1 Thursday, 6 March 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
7 Good afternoon to you, sir. Could you remind you the affirmation
8 you made at the beginning of your evidence still applies.
9 WITNESS: NIKOLCE GROZDANOVSKI [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours, I understand.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
13 Now, Mr. Dobbyn.
14 MR. DOBBYN: And, Your Honours just very briefly before I continue
15 with my questioning, yesterday during the witness direct examination I
16 rose about a particular issue where I stated I hadn't received adequate
17 notice of that issue being raised. I haven't had the chance to review my
18 materials last night I can see that I was mistaken. These issues were
19 touched on and you just wanted to make that clear for the Trial Chamber
20 and also to offer my apologies to my colleague Mr. Apostolski for
21 yesterday's interruption.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that is correct Mr. Dobbyn.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Dobbyn: [Continued]
24 Q. Mr. Grozdanovski, I would like to continue with our questioning
25 and I'd like to touch now on the topic of the mine incident at Ljubotenski
1 Bacila. And you gave some description of this yesterday, and if I can
2 just recap a part of that. I believe you said that you were having your
3 breakfast at the children's rest house when you were told about the mine
4 incident. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And this was about 8.00 in the morning.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And I believe you testified you drove part of the way to
9 Ljubotenski Bacila and then walked the rest. Could you explain why you
10 only drove part of the way?
11 A. My driver was driving the jeep, and we were driving until we were
12 in the area of our check-points. When we passed them, we stopped and we
13 continued on foot, because we could hear firing from Ljubotenski Bacila,
14 and we had to be cautious and to go there on foot.
15 Q. And so even having driven part of the way, it took you an hour to
16 get there from -- from your post at the children's rest house. Is that
18 A. From the rest house to Ljubotenski Bacila, it took us about an
20 Q. And this would be consistent with what you testified yesterday
21 about the distance between the Ljubanci-Ljuboten area and Ljubotenski
22 Bacila with the winding mountain roads. Is that right?
23 A. Yes, this is a winding road.
24 Q. Now when you arrived at Ljubotenski Bacila, was the fighting still
25 under way there?
1 A. Yes. The fighting was still under way. As I explained yesterday,
2 they were in the area of Ardievi Bacila.
3 Q. And did you have a good view of what was going on there?
4 A. From the place of the explosion, I could only see where the fire
5 was coming from and to see Ardievi Bacila as a place.
6 Q. You described yesterday seeing a combat helicopter in the area.
7 Could you tell us what that combat helicopter was doing?
8 A. The combat helicopter was opening fire around the forest near the
9 sheepfolds. For a few minute, it was opening fire towards the forest
10 around the sheepfolds and towards Matejce.
11 Q. And you've described shooting coming from the area of Ardievi
12 Bacila. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, this is correct. At the moment when we got there, the fire
14 was coming from there.
15 MR. DOBBYN: Could we please show 65 ter 1231, and this is in tab
16 5 also of the binder we provided. And actually I believe this may have
17 been admitted yesterday, P595.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.
19 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is what I
20 wished to assist my learned colleague with. This is Exhibit P595.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
22 MR. DOBBYN: Thank you.
23 Q. Mr. Grozdanovski, if you look at the bottom of the map there, the
24 map that you saw earlier, you'll see the words Ardievi Bacila with an
25 arrow going to an area north of the site of the explosion. Did you make
1 that marking on the map?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And this is the position where you saw the fire coming from. Is
4 that correct?
5 A. I saw the direction from which our positions were shooting and
6 from where shots could be heard.
7 Q. And the shots could be heard from Ardievi Bacila. Is that right?
8 A. Yes. They could be heard from Ardievi Bacila.
9 Q. And as we can see from this map, that position is in the opposite
10 direction from Ljuboten village, isn't it?
11 A. No. This is not correct.
12 Q. Well, if we look at the map and your marking on it, can you see
13 the site of the explosion at Ljubotenski Bacila, can you see Ljuboten
14 village to the south, to the south-west, perhaps, and Ardievi Bacila, as
15 you've marked it, is up to the north. So it is in the opposite direction,
16 isn't it?
17 A. On the map, it is so. However, from Ardievi Bacila, one cannot
18 see the village of Ljuboten, nor from the place where the truck exploded.
19 One cannot see the village Ljuboten.
20 Q. Okay. I'll move on from there also. Now, can I just ask you, did
21 you personally see any of the attackers in that area withdrawing towards
22 Ljuboten village?
23 A. I did not see any attackers.
24 Q. And following the mine incident, once the situation had calmed
25 down, did you return to Smok at that point?
1 A. Yes. As I explained yesterday, sometime after 1.00, I returned to
3 Q. Okay. And is it correct, Mr. Grozdanovski, that two members of
4 your unit were on the truck that was hit by the mine, or the truck that
5 hit the mine?
6 A. Yes, this is correct.
7 Q. Did those members receive any injuries?
8 A. Yes, they were both wounded.
9 Q. Now, I'd like to move on to the evening of Friday, the 10 the
11 And that evening, didn't you attend a meeting at the command
12 headquarters in the Ljubanci school?
13 A. Yes. All commanders of companies were present together with the
15 Q. So Major Despodov, being the commander, is that right, he was
17 A. Yes. He was chairing the meeting, Major Despodov Mitre.
18 Q. And Mario Jurisic was also at this meeting, was he?
19 A. Yes, he was there too.
20 Q. Are you able to recall whether any members of the Ministry of
21 Interior, or any police, were present at that meeting?
22 A. There were no police officers.
23 Q. But you do recall at least, don't you, that there were police
24 officers in the school yard at that time. Isn't that right?
25 A. This is correct.
1 Q. And those police officers were wearing camouflage uniforms with
2 police insignia on them?
3 A. Yes. They were in police camouflage uniforms.
4 Q. And there also police vehicles there in the yard. Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And didn't these police also have boxes that you believe contained
8 A. There were two boxes, but I do not know what was in them.
9 Q. Well, do you recall telling the interviewer from the Office of the
10 Prosecutor during your suspect interview that these boxes were the same
11 shape, size and colour of boxes that the army used to transport or to
12 carry weapons in?
13 A. Yes. Such were the boxes. But we use those boxes for other
14 purposes, for protective wear, for eating utensils. So unless I looked
15 into them and saw what was in them, I could not say what was there.
16 Q. Did you speak to any of these police, Mr. Grozdanovski?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you get a sense of the mood amongst these police after the
19 mine incident?
20 A. I could not say. They were standing there. I came with my
21 vehicle, and I immediately entered to see the commander. Therefore, I
22 could not get a sense of the mood.
23 Q. And you're certain when you say that you didn't speak to any of
24 these police at that time?
25 A. Yes, I'm sure.
1 Q. During your second suspect interview on the 8th of November, 2004,
2 do you recall being shown some photo boards?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And do you recall being warned that you should only make an
5 identification if you're certain that you recognise a particular person?
6 A. This is what I was told.
7 Q. And you also recall being told that the suspect might not be on
8 the photo board at all.
9 A. At this moment, I could not recall, but perhaps they did tell me.
10 MR. DOBBYN: Well, if we could please show 65 ter 1233. And this
11 is also in tab 20 of the witness binder.
12 Q. And, Mr. Grozdanovski, do you have that in front of you at the
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, do you recall being shown this photo board at your suspect
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And in your own language, could you please read to us the line
19 that's handwritten at the top?
20 A. "I have not seen these photograph previously."
21 Q. Now, there are circles around the numbers 7 and 8, and there's
22 something written under those numbers. Could you please read that to us?
23 A. It writes: "I think I saw them in the school courtyard in the
24 village of Ljubanci on the 10th of August, 2001."
25 Q. And is that your signature underneath that, Mr. Grozdanovski?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And then can you see under that is written: "Identification done
3 8 November 2004 in the presence, Kuehnel Thomas investigator OTP,
4 Grozdanovski Nikolce, suspect."
5 Do you see that?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. DOBBYN: Your Honours, at this time I seek to tender 65 ter
9 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P597, Your Honours.
11 MR. DOBBYN:
12 Q. And, Mr. Grozdanovski, do you remember giving your telephone
13 number to any of these policemen who were in the school courtyard?
14 A. No, I did not give my telephone to anyone.
15 Q. Did any of these policemen give you their telephone numbers?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Perhaps I will be a bit more specific here.
18 Isn't it true, Mr. Grozdanovski, that in fact you swapped
19 telephone numbers with Johan Tarculovski?
20 A. This is not correct.
21 Q. And isn't it true, Mr. Grozdanovski, that Johan Tarculovski
22 actually attended that meeting in the school building?
23 A. This is not true. When I was present in the building,
24 Johan Tarculovski or anyone else was not present at the meeting, except
25 persons from the army.
1 Q. I'll move on, Mr. Grozdanovski, now to the events of Saturday, the
2 11th of August.
3 And isn't it true that you spent that night, Saturday, the 11th of
4 August, at the children's rest house?
5 A. This is correct.
6 Q. Did you stay there the whole night?
7 A. Yes, the whole night.
8 Q. Now, Mario Jurisic's unit was also housed at the rest house,
9 wasn't it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And Mario Jurisic himself was there on the night of August the
12 11th, wasn't he?
13 A. Most probably.
14 Q. Mr. Grozdanovski, Mario Jurisic testified before this Tribunal.
15 And before I go on to the subject of his testimony, I'd like to ask you,
16 did you see any police staying over at the children's rest house on the
17 night of Saturday, the 11th of August?
18 A. I did not see any.
19 Q. Well, as I said, Mr. Jurisic testified before this Tribunal on the
20 5th of July, 2007, and for reference this is at transcript pages 3300 to
22 And, Mr. Grozdanovski, he said when he was asked whether anyone
23 besides his unit and yours had stayed in the rest house on that night that
24 there was group of around ten policemen they were wearing camouflage
25 uniforms with police emblems. They were also wearing bullet proof vests,
1 and they were armed with pistols and automatic rifles. He further said
2 they arrived in the evening in a police car and a truck, and that he had
3 been informed in advance that these police would be staying at the rest
4 house that night.
5 And furthermore, Mr. Grozdanovski, he identified Johan Tarculovski
6 as being one of those individuals who spent that night there.
7 And before I ask you to comment on that --
8 MR. DOBBYN: If we could please show exhibit P303 which is also in
9 tab 9 of the binders.
10 Q. And you saw this document yesterday, Mr. Grozdanovski. This is a
11 Official Note prepared by Captain Ljupco Kostadinov. And could I please
12 ask you to turn to page 2 in the top of the page.
13 And you will see that it states here that the persons that arrived
14 in the area of the 3rd Guardist Battalion referring to the policemen were
15 accommodated in the mountain lodge in the village Ljubanci, and some of
16 them, also in private houses, and they spent the night there. Do you see
17 that, Mr. Grozdanovski? This should be the very first paragraph on the
18 second page, Mr. Grozdanovski.
19 A. This is not what it says.
20 Q. Are you in tab 9 there, Mr. Grozdanovski.
21 A. Yes. The same page is on the screen.
22 Q. Well, I'll move on from there, Mr. Grozdanovski. Can I just ask
23 you, then, in light of the testimony of Mario Jurisic, does that refresh
24 your recollection as to whether any police officers stayed at the rest
25 house on the night of the 11th of August, 2001?
1 A. I can explain the system of activities in our battalion. Mario,
2 as the commander of the 1st Company, had the duty to lead or to be in
3 charge of the children's rest house. That means to accommodate soldiers,
4 to provide for the food, everything regarding the cooks, the eating was
5 under his charge. I had no obligations there. I had received premises to
6 accommodate my soldiers and no more than that. I had no activities
7 regarding procuring food or other equipment. This was all in the charge
8 of Mario. If soldiers or if others, police officers, as you say, came
9 then commander Mitre told Mario, gave him the duties, and he accommodated
10 them. I don't recall, I don't remember having seen police officer that
12 Q. So can I take it from what you said that police officers may well
13 have been there. You simply yourself did not see them?
14 A. Yes, this is correct.
15 Q. Now before the events in Ljuboten that weekend of the 10th to the
16 12th of August, had you ever met Johan Tarculovski yourself?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you know him at all?
19 A. No.
20 Q. But isn't that correct we have seen from the photo board you were
21 just shown that you have recognised him as a policeman who you saw in the
22 school yard in Ljubanci on the 10th of August?
23 A. You may seen on that photograph that although they told me to
24 circle one person, I circled two, because I wasn't sure. I first met and
25 recognised Johan Tarculovski from television. When I saw him on
1 television, I recognised him, and I recognised him on the photographs; but
2 I wasn't sure, and there is why I circled two.
3 Q. In the note you made on the photo board you didn't say there that
4 you weren't sure, did you?
5 A. Yes. If reads "I think it is the person so-and-so."
6 This is what is written on the photo board. Even then I wasn't
8 Q. Okay. Well, did you have a mobile phone at this time?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And do you recall what your telephone number was for that mobile
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And could you please tell us that telephone number?
14 A. Can this be done privately? I don't want to issue ...
15 MR. DOBBYN: Your Honours, may we go into private session?
16 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
17 [Private session]
11 Pages 10487-10492 redacted. Private session.
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
2 MR. DOBBYN:
3 Q. And, Mr. Grozdanovski, didn't you also testify that at the time
4 the shooting started -- at the time you got to the check-point at Smok,
5 you were just observing because there was no fire directed at your
6 positions at that point. Isn't that right?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. And at some later point fire was directed against your positions
9 and you then responded with mortar fire. And you did not see members of
10 the police forces down in the village until much later, sometime after
11 9.00 a.m.
12 Do you recall testifying to that effect?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you then testified that when you saw the police near one of
15 the targets you stopped firing in that direction and targeted another
17 Do you recall that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you also described watching the police advance through the
20 village behind a Hermelin until eventually you stopped firing when they
21 got to the area near the mosque. Is that also an accurate summary of your
23 A. Yes. More or less, we took the mosque as our spot. But it was
24 above the mosque on the road towards Rastak.
25 Q. Now, Mr. Grozdanovski, isn't it true that the version of events
1 that you described yesterday here in this Court is very different to the
2 version that you gave to the interviewers from the Office of the
3 Prosecutor during your suspect interviews?
4 A. I think I'm speaking about the events as they went on. Whether
5 there are some small difference about the time or not. Even then I said
6 that I cannot really define the time accurately. If you see the document,
7 you will see that is the only weak spot because I cannot guarantee about
8 the accurate time.
9 Q. Wouldn't you agree that when being interviewed by the Office of
10 the Prosecutor back in 2004 your recollection of events would have been
11 much fresher in your mind than it is today?
12 A. My recollections were the freshest on the 13th, when I made my
13 first statement.
14 Q. Well, first of all, I would like to ask you a few questions about
15 what you said about the time the action started, and the time that you saw
16 the police.
17 And I would ask to you turn to tab 2. This is 65 ter number
18 1228. And this is your first suspect interview from 30th of July, 2004.
19 And do you have the portion that has been translated into
20 Macedonian in front of you, Mr. Grozdanovski?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. DOBBYN: If we could go to page 24 of the Macedonian
23 translation and page 51 of the English version.
24 Q. And approximately halfway down the page, or perhaps it's a bit
25 further down from that. And you are were asked the question: "Okay so
1 just tell us please in your own words thoughts an overview what happened
2 on Sunday, 12th August, the time of the events, what can you remember.
3 You see your answer is: "I don't remember the precise time
4 whether it was 6.00 or 6.15. We heard shots and Major Despodov but don't
5 take my word for it, although I think it was Major Despodov orders us to
6 go to the positions, and I left to the positions at Smok with three to
7 four soldiers of mine, communication men and scouts, et cetera.
8 And then you continue on: "And until 8.00, I know that
9 approximately around 8.00 the police was firing there in the village,
10 against the villagers.
11 You were then asked to clarify.
12 MR. DOBBYN: And if we can go to the next page in English.
13 Q. You stated: "The Ljuboten villagers shot at the police, and the
14 police shot at them.
15 And you were asked: "Okay, did you monitor that.
16 You replied yes and then you said yes you can see everything
17 nicely. Until 8.00 we were not fired at, the army.
18 Did you follow that, Mr. Grozdanovski?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And would you agree that this is very different to what you said
21 here in the court yesterday?
22 A. When I was explaining the times, as I mentioned just earlier, and
23 then also when my hearing was finished, at the end, I made the comment
24 that I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the times. Just a while back, I
25 said that my best recollection of the 13th of August was when I wrote my
1 first statement. Here, one hour later, or sooner, I don't know why I said
2 this. This is what I recalled at the moment.
3 Q. Well, do you also recall saying yesterday that the police did not
4 enter the village until much later, that when you first got to the
5 observation point you didn't see any police there. There was just
6 shooting going on from the villagers.
7 Do you recall that?
8 A. I recall here I say and when I was saying this, I probably meant
9 that there were shooting at someone. That someone was probably the
10 police. Because there was a police check-point in Ljuboten where the
11 Macedonian houses were. If they were opening fire my presumption was that
12 they were firing at them.
13 Q. Well, Mr. Grozdanovski, from your statement, it doesn't appear to
14 be a presumption because you specifically state that the police that were
15 in the village, the police were firing there in the village, and you even
16 say: Yes, you can see everything nicely.
17 Do you recall that?
18 A. Yes. As I explained, there was a police check-point at the
19 beginning of the village of Ljuboten. And when we were looking at the
20 terrorists shooting at the check-point, and there was fire from the
21 check-point towards the terrorists. This is the fire I was thinking of.
22 The police could not have been seen because, at that time, in August, the
23 trees are in bloom and they cannot be seen until -- unless they're
24 standing out in the open. For the first time, I saw them when they came
25 to the carabine near the orthodox church, which I encircled yesterday,
1 because here it is an empty area, and it is possible to see.
2 Q. Well, would you simply agree that what you said in your suspect
3 statement is something different.
4 A. I explained this. I don't see how it's different. It was just
5 that I presumed that there were shooting at the police check-point. They
6 had to be shooting at someone. In that direction there was a police
7 check-point. After, it came that my presumption was true because we saw
8 the police officers and this is why when I was explaining I said that they
9 were shooting towards the police because later I found out that they were
10 shooting policemen and this is what I knew. What I was explaining
11 yesterday was a chronological line of events.
12 Q. Thank you. I will move on and now I'd like to ask you some
13 questions about the mortars, the mortar shells that you described
14 observing falling in an area close to the orthodox church.
15 And for reference, this is at page 10417 of the transcript from
17 MR. DOBBYN: And if we could please -- if we could bring up
18 Exhibit 2D87.
19 Q. Now, do you remember seeing this map yesterday, Mr. Grozdanovski?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And on it with the number 1, you marked the orthodox church,
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And a little way to the right, you marked an area where you said
25 shells fell that had been fired apparently by the NLA.
1 Do you recall that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Well, you didn't mention these mortar shells at all during your
4 suspect interviews, did you?
5 A. At that moment I wasn't asked about this.
6 Q. Well, Mr. Grozdanovski, you were being interviewed as a suspect.
7 Didn't you think that this information might have been to your benefit, if
8 you had told this to the interviewers?
9 A. One cannot remember all details at that moment. Later on, when I
10 thought about this, I recalled this as well.
11 MR. DOBBYN: Could we -- if we could be shown Exhibit 1D281.
12 Q. And it is on the screen in front of you, Mr. Grozdanovski, and
13 if-- sorry, that's fine there.
14 Now, you were shown this particular photograph, this panoramic
15 photograph of Ljuboten on two separate occasions, right, you were shown it
16 on the 30th of July and the 8th of November, 2004. Isn't that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you were given two chances, four months apart, to make any
19 relevant annotations that you thought about on this map. Isn't that
21 A. I told you, at that time I did not recall this.
22 Q. Okay.
23 MR. DOBBYN: I would ask that Exhibit 1D281.3 be shown now.
24 Q. Mr. Grozdanovski, this is another panoramic photo of Ljuboten.
25 It's a better view actually of the right side of the first panorama that
1 we just looked at. And if you look in the photo towards the centre do you
2 see the orthodox church?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you see the annotation you made C-1, three to four terrorists.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And in the house where the line goes to, you've written in white,
7 four to six. And that means that you fired four to six mortar shells in
8 that direction, doesn't it?
9 A. Yes. That is how I remembered at the time.
10 Q. As you've said, you haven't made any markings there showing where
11 these alleged shells from the NLA landed, have you?
12 A. The shells are not mine. I only mark the shells that were fired
13 from my mortars.
14 Q. You've said on at least a couple of occasions so far that your
15 best recollection of the events came on the 13th of August. So could I
16 ask you to turn to tab 14.
17 MR. DOBBYN: And this is Exhibit 1D25.
18 Q. And, Mr. Grozdanovski, do you recognise this as the report that
19 you wrote, about the events in Ljuboten on the 12th of August?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And anywhere in this report does it make any mention of the NLA
22 shells landing in that area to the right of the area of the orthodox
24 A. I explained yesterday that Major Despodov wanted us to explain
25 which were the targets that we fired at on the 12th, and in my statement I
1 just paid attention to those moments.
2 Q. So your answer would be, no, there's no mention of these shells
3 from the NLA in this report?
4 A. They're not mentioned because, at the time, they were not firing
5 at our positions.
6 Q. Okay. I'll move on. If you could now turn to tab 40.
7 MR. DOBBYN: And this is Exhibit 1D12.
8 And, Your Honours, there is a page missing from the court binder.
9 It's the last page of the Macedonian translation, and we do have
10 additional hard copies here, if we could distribute those at the moment,
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 MR. DOBBYN:
14 Q. Mr. Grozdanovski, you will see that this is an investigator's note
15 of an interview with Henry Bolton, who is an OSCE monitor. If you turn to
16 page 2, and you'll see the second from bottom paragraph, there's a
17 paragraph starting: "On Sunday, 12/8/02.
18 Do you see that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And this reads: "On Sunday 12/08/02, HB was together with VC
21 shared accommodation. About 0800 and 0805 hours he heard a loud
22 detonation and saw a large plume of smoke rising from a location that
23 appeared to be near the orthodox church in the village of Ljuboten. Both
24 he and VC believed that this detonation was the result of a heavy mortar
25 probably of 120-millimetre calibre. About five minutes later, two more
1 similar loud denotations were heard and plumes of smoke were visible. HB
2 was of the opinion that these were also caused by heavy mortar fire,
3 120-millimetre. I fell about 150 to 200 metres away from the first point
4 of impact. The direction was in the direction of the orthodox church but
5 closer to it. Soon after, uncertain of the type lapse the Macedonian army
6 post located above the village of Ljuboten fired at Salvo of mortar fire
7 directed at the upper part of Ljuboten village, 80-millimetre medium
8 mortars. HB estimated that the number of rounds that fell on that part of
9 the village to have been in the region of 50 to 60."
10 Did you follow that, Mr. Grozdanovski?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, if you go to the last page under the heading: Opinion of HB.
13 That states:
14 "HB stated that he was aware that there was a police post near the
15 church which was permanently manned by about ten reservist Macedonian
16 police. He believed there was a possibility that the police post was the
17 target. He argued that he believed from his own military experience that
18 the first detonation was to establish range and direction whilst the
19 second and third was send as corrected fire. There were no Albanians in
20 the direction that the rounds fell. The only logical target could have
21 been the Macedonian police post. HB did not believe that the Macedonian
22 forces, in and around the area, had 120-millimetre mortars at their
23 disposal. He felt that the NLA were attacking the police post. He had
24 nothing to support this belief. He was basing his opinion on his military
25 and local experience."
1 Did you follow that, Mr. Grozdanovski?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So can you see that his belief was that the first explosions were
4 120-millimetre mortars, and he believe they were fired by the NLA. Did
5 you see that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And then he apparently also believed that the army of Macedonia
8 responded with 80-millimetre mortars, did you see that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. But in fact the army did have 120-millimetre mortars in the area,
11 didn't it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And also there were ethnic Albanians in the area around the
14 orthodox church, weren't there?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So the facts that he relied upon to make this particular
17 conclusion that the NLA fired the first mortar rounds into the village are
18 flawed, aren't they?
19 A. Now when I look at this, I can give my opinion.
20 Obviously HB, when he was saying this, he mixed up the facts,
21 because first he says 120-millimetres and then he says 80. Probably it
22 was the other way around. Probably he saw the 80 millimetres first and
23 then 120-millimetre. Because the shells that he is talking about later
24 are 120-millimetres, while in this document he says they were 80
25 millimetres. So obviously he mixed it up, because we fire 82-millimetre
1 shell first and then fired 120-millimetres shells because that what is we
2 were saying all the time that we were firing at the terrorists with
3 120-millimetre shells because here in this document he mixes the two of
4 them. Obviously he mixed up the calibre.
5 Q. So I take it that with that you agree with me that there appears
6 to be a flaw in his reasoning on this particular point.
7 A. From what I read just now, that is my conclusion. He made a
8 mistake in the calibre of the mines.
9 MR. DOBBYN: Can we please now look at tab 41. This is Exhibit
11 Q. And you'll see, Mr. Grozdanovski, that this is a special report by
12 the OSCE on the Ljuboten incident and it is dated August 16th, 2001.
13 Now, I would ask to you turn to page 3 of that document. And it's
14 the second paragraph on that page in Macedonian, and in English it's the
15 fourth paragraph and it reads:
16 "On 12 August at 0805 hours the first mortar round fell on the
17 village. It landed in the vicinity of the orthodox church in the
18 Macedonian section of the village. Two more rounds followed, each closer
19 to the church. All three are believed to have been 120-millimetre
20 mortars. These are more likely to have been EAAG rounds than government
21 and were the first shots fired in the village. Thereafter, the army fired
22 on the Albanian side of the village with its smaller calibre mortars."
23 Did you follow that, Mr. Grozdanovski? Did you see that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And so it appears here that the same reasoning that Henry Bolton
1 applied earlier has made it into this report, correct?
2 A. I don't know how to explain this. If we follow this report, it
3 turns out that the army didn't use 120-millimetres. It doesn't make any
4 logic even to the hearing in Skopje, and yesterday I said that we were
5 firing 120-millimetre shells. But if we only rely on this document it
6 turns out that we only shelled 82-millimetre shells and we fired the first
7 shells in Macedonian houses. It really doesn't make any logic, and I
8 don't know how to explain this. Obviously he mixed up the calibre,
9 because later we used 120-millimetre shells.
10 Q. So perhaps if we can simplify this. Can I simply ask you, it is
11 the case, isn't it, that you had 120-millimetre mortars?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you fired 120-millimetre mortar shells into an area close to
14 the orthodox church.
15 A. Yes. To the left side of the orthodox church, towards the
16 Albanian houses.
17 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to move on to another topic.
18 MR. DOBBYN: If we could please look at Exhibit 2D91.
19 Q. Do you recall being shown this photograph yesterday,
20 Mr. Grozdanovski, and making the markings on it that we can see in front
21 of us now?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And do you see the circle around the house with the number 2. You
24 marked that as the location of the house you said machine-gun fire was
25 coming from. Correct?
1 A. Yes. In the morning of the 12th.
2 Q. And you circled the house, labelled it with the number 3, and you
3 said this marked a house where individuals were shooting from a balcony
4 before running across to the house marked with number 2. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And the house marked with the number 4 was a house that you had
7 identified during your suspect interview and you say mistakenly identified
8 as being the house where the machine-gun was located. Do you recall that?
9 A. Yes. When I encircled this house in Skopje, I circled it as
10 target 3 that we targeted with the mortar shell. That was the house where
11 the machine-gun was. Yesterday I apologise profoundly for making that
12 mistake and for circling that house while I was having in mind house
13 number 2, and this house was targeted with a 120-millimetre mortar shell
14 because the machine-gun, that morning was in the house marked with number
15 3 and then it moved to the house marked with number 2. So when we were
16 targeting house number 3, we were actually targeting house number 2, and I
17 was sorry for making that mistake, because from the angle I mistook the
18 house for the house number 4. I was really confused with this nylon on
19 the field which was behind the house.
20 Q. Well, if we could look at Exhibit 1D281. And this is also in tab
21 16 of your binder.
22 And, Mr. Grozdanovski, you agree that you were shown this
23 photograph on the 30th of July, 2004?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you circled a house and there's an arrow leading to it and
1 underneath you've written the Macedonian word for "machine-gun," right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And this is the house that you now say you were mistaken about.
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. Okay?
7 MR. DOBBYN: Could we now please go to tab 22, and if we could
8 show 65 ter number 1235.
9 Q. And you'll see that this is the same photograph and that you were
10 shown this photograph again four months later on the 8th of November,
11 2004. And, again, you marked that same house. Here you marked it with
12 the number 3.
13 Do you see that, Mr. Grozdanovski?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So four months later, when seeing this photo again, you still
16 thought that this was the correct house, didn't you?
17 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I would kindly ask you to show me a photo that
18 does not have circles, and if you show me that house you will see there's
19 a nylon behind it and that nylon was so misleading for me, because I
20 really don't know how to explain this to you. On the 12th, the house that
21 we were targeting, there was a nylon behind it, just like there a nylon
22 behind this house. And from this angle, this house looked like the one
23 that we targeted. But then, when I looked the photo from the Smok
24 position, then I saw the right house.
25 If you have an empty or unmarked photo, you will see a nylon
1 behind that house that was so misleading to me.
2 MR. DOBBYN: Your Honour, I see the time. Have I about five
3 minutes left on this point. I wonder if I should carry on now or should
4 we break now, and I can continue after the break.
5 JUDGE PARKER: We would be happy to sit the five minutes if that's
7 We'll be guided by you Mr. Dobbyn.
8 MR. DOBBYN: Thank you, Your Honours. I will have this point
9 finished in that time.
10 As you've just said, Mr. Grozdanovski, the error came about
11 because this picture was not taken from Smok.
12 Well, I wonder if perhaps if you hold the hard copy in front of
13 you --
14 MR. DOBBYN: And on the screen could we go back to 2D91, please.
15 Q. So, Mr. Grozdanovski, you now have the two photographs in front of
16 you. Wouldn't you agree that the panoramic photograph actually gives a
17 much better perspective of the village of Ljuboten? Wouldn't it make it
18 easier to locate the right house?
19 A. The panoramic photo makes the house circled with number 2 far --
20 too far away from the position of Smok. And at the moment, it looked to
21 me that that house was too remote and that we didn't target it with mortar
22 shell. The panoramic photo shows that this house is at least one
23 kilometre further away, but on this picture we can see how close these
24 houses are.
25 Q. Okay. Well, if we look at the photograph taken from Smok,
1 wouldn't you agree that the house that you mistakenly identified in 2004
2 is on a rise?
3 A. It is not really a rise. I don't know how you see it.
4 Q. Well, would you agree that the house you've marked with a number 2
5 is in something of a hollow or a dip in the field?
6 A. Yes. Yes, I agree with that.
7 Q. And yesterday you described seeing shooter firing from a balcony
8 from one of a row of four houses and then running across to the other
9 house where they fired from a hole in the roof. Now, did you make any
10 mention of this particular fact in your suspect interviews with the Office
11 of the Prosecution?
12 A. I was only asked then what were the targets that I fired at, and I
13 said that we were firing at this house only, because there was a
14 machine-gun there. So when I fired our mortars, we were targeting only
15 the target 2. So the interview was -- which was the house that we
16 targeted, and yesterday I gave a broader picture of the events on the
18 Q. Okay. Well, if we take that broader picture you provided
19 yesterday, the house that you marked back in 2004, the house number 4
20 there, do you see anywhere by that a row of four houses with balconies?
21 A. The house marked with number 4, I didn't say there were balcony
22 there. I was talking about the house marked with number 3. The
23 machine-gun was first in that house, and then it moved in the house now
24 marked with number 2.
25 For the house marked number 4, I don't think there were terrorists
1 at that time there.
2 Q. I understand that. What I'm asking you, Mr. Grozdanovski, is if
3 you mistakenly identified house number 4 when you were intended to
4 identify house number 2, how could you have made that mistake when there
5 aren't four houses by that with balconies where these shooters would have
6 run from?
7 A. They were running away from the house marked with 2, and that
8 happened in the end of the combat activities. In the end, when the police
9 arrived to the house marked with number 3, the terrorists started to flee,
10 and I targeted my target 3 sometime around 10.00, or I don't know what
11 time exactly it was. I think it was around 10.00. Because after 10.30 we
12 were not firing anymore.
13 Q. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Grozdanovski?
14 MR. DOBBYN: At this point, Your Honour, I would seek to tender 65
15 ter 1235.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Which tab is that?
17 MR. DOBBYN: That's tab 22. It's the photograph that was marked--
18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
19 MR. DOBBYN: Thank you. And, Your Honours, this would be a good
20 time to break.
21 THE REGISTRAR: The photograph will become Exhibit P598, Your
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
24 We resume now at 20 minutes past.
25 --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 4.21 p.m.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Dobbyn.
3 MR. DOBBYN: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Grozdanovski, at various times during your testimony yesterday
5 you described the unit who went through the village of Ljuboten as either
6 police, or as the security forces, or as soldiers. And I'd like to be
7 clear about this now. Isn't it the case that the unit that you saw moving
8 through Ljuboten was a police unit?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And yesterday you also testified quite extensively and in some
11 detail about the movements of a Hermelin vehicle through the village. I'd
12 just like to ask you why did you not mention this, why did you not
13 describe this during your two suspect interviews?
14 A. I wasn't asked about this.
15 Q. Well, again, Mr. Grozdanovski, you were being interviewed as a
16 suspect. Didn't it occur to you that it would be in your interest to
17 provide as full a picture as possible?
18 A. These are all events that were not related to my unit. I
19 described in more detail our activities as the army, as my unit. These
20 were activities of the police, and this is why I did not elaborate on it.
21 Q. Now, you were also shown a report yesterday that was prepared by
22 Captain Ljupco Kostadinov, and you took issue with some aspects of this
23 report. And so I would if we could perhaps pull up Exhibit P303, and this
24 is also in tab 9.
25 Do you have that report in front of you, Mr. Grozdanovski?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you can see that this is the report you were shown yesterday
3 prepared by Captain Kostadinov. Now I'd like to ask you did you
4 personally speak to Mr. Kostadinov on the 12th or the days thereafter?
5 A. No.
6 Q. If could you turn to page 2, please. About halfway down the page.
7 Do you see a paragraph starting "On Sunday, 12/08/2001 at 0430 hours."
8 Do you see that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And this states: "On Sunday, 12/08/2001 at 0430 hours the person
11 Johan Tarculovski with the other persons MVR reservists started the
12 action. Immediately after the start of the action
13 Captain Nikolce Grozdanovski called up Major Despodov and informed him
14 about the start of the action, which had been organised by MVR.
15 "The reservists wearing MVR uniforms advanced in the village up
16 arriving at the bridge where they there was a check-point and the house of
17 a person Kenan. When they saw that they could not advance anymore, they
18 called Major Despodov and they requested support for shooting at the
19 mentioned buildings. Because the buildings were defended by
21 And now can you please turn to page -- it's actually at the bottom
22 of your page, Mr. Grozdanovski, and it is on page 3 in the English. And
23 it is the last line in the Macedonian version. And it is approximately
24 the third to last line in the English paragraph and it states: "During
25 the support that was conducted by the 3rd Guardist Battalion to the MVR
1 units by mortars 16 grenades of 120-millimetres were fired at which 13 in
2 the village and three outside."
3 Do you see that, Mr. Grozdanovski?
4 A. [No interpretation]
5 Q. This information at least is correct, isn't it? You stated in
6 your own report that you fired 16, 120-millimetre mortar shell, right?
7 A. Here this, what you read, the only thing true is that we fired 16
8 mortar shells. None of the other things are true.
9 Q. Well, at least in respect to this fact the source was reliable and
10 accurate, the source of the information. Wouldn't you agree with that?
11 A. Yes. In my statement also I said that we had fired 16 such
13 Q. Now, Mr. Grozdanovski, at this point I'm just going to put some
14 propositions to you. I'm not seeking a lengthy explanation on each
15 point. I would simply like you to indicate whether or not you agree with
16 the proposition that I'm putting to you.
17 First of all wasn't it the case, Mr. Grozdanovski, that you were
18 able to observe activities in and around the village of Ljuboten in the
19 two months leading up to the events of the 10th to the 12th of August,
20 2001. Do you agree with that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you also agree that in that time had you no problems with the
23 local population, and you personally saw nothing at that time to indicate
24 a NLA presence in the village?
25 A. Not fully.
1 Q. Well, do you agree that the testimony that you provided in court
2 about these apparent indications of NLA presence are different to the
3 information you provided during your suspect interviews?
4 A. As you read yesterday to me about my statement, I also was saying
5 that I was noticing some curious things going on in the village. The
6 overall situation was good because there were no combat activities going
8 Q. Do you agree, Mr. Grozdanovski, that you attended a meeting at the
9 battalion headquarters in the school in Ljubanci on the 10th of August,
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And isn't it true that Johan Tarculovski and other members of the
13 Ministry of Interior were also present at that meeting?
14 A. When Commander Despodov Mitre was holding the meeting with us,
15 only people from the army were present. All company commanders of the 3rd
16 Guardist Battalion. There were no members of the MOI.
17 Q. Isn't it true, Mr. Grozdanovski, that around this time, you and
18 Johan Tarculovski exchanged telephone numbers and you later had
19 conversations regarding artillery support for the MOI operation in the
21 A. This is absolutely not true.
22 Q. Is it true that on the night of the 11th of August you were aware
23 that Johan Tarculovski and other members of his MOI unit stayed overnight
24 at the children's rest house?
25 A. I spent the night at the children's rest house. As for where
1 Johan Tarculovski spent the night, I really do not know.
2 Q. Is it true, Mr. Grozdanovski, that on the morning of Sunday, the
3 12th of August, a police unit headed by Johan Tarculovski advanced into
4 the village of Ljuboten and your mortar battery provided supportive fire
5 for that police unit?
6 A. Members of the police unit that were in the village are unknown to
7 me. That we did fire over some matters that were shooting towards us, the
8 army, this is correct, yes.
9 Q. And I'm putting it to you, Mr. Grozdanovski, that the testimony
10 that you've given to this Tribunal is very different to the information
11 that you provided to the investigators from the Office of the Prosecutor
12 during your suspect interviews. Do you agree with that?
13 A. I do not agree. Have you to point out to me which points I don't
14 agree. Generally speaking like this, I believe it is not true.
15 Q. Finally, Mr. Grozdanovski, I put it to you that, here, testifying
16 in front of the Tribunal, you have not been forthright and honest, and you
17 have omitted certain details harmful to the accused and you have
18 fabricated other details that help the accused.
19 Do you agree with that?
20 A. I don't know which testimonies are beneficial and which are not.
21 I answered to the question, and I spoke of the situation regarding the
22 events of that period in the village of Ljuboten.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. DOBBYN: I have no further questions, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
1 Mr. Apostolski.
2 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
3 Re-examination by Mr. Apostolski:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness Nikolce Grozdanovski. I
5 will have several additional questions for you.
6 Do you recall yesterday when you were asked by the Prosecutor on
7 page 10472 why you didn't say during the first interview anything about
8 the bullets found along the road in the surrounds of Ljuboten in 2001.
9 Do you recall this?
10 A. Yes, I do recall.
11 Q. Do you recall the Prosecutor reading parts of your interview to
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we please look at 65 ter
15 1228, which is at tab 2 of the Prosecution binder.
16 Q. You can also look at this document on the screen. This is page 18
17 of both the Macedonian and English versions.
18 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we please scroll down a
19 little bit in the Macedonian version.
20 Q. We have here TK asking you: "Did you see from your observation
21 post any kind of activities that would indicate that there would be
22 problems coming ahead like the results events of Ljuboten?"
23 Do you see that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you see any kind of preparations for fighting, did you any
1 preparations of fortifications, trench, bunkers, military positions,
2 anything -- anything of this kind, and your answer is no?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. Is this identical to your testimony before this Court, in the
5 course of yesterday?
6 A. I think so. I emphasised that fortifications and combat
7 activities were not seen.
8 Q. Later you were asked any sort of typical preparations for fighting
9 and your answer to that is no. And then TK asking you whether you saw any
10 other signs of the presence of the NLA or its supporters, any sorts of
11 flag or graffiti or other markings. And your answer to that was: "There
12 were flags on the mosque but no other things."
13 Do you see this?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. When you answered before this Court about the presence of the NLA
16 in the village of Ljuboten or around Ljuboten, you did not mention this.
17 Is this correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Can you explain to us why you did not mention this detail?
20 A. Just as I said, the situation these days and this whole event
21 might have had so many important details, but they're so numerous that I
22 unintendedly omitted them. Yesterday I didn't mention the flag, but, yes,
23 there was a flag on the mosque.
24 Q. Therefore, there was a NLA flag but you did not mention this, and
25 this is not on purpose?
1 A. No, this was not on purpose.
2 Q. Thank you. When you were given the question to -- when you were
3 answering the questions of the Prosecutor today about the time necessary
4 for you to go from the rest house to Ljubotenski Bacila, you answered that
5 you arrived there in about one hour's time, half an hour by car and
6 half-hour by foot.
7 Do you recall that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Could you tell us at what speed the vehicle was moving?
10 A. The car couldn't move faster than 20 to 30 kilometres per hour.
11 Q. And when you left the vehicle, when you continued on foot, were
12 you going at a quick pace? Were you moving slowly?
13 A. We tried to go faster, but we had bullet-proofs, ammunition, guns;
14 and it was really hard to move on foot although we really wanted to get
15 there as quickly as possible.
16 Q. Very well. According to you, what is the normal time necessary to
17 arrive from the children's rest house to Ljubotenski Bacila moving on
19 A. I didn't understand it.
20 Q. From the children's rest house to Ljubotenski Bacila.
21 A. If you go on foot, at least an hour and a half.
22 Q. And by car, how long would it be necessary to get there?
23 A. 30 to 40 minutes.
24 Q. And from Ljubotenski Bacila to Ljuboten, what is the time needed
25 to get there on foot?
1 A. Go downhill, maybe even faster, for about an hour.
2 Q. Very well. You answered to the question of my learned colleague
3 from the Prosecution that you saw terrorists only at Ardievi Bacila on the
4 10th of August, 2001, and you arrived at that site an hour later. Is this
6 A. Yes.
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly request the witness to
8 wait for the translation before he answers the question of the Defence
9 attorney. Thank you.
10 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] We will attempt to avoid overlap.
11 Q. Was it possible for terrorists to have been present in other areas
12 hidden in the forest near Ljubotenski Bacila without you seeing them?
13 A. That is the most probable situation, because the terrorists, when
14 they activated the mine, they were probably [as interpreted] the same
15 terrorists that were in Ardievi Bacila. Those that were in Ardievi Bacila
16 were probably terrorists that had been there to give them assistance. And
17 later on, when there was a helicopter flying, they opened fire from
18 several spots from the Ardievi Bacila towards Matejce. Obviously there
19 were more terrorists around the forest.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, on in line 11, they
21 were probably not the same terrorists.
22 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Do you recall yesterday's transcript page 1042 that you are shown
24 a map and it was put to you that the Smok position is two kilometres away
25 from the northern -- northeastern part of Ljuboten. Do you recall this?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
3 the map, P595.
4 Q. Is this the map?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You also said that to the Prosecutor that when you were asked by
7 the Prosecution, examined by the Prosecution, you confirmed this map. You
8 verified this map as correct. In what sense did you verify this map?
9 A. In the sense of the points that mark the locations, and they may
10 be correct, but not completely correct.
11 Q. Are they absolutely correct, the points?
12 A. No, they are not absolutely correct. The point marking the Smok
13 position is probably five millimetres further than marked on this map.
14 Q. And five millimetres on this map are quite significant.
15 A. Yes if the proportion is correct, yes, five millimetres is
16 probably a lot. I guess the proportion here is 1: 10.000, so one
17 millimetre means a lot.
18 Q. Therefore, when you said that this map was accurate, this was
19 accuracy in terms where the positions were located.
20 A. But whether the point is in the correct spot, I don't know.
21 Q. For example, you did not know, surely, about the positions of the
22 NLA. I see here: NLA positions.
23 That's generally speaking they were there but not precisely.
24 A. Yes. Generally they are okay, but whether they are accurate to
25 the millimetre, I don't know. When I saw this map for the first time in
1 Skopje I didn't really pay attention to each millimetre. But as
2 locations, they are correct.
3 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
4 the photograph.
5 Q. Could we try to maintain the pause between the questions and the
6 answers, Witness. That way we can facilitate better interpretation.
7 MR. APOSTOLSKI [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
8 photograph N003-7603.
9 I might have gotten the number wrong. It's N005-7603.
10 Q. Do you see the photograph in front of you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you know where this photograph was taken from?
13 A. This is from the Ljubotenski Pat, towards Skopje.
14 Q. Yes, from the direction of Skopje?
15 A. Towards the mountain.
16 Q. Yes. Can you see the Smok position on this photograph?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you see on this photograph the house in the northeastern part
19 on the road towards Rastak, which you marked yesterday as houses from
20 where shooting came from on the morning of the 12th of August.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you please mark with a number 1 the position Smok and then
23 mark the houses.
24 A. Position Smok is this one.
25 Target 3 ...
1 Q. You don't have to mark them all. You don't have to mark all
3 Can you erase the last thing you marked.
4 Could you please mark the Smok position with the number 1?
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. And the houses which you encircled with the number 2.
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. Yesterday the Prosecution put it to you that this was a distance
9 of two kilometres. Do you agree with this?
10 A. No. I think there's not more than 500 metres.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I seek to tender
13 this photograph into evidence.
14 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 2D92, Your Honours.
16 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Today when my learned colleague from the Prosecution was
18 questioning you, you said that on the 10th of August, when you were at the
19 meeting at the headquarters in the school, you saw police vehicles in the
21 Do you recall this?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Could you tell us what type of vehicles these were. Do you recall
25 A. I think one of them was Lada jeep, and the other one was a
1 passenger police vehicle.
2 Q. When you say "Lada," can you tell us more specifically, Lada jeep,
3 what kind of jeep?
4 A. We called them Lada Niva, and we used them as terrain vehicles.
5 That's why we call them Lada jeep. Otherwise they're known as Lada Niva.
6 Q. After that you said you saw some boxes in the courtyard and that
7 did you not know what was in those boxes. Did you know to whom those
8 boxes belonged?
9 A. I didn't know whose they were. They were just in the yard. I
10 didn't know who they belonged to.
11 Q. Thank you. On several occasions testifying before this Court, you
12 said that the most accurate picture about the events in Ljuboten was your
13 report prepared on the 13th of August, 2001.
14 A. Correct.
15 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
16 1D24 -- my apologies, 2D31.
17 Q. Do you see this report in front of you?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is it correct when I say that in this report you mentioned as a
20 third target the new four houses, two in a row, there were machine-guns
21 that were firing towards you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Is this in accordance with your testimony before this court.
24 A. Yes, I explained that in the beginning you will see the -- it says
25 when I called the major, I explained the targets to him and the
1 machine-gun was in that house; but later when we started fire the
2 machine-gun was transported to another house.
3 Q. Thank you. And about this report the Prosecutor asked why you did
4 not make mention of the three shells which you heard in the mornings. Do
5 you recall this?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. However, you also mentioned that at your positions around 11.00
8 other shells also fell, fired by the NLA from Meckan Kamen?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Is it correct that this report also does not contain the mention
11 of these shells?
12 A. Yes, it is correct.
13 Q. Why didn't you mention these shells which fell from Bel Kamen?
14 A. I said on several occasions that the report was written just to
15 describe the targets and the events in Ljuboten, not for the other
16 happenings that day. So, in this report, I was supposed to write just
17 about the targets that I identified and what my reaction was.
18 Q. Also, the Prosecutor put it to you that you did not mention the
19 right time during the hearing of the investigator during your interviews
20 in Skopje.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. That Prosecutor suggested that this was in fact 6.00 and that this
23 was a great omission on your part. Do you recall this?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In the report which you gave immediately after the events, does it
1 say that on the 12th of August, 2001, in the morning, I was in the rest
2 house carrying out my regular duties and around 8.00 we heard several long
3 bursts of fire which kept repeating?
4 A. Correct, yes.
5 Q. Therefore, your testimony is correct, that this was at 8.00, not
6 as the Prosecution suggested to you, 6.00.
7 A. It is correct when I said that my statement given on the 13th is
8 the most accurate one, and after my testimony I said that the time is not
9 easy to remember, because the time span was really short and I couldn't
10 remember it was 7.00 or 8.00. And my statement given on the 13th is
11 probably the most accurate one because my memory was the freshest at the
13 Q. It was said that you had two interviews to -- with the
14 investigators. Do you recall this?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Could you tell us how the second interview ended?
17 A. When we finished the second interview, I was told that I might be
18 called once again to repeat certain events from that period and I should
19 try and refresh my memory. That is what I was told. I was expecting to
20 be -- expecting to be called, but I wasn't.
21 Q. After the second interview, is this the next testimony which
22 you're giving?
23 A. If we exclude the meeting with you in the month of July, this is
24 the last one.
25 Q. Yes. Very well. Thank you.
1 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Now could the witness be shown
2 1D24, page 3 in both the Macedonian and English versions.
3 Q. Do you recall that the Prosecution showed you this document?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you were read the paragraph 2 in the Macedonian version and
6 paragraph number 4 in the English version, which reads:
7 "On 12th August at 0805 hours, the first mortar round fell in the
8 village. It landed in the vicinity of the orthodox church in the
9 Macedonian section of the village. Two more rounds followed, each closer
10 to the church. All three are believed to have been 120-millimetre
11 mortars. These are more likely to have been EAAG rounds rather than
12 government and were the first fired into the village. Thereafter, the
13 army fired on the Albanian side of the village with its own smaller
14 calibre mortars."
15 Could you tell us from what I have just read to you what is
16 correct and what is not correct?
17 A. The calibre I think wasn't 120-millimetre. The calibre of the
18 shells that were fired at us. The calibre was 82 millimetres. Later on
19 we responded with 120 millimetres.
20 Q. Everything else in this paragraph is then correct?
21 A. Yes, it is correct.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, is then correct.
23 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Perhaps interpretation is not correct. Does that mean everything
25 else then in this paragraph is correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You also said that you had as a benchmark the church. This is one
3 of the benchmarks had you in the village?
4 A. Yes. It was like a benchmark but not to fire at them.
5 Q. This serves to orient you. Is this correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You surely would not have made such great a mistake to aim at the
8 Macedonian section of the village.
9 A. Of course.
10 Q. Fine. Your answer is fine.
11 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
12 questions for this witness.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE PARKER: That concludes the questions that will be asked of
16 you. We thank you for your attendance here and the assistance you have
17 been able to give.
18 The court officer will show you from the court and you may, of
19 course, return to your normal activities. Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I hope
21 that my testimony will help you in resolving this case. Thank you.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE PARKER: I see three faces looking at me. I'm not sure to
24 which to turn.
25 Ms. Issa, is it?
1 MS. ISSA: Yes, good afternoon, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: The -- you're ready with the next witness, is that
4 MS. ISSA: It is actually Mr. Apostolski's witness but I will be
6 JUDGE PARKER: It is, but you're ready with your
8 MS. ISSA: Yes, I am.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Good. Getting too many Prosecutors.
10 We will have the next witness at a convenient time.
11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please read aloud the affirmation.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The witness does not have the microphone on.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please read that out aloud, please.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters can not --
19 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps it would be easier if I put the affirmation
20 to you, sir.
21 Do you affirm that the evidence you will give will be the truth,
22 the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Please sit down.
25 I would mention the witness is giving evidence with certain
1 protective measures.
2 WITNESS: WITNESS M2D-008
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.
5 Now, Mr. Apostolski has some questions for you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Okay.
7 Examination by Mr. Apostolski:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness M2D-008.
9 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Can the witness, Your Honours, be
10 given with the help of the court's usher certain lists which he has to
11 look at and verify about his identity.
12 Witness, could you please read the information which is on the
14 A. Yes. They are correct.
15 Q. Witness --
16 JUDGE PARKER: In due course, this information will be given an
17 exhibit number under seal, Mr. Apostolski.
18 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
19 THE REGISTRAR: The pseudonym sheet will become Exhibit 2D93,
20 under seal, Your Honours.
21 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Witness M2D-008, my name is Antonio Apostolski, and together with
23 my colleague Jasmina Zivkovic are the Defence counsel for
24 Mr. Johan Tarculovski.
25 Just for your information, the Trial Chamber has approved
1 protective measures for your testimony. Therefore, no one outside --
2 outside this courtroom will know your identity.
3 Do you understand this?
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could we ask the witness to speak closer to the
6 microphone, please. Thank you.
7 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Witness, could you please come a little bit more forward towards
9 the microphone.
10 Also, I would like to point out the following to you: You and I
11 speak the same language, the Macedonian language.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. We can understand each other well, and we can go at a faster pace.
14 But please have in mind that you have to listen to my questions carefully
15 first, then to wait for my questions to be interpreted so that everyone in
16 the courtroom will be able to understand what we we're talking about.
17 Do you understand this?
18 A. Yes, I understood this.
19 Q. Have you ever testified before a court of law before?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Could you tell us whether you have served the army?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Could you tell us when and where?
24 A. In 1985 I served army in Pancevo, company for technical
25 maintenance. I had infantry training of six months, and after six months,
1 I enrolled the company for technical maintenance.
2 Q. Did you have training for infantry weapons during your military
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you get any rank in the army?
6 A. Yes. I was lance corporal.
7 Q. When you returned from the army, you became an army reservist. Is
8 this correct?
9 A. Yes, it is correct.
10 Q. In which records of army reservists were you led?
11 A. In the municipality of Cair, as a military reservist.
12 Q. In 2001, could you tell us what you did, what you worked?
13 A. Yes, I can tell you that. I worked in a private company as a
15 Q. Until when did you work in that private company?
16 A. Until the middle of June.
17 Q. And what happened at the middle of June?
18 A. I received an invitation from the municipality of Cair. It was
19 given to me by a courier, and I was told to go in the military barracks of
21 Q. And what did you do?
22 A. I responded to this summons and I went to the military barracks of
23 Ilinden where I was given a uniform and personal weapons.
24 Q. What kind of personal weapon?
25 A. I received personal weapons, an automatic rifle.
1 Q. And when you were given all this, what happened then?
2 A. One day we were introduced to the weapons that we were given and
3 then we were sent out to the firing range where we were received training
4 in firing.
5 Q. And then, from the military barracks in Ilinden, where did you go?
6 A. We were sent to the rest house Strahil Andasarov in the village of
8 Q. How did you go from the military barracks to Ljubanci?
9 A. From the military barracks, we received transportation with
11 Q. You said you were taken to the children's rest home. Where were
12 you deployed when you got there?
13 A. I was deployed in the 1st Company, and then I was sent to the
14 point Mecka.
15 Q. Who was your superior?
16 A. I remember my superior was Jurio Marisic.
17 Q. Who was in charge of all of the soldiers in the village?
18 A. Mitre Despodov.
19 Q. How long were you at the Mecka position?
20 A. Well, on the position of Mecka, I was deployed until the beginning
21 of August.
22 Q. And where were you deployed from this position?
23 A. From the position of Mecka, I was deployed to the position of
25 Q. Can you describe for us the Smok position?
1 A. Yes, I can describe it.
2 Q. Where is it?
3 A. The position Smok is located above the village of Ljuboten.
4 Q. What was the position like?
5 A. We had one fortified bunker on the position of Smok and an
6 observation post.
7 Q. Where did you sleep in the evening?
8 A. In the evening, we slept in the children's rest house.
9 Q. Did you -- was the position Smok linked with some kind of
10 telecommunication units with the children's rest house?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. How was it connected?
13 A. It was connected with wire telephone, and we used telephones in
14 cases when our parents or somebody from the family had an emergency could
15 reach us on that phone as well.
16 Q. At that time did you use any mobile phones?
17 A. No. They were very expensive and the phones were still in some
18 initial stage, and they were really expensive. They were about a thousand
19 Deutschemarks and not everybody could afford them.
20 Q. Did you have any observation devices on the Smok position?
21 A. Yes, we did.
22 Q. What kind?
23 A. I had binoculars that I used, and I also used the sniper sight,
24 the sniper binoculars.
25 Q. How many persons were on a shift at the Smok position?
1 A. On the position of Smok, there were five of us.
2 Q. What kind of weapons did you have when you were at the Smok
4 A. We had weapons, one sniper, four automatic rifles, and one
5 machine-gun, which was always sitting on that position.
6 Q. How did the shifts go on the Smok position?
7 A. I will tell you.
8 The shifts were 24-hour shifts, so if today a person was working
9 from 8.00 a.m. until 8.00 a.m. the next morning, when another shift was
11 Q. Do you recall, in August 2001, whether members of your company
13 A. Yes. They were killed on the 10th of August near Ljubotenski
15 Q. And where were you at that time?
16 A. I was on the position Smok at the time.
17 Q. Did you hear or see anything at that time?
18 A. Yes. At 6.00 a.m., I was working on my duty where from Ljuboten
19 towards the church --
20 Q. My apologies, I'm asking you now about the 10th of August, when
21 the soldiers died.
22 Can you hear me?
23 A. Yes, yes. Very well.
24 Q. What happened on the 10th of August, 2001?
25 A. Yes. Our soldiers were killed in Basinec, near Ljubotenski
1 Bacila. Up there, a very loud detonation was heard.
2 Q. Who told you that your soldiers had died?
3 A. The commander Brasnarski called and said that we should be alert
4 from -- on the position where the soldiers were killed.
5 Q. Then what did you do at the Smok position?
6 A. On the Smok position, the commander Brasnarski called and said,
7 Follow or observe attentatively [as interpreted] the access towards
8 Ljuboten, in case there were this any terrorists moving.
9 Q. Did you notice anything on Friday, when you were at the
10 observation post, Smok?
11 A. Yes. I noticed, Your Honours, from the abandoned Bacila or the
12 sheepfold from the position of Bomba, they were firing towards the
13 sheepfolds and four people wearing black uniforms, or black clothes, were
15 Q. Did they have anything with them?
16 A. Yes. I noticed that they were carrying weapons with them.
17 Q. And what did you do from your position then?
18 A. Then, from our position, we acted with the weapons we had. From
19 Bomba, we were firing towards the abandoned sheepfolds, and we used our
20 guns that we were charged with.
21 Q. Did you hit any of them when firing?
22 A. Yes. I saw one person falling down, and the gun he had also fell
24 Q. And what happened with the other persons?
25 A. The others that were running away towards the village hid in the
1 houses towards Ljuboten.
2 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours would this be a
3 convenient time for a break.
4 JUDGE PARKER: If that suits you, Mr. Apostolski, yes.
5 We are adjourn now and we will resume at 6.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 5.27 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Apostolski.
9 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Q. Witness, do you remember that before the break we were talking
11 about the Smok position and how, on Friday, 10th of August, 2001, you saw
12 four persons going in -- down in the direction of Ljuboten and that you
13 fired from your position and that you shot one of them.
14 Do you recall this?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
17 the photograph, N005-7603.
18 Q. Witness, you will be able to see the photograph on the screen very
20 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we enlarge the picture.
21 Very well. Thank you.
22 Q. Please look at this photograph carefully. Do you recognise this?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. If can't see well, you can come closer to the screen.
25 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Can we please enlarge the picture
1 a little bit.
2 A. Yes, okay.
3 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we scroll the photograph to
4 the right a little bit.
5 Q. Can you recognise the Smok position on this photograph?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the court usher assist the
8 witness to mark the Smok position in 2001.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
10 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
11 Q. This is a pen with which you can mark the position.
12 Look at the photograph well and mark it.
13 A. This is the Smok position.
14 Q. Can you now please put a number 1 next to it.
15 A. Very well.
16 Q. Can you now please draw an arrow marking the direction from which
17 the terrorists were coming from?
18 A. Yes, I can mark from which direction, but the photograph does not
19 really show that part.
20 Q. Just mark the direction, please.
21 A. All right. This direction, towards the village.
22 Q. Very well. Thank you. Can you put the number two over the line
23 which you drew?
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. They were going from higher up down towards the village?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I seek to tender
4 this photograph into evidence.
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 2D94, Your Honours.
7 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown
8 photograph 65 ter 178, N003-0425. This is fine.
9 Q. Can you see the picture in front of you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. If you need, please put on your glasses.
12 A. Yes, I see here clearly from this side.
13 Q. Can you tell us from where this photograph was taken?
14 A. This photograph was taken from the position of Smok.
15 Q. Do you see anything on this photograph about which you spoke about
17 A. Yes, I remember this photograph. This is where --
18 Q. What do you see?
19 A. This is where the abandoned sheepfolds are.
20 Q. Are these the abandoned sheepfolds about which you testified that
21 cannon fire was aimed towards them on the 10th of August?
22 A. Yes, I remember.
23 Q. Could you please mark them.
24 A. Yes, I could, Your Honours.
25 Q. Can you mark, or do you see on this photograph the direction from
1 which the terrorists were moving, terrorists which you shot at?
2 A. Yes, I can.
3 Q. Could you do this with a line, please.
4 A. [Marks]
5 Q. Can you put a number 1 above the circle which you marked, the
6 circle marking the sheepfold?
7 A. Yes, I can.
8 Q. And can you put a number 2 above the line marking the direction in
9 which the terrorists were fleeing?
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. And can you also, with an arrow, in blue, this is a different pen
12 that you will be given, to mark of the direction of the village of
14 A. Yes, I can mark it.
15 Q. Now the pen will give you a blue colour.
16 A. This is where the village is.
17 Q. Just show the direction, please.
18 A. This is the direction where they were fleeing to.
19 Q. Mark it, please.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters kindly ask that pause be maintained
23 between questions and answers.
24 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Could you place above the red line the number 2?
1 A. Yes, okay.
2 Q. And next to the blue line the number 3.
3 A. [Marks]
4 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] This may cause a little bit of a
5 confusion. Perhaps the court usher can assist in erasing these two
7 A. All right.
8 Q. And the other one as well.
9 In the red you marked the line from where the terrorists were
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, please, under the blue line, the direction of Ljuboten, place
13 the number 3 there.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. Thank you.
16 A. You're welcome.
17 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I seek to tender
18 this photograph into evidence.
19 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 2D95, Your Honours.
21 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Witness, could you tell us whether, on Friday afternoon, you
23 noticed anything in the Ljuboten village? This is Friday, the 10th of
24 August, the day when the soldiers died.
25 A. Yes. I remember there were shooting from the village towards our
1 position of Smok from the Dolno Maalo where -- and also from the area of
2 the mosque from the houses there. They were activities against us. And,
3 also, from the Rastanski Pat in the houses, there were shots fired from
4 that locations as well.
5 Q. What did they fire with?
6 A. They fired with sniper guns and from the houses on Rastanski Pat
7 they fired with machine-guns, and below the mosque there were also
8 shootings from machine-guns.
9 Q. As for Dolno Maalo, how do you know that this was a sniper
11 A. That position was very hard to detect because they were really
12 precise in targeting us on the Smok position, but we discovered the sparks
13 of the sniper.
14 Q. Did you discover this in any other way and did you do anything at
15 your position?
16 A. According to the shooting, which was so precise and accurate, as
17 well as the sparks, we could tell it was a sniper.
18 Q. Did you fire towards these places?
19 A. Yes, with the weapons that we had at the point.
20 Q. Which weapons did you have and you used?
21 A. We fired with the sniper, with the automatic rifles, with the
22 machine-guns that was constantly on that position.
23 Q. Did the army use any other weapons on that Friday afternoon?
24 A. It's a long time since, and I cannot really remember, Your
25 Honours. There were shootings from Bomba position with a cannon and with
1 the weapons they had.
2 Q. Can you tell us where you were on that Friday evening?
3 A. Yes, I can tell you. I was on the position of Smok.
4 Q. Did you notice anything that Friday evening at the Smok position?
5 A. Yes. We notice a mass moving of the villagers towards Skopje,
6 towards Radisani.
7 Q. Where did you spend that whole of Friday night?
8 A. I spent it very hard. I was on the position of Smok. I couldn't
9 sleep. I was really overburdened with thoughts. I was sleeping like on a
10 tip-toes. I was really hurt with the tragedy that day.
11 Q. Could you tell us where you were on Saturday morning?
12 A. Yes, I can tell you.
13 Q. This is Saturday, the 11th.
14 A. I asked my commander, Mario Jurisic, because we had that incident
15 where soldiers were killed, soldiers from my company, I asked him if I
16 could attend the funeral.
17 Q. Very well. Did the major allow to you go?
18 A. Yes, he allowed it. I asked my commander, because it was our
19 practice to ask the -- your superior officer, and I asked him, and he let
20 me go to the funeral.
21 Q. And the whole day of Saturday you were at the funeral. What did
22 you do there?
23 A. Yes, I spent the whole day at the funeral. I was in the
24 dining-room in the village of Ljuboten, because the people who came to pay
25 their respect to the soldiers that were killed were then put in the
1 dining-room, you know, we the Christians have the custom to eat on the
2 funeral and to pay tribute.
3 Q. And after? After the funeral, where did you go? Where did you go
4 after the funeral?
5 A. After the funeral, I went home to see my family for a brief ten
6 minutes, and then I went back to the position of Smok.
7 Q. And the night -- this is the whole night, Saturday towards Sunday,
8 you were there the whole night?
9 A. Yes, that was the shift. I spent the whole night on the position
10 of Smok.
11 Q. Where were you on that Sunday morning? What did you do at the
12 Smok position?
13 A. On the position of Smok on the morning, I was on duty from 6.00
14 till 8.00, and I noticed one event. From Dolno Maalo, I mean from the
15 area of the church towards the houses, Your Honours, I detected shootings
16 from automatic rifles from several positions.
17 Q. How did you know that this was where the shooting came from?
18 A. I noticed the shootings from the flames they release when shots
19 are fired.
20 Q. When you say "fire," this is the light of the gun when fired. Is
21 this what you had in mind?
22 A. Yes, that's exactly what I had in mind.
23 Q. From how many places did you notice that this was happening?
24 A. I noticed several places in the houses where the shots were fired
25 from the weapons they used.
1 Q. You mentioned Macedonian houses.
2 A. This is the area from Ljubanci towards our position.
3 Q. Did -- was there any superior at the position at that time?
4 A. Yes, there was. I remember distinctly Captain Nikola came.
5 Q. Did he come by himself?
6 A. He came with several soldiers.
7 Q. And what did the captain say when he came?
8 A. He was my superior, and he had a higher rank; so he deployed me,
9 and he told me to be very careful.
10 Q. And what did you notice once the captain came?
11 A. I noticed three detonations towards the Macedonian houses from the
12 area of Ljubanci.
13 Q. Did you return this fire?
14 A. Yes, we did. Our position was also fired at, and we responded
15 with the weapons that we had. And those locations that we noticed - Your
16 Honours, I have to speak the truth - we used mortar against the positions
17 that we had noticed.
18 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
19 photograph 65 ter 178, N003-0375.
20 Q. You said that you saw shootings on Sunday morning from the houses
21 behind -- below the church. Do you recall this?
22 A. Yes, I recall.
23 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] I gave the wrong number. 65 ter,
24 this is 178, N003-0374.
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Do you see the picture in front of you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you tell me where was this picture taken from?
5 A. Yes, I can see where this was taken from. From the Smok position.
6 Q. Do you see the church?
7 A. Yes, I do see the church.
8 Q. Could you mark with a circle the church.
9 A. Yes, I can.
10 Q. Please put number 1 to the church.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Do you see on this photograph the houses that you were talking
13 about, that this is where the shootings came from?
14 A. Yes, I see them.
15 Q. Can you please mark them with number 2. Please first circle them.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. Now put number 2.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. You said that you also heard three strong detonations.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could you circle them?
22 A. Your Honours, from here, I cannot do this because I was
23 transferred in my positions. Therefore, I cannot mark this area with
25 Q. You cannot mark them on this photograph, can you?
1 A. No, I cannot.
2 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this photograph
3 into evidence, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 2D96, Your Honours.
6 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
7 Q. On the 12th of August, 2001, were your positions shot at from
8 other positions in the village? Did you notice anything?
9 A. Yes. I noticed, I noticed well. There was shooting from
10 Dolno Maalo and from the mosque, the houses below the mosque, and from the
11 area towards the Rastak road and the houses there.
12 Q. Did you notice what kind of weapons they used? Could you tell me
13 what weapons they used in Dolno Maalo?
14 A. They used machine-guns, snipers towards our positions, but it was
15 very difficult to detect the person using the sniper.
16 Q. How did you detect the sniper that was shooting at you?
17 A. As I said, this was very difficult to do. We put a helmet to see
18 from what side he was shooting. So we discovered this position. That he
19 was shooting at us directly from the area of Dolno Maalo.
20 Q. What happened with the helmet because you said you put a helmet?
21 A. We placed the helmet on a rock, and the other group was charged to
22 scout and see where the shooting was coming from more precisely, and the
23 helmet that we placed on the rock was hit on that position.
24 Q. So somebody was very precise in shooting?
25 A. Most probably it is not possible to do so with a different kind of
1 weapon, to shoot so precisely.
2 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
3 65 ter 178, N003-0371.
4 Q. Could you tell me where was this photograph taken from? Can you
6 A. Yes. This is from our position. This photograph was taken from
7 our position.
8 Q. From the position of Smok, right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you see on this photograph Dolno Maalo from where you said the
11 sniper was shooting?
12 A. Yes. Just now I've located this region. This is towards the
13 river. This was Dolno Maalo, as I can see from this picture.
14 Q. Could you circle the place where you saw the sniper shooting?
15 A. Yes. Right here, from these houses, exactly. Towards our
17 Q. Would you please put number 1 next to the circle.
18 A. I can.
19 Q. You said something about a location below the mosque.
20 A. Yes. I now remember.
21 Q. Do you see that?
22 A. Yes. And I can locate it. This house -- also the house in this
24 Q. Would you please mark it?
25 A. Yes, I will, Your Honours. It is right here, right below the
1 mosque. Right in this area.
2 Q. Could you put number 2 next to the circle.
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. Thank you. Do you also see some other position from where your
5 positions were shot at?
6 A. Yes, I see also another position, but I don't see the house,
7 Rastankski house. I see the cemetery, and there was fire from there too.
8 Q. What kind of weapons were used?
9 A. I believe that a sniper was used. Yes, Your Honours. I think
10 that snipers and mortars were also used.
11 Q. How do you know that the mortar was used?
12 A. On that day, about 30 metres from our position and the commander
13 Brasnarski detected this location from where they were firing at us with
14 mortars, and I think this was the position.
15 Q. Could you mark it?
16 A. Yes, I can. From this place, the cemetery.
17 Q. Could you put number 3, please?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And did you see that mortar was used or were you told?
20 A. I'm not a military expert, Your Honours. I believe, since this
21 fell somewhere in the area towards our point, about 30 metres from our
22 point, or -- and towards Bomba.
23 Q. What fell near your bunker?
24 A. A shell, Your Honours.
25 Q. Did you see flames or fire from the circle that you marked with
1 number 3?
2 A. I cannot say that I really saw any fire. From the upper position
3 Bomba, they saw that this was the location that was being shot at, that
4 this was the location from where our position was being shot at.
5 Q. How was the position Bomba with your position Smok connected?
6 A. There was a trench, a channel -- a trench dug from our position
7 towards Bomba.
8 Q. Could that trench be used for going from one position to the
10 A. Yes, this was possible. Because this was a protected position and
11 the goal was to detect other positions, other targets.
12 Q. Did you have any other communication between the two positions?
13 A. Yes, we did. As I mentioned in the statement, we had wire links,
14 telephone. This is from the army of Macedonia.
15 Q. Very well.
16 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I seek to tender
17 this photograph into evidence.
18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 2D97, Your Honours.
20 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
21 Q. You said that there were shots from the Rastak, right?
22 A. Yes, from several houses, but I cannot see them on this
24 Q. Which weapons were used against your position? Which weapons were
25 used in the position of Rastak?
1 A. Machine-gun. At least this is what I remember, from several
2 locations, from the houses. I cannot exactly see this on the photograph.
3 It's not very clear to me.
4 Q. How did you see that there was a machine-gun?
5 A. You can notice this. The barrage shooting of the machine-gun
6 towards our position, the bullets, we were very cautious in that. I
7 believe it was machine-gun that was used. And the lights, the sparks
8 which the machine-gun emitted.
9 Q. Where was the machine-gun located?
10 A. In the houses. In one house towards the chimney. In the other
11 houses, they were others who were shooting. Some from the balconies.
12 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
13 ERN 003-368.
14 Q. Could you tell me where is this picture taken from?
15 A. Yes, I can tell you, Your Honours. Again, from our positions.
16 This is the photograph made from our position.
17 Q. From the Smok position?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you see on this photograph the houses that is the positions
20 from where shots were fired at your positions?
21 A. Yes, I see the houses. This photograph is of somewhat older date.
22 Q. Could you please circle them?
23 A. Yes, I could, Your Honours.
24 Q. These are the houses that shot fire at your positions.
25 A. Yes, these are the houses. I circled the houses from where shots
1 came that morning.
2 Q. Do you see any other position that was firing at you from
4 A. Yes, a house.
5 Q. Is there any other house --
6 A. Yes, this house. This is the house. Because there were some
7 older -- this seems to be an older photograph because behind it there were
8 some nylon coverings.
9 Q. That house that you just circled, which weapons did they use?
10 A. They used machine-guns behind the roof without shingles.
11 Q. Would you please mark that house with number 2 where the shootings
12 came from the roof tiles?
13 A. Yes, I can.
14 Q. Please explain how were they firing under the roof -- from under
15 the roof.
16 A. A number of tiles, the shingles were taken out from the chimney
17 facing our position. There were two chimneys, so, yes, this is the house.
18 A number of shingles were taken out, and it was from there that we
19 established that they were shooting at us.
20 Q. What were you doing?
21 A. From my position, we used the weapons which we had towards these
22 positions. Yes, this is so.
23 Q. Which weapon did you use?
24 A. With the machine-gun and the weapons that we had at our position.
25 Q. You personally, which weapon did you use?
1 A. I used a machine-gun towards this position, I think. Yes.
2 Q. Could you put number 1 to the houses that you circled.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Was other weapon used against these houses, did the army use other
6 A. Yes, with mortars too. These are the positions that were firing
7 at us. Yes, I think this was so. It is so.
8 Q. You said that some shells landed near your position, and you took
9 shelter. What kind of shells fell on your position, Smok?
10 A. They fell right below us. I believe this was a mortar shell,
11 whether from the upper side, I'm not an expert to say, I'm not a military
12 expert, so to say precisely from where this was shot --
13 Q. What did you do?
14 A. I heard the captain, Captain Nikola, saying that we should take
15 shelter in our fortified positions.
16 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I seek to tender
17 this photograph into evidence.
18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 2D98, Your Honours.
20 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
21 Q. In the village of Ljuboten, from the position up there, did you
22 see members of the Macedonian security forces?
23 A. Yes, I saw. That was the morning, sometime around 8.00. 8.00,
24 8.30, 9.00, around this time. I think it was closer to 9.00. Yes.
25 Q. How did they move?
1 A. I see this photograph --
2 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please have the
3 photography moved.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think we're mixing things up.
5 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Where did you see them at around 9.00?
7 A. I don't see the picture now. This was by the cemetery. This was
8 by the area of the church.
9 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the photograph be removed
10 from the screen, please.
11 Q. At around 9.00, you saw the Macedonian security forces around the
12 church, right?
13 A. Yes, this is right. It was at that time.
14 Q. Did you shoot from your positions when you saw them?
15 A. No, we did not shoot. They were our security forces. We did not
17 Q. Later in the day, did you see movement of Macedonian security
18 forces? Later, not in the morning.
19 A. Around 11.30, 11.00, I can't tell you precisely. I can recall I
20 was very excited at that time. I was under great stress, what we saw.
21 Q. Where did you notice them.
22 A. Towards the houses of Rastak.
23 Q. How were they moving?
24 A. They were moving very slowly because there was fire towards our
25 position but also towards them being opened.
1 Q. Did you see any vehicle of the Macedonian security forces in the
3 A. Yes. Yes, Your Honours. I did see a vehicle, a military vehicle.
4 I know it was a dark one. Behind it there were members of our security
5 forces that were moving slowly.
6 Q. So the vehicle was in front and behind the vehicle were the
7 people, right?
8 A. Yes, this is what I'm remembering now.
9 Q. How were they moving?
10 A. It was very stressful. It was slow. These places which I have
11 been mentioning and pointing on the photographs, there was fire being shot
12 at them. Therefore, they were moving very, very slowly.
13 Q. Did that vehicle come closer to the houses that you marked?
14 A. As far as I can recall now, I believe not there.
15 Q. Did it arrive near the houses?
16 A. It was in the vicinity. It was around the houses.
17 Q. And when that vehicle arrived up to that point, did you notice
19 A. Yes. I noticed in the part of the house which I marked that they
20 were fleeing, five, six, persons, five, I believe, in black uniforms
21 towards the area of the Ljuboten mountain. This is the direction in which
22 they were fleeing.
23 Q. And did you see, were they wearing -- carrying anything?
24 A. Yes. We were firing in the direction that they were fleeing. One
25 of them fell down, and I saw his weapon. And those fleeing upward, I just
1 saw the person who fell down and I saw that he had a weapon in his arm. I
2 cannot exactly look very carefully, but the person that did I saw fall, he
3 fell with his weapon.
4 Q. Did you shoot from your positions?
5 A. Yes, we were shooting from our positions and from Bomba. We fired
6 towards them, and then I saw when this person fell, and I noted the
7 weapon; I noted that the weapon dropped from his hand.
8 Q. Did you notice how many persons fled towards the mountain?
9 A. Five. There were five. Whether someone else had fallen, I don't
10 know. I know that two had escaped in the mountain.
11 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we have, again, 2D98 on the
12 screen, please.
13 Q. Do you see on this photograph the house?
14 A. Yes, I marked this house. This is house number 2.
15 Q. Could you please mark it in blue in which direction these people
16 wearing black clothes were going to?
17 A. Yes, I can mark it. One cannot really the forest going upward,
18 but this was the general area.
19 Q. Please connect the blue arrow with the house number 2?
20 A. And there was the downhill slope going towards the house.
21 Q. Down below is not a flat field, is it?
22 A. No, there was a downhill slope. This was uphill and downhill, so
23 one couldn't really locate them well.
24 Q. What time of the day was that?
25 A. Sometime in the afternoon.
1 Q. And afterwards, were there any shots in the village?
2 A. No, I don't know what else to say. There was no firing.
3 Q. Until what time did you stay in the position of Smok on the
5 A. I stayed until my replacement shift came, until 8.00. I was
6 tired, under stress, and I returned to the children's rest house.
7 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I seek to tender
8 this photograph into evidence.
9 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 2D99, Your Honours.
11 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Which weapon did you use against those persons that were fleeing?
13 A. With our personal weapons, which I mentioned. I don't know
14 whether you understood me. There were people from the 2nd Company here
15 too, so also shots were fired from the position higher than we were, from
16 Bomba and above Bomba everybody was in combat readiness that day.
17 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
18 questions for this witness, so I believe this is the convenient time for
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Apostolski, that is a convenient
22 We must adjourn now, and we must ask you to return again tomorrow,
23 sir. We will commence again tomorrow at 2.15.
24 I suspect there is every likelihood that we will conclude before
25 6.00 tomorrow. If that is so, we will try to manage just two sessions,
1 each of an hour and a half or a little more. I indicate that so that
2 counsel can try and adjust their timing. But if we have to go to a third
3 session we lose another half-hour with the break, and it's better to do
4 two full-sessions if it's likely that we can finish. And that appears to
5 be the case.
6 We adjourn until 2.15 tomorrow.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Friday, the 7th day of March,
9 2008, at 2.15 p.m.