1 Thursday, 23 August 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, sir. Would you please read aloud
7 the affirmation on the sheet shown to you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 WITNESS: SHERAFEDIN AJRULLAI
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MS. REGUE: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, Ms. Regue. You're to take this
16 witness, I take it.
17 MS. REGUE: Yes, Your Honours. We're calling
18 Mr. Sherafedin Ajrullai.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
20 Examination by Ms. Regue:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Ajrullai.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. Mr. Ajrullai, do you recall providing a statement to the Office of
24 the Prosecutor in September 2004?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you recall meeting with a lady from the registry who certified,
2 put a stamp on your statement in 2005?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Have you had the opportunity to read your statement before coming
5 here today in Court?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Are you satisfied that the statement that you read was correct and
9 A. Yes.
10 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, I will seek to tender this witness's
11 statement pursuant to Rule 92 bis.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P403, Your Honours.
14 MS. REGUE: The witness, Mr. Sherafedin Ajrullai, is a Macedonian
15 citizen of Albanian ethnicity and a Ljuboten resident. Between 10 to 12
16 August, 2001, the witness saw and heard shooting and shelling towards
17 Ljuboten. As a consequence, the witness and his family sought shelter in
18 a neighbour's basement. Around 5.00 p.m. On 12 August, 2001, the witness
19 and his family decided to leave Ljuboten and saw houses burning in the
20 upper part of the village. On their way to Skopje, they were stopped by
21 the police near the check-point and then at the check-point itself. The
22 police search and beat the witness and other Albanian villagers there.
23 They were then taken by police jeep to Butel or Cair police
24 station where they were forced to walk through a gauntlet of masked police
25 who beat them before entering the building. The witness and the fellow
1 villagers were also beaten at the actual police station. After midnight,
2 the witness and the others were transported to Karpos police station,
3 around 40 to 50 Ljuboten villagers were being held there and were also
4 maltreated. The witness was submitted to the paraffin test and was told
5 that he had been tested positive. Nevertheless, he and others were then
6 taken by police jeep to a building near the court-house in Skopje and
7 released on the street. After walking 50 metres, other police officers
8 approached them and beat them before taking them to Bit Pazar police
9 station where they were beaten again.
10 They were released after the intervention of a senior police
11 officer from Bit Pazar police station in the early hours of 13 August
12 2001. The witness still suffers headaches and chest pains as a result of
13 this mistreatment.
14 Mr. Ajrullai, after you were released in August 2001, were you
15 ever interviewed by any member of the Macedonian police or the minister of
16 interior about what happened in Ljuboten in August 2001?
17 A. No, never.
18 Q. If we can have, please, displayed in e-court, 65 ter 199.33. It's
19 page 545, ERN N004-4984. Your Honours, it's the same photo but a bit
20 enlarged of the one you can find in page 18, photo B of the court binder.
21 It is enlarged as well.
22 Mr. Ajrullai, what do you see in this photo?
23 A. This is the police station in Butel, from the back side.
24 Q. In paragraph 11 of your statement, you describe that you were
25 taken to this police station on Sunday, 12th of August, and you were
1 forced to walk through two lines of policemen?
2 MS. REGUE: If we could have, please, the usher's assistance. Are
3 you able to see the place where the two lines of policemen were located
4 that day? Are you able to see it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. If could you please draw a line indicating where the policemen
7 were standing.
8 A. Here, they were lined up here, in two lines and this is where they
9 beat us and where they forced us inside.
10 Q. For the record the witness has drawn a line in the centre of the
11 photo on the right side.
12 MS. REGUE: And Your Honours, I'll seek to tender this photo into
14 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P404, Your Honours.
16 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, I have no further questions.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
18 Ms. Residovic.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours
20 Cross-examination by Ms. Residovic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Ajrullai.
22 A. [No interpretation]
23 Q. My name is Edina Residovic and I appear for Mr. Ljube Boskoski. I
24 would like to ask you, Mr. Ajrullai, to wait a while when I ask a
25 question, to wait until it is interpreted in your language as well as the
1 English language so that the Bench and the colleagues in the courtroom are
2 able to know what am I asking you and what is your reply to me. In that
3 way, I think we will be of the best assistance for the Bench to follow
4 your testimony.
5 Did you understand this?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Mr. Ajrullai, you were born in Ljuboten and you live there; is
8 that correct?
9 A. I was born in Skopje, but I live in Ljuboten.
10 Q. Thank you. You graduated from a school for car mechanics; is that
12 A. No. I only worked as one.
13 Q. So you used to work as a car mechanic, although in 2001, you still
14 hadn't finished that school; is that correct?
15 A. I only worked as a car mechanic.
16 Q. Thank you. I think that in your statement you were a bit more
17 precise, but that is not of great significance. You just stated before
18 this Court what was your occupation.
19 Tell me, please, were you employed in 2001?
20 A. No.
21 Q. In 2001 you were married already, and you lived with your wife and
22 with two children in your family house; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. When you gave your testimony, your statement to the investigator
25 of the OTP, you had two children, a son and a daughter;
1 is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you have three children now; you have one more daughter. Is
4 that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Ajrullai, that on the 10th of August, 2001, not
7 far from your village at the Ljubotenski Bacila locality, a land-mine
8 planted by the NLA members killed eight and injured several more soldiers
9 of the army of the Republic of Macedonia; is that correct?
10 A. I don't know about this. I didn't see it.
11 Q. You don't know about this, you did not see it. Is that that you
12 didn't see it or you are not aware of the fact at all?
13 A. I didn't see it, but I heard of it on the news.
14 Q. And is it correct that as soon as you learned about the news, you
15 could see that fire started towards the village, fire of bullets and
16 grenades on the Friday, 10th of August; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You knew that some of the villagers of Ljuboten participated in
19 the planting of this mine; is that correct?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. You know that after the mine explosion three armed people entered
22 the village of Ljuboten. Are you aware of that fact?
23 A. No, I'm not. I didn't see them.
24 Q. Also, as a young person from that village, you were at the age of
25 persons who were fit to serve the army; is that correct?
1 A. Could you please repeat your question? I'm not clear. Thank you.
2 Q. Before 2001, you served in the army of the Republic of Macedonia,
3 and after that, you continued to be a military reservist in the Republic
4 of Macedonia; is that correct?
5 A. Could you please repeat it once again, because I cannot understand
6 the interpretation very well.
7 Q. Do you know that people of age 18 and above are military
8 reservists, in most of the states, and particularly, they are military
9 reservists in the Republic of Macedonia? Are you aware of that?
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it -- the
11 translation says military reservists, I'm not speaking about reservists,
12 I'm speaking about conscripts.
13 Q. As the other young people after you have served the conscript
14 military service, you continued to be a conscript; is that correct?
15 A. I was a soldier of the Republic of Macedonia when I completed my
16 military service, my obligation towards the country. After that, I didn't
17 receive any invitation to join.
18 Q. But you never joined NLA either, or UCK, although you were aware
19 that, at that time, the crisis involved fights between the NLA and the
20 security forces of the Republic of Macedonia; is that correct?
21 A. Once again, please. I don't understand your question.
22 Q. In 2001, you were aware that in certain regions of the Republic of
23 Macedonia there were fights between the NLA and the army of the Republic
24 of Macedonia and the police forces. Were you aware of that?
25 A. Yes, I heard about it on the news.
1 Q. But you did not join NLA at any moment; is that correct?
2 A. No, I didn't.
3 Q. But you were aware that quite a number of young people from the
4 village of Ljuboten joined NLA; is that correct?
5 A. I didn't see any of them in uniforms.
6 Q. But although did you not see them, you knew that quite a number of
7 young people from the village of Ljuboten joined NLA. Are you aware of
9 A. No, I'm not. I'm not aware of any being members.
10 Q. Maybe you did not understand what I was asking. I know that you
11 were not a member. And you don't know of any other people who would have
12 been NLA members; is that correct?
13 A. No, I don't know of any others. I don't know.
14 Q. Is it correct that on the 10th of August, after the mine exploded
15 at Ljubotenski Bacila, fire started towards the village from the positions
16 of the army of the Republic of Macedonia from the -- from north of the
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You were at the street and you were able to see the bullets
20 hitting the street and the houses; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, this is correct.
22 Q. And you knew, because the positions of the army were even before
23 that event in the hills above the village, that the fire came from the
24 army positions. You couldn't see who was firing only. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes, correct.
1 Q. And because of the bullets that were hitting the street, you and
2 an older man took shelter behind a house wall; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Your house is a bit further from the graveyard at about 100, 150
5 metres towards the school in Ljuboten; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you can testify before this Court that at that time most of
8 the houses in Ljuboten were built in the traditional way, and that the
9 yards were fenced with walls; is that correct?
10 A. Please repeat it once again.
11 Q. You know that most of the houses in Ljuboten are built in the
12 traditional Albanian way, so this means that -- that the space of the
13 courtyard was fenced with a wall facing the street, in order to protect
14 the privacy of the family living in that house; is that correct?
15 A. The walls are built because the population are mainly dealing with
16 agriculture, with tobacco and they need the walls to dry the tobacco.
17 That's why they built those walls and that's why they're there.
18 Q. And most of the houses had those walls; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, they do.
20 Q. And you and that old man actually hid behind such wall, in order
21 to save yourself from the bullets; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. The walls erected around the houses, in that way also, would not
24 let the people passing down the street see what is going on in the houses
25 and inside the courtyard; is that correct?
1 A. No, that's not so. I told you already that the walls are there to
2 dry the tobacco because the -- they mainly cultivate tobacco.
3 Q. So you are saying that if you're walking down the street five in
4 Ljuboten, regardless of the fact there is a wall, you could see whatever
5 happens in the yard of a house, or are you not able to see anything?
6 A. Of course you are. No, no, you cannot see it.
7 Q. Thank you. That is all that I wanted to say.
8 Tell me, please, Mr. Ajrullai, is it also correct that the houses
9 are mainly built terraced in a row and that within a neighbourhood there
10 are mainly members of a family, people in blood relation live. For
11 instance, families such as Jusufi, Zendeli, Bajrami, Durmisina, is that
12 correct, that the closer or the broader family members live next to one
13 another and this is way in which they built their houses. Is that
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And you just mentioned a moment ago that people there mainly deal
17 in agriculture, and it is customary that all the farming machines are in
18 the courtyard, such as tractors, the oil, then the hay, the cattle,
19 everything is there. Is that correct as well?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And if I were to put to you that if, for instance, the stable
22 where hay was as well would be caught by fire or if the oil for the
23 tractor would be caught by fire, and if there were no one to fight the
24 fire, the fire would very quickly spread on to the house and the other
25 houses located nearby; is that correct?
1 A. If it is nearby, of course it will catch fire.
2 Q. In your statement you said that on Friday afternoon with your
3 family, so with your wife and the children you went to the house of
4 Sulejman Zendeli where there were already 30 people there; is that
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. You went there because the house of Sulejman Zendeli had a better
8 and a larger basement than yours; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you stayed there all the way until Sunday afternoon. That
11 would be the 12th of August, the afternoon. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes. We stayed there till Sunday 5.00.
13 Q. While you were there at the basement, you and other men from the
14 basement would go in front of the house or around the house several times,
15 in order to see what was happening in the village; is that correct?
16 A. No, we were there.
17 Q. I apologise, but I did not understand this. Did you go out many
18 times, out from the basement, to check what was going on in the village?
19 A. We just went out when we had personal needs.
20 Q. So if in your statement, in the item 6, you stated: [In English]
21 "We stayed there from Friday afternoon till Sunday 5.00 p.m., Sulejman's
22 house is close to mine. I went out to the yard a few time to check what
23 was going on, but I couldn't see anything special."
24 [Interpretation] Then this would not be the truth. Then you
25 stated something that was not the truth; is that correct?
1 A. When I went out, I looked around, of course, but I saw nothing
2 special. I saw only flames and bullets, when the bullets hit the house.
3 Q. So when you told me a while ago that did you not go out to see
4 what was going on, that was not the complete truth. You did go out and
5 you were observing -- actually, you wanted to observe to see what was
6 going on in the village?
7 A. I went out for my personal needs, and it's normal for me to look
9 Q. But that is different from what you stated in your statement, that
10 you had gone out several times to check what was going on, to see what was
11 going on. That is different from what you are saying now. Do you agree
12 with me regarding this?
13 A. When I went out, I looked around. This is normal. I went out for
14 my personal needs.
15 Q. And other people, other men who were there in the basement also
16 went out, outside of the house to see what was going on; is that correct?
17 A. I don't know about them.
18 Q. So you could not see anyone else going out or is it that no one
19 else went out? Which of the two is correct? Were you the only one that
20 went out?
21 A. I'm speaking to you about myself. When I had a problem, I went
22 out. I went out and then I looked around, and then I came back to the
23 basement. I don't know about the others.
24 Q. Thank you. You also said that you could not notice much; is this
1 A. I saw only flames, nothing else. I saw flames at the corner of
2 the village, things which were burning.
3 Q. If in item 6 of your statement which you have given to the
4 Prosecutor, you said that: [In English] "I went out to the yard a few
5 times to check what was going on, but I couldn't see anything special. I
6 could only hear that the shooting and shelling was going on."
7 [Interpretation] This would be something different than what
8 you're saying now. Is this correct?
9 A. I saw nothing special. I saw only flames and smoke, smoke coming
10 out of the grenades and bullets they were shooting at. I went out for my
11 personal needs.
12 Q. And this smell and the smoke which was coming from the shooting
13 and the shells, it came from all sides. You heard that there was shooting
14 towards the village and from the village. Is this correct?
15 A. From the hill in the direction of the village.
16 Q. When you say "from the hill," do you mean that this is the same
17 hill from which you heard that there was shooting on Friday as well?
18 A. From the place called Manastir, they shoot from there and then the
19 shells hit the village.
20 Q. You said that on Sunday at 5.00 p.m., that you left the house; is
21 this correct?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. At that moment, you left that house because at that time, for the
24 first time, you noticed that a number of houses in the upper part of the
25 village were on fire; is this correct?
1 A. We went because they were being burned.
2 Q. My question is: Is it correct that you left the house of
3 Zendeli Sulejman because at that moment you noticed that a number of
4 houses in the upper part of the village were on fire?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. Prior to this, you did not notice any house on fire; is this
8 A. No, I was in the basement. I couldn't see anything.
9 Q. Then when you were leaving on a number of occasions from the
10 basement, you also didn't notice that some houses were on fire; is this
12 A. I went out of the basement at night. I could not come out during
13 the day because of the bullets. I could not come out during the day. I
14 went out only at night quickly, had my personal needs finished, and then I
15 came inside again.
16 Q. At the moment when, on Sunday afternoon, around 5.00 p.m., you saw
17 in the upper part of the village several houses on fire, this was really a
18 few houses. Can you tell us the number? Were there three houses, four
19 houses? Can you recall the number of houses which you saw on fire?
20 A. No, I don't remember. I don't remember.
21 Q. In any event, you remember that it was a small number of houses;
22 is this correct?
23 A. I don't remember this at all. I went out quickly, and then I got
24 into the car and went off quickly. It was night, and I didn't see
25 anything else.
1 Q. At 5.00 p.m., in August, in Ljuboten, it's nightfall, is this what
2 you wanted to say?
3 A. No, it was not dark.
4 Q. So it was not dark when you sat in the car and left the village?
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. And you, with your wife, two children, and your mother moved on.
7 You left together?
8 A. My mother did not come with me. I went only with my wife.
9 Halfway we met another woman and we took her with us.
10 Q. And you left with your Golf I, red in colour; is this correct? Is
11 this correct?
12 A. I was with a Golf.
13 Q. And you left towards Butel where the father of your wife lived; is
14 this correct?
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 Q. Your brother Hazbi Ajrullai also left the village with his
18 A. [No interpretation]
19 Q. Not far --
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me, there is no answer to
21 my previous question.
22 Q. I wish -- I would ask you to respond.
23 Is it correct that your brother Hazbi Ajrullai left the village
24 with his own car?
25 A. He left after me.
1 Q. When you came close to the place Kodra e Zajmit, or as Macedonians
2 call it, Zaimovo Brdo, here for the first time were checked, your
3 documents were checked by the police. Is this correct?
4 A. Before we reached the point, we were stopped and they checked us.
5 They behaved very badly with us.
6 Q. Tell us, please, this point, Kodra e Zajmit, is it correct that is
7 about three, four kilometres far from the -- from Buzalak?
8 A. I don't know exactly. From Buzalak, I don't know. It could be
9 two, it could be three. I don't know the exact number.
10 Q. However, in any event, these two places are not the same. They
11 are removed several kilometres one from another?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. On the way to the point where you were stopped, there were many
14 civilians from the village of Radisani on the road, as well as, in the
15 area around the road and on the point itself; is this correct?
16 A. Can you please repeat the question.
17 Q. When you were coming closer to the check-point, you could see many
18 civilians from the village of Radisani who were around the road on which
19 you were moving, on the road itself, and in -- on the check-point itself;
20 is this correct?
21 A. There were citizens of Ljuboten. They were not people from
22 Radishan. I did not see any of them.
23 Q. If I were to put it to you that these civilians were at that place
24 and that they were wearing hunting guns, shovels and other things and they
25 were pulling Albanians who were moving down the road, putting them down on
1 the ground and beating them, would you agree with me that this is so?
2 A. Could you please repeat the question.
3 Q. If I were to say to you that on the road, along the road and on
4 the check-point itself that there were many civilians from Radisani who
5 were carrying hunting guns, cramps and other things which they pulled out
6 the villagers who were moving along the road from the road, threw them on
7 the ground and beat them, this would be correct. Is this so?
8 A. I didn't see these things.
9 Q. Also, if I were to say to you that some of these civilians had
10 also Molotov cocktails in their hands, would this also be true?
11 A. No. I didn't see such things. I could not speak to you about
13 Q. Is it correct that at this check-point, in addition to you,
14 Halil Ajrullai was also there, Sulejman Zendeli, brothers Suat, Bejtulla
15 and Adem Zendeli, could you concur with this?
16 A. Yes, they were.
17 Q. Your brother also came there, Hazbi Ajrullai; is this correct?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. And your brother could also notice the civilians that I was just
20 talking to you about; is this correct? If they were there, of course.
21 A. Could you please repeat the question.
22 Q. I'm suggesting, I'm putting to you that on the road, around the
23 road and at the check-point there were civilians from Radisani. You said
24 that you did not see this. I'm now asking you: Was your brother there?
25 You responded that he was there. I then am putting to you that if these
1 civilians that I was telling you were -- were there, then your brother
2 must have also had to see this. Is this correct?
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Regue.
4 MS. REGUE: This witness cannot speak for what his brother saw or
5 could have seen and the question has been asked several times already.
6 JUDGE PARKER: The second point is well made.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness
8 confirmed that his brother was there. I'm talking about a large number of
9 civilians from the Radisani village, and I would point to the witness the
10 statement of his brother, to see whether the witness can, in fact, recall
11 what in fact happened at the check-point and around the check-point.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Well, the witness says he didn't see these things,
13 if I understand him correctly. You can put to him, Well, does it change
14 your position if your brother did see them.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE PARKER: It really can't get much clearer than that.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Due to these reasons -- thank you.
18 I wanted to see whether he knew that his brother was there.
19 I would ask that the witness be shown Exhibit 65 ter 1D502, page
20 1D4592. This is the English version and this is point 4, item 4 in
21 question. The Albanian is Exhibit 1D4601.
22 Q. Do you have in front of you this text? I would ask you to look in
23 item 4, the last sentence where your brother Hazbi -- my apologies. Was
24 your -- is Hazbi Ajrullai your brother?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Please look at this last sentence where he says: [In English]
2 "When we were stopped, I saw that my cousins and uncles had been stopped
3 there too. I remember that my brother Sherafedin was there, as well as,
4 my uncle Halil Ajrullai, Sulejman Zendeli and brothers Suat, Bejtulla and
5 Adem Zendeli. They were all, of course, with their families."
6 [Interpretation] Is -- this, in fact, not what you said that all
7 of these people were at the check-point where you, too, were present. Is
8 this correct?
9 A. This is what my brother said me, not me.
10 Q. However, a few minutes earlier, I asked you whether your brother
11 Halil Ajrullai, Sulejman Zendeli and the brothers Sulejman and Zendeli
12 were at the same place and you agreed with this. Does this mean that they
13 were not there then?
14 A. They were there, but if you want to check about what my brother
15 said you better ask my brother, not me.
16 Q. I will ask you to respond to my questions if you know the answer
17 to the questions that I'm putting to you, and I would be grateful for
19 I would now ask that the witness be shown Exhibit 1D502, page
20 1D4593, and in the Albanian Exhibit 1D4602, item 6.
21 I would ask that you look at the middle of this item, which begins
22 with the words and then goes on: [In English] "However, I could notice
23 that there are lots of civilians from the village of Radishan in the field
24 next to the road in the area of the check-point and the place where the
25 police had first stop us. The civilian were carrying hunting rifles,
1 sticks, axes and other items in their hands and they managed to get some
2 Albanian from the road, dragged them to the field and beat them up there.
3 I remember that some of the civilian also had Molotov cocktails in their
4 hands. Obviously, they had heard that OSCE was planning to bring some
5 busses to take us away and the Molotov cocktails were there to prevent
6 this from happening. I saw Ace Milenkovski, the mayor of Cair, was in the
7 field among the civilians. I'm 100 per cent sure it was him. I knew him
8 and I have even voted for him once in the election."
9 [Interpretation] Do you think that your brother has reasons to say
10 things which he did not see?
11 A. I don't know. Ask him.
12 Q. When I read to you the statement of your brother, can you now
13 recall that on the road, around the road and at the check-point there were
14 civilians from the village of Radisani, armed with all of these things
15 which your brother listed?
16 A. I told you that I have not seen them. As for the declarations by
17 my brother, ask him.
18 Q. When you came in front of the station in Butel, also there were a
19 lot of civilians there is too; is this correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And these civilians were armed with various weapons; is this
23 A. I didn't see them. I only saw some civilians. I saw them in
25 Q. And you saw these civilians who were shouting and attacking you
1 which the police carried towards the Police Station Butel?
2 A. Could you please make the question again.
3 Q. These civilians which were in the vicinity of the police station
4 in Butel were shouting and shooting towards you, villagers, brought in by
5 the police into the police station of Butel.
6 A. I did not see them hitting.
7 Q. And the police, as was the case at the check-point, attempted and
8 prevented the civilians from beating the villagers; is this correct?
9 A. As for the police, there were civilian policemen there and the
10 police stopped these civilians you are talking about. The civilians
11 wanted to get inside, but the police did not allow them.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, I know that it is too late but in the
14 question I can see there are two questions actually. The police of my
15 learned friend she asked and the police as was the case at the check-point
16 attempted and prevented the civilians, this witness never testified that
17 the police at the check-point attempted and prevented civilians.
18 I would just ask to -- yeah.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Well, I think the answer has made clear the
20 position. Thank you.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. So, actually, if I were to put to you, Mr. Ajrullai, that there
23 was no line of police officers in front of the Butel police station. It
24 was actually civilians who attempted to attack the villagers while the
25 police officers tried to prevent them from attacking the villagers that
1 would be the actual truth. Is that correct?
2 A. No, it's not. When they took us to the police station, there were
3 two columns of policemen, and we entered the police station as they were
4 hitting us. We entered the cellar of the police station while they were
5 hitting us, the policemen.
6 Q. Mr. Ajrullai -- no, I will ask you a different question first.
7 You know probably that the paraffin glove test is taken in order
8 to ascertain whether there is presence of gun powders or other nitrate
9 particles on the hands of a certain person. Are you aware of this?
10 A. Could you repeat your question, please.
11 Q. Are you aware that paraffin glove test is often taken in order to
12 ascertain whether on the hands of that person there are gunpowder or other
13 nitrate particles present. Are you generally aware of this?
14 A. No, I'm not.
15 Q. And in the Karpos police station, you were submitted to that
16 paraffin glove test; is that correct?
17 A. I couldn't even look up because of them. I don't know what they
18 were doing.
19 Q. They told you that they are taking the test in order to see
20 whether you were holding weapons in your arms and whether you were
21 shooting, and you said you never held any weapons since leaving the army;
22 is that correct?
23 A. Could you please repeat your question.
24 Q. The police officers that gave you the paraffin glove test told you
25 that they wanted to ascertain whether you were firing from any weapons,
1 but you said that you hadn't ever since you left the army of the Republic
2 of Macedonia. That was the sequence of events?
3 A. Maybe I've said that, but -- because of the beating, as a result
4 of the beating. They did carry out the paraffin glove test, but that's
5 not the way they should do it. I was beaten. My head was down under the
6 table and my hands were on the table. I couldn't even look up. That's
7 not the way to carry out a paraffin glove test.
8 Q. However, you know that in order to get the result of this test,
9 one needs to perform the laboratory analysis. You could not immediately
10 know whether the test is positive or not.
11 A. This I don't know.
12 Q. And since you did not fire any weapon, you were released. You
13 were let to go home. Is that correct?
14 A. You're right, released, after I was beaten to pieces.
15 Q. And when you were released, some police officers met you on the
16 street, as you stated, and you were again taken to the Bit Pazar police
17 station; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And then you were incarcerated only because you did not have any
20 personal documents on you; is that correct?
21 A. After we were released, we were told to walk straight, not on the
22 left or the right. They said, If you look on the left or to the right, we
23 will kill you. As soon as we set off, we were stopped by other set of
24 policemen. We were not allowed to say a word. They made us lay on the
25 ground. Then a van, a police van came, and they took us to Bit Pazar
1 where they beat us too.
2 Q. And when you were released from Bit Pazar, you went to your
3 father-in-law, to your wife's father, in Skopje, to the Butel settlement;
4 is that correct?
5 A. No, I didn't go on that same night. The night I was released, I
6 went to my uncle, to a relative, my father's uncle, that is. And from
7 there I was taken to the hospital, private hospital called Viktoria. I
8 was administered an injection, because I was not -- I was not conscious,
9 and then I was prescribed some medicine. In the morning, I went to my
10 father-in-law's place.
11 Q. Thank you for this clarification.
12 Tell me, please, before 2001, you knew what a baseball bat was and
13 you must have seen one.
14 A. It is a bat.
15 Q. You saw that it was a rather dangerous instrument; is that
17 A. I had never seen one before. The first time was there at the
18 police station where they beat us.
19 Q. And you, as a grown-up, you also know that if someone is jumping
20 on to persons who are lying on the ground, especially if it is grown-up
21 men, then those persons on to whom someone is jumping must sustain severe
22 injuries; is that correct?
23 A. Could you please repeat your question.
24 Q. If a grown-up is jumping on a person who is lying on the ground,
25 then certainly that person would sustain severe injuries; is that correct?
1 A. I really don't understand your question.
2 Q. And if someone would kick a person, would kick wearing military
3 boots, or if jumps onto someone, stomps onto someone while wearing
4 military boots -- army boots, then certainly that person, the victim,
5 would sustain severe injuries. Do you agree with me?
6 A. Of course he will sustain injuries.
7 Q. The doctor you went to see in that private hospital, Viktoria,
8 administered an injection and did not find any severe injuries on you; is
9 that correct?
10 A. I was not conscious when I went to the hospital. I know that I
11 was administered an injection, and then I regained consciousness, and the
12 doctor said to me, Don't worry, you will recover. And then I did some
13 X-rays, but I don't know where they are.
14 Q. You have no medical documents testifying about some severe
15 injuries; is that correct?
16 A. I was X-rayed, but I don't know where they can be found now. What
17 else can I say? I have pain all over my body. I forget. My head is
19 Q. And if I were to tell you that your entire testimony about those
20 severe beatings with baseball bat, about the police officers jumping on
21 your back while you were lying on the ground, and about them hitting you
22 and jumping on you, stomping on you while wearing army boots, that would
23 not be correct. Is that so?
24 A. Everything is correct. Everything I've said.
25 Q. Tell me, please, when you came to your father-in-law's house and
1 all the way until today, is it correct that you never went to any police
2 station nor to the Ministry of the Interior to report the persons who
3 allegedly beat you on that -- those days, 12 and 13 of August?
4 A. No, I didn't.
5 Q. And you never filed any criminal report against a known
6 perpetrator or against an unknown perpetrator to the public prosecutor's
7 office in Skopje or in any other place; is that correct?
8 A. I didn't file any.
9 Q. And you never complained to the committee that the Ministry of the
10 Interior established in order to establish any abuse of office on the part
11 of the police officers against the Albanian population; is that correct?
12 A. Could you please repeat your question.
13 Q. Also, you never filed a complaint with the committee of the
14 Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Macedonia that was established
15 in order to examine, investigate any improper conduct of the police
16 towards the Albanian population. Is it correct that you never filed such
18 A. No, I never filed any report.
19 Q. You never wrote to the committee for petitions of citizens within
20 the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia that you were treated improperly
21 or cruelly by any of the police officers on August 12 and 13. Is it also
22 correct that you never petitioned the parliament in relation to this?
23 A. No, I never petitioned.
24 Q. You simply did not want to talk to the police and the authorities
25 of Macedonia because you did not trust them then and you do not trust them
1 now today; is that correct?
2 A. I don't trust them.
3 Q. And already two or three days later, you spoke to representatives
4 of the international community, and it was only them and the investigator
5 of this Tribunal that you spoke with about your experiences during those
6 two days; is that correct?
7 A. Would you please repeat your question.
8 Q. Two or three days after you were released, you spoke first with
9 the representatives, with some representatives of the international
10 community, and, after that, you gave your statement to the investigator of
11 the ICTY; is that correct?
12 A. I don't remember when I gave these statements.
13 Q. Can I refresh your memory? In your statement that was received in
14 evidence today as your testimony, you stated: [In English] "Two or three
15 days after the events in Ljuboten, I was interviewed about then by a
16 representative of some organization in an office in Caircanka shopping
17 centre. I know that the man who interviewed me was speaking French but I
18 can't recall the name of the organization."
19 Is it correct, then, that you gave a statement to some
20 international organization very soon after your release?
21 A. Yes, I did. But I don't remember the day.
22 Q. And you gave a statement to the investigator of the ICTY.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you were convinced that that international organization to
25 which you gave your statement, as well as the investigator of the ICTY,
1 will take steps, and if it is necessary, they would inform the Macedonian
2 authorities about the contents of your statement; is that correct?
3 A. I don't understand your question. Please repeat it.
4 Q. Did you believe, when giving your statement to that international
5 organization and the ICTY investigator, that they are the organs that
6 should investigate this and then inform, if it is needed, the Macedonian
7 authorities? Was that your belief and was that why you gave a statement
8 to them?
9 A. I still don't understand your question. Please repeat it once
11 Q. You said that you gave statements to an international
12 organization - you don't remember which one - and to the ICTY
13 investigator. Do you remember saying this to me?
14 A. It is true that I gave statements to some who were speaking
15 French. I don't know whether they were from ICTY or from somewhere else,
16 but there were two persons speaking French. This is what I remember. I
17 gave a statement to them. But I don't know who they were.
18 Q. That's what I understood and thank you for that.
19 After that, in 2004, you also were invited, summonsed by the
20 investigator of this Court and to that investigator you gave your
21 statement; is that correct?
22 A. I did give a statement, yes.
23 Q. So on two occasions you spoke with some foreign organizations
24 about what you experienced on August 12 and 13; is that correct?
25 A. I don't remember.
1 Q. So if I were to refresh your memory again and tell that you in
2 your statement that you verified as accurate today, you stated that two or
3 three days after the events in Ljuboten you were interviewed by a
4 representative of some international organization at Caircanka shopping
5 centre, and you then stated: "I know I was interviewed by a
6 French-speaking person, but I do not remember the name of the
7 organization," then what you said was true. The first statement you gave
8 was two or three days after the events in Ljuboten. Is that correct?
9 A. I don't know how many days after the events I gave this statement.
10 Q. But you gave a statement, as much you remember?
11 A. I don't remember.
12 Q. Then you do not remember even after my showing you that?
13 A. I don't remember how many days after the events. I did give a
14 statement. I remember them speaking in French, but I don't know how many
15 days after the events this happened.
16 Q. Very well. Thank you for this clarification.
17 So my question now is: Is it correct that you described to these
18 French-speaking foreigners and later in 2004 to the ICTY investigator, you
19 described those events to them because you trusted them; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And is it correct that your belief was that it would be these
22 organisations that would, if necessary, inform the Macedonian authorities
23 about it all?
24 A. I have faith in The Hague Tribunal.
25 Q. And I'm asking you: Is it correct that neither these
1 French-speaking representatives of some international organization nor the
2 ICTY investigator later instructed you that you needed to go to court to
3 report these events. Would that also be the truth? Is it correct that
4 these people never told you that you needed to go to court to report what
5 has happened to you?
6 A. I don't understand your question.
7 Q. Tell me, please, did these French-speaking people tell you that
8 you needed to go to the court or to the Office of the Prosecutor and
9 describe everything that has happened to you? Did they tell you this or
10 did they not tell this?
11 JUDGE PARKER: Do you mean the Macedonian court or the Macedonian
12 prosecutor? I think that may not be clear to the witness.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.
14 Q. Did these French-speaking people who interviewed you several days
15 after the event in Ljuboten tell you that it would be needed for you to go
16 to Skopje, to the court, or to the prosecutor's office and tell your story
17 about what has happened to you, or was that not their suggestion?
18 A. They didn't say anything to me. They just asked me about the
19 events, to describe what happened.
20 Q. When the ICTY investigator asked you in 2004 about the event, did
21 the investigator tell you then that it would be advisable for you to file
22 a criminal report or to go to the court in Skopje or to the prosecutor's
23 office in Skopje and tell your story there, or was it that you were not
24 told anything of that sort?
25 A. Please, could you ask me shorter questions because I don't
1 understand these long questions. Thank you very much.
2 Q. And I thank you for asking me clearer questions and I will do
3 exactly that.
4 Did the ICTY investigator, in 2004, inform you or suggest to you
5 that you could go to the court or to the prosecutor's office in Skopje and
6 then report to them or tell your story there, or were you not told
7 anything of the sort?
8 A. I don't remember.
9 Q. You do not remember this. Is that so?
10 MS. REGUE: Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Regue.
12 MS. REGUE: Well, this question has been asked several times
13 and we would like to know also the relevance of this question, concerning
14 the ICTY ...
15 JUDGE PARKER: I think the relevance is apparent enough. But the
16 question -- I think the witness has made clear his position. He was
17 simply asked what occurred. He was not advised either in 2001 or 2004 to
18 go to authorities in Macedonia. And I think that is what you wanted to
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you very much. I have
21 finished the cross-examination of this witness.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. And that's a very good time
23 for us to have a break, and we will resume at 20 past 4.00.
24 We will have a break now and we'll continue in half an hour.
25 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 --- On resuming at 4.36 p.m.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.
4 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the Prosecution has been informed that
5 the witness who is currently testifying is not well. He is suffering a
6 severe stomach pain and the Victims and Witness Section is not sure what
7 the cause is, but he is unable to continue this afternoon.
8 The Prosecution has brought the next scheduled witness,
9 Mr. Murati, to The Hague today. However, we are also told by the Victims
10 and Witness Section that is Mr. Murati is simply exhausted. He got up
11 very, very early this morning, has been travelling and that it would be
12 much wiser for Mr. Murati to provide his testimony tomorrow.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Fortunately, these two witnesses are each
14 relatively brief so it ought, I would think, to be possible to finish the
15 present witness, if he is recovered, and to deal with the next witness in
16 the course of tomorrow and that would appear to be the most practical
17 course. I see all counsel nodding. So I think that is what we must do.
18 We hope the witness has just got some temporary problem. He
19 seemed to be not entirely himself near the end of his evidence, so ...
20 We will therefore adjourn, resuming tomorrow at 9.00 in the
21 morning, and we will, I hope, be able to hear both witnesses and conclude
22 their evidence in the course of the day.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.39 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Friday, the 24th day of August,
25 2007, at 9.00 a.m.