1 Tuesday, 6 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
7 The affirmation still applies.
8 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Yes, I understand
9 that it does.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.
11 WITNESS: VIKTOR BEZRUCHENKO [Resumed]
12 Re-examination by Mr. Saxon: [Continued]
13 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, I'd like to move to a different topic right now.
14 During cross-examination you were shown a number of media reports
15 and other documents which describe the actions of the NLA in the first
16 part of 2001 as "terrorist attacks," and which described the NLA as
17 terrorists. For example, you were shown what is now Exhibit 1D254, which
18 is a statement from the foreign affairs committee of the European
19 parliament on the 20th of March, 2001.
20 Do you recall that?
21 A. Yes, sir, I recall that.
22 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, do we have a technical problem or should
23 I continue?
24 JUDGE PARKER: We are being entertained with another case on the
25 screen. But apart from that, we have no technical problem.
2 MR. SAXON:
3 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, during the course of researching and writing your
4 expert report, did you also review documents that addressed the
5 international community's reaction to the situation in Macedonia?
6 A. Yes, I did, sir.
7 MR. SAXON: Can we please show the witness what is Exhibit 1D256.
8 Your Honours, this is a report prepared by the International
9 Crisis Group dated the 5th of April, 2001. And it's titled The Macedonian
10 Question, Reform or Rebellion, and my colleague addressed this page at
11 pages 7046 to 7047 of the transcript.
12 Perhaps if we could simply turn to the back of this report, what
13 is Annex C to it and which has ERN number N002-5194.
14 Q. And, Mr. Bezruchenko, this is an appendix to that report and it's
15 a description of what the International Crisis Group is and what it does.
16 And you see it says at the top it's a private multi-national organisation
17 committed to strengthening the capacity of the international community to
18 anticipate, understand, and act to prevent and contain conflict.
19 Do you see that?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. Below that, the next paragraph we see the ICG's approach is
22 grounded in field research done by teams of political analysts.
23 In the next paragraph we see that the ICG's reports are
24 distributed widely to officials in foreign ministries and international
25 organisations and then at the end of that third paragraph we see the
1 following: "The ICG is chaired by former Finnish president Martti
2 Ahtisaari and former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans has been
3 president and chief executive since January of 2000."
4 Do you see that?
5 A. Yes, I can see that, sir.
6 Q. If we can turn now, please, to what is page 6 of the report itself
7 and it has ERN number N002-5178. It has -- it also has ERN 1D00-6441.
8 And if we could focus on the bottom half of this page, please.
9 Mr. Bezruchenko, we see a subtitle 3, Tetovo, eruption of
10 violence. Do you see that?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. And the last sentence of the next paragraph says the
13 following: "On 13 March a rebel group claiming to be members of the
14 National Liberation Army, NLA, began firing at Macedonian police officers
15 in Tetovo from high positions in the Sar mountains around the city."
16 Are you following me?
17 A. Yes, sir.
18 Q. Can we turn, please, to the next page. If we go to the top of the
19 next page, please.
20 And the top paragraph says this at the beginning: "Most political
21 leaders were fully aware of the growing threat. In Autumn 2000, as the
22 legitimate Albanian political parties continued, a small group of rebels
23 or guerillas again recruiting in north-western Macedonia."
24 Do you see that?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. So, so far, can you agree with me that the International Crisis
2 Group is referring to the early members of the NLA, not as terrorists but
3 as rebels or guerillas?
4 A. Absolutely, sir.
5 Q. If we can scroll down, please, two paragraphs. You see there's a
6 paragraph there, Mr. Bezruchenko, beginning with: "On 21 March."
7 Do you see that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that paragraph begins: "On 21 March, the government gave the
10 rebels a 24-hour deadline to lay down their arms." The next
11 sentence: "The rebels initially responded with a unilateral cease-fire."
12 The next sentence: "The government rejected any negotiations
13 with 'terrorists' and the Macedonian military offensive began on the early
14 morning of 25 March." And then, according to the ICG, the following day
15 the government announced that the rebels had been flushed out of a string
16 of villages above the city.
17 Are you following me?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. In the next paragraph, the bottom paragraph, in the second
20 sentence you see a reference to the rebel guerillas. Do you see that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So, so far in this report, the only reference to terrorists is a
23 reference made apparently by the Macedonia government. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. Can we turn to the next page, please. It's page 8 of the report.
1 If we can scroll up to the top.
2 And that top paragraph says: "The Macedonian troops met little
3 resistance and proceeded to pour shells on mostly civilian houses where
4 the guerillas were thought to have been holed up."
5 And then later on in that paragraph: "Be this as it may, most of
6 the guerillas dispersed in the first hours of the offensive."
7 Can we scroll down to the third paragraph of that page, please.
8 Mr. Bezruchenko, the first paragraph says: "International
9 observers on both sides" -- excuse me. This is first sentence of the
10 third paragraph. Says: "International observers on both sides of the
11 Macedonia/Kosovo border are less confident that the insurgents have been
12 defeated. Are you following me?
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. And if you look at the last sentence of that paragraph the
15 International Crisis Group says: "It is hard to believe these guerilla
16 fighters will now slink off to Kosovo, not to be heard of again."
17 So, so far, again, no reference to the word "terrorists" coming
18 from the International Crisis Group. Is that correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. Can we turn to what is page 14 of this report. It bears ERN
21 number 1D00-6449. It's page 14 of the report.
22 And, Mr. Bezruchenko, you see at the bottom of the page there's a
23 Roman numeral V followed by the subtitle, conclusions. Do you see that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the first paragraph of the conclusions was read to you by my
1 colleague, refers to the loosely coordinated guerilla cells.
2 Do you see that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The next paragraph, we see a reference to rebel fighters. And
5 apart from the reference made by the government of the Macedonia referred
6 to in quotes as "terrorists," did you see any reference or any label of
7 the NLA as terrorists or committing terrorist actions in this report?
8 A. No, I didn't.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Mettraux.
10 MR. METTRAUX: I apologise, Your Honour. It is the suggestion of
11 Mr. Saxon that there is none, or simply that the evidence is that
12 Mr. Bezruchenko hasn't seen any. We would like to be clear about what's
13 the position of the Prosecution in relation to this report. We understand
14 that there are in fact discussion at the beginning of the report, but if
15 the only question that was raised with Mr. Bezruchenko is if indeed he had
16 seen any reference in the passage read to him, it's clear.
17 JUDGE PARKER: I would suggest, Mr. Mettraux, that is clearly
18 playing with words. I think the meaning can be detected below the words.
19 And carry on Mr. Saxon.
20 MR. SAXON: Thank you. And, Your Honour, apparently I am also
21 being entertained now by the transcript of another case. It is probably
22 more interesting than my re-direct examination, but if I could have that
23 corrected, I would be grateful.
24 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, during cross-examination my colleague showed you
25 what is now Exhibit 1D262, which was a media article from Radio Free
1 Europe from the 15th of March, 2001. And this was at pages 7055 to 7057
2 of the transcript. And it's an article about some comments made by United
3 States Ambassador James Pardew about the situation at that time in
4 Macedonia. And in that, Mr. Pardew is mentioned in this article as
5 condemning the violence that was occurring in Macedonia and referring to
6 the NLA as a small group of extremists who are simply trying to use
7 intimidation and violence to promote their own political agenda.
8 Do you recall that?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. And my colleague asked you whether this statement was the
11 expression of the view of the ambassador of one of the most powerful
12 states in the world, about what their understanding of the situation in
13 Macedonia was at that time. Do you remember that?
14 A. Yes, I do, sir.
15 Q. I'd like to show you, Mr. Bezruchenko, what Mr. Pardew, Ambassador
16 Pardew, and some other representatives and figures of the United States
17 said about the situation in Macedonia a few months later on the 13th of
18 June, 2001 at a hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations in the
19 United States Senate and if we could please show the witness what is now
20 Exhibit 1D228, please?
21 MR. SAXON: And, Your Honours, this particular exhibit has very
22 small font, very small print, and so the Prosecution has brought some
23 extra copies to assist the Judges and the other parties in following along
24 and to hope reduce some strain on your eyes.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
1 MR. SAXON: As can you see, this is a hearing before the United
2 States Senate on the 13th of June, 2001 and the title of the proceedings,
3 the name of the proceedings is, the crisis in Macedonia and US engagement
4 in the Balkans.
5 And if we can turn, please, to what is a statement made by
6 Ambassador James Pardew which begins at page 1D00-6284, which is page 7 of
7 this committee report.
8 And if we could focus on the bottom half of this page, please.
9 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, on the bottom half of this page we see Ambassador
10 Pardew making a statement to this Senate Committee. And in the second and
11 third paragraphs of this statement he says the following: "Macedonia
12 remains critical for regional security and stability. The current
13 conflict there must be resolved. However, no purely military approach can
14 succeed here. Efforts to quell the armed insurgency must take place,
15 therefore, within the framework of political measures that advance
16 Macedonia along the path of necessary democratic, social, and economic
18 Mr. Bezruchenko, in the next paragraph James Pardew says
19 this: "The situation today" - this is 13 June - "in Macedonian is
20 precarious. The insurgent National Liberation Army, NLA, launched its
21 first attacks in north-west Macedonia in February. Since then, the
22 fighting has continued off and on largely in ethnic Albanian areas."
23 Can you agree, Mr. Bezruchenko, so far you don't see Ambassador
24 Pardew referring to the NLA as terrorists, do you?
25 A. I don't see Ambassador Pardew as referring to the NLA as
1 terrorists, I don't see that.
2 Q. You don't -- do you see him here referring to the NLA as
3 committing terrorist attacks?
4 A. No.
5 Q. If we can turn to the next page, please. And in the first full
6 paragraph, now what is page 8 of the committee hearing, Ambassador Pardew
7 says that: "The government of Macedonia has a responsibility to protect
8 its territory and citizens, but it must respond to extremist provocation
9 in a measured and proportionate way that protects the lives of civilians."
10 Are you following me?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. Two paragraphs down begins with: "The ongoing military stand-off
13 makes all the more urgent the need for progress on the political front."
14 And then the next sentence says this: "We welcome President
15 Trajkovski's plan for defusing the insurgency approved by their parliament
17 So, so far, we see Ambassador Pardew going so far as to refer,
18 apparently, to NLA as extremists. Is that right.
19 A. Yes, that's right?
20 Q. But also refers to them as an insurgency.
21 A. Exactly, sir.
22 Q. He does not refer to them as terrorists?
23 A. Yes, that's right. He doesn't.
24 Q. If we can scroll to the bottom of this page, please.
25 You see the paragraph beginning with: "On the security track."
1 Do you see that, Mr. Bezruchenko?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The last sentence of that paragraph says this: "The United
4 Nations in Kosovo has recently promulgated tough new regulations on
5 weapons possession and illegal border crossing that enhance the UN and
6 NATO's ability to deal with the insurgency and its supporters."
7 Does it appear to you that now at least on the 13th of June
8 Ambassador Pardew is recognizing that there is an insurgency taking place
9 in Macedonia?
10 A. Indeed, sir.
11 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, do you know whether Ambassador Pardew, James
12 Pardew, subsequently played a role in brokering the Ohrid Framework
14 A. Yes, sir, I think his involvement was very significant.
15 MR. SAXON: If we can turn, please, to the page that bears the ERN
16 in the bottom right-hand corner, 1D00-6291. And it's page 14 of this
17 committee report.
18 And if we can focus, please, on the bottom half of this page, and
19 Your Honours you will see a reference here to the chairman speaking. The
20 chairman in this case, the chairman of this committee at that time was
21 Senator Joseph Biden.
22 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko I'd like you to focus on the very last paragraph
23 on this page. And Ambassador Pardew is answering a question from the
24 chairman, Senator Biden, and that paragraph starts: "Beginning in
1 Do you see that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. This is one paragraph before a paragraph that my colleague
4 Mr. Mettraux read to you at page 7108 of the transcript last Wednesday.
5 And this paragraph says: "Beginning in February, while most of
6 everyone's attention was focussed on southern Serbia and the insurgency
7 that was going on there, a group of extremists - exactly whether they were
8 from Macedonia or originated in Kosovo is not quite clear - began to form
9 and to take military action against the government forces in north-west
11 Are you following me, Mr. Bezruchenko?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. So here, Ambassador Pardew is referring to military action rather
14 than terrorist action. Is that correct?
15 A. That's correct, sir.
16 Q. And then we see the paragraph that my colleague read to you last
17 week. It begins with a short sentence: "That insurgency group."
18 And so again, we see the ambassador referring to the NLA,
19 apparently, as an insurgency. Is that fair?
20 A. Yes, that's fair.
21 Q. Two sentences down there is a -- excuse me. Two paragraphs down
22 there is a -- there's a paragraph beginning with the phrase: "Its
23 strategy is the same strategy."
24 Do you see that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the last sentence of that paragraph says: "So we are very
2 concerned about these military operations."
3 You see that?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. Now, Ambassador Pardew uses the term "military operations," not
6 "terrorist operations." Is that correct?
7 A. Yes, it is correct.
8 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, we'd simply object to that. I believe
9 that the second sentence should be read in the context of the first
10 sentence which refers to the military response by the Macedonian
11 authorities. I believe that the expression "military operations" refer to
12 the response, not the original attack.
13 MR. SAXON: Well, Your Honour, different people can read this
14 different ways. But the first sentence appears to the Prosecution to
15 express concern that the strategy of the NLA is to provoke a repressive
16 military response and to gain support from that response from the
18 So a fair reading of that last sentence is that the Ambassador
19 Pardew is concerned about these military operations, perhaps on both
20 parts, the NLA and the government of Macedonia.
21 JUDGE PARKER: In due course, should it be still thought material,
22 the Chamber may have to consider these disparate views. For the moment it
23 is enough that each view is open.
24 So we will hear if the witness is able to throw any light on it,
25 rather than counsel.
1 MR. SAXON:
2 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, in that paragraph, as a military analyst, are you
3 able to comment on the scope of the concerns of Ambassador Pardew?
4 A. Apparently this concern was quite significant and justified on the
5 grounds of spreading out violence in northern Macedonia, as well as the
6 military operations which were taking place there at that time by -- which
7 were conducted by both sides.
8 Q. If we can turn, please, to what is ERN 1D00-6306, please. It's
9 page 29 of the committee's report.
10 Mr. Bezruchenko, do you remember a man named General Wesley Clark?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. Can you recall during the late 1990s what position General Clark
14 A. He held a number of positions, in fact. He was the supreme
15 commander, NATO Europe and he also was running the operations in Bosnia
16 and Kosovo.
17 Q. And do you know what army he at that time was a member of?
18 A. He was a member of the US army.
19 Q. And, I'm sorry, I can't read the -- perhaps I can.
20 You say he was running the operations in Bosnia and Kosovo,
21 General Clark. If we could be a little bit more specific. What
22 involvement did General Clark have, if any, in the armed conflict in
23 Kosovo and the rest of Serbia in 1999?
24 A. Well, as we know, KFOR actually entered Kosovo in 1999 and I think
25 General Clark was involved in running the operations related to KFOR.
1 Q. And how about during the armed conflict itself in 1999?
2 A. He -- before that, he was the senior military official of NATO who
3 was in charge of NATO operations in Kosovo.
4 Q. We see here on this page that General Wesley Clark also gave a
5 statement to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the US Senate on the
6 13th of June, 2001.
7 MR. SAXON: And if we can turn, please, to the next page. And if
8 we could focus on the last part of this page, please, the bottom part.
9 Q. We see here that General Clark provided a prepared statement to
10 the committee of United States Senators, and in the last paragraph,
11 Mr. Bezruchenko, General Clark says the following: "In fact, we are once
12 against at a critical juncture in the further evolution of events there,"
13 that is in the Balkans, "as we witness the tragic escalation of fighting
14 in Macedonia and once again, as the international community attempts to
15 resolve an emerging conflict, with limited diplomatic missions and
16 exhortations to restraint, the lessons of recent history run square
17 against the pressures of contemporary politics.
18 And the last sentence says -- excuse me. The last two sentences
19 say: "But all the pleas and counsel of the European Union and NATO
20 political leaders have not and cannot end the fighting there. And as the
21 fighting continues, the familiar pattern of excessive use of force and
22 needless harm to innocent civilians has reappeared, promising that the
23 continuation of conflict will make any political solution increasingly
24 difficult between increasingly alienated hostile and ethnic groups."
25 Now do you see there any reference to the NLA as a terrorist
2 A. No, sir, I don't.
3 MR. SAXON: Can we turn to the next page, please.
4 THE WITNESS: Excuse me, sir, which page is it going to be now.
5 MR. SAXON:
6 Q. It will be 1D00-6308. It says page 31 at the top of the text. It
7 was the following page from where you just where.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And if we can review the bottom part of this page, please, the
10 very last paragraph, if we can focus on that.
11 Here General Clark tells the US Senate committee: "At this point
12 it seems clear that the situation on the ground is going to continue to
13 deteriorate unless NATO actively intervenes. The troops of the Macedonian
14 army lack the equipment, skills and leadership to meet the challenge posed
15 by the Albanian fighters. Their continuing efforts to resist rebel
16 incursions appear to have done little more than destroy civilian property
17 and convince thousands to flee their homes and villages."
18 Are you following me, Mr. Bezruchenko?
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. Now, General Clark has used the term Albanian fighters and he's
21 used the term rebel, and rebel incursions. Have you seen that?
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. Has he used here any reference to terrorist?
24 A. I don't think so.
25 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, General Clark is urging intervention by NATO in
1 the situation in Macedonia, saying that the conflict or the situation
2 would not be resolved without the use of NATO forces.
3 What does that tell us about the level and complexity of the
4 fighting in Macedonia as of June 2001?
5 A. My assessment is that as of June 2001 the situation was indeed
6 extremely precarious. The NLA was an advance and the Macedonian
7 government did not have sufficient resources, in terms of weapons and
8 equipment to counter this situation. Apparently the NATO involvement was
9 in the order of the day.
10 MR. SAXON: If we can turn, please, to the next page. Actually, I
11 will move on. I will move on at this point.
12 If we can turn to what is page -- has ERN 1D00-6310. It says 33
13 at the top of the text. And if we could focus on the bottom of the page,
15 Your Honours, this is the beginning of a statement by a man named
16 Richard Perle to the United States Senate committee. Richard Perle was a
17 former assistant secretary of Defence of the United States and at the time
18 I believe he was a member of a research institute in Washington called the
19 American Enterprise Institute.
20 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, if you could focus your mind, please, on the last
21 paragraph on this page, the second sentence says: "Macedonia today looks
22 very much like Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo."
23 Do you see that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What happened in those regions during the 1990s?
1 A. These regions were in fact devastated by horrible civil wars which
2 were raging there following the disintegration and dissolution of
4 Q. Can we turn to the next page, please. Mr. Pearl continues his
5 remarks. If we could scroll up a bit to the -- thank you very much.
6 Mr. Bezruchenko, the third paragraph on this page begins with the
7 word "last."
8 Do you see that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And in this paragraph Mr. Pearl says the following: "Last let me
11 say that a delay, even by days or weeks, in coming to grips with the
12 current situation in Macedonia could prove disastrous. It is not often
13 that things move so rapidly that one feels compelled to say immediate
14 action is necessary. But as I understand the situation in Macedonia
15 today, there is a very great danger that the combination of guerilla
16 attacks and an unsophisticated response," and then it goes on to say "will
17 create the kind of polarisation and radicalisation that would turn
18 Macedonia into a catastrophe, like Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo."
19 Mr. Bezruchenko, we see here a reference to guerrilla attacks. Is
20 there any reference to terrorist attacks?
21 A. No, I do not see any.
22 Q. If we could focus on the next paragraph, please. The second
23 sentence of the next paragraph reads like this: "As the Macedonian army
24 struggles to deal with the insurgency, it is not a particularly
25 well-trained army, not particularly effective in dealing with this type of
2 Does it appear that Richard Perle is referring or labelling the
3 activities of the NLA as an insurgency?
4 A. Yes, it does.
5 MR. SAXON: If we could show the witness, please, what is Rule 65
6 ter, Prosecution Rule 65 ter 953.
7 Your Honours, this is a document -- it's another report by the
8 International Crisis Group, dated 20th of June, 2001, it's entitled,
9 Macedonia: The last chance for peace. And it was used by my learned
10 colleague during cross-examination at pages 7116 to page 7117 of the
11 transcript, and if we could turn, please, to what is the -- the executive
12 summary of this report, it has ERN number N002-5227. And if we could make
13 that text perhaps a little bit bigger. Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, the first sentence of the first paragraph of the
15 Executive Summary says: "In the past three months, since mid-March 2001,
16 Macedonia has stared in the abyss of interethnic conflict, pulled away
17 from the precipice, squandered opportunities for a political settlement,
18 then returned as if sleepwalking to the brink of civil war."
19 Are you following me?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. The last sentence of that paragraph refers to -- it says: "For
22 their part the NLA guerrillas expressed a readiness to halt their
23 insurgency but want to see concrete steps towards improving Albanian
25 Here again the International Crisis Group seems to be referring to
1 the NLA activities as an insurgency and the members of the NLA as
2 guerrillas. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, this is what it seems to be.
4 Q. And if we could now show the witness what is page 3 of the report
5 itself, which bears ERN N002-5232.
6 Mr. Bezruchenko, if we could focus on the first paragraph for a
7 moment, please. You see in the middle of that paragraph there is -- that
8 paragraph discusses how violence erupted in mid-February 2001. And then
9 around -- and that was around Tanusevci. And then we see two sentences
10 later: "Ethnic Albanian rebels in the zone needed to transfer into
12 Do you see that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. If you could go two paragraphs down, please, to the paragraph that
15 starts with the phrase: "The government reacted loudly."
16 Do you see that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. That sentence says: "The government reacted loudly but
19 irresolutely until 21 March 2001, when the rebels were given an ultimatum
20 to disarm and/or leave the country or face a full-scale military
22 Do you see that?
23 A. Yes, I do, sir.
24 Q. Again, does the International Crisis Group appear to be labelling
25 the NLA as rebels and not terrorists?
1 A. No.
2 Q. I'm not sure if no is a comprehensible response to my question.
3 A. I don't see that the --
4 Q. [Overlapping speakers] ... The International Crisis Group -- my
5 question was, does the International Crisis Group appear to be labelling
6 the NLA as rebels and not terrorists?
7 A. I don't think that the International Crisis Group appears to be
8 labelling the NLA as terrorists.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
10 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, perhaps for the sake of clarity of the
11 record and perhaps also to expedite matter, Mr. Saxon could perhaps refer
12 to footnote 2 of the report which explains the use of terminology by the
13 ICG and by a number of other entities or political bodies, in any case.
14 What the ICG makes it clear that the uses the terms insurgence, rebels
15 guerillas and extremists interchangeably to describe the members of the
16 NLA and it also points out that the US state department uses very specific
17 criteria for applying the designation terrorist and that the US government
18 defines the NLA as extremists using terrorist methods. This is at page 1
19 of the report.
20 MR. SAXON: I'm grateful, Your Honour. I think that might be a
21 matter for closing argument or it might have been a matter for
22 cross-examination, but may I move on.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Please do.
24 MR. SAXON: Can we turn to what is page 5 of this report, please.
25 It has ERN number N002-5234.
1 Q. This is a section of this report, section 2, it's called the
2 National Liberation Army.
3 Mr. Bezruchenko, do you see in the second paragraph, the second
4 paragraph begins this way: "The insurgents stole the political agenda of
5 the country's elected Albanian leaders."
6 Do you see that?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. And if we could also look, please, at the next page, page of the
10 Mr. Bezruchenko, the third paragraph of page 6 says the
11 following: "Albanians in Macedonia overwhelmingly support the stated
12 objectives of the Albanian guerillas but disagree with their violent
14 Do you see that?
15 A. Yes I do, sir.
16 Q. And two sentences later we see: "The insurrection is, however,
17 gaining support in villages, not in harm's way."
18 From a military perspective what is an insurrection?
19 A. Insurrection could be described as a rebellion aimed to gain
20 certain political goals and confined to one particular country or region.
21 Q. Okay. Can we turn, please, to page 20 of this report. It has ERN
22 number N002-5249.
23 And if we could focus on the subtitle, conclusions and the
24 paragraph below that, please.
25 Mr. Bezruchenko, the first paragraph of the conclusions section
1 says: "The country faces an insurgency that is largely domestic, which
2 means that the fighters know the terrain, are committed to their cause
3 and, without a political solution, are likely to fight on, despite
4 losses. The Macedonian military and much of the public believe a victory
5 was won in Tetovo at the end of March 2001. Yet the guerrillas were
6 undefeated." Does this conclusion suggest that the NLA, at least as of
7 the time of writing of this report, was going to continue fighting?
8 A. Yes, it does.
9 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this report,
11 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As exhibit P494, Your Honours.
13 MR. SAXON:
14 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, turning to another topic at page 7019 of the
15 transcript, my colleague asked you some questions about the withdrawal of
16 NLA units from the village of Aracinovo. Do you recall that?
17 A. Yes, I do, sir.
18 Q. And also, on pages 7097 to 7102, you were also asked about the
19 events in Aracinovo and casualties incurred there by the security forces
20 of Macedonia.
21 MR. SAXON: Can we show the witness, please, what is Prosecution
22 65 ter number 849.5.
23 And if we could focus on the last half of this page.
24 Q. This is a media report dated the 23rd of June, 2001, from - my
25 French is very poor - from the French press agency. And it's reported
1 from near Aracinovo, Macedonia. And the first sentence says: "The
2 Macedonian army stepped up its assault Saturday on ethnic Albanian rebels
3 dug into a town on the edge of the capital Skopje, spurning a warning from
4 NATO chief George Robertson that ditching a fragile truce was 'madness.'"?
5 Are you following me, Mr. Bezruchenko?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. Two paragraphs down we see that: Helicopter gun ships, tanks,
8 heavy artillery and machine-guns fired into the centre of Aracinovo for a
9 second day in the most concentrated attack on the rebels since the army
10 drove them from the edge of Tetovo in the north-west in March."
11 And on the last paragraph on this page we see that rockets from
12 Ukrainian-made MR24 helicopters slammed into Aracinovo that had been held
13 by the NLA since June the 8th.
14 Could we move to the next page, please.
15 The top of the next page, we see that tanks were seen moving in
16 the area, and heavy artillery fired salvo after salvo at the NLA
17 guerrillas dug in inside the town.
18 And in the next paragraph we see that frequent automatic weapons
19 and mortar fire signalled that the guerrillas were fighting back, despite
20 the pounding.
21 Mr. Bezruchenko, a few paragraphs down, there is a paragraph
22 beginning with: "Hoxha said three civilians."
23 Do you see that?
24 A. Yes, I do, sir.
25 Q. This refers to a NLA Commander Hoxha. It says that: "Hoxha said
1 three civilians had been killed in the combat but the army denied there
2 are any left, i.e., there are any civilians left after a mass exodus
3 provoked by the NLA's entry into the suburb two weeks ago."
4 Does this information indicate that it was at least reported that
5 there were disputes regarding casualties that occurred at Aracinovo,
6 whether they be civilian or otherwise?
7 A. It indeed does, sir.
8 Q. Earlier, Mr. Bezruchenko, you mentioned that -- or excuse me, I
9 should say on cross-examination, you mentioned that the withdrawal of the
10 NLA forces from Aracinovo occurred in NATO vehicles. Do you remember
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. Did this NLA withdrawal occur in a disciplined manner, according
14 to your research?
15 A. Yes, sir, that's right.
16 Q. What significance, if anything -- what was the significance, if
17 any, of that disciplined withdrawal for your assessment of NLA
19 A. It is obvious from this particular instance that NLA clearly
20 enjoyed the level of discipline which made it possible for the NLA to
21 carry out tactical actions, including the action of withdrawal.
22 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document,
24 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As exhibit P495, Your Honours.
1 MR. SAXON:
2 Q. I'd like you, please, to turn your mind, Mr. Bezruchenko, to the
3 month of August 2001. My colleague asked you several questions about the
4 events of that month. And specifically at pages 7122 to 7126 of the
5 transcript on the 1st of November, you were asked about the casualties
6 suffered by members of the Macedonian security forces in August 2001.
7 Do you recall that?
8 A. Yes, I do, sir.
9 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, is the intensity of an armed conflict only
10 measured in the numbers -- or numbers of casualties?
11 A. No, not really.
12 MR. SAXON: Can we show the witness, please, what is Prosecution
13 65 ter number 215.
14 Your Honours, this document is dated the 12th of August, 2001. It
15 was provided to the Office of the Prosecutor by Goran Mitevski, who, in
16 2001 was the head of the public security bureau of the Ministry of the
17 Interior. And it's titled an information. It's from operative action
18 Ramno headquarters, information on events and data received at the
19 headquarters of operative action Ramno, in relation to the current
20 situation in the Republic of Macedonia in the period between 0700 and 1500
21 hours on 12 August 2001.
22 If we can focus, please, on the last paragraph of this page. And
23 if we could enlarge that last paragraph, I would be very grateful.
24 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, the Ramno headquarters received information
25 that -- received information from OVR Karpos that fighting between the
1 Macedonian security forces and the Albanian terrorist groups in the area
2 of the village of Radusa intensified yet again at around 0500 hours, with
3 the security forces of the army of the Republic of Macedonia using
4 Howitzers and a tank at around 0600 hours at the place called Ramniste
5 while infantry forces with some vehicles were clearing the terrain along
6 the main road.
7 Have you followed me?
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. You may have described this during your direct examination, but it
10 seems like a long time ago now. What is a Howitzer?
11 A. Howitzer is a piece of artillery of a calibre which may range
12 between 120 and 200-plus millimetres which normally had a specific
13 trajectory of fire and normally could be used as well as to destroy the
14 enemy manpower in open field as well as to destroy heavy fortifications,
15 like bunkers, fortified houses and the like.
16 Q. Militarily what is the significance of using Howitzers and a tank
17 against an opposing force, along with infantry?
18 A. That would suggest to me that the Macedonian forces were actually
19 trying to dislodge the NLA from the area that the NLA was holding in -- by
20 infantry attacks supported by tanks and artillery.
21 Q. Would the kinds of weaponry used by an army be relevant to the
22 intensity of an armed conflict to evaluating the intensity of an armed
24 A. Yes, sir, this is a major indicator.
25 Q. How about occupation of public facilities by one side to the armed
1 conflict that would be another indication?
2 A. Yes, it definitely would be.
3 MR. SAXON: If we can turn to the next page of this document,
4 please. And if we can focus there on the middle of the page.
5 Q. You see there's a paragraph, Mr. Bezruchenko, that begins with the
6 phrase: "The shooting."
7 Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Okay. And in the middle of that paragraph we see: "At around 1200
10 hours, following a telephone call from SVR Tetovo, two larger groups of
11 Albanian terrorists were observed; one group of 50 to 60 terrorists at the
12 Kiril and Metodi primary school and five groups of approximately 50
13 Albanian terrorists at the agricultural college who did not engage in any
14 activities and merely paraded around."
15 Are you with me?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. What about cutting off important communication lines or the
18 cutting of important communication links?
19 MR. SAXON: I see my colleague is on his feet.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
21 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, simply to indicate that we appear to
22 witness a further examination-in-chief, Your Honour. We haven't
23 intervened on the previous question because the document was there and it
24 may be of assistance to the Chamber but those issues, the occupation, as
25 called by my colleague, of civilian facilities and the cutting of
1 communication links were not issues, as I recall, that were raised during
2 the cross-examination. I think to the extent they would have been
3 relevant, they should have been raised by my colleague during the
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.
6 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, what was raised during cross-examination
7 was the issue of the levels or number of casualties that occurred amongst
8 Macedonian security forces during the month in August. And the clear
9 implication of that line of questioning was that the level -- since the
10 level of casualties was low, then there would not have been an armed
11 conflict taking place during that month. And so what I want to continue
12 exploring with this witness is what are, in addition to numbers of
13 casualties, other indicators of the existence of an armed conflict.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Carry on, Mr. Saxon.
16 MR. SAXON:
17 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, would the cutting of important communication
18 lines by one belligerent party or another be an indication, possible
19 indication, of an armed conflict?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 MR. SAXON: Can we focus, please, on the very last full sentence
22 on this page, beginning with "in the period."
23 Q. Do you see that, Mr. Bezruchenko?
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. That sentence says: "In the period between 0630 and 1100 hours
1 the Tetovo-to-Skopje main road was closed to traffic in both directions."
2 Can we focus now what is on the first paragraph on this page,
4 Because on that first paragraph there is a discussion of two
5 wounded persons, two casualties. It says the following: "The following
6 were admitted to the Tetovo medical centre during the armed clashes on the
7 night of 11 August between the Albanian terrorist groups and the
8 Macedonian security forces in the area of SVR Tetovo." The first we see
9 Ismaili Lika from Tetovo, and his address, with a gun-shot wound. And
10 then we see Acevski, Vladimir, also from Tetovo, age 1949 -- born in 1949,
11 who was hit in the chest by shrapnel near the sports centre.
12 Do you see that, Mr. Bezruchenko?
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. I'm actually going out of order and I apologise. I'm going to
15 come back to this later.
16 Would you recall on Friday -- would you recall that last Friday,
17 Mr. Bezruchenko, at page 71 -- I see --
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.
19 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise to my
20 colleague Daniel Saxon for interrupting him. You mentioned two patients,
21 Ismail Lika and Acevski, Vladimir. Would it be fair to ask an additional
22 question to him whether they were members of the Macedonian security
23 forces or civilians.
24 JUDGE PARKER: I think that was coming.
25 Yes, Mr. Saxon.
1 MR. SAXON:
2 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, does the document in front of you indicate
3 whether the two gentlemen mentioned are civilians, members of the
4 Macedonian security forces, or members of the NLA? Is there any
5 indication there?
6 A. The way I'm reading this document and I think this is -- there is
7 a sufficient indication to suggest that these two individuals were both
9 Q. All right.
10 MR. SAXON: If we can leave this -- well, no, I won't leave this
11 right now.
12 If we can turn, please, to what is Exhibit P393. Briefly.
13 Your Honours, to save time, this is the -- actually, I am -- I
14 apologise. I'm in the wrong document.
15 If we could please show the witness what is known as the Ministry
16 of Interior's "White Book."
17 MR. METTRAUX: It is Exhibit P45, Your Honour.
18 MR. SAXON: Thank you very much.
19 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, do you recall using this document, this book, as
20 one of the sources of your report?
21 A. Yes, sir, I do.
22 Q. And do you recall that this so-called "White Book" contains the
23 lists of civilians, police and army soldiers who were killed or injured
24 during the conflict in 2001?
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, just to speed things up, the Prosecution
2 will make an offer of proof that the names of neither gentlemen that we
3 saw a moment ago on our screen, Lika Ismaili, Vladomir Acevski, are found
4 on the lists contained in the "White Book."
5 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, if we can now go back to what is 65 ter 215,
6 please. And if we could go to the second page of the document. And if we
7 could focus on the second full paragraph, beginning with: "The
9 Mr. Bezruchenko, just one more question about these two injured
10 persons. If the names of these two casualties or injured or wounded
11 persons is not found in the Ministry of Interior's "White Book", in their
12 lists of casualties, would that be an indication that these lists of
13 casualties could be incomplete?
14 A. Yes, sir, that indeed would be the case.
15 Q. A few moments ago you said that the cutting of important
16 communication lines could be an indication of the existence of an armed
18 On page 7180 of the transcript last Friday, Mr. Apostolski asked
19 you to confirm whether, in 2001, the NLA had no railway station under its
20 control and you responded to the best of your knowledge, not under
21 physical control. Do you remember that?
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 MR. SAXON: If we can turn now to what is exhibit 393, please,
24 P393, which is the annual report of the Ministry of the Interior for
25 2001. And if we can look at the English -- the portion of the English
1 translation that starts at ERN N005-0691. And if we could turn to the
2 fifth page of this English portion. And it's page 83 in the Macedonian
3 version of this report, this annual report. And if we could scroll down
4 to the bottom of the page, please.
5 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, there's a paragraph beginning with "the current
6 events in the Republic."
7 Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. If you look in the middle of this paragraph you see a sentence.
10 It says that: "Because of perpetrated terrorist acts and the presence of
11 armed persons, the railway line Skopje-Kicevo, was interrupted since 23
12 June 2001."
13 Do you see that?
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, at this time, before I forget, I would
16 seek to tender Prosecution 65 ter 215. It was the last the document that
17 I showed and reviewed with the witness.
18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As exhibit P496, Your Honours.
20 MR. SAXON:
21 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, I would like to move to another topic, please.
22 At page 7180 of the transcript, my colleague Mr. Apostolski asked
23 you: "Is it correct that the NLA had no city under its control?" And you
24 responded: "I don't think that the NLA had any cities under its complete
1 Do you recall that exchange?
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, is Tetovo the second largest city in Macedonia?
4 A. Yes, it is, sir.
5 MR. SAXON: Can we show the witness, please, what is Exhibit
7 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this document was also the topic of discussion
8 during cross-examination at pages 6946 to 6948 of the transcript.
9 And if we could focus -- it is a resolution from the 5th of
10 August, 2001, from then the president Macedonia, Boris Trajkovski. And if
11 we could focus, please, on paragraph 1, President Trajkovski says the
12 following: "The army of the Republic of Macedonia, with necessary
13 structure and force, is to enter the town of Tetovo with the aim of
14 preventing its fall into the hands of the terrorist groups of the
15 self-styled NLA and protecting the lives, safety, and property of the
16 citizens of Tetovo."
17 Mr. Bezruchenko, what was going on in the city of Tetovo during
18 the first part of August 2001?
19 A. The situation in and around Tetovo was extremely tense. The city
20 was under almost daily shelling. The number of security casualties as
21 well as a number of civilian casualties was still mounting, and parts of
22 the city were actually under NLA control.
23 Fighting was going on in some parts of the city, street fighting.
24 MR. SAXON: Can we show the witness, please, what is Exhibit
1 Your Honour, this document was originally written in German.
2 These are intelligence reports written by members of the government of
3 Germany who were working in Macedonia during the summer of 2001. And if
4 we can turn to what is page 10 in the English version and it's also page
5 10 in the Macedonian version. And if we could focus on the two paragraphs
6 underneath the date: Skopje, 9 August 2001.
7 No, I want to go back to the next -- excuse me, please go back to
8 the previous page in English.
9 No, something has -- if we can back one more page in English,
10 please. Thank you. And if we could focus on the bottom half of this
12 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this was a report written on the 9th of August,
13 2001. And the report tells us the following: "The situation in the area
14 of Tetovo is deteriorating considerably. As before, the town of Tetovo is
15 predominantly under the control of the NLA." Next sentence: "Since about
16 1700 hour, serious battles have again been developing in and around
17 Tetovo. Heavy weapons such as mortars and artillery (only the Macedonian
18 military forces) have been deployed on both sides. The NLA seems to be
19 concentrated at the Kuzman barracks," and then in the last
20 sentence: "Furthermore the continued use of a Mi-24 weapons system has
21 been reported."
22 Mr. Bezruchenko what is an Mi-24 weapons system?
23 A. This is in fact gun ship, helicopter, combat helicopter.
24 Q. The next paragraph begins: "In the morning, around 1000 to 1130
25 hours there was a gun fight. (Hand-held weapons and hand grenades used)
1 between the Macedonian military forces and the NLA in the northerly part
2 of the centre of Tetovo." And then lower down in that paragraph we
3 see: "The few Slavic Macedonian inhabitants who had stayed in Tetovo are
4 now beginning generally to leave Tetovo in order to find shelter with
5 relatives or friends in Skopje. According to so far unconfirmed reports,
6 significant parts of the Macedonian security forces also left the town in
7 the afternoon."
8 Have you followed that with me, Mr. Bezruchenko?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. Can we go to the very next page, please. And can we look at the
11 top of the page, please.
12 And we see that there was a conversation with the acting commander
13 of the 112th NLA Brigade and the first paragraph begins with the following
14 sentence: "The acting commander of the 112th NLA Brigade reports that his
15 mission was now been accomplished."
16 Did the 112th NLA Brigade operate in the Tetovo area?
17 A. Yes, sir, it did.
18 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, what does this document tell us from a military
19 perspective about the success of the Macedonian security forces's efforts
20 to enter Tetovo and prevent it from falling into the hands of the NLA as
21 had been ordered by the president on the 5th of August?
22 A. This document suggests that there was fierce fighting going on in
23 the city, that significant parts of the city were in fact under NLA
24 control, and that the Macedonian security forces apparently failed to
25 carry out the mission, to drive the NLA out of the city.
1 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, would this be a convenient time to take
2 the first break?
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
4 We will adjourn now and resume a little after quarter past.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
8 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, on the screen in front of you is the
9 last document that I reviewed with the witness. It is actually MFI
10 1D00-229, but rather than seeking to tender this document, I have learned
11 during the break the Prosecution's 65 ter exhibit 284, actually is
12 slightly more comprehensive than what has been MFI'd as 1D00-229.
13 If we could show the witness, please, what is 65 ter number 284.
14 That is not -- yes, it is.
15 Can we see the next English translation portion of this document,
17 Can we go -- this 65 ter exhibit has been -- has about four or
18 five English portions to it, and one of them is 43 pages long. Yes.
19 Your Honour, this is the start of the last group of intelligence
20 reports that I reviewed with Mr. Bezruchenko before the break. If we can
21 please now look at the English translation for the ERN range N001-8764 to
23 And, Your Honours, this particular ERN range is not within what
24 has been marked for identification as 1D00-229.
25 And if we could turn to the 11th page within this range, please.
1 And this range, Your Honours, is a compilation of information about many
2 members of the National Liberation Army in 2001. And if we could perhaps
3 enlarge the bottom paragraph on this page. It's about a man known as
4 Cela, the commander of the 112th Brigade, and perhaps if we could make
5 this into a single page so that we could read that entire paragraph.
6 Thank you very much.
7 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, we see, for example, that on this page there is a
8 description of the this man known as Cela, commander or high ranking
9 position in the staff of the 112th Brigade. Do you see that?
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. And we see that he has close cooperation with the 115th Brigade?
12 A. That's right, sir.
13 Q. And his area of responsibility is believed to be west of the
14 General Djankovic border crossing, Skopje, as well as the operations zones
15 of Tetovo, Gostivar, and Debar. Do you see that?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters have difficulties hearing the
19 MR. SAXON: I apologise.
20 Q. If this person was a commander or high-ranking position of the
21 staff of the 112th Brigade with the area of responsibility including
22 Tetovo, would this person have had some responsibility for the NLA units
23 fighting in Tetovo that we saw earlier in this document?
24 A. Absolutely, sir.
25 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, at this time I would seek to tender what
1 is 65 ter 284.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
3 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, I believe that at the time when we had
4 sought to tender the previous document which had been MFI'd as Exhibit
5 1D229 there was an objection by the Prosecutor based on the size of the
6 document and in particular based on the fact that only certain parts of
7 documents had been used at the time and the agreement, as I understand
8 it - in any case, what matters - the ruling of the Chamber at the time was
9 to the effect that only those parts which have been used would be tendered
10 and the agreement, if I may call that, at the time was for this document
11 to continue to be used during the trial and those part which have been
12 used with particular witness to be sought to be tendered at the end. I
13 believe that the same principle should apply to this particular document.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.
15 MR. SAXON: I apologise if there was agreement that I was not
16 aware of. Is the understanding of that agreement that there would be no
17 tendering of this exhibit until the close of the Prosecution case?
18 MR. METTRAUX: I don't want to mislead Mr. Saxon with my terms but
19 I remember the objection of the Prosecution to the effect that the
20 document should not be tendered as a whole because only certain parts of
21 the documents had been shown and the Chamber, as I understood and as I
22 seem to remember, accepted the Prosecution submissions on that point. And
23 the Defence propose to MFI the document and indicated at that time that it
24 would seek to tender those parts of the documents which would have been
25 used by the end of the case.
1 MR. SAXON: Well, perhaps it would be appropriate, then, if the--
2 well, in the Prosecution's submission, at this point it would be
3 appropriate to tender the entire document.
4 JUDGE PARKER: And how is the document supported by oral evidence
5 of this witness? He has dealt with one or two isolated pages in what you
6 mention is a very large document.
7 MR. SAXON: Well, that -- that is true, Your Honour. However, by
8 dealing with those pages he has, in the Prosecution's submission,
9 established the relevance certainly of at least part of the document.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. That's where we were along time ago --
11 MR. SAXON: Well --
12 JUDGE PARKER: -- with the Defence exhibit.
13 MR. SAXON: I apologise, Your Honour. I did not make the
14 objection that was made before. And I -- I apologise if the Prosecution
15 has created confusion.
16 But if the --
17 JUDGE PARKER: Not confusion; a system which I think we will
18 adhere to. So I'd suggest that and Mr. Mettraux need to talk about which
19 pages of this material have been dealt with in the course of evidence and
20 which you think need now to be put before the Chamber, in addition to what
21 we may be revealed by the actual transcript of the questioning concerning
22 those pages.
23 MR. SAXON: Very well, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, you were asked during cross-examination whether
25 the NLA had barracks, and you answered that, no, to your knowledge, the
1 NLA did not have barracks. Do you recall that exchange?
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. If an army enjoys the support of the local population, does it
4 need barracks to survive?
5 A. Not really.
6 MR. SAXON: Can we show what is Prosecution 65 ter 926, please.
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 JUDGE PARKER: That may be a wrong reference. There's no such
10 MR. SAXON: Then I will move on, Your Honour.
11 Q. Can -- Mr. Bezruchenko, can a brigade headquarters function as a
13 A. That would not be an unusual situation, sir.
14 Q. Okay.
15 MR. SAXON: Can we show the witness what is Exhibit P493, please.
16 Again, this is a document compiled by NATO in September of 2001.
17 And if we can turn to page 16 of this document, please.
18 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this is a photograph of the brigade headquarters
19 of the 113th Brigade in the village of Lipkovo, and we see a reference --
20 there's a line pointed to a spot that's referred to as Sokoli's office.
21 Do you know who Sokoli was?
22 A. This was the alias of one of the NLA commanders.
23 Q. Could members of the NLA sleep in a building like that?
24 A. Yes, they could.
25 Q. All right, Yesterday at pages 7293 to 7294 my colleague
1 Mr. Apostolski asked you about evidence or documents indicating that the
2 NLA maintained training centres, and Mr. Apostolski showed you Exhibit
3 P485, a document that had been produced by the intelligence sector of the
4 Macedonian Ministry of Defence, and my colleague asked you whether you had
5 seen other documents which described NLA training centres other than the
6 document shown to you yesterday. Do you recall that exchange?
7 A. Yes, sir I do.
8 MR. SAXON: Can we show, once again, what has been marked for
9 identification as Exhibit 1D229. And if we could turn to page 34 in the
10 English version. And can we move forward one page, please.
11 Can we move forward one page again, please. And if we focus on
12 the last half of that page --
13 Q. You see -- you see there's a paragraph beginning with the
14 phrase: "According to."
15 Do you see that, Mr. Bezruchenko.
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. It says that: "According to mutually independent reports from a
18 Macedonian Slavic source and an Albanian source, a training camp for
19 irregulars has been discovered in Kosovo in the area of Globocica."
20 Do you see that?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. And down below that, we see the assumed camp has until recently
23 been used for military purposes but the extent of activity cannot
24 accurately -- cannot be accurately determined.
25 Do you see that?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 MR. SAXON: Can we turn to the next page, please. We see
3 references to sleeping pads, blankets, pillows, et cetera, cooking
4 facilities. And if we scroll up there's a discussion about other things
5 that were found in the area, such as medical equipment, fox hole, grocery
6 crates and then under the phrase, Preliminary assessment, we see: "Fresh
7 truck tracks as well as a condition of evidence and blankets found in the
8 camp indicate (under consideration of the weather conditions over the last
9 few days) that the facility has been in use until just recently."
10 Do you see that, Mr. Bezruchenko?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. Militarily, why would it be logical for the NLA to have
13 established training camps within Kosovo?
14 A. That would be logical because such a training camp would not be
15 within the reach of the Macedonian security forces, meaning that they
16 would not be in a position to raid this camp or to shell it with
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
19 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Simply to indicate, in our view at the least, the question by
21 Mr. Saxon was suggestive to the extent that it suggested that the camp in
22 question was a camp of the NLA. I believe that's not what the text says.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
24 MR. SAXON:
25 Q. I'll move on to another topic, Mr. Bezruchenko.
1 During cross-examination, you were asked a number of questions
2 related to NLA regulations. Do you recall that?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. And you mentioned that you thought that some regulations might
5 have been taken from the regulations of the Kosovo Protection Corps or
6 other army manuals. Do you recall?
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, do you have any idea how many armies around the
9 world have taken or borrowed manuals or portions of manuals from other
10 more established armies?
11 A. It is really difficult to say, but I would imagine that this could
12 be quite a significant number.
13 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, are you familiar with the manual of the army of
14 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
15 A. I am, with some of them, yes.
16 Q. And do you know whether parts of that army's manuals were taken
17 from another army's manual or manuals?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. Which army manual was the source for the army of the Republic of
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
21 A. Normally that was a manual of the JNA.
22 Q. Are you familiar with the manual or manuals of the army of the
23 Republic of Croatia?
24 A. Yes, I am.
25 Q. Do you know whether parts of this manual or manuals were taken
1 from another army's manual?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. Which army manual was the source for the army of the Republic of
5 A. Those which I saw were also derived from the sources within the
7 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, when you started your military career, were you
8 an officer of the army of the Soviet Union?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. And were you then -- did you become familiar with the army manuals
11 of the army of the Republic of -- excuse me, the army of the Soviet Union?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, did you become an officer
14 in the army of the Republic of the Ukraine?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. And during that time in your career, did you become familiar with
17 manuals of the army of Ukraine?
18 A. Of course, sir.
19 Q. Are there any similarities between the manual of the army of the
20 Republic of Ukraine and the manual or manuals of the army of the USSR?
21 A. There is quite a number of those, particularly in relation to
22 internal regulations.
23 Q. Okay. Mr. Bezruchenko, during cross-examination you were asked
24 about crimes that were committed during the conflict and crimes committed
25 by the NLA. Do you recall that?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. You are now a citizen of the Ukraine. Is that right.
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. Are you familiar then with the history of the German army's
5 operations and activities in the Ukraine during the Second World War?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. Did the German army commit crimes in the Ukraine during the Second
8 World War?
9 A. No doubt, sir.
10 Q. In your opinion as a military professional, was the German army
11 still an army, even though its members committed some crimes?
12 A. Yes, sir, it was indeed.
13 Q. I'd like to ask you, please, to turn your mind to the events in
14 Ljuboten in August 2001.
15 Mr. Tarculovski -- excuse me, Mr. Apostolski asked you on
16 cross-examination if you had seen any document that described a police
17 unit commanded by Johan Tarculovski that went into Ljuboten. Do you
18 recall that exchange?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 MR. SAXON: Can we please show the witness what is part of Exhibit
21 P379, marked for identification, and if it helps the court officer, it is
22 also Prosecution 65 ter document 285.24. It's a document with the ERN
23 range N000-8957 to N000-8959.
24 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this is a report dated the 6th of May, 2003.
25 It's a report of the meeting of the commission of the Ministry of Interior
1 investigating the events in Ljuboten village.
2 MR. SAXON: Can we scroll down, please, so we can see the last
4 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, the first sentence of the last paragraph says
5 that: "Johan Tarculovski played the main role in the combat operations in
6 Ljuboten village ..."
7 Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. All right. There's a reference then to Mr. Boskoski.
10 MR. SAXON: And if we can turn to the following page, please.
11 Q. And at the first paragraph of this page, we see a sentence that
12 says: "Tarculovski and the rest of the reservists were issued weapons
13 (semi-automatic rifles and pistols) at the centre for the education of
14 security personnel at the order of the then minister ..."
15 Do you see that?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. And if you look at the next paragraph, in the middle of the
18 paragraph we see: "In order to achieve this goal, between 10 and 12
19 August 2001, Tarculovski, who knew the area well, first entered the
20 village in the early morning hours with around 20 people, ten of whom were
21 from Kometa and the rest were reservists."
22 Do you see that?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. And if you could just look briefly, please, at the last paragraph,
25 there is a sentence in the middle that says: "Meanwhile, meanwhile, the
1 population was slowly leaving the village and Tarculovski and his team as
2 well as the other 80 men entered several houses."
3 Do you see that?
4 A. Yes, sir.
5 Q. Did you review this document as part of the preparation for your
7 A. I did, sir.
8 Q. And did this document factor into your analysis of whether
9 Mr. Tarculovski led a unit of policemen into Ljuboten village?
10 A. Yes, it did, sir.
11 MR. SAXON: Can we please show the witness what is within --
12 I see my colleague on his feet.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.
14 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
15 continues] ... Your Honour, for interfering with your cross-examination,
16 but when I asked my question of the witness Bezruchenko it was whether he
17 had seen a text quoting that it was police units of Johan Tarculovski. I
18 quote: "Police unit of Johan Tarculovski."
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
20 Carry on, please, Mr. Saxon.
21 MR. SAXON: Can we please show the witness another document from
22 this same MFI 379. It has Prosecution 65 ter number 285.13. It has ERN
23 number N000-8927.
24 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this is an Official Note drafted by the head of
25 the sector for internal affairs at Cair in 2001. There's a typo in the
1 date on this document. It should say 19 November 2003.
2 MR. SAXON: Can we turn to the next page, please, in English.
3 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, if you look towards the bottom -- the second half
4 of that long paragraph, you see there's a sentence beginning with: "On the
5 11th, around 1500 hours." It is now in the middle of the page.
6 Do you see it?
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 Q. That sentence says: "On the 11th, around 1500 hours, some people
9 in police uniforms arrived at the grounds of police station Cair, about
10 whom I later learned that they are reservists from, of the minister of
11 internal affairs."
12 A few lines below that there is a sentence that begins
13 with: "Around 20 minutes later."
14 Do you see that?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. "Around 20 minutes later the person Johan came and requested
17 transportation for his policemen to the community centre in village
19 Do you see that?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 MR. SAXON: If we turn, please, to what is page 4 of the English
22 version of this document.
23 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, about five lines down from the top, there is a
24 sentence that says: "While the minister was there."
25 Do you see that?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. "While the minister was there, Johan's group was bringing around
3 10 captured Albanians from village."
4 Did you see that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And if you look down that paragraph, there is -- about five lines
7 up from the bottom of that paragraph, there's a phrase in the middle that
8 says: "After 1430 hours."
9 Do you see that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And that sentence says: "After 1430 hours, all persons from the
12 unit that was led by Johan left with their (illegible) from village
14 Mr. Bezruchenko, was this one of the documents that you reviewed
15 in the preparation of your report?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. And was this one of the documents that led you to refer to the
18 police unit led by Mr. Tarculovski?
19 A. That's right, sir.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.
21 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, for
23 Could the witness please state, or if the counsel can ask the
24 witness in which footnote of his report he used this information, if he
25 used it at all.
1 THE WITNESS: I'm not sure if I can tell you exactly which
2 footnote it was, but I definitely have seen this document and I reviewed
4 MR. SAXON:
5 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, at page 6986 of the transcript, my colleague
6 Mr. Mettraux asked you whether you agreed that the Ljuboten matter was
7 dealt with at "the president and command level."
8 Do you recall that?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 MR. SAXON: Can we please show the witness what is Exhibit P402,
11 please. And if we could turn, please, to the portion of the English
12 translation that begins with ERN number N000-9695. In the Macedonian
13 version, it would be page 53.
14 Q. And, Mr. Bezruchenko, I made a mistake a moment ago. I described
15 to you a question from Mr. Mettraux, but I didn't complete it. It was
16 that whether you agreed that the Ljuboten matter was dealt with at the
17 president and command level but not within the Ministry of Interior. That
18 was the question.
19 And in this section of Mr. Boskoski's book, My Battle for
20 Macedonia, can we scroll down, please, to the bottom paragraph that
21 begins: On August 10th."
22 And you see, Mr. Bezruchenko, that that paragraph begins with the
23 terrorist ambush at Ljubotenski Bacila. Do you see that?
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. It describes how eight members of the army of Macedonia were
1 killed. And then it says the following: "The Ministry of Internal
2 Affairs and the Ministry of Defence undertook a joint operation to break
3 up the terrorist group which operated in that area."
4 Do you see that?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. And then a few lines down it talks about the armed clashes of the
7 joint security forces of the Republic of Macedonia conducted on August 11
8 and 12 in Ljuboten village. Do you see that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What, if anything, does this tell you about whether the Ljuboten
11 matter, so to speak, was dealt with within the Ministry of the Interior or
13 A. My assessment would be that this matter was dealt with at the
14 highest level of the Ministry of Interior and it was dealt with in
15 cooperation with the Ministry of Defence.
16 MR. SAXON: Can we please show the witness what is Exhibit P0073,
18 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this is a decision signed by Ljube Boskoski to
19 establish a commission to consider the circumstances and analyse the
20 activities undertaken by the security forces of the Ministry of Internal
21 Affairs to repel the armed attacks by terrorist groups on 12 August 2001
22 in the village of Ljuboten, Skopje. Do you see that?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. And if you go, please, to what -- the paragraph that is at Roman
25 numeral II and we see in the middle of that paragraph it says: "The
1 commission from item 1 of this decision, has the task to review the
2 circumstances and analyse the activities undertaken by the security forces
3 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to repel the armed attacks of
4 terrorist groups on 12 August 2001 in the village of Ljuboten, Skopje."
5 What, if anything, does this language tell us about whether the
6 Ljuboten matter was dealt with within the Ministry of Interior or not?
7 A. Apparently the Ljuboten matter was dealt with at the level of the
8 Ministry of Interior, and it is also obvious that a special commission was
9 formed on the orders of the minister to look into the circumstances of
10 this matter.
11 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE PARKER: You'll be pleased, I'm sure, Mr. Bezruchenko, to
14 know that that concludes the questions to be asked of you.
15 It has been, in our experience, a record, and we would like to
16 thank you for the time that you have spent and the assistance that you
17 have given. The court officer will now assist you and you will be able to
18 leave the courtroom, and return to your ordinary affairs.
19 Thank you indeed.
20 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much Your Honours. It was a pleasure
21 for me as well.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE PARKER: Before we move on, can I indicate that the Chamber
24 held its hand during the questioning of this witness because it realised,
25 in particular, the significance that could be attached to his evidence and
1 that therefore it was proper that both Defence counsel have full
2 opportunity to cross-examine, and we realised also that there was an issue
3 concerning the independence of the witness because of his role in the
4 Office of the Prosecutor.
5 Even so, can I indicate, in the view of the Chamber, the
6 cross-examination, in particular, was extremely long and unnecessarily so,
7 and we say that to make it very clear that the Chamber will not be so
8 quiet should there be an attempt to cross-examine other witnesses in such
9 detail and so extensively.
10 I think the Chamber has made it clear, although it really should
11 not need to make it clear, that there are issues that are of importance in
12 this case and there are many other issues, and it is certainly not going
13 to advance the full and fair and proper adjudication of this case to spend
14 a great deal of time on issues that are of little or no significance to
15 the ultimate matters of importance.
16 Having got that off the Chamber's chest, and I now understand that
17 are matters that counsel wish to raise before the next witness is called.
18 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour, and we will start by
19 indicating that we will take on board the indication just given by the
20 Chamber and try to accelerate the matter of cross-examination with the
21 remaining witnesses.
22 Your Honour, there are two matters which the Defence of
23 Mr. Boskoski would like to bring the attention of the Chamber at this
24 stage. The first one relates to the proposed evidence of Mr. Ostreni, the
25 next witness; the second issue pertains to an issue of disclosure.
1 Starting with the issue pertaining to Mr. Ostreni, Your Honour, I
2 would simply give a short background which may illuminate the submissions
3 of the Defence.
4 Your Honour will be aware from the evidence at trial that the
5 Macedonian judicial authorities and the Office of the Prosecutor in the
6 course of 2001 and 2002 had collaborated in relation to the investigation
7 of a number of cases. One of those cases, Your Honour may recall, is
8 known as the NLA leadership case. In January of 2002, the Macedonian
9 prosecuting authority had sent information to the Office of the Prosecutor
10 of this Tribunal about this particular case, together with a suggestion,
11 on their part, that this should be one of the cases that the Office of the
12 Prosecutor should take over.
13 This case related, inter alia, to Mr. Gzim Ostreni, the next
14 witness. In May of 2002, the OTP gave notice to the authority that it
15 would take over a number of cases, including the Ljuboten case but also
16 the so-called NLA leadership case. In the course of the same year, 2002,
17 the Prosecution reiterated its request to the national authority to stop
18 any investigation that was going on in relation to the so-called NLA
19 leadership case. In September 2002 the Prosecution formally sought the
20 deferral of five cases, including this case, the NLA leadership case.
21 The Prosecution did not indict any person in relation to the NLA
22 leadership case nor, as far as disclosure suggests, has any formally
23 investigation ever been opened against any individuals relevant to that
24 case. In fact, the Prosecution waited until after the indictment deadline
25 of 31st of December of 2004 before interviewing members of the NLA in the
1 form of statement taken by the OTP.
2 Importantly for these proceedings, Your Honour, the taking over by
3 the Office of the Prosecutor of this particular case, the NLA leadership
4 case, has effectively denied, we submit, the local authorities an
5 opportunity to investigate this matter and has resulted in frustrating any
6 possible investigative effort at national level. More importantly for
7 these proceedings, the actions of the Office of the Prosecutor have in
8 fact denied by a knock-on effect the Defence of Mr. Boskoski an
9 opportunity to obtain any material as might have been elicited by a local
11 As indicated to Your Honour, the Office of the Prosecutor has only
12 conducted what can be characterised as a very superficial investigation of
13 the NLA and in particular has not conducted what we would consider a
14 formal investigation into the role or involvement of any particular
15 individual --
16 MR. SAXON: Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
18 MR. SAXON: I'm very sorry to interrupt.
19 I'm not objecting to the arguments that my colleague is making.
20 However, I would ask that we move into private session because the
21 contents of the arguments touch on what are effectively operational
22 matters of the Office of the Prosecutor, work that was done or not and, in
23 the Prosecution's submission, should not be discussed or described in
24 public session.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Is this current matters? Or are we talking of past
1 history, Mr. Saxon?
2 MR. SAXON: Past history, Your Honour.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE PARKER: Open session.
5 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, perhaps to be as brief as possible and
6 to summarize this particular point, we believe the absence of an
7 investigation in earnest of the role and involvement of particular
8 individuals, members of the NLA into the events which are relevant to
9 these charges as well as the prohibition, to call it that, or the ban made
10 on the local authorities to investigate this matter have had the effect of
11 denying the Defence material that would or could have been relevant to the
12 cross-examination of this particular witness as well as a prior witness,
13 also a member of the NLA.
14 Your Honour, the NLA is a secretive and, we submit, dangerous
15 organisation. We say so, Your Honour, to underline the fact that our
16 ability to investigate the internal functioning of the NLA and to
17 investigate also the involvement of particular witnesses which appear on
18 behalf of the Prosecution as member of the NLA is, to say the least,
19 extremely complicated. In all such --
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly request if the counsel
21 can continue at a slower pace. Thank you.
22 MR. METTRAUX: I apologise and I will attempt to do so.
23 Your Honour, to a large extent, the Defence relies heavily on the
24 investigation which has been conducted by the Office of the Prosecutor and
25 upon the material which the Defence receives as a result of these
1 investigations. In other words, a full and fair investigations of matters
2 and issues relevant to the case by the Office of the Prosecutor is
3 critical to the ability, in turn, of the Defence to exercise its rights
4 and obligations effectively.
5 The Prosecution has notified the Defence and the Trial Chamber
6 recently that it would ask the Chamber to warn the witness that the
7 evidence which he might give in this courtroom could incriminate him. In
8 our view, Your Honour, this request is not only futile but it's also
9 improper. It is futile, in our view, because the Tribunal has no power to
10 give any guarantee to Mr. Ostreni that he will not be prosecuted back in
11 Macedonia and that the record of these proceedings could not be used
12 against him.
13 It is also improper, in our view, Your Honour, because the only
14 thing that has stood between an investigation of the conduct of
15 Mr. Ostreni since at least September of 2002 is the fact that the
16 Prosecution has kept to its chest the investigative material or in any
17 case, the case that pertains to this witness.
18 In effect, the Prosecution is asking the Chamber to warn the
19 Prosecution witness that the Prosecution could at any stage release the
20 case back to the local authorities after relying upon his evidence as a
21 witness of truth against Mr. Boskoski.
22 Our view, Your Honour, it is the Prosecution and not the Chamber
23 which should take the responsibility for this matter which in itself, in
24 our submission, Your Honour, could constitute an abuse of the process.
25 At Nuremberg, Your Honour, to take a example of the past, the
1 Prosecution had to take some very difficult about the way to run its
2 case. One of these tough decision was the decision taken by the
3 Prosecution at the time not to rely on the evidence of accused person
4 against some of their co-defendants. The reason for that decision, Your
5 Honour, was to protect the integrity of the proceedings and the integrity
6 of the record on which the judgment would be based and the judgment of
7 history would be based. The Prosecution at Nuremberg did not seek the
8 assistance of the Chamber, or the Tribunal as it was known at the time, to
9 take those tough decisions.
10 The Prosecution in this case has taken the decision to call as
11 witnesses of truth two members of the NLA, and it is not for Defence to
12 pass judgment on this decision of the Prosecution. However, it is our
13 view that the Prosecution should bear the full consequences of its
14 decision that the responsibility to warn the witness should have been its
15 own and also, we believe, Your Honour, that the Prosecution should accept
16 the evidence of this witness as it will be given as a whole and not to
17 seek later to cherry pick the evidence of the witness.
18 There is another matter, Your Honour, which is directly
19 relevant -- or two other matters which we believe are relevant to the
20 evidence of this proposed witness.
21 The first one relates to a number of documents which relate
22 directly or indirectly to the activities or the structure of the NLA, some
23 of which have been shown to the witness during proofing. During proofing,
24 the proposed witness has given a number of indications about these
25 documents, and in relation to a number of them he has given an indication
1 to the Prosecution that this material, at least some of it, may not be
2 accurate or may be unreliable.
3 It is the view of the Defence that it would be for the Prosecution
4 to the extent that it intends to rely on this document to bring this
5 matter to Your Honour's attention. The Defence does not intend to
6 cross-examine on each of those documents, in particular or in particular
7 one document which is a NATO package which Your Honour has already seen
8 which was prepared, in part, by Mr. Hutsch and which has been shown by
9 Mr. Ostreni and by other personalities to be unreliable in part.
10 Your Honour, there is also, in our view, a fundamental issue of
11 fairness or at least of appearance of fairness. There is a very real
12 issue as far as these proceedings are concerned of a perception that these
13 proceedings are being unfair in a way, to the accused, because one side of
14 the crisis is now being called to give evidence against the people that
15 were facing them on the other side.
16 To this issue of appearance of unfairness, Your Honour, is added
17 the very real fact, as we indicated, that the conduct of these people, the
18 persons, members of the NLA, was never fully investigated by the Office of
19 the Prosecutor, as we indicated, thereby denying the Defence material
20 which would have been directly relevant to its ability to conduct these
21 proceedings and this, we say, creates a very real unfairness.
22 Your Honour, we bring those matters to your attention so that they
23 may be taken into account if Your Honour consider them relevant to
24 assessing the weight, if any, to be given to the evidence of Mr. Ostreni
25 and Mr. Bushi at the end of this case.
1 We also wished to bring them to Your Honour's attention to make it
2 clear that is the Defence position that the evidence of Mr. Ostreni should
3 be considered as a whole, whether it is reliable or not, and that the
4 Prosecution having taken the decision to call that witness should accept
5 him as it is, as he is, and not seek at the end of the case to cherry pick
6 within the evidence of that witness.
7 And perhaps, Your Honour, if permitted, I will turn to the second
8 issue, which, unfortunately, is not much of a good news, either.
9 Your Honour --
10 JUDGE PARKER: Is it related or quite different?
11 MR. METTRAUX: It is quite different, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: I think we might deal with this matter, if anything
13 further is to be said on it.
14 MR. METTRAUX: Very well.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski, is there anything you wish to say?
16 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
17 support my learned colleague Mr. Mettraux and I would like to give some
18 brief additions.
19 In the beginning, I wouldn't like to attack anybody from the
20 Prosecutor's office, but I would like to point out some things.
21 The Defence of Mr. Johan Tarculovski, ever since its beginnings
22 when the indictment against Boskoski and Tarculovski was published, the
23 Defence was very upset because this -- the Prosecution of this Tribunal
24 decided not to prosecute the leaders of the so-called NLA.
25 Your Honours, this is a historical event for the Republic of
1 Macedonia and this Tribunal is perceived as an instrument that is supposed
2 to contribute to the peace and conciliation in the Republic of Macedonia.
3 The Republic of Macedonia is the only republic of former
4 Yugoslavia which won its independence without a war and sufferings. It
5 was the only former Yugoslav republic that decided to respond to all
6 provocations and all problems with tolerance, both within the country and
8 The Defence of Johan Tarculovski is even more upset when it found
9 out that the leaders of the so-called NLA are witnesses. Maybe the
10 Defence is not experienced enough to understand how can people that are
11 responsible for all sufferings in the Republic of Macedonia in 2001 be
12 called as witnesses in a process against international criminal law and to
13 be expected to give sincere testimonies that would corroborate the
14 positions of the Prosecutor and that there was conflict war in -- in
15 Macedonia and that the goal of NLA was to fight for more rights and for
16 alleged discrimination against Albanian population, which are the thesis
17 of the Prosecutor's which they accepted blindly by believing the leaders
18 of the so-called NLA.
19 Your Honours, we attorneys were taught even ever since in the
20 faculty of law that the main principle is that everybody is equal before
21 the law. In Macedonia and any other criminal law, everybody is equal
22 before the law and is accountable for the crime that is a crime according
23 to the law, and in all criminal laws it is not allowed to the Prosecution
24 to select what are the persons that should be brought to justice for their
25 crimes and who should not. Everybody should be responsible for the crimes
1 they have committed.
2 Your Honours, these people should be sitting in this Tribunal but
3 as accused and to be found responsible for all crimes that they have
4 committed in the Republic of Macedonia and against Macedonians responsible
5 for the ethnic cleansings, ethnic cleansing of Macedonian minorities in
6 areas where there are 7.000 Macedonians, in areas where people have not
7 yet returned to their homes because members of NLA burned their houses,
8 they kidnapped their husbands and fathers, or their mothers. The only
9 scene of home was their ethnicity.
10 They should be tried for all rapes of innocent construction
11 workers, murders and kidnappings of civilians, execution of innocent
12 people, and in general for bringing the term "mass graves" into Macedonia.
13 Your Honours, through calling them as witnesses, the Prosecutor's
14 office is walking on thin ice, as introducing a principle in the
15 international humanitarian law which will provide legitimacy and amnesty
16 to any perpetrator of crime if they only choose the site that the
17 Prosecutor's Office considers should not be held responsible for the
18 crimes that they have committed. Your Honours, in this way amnestied are
19 the persons who are the most responsible for bringing the terrorism into
20 the so-called peace oasis, as everyone used to call the Republic of
22 The most puzzling is the notion of the Prosecutor's office failing
23 to investigate the crimes for which the NLA leaders are responsible.
24 Although they had more than four years, since without learning of the
25 facts, they decided, a priori, that these people should not be held
1 responsible and by this they introduced a legal and historical distortion
2 about the truth about 2001 but also the future of the international law.
3 By taking the case, the NLA leadership, the Prosecutor's office,
4 in a way, put on a shelf the crimes perpetrated by these people, not
5 allowing the authorities in the Republic of Macedonia the possibility to
6 investigate all these crimes and, a priori, provided them amnesty without
7 any supporting arguments. This has denied the Defence the opportunity to
8 be fully prepared to cross-examine these witnesses and to prepare quality
9 Defence for their clients, which is guaranteed with the right to fair
11 And why has the Prosecutor's office of this Honourable Tribunal to
12 give, a priori, amnesty to these persons without conducting an
13 investigation, the history will show, and I hope that the international
14 criminal law will point the finger to this notion, how justice should not
15 be selected in advance.
16 I thank this Honourable Tribunal for the opportunity to speak as
17 the Defence counsel of Mr. Johan Tarculovski and also the only Macedonian
18 representing in this Tribunal. And I hope that this honourable tribunal
19 will take my words into account when it will decide on the weight given to
20 the testimony and evidence of Mr. Ostreni and Mr. Nazim Bushi.
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Apostolski.
23 Is there anything you wish to say, Mr. Saxon?
24 MR. SAXON: Preliminarily, Your Honour, Your Honours, the
25 Prosecution believes that it is the Defence who, at this moment are
1 walking on thin legal ice, rather than the Prosecution.
2 The Prosecution suggests that if the tables were turned and we
3 were in the Defence case and prior to the commencement of the testimony of
4 a Defence witness, Prosecution stood up and made submissions to the
5 Chamber suggesting that a Defence witness should be sitting in the dock in
6 this Tribunal or is in any other way not fit to be a witness, then the
7 Prosecution predicts that such a submission would meet with a very quick
8 and probably strong response, both from the Defence, and from the Trial
10 Secondly, Your Honours, the Defence contends that they are somehow
11 prejudiced because the cases related to the members of the NLA were
12 deferred to the Office of the Prosecutor. But that's not the case, Your
13 Honour. The Prosecution, in this case, has disclosed, for example, just
14 in one particular disclosure between five and 6.000 pages of court files,
15 testimony, eye-witness testimony, victim witness testimony related to
16 alleged crimes committed by members of the NLA.
17 The Prosecution, in its investigations into the so-called NLA
18 cases, interviewed witnesses and took either statements or investigator's
19 notes and that material has been disclosed to the Defence in this case.
20 In no way has the Prosecution "kept to its chest," as my colleague
21 suggests, investigative material that is relevant to this witness. On the
22 contrary. The Prosecution, to the best of its ability has disclosed all
23 material in its knowledge, in its possession that relate to the next
24 witness, Mr. Ostreni.
25 My colleague suggests that a warning pursuant to Rule 90 (E) be
1 futile and an abuse of process. The Prosecution finds this argument to be
2 somewhat strange indeed because frankly, Your Honours, the original
3 suggestion that Mr. Ostreni might need to receive this warning came from
4 counsel for Mr. Tarculovski to the Prosecution.
5 Secondly, Your Honours, it is not futile because the witness, once
6 given a warning, may still choose not to respond to questions that may
7 incriminate him, and although the rule says he may be compelled to answer
8 questions, we all know that there are -- have been witnesses who have
9 refused to answer certain questions, even upon threat of contempt.
10 My colleagues suggest that there is a fundamental issue of
11 fairness at stake here, and they suggest that there is a perception that
12 these proceedings are unfair to the Defence, because "only one side is
13 being called to give evidence." Only one side of the conflict in 2001.
14 But that also is not correct, Your Honours. In this case, the Prosecution
15 has called witnesses from both -- from members of both belligerent parties
16 to the armed conflict in Macedonia in 2001, Members of the NLA, members of
17 the Macedonian police and Ministry of the Interior, members of the
18 Macedonian army. And the Prosecution did so so that the Trial Chamber
19 could hear their evidence, the evidence of all sides and evaluate this
21 Thank you, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE PARKER: I don't think so, Mr. Mettraux.
23 MR. METTRAUX: It was simply a clarification, not a reply, Your
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber has given counsel considerable liberty
2 in what has just been said, because in very many respects the comments
3 offered have not been either directly relevant or proper.
4 This Chamber has the role and responsibility, quite independently
5 of either Prosecution or Defence, or of political considerations, to
6 determine questions of whether an accused person charged before the
7 Chamber is proved to be guilty of any of the offences with which that
8 person is charged. That is the responsibility this Chamber has and it
9 does it without regard to what may be social or political influences and
10 it will do -- continue to perform that role in its conduct of this trial.
11 The submissions have not been to the point of any procedural
12 matter to be dealt with at this point, and if they have relevance in the
13 trial, it is a relevance as to the weight to be attached to evidence, and
14 that is a matter which would normally and properly have been dealt with in
15 the course of closing submissions, when all matters of weight and
16 relevance are considered by this Tribunal. And in so far as any of the
17 matters raised are thought to have substance, they will be taken into
18 account at that time.
19 Was there any other matter that needs to be dealt with before the
20 witness is called?
21 Mr. Mettraux.
22 MR. METTRAUX: Unfortunately, yes, Your Honour, and a brief one,
23 hopefully. We'd simply bring to Your Honour's attention that on 29 and
24 31st of October of 2007, respectively, the Defence was provided by the
25 Prosecution would two pictures or photos taken from the village of
1 Ljuboten. They are panoramic photos of which Your Honour have already
2 been acquainted with.
3 These picture were received upon a specific request to the
4 Prosecution by the Defence of Mr. Tarculovski, and thanks to the diligence
5 of Mr. Tarculovski, these two pictures, Your Honour, were annotated by two
6 individuals who had been interviewed by the Office of the Prosecution and
7 on those two pictures the two individuals had made annotations of places
8 and location in which they said fire had been directed at the army from
9 inside the village. They have identified specific houses and location.
10 We believe that this renewed failure, Your Honour, of disclose --
11 to disclose that material is again a particularly serious one, considering
12 that one of the two persons who had prepared one of those drawing was a
13 witness in this case who has appeared a long time ago. It was Witness
14 M-051. We believe that this again is a indication of what starts to
15 become a pattern of failed disclosure of material which clearly is
16 relevant and clearly is exculpatory in nature.
17 We would also bring another fact to Your Honour's attention in
18 relation to these particular witnesses is that both of them were
19 interviewed and the documents obtained, again from the investigator in
20 this case, Mr. Kuehnel, who is to appear as a witness in this case. The
21 Defence believe that once again it is being prejudiced by the late
22 disclosure of this material which should have been in the hands of the
23 Defence at the time when at least M-051 was appearing as a witness and we
24 believe that this pattern, we say, of failed disclosure certainly create
25 impediments for the Defence and do not serve the interests of justice,
1 Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Maybe just a little bit more clear, Mr. Mettraux.
3 You're saying that two witnesses who have given evidence here have marked
4 photographs or panoramas during investigation. Is that what you are
6 MR. METTRAUX: I apologise. I wasn't clear, Your Honour. Two
7 people were interviewed. There were two interviewees. One of two person
8 appeared as a witness. It was M-051.
9 JUDGE PARKER: I see. Only one, yes.
10 MR. METTRAUX: And the second person --
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. And you were not given access to that
13 MR. METTRAUX: Until last week.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, thank you.
15 Anything, Mr. Apostolski?
16 Mr. Saxon.
17 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, Mr. Mettraux has provided an accurate
18 description of events. The reason these two photographs were not
19 previously disclosed is because they were marked in the OTP's computer
20 system with what is called a surrogate sheet and what was disclosed to the
21 Defence some years ago were these surrogate sheets describing this
22 material but not the photograph, the annotated photographs themselves.
23 At this time, the Prosecution would not object, if the Defence so
24 desires, to either tendering one or both of these photographs into
25 evidence; or, if the Defence wishes, to have this Witness M-051 recalled.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE PARKER: In the Chamber's view, counsel for the Defence
3 should consider whether either Witness M-051 need be recalled; or whether
4 one or both of the marked panoramas should be admitted into evidence; or,
5 as we understand it, the third option that no further particular action be
6 taken and the matter left where it is and dealt with in the course of
7 final submission.
8 And we would suggest that that should be done in the course of
9 this week, if you could, Mr. Mettraux.
10 MR. METTRAUX: I'm grateful for this indication, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
12 That being the case, then, we will have the break now and resume
13 after the break at 10 past with the new witness.
14 --- Recess taken at 5.37 p.m.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 --- On resuming at 6.10 p.m.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, Mr. Ostreni.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Would you take the card that is given to you now
20 and read aloud the affirmation on it.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
22 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber would mention to you that if, during
1 your evidence, you are asked about a matter that you believe could
2 incriminate you, that is, could amount to some admission of your guilt of
3 an offence or could provide material evidence that you have committed an
4 offence, then it is open to you to say that you do not wish to answer that
6 The Chamber is not entirely sure of the position in Macedonia, so
7 we wanted to ensure that you were aware of that matter in the course of
8 giving your own evidence.
9 The other matter the Chamber would mention is that we are sorry
10 that you were so long delayed before you were able to come into court. We
11 had to spend a lot of time with the previous witness and with some other
12 matters. And we are sorry that you were delayed.
13 Now, I believe that Ms. Regue has some questions for you.
14 Ms. Regue.
15 MS. REGUE: Thanks, Your Honours.
16 WITNESS: GZIM OSTRENI
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Examination by Ms. Regue:
19 Q. Good afternoon, General.
20 MS. REGUE: For the record, Your Honour, the Prosecution will call
21 Gzim Ostreni.
22 Q. General, do you recall providing a statement to the Office of the
23 Prosecutor in 2005?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you recall meeting with a lady from the registry in 2006 who
1 certified your statement?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you recall introducing some handwritten changes to your
4 statement at that time?
5 A. Yes.
6 MS. REGUE: For the record, Your Honour, the witness corrected the
7 spelling of his first name in the first page of his statement, and then in
8 paragraph 5, seventh line, he replaced Youth Archery Association by
9 Association for Weapon Training. In the paragraph 6, last line, he
10 replace 1999 by 1991. And in paragraph 34, sixth line, 113th should be
11 replaced by 112th.
12 Q. General, have you had the opportunity to read your statement
13 before coming here today?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Are you satisfied that your statement, including the corrections
16 that you introduced, is correct and accurate?
17 A. Yes.
18 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, at this stage we will seek to tender this
19 witness's statement following Rule 92 bis.
20 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P497, Your Honours.
22 MS. REGUE: The witness, Gzim Ostreni is a Macedonian citizen of
23 Albanian ethnicity. During 2001, Mr. Ostreni was Chief of General Staff
24 of the NLA. Mr. Ostreni has an extensive military experience which goes
25 back to the early 1960s with the former Yugoslav army. He also graduated
1 from the faculty of philosophy and sociology. Since 1969 he worked with
2 the organs of interior of Macedonia and became chief and later commander
3 of the Territorial Defence. He retired in 1991 with a rank of major.
4 Mr. Ostreni was a member of the KLA from 1999 to 2001 and was
5 actively involved in the military activities in Kosovo. Following the
6 KLA's transformation into the Kosovo Protection Corps, KPC, Mr. Ostreni
7 was promoted to chief of KPC headquarters in March 2000. He had been
8 previously promoted to the rank of general brigadier. Mr. Ostreni
9 subsequently joined the NLA as Chief of Staff in March 2001. He was also
10 known as Plaku.
11 The witness speaks to the discrimination against Albanians and
12 other ethnic minorities in Macedonia prior to 2001. Mr. Ostreni also
13 speaks to the genesis of the NLA and its political goals.
14 He describes the NLA's command structure, including the General
15 Staff, brigades, ranks, manpower, weaponry, equipment, common uniform,
16 finance, logistics as well as operational control.
17 As Chief of Staff, Mr. Ostreni work on the personnel programme,
18 the establishment and organisation of the structural units, staffs and
19 commands as well as the development of internal regulations. The witness
20 also describes the NLA's role in the Ohrid Agreement and Operation Harvest
21 and the official disbandment of the NLA on the 26th, 27th of September,
23 Your Honours, before we start, we have some binders for the Trial
24 Chamber and also for my learned colleagues and the witness that we can
25 distribute at this stage, I believe.
1 And in the meantime ...
2 In the meantime, we can call 65 ter 778.4, which is tab 4 of the
3 binder. And if you could go to the first page in the Albanian version and
4 the third of the English.
5 Q. General, you may -- you are going to see the document in the
6 screen. But if you wish to see it in paper, you can also look at the
8 I'm going to refer now to tab number 4. I believe that the
9 Albanian version is always the last one in the binder. Tab number 4. Tab
10 4, yeah.
11 A. I found it, yes.
12 Q. Thanks. General, we have in front of us a regulation with a title
13 rules of service of the NLA. We see on the upper left side Ali Ahmeti,
14 and we see on the lower part of the document on the right side your name,
15 General Major Gzim Ostreni.
16 General, did you produce this document?
17 A. Yes, I worked in the production of this document.
18 Q. When did you produce it, approximately?
19 A. I started in March 2001.
20 Q. And when do you believe that you complete it?
21 A. I tried hard, but I believe that it was completed in end of April.
22 Q. In order to produce this document, General, which sources did you
23 use? Which material or knowledge did you rely on?
24 A. It is rules of service common for all armies. I based myself on
25 the rules of service of the army of the Republic of Albania and bits from
1 the rules of service of the former Yugoslav army and some bits from the
2 Kosovo Protection Corps rules of services.
3 Q. Thanks.
4 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, do you find any problem with the binder?
5 JUDGE PARKER: I think you mentioned that it was tab 4.
6 MS. REGUE: Yes.
7 JUDGE PARKER: We found it at tab 3.
8 MS. REGUE: Okay. I'm very sorry, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE PARKER: As long as we have the right document.
10 MS. REGUE: And it is the case of the three of Your Honours it is
11 tab 3.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
13 MS. REGUE: Can I check with my learned colleagues from the
14 Defence if they have also in tab 3.
15 MR. METTRAUX: Also tab 3. Thank you.
16 MS. REGUE: Maybe we can check if the witness is looking at the
17 right document.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Tab 4.
19 MR. METTRAUX: In fact, Your Honour, I believe what happens is
20 that the English version is under tab 4 and the equivalent to the Albanian
21 is under tab 3.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Not in ours, Mr. Mettraux, so far. We have both
23 versions in tab 3.
24 MS. REGUE: I apologise, Your Honours. Maybe at the end of this
25 session, we can review that. I'm terribly sorry.
1 Okay. Can we please go to page 1 of the English translation and
2 also page 2 of the Albanian. It should be, in English, the -- yeah,
4 Q. General, we see in the upper left side --
5 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry. What's on the screen is tab 4.
6 MS. REGUE: Yeah, that's what I mean, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Well, you said in your introductory questions that
8 the witness had signed at the right bottom and Ali Ahmeti was at the left
10 MS. REGUE: In the Albanian, because we don't have a cover page of
11 this document in the English version, Your Honour. This document doesn't
12 have a cover page translated into English. So I was looking at the
14 JUDGE PARKER: Can you determine which tab it is we are to look at
15 and which tab it is the witness is speaking about?
16 MS. REGUE: Tab 4, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: We better be sure, please.
18 MS. REGUE: We can check whether the witness is looking at the
19 same document that is on the screen, Your Honour.
20 Q. General, in page 2 document that you have, it's the same document
21 that you see on the right side of your screen?
22 A. Yes, it's the order.
23 MS. REGUE: May I continue, Your Honour? Thanks.
24 Q. General, if we look at this document we see in the upper left side
25 General Staff, the date, the 2nd of May, 2001, and then we read: "In view
1 of the urgent need to maintain military discipline and professional and
2 moral responsibility in carrying out tasks and on the basis of existing
3 military traditions, I order, that the internal regulations of the NLA,
4 being the fundamental document with regard to establishing and maintaining
5 military discipline as well as reviewing and evaluating disciplinary
6 responsibility, be put into effect."
7 General, which was the purpose of these regulations, of the rules
8 of service of the NLA?
9 A. In structuring an army, it is of utmost importance to have
10 regulations on basis of which you will establish the hierarchy, who is
11 subordinate to whom and how it will be implemented in practice.
12 Q. General, can I take from your answer that with regulation -- with
13 this regulation you were establishing the structure and the hierarchy of
14 the NLA?
15 A. Yes, and the rules of service of the National Liberation Army
17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
18 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, we would submit that there should be
19 very, very careful questioning in relation to this matter and no leading
20 questioning, Your Honour. We believe this was extremely leading as a
22 MS. REGUE: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
24 MS. REGUE:
25 Q. General, to whom did you distribute this document once you
1 finished producing it?
2 A. This document was distributed to all brigade commanders of the
4 Q. Had the brigade commanders the obligation to implement these
5 regulations with regards to their subordinates?
6 A. Yes. This was an obligation stemming from the commander of the
7 National Liberation Army by virtue of this order that I have before me.
8 MS. REGUE: Now, if we could look briefly to page 3 of the English
9 where we will see the table of contents.
10 Q. General, we see here the table of contents, the first page. In
11 chapter 1, the military oath is mentioned; chapter 2, the flag; chapter 3
12 the morale betterment and civic education of NLA military personnel;
13 chapter 4, military ceremonies, commemoration and honours; next chapter,
14 the rights and duties of service personnel.
15 Now, if he could go, please, to page 6 of the English translation
16 and page 4 of the Albanian.
17 General we see -- General, you may wish to look at the screen.
18 Maybe it will be easier for you.
19 A. Yes, but I didn't have the Albanian document before me. Now I
20 have it.
21 Q. Okay. Thanks.
22 MS. REGUE: Maybe the usher can assist the general if he has any
24 Q. General, we see in front of us the military oath. Which
25 significance -- which was the importance of the military oath within the
2 A. The military oath is important because when a member makes the
3 oath, certain duties and respect for rights and duties as a military are
4 enumerated to him, and he is reminded of his obligation to abide by the
5 rules of service in the army.
6 He takes the oath and takes upon himself to carry out his duties.
7 Q. General, if we look at the second large paragraph of this article
8 with regards to the text of the military oath, we see that in the second
9 line it reads, I quote: "I will always serve to defend and protect the
10 life and property of every citizen of Macedonia. I will always firmly
11 defend human rights and freedoms and in the conduct of my business I will
12 never tolerate discrimination on ethnic, language or allegiance grounds."
13 I end the quote.
14 General, which is the significance of this sentence, in particular
15 the mention to human rights and freedoms when taking the military oath?
16 A. From our point of view, this was very important, because it is in
17 all documents, in the documents of the United Nations, in the charter of
18 human rights and freedoms and it is of great importance to remind and warn
19 the soldiers and officers of their duty to abide by these rules and not to
20 put into any risk the life of the civilians.
21 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, at this stage I will seek to tender this
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
24 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 With a view not to interrupt the flow of the evidence in chief, we
1 give an indication that we will not formally object to any of the NLA
2 documents being admitted. We believe that the issue, if any, of any
3 weight to give to this document may be properly dealt with the Chamber at,
4 as mentioned, the weight stage or the weighing stage of the evidence. We
5 would however indicate that our silence at the point of tendering of any
6 document should not be interpreted as an agreement to the authenticity,
7 reliability or relevance of any of those documents.
8 JUDGE PARKER: The rules of service at tab 4 will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P498, Your Honours.
10 MS. REGUE:
11 Q. General, you mentioned before that you distributed the regulations
12 to the commanders of the brigades. Did you communicate with the brigade
14 A. This document was sent to the brigades accompanied by the order of
15 the commander of the NLA and, at the same time, I communicated them via
17 Q. How often would you communicate with the brigade commanders,
19 A. Compulsory communication occurred two times a day, in the morning
20 and in the evening, when they were obliged to report for the
21 developments. But also there were contacts upon needs and upon the
23 Q. Thanks, General.
24 MS. REGUE: Could we please call 65 ter 778.6, and I hope it will
25 be tab 5, Your Honours.
1 If we could go to the first page of this document, please.
2 Q. General --
3 MS. REGUE: Tab 5. May I inquire, Your Honours, if tab 5 is the
4 same as on the screen. Yes.
5 JUDGE PARKER: No.
6 MS. REGUE: Are you looking maybe at the Macedonian translation or
7 at the Albanian? It should be the last page.
8 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry. It is in tab 5.
9 MS. REGUE: Yes, Your Honour. They were looking at the Macedonian
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
12 MS. REGUE: Thanks.
13 Q. General --
14 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
15 MS. REGUE:
16 Q. General, you are asked to move a little bit backwards. Thanks.
17 JUDGE PARKER: The General needs to try and see the screen, which
18 is difficult for him, and as he is trying to turn the bundle of papers in
19 the binder he is hitting the microphone all the time, so I'll try and have
20 the microphones moved back a little to give you more fighting room,
22 MS. REGUE: Thanks, Your Honours.
23 Q. General, do you see the cover page of this regulation?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. We see -- we can see like in the upper part of the document
1 General Staff, military secret, highly confidential document and the title
2 is: Order on internal life of the NLA.
3 General, did you produce this document, this regulation?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When did you produce it?
6 A. Simultaneously I worked on several documents. All of them more or
7 less were prepared in March and April. Some of them were prepared in May
8 as well.
9 Q. Of 2001; correct?
10 A. Yes, of 2001. This document was prepared the last.
11 Q. And, General, in order to produce this particular document, in
12 which material or knowledge did you rely on?
13 A. I worked on such documents earlier as well, but this document
14 helped me the most when I prepared the order on the internal life of the
15 Kosovo Protection Corps, because the soldiers lived in barracks. I used
16 the existing regulations of the Yugoslav army and the army of Albania.
17 Q. Once it was produced, General, to which units within the NLA did
18 you distribute this regulation?
19 A. To all the brigades.
20 MS. REGUE: Could we please go to page 2 of this document, please.
21 Q. And, General, which was the main purpose of this regulation?
22 A. This regulation was aimed at settling certain issues which should
23 be settled by means of regulation. We have here shelter, how barracks are
24 built, the building itself, the yard, the dormitory, and so on. So the
25 aim of this regulation was to regulate these issues, because at the time
1 when we were preparing to hand over our weapons, during the Essential
2 Harvest operation, we asked for certain barracks to be given to us, in
3 order to put there some of our soldiers but this did not happen.
4 So this served, more or less, to the conditions at which the NLA
5 operated at that time.
6 Q. Thanks, General. Just to look briefly at page 1.
7 We can read in the first paragraph and I quote: "On the basis of
8 past experience and to recognise the NLA, thereby applying more concrete
9 measures and activities in a uniform manner, I hereby order as follows."
10 And, indeed, we see in item 1, lodgings and regulations. And
11 number 1, barracks; number 2, the grounds of the barracks; number 3,
12 buildings and facilities.
13 Could we please go briefly to page number 7.
14 It's page number 6 of the hard copy.
15 Q. General, do you see as item 2 internal regulations for the unit?
16 A. Just a moment, please. Let me find it first.
17 I found it.
18 Q. We can read in number one, daily regulations in the unit. The
19 first paragraph reads, and I quote: "In order to unify all activities and
20 to establish order and discipline in all the structures of the NLA, the
21 commanders are to set up a schedule for all activities within a 24-hour
22 period in accordance with plans approved in advance by the General Staff."
23 General, is this an example of an issue that needed to be
25 A. Could you please repeat your question.
1 Q. I will rephrase it, General.
2 Which is the significance of this particular paragraph?
3 A. I wasn't following the paragraph. Could you please tell me once
4 again which paragraph it was.
5 Q. Yes. It's the first paragraph, just below daily regulations in
6 the unit. Do you wish me to read it again?
7 A. Yes, please, only that part, the part you just read.
8 Q. "In order to unify all activities and to establish order and
9 discipline in all the structures of the NLA, the commanders are to set up
10 a schedule for all activities within a 24-hour period in accordance with
11 the plans approved in advance by the General Staff. Another schedule is
12 to be set up for non-workdays and holidays."
13 A. The question?
14 Q. Which is the relevance, General, of this paragraph?
15 A. This paragraph should be seen in the conditions in which the NLA
16 operated because, as you might know, they were almost all the time in
17 positions and in the context of such conditions it was necessary for the
18 command to draft a plan whereby to divide the activities to be carried out
19 within 24 hours. It is important because, by means of such a plan, the
20 work of the brigade of the units was organised.
21 Q. Thanks.
22 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, I will seek to tender 65 ter 778.6.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
24 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, simply a matter of clarification if we
25 could be assisted by the witness on this point. I think he has indicated
1 early in his evidence that he wasn't sure about the exact date but then he
2 referred to the Operation Essential Harvest and indicated that or, as we
3 understood it, that this may be related to the relevant parts of the
4 regulations concerning barracks and I was wondering whether counsel for
5 the Prosecution could clarify with Mr. Ostreni whether the regulations
6 were drafted during the Essential Harvest operation or at any time before.
7 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, I believe that the witness said that he
8 started producing the document between March, April and it was one of the
9 last. The reference to Operation Harvest was on a completely different
10 issue and I think that my learned colleague can actually question this
11 witness in cross-examination.
12 JUDGE PARKER: The witness's evidence was that he produced all of
13 these documents in March and April and some into May and this particular
14 one was the last produced. Nothing as late as Essential Harvest,
15 Mr. Mettraux. There was a references to Essential Harvest but in a
16 specific context.
17 So we will -- it's up to you whether you want to pursue a question
18 of date again or whether you want to move on.
19 MS. REGUE: I would like to move on, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
21 MS. REGUE: I think that it is clear.
22 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P499, Your Honours.
24 MS. REGUE: Could we please go to tab number 1, which is Exhibit
25 P459. Again, the Albanian version will be the last one. Thanks.
1 Q. General, did you find the first page of this document?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. We can read in the first page, General, NLA, in the upper part of
4 the document, personnel and material formation of the brigade, and then we
5 see on the lower part, on the right side, your name and also 2001.
6 General, did you produce this regulation?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. When did you produce it?
9 A. It's not a rules, it's a formation; I want to make a correction.
10 I drafted it at the General Staff where I worked.
11 Q. When, General? When did you draft it, when did you produce it?
12 A. As I already stated, I worked constantly with such documents.
13 Therefore, it is very hard for me to clearly state which one was done
14 when. But, in general, I may say that I worked on them during the period
15 of March, April, and in May I submitted them.
16 Q. Thanks. General, in order to produce this document, did you rely
17 in any particular prior regulation? Which source did you use?
18 A. In order to prepare the formation, I already resorted to my very
19 long experience. I had the opportunity to work at -- [indiscernible] at
20 the communal staff level. Then I worked all the formations of the Kosovo
21 Protection Corps so base on all this experience and on documents that I
22 used to possess during -- in the course of my experience, I worked to
23 compile such a document.
24 Q. General, to whom did you -- once you compiled this document, to
25 whom did you distribute this document?
1 A. The document was sent to all the brigade commanders operating
2 in -- at that time.
3 Q. In order to expedite the proceedings, General, all the documents
4 that you produced, all the regulations or formations that you produced, to
5 whom were they distributed?
6 A. To the commanders of the brigades of the NLA.
7 Q. Thanks.
8 MS. REGUE: If we could go, please, to the second page of this
10 Q. General, we see here a chart with the title personnel and material
11 formation of the brigade. The chart contains different columns, positions
12 according to the formation. First name and last name, date of birth,
13 rank, general, high ranking officer, officer, uniforms and then weapons.
14 Which was the purpose of this document, General?
15 A. The purpose of this document was to regulate the organisation --
16 organisational chart of the brigades so that there were -- there was room
17 for name, last name, date of birth, in that chart, for them not to need
18 any duplicates.
19 MS. REGUE: Could we please move to tab number 2, which is Exhibit
21 JUDGE PARKER: Do you want to tender tab 1.
22 MS. REGUE: It is already an exhibit, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. What is the number; do you know?
24 MS. REGUE: P459.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
1 MS. REGUE: And now I am moving to tab 2, which is already an
2 exhibit, Your Honour, P460.
3 Q. General, you have in front of you an another document, again NLA
4 General Staff, in the upper part of the document approved by NLA commander
5 Ali Ahmeti. The title reads: Personnel and material formation of the
6 infantry battalion and the date is 2001.
7 General, did you produce this document?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When did you produce it?
10 A. I prepared this document before I did that on the brigade
11 command. I worked on this personnel and material formation of the
12 infantry battalion. It was done during the period I mentioned earlier,
13 from March to end of April.
14 Q. In order to produce this particular document, did you rely on any
15 particular source?
16 A. On my experience during which I constantly had under my command
17 battalions. Therefore it was not difficult for me to produce such a
18 document, because I already had an idea of what a squad looked like or
19 what three squads looked like which formed a company, and so on.
20 MS. REGUE: If we could go, please, to page 6 of this document,
21 and in the hard copy it will be the ERN R062-6673. It's almost at the end
22 of the Albanian version.
23 Q. General, we have a chart in front of us which reads: Personnel
24 and material formation of the infantry battalion. Which was the purpose
25 of this particular chart?
1 A. The table that we discussed earlier is a collective one. This is
2 an individual table. Therefore, it indicates all the units that form this
4 MS. REGUE: If we could go, please, to page 2. It would also be
5 page 2 in the Albanian version.
6 Q. General, this chart reads: Mobilisation plan of the infantry
7 battalion. We have different columns as well. Unit, number and name of
8 the unit, venue or location, responsibility, total in uniforms, weapons.
9 Which is the purpose of this chart, General?
10 A. This shows the development of mobilisation of the infantry
11 battalion, during which we have put notes on the collective composition of
12 the battalion so that the command -- commander knows what the composition
13 of his battalion is.
14 Q. General, I don't quite understand one of your -- one point of your
15 answer, "during which we have put notes on the collective composition of
16 the battalion."
17 Could you please clarify what do you mean with that?
18 A. This chart shows that here above there is the command of a
19 battalion, for example, which is composed of one officer, another deputy,
20 and six soldiers. And eight uniforms, one pistol, one automatic rifle.
21 So these are data that show not to whom they belong, for example to the
22 commander or to someone else, but it's a collective data. And then you
23 see offices and so on, for example, sabotage surveillance unit, for
24 example, the 1st Corp, 13, so it is a collective data. The second is 10.
25 The 3rd Squad, I think, has 10. So the total number is 43 soldiers and
1 one officer. These are collated data for the brigade commander to know
2 what's going on in his brigade. Just number -- they are simply figures,
3 not personal data. If the commander wants to know, he has all the
4 available data to know what's going on.
5 When it come to the personal data, then you had data for each and
6 every one of the soldiers and officers.
7 Q. Thanks, General.
8 MS. REGUE: That would be a convenient time, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Well, we -- are you wanting to tender tab 2 or are
10 you continuing?
11 MS. REGUE: It's already an exhibit, Your Honour. It's P460.
12 Your Honour.
13 JUDGE PARKER: That brings us to the end of our time today. As
14 I've mentioned earlier, we are not able to sit tomorrow to allow another
15 trial to be sitting. We haven't enough courtrooms. So that we resume on
16 Thursday morning at 9.00 to continue the evidence.
17 Thank you. We adjourn now.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 8th day of
20 November, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.