1 Thursday, 1 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
7 We remind you again of the affirmation, Mr. Bezruchenko.
8 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Yes, I remember that,
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
11 MR. METTRAUX: Good afternoon Your Honours.
12 WITNESS: VIKTOR BEZRUCHENKO [Resumed]
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Mettraux: [Continued]
14 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Bezruchenko.
15 Do you agree that what you have done in your report, all through
16 your report is in fact to exaggerate the features of what you call an
17 armed conflict, in particular the intensity of the fighting and the
18 organisation and strength of the NLA. Is that correct?
19 A. I believe my assessments were made on the basis of the sources and
20 documents available to me. I believe that these sources in all their
21 entirety as accurately and carefully analysed would suggest that the NLA
22 organisation was, as such, at least in its main features as I described in
23 my report, and speaking of the intensity of the conflict I do not really
24 see your point, sir. What do you actually mean by exaggerating the
25 intensity of the conflict?
1 Q. Well, we'll come to each point in a second, but I have another
2 general proposition to put to you, Mr. Bezruchenko. Do you agree that you
3 have sought to hide or camouflage the criminal or terrorist character of
4 the NLA with a view to make it look like an armed group. Is that correct?
5 Like an army.
6 A. That might be your mental construct, Mr. Mettraux, but in fact
7 what I have described in my report are the issues which are not related to
8 crimes, as I mentioned previously. Because had my report been originally
9 intended to cover such issues as criminality, political aspects and
10 negotiations to resolve the conflict, these issues would have been
11 included into the report and reflected in appropriate chapters.
12 MR. METTRAUX: Can the witness please be shown exhibit number P45
13 at page 139, please.
14 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, is it correct that in August 2001, other than the
15 18 policemen or the -- I'm sorry, the 18 service men who were killed in
16 the mine attack in Karpalak on the 8th of August 2001 and Ljubotenski
17 Bacila on the 10th of August of 2001, no one policeman and no one army man
18 was killed during the month of August of 2001. Is that correct?
19 A. I don't think so, sir.
20 Q. Well, could you look, please, at the document that is in front of
21 you. That's the "White Book" of the Ministry of Interior.
22 And I will ask the registry to first present page 139, please.
23 That would be the next page, please. It would be page 139, N000-9387.
24 Page 139 of the "White Book", please. Thank you.
25 Mr. Bezruchenko, that's again a list with which you're quite
1 familiar. This is the list of police officers killed during the armed
2 confrontation in 2001. Do you agree that no one police officer was killed
3 during the month of August of 2001, according to that list?
4 A. According to this list, yes.
5 MR. METTRAUX: Can we turn to the next page, please.
6 Q. And, again, this is a list with which you are quite familiar.
7 This is the same list as regards the killing of members of the army. And
8 if you can scroll down to the bottom of the page, please, you will see
9 that from number 25 to number 42, I apologise, of the document, that's the
10 next page, there are 18 individuals who were killed in Karpalak and
11 Ljubotenski Bacila and a last one in an unidentified location. Is that
13 A. A number of men were killed in August 2001, that's correct.
14 Whether this number is exactly 18 I cannot really tell because I would
15 have to go to the previous page again and count them one by one.
16 Q. But is it correct that apart from the last person on the list, the
17 circumstances in which this person died are unexplained in this document.
18 All of the deceased from the side of the security forces during the month
19 of August of 2001 died either in the attack in Ljubotenski Bacila or in
20 the attack at Karpalak. Is that correct?
21 A. According to this document, yes. But I don't think this is the
22 only document which deals with the issue of casualties of the Macedonian
23 security forces.
24 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Bezruchenko, that both attacks, the mine
25 attacks of the NLA in Karpalak on the 8th of August, 2001, and in
1 Ljubotenski Bacila on the 10th of August of 2001 were condemned as
2 terrorist attacks. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, they were.
4 Q. Is it correct that they were also condemned by the international
5 community in particular the United Nations. Are you aware of that fact?
6 A. Yes, they were.
7 Q. And you've indicated to the Chamber that on the 13, 1-3, of August
8 of 2001, the Ohrid Framework Agreement, an agreement between the main
9 political parties in the country was signed. Is that correct?
10 A. That's right, sir, but if you permit me, let me please finish my
11 answer regarding the general issue of casualties.
12 Q. Well, Mr. Bezruchenko, at this stage we will move forward and I
13 believe --
14 JUDGE PARKER: I believe not, Mr. Mettraux.
15 Yes, Mr. Bezruchenko.
16 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 There are two major sources which address the issue of casualties
18 of the Macedonian security forces which I used in my report. One is this
19 "White Book", which we have just been referring to, and another one is the
20 secret report of the Ministry of Interior for 2001.
21 MR. METTRAUX:
22 Q. And when you referred --
23 A. According to the "White Book" which we have just discussed,
24 throughout the conflict between January and August and September 2001,
25 incidentally the casualty list begins from January, the casualties were
1 distributed as follows. Army lost 43 men killed, while police lost 15 men
2 killed. In total, 69 men.
3 Q. Can I just ask to you indicate, Mr. Bezruchenko, what you are
4 reading from, please.
5 A. Essentially, I'm reading from my report.
6 Q. Well, I would like to you indicate to the Judges what you have
7 been reading at this very moment, please.
8 A. Well, these are the numbers which are added up on the basis of the
10 Q. Is it correct that what you just read, Mr. Bezruchenko, are notes
11 which have you marked on your binder. Is that correct?
12 A. Well, some of those, yes, I was making yesterday.
13 Q. And could you indicate what document you said is a secret report
14 from the Ministry of the Interior, to which you have referred as an
15 alternative source of information in that respect?
16 A. Well, this is the report of the Ministry of Interior which was
17 covering the period of 2001. But if you allow me to proceed with my
18 answer, Mr. Mettraux, I will say, that the numbers which are suggested by
19 these two sources are at a discrepancy.
20 Q. And --
21 A. The "White Book" says that the number of those injured in the
22 conflict, I mean the army and the police, were about 260. The report
23 issued by the Ministry of Interior suggests that in fact the exact number
24 of the casualties of the security forces was 389.
25 As you can see, there is a significant difference here of almost
1 or perhaps about 100 men each. Let me also add to this the following. In
2 any conflict, there is a certain ratio between those killed, various
3 fatalities and those injured, that is, those who are wounded. Depending
4 on many factors including -- such as types of weapons used, type of
5 terrain, fortifications, type of operations and many other things. And
6 this ratio may be different. Sometimes, and perhaps in most cases, that
7 would be 1, 2, 3, or 4. In extreme cases, it is could be as high as 1 to
8 13. So it would be logical to assume that, in fact, the actual numbers of
9 those injured in the conflict would be probably higher.
10 Q. Well, I'm grateful for that and as a follow-up question, are you
11 suggesting that the other documents, what you call the secret MOI document
12 suggested that the police and/or the army had had any of its members
13 killed during the month of August?
14 A. During the month of August, not, but there are other documents,
15 including media reports which suggest that some people were killed in
16 August, that's right.
17 Q. And when you suggest that the figures between the "White Book" and
18 the secret MOI documents vary, were you able to verify which one were
20 A. I didn't really make any specific requests for verification of
21 information with any of the agencies involved, but I would tend to trust
22 more the report of the Ministry of the Interior.
23 Q. Is it correct that what you sought to depict as an armed conflict,
24 Mr. Bezruchenko, was in fact no more than a series of violent sporadic
25 incidents. Is that correct?
1 A. I tend to disagree with you, sir, for a number of reasons.
2 First of all, this conflict definitely had a cause, and this cause
3 for whatever it was worse, was ultimately reflected in the Ohrid
5 Secondly, there were definitely two opposing forces involved in
6 this conflict. They can be described -- they could be described in
7 military terms, they could be described in political terms, and they could
8 also be described in ethnic terms. And this is not only my view. This
9 is only -- this is also the view of Macedonian experts, Mr. Arsovski,
10 Kuzev and Damjanovski.
11 Q. And you indicated already, Mr. Bezruchenko, that you never spoke
12 to those experts to which you referred many times. Is that correct?
13 A. I did not speak to them but I don't really understand how that
14 might reflect on the contents of the book which is very clear.
15 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness please be shown Rule 65 ter
16 1D848, please. The ERN would be 1D00-7465, please. Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, what I'm about to show to you is a document which
18 is the result, we understand, of discussion between the Office of the
19 Prosecutor on the one hand and Ambassador James Pardew of the United
20 States of America and we received permission to use this particular
22 I would like to read out to you what, Mr. Pardew,
23 Ambassador Pardew the special envoy of the United States to Macedonia had
24 to say about the situation in 2001.
25 Ambassador Pardew believes that: "During 2001 there was not a war
1 in Macedonia on a continuous basis. There were a series of violent
2 incidents, for example, when the NLA took over the Skopje suburb of
3 Aracinovo. There were other incidents as well, but these were individual,
4 isolated events. It was not a situation where there was fighting going on
5 all of the time. But there was always the potential that a higher
6 intensity conflict could break out, like a civil war. So in the summer of
7 2001, there was a low level conflict where insurgents fought with
8 Macedonian security forces. But the conflict was not yet a 'full blown
9 civil war'."
10 Do you agree, Mr. Bezruchenko, that as suggested by
11 Ambassador Pardew, what was happening in 2001 in Macedonia was a series of
12 violent, individual and isolated incidents. Do you agree with this
13 analysis on that point?
14 A. I would rather agree with, in fact, a very succinct, I would say
15 condensed, message that encapsulated this whole paragraph which is
16 expressed in the last two sentences. It clearly says there was a low
17 level conflict where insurgents fought with Macedonian security forces.
18 The key word here in this sentence is "conflict."
19 The next sentence reads: "But the conflict was not yet a full
20 blown civil war," and I absolutely agree with that.
21 Q. I'm grateful for this indication. Are you also in agreement with
22 the suggestion that he made to the effect that this "conflict" as he used
23 this term, was made of a series of violent, individual and isolated events
24 or incidents. Do you agree with that?
25 A. Whether these were isolated, well, probably would require deeper
1 analysis. If we are talking about geographic isolation, yes, in many
2 cases they were indeed geographically isolated taking place in various
3 locations. However, in geographical sense, there was a strong tendency
4 for all these fronts, Tetovo, Kumanovo, Skopje, Gostivar, Debar, to
5 finally be linked which would present a very serious threat and probably
6 would increase the capabilities of this conflict to move closer to this
7 threshold which would then have constitute the civil war.
8 Q. I'm grateful for this explanation, Mr. Bezruchenko. Is it correct
9 that what you did, for instance, to bring these events to the point where
10 you could argue or you could conclude in any case, that this was an armed
11 conflict was by exaggerating, for instance, the number of men which you
12 say were members of the NLA during the relevant period and I think you
13 mentioned 8.000 men. Is it correct?
14 A. This particular figure, or, rather, this particular assessment is
15 based on various sources. As I mentioned previously a number of times
16 already, the NLA had huge mobilisation potential. They could easily -- I
17 mean the NLA could easily increase their numbers many times.
18 Some other experts in fact, like again Macedonian experts, tend to
19 believe that the number, the actual number of the NLA, was somewhat lower.
20 For instance, the number which is provided in the book, War in Macedonia
21 by Kuzev, Arsovski and Damjanovski is about, if I recall correctly, 6.000
22 men. However, I'm afraid this assessment is not entirely correct for the
23 mere fact that the authors do not really mention all the NLA brigades
24 which apparently were not known to them at the time of writing the book.
25 So my assessment is pretty conservative in any case. It is pretty
1 close to the assessment of Mr. Arsovski, Damjanovski and Kuzev. And I
2 don't really think there are any grounds to qualify this assessment as
4 Q. Do you recall mentioning Jane's publication as a reliable source
5 of information and in fact relying on various publications of theirs for
6 the purpose of preparing your report?
7 A. At various stages, yes.
8 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness please be shown Rule 65 ter
9 1D908, please.
10 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, what will appear in front of you is an extract or
11 an article, in fact, coming from Jane's Defence Weekly, and it's dated the
12 29th of August of 2001.
13 It's Rule 65 ter 1D908. The ERN is 1D00-7798. Thank you. And if
14 the registry could scroll down the page to the second half. Thank you
15 very much.
16 Mr. Bezruchenko, I would like to read to you this part of the
17 Article. It says this: "Estimating the number of weapon held by the
18 National Liberation Army, NLA, in Macedonia, is a task beset by
19 difficulties. The size and status of the NLA is a primary question.
20 Notionally organised into six 'brigades', it has claimed a potential
21 strength of 16.000. While this is clearly an exaggeration, it would be
22 prudent to estimate that there are some 2.000 to 2.500 'full time NLA
23 combatants operating in Macedonia.' However, the NLA can also count on
24 the active support of at least many supporters to undertake non-fighting
25 tasks (reconnaissance, patrols, communications, logistics) and who, as a
1 rule do not wear uniforms or carry arms. Almost all of these what might
2 be termed 'second echelon NLA' undoubtedly possess weapons."
3 So do you agree that the estimate that Jane's is doing of the
4 strength of the NLA in -- at the end of the month of August of 2001 is
5 significantly more modest than yours. Is that correct?
6 A. Well, I would actually draw somewhat different concept from this
7 particular paragraph.
8 What I would say is that, in fact, the emphasis in this paragraph
9 is expressed in the second -- rather, third sentence. Let me read it
10 again. "However the NLA can also count on the active support of at least
11 as many supporters to undertake non-fighting tasks, (reconnaissance,
12 patrols, communications logistics) and who as a rule do not wear uniforms
13 or carry arms. Almost all of these what might be termed second echelon
14 NLA undoubtedly possess weapons."
15 Analysing this paragraph and assuming the number of 16.000 would
16 be the uppermost threshold of this assessment and assuming that the number
17 of 2.000 would be the lowest threshold of this assessment, even arriving
18 at an average figure would give you the number of exactly 8.000 men.
19 Q. But the question was much more simple than the answer, I believe,
20 Mr. Bezruchenko.
21 Do you agree that the estimate which Jane's gives of the members
22 of NLA combatant and the number of NLA combatants is much lower than the
23 one which you have advanced here and in your report. Is that correct?
24 A. No, Mr. Mettraux. I cannot agree with that because it is much
25 more complex than it would appear on the first glance.
1 Q. Is it correct also, Mr. Bezruchenko, that what you have
2 exaggerated in your report is the level of sophistication of an
3 organisation which you sought to attribute to the NLA. Is that correct?
4 A. I don't think so.
5 Q. Well, let me read on to you in the same article what Jane's is
6 saying. It says this: "NATO must deal with the fact that the NLA does
7 not have a fully integrated chain of command nor centralised logistics."
8 I will leave aside the logistics on the side because this is a
9 matter that I think you are in agreement with Jane's. But do you agree
10 with their assessment that the NLA has does not have a fully integrated
11 chain of command as of the end of August 2001?
12 A. Fully integrated is, in fact, a classical military term which is
13 again applied to conventional warfare. I don't think I ever claimed in my
14 report that the NLA had something which could be described as fully
15 integrated chain of command.
16 What I said in my report was that in fact the NLA had hierarchical
17 elements of the command structure in place, which functioned and were
18 functional throughout the conflict.
19 Q. Do you recall also making the claim in your report that towards
20 the end or at the end of what you call the armed conflict the NLA was in
21 possession of approximately 20 per cent of the Macedonian territory. This
22 is paragraph 193 of your report. Do you remember that?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Did you ever try to verify that figure, Mr. Bezruchenko?
25 A. Well, in fact this figure is based on a number of sources.
1 First of all, the primary source for this assessment was the
2 annual report of the Ministry of Interior for 2001. This is exactly the
3 figure that this report cites.
4 Q. Isn't the figure in fact, Mr. Bezruchenko, that would be relevant
5 to these proceedings if at all is the fact that at the end of the crisis
6 the NLA was operating in 20 per cent of the north-western part of the
7 territory and not 20 per cent of the Macedonian territory. Isn't that the
8 right figure?
9 A. Well, I assume the report is speaking about 20 per cent of the
10 territory, of the entire territory.
11 Q. Well, let me first show you what is Rule 65 ter 1D962, please.
12 This is a map, Mr. Bezruchenko, that was part of a document which
13 I believe you have referred to, and you can confirm this which was
14 provided to you by NATO. And the -- I apologise, we don't have it in
15 colour, but the dark areas, not the square ones, but the dark areas
16 represent the areas in which the NLA was active. And as can you see from
17 the table at the bottom, it suggests that it was up to date, at least in
18 July of 2001.
19 Can you see that?
20 A. I can see that, Mr. Mettraux, but I don't really think this is the
21 appropriate map to rely on in this particular discussion.
22 Q. Well, this --
23 A. What we are talking about, if I understand your question
24 correctly, we are talking about the overall territory under NLA control
25 and the definition of this control is something which needs to be
1 discussed separately.
2 However, this particular map seems to represent the areas of
3 operation of individual brigades or rather, the zone, approximate zones of
4 operations of these brigades. And I would not really call this document a
5 map, because it is not really a map, it is, rather, a sketch.
6 Q. I'm grateful for that. Would you agree in any case and leaving
7 aside for a second the issue of what control would mean in this particular
8 instance, that just looking at those darkened areas this would be far, far
9 from 20 per cent of the territory of Macedonia. Would you agree with
11 A. Yes I would agree with that.
12 MR. METTRAUX: Can the witness please be shown what is Exhibit
13 P393, please. And I would ask the registry to go to page N005-0650-ET-01.
14 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this is part of a Prosecution exhibit already
15 tendered. You have the front page now in front of you.
16 MR. METTRAUX: If the registry could go to page N005-0650-ET-01.
17 Thank you.
18 Q. And, Mr. Bezruchenko, I'd like to read to you a passage from this
19 document under the heading: Criminal acts tied to activities of members
20 of the so-called NLA.
21 The first sentence say this: "As a consequence of the armed
22 activities of the Albanian terrorist organisation, the so-called NLA, in
23 the course of 2001, in the north-west part of the Republic of Macedonia,
24 20 per cent of her territory was temporarily occupied."
25 Do you agree, Mr. Bezruchenko, that in light of the document and
1 in light of this particular statement, the document that I've just shown
2 to you a moment ago, what the MOI was really referring was 20 per cent of
3 the north-western part of the country and not 20 per cent of the entire
4 state of Macedonia. Do you agree with that?
5 A. Can we please go to the Macedonian version of this document, sir?
6 MR. METTRAUX: With the assistance of the registry, please. I
7 believe this would be N005-0617-34, please.
8 A. I'm afraid my interpretation of this particular fact is differing
9 from yours, Mr. Mettraux.
10 If you read this sentence carefully, you will note that the
11 particular part of the sentence, namely in the north-west part of the
12 Republic of Macedonia, actually refers to the location of the activities
13 of the Albanian terrorist organisation called NLA, as the document says,
14 while 20 per cent refers to "her territory", in this particular case being
15 the Republic of Macedonia.
16 Q. So, Mr. Bezruchenko, were you ever able to verify this number,
17 which you claim, the 20 per cent of the entire territory or is that in
18 fact the sole basis of your conclusion?
19 A. Well, I remember various statements, I think one of the witnesses
20 mentioned the number of the villages temporarily occupied by the NLA as
21 well as approximate percentage of territory occupied or controlled by NLA
22 which seemed to be pretty close to this assessment.
23 Q. Isn't it the fact, or, rather, let me put it that way.
24 At the beginning of today I have suggested to you that what you
25 did, in fact, was to try to exaggerate the importance of the threat posed
1 by the NLA and also I have put to you that you have tried to set aside the
2 criminal and terrorist character of the NLA. I will not go back to the
3 statements that qualify the NLA as a terrorist organisation, but I would
4 like to show what is Exhibit P466 again; that is your report. And I will
5 ask you to turn to page 40, please. That would be page 40 of the report.
6 That would be a few pages further down in the document. I believe four
7 pages further down.
8 Mr. Bezruchenko, I'll ask you to look at paragraph 146 of your
10 It would be the previous page, please.
11 A. 146.
12 Q. Yes, please.
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. And in this paragraph, the issue with which you are dealing with
15 is -- or are the financials of the NLA, and you say that according to a
16 Macedonian government sources, the NLA received financial support from a
17 variety of sources, and you mention extortion of money from the local
18 population and businessperson in Kosovo and Macedonia, contribution from
19 local businesspersons, from former KLA funds, and contributions from the
20 ethnic Albanian diaspora in Europe.
21 And if you look at footnote 222, which you put forward as the
22 source of these conclusions, you refer to a document of 25th of July of
23 2001, entitled information on the NLA activities in the territory of
24 Macedonia. Do you agree with that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And I would like to show you what is Rule 65 ter 1D873, please.
2 It would be ERN 1D00-7633, please. And 1D00-7611 in the Macedonian.
3 Thank you.
4 Mr. Bezruchenko, do you recognise this document as the document
5 which you cite as authority for your conclusions in the report?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 MR. METTRAUX: Could the registry please go to page 1D00-7638,
8 please. And if you can scroll down a bit to -- yes, thank you.
9 Q. I'd like to draw your attention to the section which deals with
10 the finance of the NLA, Mr. Bezruchenko, and I will read it out to you.
11 It says this: "The information that we have indicates that NLA is being
12 financed in different ways. Self-financing, extorting money from the
13 local population and businessmen in Kosovo and Macedonia, financial
14 support from the Albanian diaspora, contributions from the local
15 businessmen and population, use of former KLA funds, profits obtained from
16 criminal activities as well as contribution from the Albanian mafia in
17 western Europe."
18 Is it correct, Mr. Bezruchenko, that the report on which you rely
19 to prepare your report and which you cite as authority for your
20 conclusions mentions not four, but six sources of finances for the NLA,
21 two of which you have omitted: One self-financing, whatever that may
22 mean; and, secondly, profits obtained from criminal activities, as well as
23 contribution from the Albanian mafia in western Europe.
24 Is that right?
25 A. Well, sir, this may be the fact that I did not really mention such
1 thing as profits obtained from criminal activities directly in my report.
2 However, that does not necessarily mean that this is not really generally
3 reflected upon, if you carefully read again the paragraph 146, the very
4 first sentence says: "By extorting money from the local population and
5 businessmen," which by and large I think reflects the other element.
6 Q. Well, Mr. Bezruchenko, do you see that this extortion of money is
7 mentioned as a separate item of finances in the list provided by the MOI
8 and that, in fact, there's another part of the item which does not appear
9 to be related to the extortion of money but profits obtained from criminal
10 activities, as well as contributions from the Albanian mafia in western
11 Europe and I will put that proposition to you, Mr. Bezruchenko. Is it
12 correct that your omission of mentioning of this particular aspect of the
13 report, just like your explanation or your suggestion that the Karpalak
14 attack was a matter that could be explained in military term and not in
15 criminal term, is a way to describe what is in effect criminal
16 organisation or a terrorist group as a legitimate military entity. Is
17 that what was attempted, Mr. Bezruchenko?
18 A. First of all, I think that any link between what is called getting
19 profits from criminal activities and an attack at Karpalak is somewhat
20 misplaced, Mr. Mettraux. These are two entirely different matters. This
21 paragraph speaks about money and financing; Karpalak attack was an ambush.
22 Second point that I would like to make is that to elaborate on
23 this point more and actually to have pretty hard evidence of profits
24 obtained from criminal activities would probably need some additional
25 research. There were various rumours and various allegations of Albanian
1 Mafia and criminal activities and all this and all that. But this report
2 does in the really deal with any specifics of this issue.
3 Regarding the other sources of financing, like extorting money was
4 mentioned in my report because I actually got confirmation of these facts
5 from other sources.
6 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness please be shown Rule 65 ter
7 1D813, please.
8 Q. And as it appears on the screen, Mr. Bezruchenko, is it correct
9 that the NLA was in fact financed to at least two-third of its budget by
10 drug trafficking and sexual exploitation of women. Is that correct?
11 A. Well, as I say, sir, this is one of the many reports which deals
12 with the general issues of criminality in the Balkans, including the
13 allegations which are expressed in the title of this report.
14 But, you know, sex slavery is something completely different from
15 the subject of my report. I was not really interested and I was not
16 really referring to anything like sex slavery.
17 Q. Before I show you this document, Mr. Bezruchenko, what do you call
18 a group that is financed by crime, commits crime and is called a criminal
19 or terrorist organisation by the entire world? Would that in fact be a
20 criminal or terrorist group? Would that be a fair summary?
21 A. Sir, that would be perhaps a fair summary in a sense -- in a
22 factual sense that many states of the world condemned the violence in
23 Macedonia and described this violence as terrorist.
24 However, this qualification is essentially a qualification which
25 is based on political and legal grounds rather than military grounds.
1 As I mentioned previously, my report was limited in scope and was
2 essentially drafted to cover the precise areas which I described to you in
3 the previous sessions.
4 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, I have exhausted my 45 minutes, I
5 think. However, I would have perhaps another ten minutes or so, but I was
6 given 45.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Mettraux. Time has expired.
8 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Perhaps as a last matter on this point I have given the indication
10 that we would be assisted if the Chamber would agree that we would tender,
11 formally tender the documentation relevant to this witness perhaps at the
12 end of the day during the last session today which would allow us to
13 provide a clean list to the registry and may assist in the process of
14 tendering at the end of the day.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Does that produce any problem for you,
16 Mr. Apostolski?
17 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Not, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We'll deal with it in the last session
20 MR. METTRAUX: I'm grateful to Your Honour.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bezruchenko.
22 A. Thank you, sir.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.
24 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just need a
25 couple of minutes just to get prepared technically, and it is with the
1 assistance of my colleague, Mr. Mettraux.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Apostolski:
5 Q. Good day, Witness, Viktor Bezruchenko. My name is
6 Antonio Apostolski, and together with my colleague Jasmina Zivkovic, I'm
7 appearing for Mr. Johan Tarculovski.
8 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
9 Q. You said you understood the Macedonian language so I would like to
10 indicate to you that, although you understand the Macedonian language to
11 wait before the questions are translated into English and then you provide
12 your answer, thereby helping the interpreters to better do their job. I
13 wanted to just warn you about it.
14 You were the analyst of The Hague Prosecutor's office until you
15 were engaged as an expert to prove the existence of the military conflict.
16 Is that correct?
17 A. Well, essentially these two functions do not exclude one another.
18 I'm still the analyst of The Hague's Prosecution office.
19 Q. But on this case, you were engaged by the OTP to prove the
20 existence of the military conflict in Macedonia in 2001. Is that correct?
21 A. I was engaged to describe the conflict in Macedonia in 2001.
22 Q. Very well. You prepared an expert report about the military
23 conflict in Macedonia in 2001. Did you verify the documents and
24 informations that you used in your report?
25 A. If you are asking, sir, if I made the evaluation of the
1 credibility of the documents which I used in my report, I will say that,
2 yes, such evaluation was made.
3 Q. And the sources were verified and carefully analysed. That is
4 what you said at the beginning of your testimony of today. Is that
6 A. Yes, to the best of my knowledge and assessment.
7 Q. According to you, there was a military conflict in the Republic of
8 Macedonia in 2001. Is that correct?
9 A. This is my assessment, and this is my opinion.
10 Q. Very well. I thank you.
11 In paragraph 1 of the report you say that the report presents a
12 military description of the conflict of the two opposing parties in
13 Macedonia. According to you, opposing parties were the Macedonian
14 security forces and the NLA. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes. This is what my report says, and this is my position.
16 Q. Speaking of the NLA, we're speaking about the National Liberation
18 A. We are speaking about the National Liberation Army, that's right.
19 Q. The National Liberation Army is different than the Kosovo
20 Liberation Army. Is that correct?
21 A. It is different, yes.
22 Q. In your opinion, these are two different organisations.
23 A. Well, in my opinion, these are two different organisations for a
24 number of reasons. They had -- okay, that's fine. Thank you, sir.
25 Q. Thank you. I think I only needed the response whether in your
1 opinion these two organisations are different. And that is correct,
3 A. Despite the fact that there was some interaction between various
4 elements of the KLA and NLA apparently, these are still two different
6 Q. They had separate commands. Is that correct?
7 A. Well, first of all, they existed at different periods of time.
8 The KLA actually existed mainly in 1999, and later, and, as we know, the
9 NLA came into being or at least made its presence public for the first
10 time as it was ascertained by Macedonian society in January 2001.
11 Q. So they did not have a common command between them, right, that is
12 what I wanted to know?
13 A. Well, strictly speaking, sir, I don't think that the actual KLA
14 existed in 2001. What existed in 2001 and which replaced the KLA in legal
15 and military perhaps, as well as in factual sense, is the Kosovo
16 Protection Corps and you are very well aware of this fact. So, I don't
17 really think you can talk about the common command between the KLA and NLA
18 in 2001.
19 Q. Very well. Is it correct, then, that the NLA had no connection
20 with the Kosovo Guards?
21 A. I do not quite understand, sir, what you mean by the Kosovo Guard.
22 Are you referring to the Kosovo Protection Corps.
23 Q. Yes, that is what I was referring to, the Kosovo Protection Corps.
24 A. I came across some Macedonian documents in the course of writing
25 my report, including, for example, a statement by Prime Minister
1 Georgievski, which seemed to suggest that there was definitely some sort
2 of interaction between the Kosovo protection corps and the National
3 Liberation Army.
4 Q. Do you agree with that?
5 A. These allegations seem to have some ground, though in fact it was
6 not really the primary focus of my report. This would really require a
7 lot of additional research and entirely different focus in terms of
8 documents and analysis and I simply could not do this. It was not really
9 my primary purpose.
10 Q. But you will agree with me that the acronym only of the National
11 Liberation Army and the Kosovo Liberation Army are identical in the
12 Albanian language.
13 A. Yes, that is right.
14 Q. Thank you. So you will agree with me that in any event, as well
15 as in your previous -- previous testimony they would have their separate
16 General Staff? I'm now speaking of the Kosovo Liberation Army and the
17 National Liberation Army. You can only -- you can also respond to me
18 briefly with a yes or no only.
19 A. I'm afraid I cannot really briefly respond to you because this is
20 an extensive issue which needs some elaboration and qualification.
21 I don't think that such a body as Kosovo Liberation Army General
22 Staff actually existed in 2001. There existed a body which was called
23 the Kosovo Protection Corps and had its own headquarters. Perhaps it was
24 called General Staff. I just do not know. I was not really looking into
25 this matter. But I must mention again, as I mentioned before, there
1 probably was some sort of interaction between KPC, that is Kosovo
2 Protection Corps and the NLA. And, of course this is a common fact which
3 you are aware of that, for instance Mr. Gzim Ostreni served previously in
4 KLA, and then in KPC, and then he became the Chief of Staff of the NLA.
5 Q. That means that the National Liberation Army and the Kosovo
6 Liberation Army could not have their own common archive. Is that your
8 A. Well, they probably could have a common archive, but, again, it
9 was not really the issue that I was looking at in the course of writing my
11 Q. How would it be possible for them to have a common archive if the
12 Kosovo Liberation Army was operational in 1999, while the National
13 Liberation Army in 2001? How is that possible? Could you explain that to
15 A. I just mentioned, sir, that they probably could, which does not
16 necessarily mean that they really have it.
17 On the other hand, I would say perhaps that, as I mentioned, there
18 was some interaction between these two, but whether this archive really
19 exists what kind of speculation existed to this point is really difficult
20 to say. My impression is that there should be some archive which probably
21 reflects many aspects of this conflict from the NLA perspective and
22 perhaps it is still being kept somewhere, but where exactly is difficult
23 to say.
24 Q. So that means that the Kosovo Liberation Army and the National
25 Liberation Army had different documents for internal organisation. Is
1 that correct?
2 A. Not necessarily. It is quite possible in fact that some of the
3 documents and internal regulations which were used by the KLA probably
4 were taken over by the NLA. And in fact, just cursory reading of those
5 documents and comparing these documents with the JNA regulations seems to
6 suggest, at least in very general terms, that they were simply copied and
7 translated from original JNA manuals.
8 Q. Does that mean that they were not the ones who prepared them? I'm
9 speaking of the documents in possession of the National Liberation Army.
10 A. Not necessarily. I think that they were based, by and large
11 perhaps, in -- on experience of fighting in the wider area in the Balkans,
12 including the war in Bosnia and the war in Kosovo and perhaps in part they
13 could be prepared on the basis of specifically fighting in Kosovo.
14 Q. During the -- in the course of preparation of your report, you
15 used a lot of sources. You classified the sources in three large
16 categories: Macedonian governmental sources; sources of ethnic Albanians;
17 and international sources. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
19 Q. Is it true that you were using information also during the
20 interviewing of the witnesses in this case?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. Is that correct that you were present during the interview of
23 Ali Ahmeti, the supreme commander of the NLA on 30th of July, 2001?
24 A. Yes, I was.
25 Q. Is that true, that you were present at the interview of
1 Gzim Ostreni, the head of the General Staff of the National Liberation
2 Army, on 27th and 29th of July, 2005?
3 A. Yes, I was.
4 Q. Just for the record in line 17 should -- should be July 2005.
5 Is that correct that you were present at the interview of
6 Nazim Bushi, the commander of 114th Brigade, on 19th and 10th of July,
7 2004 [as interpreted]?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. Thank you. Could you agree with me that the statements of the
10 above-mentioned persons have the biggest weight in relation to the
11 National Liberation Army?
12 A. You mean in terms of evidence for analysis?
13 Q. I think in the sense that they would be the ones who would be able
14 to tell the real picture of the NLA the best in Macedonia, that these are
15 the most knowledgeable persons.
16 A. Yes, I think their statements were pretty interesting in this
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski, would that a convenient time for
19 you. It is a little early but there is a --
20 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... Deal with
22 during the break, and that may delay the Judges a short time in coming
23 back after the break.
24 --- Recess taken at 3.32 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 4.07 p.m.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Is there a reason the witness is not here?
2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
3 JUDGE PARKER: Okay, that's all right. I assume Mr. Apostolski
4 had some intriguing motion to be heard in the absence of the witness.
5 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Apostolski.
8 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
9 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, you previously told me that you were present at
10 the interview of Mr. Gzim Ostreni. Is it correct that during the
11 Gzim Ostreni interview he gave you documents about the NLA?
12 A. He gave documents about the NLA to the OTP investigator.
13 Q. That was when he was interviewed where you were present. That was
14 the first time you saw the documents. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes. I think this was the first time that I saw these specific
17 Q. Before that, you never saw nor you ever got any documents about
18 the NLA. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. Neither the OTP nor you ever found any NLA archive where those
21 documents were kept. Is that correct?
22 A. I was not really involved in any search for NLA archive, if this
23 is what you mean, sir. But I understand that such a thing as NLA archive
24 is not really within the possession of OTP.
25 Q. During the interview of Gzim Ostreni, did you ask whether they
1 have an archive?
2 A. I don't recall if I asked -- or, rather, if the investigator asked
3 this question specifically, but I remember some media reports, for
4 whatever they were worth, that apparently some archive of this nature
5 existed somewhere.
6 Q. Did you check yourself whether this kind of archive exist?
7 A. I couldn't really check that. I think such reports were
8 attributed to some Macedonian media, and I think there was a discussion at
9 a later point with my colleagues, and I think also that such search was
10 not really undertaken because the information about the existence, alleged
11 existence, of this archive seemed to be very insufficient.
12 Q. Do you think it would be useful to carry out such an
13 investigation, whether the NLA has an archive?
14 A. I think it would.
15 Q. And that would have surely helped you in preparing your report.
16 A. Yes, I think that would.
17 Q. Thank you. I will now list the written documents, based on which
18 you base your report and they are received from sources, as you call them,
19 ethnic Albanians and we will go through them one by one.
20 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown 65 ter
21 778.16. That is the -- about the development of the mobilisation and the
22 formation of the headquarters or General Staff received by Gzim Ostreni
23 [as interpreted].
24 A. Actually, this report was received from Gzim Ostreni.
25 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Do you see that in front of you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. At the top we can read: National Liberation Army, General Staff.
4 Do you see that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is it correct that this document is dated 2001, and next to it we
7 can see Major-General Gzim Ostreni?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is it correct that the document contained no specific date but
10 only the year 2001 is mentioned?
11 A. That's right. And I think I already mentioned this fact
12 specifically in my discourse with Mr. Mettraux.
13 Q. So this -- it was possible that this document could have been
14 prepared any time during 2001.
15 A. It is possible, but we should also bear in mind the fact that
16 officially the NLA ceased to exist on 26th September 2001.
17 Q. That means that this might have been prepared on 26th of
18 September. Is that correct?
19 A. This possibility could not be excluded.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Can the witness be shown Exhibit
22 P00459, which has been admitted in evidence. That is the personnel and
23 material formation of the brigade.
24 Q. Is that true, that have you used this document in preparing your
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Is it correct that this document, as well as the one before it,
3 does not bear a specific date when it was developed, so we could not set
4 the specific date for this document?
5 A. I think your assessment is reasonable, sir, but what I would also
6 like to add at this point is that this document is essentially -
7 essentially - consistent with the documents provided by other sources,
8 including NATO sources which seem to be suggesting that the general
9 structure of the brigade would be in fact compatible with that as
10 described in various international and Macedonian documents, as it stood
11 in 2001, at least till September.
12 Q. Witness, I would like to stay first with the evidence received by
13 the Albanian sources, and, after that, we will start reviewing the other
15 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
16 the Exhibit P00460.
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure about the number, so
18 if the counsel could please repeat it.
19 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] It is -- for the transcript, it's
20 Exhibit P00460.
21 Q. This is formation of personnel and material formation of the
22 infantry battalion. Is it correct that you have used that in the
23 preparation of your report. It is mentioned in the footnote 76.
24 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
25 Q. Is it correct that this document does not bear a date, other than
1 the year when it was produced?
2 A. That's right, sir. This is pretty obvious.
3 Q. So that means that we can say about this document as well, that it
4 could have been prepared during any time in 2001. Is that correct?
5 A. You probably would have some reasons to assume that, sir. Well,
6 but again, I would like to say what I mention in my previous comments on a
7 similar document, the actual structure and strength of the battalions as
8 described by various other sources would seem to suggest that this
9 document perhaps served as the main planning document for formation of
10 battalions in the field.
11 Q. But, Mr. Bezruchenko, is it correct that you hold the position
12 that if a document does not bear a date, then its evidentiary value is
13 reduced, the weight of the document?
14 MR. SAXON: Your Honour.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.
16 MR. SAXON: This is not a question that is within the scope of
17 this witness's expertise.
18 JUDGE PARKER: How do you see this as appropriate or within the
19 capacity of the witness to answer, Mr. Apostolski?
20 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could the witness
21 please be shown -- this will clarify -- when we show him the next
22 document, it will become clear.
23 So could the witness please be shown the Exhibit P466, the report
24 of Mr. Bezruchenko, the page 64, paragraph 229.
25 Q. You say that the document bears no date which reduces its
1 significance. Do you see this in front of you?
2 A. Yes, I see that.
3 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
4 the Exhibit P00461.
5 [Defence counsel confer]
6 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Do you see it in front of you? The regulation on the
8 responsibilities and the operation of the brigade command.
9 A. Yes, I can.
10 Q. And this is a document that you had received from
11 Mr. Gzim Ostreni. This is the National Liberation Army. So, is it
12 correct that this document again bears no date. It just bears the year,
13 2001, but no date?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
17 also 65 ter 212, ERN R062-6954.
18 Could we now move to the next page in the document.
19 Q. Do you recognise this document as a document you have used when
20 producing your report?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. Could you agree with me that this document, as the ones before it,
23 just bears the year and there is no date when the document was produced?
24 A. That's right, sir. But may I actually offer you a general
1 In fact, all these documents which we have just been discussing
2 are the regulations. Normally, a regulation is in fact quite a lengthy
3 document which can contain from several dozen to several hundred pages,
4 and normally it is limited in circulation. It is either classified or
5 secret, and as it has quite a number of pages, it also has hard cover,
6 like a binder does.
7 This hard cover, the front one, would bear the general title of
8 the institution which would issue this document; in this particular case,
9 obviously General Staff. The title of the document, which in this
10 particular case is personnel and material formation of the brigade, as
11 well as the classification degree which says in this particular case
12 military secret, strictly confidential. It would carry the date, but only
13 the year of issue of this document.
14 As to the exact date, by which I mean the day and month of the
15 document issued, this normally would not really be included in documents
16 of this nature. In some cases that would and in some armies that also
17 would, but as a general rule, if we're speaking about only cover pages,
18 you would never come across any specific date of the action -- document
19 being issued, because this date would be normally verified and confirmed
20 by a signature of the official who is issuing this document.
21 Q. Did you see a date in any other location within the documents,
22 other than on the front page?
23 A. No, not really. But they would hardly be there at all.
24 Q. Have you seen a document entitled: Law for service in the NLA?
25 A. I cannot recall seeing this document. It's probably not really
1 the law but some kind of regulation.
2 Q. Very well.
3 I would like to have reviewed the documents that I have shown you
5 Could the witness please be shown 65 ter 212, ERN R062-6954. 65
6 ter 212, ERN R062-6954.
7 In your report, you have mentioned this document. Is that
9 A. Yes, I have.
10 Q. This is the regulations for the criteria involved in the
11 classification of information of importance to the National Liberation
12 Army, which must be kept as military or state secrets and the methods
13 entailed in the preservation thereof.
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. In your report, you say that although the document stresses in
16 Article 3 that the classification of documents of importance to the NLA
17 and the means of protecting and using it in the organs of government and
18 other associations is regulated by law. Do you see the Article 3? It is
19 in front of you.
20 A. Yes, I see that.
21 Q. Could you please explain to me which governmental bodies are
22 referred to in this Article?
23 A. My explanation, perhaps, could be that in fact this document was
24 simply translated and copied from relevant JNA document perhaps, and those
25 who were doing these translations did not really bother to review the
1 translation and revise the document properly. But it is also possible
2 that this document was perhaps issued by the KLA and taken over from NLA
3 from KLA.
4 Q. Could you agree with me that the original version in the Albanian
5 language reads UCK?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. And the abbreviation for the National Liberation Army is UCK, UCK
8 as well. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes, that's correct. But --
10 Q. Isn't it maybe a document by the Kosovo Liberation Army that was
11 only copy-pasted by the NLA?
12 A. Yes, it is possible. But, among other things that I would like to
13 note about this document, is that Article 1, at least in English
14 translation, in fact as well as in Macedonian one, clearly says National
15 Liberation Army. We know that there was no National Liberation Army in
16 Kosovo. There was Kosovo Liberation Army there.
17 Q. But the document is written in the Albanian language. Isn't it
18 correct? The original document is in Albanian?
19 A. Yes, sir. This is correct.
20 Q. And you did not verify this, who has done the translation?
21 A. Sir, I do not really think I had any reasons to verify, well, who
22 was doing the translation of the document, but I think that our
23 interpreters in fact were aware of the fact that there are two different
24 entities with the same abbreviation, which is the UCK in Albanian. So I
25 think they probably did the correct translation.
1 Q. Very well. And you say in paragraph 3 that the one who wrote the
2 Article failed to revise it, so this is probably the reason for the
3 mistake. Is that your assertion?
4 A. My assertion was that this document was directly translated from
5 B/C/S in the original version when it was being prepared by somebody in
6 the NLA. So this is my explanation, because it would appear logical to
7 assume that NLA did not really have that many regulations and that many
8 personnel perhaps. We should be very well aware of the regulations of
9 such kind. So these were probably directly translated from relevant
10 manuals which existed in the Yugoslav national army before breakup of
12 And whoever of the Albanian ethnic Albanian officers or men who
13 were doing this translation from B/C/S probably did not really revise this
14 article properly. But as it was already in Albanian, I don't really think
15 that the interpreters who were doing the translation from Albanian into
16 English in fact had to do any kind of revision because, essentially, it
17 was a direct translation.
18 I hope I was clear enough, so if I will need to repeat what I
19 said, I can repeat it again.
20 Q. I just wish to indicate that in Macedonia the Law on Classified
21 Documents was adopted in 2004, so when this document was published in
22 2001, then the Law on Classified Documents did not exist.
23 So could the witness please be shown 2D403, 65 ter 2D403.
24 This is an unofficial translation organised by the Defence of the
25 1st and the 83rd Article of the law.
1 Do you see on the top that this is the Law on Classified
2 Information as published in the Official Gazette of Republic of Macedonia
3 number 9/04. The date is the 27th of February, 2004.
4 A. That's right, sir. I agree with you that in fact this particular
5 document does not seem to refer to this specific law, and in fact it would
6 be difficult to imagine that it would, because the NLA, of course,
7 regarded itself as an entity which was outside of official institutions of
8 the state.
9 Q. So you agree with me that the document before it -- the NLA
10 document that I showed you before, and the Article 3 of the document
11 before, did not refer to the government of the Republic of Macedonia and
12 the law of the Republic of Macedonia?
13 A. Apparently not.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we go back now to the
16 previous document once again. 65 ter 212, R062-6954.
17 Could we please look at the Article 7 of this document, page 2 in
18 the English version.
19 Could we please show the following page.
20 Q. Do you see the Article 7 before you? It reads that: "Officers in
21 command structures, staff offices, units and groupings of the armed forces
22 and persons in charge in active and other organisations as well as in
23 state and political bodies are responsible for the proper functioning of
24 the protection of confidential information and are obligated to supervise
25 the taking of protective measures for the information."
1 Can you agree with me that this Article as well indicates that
2 this document does not pertain to the National Liberation Army?
3 A. Well, I think the cover page for this document says that -- or,
4 rather, the cover for this document says that this document was in the
5 ownership of the National Liberation Army. Well, as to the language of
6 Article 7 and specifically mentioning of state and political bodies, my
7 explanation would be perhaps similar to which I had given for a similar
8 document just a few minutes ago. To my mind, that was probably a
9 translation from the B/C/S, direct translation, which was not edited
10 properly, or perhaps this was the document which was taken over from KLA.
11 Q. Are you saying that this document is actually a KLA document that
12 is only used by the NLA?
13 A. I am saying perhaps, well, that this document would be used both
14 by KLA and by NLA. And in fact in terms of the functional use, it
15 wouldn't really make any difference, because this document probably was
16 applicable in any situation.
17 Q. Could you please have a look at Article 10. It's on the same page
18 in English, while in the Macedonian version it's in the following page.
19 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we go to the bottom of the
20 English page, please, in the document. Thank you.
21 Q. Article 10 says: "Members of the NLA or persons released from
22 service in the NLA may be relieved of their obligations to protect secrets
23 and may, pursuant to Article 61, paragraph 3 of the Law on Service in the
24 NLA, be authorised to inform the state and other bodies about secret or
25 confidential information only if this is in the interest of the general
2 Do you agree with me that a minute ago you said that you never saw
3 a Law on Service in the NLA ranks?
4 A. Yes, that's right. I did not really see this law, so I cannot
5 really comment on this particular paragraph.
6 Perhaps this law exists or existed, at least, but I'm not aware of
8 Q. When you went through this document, didn't you find it necessary
9 to find this law when preparing your report?
10 A. Well, in fact, I was looking, of course, at the legislation of
11 Macedonia which related to the armed forces and police, but I don't recall
12 finding any specific law related to the protection of state secrets.
13 Q. Could you please explain pursuant to Article 10, members of the
14 NLA are released from their obligations to protect secrets and -- pursuant
15 to Article -- pursuant to law be authorised to inform the state and other
17 Can you please explain to us which organs, other organs are here
18 in question that the NLA members are authorised to inform?
19 A. Well, I'm afraid I'm not really in a position to comment on which
20 state organs are mentioned in this paragraph, because I was looking, in
21 fact, into the various aspects of the conflict, including the NLA of
22 course, but, as I said previously, I didn't come across in my research any
23 Albanian language documents specifically being called laws related to the
24 service in the NLA.
25 Q. Is it correct that pursuant to this Article they are obliged to
1 inform the state against which they fought?
2 A. That could be a supposition, but I'm not really in a position to
3 comment on that properly, because I'm afraid my comments would amount
4 simply to speculation.
5 In fact, to find out what exactly is meant in Article 10, we
6 really have to make additional research.
7 Q. And in your report -- you base your report on these documents. Is
8 that correct?
9 A. This document was mentioned in my report, among others.
10 Q. And you believed Gzim Ostreni when he submitted you these
11 documents, and you didn't even check the content of these documents. Is
12 this correct?
13 A. Not really. I checked the content of the document and I read
14 properly after it had been translated from Albanian into English and this
15 translation was completed quite a long time after the interview of
16 Mr. Gzim Ostreni took place.
17 I included this document in my report on the basis of the fact
18 that its cover page in fact bears the logo and title of the National
19 Liberation Army. Specific points about this documents, like this point
20 which you have just reflected on in -- in Article 10 also caught my
21 attention, and in fact I attributed some of these discrepancies to the
22 fact that apparently the translation, as I mentioned, from B/C/S into
23 Albanian were taken liberally.
24 Q. Very well. Thank you for your answer.
25 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] If we could now move to P00461.
1 Q. Before you, I guess you are able to see the document that you used
2 in preparing your report. Is this correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. It is a regulation on the competencies and operation of the
5 brigade command.
6 You used this document in your report in paragraphs 120 to 126,
7 and you refer to Articles 196 up to 200 [as interpreted].
8 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] There is a mistake in the
9 transcript. It's footnotes from 195 to 200.
10 Q. Is it correct that this is a very important document about the
11 organisational structure of the NLA, because you have mentioned it quite
12 some times in your report?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. And, of course, this regulation was used by the NLA brigades. The
15 NLA had six brigades. Is this correct?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. But you told me a while ago that the National Liberation Army and
18 the Kosovo Liberation Army were two different organisations which did not
19 exist at the same time.
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. So this document pertains to the NLA?
22 A. It could pertain to NLA. It could actually be compiled and
23 modified to meet the specific NLA objectives and regulations.
24 I'm sorry there is apparently a mistake in line 7 -- in line 17.
25 It should read as it seems to pertain to NLA, it pertains in fact to NLA.
1 And I think --
2 Q. So you're not claiming that it pertains to the NLA. Is this what
3 you're saying?
4 A. No, no. I say there is a mistake in line 16. I said it
5 pertains - grammatical mistake there - it pertains to NLA. What I'm
6 saying is that from the cover page it is quite clear that this is the
7 document of the National Liberation Army. It has the logo, it has the
8 title National Liberation Army, it has the signature. But as to the
9 actual -- contents of the document, it is also logical to assume that it
10 could be a product in fact of rehashing, if you wish and revising of
11 similar documents which existed in the KLA.
12 Q. If we could move to page 3 of this document, please.
13 The following page, please.
14 If we could please focus on the third paragraph which starts with:
15 Each and every member.
16 "All members of the brigade command (officers, staff, soldiers)
17 are to carry out their duties and obligations pursuant to the
18 constitution, the Law on Defence, the internal regulations of the UCK,
19 this set of regulations and work plans and instructions from their
20 superiors as set forth in the organisational structure of the UCK."
21 Could you please explain to us, as an expert, the members of the
22 brigade command pursuant to which constitution are bound to carry out
23 their duties and work plans?
24 A. Well, I think that perhaps this particular paragraph, as I
25 mentioned may be a product or may be attributed, rather, to the fact that
1 this document was a rehashed document taken over from the KLA or KPC. But
2 it was apparently used by the NLA.
3 Q. Have you studied this document when you prepared your report?
4 A. Yes, of course I have seen and read it.
5 Q. Could you please tell me to which Law on Defence does this
6 document refer, because if you have read it, you've probably read this
7 paragraph as well.
8 A. Yes, that's right. Well, I do not know which Law on Defence is
9 mentioned here, but I can only perhaps suggest, as I mentioned, that this
10 document was a document which was produced either NLA or the KPC and was
11 used as an internal document in the KPC and then was taken over from KPC
12 by the NLA and was used in the NLA.
13 Q. But you haven't made any note about all these issues in your
14 report. Is that correct?
15 A. What I made a note of that the NLA apparently used this document.
16 Well, as to the exact origin of the document, namely whether it was a
17 translation from B/C/S and some old JNA regulations, whether it was
18 produced in KLA, whether it was produced by the KPC, I did not really
19 pursue this line of research because it was not really a matter of high
21 As I mentioned previously, there was a great deal of interaction
22 between Kosovo and Macedonia. There were groups crossing the border,
23 there was a lot of weapons coming from Kosovo, and would also very logical
24 to assume that the weapons brought also included perhaps some manuals or
25 instructions for use of these weapons which could be written in Albanian
1 for easier, as well as a number of regulations which probably were in
2 previous use in Kosovo Liberation Army and in Kosovo Protection Corps.
3 So just to summarize my answer again, I would say that in fact the
4 particular origin of this document was not really very important to me
5 while doing my research. There are many instances in specifically
6 asymmetrical warfare when various rebellion armies would use the
7 regulations taken over from various armies at an advanced stage.
8 Say if you have M-16 rifle in your platoon as the basic weapon,
9 you would also need at least a manual to assemble and disassemble this
10 rifle. If you are going to build a force or brigade size, for instance,
11 you at least need some basic documents as to how this force is to be built
12 and on which basis. These documents could be taken from anywhere, from
13 any army of the world.
14 Q. Are you implying that only the first page has been changed and the
15 rest of the text belongs to the KLA, that it comes from a KLA manual?
16 A. It could be the fact, but I don't really think it doesn't really
17 change much in terms of essence of this document.
18 Q. Could you read further down in the document where it starts:
19 "Only under the following circumstances."
20 Do you see that? "Only under the following circumstances may
21 members of the UCK not carry out their orders." And then in the second
22 line it says: "If the order given would mean betraying the UCK, the
23 constitutional order or the country."
24 Is it correct, Mr. Bezruchenko, that NLA was fighting for change
25 of the constitution. Is that your opinion?
1 A. I don't think that this specific document relates really to the
2 Macedonian constitution.
3 Q. Could you tell me whose constitution it refers to?
4 A. It really depends on the origin of the document. That might be
5 the fact that perhaps the document was actually -- but this is again only
6 a supposition, might be actually taken over from KPC which at that stage
7 already was planning the independence of Kosovo.
8 Q. And you did not put this note into your report. Is that correct?
9 A. Well, I think that this particular note did not really deserve any
10 special emphasis in my report because, as I mentioned previously, there
11 was a great deal of interaction between Kosovo and Macedonia, and there
12 was certainly some interaction between the KLA, KPC and NLA, which was
13 manifested in many things, as I mentioned.
14 Q. Did you see anywhere in the documents that you reviewed that the
15 National Liberation Army played a role in the defence of Kosovo?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Very well.
18 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we see page 9 of this
19 document, please.
20 Could we see the following page in the English version, please.
21 Could we go a page back in the English version. I believe it's --
22 down below it is not visible.
23 Q. Do you see now that is point 6, head of the office for information
24 and public relations?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we now turn to the next
2 page, both in the Macedonian and in the English version, so we can see
3 paragraph 4.
4 Could we see the paragraph 4? Could we scroll up in the English
5 page, please. Thank you. That's it.
6 Q. So the head of the information and public relations office,
7 according to this document should start and should organise activities in
8 order to clarify the goals and the state principles for the constitutional
9 and legal matters and the role of the UCK in the defence of Kosovo.
10 A. Yes, I can see that. And as I mentioned previously, this would be
11 best explained by my assessment that this document apparently was prepared
12 by someone within the NLA -- I mean, within the KLA. But according to
13 other indications, it is also equally reasonable to assume that this
14 document was in fact used by the NLA.
15 Q. But you did not put a note about all of this in your report. Is
16 that correct?
17 A. About what, Mr. Apostolski, please?
18 Q. That this might have been a document of the KLA taken over by the
20 A. To state that, Mr. Apostolski, I would definitely need to
21 disregard what is the cover page logo and signatures on this document. It
22 would be perhaps a little bit irresponsible for me to definitely say that
23 this was the document prepared by the KLA or Kosovo Protection Corps
24 without making an additional and serious research into the KLA and Kosovo
25 Protection Corps associated issues.
1 Well, therefore, I limited my analysis actually just to stating
2 the fact that there was apparently some interaction between KLA, KPC, and
3 NLA. In fact, even this interaction is pretty obscure. It is pretty
4 difficult to find any documents which would confirm the exact facts,
5 numbers, personalities involved in this kind of interaction.
6 Q. Did you made your report only based on the cover page of this
7 document, without reading the text further down?
8 A. Well, of course I read the text further down, Mr. Apostolski. But
9 I think I already mentioned, in fact, that the primary purpose of my
10 report was establishing the fact whether the NLA had any documents and
11 internal regulations at all and whether it used them. And it would appear
12 to -- from my report, if you read it carefully, my view was that the NLA
13 indeed had these documents and indeed used them, but that does not
14 necessarily mean that I should emphasise the fact that the NLA actually
15 was responsible for producing these documents. It might very well be the
16 fact that these documents were simply copied or taken over from relevant
17 documents which existed prior to the establishment of the NLA. But I
18 don't really see how this fact would actually affect another fact, which
19 the NLA apparently used these documents.
20 Q. Have you seen any order of the NLA that is referring to this
22 A. To this particular document? If you could go to the first page
24 Q. The first page of your report or of this document?
25 A. The first page of this -- of this document, sir, please.
1 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the first page be shown,
3 Q. Have you seen any order referring to this document?
4 A. I think I have seen an order which was in fact an English
5 translation entitled as order by Gzim -- sorry, order by Ali Ahmeti.
6 In fact, this is 65 ter 926.
7 Q. So that this is not -- that is not this document.
8 A. Which 65 ter is that?
9 MR. SAXON: This document bore the 65 ter number beginning with
11 [Defence counsel confer]
12 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Is your response the one that you haven't seen it?
14 A. Well, Mr. Apostolski, I think I was answering your question as to
15 whether I have seen any document signed, right? So I --
16 Q. My question is whether have you seen any order.
17 A. Order, that's right. So trying to answer your question, I'm
18 saying that I have seen the document, 65 ter 926, and it is quoted in my
19 report on page 31, which I think is the order signed by Ali Ahmeti.
20 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we go on to page 30 of this
21 document. That is page 28 and 29 of the English version, and 31 of the
22 Macedonian version. We have the right Macedonian version page.
23 Could we also find the appropriate English version. That is it.
24 Telecom supervisor.
25 Q. Do you see that in front of you?
1 A. That's right, yes.
2 Q. Could we go on to the next page in both versions.
3 Could we -- could you see paragraph 11 the telecommunications
4 supervisor according to paragraph 11 should monitor test and analyse the
5 telecom systems, in particular those that are at the disposal of the
6 Kosovo Guard. So it comes out that the telecom supervisor of the NLA is
7 supposed to monitor, prepare, analyse and test the telecom systems that
8 are at the disposal of the Kosovo Guard. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes, that's correct, and in fact I don't really find it unusual
10 because I really mentioned previously that apparently this document was
11 prepared on the basis of either relevant KLA or KPC documents. So it was
12 simply taken over by the NLA.
13 Q. You testified previously that the National -- the Kosovo
14 Liberation Army and the Kosovo Guard did not exist at the same time?
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. If I may --
18 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we display also the
19 following page of the document, so let's go through it together.
20 Q. Do you see head of sector for civilian affairs?
21 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] And if we can focus on subpoint
22 3, saying, reading that the head of the sector for civilian affairs and
23 since this is a NLA document, according to you, should -- so the head of
24 the sector for civilian affairs of the NLA should initiate and coordinate
25 the activities of the brigade command and the subordinate units with the
1 organs of local and regional administration for protection of historical
2 and cultural material and values from the liberation war in Kosovo.
3 Q. Is this yet another illogical thing in the document?
4 A. It maybe appear illogical on the first sight, but I think I
5 mentioned previously that a number of these documents seem to have been
6 based on the experience of the war in Bosnia, as well as specific
7 experience of the war in Kosovo.
8 I think I also mentioned that this document seems to have been a
9 product or in fact if you wish, a compilation on basis of number of
10 sources which could be original KPC documents, as well as translations
11 from the old JNA manuals, and it is really difficult to say what the
12 origin of this document is. It would appear, in fact, that it was
13 probably prepared by someone in the Kosovo Protection Corps, and given the
14 fact that Mr. Gzim Ostreni some while served in the Kosovo Protection
15 Corps, it would also be logical to assume that it was he who brought these
16 documents for the use of the NLA.
17 Q. So you also did not mention this comment of yours in your report.
18 A. This is only a speculation, sir. I cannot really say that this is
19 indeed the fact. What I can only say is that this document was taken over
20 from Mr. Gzim Ostreni, and perhaps he would be in a position to comment
21 more on this document.
22 Q. But it is your testimony that -- your testimony that he might have
23 brought it, but he might as well have not brought it.
24 A. My testimony, sir, would be precisely this: This document is
25 apparently produced by somebody in the KPC. It is also possible that this
1 document was produced on the basis of similar documents which weren't used
2 by the KLA, JNA, and KPC. It would be extremely difficult in fact to
3 establish the fact who produced this document and on basis of what
4 documents, but I would also like to add that, in fact, this document
5 apparently made its way to the NLA and apparently was used by the NLA.
6 Q. Doesn't this connect with -- I apologise, I will rephrase my
8 Is my claim about the dates, that I presented to you before, would
9 have no impact about the fact of the origin of this documents and the time
10 of preparation of this document. I was claiming before that there is a --
11 a problem with the documents, that there is a lack of a date. Would you
12 agree with me on this?
13 A. Yes, there is no specific date in terms of date and month. But
14 there is the date indicating the year apparently the document was
16 Q. Could it be possible that these documents were non-existent, these
17 regulations that they might have been prepared later by just preparing
18 later the cover page, whereby the NLA insignia were put?
19 MR. SAXON: Your Honour.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.
21 MR. SAXON: Sometime ago - I can't recall specifically when - I
22 raised an objection about the use of the word or the phrase whether
23 something is possible, and I -- I raise a similar objection today, simply
24 because just about anything in life is possible. But I don't know how
25 that advances the work of the Trial Chamber.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon, I think the point Mr. Apostolski seeks
2 to make is very simple and very clear, and I wouldn't interfere with his
3 question on the basis that you have advanced.
4 Carry on, Mr. Apostolski.
5 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Witness, could you answer my question?
7 A. Well, I think that this possibility cannot be completely ruled
8 out. But to give a precise answer to your question, in terms of yes or
9 no, I'm not in a position.
10 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, this
11 might be a convenient time since I will be going on to a different
12 document after.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
14 We adjourn now. Before we do though, Mr. Mettraux, I'm trying to
15 estimate how long we need to allow for your treatment of exhibits.
16 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, if the concern of the Chamber is to
17 take time from Mr. Apostolski, and this would be also one of our concern,
18 what we could do if it is more practical to the Chamber would be to make a
19 very short and very brief application in writing tomorrow in the course of
20 the day which would also give some time, perhaps, to Mr. Saxon to respond
21 over the weekend, if that is more convenient to the Chamber.
22 If, however, you wish us to make the submissions orally, we
23 believe there is between 20 and 25 documents which we would seek to
24 tender, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon, does this cause you concern? It would
1 mean that you may come to re-examine without knowing which documents are
2 admitted or not admitted.
3 MR. SAXON: It does cause me some concern, Your Honour, in terms
4 of the preparation for my re-examination.
5 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, in that case I may have a
6 counterproposal. What we could do at the break would be to show the list
7 to Mr. Saxon, ascertain with Mr. Saxon whether there's any objection to
8 any of the document, if indeed that is the case, we would only seek at
9 that stage to tender those which are, in effect, challenged by the
10 Prosecution which may allow to speed things up and the Chamber to rule on
11 those at this stage.
12 JUDGE PARKER: I think we're moving down a constructive road; we
13 may not have reached the end of it yet. If Mr. Mettraux and Mr. Saxon
14 and, if necessary, Mr. Apostolski, could consider the matter during the
15 break, to see whether there is going to be any difficulty in the formal
16 motion for admission being delayed either to tomorrow or perhaps being
17 advanced in writing. And we'll hear the outcome of that when we resume --
18 MR. METTRAUX: Certainly, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE PARKER: -- which we will do at 6.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 5.30 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 6.03 p.m.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski, you might plan this evening to
23 finish your questioning, not to finish but to finish this evening,
24 somewhere a little after 20 minutes to which will allow us time, then, to
25 deal with any issues that may remain over these exhibits, and then you
1 will continue tomorrow morning.
2 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] I will do my best, Your Honours,
3 and at 20 minutes to 7.00 I will finish this round of questions.
4 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, do you remember that we reviewed together other
5 documents originating from the NLA, Mr. Gzim Ostreni submitted them to
6 you, and we noticed that there was no date on them.
7 A. Yes, that's right, sir.
8 Q. Those are the documents bearing no numbers and no names?
9 A. That's also right, sir.
10 Actually --
11 Q. Do you agree with me that --
12 A. Please go ahead, sir.
13 Q. Do you agree with me that it is possible that on those documents
14 only the cover page was replaced?
15 A. Sir, you mention that these documents bear no numbers and no
16 names. In fact, they bear no numbers but they bear names.
17 As I mentioned previously it is very much possible, perhaps, it
18 can't really be ruled out that the cover page was replaced, but the fact
19 of the matter is that there are sufficient reasons to believe that these
20 documents were actually in use by the NLA, despite the fact that they
21 might have been produced elsewhere. And, of course, I could not really
22 disregard the fact that we obtained these documents from the chief of
23 General Staff of the NLA, who claimed that these were the original NLA
25 Q. Is it correct that you did not see a list of members of the
1 so-called NLA brigade?
2 A. Are you referring to any specific brigade, sir?
3 Q. I am asking you in general about all brigades.
4 A. I'm afraid this is not entirely correct, sir. I have seen the
5 personnel lists, or, rather, the personnel rolls I think of 113 Brigade,
6 as well as units of some other brigades which clearly bear the names of
7 the personnel, their dates of birth, their origin of birth, and other
8 basic data. And I think I quoted the relevant documents in my report,
9 which you have probably seen.
10 Q. Were the names of the soldiers within the brigade ranks included
11 in those lists?
12 A. In some of them, yes.
13 Q. Could you say more specifically which brigades were the ones
14 regarding which you have seen the roles of soldiers and positions?
15 A. If you give me one minute, I would probably do it.
16 Q. Yes, you may.
17 A. I am specifically referring to Exhibit 65 ter number 664, which is
18 the NLA document 113th Brigade, Izmet Jashari, which appears to contain
19 the ranks of the personnel, and in fact I have the relevant portion of the
20 report in front of me now and I could probably read the names of these
22 Q. Have you seen such a list for the 116th Brigade?
23 A. If you allow me to be more specific, no, I didn't see such lists
24 for the 116th Brigade, and there is a very clear reason for this fact,
25 which is really on the surface.
1 The fact for this -- I mean, the reason for this fact is that the
2 116th Brigade was apparently formed at a very late stage of the conflict,
3 sometime in July 2001.
4 Q. I apologise, I will rephrase the question.
5 Have you seen the list for the 114th Brigade?
6 A. I haven't seen the full list of personnel for the 114th Brigade,
7 but in fact there is quite an extensive list of the members of this
8 brigade in various command positions, which can be derived from some
9 Macedonian documents.
10 Q. But you have not seen a list of soldiers?
11 A. No, I have not seen the list of soldiers of this brigade as such.
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters have difficulties hearing the
13 Defence counsel so if the microphone could be moved closer to him.
14 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
15 Q. You said yesterday when cross-examined by my colleague Mettraux in
16 the page of 7609, page of the transcript, that the 112th, 113th, 114th
17 Brigade were established in November. Do you remember that?
18 A. No, no this is a mistake. They could not be established in
20 Q. I apologise. I might have misspoken or maybe the interpretation
21 was incorrect. I was referring to the month of June.
22 A. I see. Well, I think the 112th and 113th Brigades were
23 established in fact before June. 114th Brigade was most probably
24 established in the second half of June. But they could not be established
25 in November, no way.
1 Q. I'm telling you, Witness, that it is probably a mistake in the
2 interpretation of my question. My question quoted the month of June. So
3 your evidence is that towards the end of June, the 114th Brigade was
4 established and its commander was Nazim Bushi. Is that correct?
5 A. If I could qualify my previous answer a little bit. I think all
6 these brigades were in the process of being formed and they were in fact
7 at various stages of being formed in June 2001. Some of them were perhaps
8 better prepared and they were at more advanced stage of formation than
9 others. I think that in fact the process of formation of the 114th
10 Brigade started sometime in June and perhaps the bulk of the brigade, or
11 at least some significant fighting nucleus of this brigade was established
12 in the second June -- I mean, in the second half of the June of 2001, and
13 indeed the commander of this brigade was Nazim Bushi.
14 Q. Yesterday, when asked by my colleague Guenael Mettraux at page
15 7109 of the transcript, when asked him which were the brigades operational
16 in June you said 112th, 113th and 114th. Do you recall that?
17 A. And 115th was probably forming sometime in end June 2001, early
18 July 2001.
19 Q. Very well. I would like to go back to the statement of
20 Mr. Nazim Bushi.
21 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
22 the statement of Nazim Bushi, 65 ter 2D00-365, dated 9th and 10th of June,
23 2004, page 2 of the English version, and page 3 of the Macedonian.
24 Paragraph 4.
25 Do you see it in front of you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. It was your evidence previously that this gentleman, Nazim Bushi,
3 could give the most reliable testimony on that.
4 In paragraph 4 of the statement he says: "I needed about a week
5 to complete the establishment of the 114th NLA Brigade and that was at or
6 around 8th of June, 2001 -- July, 2001 that the brigade was officially
7 established. I was appointed the commander of the 114th Brigade."
8 Could the next page of the English version be shown, please.
9 "I was appointed as the 114th Brigade commander and promoted to
10 NLA colonel at the same time. The headquarters of the brigade was set in
12 So, according to Nazim Bushi's testimony, can it be inferred that
13 the 114th Brigade was established in July, which does not correspond to
14 your evidence and to your report?
15 A. Well, actually it does and it does not. But I don't really think
16 it is really possible to be so specific regarding the exact day of the
17 establishment of the brigade. You should really realise that this is a
18 process, not really a momentaneous action which can be completed in one
20 I think what we really have to pay attention to in this statement
21 is the fact that the brigade formation process apparently was completed on
22 8 July. What I was saying was that the brigade formation, by and large,
23 and at least its nucleus was apparently formed by end of July -- sorry,
24 June 2001 or at least in the second half of June 2001.
25 You cannot really expect a brigade which normally under the full
1 formation would have several thousand men to be mobilised assigned to the
2 units, trained and made combat-ready within one day or one week. It is
3 extremely difficult and impossible undertaking, even under those
5 So I think we have to be flexible with these dates.
6 Q. So that means that Nazim Bushi, when saying that he established
7 the brigade within a week, was not speaking the truth. Is that what you,
8 as a military expert, are saying?
9 A. I'm not saying that he was not speaking the truth. I am only
10 saying that the brigade could not be formed within one day. It probably
11 implies that the brigade formation started sometime, or at least some
12 preparatory ground was made for that in June, whereas the actual process
13 was completed in early July 2001, and I don't really think in such matters
14 as formation of such a size of brigade one week really matters much.
15 Q. In the summary of your report, in the part NLA strategy and
16 tactics at the 41st page, you say that all sources were investigated agree
17 that throughout the conflict the NLA managed to establish control over
18 some specific parts of localities populated predominantly by Albanians
19 mostly in the northern and western Macedonian.
20 My question is: Is it correct that the NLA had no city under its
22 A. I don't think that the NLA had any cities under its complete
24 Q. Is it correct that no railway station was under the NLA control?
25 A. To the best of my knowledge, not under physical control.
1 Q. In that part of the report, you are saying which part of the
2 territory was under the NLA control and you stated previously to my
3 colleague that it amounted to 20 per cent of the territory of the Republic
4 of Macedonia.
5 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
6 a map of Macedonia, P467.
7 Q. Witness, until the map is displayed, I would ask you a few more
9 You went to the Republic of Macedonia quite often. Is that
11 A. Yes, I visited Macedonia several times.
12 Q. You know the territory of the Republic of Macedonia very well.
13 A. I cannot really say that I know the Republic of Macedonia very
14 well, because my visits to Macedonia were essentially limited to Skopje
15 and the village of Ljuboten. But I cannot really say that I really know
16 the Republic of Macedonia very well. I mean, the territory of Republic of
17 Macedonia very well.
18 Q. As a military expert, you also have good orientation in using
19 maps. Is that correct?
20 A. Well, I think I should.
21 Q. Could you please mark the territory under NLA's control in mid-May
22 2001. Please mark it.
23 A. Well, it would be perhaps easier to describe the territorial
24 control of NLA in terms of the number of the villages which were under the
25 NLA control, but I would imagine that several distinct areas were more or
1 less under NLA control, one would be this area here, more or less along
2 the border; the other area would be here; the other area would be --
3 Q. My question referred to the month of May.
4 A. Oh, I'm sorry. Then this is -- then must be corrected. Maybe we
5 should try it again.
6 Q. Apologise, I apologise.
7 A. Well, I think in May the NLA control basically extended in some
8 areas above Skopje, as well as some areas above Tetovo; there were also
9 developments with NLA activities in the north of Kumanovo. And that was
10 about it.
11 Q. And the other border would be the border of the Republic of
12 Macedonia, just to make it clear for the record.
13 A. Yes, of course.
14 Q. Very well. And there were no Macedonian security forces in this
15 territory, the territory that you marked, and that is in the period of May
17 A. But to answer this question, Mr. Apostolski, we would probably
18 have to go to the definition of the territorial control.
19 I'm not saying that the NLA literally had physical control over
20 all this territory. Of course, there were Macedonian security forces,
21 there were border posts, there were army units and there were also police
22 units which were operating in the same areas. But what I'm suggesting is
23 that most of the rural areas, mountainous areas were quite accessible for
24 the NLA to move around and to execute their operations. And most of those
25 villages in fact, predominantly with the Albanian population were indeed
1 in the hands of the NLA.
2 Q. But you testified about the percentage of the territory.
3 A. Yes, that's right. But if you recall, I was referring to a number
4 of documents, specifically the report of the Ministry of Interior for
5 2001, which we extensively described with your learned colleague
6 Mr. Mettraux and which we mutually, I think, agreed upon to the effect
7 that the report clearly speaks about 20 per cent of the Macedonian
8 territory under NLA control in September 2001.
9 Q. As far as I am able to notice -- I apologise, we're now speaking
10 about the month of May, right? You marked a NLA-controlled territory
11 during the month of May. Is that correct?
12 A. Approximately, yes.
13 Q. And your testimony is also that the village of Kuceviste, north of
14 Skopje was under NLA control?
15 A. Not really. I think, first of all, this map, not really the
16 entirely proper map for indication the areas of the NLA control. And
17 this is in fact a geographical map, a relief map rather than military map,
18 and of course you know, using this map I can make only a very approximate
19 delimitation of the territory which was under NLA control. I don't even
20 see without glasses this village.
21 Q. Very well.
22 A. As I say again, this is very approximate areas.
23 Q. As a military expert, you have surely seen, as I can see here
24 also, you have marked that the road between Kumanovo and Presevo was
25 marked here. I'm not an expert, but can I see that. Could you be more
1 precise -- a little bit more precise, please?
2 A. We can correct that. It should be probably here. But there was
3 activities in -- in fact, would it be possible to magnify this map a
4 little bit?
5 Q. Could you please correct it first and then we will ...
6 JUDGE PARKER: We can't magnify it without losing what is marked,
7 so that correct what is there ...
8 THE WITNESS: Something like this, I would imagine.
9 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Could you also mark on the map, since I asked about mid-May, could
11 you please put down 15th of May.
12 JUDGE PARKER: I don't think the date given was the 15th,
13 Mr. Apostolski, but perhaps the witness can indicate whether there is a
14 specific date that this relates to.
15 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
16 Q. Could you just write down May.
17 A. Well, this could be probably end of May.
18 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would seek to
19 tender this photograph in evidence.
20 JUDGE PARKER: The map will be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit number 2D75.
22 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
23 Q. On this same map, could you mark in red the control that the NLA
24 had -- in your view, the NLA had on 12th of August, 2001.
25 A. I'm not sure if this is entirely possible for one simple reason,
1 that in fact there was no continuous front line and some of the villages
2 were under NLA control, some of them were not. So drawing a line which
3 would really represent the front line, as such, would be, I'm afraid, a
4 pointless exercise.
5 Q. Could it be of help if the northern part of the map is enlarged?
6 A. What I could actually do, perhaps to help you, sir, just give you
7 the names of the villages which were apparently under NLA control at
8 various stage of the conflict and I think most of them were under the NLA
9 control by the date of 12th August 2001, and I think these villages are
10 mentioned in my report.
11 Q. Could you mark the villages or the areas that were under NLA's
13 A. I am afraid this is not really entirely appropriate map for this
14 kind of exercise, sir. As I mentioned, this is not a topographical
15 military map. This is a geographic map which is more appropriate for a
16 school, rather than for military analysis. This is in fact --
17 Q. Well, this is the map that we received from the OTP.
18 A. That's perfectly all right, sir. But, again, as I'm saying this
19 is not a military map.
20 Q. As far as I was able to understand your testimony, the NLA
21 controlled 20 per cent of Macedonia's territory. I would simply like to
22 ask you to mark those 20 per cent of the Macedonian territory.
23 A. I'm afraid, sir, this is a little bit simplistic interpretation of
24 this exercise.
25 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown P487.
1 Your Honours, bearing the time in mind, maybe it would be better
2 if I leave these questions for tomorrow.
3 JUDGE PARKER: It might give you time to identify a map that would
4 show in more detail the terrain.
5 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Yes. I found it, Your Honours,
6 but we will have not enough time.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
8 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] I found the evidence, I
9 identified the map in question that was -- that was identified by the
10 witness as a military map.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Well, if you haven't enough time to deal with the
12 issue you're concerned with, we'll leave that until tomorrow. Is there
13 some other matter you can conveniently deal with now, or would you prefer
14 to conclude today's questioning at this point?
15 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] I would end now, and I would give
16 up my time for my colleague Mr. Mettraux and Mr. Saxon to deal with the
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that, Mr. Apostolski.
19 Well, Mr. Bezruchenko, we're going on, I believe, to deal with
20 matters of exhibits, so that we can allow you to leave now with a view to
21 your returning to continue tomorrow at 9.00.
22 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Have a nice evening, Your Honours.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
1 Mr. Mettraux, I hope we've left time enough.
2 MR. METTRAUX: More than enough, I believe, Your Honour. I'm
3 happy to be the messenger of a good news for once.
4 We used the time at the break with Mr. Saxon to go through the
5 list of proposed exhibits and from the 20 original ones, we ended up with
6 16; we withdrew one of common accord. There remains two, Your Honour,
7 which will need your specific decision and perhaps I will start with those
8 that do not give rise to any issues between the parties and I will list
9 them in order.
10 The first one would be Rule 65 ter 1D932. Rule 65 ter 1D929 --
11 JUDGE PARKER: I think we need to deal with each in turn and if
12 could you indicate quickly what it is.
13 MR. METTRAUX: Very well.
14 Your Honour, the first such document, Rule 65 ter 1D932 is a press
15 release concerning a meeting of the so-called Security Council of the
16 Republic of Macedonia dated 10 August of 2001, which refers, you will
17 recall, to "firm actions."
18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be 1D249.
20 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you.
21 The next document is Rule 65 ter 1D929. This is a document which
22 come from an embassy which we've identified during a private session which
23 is dated the 10th of August 2001, and refers to a meeting between the
24 ambassador of that country and the president Mr. Trajkovski.
25 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be exhibit number 1D250.
2 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you.
3 The next document Your Honour is Rule 65 ter 1D531. This is a
4 press report, or, rather a collection of a number of press report dated 19
5 January of 2005, which relates to the role of the president in the events
6 of Ljuboten.
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 1D251, Your Honour.
9 MR. METTRAUX: The next document is Rule 65 ter 1D928.1. This is
10 dictionary of military terms which has been used quite extensively with
11 the witness we indicated to Your Honour that the original numbering was
12 1D928. We've added one page which was used with the witness and we would
13 seek to tender the amended version of that document.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Is this the United States joint services
16 MR. METTRAUX: That's correct, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
18 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 1D252, Your Honour.
19 MR. METTRAUX: The next document is Rule 65 ter 1D957. This is a
20 press report concerning the events of Vejce dated 28th and 29 of April of
21 2001, in relation to which Mr. Bezruchenko commented in his report and the
22 content of that report in particular, statement attributed to a number of
23 politicians were put to him. It is dated the 29th of April of 2001.
24 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 1D253, Your Honour.
1 MR. METTRAUX: The next document is Rule 65 ter 1D955. This is a
2 press release of 20 March 2001 coming from the foreign affairs committee
3 of the European parliament which refers to the activity during that month
4 of the NLA.
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 1D254, Your Honours.
7 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you.
8 The next document is Rule 65 ter 1D952, Your Honour. This is the
9 executive summary of the ICG, the International Crisis Group. It's dated
10 5 April 2001, and it's called the Macedonian question: Reform or
12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 1D255, Your Honour.
14 MR. METTRAUX: Next document, Your Honour, is Rule 65 ter 1D725.
15 This is the actual report of the ICG also dated 5 April 2001.
16 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
17 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 1D256, Your Honour.
18 MR. METTRAUX: Next document, Your Honour, is Rule 65 ter 353.18.
19 This is a situation report of 8 August 2001. This was an attachment to
20 the statement, the OTP statement of Mr. Matthiesen. This is a report
21 about the mine attack on the 8th of August of 2001 in Karpalak.
22 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 1D257, Your Honour.
24 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you. The next document is Rule 65 ter
25 1D879. This is an address of the president of the government of the
1 Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Ljubco Georgievski dated 21st of March 2001,
2 before the South-east European Cooperation Process Conference.
3 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
4 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 1D258, Your Honour.
5 MR. METTRAUX: The next document, Your Honour, is Rule 65 ter
6 1D866. This is an unclassified document coming from an embassy which we
7 have identified and it is entitled government security relinquish yet
8 another village. This relates to the events of Aracinovo, Your Honour,
9 and it's dated the 14th of June, 2001.
10 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
11 THE REGISTRAR: That would be exhibit number 1D259, Your Honour.
12 MR. METTRAUX: Next document, Your Honour, is Rule 65 ter 1D908.
13 This is an article taken from Jane's Defence Weekly called how many
14 weapons in Macedonia. This is it dated the 29th of August, 2001.
15 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 1D260, Your Honour.
17 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, the next document is Rule 65 ter 9D --
18 I'm sorry, 1D959, this is a Presidency statement on the ambush of FYROM
19 soldier. This again relates to the events of Vejce on the 29th of April
20 of 2001.
21 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 1D261, Your Honours.
23 MR. METTRAUX: Next document, Your Honour, is Rule 65 ter 1D881.
24 This is a press article which contains a statement attributed to
25 Ambassador Pardew.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 1D262.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Was there a date for that, Mr. Mettraux?
4 MR. METTRAUX: I will verify the date in a second.
5 While it's being checked, Your Honour, I will indicate the two
6 documents which will give rise to litigation between the parties and this
7 would be Rule 65 ter 1D554.1 and Rule 65 ter 554.2.
8 As per the previous document, Your Honour, 1D881, the date is 15
9 of March of 2001.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
11 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, the two documents that are at issue in
12 the present case are 1D554.1, is a letter written by a representative of
13 the Defence of Mr. Boskoski addressed to the Macedonian authority and more
14 specifically to the Ministry of the Interior requesting of those
15 authorities to check whether any of eight persons mentioned in the letters
16 were or received in -- between August of 2001 and the end of the month of
17 September of 2001 any salaries from the Ministry of the Interior.
18 The next document, document --
19 JUDGE PARKER: The date of that.
20 MR. METTRAUX: This would be the 30th of May of 2007, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
22 MR. METTRAUX: The next document, 1D554.2, is the actual response
23 by the Ministry of the Interior through the state secretary and it is
24 dated the 5th of June of 2007, which indicates that none of the people in
25 question received salary from the MOI or, I believe, appeared on the list
1 of the MOI during the period August to September of 2001.
2 Your Honour will recall that the eight names which appeared on the
3 letter sent by the Defence and thus which were the subject of the response
4 by the Macedonian authorities appeared on a list of receipt given in the
5 police station Cair in the few days that preceded the events that are the
6 subject of these proceedings.
7 In the view of the Defence, we believe that these documents should
8 be admitted at this stage. We believe that Mr. Bezruchenko and we submit
9 that Mr. Bezruchenko gave evidence in particular in his reports about the
10 events inside the village of Ljuboten. He is also making a number of
11 claims in his report to the effect that the people involved were members
12 of the MOI calling, for instance, making a reference, for instance, to
13 what he calls and I quote: "Tarculovski and his police unit" -- paragraph
14 513 and 522 -- talking of police ground attack or formations of police at
15 paragraph 517 and again, polices attack at paragraph 518.
16 Mr. Bezruchenko has also given evidence about what he says are the
17 disciplinary obligations of the Ministry of Interior and about the fact
18 that such obligation would only exist or arise in relation to de jure
19 members of the ministry.
20 Mr. Bezruchenko has also given evidence about efforts or the lack
21 thereof, made by the Office of the Prosecutor to verify whether the people
22 appearing on this list - and Your Honour will remember - another list were
23 made. Your Honour will recall also that Mr. Bezruchenko took part in
24 several interviews with people who were identified on two such lists,
25 including one person, Mr. Ljupco Savov who appeared on the list relevant
1 to those two letters.
2 Your Honour will recall also that Mr. Bezruchenko originally
3 indicated that he could not remember having seen the list or not this
4 particular list but that through the statement of Mr. Savov, the
5 investigator notes more precisely, it was clear that the list had been
6 presented to the person in the -- or had been the subject of questioning
7 in any case with Mr. Savov in the presence of Mr. Bezruchenko.
8 In view of that fact, Your Honour, we believe there is a
9 sufficient basis to admit this document at this stage.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.
11 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the two documents, 65 ter 1D554.1 and
12 1D554.2 really need to be looked at together to demonstrate their
13 relevance. However the Prosecution's primary objection is to 65 ter
14 1D554.2 which is the response of an official from the Ministry of the
15 Interior to a representative of the Defence in this case.
16 Your Honour, the Prosecution believes that the issue here is not
17 what Viktor Bezruchenko discussed or not in his amended expert report.
18 It's much simpler than that. The issue here is that this information from
19 a -- which was put in a letter from an official of the Ministry of the
20 Interior is being submitted to demonstrate the truth of its content. This
21 letter, Your Honours, in the Prosecution's submission is effectively a
22 witness statement and therefore that witness should be called to provide
23 his evidence about this point so that that evidence can be tested and
24 certainly the Defence can do that during the Defence case, if there is a
25 Defence case.
1 Therefore, Your Honour, such letters have been tendered for
2 admission a number of times already in the case and it's to my
3 understanding that these letters have not been admitted in the past. And
4 the Prosecution does not see any stark difference between this letter and
5 other letters whose admission has been rejected by the Trial Chamber.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE PARKER: In the Chamber's view, Mr. Mettraux, neither letter
8 should be received as an exhibit. They can be marked for identification,
9 if you wish, but the -- the primary objection being to the response, it
10 seems to the Chamber, that clearly the content of that response is a
11 matter which ought to be the subject of more appropriate proof and the
12 first letter really goes with the response.
13 MR. METTRAUX: Very well, Your Honour. We would be grateful if
14 they could be marked for identification.
15 JUDGE PARKER: They will be marked.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, exhibit number 65 ter 1D554.1 is
17 marked for identification as exhibit number 1D263, while 65 ter 1D554.2 is
18 marked for identification as exhibit number 1D264.
19 Thank you, Your Honours.
20 MR. METTRAUX: And, Your Honour, if I may be permitted, at page
21 69, line 7, the record refers to Rule 65 ter 1D625, I must have misspoke.
22 It was Rule 65 ter 725, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that.
24 We will, as it turns out, adjourn now and resume tomorrow at 9.00.
25 I don't believe in this courtroom. I think we may be back to Courtroom
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.55 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Friday, the 2nd day of
4 November 2007, at 9.00 a.m.