct that during the 20 or so days, between the

5 17th of August when you arrived in the country and the 5th of September,

6 when you published the report, you also carried out an on-site

7 investigation, I understand, on the 23rd of August of 2001?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. Would that be correct to suggest that you had announced the visit

10 to the persons which you had interviewed in the days prior to that date?

11 A. I don't believe so, no. You mean to all of the people we

12 interviewed?

13 Q. No, to some of the people, sir.

14 A. Well, we asked for contact information for the people in the

15 village, but I don't think a large number of people knew about our visit

16 to Ljuboten, no.

17 Q. But some of them did?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Is that correct that your intention, at the time when deciding to

20 visit Ljuboten, was to collect evidence of any violations of any

21 humanitarian law?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And as I understand it, this is one of the objectives of your

24 organisation, to bring those whom you consider to be responsible for such

25 violations to justice. Is that correct?

Page 3026

1 A. Yes, although we don't remove any evidence. We look at the

2 evidence that we see, yes.

3 Q. No one would accuse you of that, Mr. Bouckaert.

4 Is that also correct that one of the goals of your organisation

5 is, to the extent possible, to assist the Office of the Prosecution in

6 tracking down or at least in assisting the Prosecution in its

7 investigation of violations of humanitarian law?

8 A. We have always been fully cooperative with the Yugoslav Tribunal,

9 certainly.

10 Q. And that was the case in relation to Ljuboten; is that correct?

11 A. We -- after the report was published, we immediately sent a copy

12 to the Tribunal, yes.

13 Q. Did you have any contacts during that period prior to sending this

14 report to the Office of the Prosecution with any member of the Office of

15 the Prosecution? And I'm speaking of the period between the 17th and the

16 5th of September. Can you recall?

17 A. I personally did not. I believe I was contacted by a member of

18 the OTP on September 6th or September 7th to -- they expressed interest in

19 the events in Ljuboten.

20 Q. Sir, I'd like to perhaps start where you ended up yesterday in

21 relation to questions which were asked of you about your observation about

22 the destruction of houses. I think you will recall making a number of

23 mentions about accelerators that it was your understanding, or in any case

24 your belief, that accelerators had been used to burn houses.

25 Can you recall this?

Page 3027

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Did you have any evidence -- did you make any -- take any

3 substance which you understood to be accelerant or was it simply based on

4 your experience, as you explained, of observation in other conflicts?

5 A. It was based on my own observations and during our visit to the

6 village of Ljuboten, which were consistent with accounts of eyewitnesses.

7 Q. But you didn't make any -- you didn't take any samples or any

8 sort, you didn't find any traces of accelerants yourself; is that correct?

9 A. No.

10 MR. METTRAUX: I'd like the witness to be shown P339 at this

11 stage.

12 Q. Sir, this is a picture that you were shown yesterday by the

13 Prosecution. It's one of the pictures that you were shown yesterday. And

14 you made an observation, when asked by my colleague, as to the nature or

15 the cause, rather, of the destruction of particular houses, and you've

16 indicated that it was your understanding that the presence of chimneys on

17 a number of houses was an indication that --

18 MR. SAXON: I'm very sorry to interrupt. Just I was wondering

19 could we wait until the photograph appears on the screen before the

20 question? Thank you so much.

21 MR. METTRAUX: Absolutely. I apologise to the Prosecution.

22 Q. Mr. Bolton [sic], you've made a number of comments --

23 A. Mr. Bouckaert.

24 Q. Mr. Bouckaert. Mr. Bouckaert, you've made a number of comments

25 pursuant to questions of Mr. Saxon relating to the presence or the fact

Page 3028

1 that chimneys were standing up on a number of houses which had incurred

2 damage, and you explained to the Prosecution that you understood this to

3 be an indication that the house had been burned rather than shelled; is

4 that correct?

5 A. Yes. I was not talking about the fact that a particular chimney

6 was standing but that the chimneys of all the homes that we inspected were

7 still standing.

8 Q. Is that correct also, Mr. Bouckaert, that the chimneys in the

9 village, in particular of those houses which you observed, were all

10 attached to the wall and not to the roof of those houses, such as the one

11 in front of you?

12 A. I don't believe that's correct. I think that there were some

13 chimneys which were more in the center of the home. This is the chimney

14 of a store.

15 Q. But would you agree that a number of houses which you observed

16 yesterday in the picture, the chimney was attached to the wall rather than

17 to the roof?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Are you able, sir, to estimate approximately how many houses make

20 up the village of Ljuboten?

21 A. According to our information, the -- Ljuboten has a population of

22 3.000 people. So based on that, I would guess there are probably about

23 400 to 600 homes.

24 Q. And did you inquire with the villagers why particular areas or

25 pockets of Ljuboten were targeted but not others; is that a matter that

Page 3029

1 you raised with them?

2 THE INTERPRETER: For the benefit of the interpreters, could the

3 speakers please pause between questions and answers. Thank you.

4 THE WITNESS: Yes, I apologise.


6 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, would you like me to repeat the question?

7 A. No, I see the question on the screen.

8 We did ask and they had no particular answer for us on why this

9 area of the village was so heavily damaged or had been the focus of the

10 attack.

11 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness now please be shown what is

12 Rule 65 ter 1D432, and it has an ERN range of 1D003979 to 3980, and the

13 Macedonian version is a 1-page document -- no, 2-page document, 1D003977

14 to 3978.

15 Q. I would just like to go through the top of that document first

16 with you, Mr. Bouckaert. As you can see, it's a document that comes from

17 Security and Counter-Intelligence Division, also known as the UBK of the

18 Ministry of Interior, and it's the department of Cair. It has a number

19 and it's dated the 19th of March of 2002. If I may draw your attention to

20 the title of that document, it says: "The meetings took place on 12th and

21 14th of March of 2002," and then it locates the place where the meeting

22 took place, and further down on this document there is a subject heading

23 and it says:

24 "Information and intelligence of interest to you UBK."

25 Can you see that?

Page 3030

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. At this stage, Mr. Bouckaert, I would like to show you the second

3 page of this document. If the Registry could turn to the second page. I

4 understand it's the second page in Macedonian as well.

5 I should have pointed out to you that the person to whom the UBK

6 spoke was given the nickname of Odja, and if I may draw your attention to

7 the paragraph which starts: "At the end of the meeting ..." Can you see

8 that?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. I will read it out to you. It says:

11 "At the end of the meeting Odja informed that the houses which

12 are most damaged in the areas of Skamala [phoen] in the village of

13 Ljuboten are the ones from which the security forces of the Republic of

14 Macedonia were fired upon by the residents of the aforementioned quarter

15 and that, according to him, this is the reason why the majority of those

16 killed are residents of that quarter; that is, the houses of

17 Veseli Afandi, Jashari Haziz, and Bajrami Qani, and the Zendeli family are

18 located there."

19 Can you see that?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And then it goes on to say:

22 "On the other hand, there was also the case of Kamberi, Asad, who

23 set his own house on fire so that he could present himself as a victim of

24 the reaction of the security bodies of the Republic of Macedonia before

25 the international representative."

Page 3031

1 Sir, is Kamberi, Asad, the person which you identified a few

2 minutes ago on the map?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And then I will draw your attention to the first comment on the

5 next heading which says:

6 "Contact with Odja was made for the purpose of gaining

7 information in connection with the last year's event around the village of

8 Ljuboten."

9 Sir, did any of the villagers tell you that the reason why a few

10 pockets of the village were targeted was because fire had come from these

11 houses?

12 A. Absolutely not.

13 Q. So they never mentioned that to you?

14 A. No.

15 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, I would simply ask the document be

16 marked for identification at this stage. We'll come back to it in a

17 moment.

18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be marked.

19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D87 marked for identification, Your

20 Honours.


22 Q. Sir, you will recall that you told the Prosecution that you were

23 given information to the effect that two houses, a Macedonian house, that

24 of Mr. Zlatko, and an Albanian house, that of Mr. Kamberi, had been burned

25 on the 16th and 17th of August of 2001; do you recall that?

Page 3032

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And you will recall also that this information was given to you by

3 some of the villagers; is that correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Is that also correct that you had no independent means to verify

6 whether, in fact, two houses, three houses, or four houses in that street

7 had been burnt on the 16th or 17th of August; is that correct?

8 A. Yes.

9 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness now be shown what is 1D32. And

10 simply to clarify, sir, your "yes" was a confirmation to the effect that

11 you were not able to independently verify; is that correct?

12 A. That's correct.

13 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, it is Exhibit 1D32 with an ERN number

14 N001-5427.

15 Q. What is about to appear, Mr. Bouckaert, is a report, an OSCE

16 report of the 17th of August of 2001. Are you able to read it,

17 Mr. Bouckaert?

18 A. It's a little bit small.

19 MR. METTRAUX: Could the document -- yes, thank you.



22 Q. If I may just go through this document with you, it concerns a

23 document of the 17th of August, 2001. It comes from the Operation Office

24 in Skopje to location in Radisani, that was the area covered by the team

25 which covered the village of Ljuboten, and you can see the dates, it says:

Page 3033

1 "Period covered 16 hours, 16 August to 22 hours, 17 August of

2 2001."

3 Can you see that?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And then if you go on to the subheading with the title

6 "Incidents," I'll just read the beginning of that paragraph. It says

7 that:

8 "At approximately 1730, the team arrived in the village of

9 Ljuboten to investigate reports of house fires in the area. Investigation

10 established that at approximately midnight on the 16th and 17th of August,

11 a Macedonian house on the road leading northwest from the church and some

12 150 metres from the church had burnt."

13 That would be consistent with your evidence; is that correct?

14 A. Yes. That would be the home I identified as Zlatko's home.

15 Q. "It was also established that at approximately 11.00 on the 17th

16 August, three Albanian properties had also burnt, one outbuilding and two

17 adjoining houses, all three on the same road as the Macedonian house. How

18 the Macedonian house has been destroyed was unclear. There were no signs

19 of projectile impacts on the wall and no sign of accelerant was observed.

20 A trace of diesel was followed back from the site of the most

21 westerly-destroyed Albanian properties, the two adjoining houses."

22 Sir, would you agree that, in effect, what the OSCE found out was

23 that three Albanian houses and one Macedonian house in that stretch of

24 houses had been burned on the 16th and 17th; is that correct?

25 A. The I believe it's one outbuilding and two Albanian houses and the

Page 3034

1 Macedonian house, yes.

2 Q. And then if I may draw your attention to the bottom of that

3 document, it says:

4 "Villagers, both Albanian and elderly Macedonian, confirmed the

5 ethnicity of the property owners. Both Albanian and Macedonian villagers

6 stated that, 'Army paramilitaries,'" --

7 And then there's parenthesis:

8 "`(Both Albanians and Macedonians were clear that the person

9 referred to were not police) had been in that area of village at the time

10 the Albanian property burned.'"

11 Can you see that?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Then if I may ask the Registry to bring up what is now P334,

14 Mr. Bouckaert. That's again your own drawing, your own map of the

15 village.

16 First, perhaps to ask you this question, Mr. Bouckaert: The

17 people to whom you talked only mentioned two houses having been burnt on

18 the 16th and 17th; that's your evidence, is that correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. They never mentioned those other two houses having been burnt on

21 this day?

22 A. Yeah, it's possible that the house that they said was burned on

23 Friday contained the outbuilding, but they certainly didn't mention two

24 homes to me.

25 Q. And it's also possible that other houses on that stretch of road

Page 3035

1 were burned on the 16th and 17th, you just don't know; is that correct?

2 A. For the other homes that are marked on this map, they were burned

3 on the 12th.

4 Q. And that's based on what you were told by the villagers; is that

5 correct?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. And again you had no independent means to verify their

8 information; is that correct?

9 A. We based our conclusion on a lot of interviews, yes.

10 Q. And solely on interviews?

11 A. And on the fact that when we did reach houses that had been burned

12 on different days, it was the villagers who volunteered that information.

13 Q. But they didn't volunteer the fact that there were more than two

14 houses that had been burned on the 16th and 17th; is that correct?

15 A. They pointed out those houses that are marked on the map to me,

16 that's correct.

17 Q. And if we may look at your map, if you go to the extreme left

18 bottom side, you will see what you've marked as, I understand, the

19 orthodox church. Is that correct?

20 A. Yeah, it's actually a little bit further down the road.

21 Q. Yes.

22 A. But it's in that general area.

23 Q. And then if you go northwest of that, you see the house of Zlatko,

24 the one that you had identified as the house of the Macedonian; is that

25 correct?

Page 3036

1 A. Correct.

2 Q. And the houses to which the OSCE refers in its report would appear

3 to be those that would be under the -- what you've marked as "Ulica 5"; is

4 that correct?

5 A. Where -- it was suggested that the OSCE said that those were

6 burned on other days?

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. That's not the information I have, and I don't see any indication

9 in the OSCE statement that they're referring to those homes.

10 Q. Perhaps I'm going to read to you again the passage in question.

11 It says that:

12 "At approximately 7.30 the team arrived in the village of

13 Ljuboten to investigate reports of house fires in the area. Investigation

14 established that at approximately midnight --"

15 MR. SAXON: Sorry to interrupt.

16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Saxon.

17 MR. SAXON: Could we have the document that counsel is reading

18 displayed on the screen, please?

19 MR. METTRAUX: Yes. If the Registry could bring up what is 1D32,

20 exhibit.

21 THE INTERPRETER: And while we're waiting, the interpreters are

22 again asking for pauses instead of overlapping of questions and answers.

23 MR. METTRAUX: Mr. Bouckaert, we are warned again.

24 I'll read out this sentence to you again, Mr. Bouckaert. It says:

25 "At approximately 7.30, the team arrived in the village of

Page 3037

1 Ljuboten to investigate reports of house fires in the area. Investigation

2 established that at approximately midnight on 16 and 17 August, a

3 Macedonian house on the road leading northwest from the church and some

4 150 metres from the church had burnt. It was also established that at

5 approximately 11.00 on the 17th August, three Albanian properties had also

6 burned, one outbuilding and two adjoining houses, all three on the same

7 road as the Macedonian house."

8 So would you agree, sir, that at least so far as the OSCE is

9 concerned, the information which they received was that those three

10 buildings had been burnt in Ulica Pet number 5; is that correct?

11 A. Yeah, I don't dispute, be it, that according to the OSCE, the

12 buildings were in Ulica 5. It's not clear for me from their description

13 that they're referring to the buildings in a row which I marked on my map.

14 Q. So it could have been any three buildings in that street?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Thank you. I'd like to ask you now a few questions about the

17 process of statement-taking which you have explained to the Prosecution

18 and also in your statement to the Prosecution. I have a few questions

19 about that.

20 Is that correct that none of the interviews which you carried out

21 with the victims and witnesses was either audio or videotaped; is that

22 correct?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. Is that also correct that the procedure that you follow is not

25 technically to take formal statements which are then signed by the victim

Page 3038

1 or the witness, but to take notes into a notebook of yours?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. And it's also correct that your notebooks are not signed or

4 otherwise adopted by the people you interview?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. And it's also the fact that the report that you then wrote upon

7 your return or during your investigation is based not on any statement

8 but, again, on your note?

9 A. On our interview notes, yes.

10 Q. Yes. And I think you've indicated to the Prosecution that you

11 speak neither Albanian nor Macedonian; is that correct?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. And your interviews with the villagers, your questions to the

14 villagers as well as the response which you received from the villagers,

15 was translated back and forth to through a third party; is that correct?

16 A. Through my interpreter, yes.

17 Q. And is that also correct that you were unable to assess for

18 yourself the accuracy of the translation which was given to you by your

19 interpreter at the time?

20 A. That is correct to the extent of the period of time after my

21 colleague, Fred Abrahams, left because my colleague Fred Abrahams does

22 speak fluent Albanian and limited Serbian, and he worked together with the

23 same translator, and we never had any indication that there was any

24 problem with the interpretation.

25 Q. But Fred Abrahams wasn't in Ljuboten?

Page 3039

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. And to answer my question, you were not able to assert for

3 yourself or assess for yourself the accuracy or the quality of the

4 translation which was given to you by the interpreter at the time; is that

5 correct?

6 A. Yes, but I had no doubt in his objectivity and in his -- the

7 quality of his interpretation.

8 Q. But, again, you were not able to make that assessment; is that

9 correct?

10 A. Well, I had worked with him for several months, and I had never

11 had a problem with him, so I was quite certain he was doing his job

12 accurately.

13 Q. But is that correct perhaps that if the interpreter would have

14 made a mistake, you would not have been able to point that out to him; is

15 that correct?

16 A. As I explained to Mr. Saxon, we did go over the interviews in the

17 evenings to see if they had been accurate.

18 Q. But there again, if you go through your notes with the

19 interpreter, the accuracy would be only to his or her understanding of

20 what he or she understood you to say or what the witness answered and

21 what -- not what you understood the witness to answer; is that correct?

22 A. Correct.

23 Q. I also understand also that you were regularly registered with the

24 Ministry of Information [realtime transcript read in error "Ministry of

25 Internal Affairs"]; is that correct?

Page 3040

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. But you were not what is known in Macedonia as an authorised

3 official; is that correct?

4 A. That's correct. There's a mistake in the transcript. It should

5 say "The Ministry of Information" not the "Ministry of Internal Affairs."

6 MR. METTRAUX: I'm grateful. And it's at page 40 line 17 and 18.

7 It's the Ministry of Information.

8 Q. Thank you Mr. Bouckaert.

9 A. There was no provision for Human Rights Watch to be registered as

10 an official, so we kind of fell between the cracks.

11 Q. But is that correct that you were not accompanied at the time by

12 any authorised official of the State of Macedonia?

13 A. Yes, that's definitely correct.

14 Q. And none of the statements which you took from -- or none of the

15 notes, in any case, none of the interviews which you made of the villagers

16 was done under oath; is that correct?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. And you knew also at the time that the absence of an authorised

19 official would have made those statements inadmissible in local courts; is

20 that correct?

21 A. I -- I am not aware of the law in Macedonia on that point.

22 Q. Thank you. But you understood that the persons whom you

23 interviewed were not subject to any form of sanction or perjury for lying

24 to you or otherwise being less than candid with you; is that correct? You

25 understood that?

Page 3041

1 A. Yes, which is why we conducted many additional interviews to

2 assure the accuracy of our information. Our methodology has been

3 developed to address those kind of concerns.

4 Q. And you would do that through -- I'm going to come back to that,

5 but through the necessary requirement for you to corroborate each and

6 every incident for which you were given evidence; is that correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Did you draw to the attention of the villagers whom you

9 interviewed the fact that those statements that they made to you could be

10 used in the context of criminal proceedings?

11 A. I did draw -- as is our general practice, I informed the people

12 that we interviewed that I was investigating what happened in Ljuboten and

13 that their statements could be used in our report, and I also asked them

14 if it was okay to use their names in our report.

15 Q. And did you also point that to them that these statements could be

16 used in the context of criminal proceedings?

17 A. No.

18 Q. Can I ask you whether you have been or whether you have been asked

19 by the Prosecution could give copies of those notes of yours which you

20 took in Ljuboten?

21 A. I was asked. It's the general practice of our organisation, and

22 I'm under instructions from our organisation, that we don't hand over our

23 notes, which is why our statement was submitted under Rule 70.

24 Q. But isn't it correct that in Human Rights Watch, there is in fact

25 a procedure in place for a party to request these notes from you; isn't

Page 3042

1 that correct?

2 A. I'm not aware of that procedure.

3 Q. Well, I'll simply read a statement from your colleague's --

4 Fred Abrahams', from the Milatinovic proceedings, and perhaps I will call

5 it so that you can see for yourself. It's under 1D003812. It's from the

6 transcript of 13th of July, 2006, and it's at page 904. This is what

7 Mr. Abrahams said to the Trial Chamber in the Milatinovic case. I'll wait

8 until the document is in front of you.

9 THE REGISTRAR: Could the counsel please repeat the number.

10 MR. METTRAUX: Absolutely. It's the ERN number is 1D003812.

11 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, in the absence of the document, I'll show it to you

12 later on, but for the time being I'll simply read the statement of

13 Mr. Abrahams, and we can look at it after the break.

14 Mr. Abrahams is recorded as saying this:

15 "As a matter of policy, the notes are the private property of the

16 organisation," and that's Human Rights Watch, "but individuals or

17 organisation can make specific requests to our legal office for a release,

18 which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis."

19 Is that a correct statement of the procedure and the practice

20 before Human Rights Watch?

21 A. Yes. It's the property of the organisation. It's our general

22 practice not to release notes. Any exception to that rule would have to

23 be made by our legal office rather than by myself.

24 Q. And was such a request made for the notes that you took in the

25 village of Ljuboten by the Office of the Prosecutor?

Page 3043

1 A. Certainly, an informal request was made, and it was denied.

2 Q. And was the formal procedure which I read to you followed as well,

3 as far as you know?

4 A. The OTP accepted that we had the right to keep our notes

5 confidential.

6 Q. Thank you. I'd like to ask you a few questions about the

7 procedure and mechanism which are in place at Human Rights Watch to ensure

8 the quality of your reporting.

9 Am I correct that, in a way, Human Rights Watch is a

10 self-regulated body, and by that I mean that there is no outside body

11 which assess the quality or intervenes into the quality of your product?

12 A. The quality of our product is certainly publicly assessed by a

13 wide variety of sources, including the public, including the diplomatic

14 community, and we would quickly lose the effectiveness of our organisation

15 if the quality of our information was challenged.

16 Q. Perhaps my question should have been more precise. When you

17 prepare a report, such as the report that we've discussed beforehand, is

18 that correct that the process or the involvement of individuals into the

19 preparation, the drafting, the editing, and so on of the document is

20 limited to employees and staff members of Human Rights Watch?

21 A. That would be generally correct, although on many occasions we do

22 use outside experts to evaluate reports, especially technical reports

23 about illegal arms trades and other such issues. But we have an extensive

24 in-house review process of our reporting.

25 Q. And did you have recourse to any outside help or assistance in

Page 3044

1 relation to the Ljuboten report?

2 A. Not in relation to the Ljuboten report.

3 Q. Am I correct to understand that one of the most fundamental

4 safeguards, so to say, of the quality of your reports is your insistence

5 to rely on primary evidence rather than hearsay or secondary evidence?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. And another safeguard is for you to have recourse to as many and

8 as rich a variety of sources as possible?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. And you've also just indicated that there is an internal vetting

11 procedure which you have described in your statement as being quite

12 stringent to ensure that the material contained in every report is

13 supported by the material which you've collected during your

14 investigation; is that correct?

15 A. Yes. The report is first reviewed by the regional division or the

16 Tomatic [phoen] Division, which has oversight over the work, in this case

17 that would have been the Europe and Central Asia Division, it was refused

18 by the Executive Director of the Europe and Central Asia Division, then it

19 is reviewed by the Legal Division of Human Rights Watch, by legal counsel

20 with extensive experience in human rights law and the laws of war, and

21 then it is reviewed by our Programme Division which oversees all of the

22 work of the organisation. And in some exceptional cases, it's also

23 reviewed by the Executive Director.

24 Q. And is that correct that if at any stage in that process any of

25 the layers of control, so to say, is not satisfied about the sufficiency

Page 3045

1 or the reliability of any of that material, the material would then be

2 withheld from the public; is that correct?

3 A. Not necessarily. They would ask me to go back and do further

4 research, perhaps, on a certain point, or if it was the case of a legal

5 conclusion, we would abide by the decision of our legal office. But

6 certainly your point is correct that we would not include unreliable

7 information in our reports.

8 Q. And in the case of the Ljuboten reports, were you asked by any

9 of -- anyone in your hierarchy to do any further research or investigation

10 when after you had given them your draft report?

11 A. I didn't have to go do any further interviews. I wasn't asked to

12 do any additional interviews, but certainly there were many questions

13 asked, many requests for clarification, and many discussions before the

14 report was finalised.

15 Q. And we've just discussed it, but I would like to spend a bit more

16 time on it.

17 One of the fundamental safeguards, so to say, of your procedure is

18 the requirement that every fact which you state in your report or every

19 incident that you report about is being corroborated at least by two

20 sources, I understand, or one source plus corroboration; is that correct?

21 A. I think that's overstating things a little bit. In our report,

22 there certainly are incidents which are based on the evidence of a single

23 witness, but then the text of the report would indicate that we had no

24 further witnesses available and that some questions remain to be answered.

25 And in those cases, the statement of that single witness will be

Page 3046

1 corroborated with physical evidence or other evidence available to us.

2 Q. So am I correct to understand from your answer that the

3 availability or otherwise of corroborating evidence would be obvious from

4 the mere reading of the footnote in your report?

5 A. I think that our report reflects the nature of the evidence that

6 we have available to us, either in the text or in the footnote, yes.

7 Q. So if a fact is stated in your report or a finding is being made

8 by you in a report, the source of that finding and the entirety of the

9 source of that finding would be traceable either in the text or in the

10 footnote of the finding; is that correct?

11 A. In general, I would say.

12 Q. And that was the case with your report on Ljuboten?

13 A. Unless sources ask for anonymity.

14 Q. Which was the case on a number of occasions, two or three

15 occasions; is that correct?

16 A. Yes, and in that case we would keep their names on record at Human

17 Rights Watch.

18 Q. Is that also correct that the need for corroboration of evidence

19 and the care which you pay to that matter is particularly important when

20 you interview members of a particular group or community which report

21 violations or violence against other members of that same community; is

22 that correct?

23 A. Certainly.

24 Q. Is that also correct that you were aware, particularly because of

25 your experience in Kosovo, that members of the Albanian community could be

Page 3047

1 subject to particular pressure from the NLA, the UCK, not to reveal or to

2 give a particular versions of the events; that's something you were aware

3 of?

4 A. We did very extensive work in Kosovo, but before, during, and

5 after the NATO bombing of Kosovo, and as far as I know all of our reports

6 remain accurate to date, have never been seriously challenged, so

7 obviously our methodology has been designed to deal with those -- the kind

8 of challenges you describe.

9 Q. But perhaps to answer my question, you were aware of the fact that

10 UCK or the NLA, or the KLA in the case of Kosovo, was at the time

11 exercising great pressure on the citizens of the Albanian members of the

12 population to give a particular account of the events; is that correct?

13 A. I wouldn't just limit it to the UCK. There were such cases on all

14 sides of the conflict.

15 Q. But that would be the case with the UCK; is that correct?

16 A. I'm sure there were such cases, yes.

17 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Mettraux?

18 MR. METTRAUX: Absolutely, Your Honour.

19 JUDGE PARKER: We must have the first break and resume at a

20 quarter past 4.00.

21 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.

22 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.


24 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, I have been threatened with all sorts of unpleasant

25 consequences during the break by the poor interpreter, who have been put

Page 3048

1 under great strain, so if we can attempt to not overlap, and I would be

2 grateful if you would assist me in that matter.

3 JUDGE PARKER: Can I mention, Mr. Mettraux, it's not merely, I

4 suspect, the matter of overlap, but when you come to read a long passage,

5 you have quite a quick delivery.

6 MR. METTRAUX: That may be correct, Your Honour.

7 I'll ask the Registry, just in fairness to Mr. Bouckaert, that he

8 be shown what is or what has been identified as Rule 65 ter 424. It has

9 an ERN of 1D003812.

10 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, this is the statement of your colleague,

11 Mr. Abrahams, that I read to you a moment ago. I simply want you to be

12 able to see that statement for yourself.

13 Thank you, that's the correct page.

14 You can see, Mr. Bouckaert, at the top of the page the exchange

15 between counsel at the top of the page. It asks this of your colleague:

16 "Do you happen to know what the position of your organisation or

17 your former organisation is, sir, for releasing this information," to

18 which Mr. Abrahams said: "I do".

19 "And what is that position"?

20 And that is the passage I read out to you:

21 "As a matter of policy, the notes are the private property of the

22 organisation, but individuals or organisation can make specific request to

23 our legal office for a release which will be reviewed on a case-by-case

24 basis."

25 I simply wanted to read it out to you since I told you I would

Page 3049

1 come back to it.

2 Is that correct, sir, and simply to clarify an answer you gave to

3 me earlier on today, that on any mission that you undertake, there would

4 be a significant amount of information that would be withdrawn or taken

5 out from your report either because you consider it to be unreliable or

6 because you were unable to find corroboration for that material; is that

7 correct?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. And I would simply ask you about one particular report which you

10 prepared yourself most recently, which concerned the bombing of South

11 Lebanon by Israel. It relates to a matter of methodology which will later

12 be relevant, but is that correct that one of the issues which you had to

13 determine in this report is whether targeting by Israeli forces was

14 indiscriminate or whether they were, in fact, aiming at Hezbollah

15 positions; is that correct?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. And I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, that you visited a

18 number of locations which had received Israeli fighter -- fire, I'm sorry,

19 to determine whether in fact there had been a Hezbollah position or a

20 Hezbollah presence in the area at the time?

21 A. That's correct, and coming to the Court to give this testimony has

22 interrupted a finalisation of the report on those issues.

23 Q. I apologise, at least on the part of the Defence, but the

24 questions will be short in relation to this report. Is that correct also

25 that for each incident or alleged incidents of targeting by the Israeli

Page 3050

1 forces of the Hezbollah, you sought to obtain witness from outside the

2 area controlled by the Hezbollah to corroborate the version which was

3 given to you?

4 A. I believe you're talking about the Fatal Strikes report.

5 Q. That's correct, yes, sir.

6 A. Yes. That report was compiled during the time that the conflict

7 was still ongoing, so our access to both locations and witnesses was

8 extremely limited.

9 Q. And is that correct that for each incident of alleged

10 indiscriminate targeting, you would insist to find corroboration by

11 eyewitnesses or otherwise outside of areas controlled by the Hezbollah to

12 ensure the reliability of the evidence?

13 A. Yes, but it was often difficult to do so.

14 Q. And is that correct that when you were unable to do so, you would

15 drop the particular incident from your report?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And you did not put the onus on the Israeli government to

18 demonstrate to your satisfaction that there was, in fact, no Hezbollah

19 position in those particular locations; is that correct?

20 A. That's correct, although we did ask the Israeli government for

21 information about the intelligence that they had relating to particular

22 strikes.

23 Q. If you did not put the onus you to produce evidence and material

24 that they were positioned there? Hezbollah --

25 A. Yes.

Page 3051

1 Q. -- positions. Thank you.

2 Is that correct that in tense circumstances, such as conflict

3 situations, be it in Israel or in other parts of the world, it's very

4 important for you to get the full picture of what's going on before you

5 report about it; is that correct?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. Is that also correct that this full picture means that you would

8 have to hear from both sides of that conflict or situation?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. I would simply ask -- or I would read out to you a statement made

11 by your colleague, Mr. Abrahams, again in the context of the Milatinovic

12 proceedings, and that would be 1D428 with an ERN 1D00-3919 to 1D00-3920.

13 Mr. Bouckaert, I'll draw your attention to the bottom of the page,

14 if it can be enlarged, thank you, and a bit for Mr. Bouckaert, and that

15 would be at the bottom of the page. Your colleague, Mr. Abrahams, was

16 being asked by Defence counsel Ivetic the following:

17 "You would agree, would you not, that in order to have a full and

18 complete picture in any circumstance it is always preferred or in fact

19 even essential to hear both sides in a conflict, is it not?"

20 And if we turn to the next page, it will be on the top of the next

21 page. Mr. Abrahams answered: "Yes." And that's, I suppose, a

22 conclusion you would agree with.

23 A. I would say it's always preferred, yes, but it's not always

24 possible.

25 Q. Is it also correct, Mr. Bouckaert, that the accuracy and the

Page 3052

1 reliability of any of your reporting would be not only dependent but also

2 greatly enhanced by the fact that you have talked to both sides?

3 A. Certainly, but we feel that the position of Mr. Boskoski and the

4 government was reflected in our report based on public statements made by

5 him and by the government.

6 Q. But in general terms, you would agree with the proposition that

7 your findings would have been much weakened by the fact that you had only

8 talked to one side, to put it that way?

9 A. No, I would not agree.

10 Q. Well, let me ask the Registry to show what is 1D428. That's

11 ERN 1D0031 -- sorry, 3910 to 1D00-3911, and it's again taken from the

12 Milatinovic proceedings. And the witness in this case was again was a

13 Mr. Abrahams, and it's dated the 7th of August of 2006, and the page is

14 983 and 984.

15 If we can scroll down a little bit to the bottom of the page,

16 please. If I may draw your attention, Mr. Bouckaert, to that last part of

17 that document of that page with the questions that -- okay. With the

18 question which says:

19 "Now, would it be fair to say, then, that your reports were

20 generated without any information or input from the Yugoslav or Serbian

21 authorities?"

22 And if we can turn to the next page, this is the answer of Mr.

23 Abrahams:

24 "I would not say that's fair to say. We used open source

25 material wherever possible to present the government view, and I sincerely

Page 3053

1 wish that we had received responses to these letters from one of the many

2 agencies and ministries to whom they were sent, to which they were sent,

3 because I would have -- the report would have been strengthened greatly

4 and all our work would have been strengthened greatly by having official

5 answers to these particular inquiries.

6 Would you then agree with the proposition made by Mr. Abrahams?

7 A. I certainly agree it would have strengthened -- it would

8 strengthen any report to reflect information obtained from the government.

9 Q. Thank you.

10 A. And that's something we strive to do in all of our reports.

11 Q. And, in fact, it's your usual practice to send a request of that

12 nature to the authorities for information; is that correct?

13 A. I would not characterise it as our usual practice.

14 Q. Well, would you characterise it, then, as your usual operating

15 procedure; would that be fair?

16 A. No. I would say it's a common practice, but we take into account

17 working conditions, security concerns, to make that kind of evaluation.

18 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness please be shown it's 1D424, and

19 it's again a transcript from the Milatinovic proceedings of 14 July 2006.

20 The ERN is 1D003805. It's from the 14th of July of 2006.

21 Q. Mr. Abrahams is talking about the letters which he sent to the

22 Serbian and Yugoslav authorities, and he's being asked by Counsel

23 Stepaniuk:

24 "Whether this letter, was it your idea to send this letter?"

25 And the answer of Mr. Abrahams, you can see it in the middle of

Page 3054

1 the page, he says:

2 "This letter is standard operating procedure following a mission

3 to request information from the government."

4 Do you agree with that statement?

5 A. As I've already testified, I think it's a common operating

6 procedure. I would not characterise it as standard. To the extent

7 possible, we do try to send requests of information to the government,

8 yes.

9 Q. And you've explained that in the case of Ljuboten, you did not do

10 so; is that --

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. But you did it in other -- I mean, you've mentioned the issue of

13 security, and I will come back to that, but is that correct that you sent

14 such request for information --

15 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down for the interpreters and make

16 breaks between questions and answers. Thank you very much.


18 Q. You've mentioned, Mr. Bouckaert, the fact that security issues

19 were a fact relevant to your procedures in that respect. Is that correct

20 that in a number of conflict situations characterised as quite dangerous

21 places, you have, in fact, followed the procedure outlined by Mr. Abrahams

22 of sending letters of inquiries to various governments; is that correct?

23 A. Sure.

24 Q. You've done that, for instance, in relation to the events of

25 Kosovo; is that correct?

Page 3055

1 A. Yes, and more recently to Israel about the events in Lebanon.

2 Q. And you've also done that, for instance, in Sri Lanka in relation

3 to one of your reports concerning abduction and child recruitment; is that

4 correct?

5 A. That was not one of my reports.

6 Q. But it's been done by your organisation; are you aware of that or

7 not?

8 A. Certainly, but I also have just came back from the Central African

9 Republic, and we didn't send such a request for information. I just came

10 back from Somalia, and we didn't send such a request for information, so

11 it's certainly not done in every case.

12 Q. But you've done it also, for instance, in your report --

13 THE INTERPRETER: Please make breaks.


15 Q. -- called "Hearts and Minds, Post-War Seen in Baghdad caused by US

16 Forces;" is that correct?

17 A. That was not one of my reports.

18 Q. So you are not aware of the fact of whether or not it was done?

19 A. In that case I do believe that it was done, because it was a

20 report dealing with US military abuses, and we have had good cooperation

21 from the US military on getting credible information from them.

22 Q. It was also the practice of your organisation, when possible, to

23 contact either NGOs or international organisations which were on the

24 ground in the relevant area; is that correct?

25 A. That is correct.

Page 3056

1 Q. And the reason for doing so again was to verify the reliability

2 and accuracy of the information which you had obtained; is that correct?

3 A. That is correct.

4 Q. And I think in your statement, Mr. Bouckaert, you mention talking

5 to one OSCE observer which you don't identify, but is that correct, you

6 talked to one particular OSCE observer?

7 A. Can you refer to where I say this in my statement?

8 Q. I believe it's in your report. What I'm going to ask you is

9 this: Did you make any requests to the OSCE for official information at

10 the time you speak of in your report?

11 A. I did discuss our findings with OSCE officials.

12 Q. And can you recall with whom of the -- which official of the OSCE

13 did you discuss that matter?

14 A. I believe it was either Sandra Mitchell or Mr. Bolton.

15 Q. I will read out your statement, Mr. Bouckaert. It's at page 18 of

16 the report, and you refer to one of the OSCE monitors speaking on

17 condition of anonymity. It's P352, it's been identified, but the sentence

18 goes on to say that it confirmed to the Associated Press that the OSCE

19 have found the remains of five persons in the village.

20 What I'm trying to ascertain, Mr. Bouckaert, is whether or not you

21 actually talked to any representative of the OSCE in Macedonia at the time

22 when you were there.

23 A. Sorry, I would just like to see the reference from the --

24 Q. It is at the top of the page, page 18 of your report.

25 A. That's a reference to the OSCE speaking on condition of anonymity

Page 3057

1 to the Associated Press, not to Human Rights Watch.

2 Q. And did you talk to any representative of the OSCE in Macedonia at

3 the time?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And can you identify that individual, that person?

6 A. As I said, it was either Sandra Mitchell or Mr. Bolton or both.

7 Q. And did you contact any other international organisation or NGO

8 which was on the ground at the time?

9 A. Yes. We had very regular discussions with a number of

10 organisations, including UNHCR, as well as the ICRC.

11 Q. Did you contact any of these organisations or NGOs in relation to

12 the events at Ljuboten?

13 A. We did discuss the events of Ljuboten.

14 Q. And did you obtain official information from any of those

15 organisations in relation to these events?

16 A. No, these were informal discussions.

17 Q. Is it also the practice of your organisation, sir, to obtain

18 information not only from the authorities but directly from the people who

19 you consider to be the perpetrators or the people responsible for

20 violations of IHL?

21 A. On some occasions, we have done such investigations and such

22 interviews.

23 Q. Is that the usual practice, sir, or is that something that is done

24 rarely?

25 A. I would say it's a rare practice.

Page 3058

1 Q. And you didn't do that in the case of the Ljuboten; is that

2 correct?

3 A. That's correct. I'm just pausing to allow for the translation.

4 Q. I'm grateful for your assistance. Is that also correct,

5 Mr. Bouckaert, that it's quite an exceptional practice for your

6 organisation to actually name an individual who you consider to be

7 responsible for violations of IHL?

8 A. It's -- we name individuals if we have clear and convincing

9 information that they are linked directly to IHL violations, including

10 quite a few people who are in the custody of this Tribunal.

11 Q. That would be my next question. Apart from your Kosovo reports

12 and the Ljuboten reports, is there any other report of Human Rights Watch

13 which, so to say, point the finger at any individual as being responsible

14 for a violation of IHL?

15 A. Of IHL or human rights abuses as well?

16 Q. I mean IHL.

17 A. I certainly have written reports where we named officials for

18 issues of torture, for example, in Azerbaijan, but those were not conflict

19 related, and I'm working on a report about a Central African which may

20 name some individuals. And in Sri Lanka, we named the head of the Korina

21 [phoen] Group as responsible for the abduction of children, forced

22 recruitment of children.

23 Q. And is that correct that this is the practice of Human Rights

24 Watch not to name or not to point the finger at anyone in that manner

25 unless you have three independent sources, at least, to back your claim;

Page 3059

1 is that correct?

2 A. I'm not aware of the rule requiring three independent sources.

3 Our counsel in the case of a report that would name individuals would more

4 carefully review those reports to ensure that we had adequate information

5 and convincing information to make those charges.

6 Q. Well, perhaps I'll show what is 1D427. It's ERN 1D004073.

7 So this is one of the reports which I understand you've

8 contributed to is "Under Orders, War Crimes in Kosovo," is that correct,

9 you contributed to that report?

10 A. I contributed research, but not writing.

11 Q. Well, I would like to read to you a passage. It's at Roman XXII

12 in the introduction section. I am just waiting for this document to

13 appear. It's Rule 65 ter 1D427 with an ERN of 1D00-4053.

14 And that's the "7" which is on my piece of paper as, in fact, a

15 "1", it could be 1D421.

16 I'll read to you in the meantime, Mr. Bouckaert, what the document

17 says. It's not the correct document that appears. I'll read it out to

18 you. This is page 22 of the introduction of this report. It says this:

19 "The naming of alleged perpetrators was undertaken with

20 particular care, although Kosovar Albanians often did not know their

21 tormentors, a few names are mentioned in this report. For each, at least

22 three independent sources confirm their participation in a crime."

23 So I suppose what I'm asking you is whether that was common

24 practice for Human Rights Watch to have a requirement of three minimum

25 sources for each identification of alleged perpetrators or whether the

Page 3060

1 practice varied depending on the report.

2 A. As I've said, our reports are -- if we're going to name any

3 individuals, counsel will make a determination that we have adequate and

4 convincing evidence. I think in the case of "Under Orders," which does

5 name a number of perpetrators, this is a descriptive passage of what is

6 contained in that report rather than a description of our standard

7 operating procedures.

8 Q. Would that mean that in some circumstances your organisation would

9 be satisfied to make such a finding with less evidence rather than more or

10 less sources rather than more?

11 A. We would require adequate and convincing evidence.

12 Q. And that assessment, sir, could you tell the Chamber by whom it

13 would be made, in particular, in relation to Ljuboten?

14 A. It would have been a central concern of all of the people who

15 reviewed the report, including the Executive Director of the Europe and

16 Central Asia Division, the counsel of Human Rights Watch who would have

17 the primary responsibility in this case, and as well as the official

18 within the Programme Division of Human Rights Watch.

19 Q. And is that correct that before making those allegations, you

20 would generally side on the side of caution; is that correct?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. But in the case of the Ljuboten reports, you made the finding that

23 Mr. Boskoski had been intimately involved in the operation and that crimes

24 had been committed by individuals under his authority; is that correct?

25 A. I don't think that's the language of the report.

Page 3061

1 Q. But is that the language you used in the interviews with "The New

2 York Times," for instance, or in the letter which you drafted for

3 Mr. Cartner?

4 A. If you want to put those in front of me, I'm perfectly happy to

5 review them.

6 Q. But out of memory, Mr. Bouckaert, is that correct --

7 MR. SAXON: Well, Your Honour, may I object?

8 JUDGE PARKER: You may, but not successfully.

9 MR. SAXON: Then I will not, Your Honour.

10 A. Our report concludes that, by his own admission, Mr. Boskoski was

11 present at Ljuboten during the worst day of the operations there, when --

12 a day on which we -- our investigation shows crimes were committed, and we

13 asked for his role to be investigated.


15 Q. When -- in fairness to you, Mr. Bouckaert, I will read out from

16 you the passage which is attributed to you by "The New York Times." It's

17 P357. It's now admitted in evidence.

18 I apologise. That would be P356.

19 And if I can ask the Registry to focus on the bottom right-hand

20 corner of the document and to enlarge it a bit for Mr. Bouckaert.

21 This is what is recorded as your statement, Mr. Bouckaert:

22 "It's important to understand that he doesn't," and that's

23 Mr. Boskoski, "have to witness the people being killed to have some

24 responsibility for what happened, said Peter Bouckaert, a senior

25 researcher for Human Rights Watch who wrote the group's report on

Page 3062

1 Ljuboten."

2 And then there's another quote which is attributed to you:

3 "It was done by troops under his authority in an action in which

4 he was intimately involved."

5 Can you see that? It's on the top of the next page, perhaps, if

6 the Registry could assist.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And does that accurately reflect what you recall saying to

9 Mr. Fisher, the journalist?

10 A. Yes. Mr. Fisher wrote -- read Mr. Boskoski's quote to me and

11 asked me to respond to it, so it's in direct response to Mr. Boskoski's

12 statement. And I think it's an accurate summary of the law of command

13 responsibility.

14 Q. Well, I'm simply asking you to state whether that's an accurate

15 representation of what you told the journalist, Mr. Bouckaert.

16 A. Absolutely.

17 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness now please be shown MA5353. It's

18 a "P" number.

19 Q. And that, you explained, is a letter which you drafted for

20 Ms. Anderson and which was signed by or in any case adopted by her; is

21 that correct?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. And if I may draw your attention to a paragraph, it's the third

24 paragraph from the bottom of that page which starts with the words: "The

25 Macedonian government ..." Can you see it?

Page 3063

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And in that letter, you say the following:

3 "The Macedonian government must answer to the people of Ljuboten,

4 said Elizabeth Anderson. It is deeply disturbing that the Ministry of

5 Interior appears to have been so intimately involved in one of the worst

6 abuses of the war. We demand an impartial investigation."

7 Can you see that?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And that was the nature of your conclusion as to what you believe

10 or understood Mr. Boskoski to have done or partaken in at the time; is

11 that correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. You've explained to the Prosecution and earlier in your evidence

14 the reasons why you did not send a letter of inquiry to the Ministry of

15 Interior, and you explained that you had security concerns; is that

16 correct?

17 A. That was one of the reasons.

18 Q. And could you state what the other reasons were?

19 A. Because the Ministry had already made public many statements about

20 what happened in Ljuboten, and we were not certain that we would get any

21 credible or relevant information from them if we did ask them.

22 Q. So it was your understanding that the Ministry could not have

23 assisted you in relation to your investigation; is that correct?

24 A. I think that's overstating it a little bit. We would have

25 reviewed any information they would have provided us for it. We just

Page 3064

1 didn't believe that we would get much -- much credible or relevant

2 information from them.

3 Q. And you've indicated that you had some security concerns. Is that

4 correct that you did not receive any threats at the time?

5 A. I did not receive any personal threats, but I certainly had

6 many -- several incidents where police officials acted towards me in a

7 very hostile manner.

8 Q. But you were not threatened or otherwise physically abused; is

9 that correct?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. And there was no interference with your work from the Ministry of

12 Interior; is that correct?

13 A. That's not correct.

14 Q. Well, were you allowed to enter the village on the 23rd of August,

15 2001?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And you were not searched when you entered, or were you, when you

18 went out of the village at that time; is that correct?

19 A. My car was searched when entered the village.

20 Q. And none of your belongings or notebooks or cameras were taken

21 from you; is that correct?

22 A. Not on that occasion.

23 Q. And no one came to confiscate your notes at your hotel during that

24 period between the 17th and the 25th of August; is that correct?

25 A. That's correct.

Page 3065

1 Q. And no one sought to detain or arrest you or search you for this

2 information at the airport when you left Macedonia on the 26th or 27th; is

3 that correct?

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. And your pass with the Ministry of Information was never

6 revoked; is that correct?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. And you were again allowed to travel freely to Macedonia whenever

9 you wished, and I understood you returned to Macedonia, if only in

10 passing, at later days. Is that correct?

11 A. Yes, that's correct, in passing.

12 Q. Is that also correct that you've described your relationship with

13 the Ministry of Interior as being a good one; is that correct?

14 A. Could you tell me what you're referring to?

15 Q. Well, do you recall giving an interview to any newspaper where you

16 were asked about the nature of your relationship with the Ministry of

17 Interior?

18 A. In the Macedonian press?

19 Q. That's correct.

20 A. Yes, I did give such an interview.

21 Q. And can you recall also being asked about the nature of your

22 relationship with the Ministry of Interior and the Macedonians' authority

23 in general?

24 A. Yes, but I don't recall what my exact answer was, so ...

25 Q. But do you recall indicating to the journalist that, in fact, your

Page 3066

1 relationship with the government of Macedonia at the time was a fruitful

2 one?

3 A. Yes, but because what we wanted to encourage through this

4 interview is a dialogue with the Macedonian government, and I stressed in

5 the interview that we were not against ethnic Macedonians, that we were

6 not against the Macedonian government, that our mandate was simply to stop

7 the human rights abuses, because we did face a lot of hostility from both

8 the local population and from some elements of the government.

9 Q. Is that correct that you also told the journalist that you were

10 [realtime read in error"weren't"] taken seriously by the government; is

11 that correct?

12 A. By some elements of the government.

13 Q. Is that correct that you also said that you had many constructive

14 meetings with government representatives?

15 A. With some government representatives.

16 Q. And that you also received answers in detail to issues which you

17 had raised with government representatives?

18 A. Yes, although not through official channels.

19 Q. Is that correct that, in fact at the time when you were

20 interviewed, you indicated that the assistance which you received from the

21 government was fruitful, as I mentioned, but that your complaints were

22 directed to the problems which you encountered in the field? Is that

23 correct, is that what you told the journalist?

24 A. I apologise. I mean, this is an interview which was given six

25 years ago, and I can't recall the exact details.

Page 3067

1 Q. Well, I can help you here, Mr. Bouckaert. I believe it's Rule 65

2 ter 324. It has an ERN range of N002-5309, N002-5313-80 for the English,

3 and the Macedonian version starts at N002-5309.

4 Your Honour, before starting again with the questions, there's a

5 line 4 and 5 of page 68 where I'm recorded as asking Mr. Bouckaert:

6 "Is that correct that you also told the journalist that you

7 weren't, were not, taken seriously by the government," whereas the

8 question or at least as I put it was that:

9 "You were taken seriously by the government," so I'll simply ask

10 Mr. Bouckaert again, perhaps.

11 Q. Is that correct, Mr. Bouckaert, that you told the journalist at

12 that time that you were taken seriously by the government?

13 A. We had serious discussions with elements of the government.

14 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you.

15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.

16 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, at least on the English version, I don't

17 see a date for this article. I'm wondering whether we can simply be

18 informed the date of this publication or the date of the interview.

19 MR. METTRAUX: Certainly. We understand the article having been

20 given by Mr. Bouckaert in July of 2001. Mr. Bouckaert may confirm that,

21 perhaps.

22 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, do you recall -- you have the article now in front

23 of you, it was with Anna Petruseva [phoen], can you recall that

24 conversation?

25 A. Yes, I recall the conversation. I just don't recall the details

Page 3068

1 of the questions or the answers.

2 Q. And do you recall that this conversation took place sometime in

3 the month of July of 2001?

4 A. Yes, or -- I don't know, actually, the exact date. It was

5 definitely after the events in Aracinovo, because the picture is from

6 Aracinovo.

7 Q. And it was sometimes in the summer of 2001; is that --

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And if we can turn to the third page of that document, it's

10 N002-5311-80. There's a question put to you by the journalist in the

11 following terms:

12 "How do you evaluate the cooperation with the Macedonian

13 authorities? Is there a feeling for the problems that you indicate?"

14 And that's your answer as recorded:

15 "We have a fruitful cooperation at the government level. I have

16 an impression that our indications are being considered really seriously.

17 We have had many constructive meetings with government representatives and

18 received answers in detail about the case we pointed out. However, the

19 situation in the field is somewhat different. For example, we know that

20 many foreign journalists face the problem of check-points. Members of the

21 police and the army are undisciplined. We have many times encountered

22 drunken soldiers and policemen."

23 Is that an accurate record of what you recall saying to this

24 journalist?

25 A. I -- I can't vouch for the accuracy, especially of the part where

Page 3069

1 it says "we have received answers in detail about the cases we pointed

2 out," because either at that stage or a later stage, that certainly wasn't

3 the case. So I don't know if it's a problem of translation or of an

4 inaccurate reflection in the original, but that part certainly I don't

5 feel is accurate.

6 Q. So you are suggesting that you didn't say that to the journalist

7 at the time; is that correct?

8 A. Well, because I don't recall having received any answers in detail

9 about the cases we discussed with the government, so yeah.

10 Q. So is that the case of you not remembering receiving those

11 information or you're not telling the journalist this fact?

12 A. No, I think it's an inaccurate reflection of the interview.

13 Q. Is that also correct, Mr. Bouckaert, that originally when you were

14 asked about the reasons why you had not given an opportunity to

15 Mr. Boskoski to communicate with you, you had different -- you had given

16 quite a different explanation than the one you gave yesterday and today?

17 A. I don't think so.

18 Q. Do you recall telling the journalists that -- when asked that

19 particular question, that you had tried but that Mr. Boskoski was away

20 from Macedonia at the time?

21 A. I never tried to contact Mr. Boskoski.

22 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness please be shown what is Rule 65

23 ter 1D380. It has an ERN of 1D00-3573. And the Macedonian version is

24 1D00-3572.

25 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, what will appear in front of you is, on the

Page 3070

1 right-hand side, an excerpt of a press article from "Dnevnik" and on the

2 left you'll have the English translation of that same article. It's dated

3 the 29th of August, 2001, and the headline is: "Boskoski Human Rights

4 Watch Hideously Distorts the Truth." Can you see that?

5 A. M'mm-hmm.

6 Q. And then it refers to:

7 "Peter Bouckaert, a senior researcher with the Human Rights Watch

8 protection organisation, Human Rights Watch," can you see that?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And "Dnevnik" says--

11 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly slow down for the benefit of the

12 transcript and the interpreters. Thank you.


14 Q. It says:

15 "Peter Bouckaert confirmed yesterday for Dnevnik that his report

16 would contain serious accusations against the Minister of the Interior,

17 Ljube Boskoski."

18 Do you see that?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And it goes on to say:

21 "In Bouckaret's words, the report will state that several

22 civilians were killed in the operation by the Macedonian security forces

23 which allegedly was led by Boskoski in the village of Ljuboten in the

24 Skopje area."

25 Can you see that?

Page 3071

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And then there's a quote again attributed to you further down

3 which says:

4 "We are convinced that the persons killed in Ljuboten were

5 civilians, and this judgement is based on the evidence available to us.

6 We have not found one single piece of evidence to suggest that they were

7 terrorists. We found only civilian clothing, and there was no indications

8 of the presence of the NLA in the area. In the course of our

9 investigation, we spoke with local people, international observers and the

10 Macedonian authorities, but we are unable to speak with the Minister of

11 the Interior since he was out of the country when we tried to meet him,'

12 Bouckaert said."

13 Is that what you told the journalist at "Dnevnik" Mr. Bouckaert?

14 ?

15 A. I don't recall giving this interview but it's possible.

16 Q. And do you recall telling the journalist at the time that you had

17 been unable to contact Mr. Boskoski because he was out of the country at

18 the time?

19 A. Well, I don't recall giving the interview so I don't recall making

20 that statement, and I don't even recall knowing that Boskoski had been out

21 of the country at the time. He certainly appeared on the news the night

22 before this report was made.

23 Q. So you are saying that is -- it is again a case of the journalist

24 having either invented stories or attributed statements to you that --

25 A. No.

Page 3072

1 Q. -- you didn't make?

2 A. No. I'm just saying I don't recall giving this particular

3 interview.

4 Q. But are you suggesting it did not happen or --

5 A. No, I just don't recall.

6 MR. METTRAUX: Okay. Well, Your Honour, perhaps we'll seek to

7 tender this document at this stage.

8 JUDGE PARKER: Again, what's the relevance? We have quoted into

9 the transcript the passage that you want, the date of the article.

10 MR. METTRAUX: In that case, we won't insist, Your Honour.



13 Q. But is that correct, Mr. Bouckaert, that you also could have sent

14 a fax or a letter to the Minister of the Interior once you had returned in

15 New York; is that correct?

16 A. Yes, we could have.

17 Q. And you didn't do it?

18 A. I don't know if we had the fax number for the Minister of

19 Interior -- Ministry.

20 Q. But you didn't seek to find that number, and in fact you never

21 sent a fax and never gave a call to the Ministry; is that correct?

22 A. That's correct, I focused on writing up my findings.

23 Q. And is that correct also that that was again basic Human Rights

24 Watch practice, to contact or proceed to contact authorities upon return

25 from a mission?

Page 3073

1 A. Again, as I think I've stated previously, it's a common practice.

2 It's certainly not a practice that we engage in every case and this was

3 discussed with my superiors, and we decided not to do it in this case.

4 Q. And, again, the reason for it, that you didn't believe that any

5 meaningful information could be provided to you by the Ministry; is that

6 correct?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. Do you recall, sir, that on the 29th of August, 2001, the Ministry

9 of Interior in fact wrote a letter to Holly Cartner, your superior, I

10 understand, asking you to contact the Ministry; is that something which is

11 within your knowledge?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Is it within your knowledge that the Defence of the co-accused

14 Mr. Tarculovski sent a number of requests to your organisation for

15 information and assistance?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Is that correct, sir, that a large part of your report, in

18 particular as concern Mr. Boskoski, is based on media report or, more

19 precisely, a television broadcast?

20 A. I think that television broadcast has about two lines in the

21 report. It does -- yes, it is mentioned that there was a television

22 broadcast of which we obtained a copy that showed Mr. Boskoski in the

23 village.

24 Q. Well, perhaps we'll turn then to -- it's P352, it's [inaudible],

25 it's again your report, and I will ask the Registry to turn to page 15 of

Page 3074

1 that report.

2 Sorry, that would be two pages further. That's the 15th page in

3 the report, so that means the 17th page. Yes, thank you, that's the one.

4 If I may ask you to look at the section under the subheading:

5 "The responsibility of the security forces and the role of the

6 Ministry of Interior, Ljube Boskoski." Do you see that?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And this section is essentially made of three paragraphs; is that

9 correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And the only reference, footnotes or authority given in that

12 section is to an MTV newscast on 12th of August of 2001; is that correct?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. Is that also correct, Mr. Bouckaert, that you did not seek to

15 contact the television or the journalist which had prepared that

16 broadcast?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. So the evidence or the material upon which you relied in relation

19 to this was, in effect, unverified; is that correct?

20 A. I obtained it from another journalist at MTV.

21 Q. And you didn't query with the person who had done that report

22 whether the content of that material was accurate or not; is that correct?

23 A. We believed it to be accurate.

24 Q. But you did not verify it?

25 A. I think it was rather self-explanatory what the content showed.

Page 3075

1 Q. Is that correct also that you alleged that Mr. Boskoski had been

2 present during the entire operation; is that correct?

3 A. No. We quote the state television newscast as saying that

4 Mr. Boskoski was present during the entire operation, and we say later on

5 that Mr. Boskoski has acknowledged that he was present at Ljuboten on

6 Sunday, but maintains that he arrived at around 4.00 p.m. after the

7 operation was over.

8 Q. And you are aware, sir, of the Macedonian media, not necessarily

9 very reliable; is that something you're aware of?

10 A. Mr. Boskoski himself has never challenged that he was filmed in

11 Ljuboten on that day, as far as I know.

12 Q. I'm just asking you a general question about the reliability of

13 the media or otherwise in Macedonia. Would you agree that they are not

14 always very reliable; is that correct?

15 A. I'm certainly -- it depends on what they're reporting, yes.

16 Q. And is it also correct --

17 A. We were often misrepresented in the official state media.

18 Q. Is that correct that they were prone to distortion or

19 exaggeration?

20 A. In some cases, yes, including in relation to the work of Human

21 Rights Watch.

22 Q. Is that also correct that Human Rights Watch would be very

23 careful, as a matter of policy, only to rely -- first rely very carefully

24 on media and only if you knew those media to be sufficiently reliable; is

25 that correct?

Page 3076

1 A. Given the fact that Mr. Boskoski himself never challenged this

2 footage, we remain of the opinion that there is no question as to the

3 reliability of the newscasts that we relied on in this particular case.

4 Q. But isn't that right that you published the report before

5 Mr. Boskoski was even given a chance to react upon what you wrote in your

6 report? You didn't show him a copy of your report prior to publication;

7 is that correct?

8 A. Mr. Boskoski actually did react to this particular information

9 which was contained in "The Sunday Telegraph" story which he reacted to on

10 television that evening.

11 Q. But just about yourself, Mr. Bouckaert, if I may, you did not send

12 a copy of your report to Mr. Boskoski, prior to publication, asking for

13 his comment; is that correct?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. And it's also correct that your organisation would normally not

16 rely upon any media unless those media were, to put it that way, the most

17 reputable and that you would be aware of their work and methodology; is

18 that correct?

19 A. And we evaluate every piece of evidence on an individual basis,

20 and so it's not like we have a standard set of 12 rules that we apply on

21 whether we include evidence or not. The evidence is evaluated based on an

22 individual basis.

23 Q. Well, can we say this, then: Is that correct that your

24 organisation would, in principle, be relatively wary of relying upon media

25 reports if it could not get access to the primary source?

Page 3077

1 A. Are you still talking about the MTV broadcast or have you --

2 Q. I'm speaking of the media in general, Mr. Bouckaert.

3 A. Well, it's very difficult to answer these questions in the

4 abstract.

5 Q. Well, let's take the example of Macedonia there. Would it be

6 correct that you would be very careful -- your organisation would be very

7 careful in the Balkans, in general, when relying upon media reports

8 without any corroboration for information released in the media; is that

9 correct?

10 A. Certainly. I have a whole chapter in the report I wrote, "A Week

11 of Terror in Drenica" which about a massacre in Kosovo which talks about

12 the response and the misrepresentations in the official state media of

13 that massacre.

14 Q. So your answer is "yes"; is that correct?

15 A. We are careful about the reliability of all information that we

16 include in our reports.

17 Q. And is that also correct that it's the practice of your

18 organisation to rely, in principle, solely on what you consider to be

19 reputable media outlets?

20 A. Again, I believe I've answered this question over and over again.

21 In principle, we rely on reliable, reputable media outlets, but we

22 evaluate each piece of evidence based on an individual determination of

23 the reliability and the value of the evidence.

24 Q. And was it your position that MTV, the Macedonian Television, was

25 one of those reputable and reliable media outlets?

Page 3078

1 A. It depends what kind of information they're reporting. On issues

2 of abuses against ethnic Albanians, probably not.

3 Q. So your evidence is that they are reliable in part; is that

4 correct?

5 A. Yes. And for us, the fact that the national television had shown

6 a minister in the national government on location with police officers,

7 surrounded by police officers, in Ljuboten village while the sounds of

8 gunfire could be heard on the background did give reliability to this

9 particular piece of evidence.

10 Q. And was it also enough for your organisation to support your

11 statements that Mr. Boskoski had been intimately involved in the operation

12 and that the people who committed the crime had been under his authority?

13 Perhaps I can start with the "intimately involved." Was the press report

14 sufficient for you to make that finding?

15 A. I think our report and our research is sufficient to make that

16 finding.

17 Q. Well, my question is slightly different. My question is whether

18 the report on which you rely, that's the MTV report, was considered by you

19 to be sufficiently reliable to base this finding.

20 A. We believe it was, my organisation believes it was, yes.

21 Q. Thank you. Is that correct, sir, that you did not talk to any

22 member of the Ministry of Interior or any member of the army which had

23 been involved in the events of the 12th of August?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. Is it also correct that it's the policy of your organisation, its

Page 3079

1 practice, never to rely upon media reports to make allegations about

2 crimes; is that correct?

3 A. In terms of the investigations we carry out, those are carried out

4 by interviewing eyewitnesses as to what they saw committed, and we would

5 not issue reports based solely on media reports.

6 Q. And is that correct, again, that you would not make an allegation

7 about the commission of a crime by anyone unless -- I mean, based solely

8 on information on media reports; is that correct?

9 A. Certainly, our allegations about Mr. Boskoski are not based solely

10 on media accounts.

11 Q. Well, did you talk -- I've asked you already whether you talked to

12 anyone who had been present in the village at the time. Did you talk to

13 anyone who claimed to have been present with Mr. Boskoski in Ljuboten at

14 the time?

15 A. No, but Mr. Boskoski has never denied being in Ljuboten at the

16 time.

17 Q. Well, the question perhaps should be better put to you like this:

18 Is that correct that, as I showed you earlier, the part of your report

19 which concerned the alleged responsibility of Mr. Boskoski is based solely

20 on the report from MTV, or is that your evidence that you received any

21 other information or any other evidence which would support your finding

22 that Mr. Boskoski had been intimately involved in the operation?

23 A. There was no evidence for -- available to us to suggest that

24 Mr. Boskoski was not present at Ljuboten on the 12th. He was surrounded

25 by a group of police officers in uniform while the fighting was still

Page 3080

1 taking place, and we found that his presence on August 12th, the day where

2 the most serious abuses in Ljuboten took place, required investigation,

3 and that's our position.

4 Q. So your position, to understand it properly, is the expression

5 "intimately involved" which you used is no more than an expression to

6 point out the fact that Mr. Boskoski had been present in Ljubanci on the

7 12th of August; is that correct?

8 A. In Ljuboten.

9 Q. Well, that's your evidence; yes?

10 A. Yes, but I think it's quite clear that his role was not limited to

11 just being present, that his presence at the scene in Ljuboten on

12 August 12th suggested that he had played a role in the operation and

13 that's what we wanted to have investigated. We had established that

14 crimes were committed in Ljuboten. The evidence available to us indicated

15 that Mr. Boskoski had been present during the operation while, gunfire was

16 still taking place, surrounded by his commandants, so we felt that his

17 role should be investigated. It was a clear indication that he had played

18 a direct role in the Ljuboten operation.

19 Q. So is that correct that you had no evidence of that, you merely

20 assumed it; is that correct, that's what you're saying?

21 A. I think it's a fair assumption based on the evidence that was

22 available to us.

23 Q. And the evidence is a video footage of his presence at Ljuboten;

24 is that correct?

25 A. And we didn't have any contradictory evidence to suggest

Page 3081

1 Mr. Boskoski had not been there. I discussed informally our findings with

2 Mr. Stevo Penarovski who was at the time the security adviser to the

3 President and briefed him on our findings, and he certainly didn't make --

4 show any indication to suggest that Mr. Boskoski had not been there.

5 Q. But he didn't give you any evidence that he had; is that correct?

6 A. No. As I said, he gave us no contradictory evidence to suggest

7 that we -- our concerns were somehow unfounded.

8 Q. Is that correct also that this is not the only occasion when you

9 relied upon press reports to make relatively serious allegations against

10 Mr. Boskoski?

11 A. I'm -- that's a very broad question. I'm -- we did use press

12 accounts to follow Mr. Boskoski's involvement with paramilitary groups,

13 because there was a very difficult issue to investigate, and it was

14 basically the only information which was available to us came from press

15 accounts.

16 Q. And you were happy to forward these allegations, these rumours,

17 which you read from the press; is that correct?

18 A. Forward to who?

19 Q. Well, you were content, if I may put it in that way, to propagate

20 those allegations and rumours which you read in the press to other people

21 or other entities; is that correct?

22 A. We never made those kind of allegations in any public way. I do

23 think I referred to them in my statement to this Tribunal.

24 Q. Well, perhaps I'll direct you to your statement in that case. This

25 is now P322, and I would ask the Registry to go to page 4. That's

Page 3082

1 paragraph 16, 1-6.

2 MR. SAXON: Would it be helpful to provide the witness with a copy

3 of his statement?


5 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, are you able to read it on the screen or would you

6 like --

7 A. No, that's fine.

8 MR. METTRAUX: If it could be enlarged a bit for Mr. Bouckaert,

9 please. That's paragraph 16, 1-6.

10 Q. I'd like to draw your attention, Mr. Bouckaert, to a particular

11 statement which is attributed to you in this statement at the end of the

12 page with the sentence starting: "During the summer months ..." Can you

13 see that?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. You're recorded as saying:

16 "During the summer months, Mr. Boskoski personally organised an

17 irregular police unit called The Lions."

18 And then you go on to say: "The Lions were personally --"

19 If we can turn to the next page:

20 "The Lions were personally selected by Mr. Boskoski. After the

21 conflict The Lions briefly blockaded roads when Mr. Boskoski's successor

22 as Minister of Interior attempted to disband the unit. During the

23 conflict, it became publicly known that The Lions had employment contracts

24 not with the Ministry of Interior but with Mr. Boskoski directly."

25 Is that an accurate portrayal of what you told the Prosecution?

Page 3083

1 A. Yes. And during my proofing, I actually raised some concerns

2 about the phrasing of this paragraph. I wanted to make it clear that I

3 was relying on press accounts in this case. So I would like, for the

4 record, to say that these -- the allegations in this paragraph are based

5 on the information that we received from the press, both before and after

6 the conflict, yes.

7 Q. And simply for the record, you have indeed corrected your

8 statement, replacing the word "during the conflict" by "after the

9 conflict"; is that correct?

10 A. Yes, but I felt that the paragraph, as written, didn't adequately

11 reflect the fact that it was based on my impression, my following of press

12 accounts, rather than any direct knowledge of myself. So I was concerned

13 about the language of that paragraph.

14 Q. I'm grateful for that clarification, Mr. Bouckaert. Is that

15 correct also that you actually never verified whether there was any truth

16 in those press reports?

17 A. It was a marginal issue of concern to us, because it was more of a

18 security issue rather than a human rights issue. We were concerned about

19 The Lions because of our knowledge of what paramilitary groups like

20 The Lions had done in other countries -- in other conflicts, like Kosovo

21 and Bosnia, but --

22 Q. But with concern back to the statement, Mr. Bouckaert, is that

23 correct that you never sought to verify and that you, in fact, never

24 verified that any of those facts or statements which you gathered from the

25 press were accurate or otherwise?

Page 3084

1 A. I do believe them to be accurate. There certainly was a unit

2 known as The Lions. They appeared often on television. The question was

3 about their relationship to Mr. Boskoski, and as I explained to you, that

4 was a question of marginal importance to us. We were more focused on

5 documenting human rights abuses rather than on documenting that.

6 Q. So is that your evidence, would that be correct to suggest that

7 other than your awareness of the existence of The Lions unit at some

8 stage, you cannot vouch for the accuracy or reliability of the information

9 stated in that paragraph which I've read to you; is that your evidence?

10 A. The information contained in that paragraph is based on my

11 following of the press accounts about Mr. Boskoski's links to The Lions.

12 I do believe those press accounts to be accurate, but I do feel that the

13 paragraph, as written, does not reflect the fact that it is simply my

14 opinion based on my reading of the press accounts, yes, that's correct.

15 MR. METTRAUX: Would it be a convenient time, Your Honour?

16 JUDGE PARKER: Very well, Mr. Mettraux.

17 Could the Chamber indicate that it would be valuable if we could

18 finish this evening between a quarter to and 10 to 7.00. Is that going to

19 produce any --

20 MR. METTRAUX: No, not at all, Your Honour.

21 JUDGE PARKER: -- great problem?

22 Thank you.

23 --- Recess taken at 5.30 p.m.

24 --- Upon commencing at 6.01 p.m.

25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.

Page 3085

1 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you.

2 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, I would simply like to read once again the

3 paragraph from your statement. It's paragraph 16. I will just read it to

4 refresh your memory a bit. This is what you are recorded as saying:

5 "Mr. Boskoski, the Macedonian Minister of Interior played a

6 direct role in creating irregular police unit under his direct command.

7 In the summer months, Mr. Boskoski personally organised an irregular

8 police unit called 'The Lions'. The Lions were personally selected by

9 Mr. Boskoski. After the conflict, The Lions briefly blockaded roads when

10 Mr. Boskoski's successor as Minister of the Interior attempted to disband

11 the unit."

12 Then you've corrected the first word, you now say:

13 "After the conflict it became publicly known that The Lions had

14 employment contracts not with the Ministry of the Interior but with

15 Mr. Boskoski directly."

16 And you've adopted that evidence a short while ago.

17 Now, can I ask you this: Have you ever seen any of the official

18 documentation which related to the creation of setting up of The Lions

19 unit?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Have you ever met with the commander of The Lions unit at any

22 point during your work?

23 A. No.

24 Q. I'd like to turn your attention to a document which is Rule 65 ter

25 1D420, with an ERN 1D00-3764, and the Macedonian version is 3763. The

Page 3086

1 English version would be 1D0 -- yes, thank you very much.

2 If I can draw your attention first to the top left-hand corner,

3 you will see it's a document that comes from the Republic of Macedonia,

4 Ministry of Internal Affairs, and it's dated the 3rd of February, 2003.

5 And if you look at the bottom right-hand corner of that document, it's

6 signed by the Minister of the Interior, Hari Kostov. Can you see that?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And if I can draw your attention to the first paragraph of that

9 document, it says this:

10 "Pursuant to Article 55, Item 1 of the law on organisation and

11 work of the bodies of the state administration and with regard to Point

12 10, Item 2 of the Republic of Macedonia Government's decision for

13 transforming the unit for rapid intervention, Lavovi/Lions [phoen] of the

14 Ministry of Internal Affair of 27 January 2003, the Minister of Interior

15 issued," and then there's a text.

16 My first question, briefly, is were you aware that the Lions unit,

17 the official name of The Lions unit, was Unit for Rapid Intervention?

18 A. No, I was not. I only knew them as The Lions.

19 Q. And if you look at the title of that decision, it says: "Decision

20 for terminating the validity of the decision to form rapid intervention

21 police battalion of the Ministry of Interior Affairs." Can you see that?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And if you go to the first paragraph below, it says that:

24 "With the entering into force of this decision, the decision to

25 form rapid intervention police battalion of the Ministry of Interior," and

Page 3087

1 then there's a number, it's 16.1-4475 of 6 August 2001, "is being

2 terminated." Can you see that?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And that suggests that the rapid intervention police battalion --

5 Battalion of the Ministry was created by the decision with that number.

6 Is that correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 MR. METTRAUX: Well, Your Honour, at this stage we'll tender this

9 document.

10 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D88, Your Honours.

12 THE WITNESS: Although the date of August 6th, we certainly were

13 concerned and aware of a unit called The Lions before that date.


15 Q. Well, let's look at the next document, then. It's Exhibit P74,

16 ERN 042-4682-80-01 in the English, and it's -- yes.

17 First, if I may ask you to look at the top left-hand corner of

18 that document, again you will see it's a document from the Republic of

19 Macedonia, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and it bears the same number and

20 the same date, that's 16.1-4475/1, and the date is 6th August of 2001.

21 Can you see that?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And then there's a bulky paragraph which is essentially the legal

24 basis upon which the decision was taken, and it reads like that:

25 "Based on Article 55, paragraph 1, of the Law on the Organisation

Page 3088

1 of and Work of State Administration and Agencies, Item 2 of the decision

2 of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia to establish a unit for

3 special purposes," and then there's a number of decision -- a number

4 mentioned, and it refers to a decision of the President of the Republic of

5 Macedonia to establish a temporary unit for combat against terrorism of

6 classification ADT number 07-54 of 15/06/2001: "The Minister of Internal

7 Affairs brought the following."

8 Can you see that paragraph?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And it says it's a decision to establish a rapid intervention

11 police battalion of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Is that correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Then if I can ask you to turn to the second page of that document,

14 and ask you in particular to focus on what is numbered as paragraph 4 of

15 that document. It says this:

16 "Filling up the rapid intervention police battalion will be made

17 on a voluntary basis and by assignment from the special police unit of the

18 Ministry of Internal Affairs."

19 Can you see that?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. It then goes on to say:

22 "Members of the rapid intervention police battalion from the

23 reserve forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs are employed as

24 full-time employees at the Ministry of Internal Affairs."

25 Can you see that?

Page 3089

1 A. M'mm-hmm, yes.

2 Q. And then it goes on to add:

3 "Members of the rapid intervention police battalions are required

4 to remain in the service for at least three years, starting from the date

5 of assignment to the battalion, that is, from the day the employment

6 agreement is concluded."

7 And then if I may also ask you to look at paragraph 5:

8 "The selection of candidates to fill in the rapid intervention

9 police battalion is performed by a special committee composed of the head

10 of Sector Special Units as the Chairman and to members from the Department

11 of Police."

12 Can you see that?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And it's signed by the Minister of Internal Affairs,

15 Ljube Boskoski; is that correct?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. And you will agree, I hope, that this is in complete contradiction

18 with the press report which we have referred earlier and which you have

19 adopted in your evidence. Is that correct?

20 A. First of all, as I think I've made clear, I'm a human rights

21 investigator not a security expert, and I've also made clear that I'm

22 testifying on the basis of press reports. Due to --

23 Q. I'll just --

24 A. This is certainly not the paramilitary Lions unit that we were

25 concerned about, as a human rights organisation. This document may refer

Page 3090

1 to the formalisation, under international pressure, of some of the those

2 irregular units, but in my opinion the date of this document is

3 inconsistent when we first heard about The Lions and their activities.

4 Q. Well, let me ask you this: This opinion which you've just

5 expressed about a formalisation process, is that again based on press

6 reports, or did you see any particular documents?

7 A. No, it's certainly not based on any legal documents. It's based

8 on us following the press reports.

9 Q. Well, I'll ask you to look at a different document, then. It's

10 Rule 65 ter 222. It's a Defence document, and it has an ERN

11 N000-5388-N000-5404-80. The Macedonian version, Your Honour, will be at

12 N000-5388. Thank you.

13 Sir, this is a list of persons that were employed in the

14 intervention unit -- rapid intervention unit, Lavovi, based on received

15 concurrence, it says, by the Minister of Finance on the 12th of November

16 of 2001, and that is a list that comes from the archives of the Ministry

17 of Interior.

18 Would you agree, sir, that again this document suggests that

19 The Lions unit was, in fact, a formalised police unit of the Ministry of

20 Interior and not some sort of organisation with which Mr. Boskoski had

21 contracts and personal relationships?

22 A. I don't know the providence of this document. I don't even see

23 the date when the document was issued.

24 Q. Well, the date is 12 November 2001. It's at the top.

25 A. Is that the date the document was issued, or is this a review

Page 3091

1 based on the finance documentation that was issued on that date?

2 Q. Well, my --

3 A. Because as I state in my statement, there was a controversy when

4 this unit was disbanded about their employment contracts, and I assume

5 that this document relates to establishing who exactly was in the unit and

6 who was not. So, I mean, it's very difficult for me to testify about

7 documents that -- whose relevance and nature is unclear to me.

8 Q. Well, perhaps to assist you, this is a document that was provided

9 to the Defence by the Office of the Prosecution, and we understand it

10 comes directly from the archives of the Ministry of Interior or the

11 Ministry of Finance. Would that assist you?

12 A. From what I understand is after the end of the war, The Lions unit

13 was disbanded. They blockaded some roads, including the main road leading

14 to Skopje.

15 Q. Let's just stay on the question, Mr. Bouckaert, if I may.

16 Would you agree that this list, again, as with the previous

17 document, suggests that there is, in fact, no merit to the allegations

18 reported in the newspaper in which you have reported in your statement as

19 regard The Lions unit; is that correct?

20 A. I don't see how this document goes to the allegation.

21 Q. Well --

22 A. There was a controversy about the nature of their employment

23 contracts, from what I understand from the press, and I'm sure the

24 government made an attempt to resolve that conflict and to reopen the

25 road. And from what I understand from what this document looks like, is a

Page 3092

1 document listing the final people who had membership in this unit and who

2 required -- who received required compensation so the roads to Kosovo

3 would be reopened.

4 Q. That's not exactly my question, Mr. Bouckaert. In your statement,

5 you claim that after the conflict it became publicly known that The Lions

6 had employment contracts not with the Ministry of Interior but with

7 Mr. Boskoski directly. Is that what you told the Prosecution?

8 A. Yes, and as I've made clear in my prior testimony, I did raise the

9 categorical language of this paragraph. It was the only paragraph that I

10 discussed with the Prosecutor that I had problems with, because it did not

11 reflect that this was my opinion based on press reports.

12 As I've said, from my understanding based on those press reports,

13 the controversy when The Lions unit was disbanded was between claims that

14 they had contracts with the Ministry of Interior or directly with

15 Boskoski, and I see this document as probably finalising an agreement

16 listing who was in this unit and who would receive compensation. So I

17 don't see it inconsistent with my statement, but perhaps, because as I

18 said, I don't have a security expertise, I'm misunderstanding the nature

19 of the document.

20 Q. Well, perhaps we'll try to stick to your understanding of this

21 matter, Mr. Bouckaert, and I'll ask that the witness be shown 65 ter

22 1D419. And it's ERN 1D00-3761.

23 And I'll just ask you to focus again perhaps on the top left-hand

24 corner of the document. At the time it's written: "Public of Macedonia,

25 Ministry of Interior Affairs." It has a number and it's dated 22nd of

Page 3093

1 August of 2002. Can you see that?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And there's a big subheader in the middle of the document which

4 says: "Employment Agreement." Can you see that?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And if you look at the first paragraph of that document, it says

7 the following:

8 "Pursuant to Article 14 of the Law for Employment Relations

9 Official Gazette and Article 12 of the Collective Agreement of the MOI,

10 again Official Gazette, the employer, the Ministry of Interior Affairs of

11 the Republic of Macedonia, represented by the Minister of Interior Affairs

12 and the employee Nikola Strajapolos [phoen], a citizen of the Republic of

13 Macedonia from Tetovo," with address and so on,"made the following ..."

14 And then it says "Employment agreements." Can you see that?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And if you can look at the third paragraph, it says:

17 "The employee establishes an employment relationship for

18 employment as a police officer at the unit for fast intervention - Lions,

19 in the Department for Police at the MOI of Republic of Macedonia."

20 Can you see that?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And then if you can look at paragraph 5 of that document, it says:

23 "The employee accept the responsibilities which are

24 determined by the Law on Employment Relations, the Law on Internal

25 Affairs, the Law for Organisation and Work of the Bodies of the State

Page 3094

1 Authority, the collective agreement, and the acts of the employer, and the

2 separate rights and duties established by the resolution for forming of a

3 police unit for fast intervention - Lion of 6 August 2001, and the rule

4 book for the conditions and the procedure for assigning the rights and

5 duties for members of the unit for fast intervention of the MOI."

6 Can you see that?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And that would suggest, doesn't it, that the contracts between

9 members of The Lions unit and the other party was, in fact, with the

10 Ministry of Interior directly; is that correct?

11 A. At the time that this employment contract in August 2002 was

12 issued, that would be correct.

13 MR. METTRAUX: Well, Your Honour, perhaps we would tender this

14 document.

15 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D89, Your Honours.


18 Q. And perhaps I will read out to you the evidence of another witness

19 who's testified before this Tribunal. It's Witness M-56, Your Honour, who

20 testified on the 18th of June of 2007. It's at page 2203 to 2204.

21 The witness, Mr. Bouckaert, was asked the following:

22 "Bearing in mind that part of the policemen who are members of

23 the unit Posivna [phoen] already employed with this decision, also it has

24 been determined that one portion of the reserve that will become part of

25 the rapid intervention battalion will be hired, that is to say, employed

Page 3095

1 at the Ministry; is that correct?"

2 "Yes, that's correct."

3 And then the witness was asked:

4 "And if somebody would say before this court that the members of

5 these battalions have been employed or reached the employment directly

6 with the Minister, would not be correct, because the decision clearly says

7 that they are going to be employed by the Ministry of Interior; is that

8 correct?"

9 The witness said:

10 "Yes, that's correct:

11 So you would agree, sir, that this evidence would be directly

12 contradicting the press report in any case on which you based your

13 assertions?

14 A. As I think as I made very clear in my testimony, we understood

15 that a group called The Lions existed before the establishment of this

16 unit, and this may have been an attempt to regularise this unit which had

17 been formed before, but I don't see it as contradictory to my testimony.

18 Q. But, sir, do you have any evidence of the suggestion which you are

19 now making, that this is merely an attempt to regularise the situation, or

20 is it something that you are simply assuming or claiming?

21 A. Well, I base it on the fact that this unit was established on

22 August 6th, 2001, and we certainly had press reports showing the existence

23 of a unit called The Lions talking about their demonstrations and their

24 actions long before then.

25 Q. But it is not your evidence, sir, that the members of the first

Page 3096

1 unit and the members of the police unit at the time were the same people,

2 or is that what you are claiming today?

3 A. No, I'm just saying that before this order was issued, there

4 already was some kind of formation called The Lions which was of great

5 concern to us.

6 Q. And, again, simply to clarify the point fully, those contracts

7 which you claim Mr. Boskoski had with a different Lion outfit, you never

8 see -- you never saw any of those; is that correct?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. You've also made a statement in your report of 5 September of 2001

11 to the effect that Mr. Boskoski was openly hostile to international actors

12 in Macedonia including Western media, NATO, and the OSCE. Do you recall

13 making that statement?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. You also said that Mr. Boskoski was an ultra-nationalist. Is that

16 correct?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And you also made a statement that there was a risk that in such

19 climate, nationalist government officials such as Minister Boskoski could

20 use threat of public incitement against the OSCE; is that correct?

21 A. Yes, as I had seen during the riots in Skopje during June

22 following the evacuation of NLA fighters by NATO forces.

23 Q. And before making that claim, sir, did you contact the high

24 officials of the OSCE to verify whether that was their impression or their

25 view that there was such a risk from Mr. Boskoski?

Page 3097

1 A. I'm sure they would have denied it, and in their public statements

2 they spoke about -- they certainly never mentioned such tensions.

3 Q. Well, are you saying you're sure that they would deny it. Did you

4 talk to any of those officials which claim that they were afraid of

5 Mr. Boskoski's threats?

6 A. I never spoke to Ambassador Ungaro about it, no.

7 Q. Did you speak to Mr. Seford, his deputy?

8 A. No.

9 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness please be shown Exhibit 1D38?

10 It's an exhibit.

11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters ask you to observe the pauses

12 between questions and answers.

13 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you.

14 Q. Sir, this is the translation of a letter. The English for you is

15 on the left. It's a translation of a letter actually sent in Macedonian,

16 and it's sent to Mr. Ljube Boskoski, Minister of Interior, and it comes

17 from the deputy head of the OSCE mission in Skopje, Mr. Robin Seford.

18 I'd like to draw your attention to first the date, 14th of June,

19 2001, and to the first paragraph of this letter. It says:

20 "Please allow me to express my deepest personal gratitude and

21 respect and that of the OSCE mission for the exceptional level of

22 understanding, cooperation, readiness and efficiency which you and all the

23 members of your valued Ministry have always demonstrated during our mutual

24 contact. The permits given by the Ministry of the Interior of the

25 Republic of Macedonia to our personnel, international and local, are of

Page 3098

1 critical importance for the work and functioning of the office of the OSCE

2 mission in the Republic of Macedonia in accordance with our mandate."

3 You will agree, I hope, Mr. Bouckaert, that this does not suggest

4 the thought of threats or concern which you expressed in your report; is

5 that right?

6 A. It reflects the usual diplomatic language which is used in such

7 letters.

8 Q. Well, are you able to state before this Trial Chamber, then, that

9 you know that Mr. Seford was being merely diplomatic or was that just your

10 opinion?

11 A. That was my opinion.

12 Q. Is it also correct, sir, that a great part of your reports and

13 many of your findings in your report are based solely on press reports; is

14 that correct?

15 A. That's not correct.

16 Q. Well, would it be correct to say a third and a quarter of all

17 references in your reports are to press reports and media outlets; would

18 that be correct?

19 A. Just because we cite a lot of media reports to support certain

20 statements in our report does not mean that it's based, in your words,

21 that many of our findings are based solely on press reports, no. The

22 findings as to the crimes that were committed in Ljuboten are based on our

23 interviews, on our visit to Ljuboten, and our discussions with various

24 other observers.

25 Q. Well, let's just stick with my question, if you may for a second.

Page 3099

1 Is that correct that approximately one-third to one-quarter of your

2 references, and that would be approximately 20 footnotes of about 70, were

3 to press reports or media outlets? Is that correct?

4 A. Yes, and almost all of those are focused on our discussion of the

5 role of the OSCE and other issues, not our own investigation into the

6 events in Ljuboten on August 10th to 12th.

7 Q. Well, isn't that the case that the only reference you make to the

8 presence of Mr. Boskoski in the area at the time, as discussed earlier, is

9 to a media report to that effect and a video?

10 A. I think we've gone over this in great detail.

11 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, this has been asked and answered

12 extensively.

13 JUDGE PARKER: It is reaching that point, Mr. Mettraux. Have

14 you got any further specific --

15 MR. METTRAUX: I'll will move on this point, Your Honour.

16 Q. Is that correct, Mr. Bouckaert, that all of your findings

17 concerning the events of Ljubotenski Bacila, which in your view were the

18 cause or the lead-up to what happened in Ljuboten, solely based on media

19 reports?

20 A. We do not say that this is the cause of what happened in Ljuboten.

21 The incident of what happened prior to the attack on Ljuboten is based on

22 information from the official state media, yes, of the official Macedonian

23 information agency, I should say.

24 Q. But is that correct that you make the claim in your reports, and I

25 believe also in a number of media reports, that the incident of Ljuboten

Page 3100

1 was in revenge for what had happened in Ljubotenski Bacila; is that the

2 finding you've made?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And is that correct that your finding in relation to what happened

5 in Ljubotenski Bacila are based solely on media reports?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Is it also correct that the claim that you make of an attack on

8 the Ljubotens police -- Ljubotenski police station by the NLA on 12th of

9 August 2001 is also based solely on media reports?

10 A. Well, they're based on information from the Macedonia Information

11 Agency, which is a state news agency, so we saw them as official releases

12 from the government to that extent.

13 Q. And again am I correct to understand that you did not seek to

14 verify either this matter or the matter which related to the Ljubotenski

15 Bacila incident?

16 A. You're talking about the mine explosion?

17 Q. That's correct.

18 A. Yes, because we didn't feel the facts related to this incident

19 were in dispute.

20 Q. In your statement, you've indicated to the Prosecution that you

21 believed that Mr. Boskoski had called up a significant number of

22 reservists to supplement, I believe is the expression, the regular police.

23 Do you remember that?

24 A. There had been a call-up of reservists, yes.

25 Q. And it is your evidence that this call-up was made by

Page 3101

1 Mr. Boskoski; is that correct?

2 A. That's what I believe, yes.

3 Q. And was that belief based again on press reports?

4 A. It was based on my general monitoring of the situation at the

5 time. There certainly was a call-up of reservists at the time.

6 Q. And what you refer to by "my general monitoring," would that be

7 monitoring -- and I'm referring to what you say was a call-up made by

8 Mr. Boskoski, this information you received from the press; is that

9 correct?

10 A. No, I don't recall exactly, but we attended a variety of meetings

11 with other monitors on a regular basis. We monitored the press. We

12 stayed in close contact with a variety of journalists and diplomats and

13 other observers. So it will be based on a combination of those sources.

14 Q. And do you have any knowledge or awareness of the laws and

15 regulations which apply to this matter, to the calling of reservists from

16 the police?

17 A. Not directly. I mean, the only point which was of interest to us

18 is that reservists had been called up and were participating in some of

19 these operations and that there were concerns about discipline among those

20 reservists.

21 Q. And are you aware of the fact that the call-up of police

22 reservists was made at the request or at the behest of the Prime Minister

23 or the President? At any stage, did you become aware of that fact?

24 A. I think that's quite possible.

25 Q. Well, there's a particular document that I would like to show you,

Page 3102

1 Your Honour, but at the discretion of the Chamber, if the Chamber wants to

2 continue for another five minutes.

3 Thank you.

4 It's Rule 65 ter 1D439.1, and it has an ERN of 1D00-4038. And the

5 Macedonian equivalent would be 1D00-4035.

6 Sir, this is essentially a summary of press releases and press

7 reports which were prepared within the Ministry of Interior at the time.

8 It's dated 29th of June, it should be the 29th, it's the 29th of June,

9 2001, and if I can draw your attention to the second paragraph, which

10 starts with the words: "Demobilisation."

11 Can you see that? It's in the middle of the page. Can you see

12 that?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. It says:

15 "Demobilisation of the reserve composition. The Ministry of

16 Interior Affairs, Ljube Boskoski, at the press conference stated, the

17 members of the reserve composition of the Republic of Macedonia will be

18 demobilised and withdrawn from the check-points around Skopje, with the

19 aim of allowing politicians to continue with the peaceful solving of the

20 problem. They will again be engaged when the President will determine

21 that they are needed for defending the country. I am doing this because

22 of the series of accusations by the opposition and by the Social

23 Democratic Union of Macedonia directed at me that I'm being radical, that

24 I'm for war, that I want to conduct a police upheaval, that I am for

25 mobilisation of the reserve composition of the police, according to party

Page 3103

1 criteria, and that I am 'stopping' the realisation of President

2 Trajkovski's plan for peaceful resolution of the crisis."

3 And then the next paragraph say:

4 "I deny all of the accusations and categorically claim that am

5 for peace in this region, but for rightful peace. I personally think that

6 there is no single reason for me to defend myself from the accusations

7 according to which the MOI and the Minister are responsible, also for the

8 events that occurred in front of the Macedonian Parliament, because at

9 that moment I was the only person who stood before the Macedonian people

10 and tried to calm the gathered crowd of people."

11 Can you see that?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And I'll just ask the Registry to show the next document which

14 relates to the present one. It's Rule 65 ter 1D439.2 with an

15 ERN 1D00-4042 in the English and 4040 in the Macedonian. It would be the

16 next page in the Macedonian version, please.

17 Mr. Bouckaert, I'll ask you to look at the last of the three

18 sections of that document. As you can see, it's dated the 13th of June,

19 so that's the next day.

20 And if it could be enlarged a bit for Mr. Bouckaert, please.

21 It says the following:

22 "The police reservists are returning to the check-points. The

23 Ministry of Interior Affairs withdrew the decision for demobilisation of

24 the police reserve composition and ordered remobilisation which will be

25 processed selectively. The remobilisation of the police reserve

Page 3104

1 composition is conducted upon a request of the commander-in-chief of the

2 Macedonian armed forces, Boris Trajkovski, due to the actual security

3 situation in the country."

4 Were you aware of that information, Mr. Bouckaert, at the time?

5 A. Not at the time.

6 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, we'll seek to tender these two

7 documents.

8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, they will be received.

9 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter 1D439.1 will become Exhibit 1D90, and 65

10 ter 1D439.2 will become Exhibit 1D91, Your Honours.

11 MR. METTRAUX: Would that be a convenient time, Your Honour?

12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Mettraux.

13 Mr. Saxon.

14 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I have a matter of scheduling that I must

15 raise, and since I cannot speak directly with the witness, I may

16 respectfully ask the Chamber to consider whether it needs to communicate

17 with Mr. Bouckaert.

18 Before this session began, counsel for Mr. Boskoski told me that

19 it's very possible that my colleague will take the entire day -- the

20 entire court day tomorrow with continued cross-examination. That would

21 leave Thursday -- part of Thursday for perhaps additional

22 cross-examination by Mr. Apostolski and some redirect examination by the

23 Prosecution.

24 It's my understanding that this witness is presently scheduled to

25 fly back to his current place of work and residence on Thursday, and I

Page 3105

1 simply don't know whether the passage of time is going to effect this

2 witness or his ability to remain here through Thursday and perhaps not

3 until Friday.

4 JUDGE PARKER: Let me start with you, Mr. Mettraux. Your time

5 estimate?

6 MR. METTRAUX: Well, Your Honour, first we would like to indicate

7 that we would, as far as possible, try to arrange it for the witness as

8 well and that we will seek to be as short as possible. Mr. Saxon is

9 correct, we believe we will need certainly the entire day of tomorrow and

10 possibly another session of the day after. We will try to, during the

11 evening and tomorrow morning, to shorten the cross-examination, the

12 further cross-examination.

13 I would simply point out, Your Honour, if I may, that in effect

14 the cross-examination is a cross-examination of evidence which is at least

15 the equivalent of four days of court time, as a minimum, since

16 Mr. Bouckaert was interviewed, I understand, for three days by the

17 Prosecution and that he was examined in chief or partly in chief for a day

18 and a bit, simply to indicate that we will try to be as quick as we can

19 also for the witness and for the rest of the scheduling. This is our

20 estimate at this stage, perhaps one day and one session.

21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.

22 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I support what my

23 colleague Mettraux just said, and I would also like to inform the Court

24 that this evening we will have a meeting with our colleagues from the

25 Defence of Mr. Boskoski. Therefore, jointly we can make this as short as

Page 3106

1 possible, the cross-examination, to make it as short as possible.

2 JUDGE PARKER: That's not a very helpful estimate, Mr. Apostolski.

3 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I know this.

4 However, I believe that in the course of tomorrow and the first break in

5 the course of tomorrow would perhaps be a more probable time to say, if my

6 colleague Mettraux finishes by tomorrow.

7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

8 Mr. Bouckaert, your travel commitments, can they accommodate being

9 here on Thursday?

10 THE WITNESS: I believe I'm scheduled to fly out on Thursday

11 evening, Your Honour.

12 JUDGE PARKER: Do you know at what time?

13 THE WITNESS: I think the flight leaves at about 8.00 or 9.00

14 p.m., but I can confirm that. So --

15 JUDGE PARKER: Because we are scheduled to sit from 2.15 to 7.00

16 on Thursday.

17 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I believe in order to catch that

18 flight, I would probably have to finish sometime before the final session

19 on Thursday, but if the Defence needs me, I will change my travel plans,

20 of course.

21 JUDGE PARKER: Well, Mr. Bouckaert, we're grateful for your

22 position and attitude in the matter. It takes the pressure off the

23 immediate problem, but not the general problem.

24 We have two days allowed for this witness. He's going to run four

25 to five days, which is exactly the problem we had with Mr. Hutsch at the

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1 end of last week. It's simply going to have to speed up. People will

2 have to be more selective of what is material and more quick in dealing

3 with it. And to that end, Mr. Mettraux, we would encourage you to do all

4 that is possible to finish by the end of tomorrow. And with that then

5 done, Mr. Apostolski and Mr. Saxon may be able to finish in time to allow

6 Mr. Bouckaert to catch his scheduled flight, and we'll see by the end of

7 tomorrow whether that can be achieved on Thursday.

8 So if all counsel will be aware that the Chamber has indicated at

9 the end of last week that it's going to have to become more positive in

10 its time allowances, because we can't just let this pattern continue to

11 develop of far longer times spent with each witness. But for the moment,

12 Mr. Mettraux, we'd be grateful for you, over the evening, to do all that

13 can be done.

14 MR. METTRAUX: It will be done, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

16 That leaves you at a state of some uncertainty, Mr. Bouckaert.

17 You may be able to explore the possibility of getting a tentative booking

18 or something like that, but what can be done will be done to get you free

19 by about 6.00 on Thursday.

20 THE WITNESS: I appreciate that, Your Honour.

21 JUDGE PARKER: We will now adjourn and we resume tomorrow at 2.15.

22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

23 6.50 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,

24 the 4th day of July, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.