1 Wednesday, 4 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Could the witness be brought in, please.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, Ms. Berisha. May I remind you
8 that the affirmation you made to tell the truth still applies.
9 Yes, please, Ms. Gopalan.
10 WITNESS: SHYHRETE BERISHA [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examination by Ms. Gopalan: [Continued]
13 Q. Good afternoon, Madam Berisha.
14 A. Excuse me. Excuse me. I would like to receive my interpretation
15 in Albanian, not in Serbian.
16 Q. On Monday, Madam Berisha, when you last testified, we spoke about
17 the events on the 25th of March during the day after which your family
18 and Faton's family moved into Vesel Berisha's house. Today I'd like to
19 move on to the next day, the 26th of March, 1999; and I hope to go
20 through your evidence fairly efficiently.
21 Madam Berisha, on the 26th of March did you see any vehicles or
22 equipment in the vicinity of Vesel Berisha's house?
23 A. Yes. On the 26th of March, above Uncle Vesel's house, there is a
24 piece of land there, not arable land. It's a hilly place. And there
25 were two large tanks placed.
1 Q. Do you recall what colour these tanks were?
2 A. Now I'm not quite certain. It could have been either dark blue
3 or dark green. I don't remember it exactly, but I do remember that these
4 two tanks were up there.
5 Q. Okay. On Monday you had mentioned seeing a tank in the vicinity
6 of Agron Berisha's house. Can you remember how this tank behind Vesel's
7 house was different from Agron's -- was different from the tank outside
8 Agron's house?
9 A. The tank in front of Agron's house, pointing at our house, was
10 metal, was smaller in size, and he had -- it had wheels, while the two
11 tanks above our two houses, they were larger in size, and they had tracks
12 on them, not wheels.
13 Q. And did these tanks have a gun or cannon on them?
14 A. Yes. The gun or cannon was pointing at our houses.
15 Q. Thank you, Madam Berisha. On that day, on the 26th of March,
16 what happened around mid-day?
17 A. At around noon
18 number. They were dressed in uniforms. They were all carrying automatic
19 rifles and they were moving around the houses. First, they set off in
20 the direction of Ismet Kuci's house. There were not so many people
21 there, so they didn't stay there for long. And then they ran in the
22 direction of our house and came in our house.
23 Q. Do you recall approximately how many policemen there were?
24 A. Well, there were many, many policemen, a large group of
25 policemen. There were also civilians, people not dressed in uniforms.
1 Q. And those who were dressed in uniforms, do you recall how their
2 uniforms looked?
3 A. I'm not very sure; however, they were uniforms of dark blue
4 colour. But I don't remember it now clearly.
5 Q. You mentioned that these individuals ran in the direction of your
6 house and came in -- came into your house. Did you recognise any of
8 A. Yes. Both Drilon and Sedat first recognised Zoran. I knew Zoran
9 very well, too. He is a Serb who lived and worked in Suhareka, and he
10 spoke Albanian very well.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I wanted to allow the witness to
13 complete her sentence. This is examination-in-chief. The witness never
14 said that the policemen entered the house, whereas my learned friend the
15 Prosecutor is asking questions about what happened once they had entered
16 the house. I believe we should allow the witness to tell us her story as
17 it happened, and I don't think we should be asking her leading questions
18 in the process. Thank you.
19 JUDGE PARKER: If you would take notice of that, please,
20 Ms. Gopalan.
21 MS. GOPALAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Please carry on.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The policemen did not enter the
24 house. When I gave my statement to the ICTY investigator, I made it
25 clear that the policemen did not enter the house. They stayed outside in
1 the yard. There was no reason for them to go inside.
2 First of all, Zoran called for Bujar in Albanian, and when the
3 men said it's better that we go out; otherwise, they're going to burn us
4 alive inside, so we all - Children, women, men - ran outside and kept
5 running. So they did not enter the house.
6 MS. GOPALAN:
7 Q. If I just may stop you there, Madam Berisha.
8 MS. GOPALAN: Perhaps there is an issue with the translation
9 because the English transcript referred to the witness saying that the
10 individuals came into the house, which is what I quoted later on. But
11 now it appears that we have clarified the matter. But just for the
12 record, I note that there may have been an issue with the translation in
13 regard to that issue.
14 JUDGE PARKER: The earlier evidence was that they had entered the
15 house. You're quite correct in that matter.
16 MS. GOPALAN: Yes, she said they came into the house. Yes.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
18 MS. GOPALAN:
19 Q. Well, in any case, I will move on now Madam Berisha. You said
20 that Zoran called out for Bujar in Albanian. And what happened after he
21 called for Bujar?
22 A. When he called out for Bujar, we were all very scared. Bujar's
23 mother said that she would go out first. When she went outside, he was
24 shouting at her and he said to her, Let Bujar come outside, not you. You
25 go inside. And then Bujar went outside and asked Zoran what he wanted of
1 him, and at that time, we heard gun-shots and we started running; and we
2 left the house.
3 Q. Thank you, Madam Berisha. How did you know that this individual
4 who called for Bujar was Zoran?
5 A. I knew Zoran very well, and I saw him there amongst the group
6 members, and I could tell it was Zoran because of his voice. He spoke
7 Albanian very well, and he was the loudest of all in the group.
8 Q. In addition to calling out to Bujar, did Zoran say anything else?
9 A. He, he was cursing all the time. He was saying to us, Call on
10 the Americans, your friends now, to help you.
11 Q. What language was he speaking in, Madam Berisha?
12 A. Zoran would sometimes speak in Serbian and sometimes in Albania
13 When I say "speak," I mean curse.
14 Q. Now, you mentioned that after you heard gun-shots, that you
15 started running out of the house. I'd like to clarify at this stage who
16 else was in the house with you.
17 A. All of us, the entire family. My family, my husband, my
18 children, and Vjollca's family.
19 MS. GOPALAN: Perhaps to clarify, we could have a look at the
20 Berisha family tree again. That would be Exhibit P272, and I believe I
21 circulated hard copies to Your Honours and Defence counsel on Monday, but
22 I do have a spare copy available for the witness. With Your Honours'
23 leave, I'd like to pass it on to her.
24 Q. So, Madam Berisha, when you say that those in the house were your
25 entire family - your family, your husband, your children - and Vjollca's
1 family, are you referring to the family tree at the top-most portion of
2 the page, so the families of Faik and Bahrije and Vesel and Hava?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Were there any of those individuals who were not in the house
5 that day?
6 A. In that house the following persons were not there: The ones
7 whose names are written in black letters. Naim, Vesel, Ismet, Arben,
8 Faik and Bahrije. These were the persons who were not in the house. And
9 the rest, all of us, about 24 or 25 members, were there in the house.
10 Q. Thank you. You said that you started running out of the house.
11 Did you see anyone while you were running out of the house?
12 A. When Bujar went outside we started running. We left the house.
13 I heard two gun-shots. And when I went outside I saw him, Bujar, lying
14 on the balcony, and his wife then screamed, she said, Poor me, they
15 killed my Bujar, and then we just ran as fast as we could. And when we
16 got to our house, my house, there they had stopped my husband, Nexhat;
17 Faton, his nephew; and Nexhmedin. Miskovic was holding Nexhat by his
18 arm. Miskovic was a policeman from Suhareka whom I knew very well. He
19 was not wearing a police uniform but he was wearing black clothes.
20 There was another policeman whom I didn't know. He was also
21 holding Faton by his arm. In the meantime, Faton's mother, Fatime, said
22 to him, Take me instead of my son; just let him go. And at that moment
23 Sedat started to run. He was trying to escape, but they caught him
24 again, and I never saw Sedat again. He was trying to leave in the
25 direction of Agron's house, but I never saw him again.
1 Q. What happened to your husband Nexhat, Madam Berisha, after they
2 stopped him?
3 A. I stopped there with my four children and with Vjollca's
4 daughter, Dafina. I was holding Altin by his hand. Majlinda was
5 carrying the younger son in her hands, and Herolinda was also with me.
6 So we stopped there to see what they were going to do with the men. We
7 were very scared. My children refused to continue walking. So he
8 grabbed Nexhat by his arm and said to him, Now the Americans should come
9 and rescue you, and he shot him on his back twice; and Nexhat fell on the
11 Q. What happened to Nexhmedin, Madam Berisha?
12 A. Nexhmedin, with his wife, were trying to escape. Lirija,
13 similarly to Fatime, went to get Nexhmedin. She was Nexhmedin's wife.
14 She was very young. She was pregnant. Her due date was two weeks later.
15 But when the shooting got more intensive, and there were other voices
16 speaking in Serbia
17 when they were shooting from all sides, I just said to my children, Run
18 because wear going to kill us, too. So Nexhmedin and Lirija were also
19 running. Myself and Herolinda were running in one direction and Majlinda
20 with my two sons, Altin and Redon as well as Vjollca's daughter, Dafina
21 were running in the other direction.
22 And I didn't -- I couldn't see any more what was going on there.
23 It was terrible. There was a lot of shooting, a lot of shouting. We
24 were just trying to escape.
25 Q. Thank you, Madam Berisha. Do you know what happened to Faton?
1 A. All I know is that I saw Faton and Fatime fall on the ground. I
2 don't know anything else.
3 Q. You mentioned that you and your children started running in
4 different directions. In which direction did you run?
5 A. With my daughter Herolinda, we ran in the direction of the bus
6 station, the petrol station. We were running very fast. A cousin of my
7 husband, Jashar Berisha was there, and he asked me, What's going on? Why
8 are you running? And I said to him, Uncle Jashar, they killed all our
9 husbands, all our men, and we were trying to save our lives.
10 And near the shopping centre we saw other members of our family,
11 so with my daughter I joined them. I asked them, Why did you stop here?
12 Nobody replied. And then a cousin of my husband said, The policemen told
13 us to stop here. There were two Berisha families there in that location.
14 Q. What was the name of your husband's cousin who said the policemen
15 asked you to stop at the coffee shop?
16 A. He was a cousin and best friend of my husband. We all called him
17 Tushi. And if I'm not mistaken, his name was Avdi Berisha.
18 Q. Thank you. Who else was -- who else was gathered there, apart
19 from Avdi and your family?
20 A. Hajdin Berisha's family was there, so my family, Vjollca's
21 family, Avdi Berisha's family, and another Berisha family.
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't get the name.
23 MS. GOPALAN:
24 Q. Madam Berisha, you said that Hajdin Berisha's family was there,
25 Vjollca's family, Avdi Berisha's family, and another Berisha family.
1 Please could you repeat the name of the last Berisha family?
2 A. Hajdin Berisha's family.
3 Q. Thank you very much.
4 A. Vesel Berisha was Hajdin's father. Bujar's father, too, was
5 called Vesel, so that's why I said Hajdin Berisha's family, to be more
7 Q. Again, just to clarify, perhaps we could have a look at the
8 family tree again; that would be P272. And when you say the family of
9 Avdi Berisha, am I correct that that is the family tree situated in the
10 middle of the page?
11 A. Yes, Avdi Berisha.
12 Q. And when you mention the Hajdin family and Vesel Berisha being
13 his father, are you referring to the family tree right at the bottom of
14 the page?
15 A. Yes, the bottom of the page.
16 Q. After your family was gathered, what happened next?
17 A. At one particular moment my children came, and Altin said to me,
18 Mommy, they injured me. Blood was coming out of his arm. And he said,
19 Mommy, the police were shooting in my direction but they didn't quite hit
20 me. He was pale. His heart was racing. They were shooting even at the
21 children who were running away. Soon a group of policemen came and told
22 us to go in. There was a cafe. There were tables inside, so we all went
23 inside. They told us to sit down, and as soon as we sat, they started to
24 shoot uninterruptedly. It was a burst of fire, automatic fire.
25 Q. Madam Berisha, can you describe the policemen to us?
1 A. I didn't see them. I know it was a group of policemen, but
2 nobody could see them, recognise them. It was a large number of people
3 in one place. I just know that a group of policemen came and told us to
4 go inside. And they were shouting, they were saying that they were going
5 to kill all the Albanians, that they will not let a single Albanian live.
6 But from the voice, it always looked to me that it was Zoran who was
7 shouting the most.
8 Q. Apart from the shooting, Madam Berisha, did you hear anything
10 A. First, as I said, they opened fire, bursts of fire. Then they
11 stopped. And as soon as they would notice that there were voices inside,
12 people alive, then they were throwing things in and children, women, were
13 just dying afterwards. It was sort of a grenade. As I said, I couldn't
14 see. I was lying on the ground. I just could hear people crying,
15 moaning, and after these things were thrown inside, it was just calm.
16 They would not speak anymore.
17 Q. Madam Berisha, what injuries, if any, did you sustain?
18 A. I was inflicted many injuries. My whole body is covered with
19 injuries. It goes by the Serb police when they hit at me, but God saved
20 me to come here and tell the truth. When they saw that I was alive, they
21 fired again on my arm. The bullet passed through my arm, but I still
22 remained alive, even though they thought that I was dead because they
23 didn't -- they thought that everybody was dead. But I feigned I was
24 dead. They thought I was dead; that's why they stopped firing at me. I
25 have wounds all over my body, where the shrapnel hit me in my leg, on my
1 chest, on my stomach. All over my body, even today I have many shrapnels
2 inside my body.
3 Q. Madam Berisha, when the shooting stopped, what happened next?
4 A. When the shooting stopped, and when they did short work of almost
5 everyone -- now it's very difficult indeed for me to mention them by
6 name, they spoke in Serbian, Let us load the bodies in the truck.
7 Q. Did you recognise any of these voices?
8 A. No. No, I did not, because I didn't raise my head up. I feigned
9 death, as I said, but I heard them speaking among themselves in Serbian,
10 one of them saying, What life is this? Why are they killing women and
11 children? The other one rhetorically, Let's go and clean everything.
12 There were two persons, and they conversed in Serbian between themselves.
13 And then they had a stretcher and they carried the corpses. Some
14 were still alive. Drilon was still alive. But when they saw that
15 someone was alive, they fired again, and the woman or the child died.
16 This was the case with my son, too, who was first wounded. He also was
17 wounded in the leg. Gramoz was also wounded. They didn't see Gramoz
18 because his face was covered with the jacket. My Altin was still alive.
19 I said to him, Mom, pretend you are dead. He didn't make any sound, but
20 they noticed he was alive when they raised his body and then they fired
21 again, and I heard only a moan.
22 Then they started to transport all the corpses. They did the
23 same with me. I had two golden chains around my neck, but to them those
24 chains seemed to be more precious than my life. They unclasped them, and
25 they took them away from me. For me, of course, they had no value, but
1 this is just to show you what they did. They took away the chains and
2 threw me on the truck --
3 Q. And what happened --
4 A. -- and all my family was there.
5 Q. And what happened once you were loaded onto the truck,
6 Madam Berisha?
7 A. After they loaded us onto the truck, there was a stench coming
8 from all over the place. There was blood all over. There were about 40
9 people. The truck started to move a while and then stopped. When it
10 stopped, a woman spoke in Serbian, saying -- saying, My son, are you
11 finished? He said, Yes, we are finished. And then they said, Have a
12 good trip. And then I lifted my head and Vjollca did the same. And I
13 was looking at my son Altin to see whether he was alive. I started to
14 speak to him. Vjollca heard me speaking to Altin and she asked me, Are
15 you still alive? And I said, Yes, I am still alive, but they have killed
16 all our kinfolk. The Serb police killed every one of our families.
17 This was before the truck stopped.
18 Then it stopped, and that woman spoke in Serbian. And it seemed
19 to me that she was Zoran's mother, even though I didn't see her. But
20 from the voice I think it was Zoran's mother. Then I said to Vjollca,
21 Did you hear Vera of Laza, what she said of Zoran, Did you finish the
22 job? She said yes, because she knew Vera of Laza better than me.
23 After that the truck continued on it's way --
24 Q. Madam Berisha, may I just stop you there. When you referred to
25 Vera of Laza, was that also a reference to Zoran's mother, the woman you
1 referring to earlier who spoke Serbian?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Thank you, Madam Berisha. Before we move on to what happened
4 once you were loaded onto the truck and the truck started to move,
5 perhaps we could have a look at Exhibit 272 again, which is your family
7 Amongst all the names in blue listed on that page, Madam Berisha,
8 who survived the incident at the cafe?
9 A. The names in blue and the other names, they were all there. Of
10 all of them only myself, Vjollca, and Gramoz were alive. The others were
11 killed, even though, as I said, some of them were still alive when they
12 loaded us onto the truck.
13 Q. How old was Gramoz at that time, Madam Berisha?
14 A. Eight years old.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 A. Eight years and a half, approximately.
17 MS. GOPALAN: Could I call up Exhibit P269, page 2, please.
18 Q. Before we move on, Madam Berisha, I wonder if you could please
19 identify on this map the location of the cafe that you referred to as
20 being the site of the incident you just testified about.
21 A. Approximately here is the gas station, in this part here.
22 Somewhere here.
23 Q. Could you mark it with a number 1, please.
24 A. I'm not certain that this is exactly the place because I have
1 Q. That's absolutely fine. But you recall that it was thereabouts?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Just to clarify the marking that you made, is that the gas
4 station or the cafe?
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. The gas station is here.
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness said she
8 could not say where the coffee bar was. She said she was unable to say.
9 She marked the approximate area where the coffee bar was, so why insist
10 on a precise location.
11 JUDGE PARKER: The question was directed to something a little
12 different, I think, Mr. Djurdjic, whether being marked was the position
13 of the petrol station, which had been mentioned by the witness, or the
14 cafe; and it was that ambiguity which was being clarified, as I
15 understand it. Thank you.
16 MS. GOPALAN:
17 Q. Madam Berisha, just to clarify, the marking that you made at
18 number 1, what location was that? What building?
19 A. My hand was shaking. This is where the cafe is, but as I said, I
20 cannot concentrate on the exact spot.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. But not here. On this other side here, the cafe is here.
23 Q. Is that where the number 1 is placed, where you placed the
24 number 1?
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Thank you. That clarifies matters. Thank you very much.
2 I will move on now, Madam Berisha, and I hope to go through the
3 next parts fairly -- fairly quickly.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Are you proposing to tender this?
5 MS. GOPALAN: Yes, please, Your Honours. My apologies.
6 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00275, Your Honours.
8 MS. GOPALAN:
9 Q. Madam Berisha, after you were loaded onto the truck, what
11 A. Together with Vjollca, we were very scared and very worried and
12 upset. We started to talk with one another. She said, Gramoz is alive,
13 and that she had thought that Nexhat was injured. But maybe when Lirija
14 came to call us, to call Nexhmedin and Nexhat, maybe someone had helped
15 him. I said, Let us jump from the truck because I don't want to
16 surrender to the Serbs, to these wretched Serbs who killed our kids. Let
17 us jump down and tell who killed us. Then Vjollca said, No, Shyhrete, we
18 cannot jump from the truck. But when they cover us, when they bury us,
19 then we'll try and come out of the earth. I said, No, we cannot do that.
20 And then I saw that there was a curtain covering, like a plastic
21 curtain covering the truck, a tarpaulin covering the truck, and I saw a
22 hole there. I didn't know where we were. I said, Vjollca -- she was on
23 the edge of the truck. She said, Don't try to jump from the sides
24 because they can see us in the mirrors. And she said, Better jump from
25 the end side, the rear, because they won't see us.
1 The truck was driving fast and then when I -- as I was talking
2 with Vjollca, I jumped down, and when I fell down, I hurt my forehead.
3 There was a great wound, a lot of blood. Then after, awhile Vjollca and
4 Gramoz jumped, too.
5 Q. Madam Berisha, do you recall where you jumped off?
6 A. Yes. After I fell down some people helped me. It is
7 Malasia e Re, a village in the direction of Prizren.
8 Q. What happened after these people helped you? What did they do?
9 A. A girl saw me and she called her father, and that old man called
10 two young men, telling them to go and pick up a wounded woman who was
11 covered in blood all over. Two young men came and picked me up and took
12 me to a house. They started to give me the first aid. They took me to
13 Grejkoc village. There was a doctor there, but they were not in a
14 position to give me a great help.
15 Q. How long did you stay in Kosovo after this incident,
16 Madam Berisha?
17 A. I stayed until May. Then I went to a village, Budakova, it's
18 called. There I met my parents who learned what had happened to our
19 family, because what happened was known to the Serbs in Mushtisht.
20 People talked about what happened, what the Serbs did, what the police
21 did to children and to women. So my father had gotten wind of what
22 happened and both of them came to the village.
23 There is a forest nearby. We met together, and I joined them
24 with my uncles in Vranig . We stayed there all the time in the mountain,
25 even though I was full of wounds. One day, I became very sad because
1 many children died in the forest. Some girls got mad. They couldn't
2 take it any longer. So the men decided that we have to surrender. We
3 were with our tractors. They said, If they are going to kill us, let
4 them kill us, all of us, because we can't take this situation anymore.
5 So the man showed a white sheet and then the convoy of tractors
6 and cars started to move. When we came to Bukosh village, there was
7 great confusion there. For me it was a very difficult day. It was like
8 the same day they killed my kids. I couldn't take the chaos, the tumult,
9 people all over, the police, armed police coming there shouting and
10 shooting. They took the man, the young man, some young men, my uncle,
11 too; and they took some women to a school nearby, robbing them of
12 everybody precious they had, and they returned the women but not some of
13 the men. Those men never returned. Their bodies were discovered after
14 the war. Some other older men, my uncle one of them, they were released.
15 They returned to the group and then we went to another village. So this
16 is how we started our way, our trip towards Albania.
17 Q. Madam Berisha, where did you cross into Albania, at which border
18 crossing, if you remember?
19 A. In Kukes, but I'm not certain about the date, whether it was the
20 5th or the 6th of May. I only know that it was early May.
21 Q. Thank you. And what happened at the Kukes border crossing?
22 A. At the Kukes border crossing, the police were very aggressive
23 towards us. They were dressed in uniforms. I couldn't stand them any
24 more. I couldn't stand the arms. They said to us that, We will kill all
25 of you. A woman fainted. The police approached her and said, She's good
1 for nothing. Some women threw water over her face, and she regained her
2 consciousness. They asked us to give them money and our IDs. Also there
3 was great confusion. Most of us were women, girls, children; and all of
4 us were very scared. But we passed that and then we -- that phase and
5 then we entered Albania
6 Q. Thank you. You mentioned that you were asked to give your IDs.
7 Were they returned to you?
8 A. No. No. Whoever had the IDs on them, they surrendered them, but
9 they were not given back to them, at least I don't know. I didn't have
10 mine. But I saw many other women who submitted their IDs to the police
11 but they were not returned to them.
12 Q. Madam Berisha, once you crossed into Albania, did you provide the
13 ICTY with a blood sample?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you, Madam Berisha.
16 MS. GOPALAN: I have no further questions, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
18 Mr. Djurdjic, do you have any questions?
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Indeed, I do, Your Honour.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Djurdjic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Ms. Berisha, my name is Veljko Djurdjic. I'm a
22 member of Mr. Vlastimir Djordjevic's Defence team. I'm joined here today
23 by Ms. Marie O'Leary, another member of the Defence team.
24 Mr. Dragoljub Djordjevic, who is normally with us and lead counsel for
25 Mr. Djordjevic, is today absent.
1 Before I start with my questions, I would like to express my most
2 sincere condolences to you, and Mr. Djordjevic, on account of what
3 happened to your nearest and dearest. Originally, I was not going to ask
4 you any questions about the subject of your evidence here, but I find
5 myself unable to avoid the issue generally. I will be skirting the issue
6 in a manner of speaking, but I do have to ask you some questions related
7 to the overall context.
8 In your statements, you say that you completed a degree of higher
9 schooling, as I put it, but I couldn't quite conclude what that might be.
10 Can you be more specific about that? What exactly? Where and when?
11 A. I finished the high school in Suhareka, whereas the higher
12 pedagogical studies in Prizren.
13 Q. And what year was that, the Prizren school? When did you
14 complete your education there?
15 A. In 1981. I'm not certain. I have forgotten because you have
16 destroyed my memory. I can't give you exact dates.
17 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Ms. Berisha. Was that a mixed school in
18 terms of ethnicities? Was it attended by all the various ethnicities
19 from the area?
20 A. I don't remember about the higher pedagogical school, but in the
21 high school, yes, we were of various ethnicities together, both Albanians
22 and Serbs.
23 Q. Thank you. Is it true that after school you did not get a job?
24 A. Yes, it is true. After school I didn't work.
25 Q. Thank you. Ms. Berisha, could you tell me about your husband
1 Nexhat, about his educational background?
2 A. Nexhat finished high school and started his studies in the
3 faculty in Prishtina, but he didn't continue it. So he found a job in
4 the hall of culture of Suhareka, responsible for amateur activities.
5 Q. Thank you. What about 1998 and 1999, did he continue to work in
6 the culture hall throughout those two years?
7 A. No. He didn't work in the last years because he was dismissed
8 from work.
9 Q. Thank you. I'm looking at your evidence in the Milutinovic case.
10 You say that your husband went to the OSCE building on a daily basis.
11 Was he, in fact, an employee of the OSCE in 1998 -- in late 1998 and
12 early 1999?
13 A. No. No, he was not an employee of the OSCE, but he simply went
14 there every day. He had the right to go to his own house whenever he
16 Q. Thank you. Do you know what he did when he went there, since
17 your part of the house was attached to the offices, as you suggested?
18 A. At first my husband and my two daughters went there to clean the
19 house for awhile, but then the OSCE hired a maid. So my husband went
20 there every day to Suhareka. The kids were there in school, so my
21 husband went there every day.
22 Q. Thank you. I believe I understood you correctly, and please
23 correct me if I am wrong, did your husband move to your father's place
24 later on with you?
25 A. When we started to rent our house to the OSCE, the OSCE staff
1 came to our house and myself, my children, and myself went to Mushtisht
2 and that's where we lived, slept. But my three children, Majlinda,
3 Altin, and Herolinda, continued their school in Suhareka; so they
4 travelled every day from Mushtisht to Suhareka, and so did my husband.
5 He travelled with my father's car on a daily basis to Suhareka. My
6 children would go to school sometimes by bus and sometimes by car with my
7 husband. But my husband, as I said, was not employed with the OSCE.
8 Q. Thank you. Ms. Berisha, would you agree with me that the new
9 house which you built is on Miladin Popovic Street, which people normally
10 refer to as Restanski Pot?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. Could you tell me when you built this new house, and
13 when it was eventually moved in?
14 A. This house was built for several years. It was built slowly; the
15 construction took some years. But myself, I lived there for a year only.
16 Q. Thank you. You stated in your evidence that in the ground floor
17 of that new house, there was a shop selling spare parts for cars; is that
19 A. There was a small shop selling spare parts for cars, yes. This
20 was on Faton's side of the house, not on our side of the house.
21 Q. Correct me if I'm wrong, was that shop actually owned by Faton?
22 A. Yes. Yes, Faton's property.
23 Q. Thank you. May I, therefore, conclude that you never went to
24 that shop? Answer please.
25 A. What do you mean?
1 Q. You nodded but we need a verbal answer from you. That is why I
2 asked you to please answer. Just for the sake of the record, yes or no?
3 A. Could you please repeat your question.
4 Q. I conclude that you never entered that shop, did you? Am I
6 A. I did go to this shop, of course, before the war.
7 Q. Thank you. Did you go into the shop after you had returned,
8 following the 20th of March, 1999?
9 A. After the 20th of March, no. No, I didn't enter the shop after
10 that date.
11 Q. Would I be right to claim that you don't know what was actually
12 in that shop, or you didn't know what was there when you returned to your
13 home in March?
14 A. No. I know very well what was in there. There were spare parts
15 for cars, and the same person who worked there at the time is working
16 there now. There was nothing else but spare parts for cars, sir.
17 Nothing else.
18 Q. Thank you. Who owned the shop, really?
19 A. The same owner who owned this shop during the war, he still owns
20 this shop. But it will take me a few minutes to remember his name. I
21 know him. I cannot recall his name for the moment. His wife is employed
22 in Balkans. She's a cousin of mine. This person, this man who owns the
23 shop is from Sematisht, the village, and his brother-in-law works in that
24 shop. These people were there until a year ago or so. I used to see
25 them after the war. I don't know if they are still there, but I know
1 that they continued their business with this shop, with spare parts for
2 cars, even after the war.
3 Q. Thank you. On the 6th of March, was anyone manning the shop that
5 A. On the 6th of March?
6 Q. I'm sorry, on the 26th of March.
7 A. No, nobody was there. Nobody was working there on the
8 26th of March.
9 Q. Thank you. Ms. Shyhrete, when did you find out that the OSCE had
10 arrived in Suva Reka?
11 A. The OSCE arrived in the Suhareka area in 1998. I don't know the
12 exact date, but I know that it came in the Suhareka area in 1998.
13 Q. Is this something you heard from someone or did you actually see
15 A. I saw them myself. The OSCE was staying in the Boss Hotel in
16 Shirokq. This is a village that I pass by every time I visit my parents.
17 So I visited my parents very often, so I saw the OSCE people and the OSCE
18 vehicles at this hotel.
19 Q. Thank you. You stated in chief that your husband and Faton met
20 the people who were working for the OSCE. Can you tell us when, where,
21 and how they met?
22 A. No, no. The OSCE people came to our house. I was there with my
23 children when they came to our house. And they asked my husband and
24 Faton whether they would agree to rent the house to them. So my husband
25 and Faton agreed, and this is how they came to stay in our house.
1 Q. Thank you. Ms. Berisha, you said that while driving to Musutiste
2 with your husband, you passed the Boss Hotel. Your husband pointed out
3 to you the person, whose last name you said was Miskovic; is that true?
4 A. No, it wasn't my husband who pointed him to me. I knew Miskovic
5 myself. He was a policeman in Suhareka. Everybody new Miskovic in
7 Q. Thank you. Did you see the contract between your husband, I
8 assume, and the OSCE on the lease?
9 A. Yes, I saw the contract, and I was there when they made this
11 Q. Thank you. Ms. Berisha, are you certain that it was, in fact, a
12 contract with the OSCE and not some other group of observers, a mission?
13 A. No, sir, I'm sure this contract was entered with OSCE members.
14 The boss, the chief of the OSCE was an American. He was a tall man
15 called Rufus. At that time, I knew his full name, but now ten years have
16 passed and I don't remember his full name.
17 So when I arrived in Albania
18 to meet me there in Albania
19 for the men of my family because they were young and intellectuals; and
20 they were people who would never have done something similar to what the
21 Serbs did to our family.
22 So I'm more than sure that this contract was made with the OSCE
24 Q. Will you take my word for it if I tell you that at the
25 Boss Hotel, that what was there was the Kosovo Diplomatic Mission. It
1 wasn't the OSCE who were staying at the Boss Hotel back in 1998.
2 A. I do not believe you, because the truth is that the OSCE was
3 staying in the Boss Hotel, in Shirokq. Miskovic's brother worked there
4 as a guard, security guard, and he also came to our house when the OSCE
5 moved to our house to work as a security guard. The OSCE, as I said, I'm
6 sure, was in Shirokq, in the Boss Hotel, and from there they moved to our
8 Q. Thank you. How come you know that Miskovic's brother was working
9 there as a guard, I mean at the Boss Hotel?
10 A. I know this because my elder daughter, Majlinda, once told me
11 that Miskovic's brother, who worked as a security guard for the OSCE in
12 the Boss Hotel, was also working as a security guard with the OSCE now in
13 our house. And I also remember my husband telling me the same thing when
14 he came to the house to ask about the copier, photocopying machine. So I
15 know this, and I'm sure about this. This is true, that Miskovic's
16 brother worked as a security guard in our house.
17 Q. May I, therefore, conclude that you do not in any direct
18 knowledge of this? You only know as much as you were told by your
19 husband and your daughter.
20 A. What do you mean?
21 Q. That you, yourself, never saw Miskovic's brother working as a
22 guard at the Boss Hotel while the mission was staying there.
23 A. I did not see Miskovic's brother at the Boss Hotel, but I did see
24 him with my own eyes when he worked as a security guard in our house. I
25 often visited Vjollca in her house with my younger son, when my husband
1 was not at home, so I saw Miskovic's brother with my own eyes working
2 there as a security guard. And when they surrounded our house and killed
3 us all, Miskovic was there. He took part in those events. But he, as I
4 said, was not wearing a uniform on that occasion.
5 Q. Ms. Shyhrete, can you please answer my question and nothing but
6 my question? My question was about the guard duty or the security at the
7 Boss Hotel. I did not ask you about anything else. In order to speed
8 things along, and in order to remain focused, please try to answer only
9 the questions that I actually ask you. Thank you.
10 Ms. Berisha, you told us that on the morning of the 25th, at 5.00
11 as a matter of fact, someone knocked on the door in that part of the
12 house in which you were staying. You went there and you opened the door
13 for them; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Ms. Shyhrete, I have been to many Albanian homes, country-side
16 and town alike. I have never, ever seen a lady or even a child open the
17 door. Is it really part of the tradition cherished by the Albanians for
18 wives and ladies in the house to go and open a door when a guest arrives,
19 particularly a guest arriving at 5.00 in the morning?
20 A. It wasn't a guest because this was war time. And the family I
21 was married in, the men and the women were equal.
22 Q. Well, 5.00 a.m.
23 welcomed guest.
24 A. What does that have to do with anything? Of course it wasn't a
25 welcomed guest. I was very sure that it was the police at that door
1 because there was shooting. And for the whole day I was scared, and I
2 feared that they, the Serb police, would come to our house, the same
3 thing they did with other houses where the OSCE used to stay.
4 I was not an illiterate woman. I had the right to open the door
5 of my house, to go wherever I wanted. I enjoyed all the rights as a
7 Q. Thank you. You say that you found policemen outside the door the
8 morning of the 25th. That's the time that I mean. Can you please
9 describe their uniforms.
10 A. They were all dressed in uniforms and carrying automatic rifles.
11 As I said, ten years have passed now, and I cannot give you the details;
12 I cannot tell the colours. But they were all dressed in uniforms.
13 Q. Thank you. How did you conclude that they were policemen?
14 A. They were dressed in uniforms. They were armed with automatic
16 Q. Well, were there any other uniformed formations carrying the same
17 kind of weapon?
18 A. These people were wearing uniforms and carrying automatic rifles.
19 I have nothing else to add.
20 Q. My question following your previous answer was, how did you
21 conclude or what led you to conclude that those persons were police
23 A. Because they were not dressed in civilian clothes; they were
24 wearing uniforms.
25 Q. Could we perhaps conclude that the only thing you are certain
1 about is the fact that at the door the persons standing there were
2 uniformed, carrying weapons. That's all you're certain about, isn't it?
3 A. It's not about being certain. This is something that I've seen
4 with my own eyes, and I'm a person who has gone through a lot. They were
5 speaking in the Serbian language.
6 Q. Thank you. Am I right to say that you did not go to the part of
7 your house in which your husband was staying, with the police?
8 A. No. The police prevented me from doing that. As soon as they
9 would notice me as I was trying to look in that direction, they would
10 shout at me and tell me to go inside.
11 Q. Thank you. Is it true that in Faton's part of the house, which
12 is where you went to next, there was a uniformed person who came in with
14 A. Yes. In Faton's part of the house, a policeman came in. He was
15 dressed in uniform. He started to search the cupboards, the wardrobes,
16 and I spoke to him in Serbian. I said to him, There's nothing here; only
17 children's clothes. And as I said earlier, he found a bag, he searched
18 the bag, and when he saw that there was nothing in it, money or gold,
19 jewelry, he just threw the bag away. On the staircase there was some
20 medicine for the children in there. So he said for me to follow him down
21 to the basement. He made the money sign with his finger. He asked me
22 for money and said to me, You know that your husband's life is in danger.
23 So I went upstairs and took 1.000 DM from Sebahate. And when he looked
24 at the money he said, This is not enough for your husband's life. And I
25 just said to him that I had no more money with me, and he left the house
1 and went outside in the yard.
2 Q. Thank you. Am I right to say that your husband went back with
3 the policemen to the part of the house in which you were staying with
4 Faton's family?
5 A. Yes. Yes, the policemen brought my husband there, and at the
6 door-step they hit him with the rifle and kicked him. He fell right
7 there on the door-step, but he stood up and came inside the house
8 together with these three policemen.
9 Q. Is it not true that you said that the policemen had asked for
10 money to spare your husband?
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] It's working now.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient moment, Mr. Djurdjic?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the policemen --
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have another
16 question, but we might as well break. I do think it might be better to
17 finish this particular set of questions, but it's up to you.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Finish now this bit. Thank you.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Have you perhaps forgotten my last question, Ms. Shyhrete?
21 Should I repeat it for you?
22 A. The policemen, one of the policemen asked for money to save my
23 husband's life, because his life was in danger, as he said. But those
24 other policemen who brought my husband to the house, they also asked for
25 money. They said to us, See that tank up there? We will burn you all,
1 and we will blow this house up in the air with all the children in it.
2 Q. Ms. Shyhrete, did you give 3.000 marks to the policemen to stop
3 them from killing your husband?
4 A. Yes. I had 3.000 DM in me, and I gave them to the policemen.
5 First of all, I gave 1.000 DM to the policeman in the basement who told
6 me that my husband's life was in danger, but these other three policemen
7 were different, not the same with that one. So I gave these other three
8 policemen 3.000 Deutschemarks that I had in me. I was just too scared.
9 I thought that they were going to undress me, so I just took the money
10 out and gave them the money.
11 Q. You were concealing this money in your bra; am I right?
12 A. In my body, on my body.
13 Q. My last question, Ms. Berisha: The first time the policemen came
14 you went to Sebahate and you got 1.000 Deutschemarks in order to give the
15 policeman in order to stop him from killing your husband; and yet now you
16 tell us that you had 3.000 Deutschemarks on you, whereas you had told the
17 first policeman that you had no more money, so you gave him the 1.000
18 German marks that Sebahate had given you.
19 A. Yes, that's correct. I told the policeman that I didn't have any
20 money. I went upstairs to the room and I took 1.000 DM from Sebahate. I
21 was only -- it was only me and this policeman in the basement, so I
22 didn't dare to take this money from my body. If I tried to take it out
23 of my body, I feared that something might have -- might happen to me.
24 That's why I said to this policeman, Wait here. I'll check with the
25 women upstairs, if they have any money. So I took this
1 1.000 Deutschemarks from Sebahate and returned to the basement and gave
2 him the 1.000, but those 3.000 that were on my body were still there.
3 Q. Thank you. May I then conclude that the policeman was in the
4 basement while you walked up to the second floor and then back down?
5 A. Yes. He remained in the basement. I went upstairs, took 1.000
6 DM, and brought him this amount in the basement. But he wanted more, but
7 I just said to him that I didn't have any money, other money, with me.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is a convenient
10 JUDGE PARKER: We will have a break now. We will resume at 20
11 minutes after 4.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mrs. Shyhrete, on the 25th of March when you moved from the Faton
17 part of the house to the house of Vesel Berisha ...
18 A. Yes. On the 25th of March, after the Serb police took our money
19 and other things they wanted from the house, they took the tank that was
20 pointing to our house, and we were very scared. We stayed a little while
21 and then went to Uncle Vesel's house, and we got together as a family.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think there's
23 something wrong with the interpretation. My question was when, on the
24 25th of March, 1999, did they go from Faton's part of the house to the
25 house of Vesel Berisha.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Are you able to tell us that, Ms. Berisha, when it
2 was that you went?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, we went to Vesel's house after
4 the Serb police left our home, but I am not sure about the exact time.
5 Maybe after two hours or three hours; this I cannot tell you for sure. I
6 really don't remember.
7 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mrs. Berisha, yesterday you indicated the Pristina-Prizren road
9 on the photograph. That's where you saw the columns of police and
10 military vehicles. What house were you in at that point in time?
11 A. At the time we were at Faton's house.
12 Q. Thank you. You marked the position and you spoke about the tank
13 that was on the road. Did you notice when that tank left and where it
15 A. The tank left from Faton's house and went in the direction of the
16 police station. I don't know more after that. I only know that it
17 headed towards the police station.
18 Q. Thank you. That morning at 5.00 a.m., did you see police and
19 military columns, convoys, passing by your house towards the village of
21 A. No, I did not. I know only what I saw happening in our yard.
22 When they threw all over papers, the tank was there. They left with the
23 tank. All this I know.
24 Q. Madam, that morning did you hear tanks passing by in front of
25 your house? Did you hear buses and military trucks passing by and going
1 off in the direction of Rastane? I'm referring to the morning of the
3 A. No, I didn't see anything coming from Rrashtan, going towards
4 Rrashtan. I saw buses, tanks, trucks, passing by the direction of
5 Prishtina or by the direction of Prizren only.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we have Exhibit P269 on the
8 screen, please.
9 Q. Mrs. Shyhrete, could you please mark with a number 1 the house
10 where you were on the 25th of March, in the morning.
11 A. On the morning of the 25th of March, I was in our own part of the
12 house -- correction, in Faton's part of the house.
13 Q. Thank you. Could you please now mark with a number 2 the
14 Suva Reka police station.
15 JUDGE PARKER: I'm afraid we appear to have lost number 1,
16 Mr. Djurdjic.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you.
18 Q. In this photograph can we see the house of Hajdin Berisha?
19 A. Yes, it can be seen, but I'm not sure whether it's this one here.
20 I'm not certain because I didn't know well which house belonged to whom.
21 Somewhere here. I know that these group of houses belonged to them.
22 Q. Could you circle that group of houses, the approximate location
23 where you think Hajdin Berisha was?
24 A. Hajdin's house is approximately here. These are Hajdin's, Avdiu,
25 my husband's cousins' houses; but I didn't know exactly which belonged to
1 whom, as I side.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Could you please put a circle around the group of
3 houses where you think Hajdin's house was, please.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not certain of them. I
5 already said, I knew the people but I didn't know very well whose houses
6 were where. But approximately, the houses were here. I'm not certain
7 which belonged to Hajdin or to his brother. I'm not certain because even
8 at that time I said that I don't know exactly which house belongs to
10 JUDGE PARKER: When you say there that you think his house was in
11 a group here, could you put a circle around that position? We understand
12 you've made it clear that you don't know exactly which was his house.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not certain. I believe it was
14 this one because I never was in his house. I only know that they were
15 close to our house.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps you can mark that with a number 3, if you
17 could, please.
18 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
20 That may help, Mr. Djurdjic.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Q. Mrs. Berisha, let's clarify a point. I think you said that a
23 year before the OSCE arrived you moved into that house. Did you know the
24 area and your neighbourhood very well? Were you familiar with it? Did
25 you know where people lived and where their houses were?
1 A. Of course I knew the place where my house was and the houses of
2 the close relatives of my husband. These two were cousins of my husband
3 but a little bit more removed. They belonged to another branch.
4 Q. I do apologise, Mrs. Berisha. I do apologise, but please listen
5 to my questions carefully so that we can move forward faster and avoid
6 wasting time. There are lots of houses here, and the Berisha family is
7 perhaps the biggest in Suva Reka. We see dozens of houses here. What I
8 was asking you was did you know the people in the neighbourhood well?
9 Because if you didn't, I'm don't want waste time trying to get you to
10 indicate houses that you don't know the location of, because you had only
11 been living there for a relatively short time, about a year, and you see
12 how many houses there are here.
13 A. I lived there for about a year, but my husband's cousins, the
14 ones who live here --
15 Q. Thank you. There was something else I wanted to ask you now,
16 because you spoke about this yesterday. But in this house do you know
17 where the carpenter's shop is, in Miladin Popovic Street or, rather, on
18 the Ristane road?
19 A. I don't know.
20 Q. Can we see the Muslim cemetery here or the road leading up to it?
21 A. The road that leads to the cemetery is on this side. I don't
22 know if you can see it. I don't know. I don't see it here.
23 Q. Can you see the turning? You can see the main road, but do you
24 see the turning? So can you draw an arrow showing the road leading to
25 the Muslim cemetery, if you can see it.
1 A. I'm not certain whether it's here, this turning, or here. I am
2 not sure.
3 Q. Approximately --
4 A. Because I didn't go to the cemetery very often.
5 Q. Can you draw an arrow indicating the direction so that we know
6 more or less where it is?
7 A. No, I cannot, because I said I don't know, I'm not sure. I'm not
9 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Shyhrete. Thank you.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wish to tender
11 this exhibit into evidence. May it be given a number, please.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D00020, Your Honours.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I would now like to have P269
15 brought up on the screen again. Thank you.
16 Q. Mrs. Berisha, could you put a number 1 on Vesel Berisha's house.
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. And could you please mark with a number 2 the house of
19 Ismet Kuci.
20 A. I'm not sure about Ismet Kuci's house either. I can't see it
21 very well. I'm not sure whether this is his house.
22 Q. What house are you referring to? Can you mark it with an X, if
23 you're not sure?
24 A. I'm not sure of Ismet Kuci's house. I cannot concentrate and
25 find it out.
1 Q. And could you please mark with the number 3 the police station,
2 the Suva
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. Could you now mark the place where you first saw policemen on
5 that morning, the 26th of March, 1999.
6 A. The place where we saw the policemen is here, in this direction.
7 We saw them running.
8 Q. Could you place an X on the place where you first saw policemen
9 on the 26th of March, 1999, in the morning, where you, yourself, saw
11 A. From the police station, here.
12 Q. Please mark the line along which they moved. Draw a line along
13 the direction they were moving in.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. Of course only what you saw yourself.
16 A. There was a group of policemen and they spread out in different
17 directions. Some came to us, some here, some here, so in many directions
18 there were running policemen.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Could I mention for the transcript that the
20 witness first drew an arrow from what appears to be the police building
21 across the street with an arrow-head on it, as the position where police
22 were first seen; and then has now marked four further lines spreading out
23 from that first marking. Thank you.
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mrs. Shyhrete, you told us today and more than once in your
1 statements that policemen entered the house of Ismet Kuci. Can you now
2 recall where Ismet Kuci's house is?
3 A. These houses here, these houses here, but I am not certain now.
4 From the police station they ran and came in these directions. They
5 didn't run all in one direction. As I said, there were many people
6 running in different directions. Some came towards Ismet Kuci's house;
7 some others, a little bit further, and so on, in all directions. It was
8 a fighting. It's the Serb police that kept running and running. Even in
9 the movies you wouldn't see such a kind of organisation.
10 Q. Ms. Shyhrete, you told us both today and several times before
11 that you saw policemen entering Ismet Kuci's house, and since it was
12 empty they left very soon after that and went to your house.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Gopalan, before you answer, please,
14 Ms. Berisha.
15 MS. GOPALAN: Perhaps Mr. Djurdjic could point to the transcript
16 reference where the witness said that they entered Ismet Kuci's house.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] My learned friend today, when you
18 started asking questions about the 26th of March, the witness said they
19 entered Ismet Kuci's house, but because it was empty, they left it very
20 soon thereafter and then arrived at the house where the witness was. And
21 now my colleague will find the transcript reference; however, I think you
22 remember putting the question.
23 MS. GOPALAN: I do, and the reference that I have is at page 2,
24 line 20, which reads that:
25 "First they set off in the direction of Ismet Kuci's house.
1 There were not so many people there so they didn't stay there for long."
2 I'm unable to locate a reference to them entering Ismet Kuci's
3 house. Perhaps counsel could assist.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
5 Q. As they didn't find many people there, they went on. That's an
6 even better reference than mine.
7 A. They didn't find anyone. There wasn't anyone at all in
8 Ismet Kuci's house.
9 Q. Thank you, Ms. Shyhrete. I don't want to maltreat you, but I
10 think it's important for you to indicate Ismet Kuci's house if you can.
11 If you can't, tell us so and we will move on. Let's move on.
12 Could you please mark the place on Vesel Berisha's house where
13 you were while you were observing all this, all the things you have told
14 us about, seeing the policemen and so on?
15 A. We were here, from this entrance. As I said, the house has two
16 entrances, but you can enter it from four sides. Two are up, and two are
17 a little bit lower. We were here, at a lower plain. This is the
18 entrance. This is the window. There is a window here, and then there is
19 the entrance.
20 Q. Thank you. Could you now mark the door through which you ran out
21 of the house?
22 A. The door is here in front, but the house is shown on the opposite
24 JUDGE PARKER: Could you please, Ms. Berisha, mark with a
25 number 4 the position from which you saw the police. You've put two dots
1 on the building and you've told us it was there and at that lower level
2 of the building. If you could put a 4 against that.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Not the upper entrances,
4 because there is a flight of steps and there is the entrance, but this
5 other entrance a little bit lower.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. Can you put a 4 to the left of what you have
7 just marked, please.
8 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
9 JUDGE PARKER: I'm afraid the number 4 has merged in with the
10 other markings that were already there. It's a bit difficult to identify
11 the number 4. Could you do something different for me: Mark with the
12 number 5 the position of the doorway from which you left the building, as
13 you've described.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's rather difficult here.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Can you put the number 5 out in the garden,
16 outside the doorway perhaps.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise, I think
18 that the next photograph we see will probably be better for marking that
19 gate, that doorway, and then we can mark that there.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Could I mention, Mr. Djurdjic, that it is very
21 difficult in my experience here for witnesses who are seeing an aerial
22 photograph for the very first time often to recognise a building or a
23 location, because they have spent their life looking at it from ground
24 level, not from an aeroplane, and it does look very different. So we may
25 be spending a lot of time and not getting very far in pursuing this line.
1 I leave it now to you.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can this exhibit
3 please be admitted into evidence.
4 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D00021, Your Honours.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] And now if I could have D9
7 displayed, please. Thank you.
8 Q. Madam, do you recognise the area as seen from this angle and the
9 location of your home?
10 A. Yes, I can.
11 Q. Could you tell us about the position of those two tanks near your
12 house, if you can actually see their positions in this photograph?
13 A. You can't see them. They would be much higher up, up higher.
14 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Madam, may I therefore conclude that the
15 tank was on Dulje, up a hill, that that's where it was, and that's where
16 you saw it?
17 A. No, no. No, it wasn't in Dula. You couldn't have seen it from
18 there. It was just above the house. There are fields there, and it was
19 a little bit above that. There are a few trees there and that's where
20 the tanks were, the two tanks were positioned. But it's not Dula at all.
21 Q. Now we see Vesel Berisha's house clearly, although we've never
22 actually looked at it from this angle, and that probably includes you, as
23 well. Can we here see the gate from which you came running at the time,
24 or was it on the other side?
25 A. The entrance is here.
1 Q. Thank you. And what about the basement from which you ran out?
2 Where exactly was that?
3 A. The sitting room was over here where we were, but it's not in the
4 basement. It's on the main floor. And the floor above that is here, but
5 we were on the main floor. It's not in the basement. There was no
6 basement at that time. We were in the sitting room, the living room.
7 Q. Fine. I'm sorry if I made a mistake. Can you please mark the
8 room in which you were before you ran out of the house.
9 A. It's the same room here, the one here which has its entrance
10 here. It's a large room, and the door is over here, and there's a
11 window. That is the living room.
12 Q. I'm looking now at your statement dated the 15th of May, 1999. I
13 would like to read a portion to you. You said:
14 "All men and children went down to the basement of the house."
15 A. Well, it's a ground-floor room, and it was used like a sort of
16 basement. Sometimes we call it a living room, but we also call it a
17 basement because it was on the ground floor.
18 Q. Fine. We'll get back to that later for other reasons. Thank
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not sure if we
21 should have this admitted as well, since the witness marked the entrance
22 and the location of the room which they were before they ran out of the
24 JUDGE PARKER: We will receive this photograph. The blue marking
25 shows the position indicated by the witness of the doorway from which
1 they came.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D00022, Your Honours.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Madam, on the 26th of March, 1999, when you saw the policemen
5 near the police station heading for your homes, what sort of uniforms
6 were they wearing?
7 A. Well, many years have passed, and I'm not too sure about the
8 colour of the uniforms, but they all had the same uniforms. And they
9 were wearing caps and had automatic rifles over their -- in their arms.
10 Q. Thank you. What about the main road, the Pristina-Prizren road,
11 near the police station? Did you see any lorries there on that occasion?
12 A. Are you talking about the 26th of March?
13 Q. Yes. Yes, that's right. I apologise. The 26th of March, that's
14 the only date I'm discussing.
15 A. On the 26th, when we left the house with Vjollca, we left Agron's
16 house and front of -- over there, there was a truck, a large truck
17 parked; and below that there was a large man standing.
18 Q. Madam, I'm asking you about that morning when you saw the
19 policemen near the police station. What about the Prizren-Pristina road
20 just across the way from the police station in Suva Reka? Did you see
21 two lorries there, parked there?
22 A. Parked lorries we saw only in front of the house, in front of our
24 Q. Thank you. What about the junction, the Rastane road and the
25 Pristina-Prizren main road, the intersection? Did you see a jeep that we
1 parked there when you were inside the house looking towards the police
3 A. The moment we left the house, you mean?
4 Q. No, madam. When you were inside the house looking towards the
5 policemen leaving the police station, did you see a jeep parked at the
6 very intersection of the main road and your own street?
7 A. Before the police went to our house in the morning, there was a
8 column of vehicles, of police vehicles. I didn't see any particular
9 jeeps, but there were trucks parked in front of our house at the moment
10 we were leaving. And there were also jeeps and buses and trucks around
11 before that.
12 Q. Madam, we are talking about a truck that was parked outside the
13 shop selling spare parts for cars; am I right?
14 A. Yes, the truck was in front of the house when we left.
15 Q. Thank you. Madam, do you remember your evidence before the war
16 crimes district court in Belgrade
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Do you remember that you talked about the policemen leaving the
19 police station and getting to Ismet Kuci's house?
20 "Before they got to Ismet Kuci's house, that's when I saw them,
21 but I believe they had left the police station previously, they had come
22 out of the police station."
23 A. It's not that I believe it; I saw them leaving the police
25 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Gopalan.
1 I'm sorry. Carry on, Mr. Djurdjic.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Q. Madam, is it true you didn't actually see Bujar get killed, the
4 moment he was killed?
5 A. I was still inside when I heard the crying, the shouting, and
6 when I went outside, I saw Bujar lying down on the balcony and Flora, who
7 was crying from the balcony.
8 Q. Am I right when I say that you did not see the moment Bujar was
9 killed because you were in the house, were you not?
10 A. Yes, that is true. I just heard the noise and when I went out, I
11 saw Bujar lying on the balcony and Flora shouting, Oh, they've killed
12 Bujar, they've killed Bujar. But they killed them all. They just killed
13 them all.
14 Q. Madam, I only want to know about what you actually saw. We need
15 to draw a line between what you saw and what you heard. Other than that,
16 I accept everything you say. But I do know exactly what is your direct
17 personal knowledge and what is something that you heard from others.
18 Therefore, we might as well move on.
19 A. I put everything in my statements, everything that I saw and
20 experienced, everything that I saw with my own eyes. It's not things
21 that I heard because there was nothing to hear from other people. I saw
22 these things with my own eyes, my own eyes. Everything I observed - my
23 children, my husband, the women - I saw everything with my own eyes.
24 Q. Madam, you tell us today that you saw Zoran, and that you
25 recognised him on the 26th of March, that morning. I'm putting it to you
1 that you never in your life spoke to Zoran and that you don't know what
2 he looks like.
3 A. I have never spoken to Zoran, but I do know him very well. I
4 know him really well. I've seen him -- I saw him quite often with his
5 wife in Suhareka. I regret to say it, but his wife was actually a friend
6 of mine, and I hate myself for being so bitter. And we were at school
7 together. We went to the same class of economics in school, and so I
8 know Zoran very well. I used to see him very often in Suhareka with
9 Slavica. And I really hate myself for these feelings that I have because
10 she was a very nice Serb woman. My father was a friend of her father at
11 that time. I know Zoran very well.
12 Q. Madam, you first said on the 4th of December, 2007, that you
13 actually knew his wife and that was before a chamber of the war crimes
14 tribunal, district tribunal, in Belgrade
15 fact before; am I right?
16 A. This is true. I didn't want to mention that. I hate myself for
17 having had her as a friend. I hate myself for having had her as a
18 friend, and that's why I didn't want to mention that. But I do know
19 Zoran very well. I saw him so often in Suhareka. Everyone knew him. He
20 used to go out with the Albanians. He grew up with Albanian bread. He
21 knew how to speak Albanian perfectly.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Gopalan.
23 MS. GOPALAN: I think the moment has passed, Your Honours. I
24 withdraw my objection.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Madam, you gave evidence on the 15th of May, 1992 [sic]. You
3 made a statement to the investigators. You said this: "What I remember
4 is I heard a Serbian man shout in Albania, Bujar, where are you? I
5 recognised the voice of that Serb man, and his name was Zoran. This was
6 the man that Drilon and Sedat had been telling me about."
7 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please wait before you answer.
8 Yes, Ms. Gopalan.
9 MS. GOPALAN: Learned counsel has referred to evidence given on
10 the 15th of May, 1992. The events occurred in 1999. And if references
11 are made to a statement, it would assist if we are informed what these
12 statements are and the correct date, so that we are able to follow.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic, it clearly can't be a statement in
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] No, certainly not. 1999. I may
16 have misspoken myself or maybe it was misinterpreted. The statement to
17 the investigator of the Hague Tribunal was given on the 15th of May,
18 1999, the one that I am quoting now. I do apologise to the interpreters
19 if it was me who misspoke.
20 JUDGE PARKER: And can you give a paragraph or a page number,
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Of course, Your Honour. The
23 English reference is page 7, paragraph 5.
24 [In English] Starting with "The next thing I remember I
25 heard ..."
1 JUDGE PARKER: Now, the point of the question, Ms. Berisha, I
2 think was that in this statement in 1999, if you agree that you said
3 that, what you said is that you recognised the voice of a Serb man who
4 was calling or shouting in Albanian and you then said his name was Zoran.
5 Is that something you said then?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It is the truth, and Drilon
7 and Sedat saw him and Driloni spoke up and said, Dad, dad, that's Zoki,
8 that fat guy; because the Albanians called him Zok, not Zoran. And then
9 when we saw all the police outside, he shouted and I recognised it as
10 Zoran's voice. It was actually Bujar, it was actually Bujar who was
11 called for.
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Thank you, madam. I would like to remind you that you stated
14 before the Belgrade
16 A. Yes, that is true. I've never spoken to Zoran, but I know him.
17 I know him very well, but I just never had an occasion to speak to him.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Gopalan.
19 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, counsel refers to a statement that
20 was given to the Belgrade
21 statement and a paragraph number to assist us in following counsel's line
22 of questioning, please?
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we did submit for
25 translation all the relevant portions of the transcript dated the
1 4th of December, 2007, evidence given before the war crimes district
2 tribunal in Belgrade
3 not to any extent whatsoever, in fact.
4 I will not be tendering this transcript. I'm merely asking the
5 witness questions given the fact that she was there and that she answered
6 certain questions there. I'm presenting the answers to her, and she can
7 tell us whether that was indeed the case or not.
8 As for my reference, the witness claims that she saw Zoran. She
9 explained how exactly she saw him and when, whereas it is the Defence
10 position that she never saw him at all. It was based on the stories that
11 she heard and based on the voice that she thought she recognised that she
12 could actually place him at the scene.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Is there something further, Ms. Gopalan, from that
15 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, it would be helpful perhaps if
16 counsel were to read out the section in the statement that he is
17 referring to.
18 JUDGE PARKER: With a reference for the transcript to the
19 paragraph number, if you could, Mr. Djurdjic. It should be the same
20 number whether in English or in Serbian or in Albanian.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd be glad to
22 oblige; however, the translation is not ready. As a result, I cannot
23 quote the page or the paragraph. I did read directly from the
24 transcript, though. In relation to the first quote, first of all, this
25 is D0001, it's one of our exhibits, D0001-0347, which has not been
1 translated yet.
2 JUDGE PARKER: You recognise, I'm sure, Mr. Djurdjic, that it
3 becomes very difficult both for the Chamber, for the witness, and for the
4 Prosecution to be able to follow and comprehend your questioning when
5 it's based on a statement that none of us have, or a transcript that none
6 of us have. The witness in particular may be at a significant
7 disadvantage in having to try and remember, A, whether anything was said
8 on the occasion you suggest, and if so, what precisely might have been
10 You have put this question; we'll see whether the witness can
11 answer. But I'm afraid the Chamber is going to have to limit your
12 questioning of this type to the extent that it's going to be based on
13 documents that are not before the Chamber and are not in e-court and are
14 not available to the witness or anyone else here. But pursue this one
15 question, if you would.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we introduced the
17 Serbian transcript into the e-court system. Unfortunately, we have so
18 far not been able to get a translation for it. That is why I never came
19 up with the proposal of having this admitted. This was for the sake of a
20 later translation. I'm just quoting from the transcript the relevant
21 portions, Q and A. I want to hear the witness. I want to see what she
22 has to tell me. Is this true or is this false? If she says it's false,
23 fine, then let's move on. I entirely understand the difficult situation
24 which I now find myself.
25 JUDGE PARKER: The emphasis you place on your question, "is it
1 true or is it false," highlights the problem. The witness may have no
2 idea unless and until she can see a transcript of what she said precisely
3 what words she used at some other time. That is the problem.
4 Now, we have suggested that you might pursue on this occasion
5 this question that you've already put to see whether the witness
6 remembers saying that or not. If she doesn't remember, it doesn't mean
7 that it's false or true; it simply means she doesn't know.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Very well, madam. Do you remember that when prompted by the
10 president, Ms. Birahi, the following question:
11 "Mrs. Berisha, did you ever have occasion to speak to Zoran
12 earlier on?"
13 Answer: "No, no. I have never spoken to Zoran. I have only
14 spoken to his wife. Zoran's wife was a childhood friend. I hate myself
15 for that. I travelled to school during our secondary school with Zoran's
16 wife many times ..." and so on and so forth.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. Madam, is it not true that you were never in contact
19 or indeed spoke to Laza Vera, Vera Petkovic, Zoran's mother?
20 A. With Vera his mother, no, but I used to see her quite often in
21 the street, and I used to see how she spoke to other people. But
22 personally, I never had occasion to talk to her. We called her Laza
24 Q. Madam, will you agree with me if I put it to you that you had not
25 even heard of her before the incident occurred that involved the OSCE
1 vehicle, late in 1999, possibly early 1998 -- late in 1998, possibly
2 early 1999?
3 A. No, no. I had heard of her much earlier. I know her as a
4 person. She was a large woman, and I used to see her quite often in
5 town. That's not true, that I only learnt of her that year. No, no. I
6 used to -- I knew of Vera. All the Albanians used to know her, even the
7 Albanians in my village Mushtisht, because she had an Albanian friend
8 there. I knew her earlier.
9 Q. But you never spoke to her, did you? Is that true?
10 A. Yes, it's true, I never talked to her.
11 Q. Madam, is it true, and I think this is something that you
12 confirmed today, about the 26th of March, 1999, the policemen did not
13 actually go into Vesel Berisha's house, did they?
14 A. The police arrived to the house where we were, and they came into
15 the yard. They did not go into the house. They shot with their arms,
16 but I didn't see how they killed Bujar. I just heard the noise. And at
17 that moment I heard shouting and they said, Get out of the house, out of
18 the house; and so we left the house. They came to the house of
19 Vesel Berisha but did not enter it. It was a very short period of time
20 that we were inside there.
21 Q. Thank you. Again, I would like to ask you to stick to the
22 substance of my question, please, when providing your answers.
23 Is it not true that the policemen never told you in which
24 direction to run when you left the house, Vesel Berisha's house?
25 A. No. They just shouted at us in Serbian, Get away, go away, and
1 cursed us, swore at us.
2 Q. Thank you. Nevertheless, my question was, is it not true that
3 the policemen never told you in which direction to run, and in that case
4 the answer is yes, that's true, they just shouted at us in Serbian. So
5 the answer should be a yes, should it not?
6 A. I don't know exactly what kind of answer you want. I'm telling
7 you that the police came and shouted at us, told us to get out of the
8 house; and we set off running towards our house. From Vjollca's house we
9 ran towards our house. They did not direct us in a particular direction.
10 They just shouted at us. It was total confusion at that moment.
11 Q. Thank you. Thank you. You've explained everything now.
12 Am I right if I say that outside the pizzeria you found other
13 members of the Berisha family, and they didn't tell you how they came to
14 be there, or why?
15 A. Yes. I met other members of the Berisha family there, Hajdin's
16 family and Avdiu's, and I asked them, Who told you to come here? And
17 they said, The police told us to come here. And there was nothing else
18 that was said.
19 Q. Is it true that you would have pressed on, as simple as that, had
20 you not found them there?
21 A. What we would have done, we perhaps would have survived, all of
22 us. What sort of question is that? What do you mean, what would we have
23 done? I was taking care of all the children. I would have left. I ran,
24 and when I saw Vjollca and Flora, Sebahate, I stopped to be with my
1 Q. Thank you, madam. Let me just ask you this: What about right
2 across the street behind the municipality building? Is the house of your
3 husband's uncle there?
4 A. No, it's the house of Vesel Berisha, not of my husband's uncle.
5 You're talking about the house of Jashar Berisha, who worked at the gas
7 Q. No, no, Mrs. Shyhrete. The brother of your husband's father,
8 he's the one I'm talking about.
9 A. The brother of my husband's brother is Vesel Berisha. He is the
10 father-in-law of Vjollca, and that house is behind our house. And that's
11 where the two policemen came, and they killed Bujar and shouted at us and
12 told us to leave. That is the house of the uncle, my husband's uncle.
13 But there's another uncle and his house is in the centre of Suhareka.
14 His name is Rasim Berisha. His house is not behind that one. It's in
15 the centre of Suhareka.
16 Q. Thank you. I do apologise, but there was a person who presented
17 himself as the brother of your husband's father.
18 Would I be right in saying that you did not see a single member
19 of the military on the 26th of March, 1999, in Suva Reka while this was
20 going on?
21 A. In the morning, I saw movements of vehicles and buses.
22 Q. You saw them moving along the road, along the street outside?
23 A. Yes, a column of vehicles, when I was on the street, in the
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: A column of vehicles
1 that was on the street.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Q. But that column, that convoy was on the road. It was moving, was
4 it not?
5 A. Yes, that's true.
6 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that you cannot say how many policemen
7 were there in front of the pizzeria when you arrived and that you did not
8 see a single policeman?
9 A. When we were talking about Lirija, when she called me, she said,
10 Come over here, your uncle needs help. And she also called her other
11 relatives over to help. Lirija's husband, she was pregnant, and she
12 would have given birth two weeks later. And when Lirija and I were
13 talking, I told her, I can't go over there. They'll kill me, too, and I
14 have my children to take care of. Lirija started to move and help her
15 people. By that time the police came and we were all forced into the
16 pizzeria at that moment. I saw them with my own eyes; I'm not blind. I
17 saw them. It all happened very quickly.
18 Q. Can you tell me then what sort of uniforms these policemen were
20 A. Now, I'm not certain about the colour of the uniforms, but they
21 were wearing uniforms, caps, and automatic rifles. But I'm not sure
22 about the colour. A large group of them came, and Hava and Lirija were
23 unable to go and help the men, so they remained there with us.
24 Q. Very well. Thank you. Today you said that when passing by the
25 petrol pump you met Jashar Berisha and that you spoke to him, and you
1 told us about this conversation. Was there anybody else at the petrol
2 pump besides Jashar Berisha at that time?
3 A. This was a short moment in time. As we were running, he was --
4 he just asked me this, and I replied. I had no time to look around
5 whether there was someone else. This is the moment when he asked me,
6 What's going on, why are you running? And when I said to him that the
7 Serbian police killed our men. He is the only person I spoke to at the
8 petrol station. I didn't see anything else.
9 Q. Thank you. Mrs. Shyhrete, do you remember when you testified
10 before the war crimes department of the district court in Belgrade
11 were asked by Counsel Folic whether you could say whether the policemen
12 who were in front of your house were also in front of the pizzeria:
13 "Were these the same policemen who were in the witness's
14 courtyard and in front of the pizzeria, did the witness recognise
15 anyone," and then you answered: "I have said more than once, sir, that I
16 couldn't see anyone in the pizzeria, whether they were policemen,
17 civilians, or who these people were. I've stated that more than once."
18 A. What I said was that I was unable to recognise who was who.
19 There was a group of policemen, but I was amidst children and women; and
20 I was unable to recognise them. But a group of policemen was there. In
22 But I have explained what I went through to the investigators of
23 The Hague
24 family, to the Berisha family, in Suhareka.
25 Q. Thank you. Mrs. Berisha, you received several very serious
1 injuries. You were treated in several medical institutions. You must
2 have voluminous medical documentation; am I right?
3 A. Yes. Initially, in Kosova I was treated with basic medicine, and
4 when I arrived in Albania
5 an operation, and they removed part of the grenade. I don't know what it
6 is called, but they removed it from my body.
7 Q. Thank you. Did you hand over this medical documentation to the
8 OTP? Did they ask for it?
9 A. No. I think that Rufus, the OSCE chief, who took me there to the
10 Italian hospital, I think that he had the notes and the documents of what
11 was removed from my body. But personally it was of no interest to me to
12 get this documentation because rarely can someone understand my
13 situation. This shrapnel in my body didn't mean anything at the time,
14 and as I said, I still have shrapnels in my body.
15 Q. Ms. Shyhrete, you misunderstood me. Did you give any medical
16 documents to the Prosecutors of the Hague Tribunal, and did they ask you
17 to give them that?
18 A. I understood your question very well. I understand you very
19 well. And I told you that I did not get any document from the Italian
20 doctors, and I did not hand over anything to the ICTY investigators in
21 terms of documents. Had he asked me for documents, I would have asked
22 Rufus for them, and I would have provided him with the documents. But
23 these documents should be somewhere today. Personally, I didn't get any
24 documents with me, but I know that the document exists and that the
25 doctors, the Italian doctors, wrote down everything they did during the
1 operation on those documents. It was a small hospital in Kukes where
2 they performed operations.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Djurdjic?
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Could I mention that we are getting concerned at
6 the amount of time being taken. We had hoped to finish this witness,
7 including re-examination, before the end of today and things have been
8 moving very slowly during this last session. Could you please try and
9 give attention to time as you look at your notes over the break. Thank
11 We will adjourn now and resume at ten minutes past 6.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 6.14 p.m.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I hope
16 that we can deal with the rest of the questions very quickly.
17 Q. Madam, do you remember on the 4th of December, 2007, you were in
19 morning there had been an ID parade, which is its formal name. Do you
20 remember that?
21 A. The identification of those persons whose names I gave?
22 Q. The identification of all persons accused before that chamber of
23 the war crimes district court in Belgrade, all seven of them who you
24 identified. There were seven groups. You were on the ground floor of
25 that building at a quarter past 8.00 that morning when the ID parade
1 began. Do you remember that? You were facing an investigating judge and
2 then an ID parade took place.
3 A. I gave the names of only three persons. But the day their
4 identification was made, and then after that we immediately went to
6 Q. Madam, can you please answer my question? There were seven
7 persons who were indicted before the war crimes district court in
8 Belgrade, indicted for war crimes, regardless of how many you actually
9 mentioned. You were shown seven groups with five persons each, and you
10 were asked whether you could identify any persons who were in those
11 groups. Do you remember that?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have exhibit,
15 Defence Exhibit D0001-3042.
16 Your Honours, while we're waiting for the exhibit to come up,
17 unfortunately, the first page was translated into English and then
18 instead of page 2, page 4 was translated. This is an error because the
19 page that we want to be looking at is page 2. However, this is page 1,
20 the beginning of the record of the ID parade.
21 Q. My question: Do you remember that you failed to identify
22 Zoran Petkovic during the actual parade?
23 A. Yes, it's true. I couldn't recognise Zoran because he had
24 changed a lot.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we please mark
2 this for identification until such time as page 2 has been translated?
3 By mistake, page 4 was translated instead of page 2, but the witness
4 still confirmed what I asked her.
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be marked for identification.
6 I'm sorry, Ms. Gopalan.
7 MS. GOPALAN: Could I just confirm that the relevant page, which
8 is page 1, is the document that's not available at the moment and that's
9 the one that's being marked for identification?
10 JUDGE PARKER: What is being marked at the moment is a page 1 and
11 a page 4, or alternatively it's the whole of the document in Serbian.
12 Which was it that you had in mind, Mr. Djurdjic?
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I asked for the
14 entire document to be translated; nevertheless, only page 1 has been
15 translated, and the page that counts is page 2, containing the
16 identification of Zoran Petkovic. We only have it in the Serbian. Soon
17 we shall have a translation into English as well, and that relates to the
18 entire document, or at least I hope so; and not only the relevant page,
19 whereas page 1 has already been translated into the English.
20 JUDGE PARKER: We will mark for identification the whole document
21 in Serbian and the pages that have been translated into English.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D00023, MFI, Your Honours.
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Madam, is it true that you left Kosovo and Metohija at the Morina
25 pass and you crossed the border into Albania?
1 A. I left Kosova and went to Albania through Kukes crossing. This
2 is where I crossed, at Kukes.
3 Q. My apologies. And whose border crossing would that be?
4 A. I don't remember the name, but I only remember that from Kosova,
5 we went to Kukes.
6 Q. Thank you. Is it true that when you crossed the border you
7 failed to display any ID whatsoever? None of the documents were taken
8 from you, were they?
9 A. I didn't have any documents on me. I didn't have anything to
10 give them, since I didn't have anything. I only had the wounds inflicted
11 on me by the Serb police. Nothing more than that.
12 Q. Thank you. Is it true that you have no certificate whatsoever
13 showing that a blood sample was taken from you at the hospital in Albania
14 following your surgery? No certificate by the Hague Tribunal OTP or,
15 indeed, any other organisation that might have taken a sample of your
17 A. I didn't get any certificates. I told you it was Rufus with me,
18 the chief of the OSCE. I didn't get any -- any documents, any piece of
19 paper. But the Italians operated me in their own hospital, removing the
20 shrapnel from my stomach. It's true that I don't have any documents
22 Q. My last question, madam: Is it true that when you were in Bukosh
23 you did not get off the tractor? You weren't at the school building.
24 Everything you learned, you learned from other people. Is that not true?
25 A. No, I didn't learn anything from others. I saw everything with
1 my own eyes. I was on the tractor. I didn't get off the tractor. They
2 didn't take me to the school, but from the tractor I followed up
3 everything that happened. I didn't hear anything from other people. I
4 didn't need to. I was one of them. I was in their midst.
5 Q. In that case I have no choice but to show you your own statement
6 dated the 15th of May, 1999. The English version is D0001-30 -- that's
7 the Serbian. D0001-3010. Page 13 in the English, paragraph 3, starting
8 with the following words:
9 [In English] "The women were taken into the school and stripped
10 down and their money and gold was taken, and they were released."
11 [Interpretation] Have you heard this, madam? I can read the same
12 thing back to you --
13 A. The women said so, but they didn't take me to the school, nor did
14 they ask me to get off the tractor. The other women were taken to the
15 school, and these women told me that they were robbed of the money they
16 had and the jewelry they had on them. I didn't see what they were robbed
17 of at the school, this is true, but the other things I saw and I
18 witnessed with my own eyes. I saw the Serb police shooting, I saw when
19 they took away the young man along with the old man, and I saw that some
20 of the young men never returned.
21 Q. Thank you, madam. I was only putting it to you that this was
22 something you heard, you were not at the school building. Thank you,
23 madam. I have no further questions for you.
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Djurdjic.
1 Ms. Gopalan, is there any re-examination?
2 MS. GOPALAN: There is no re-examination, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 Questioned by the Court:
6 JUDGE PARKER: I wonder whether you can assist me, Ms. Berisha.
7 You said during your questioning by Mr. Djurdjic that that morning you
8 had heard a voice calling for Bujar in Albanian, and you recognised the
9 voice as Zoran's voice. Do you remember the occasion we're speaking of?
10 A. Yes, this is what I said.
11 JUDGE PARKER: What I would like to learn from you is how did you
12 recognise Zoran's voice if you had never spoken to him.
13 A. I am certain that it was Zoran because he spoke very good
14 Albanian. It was Zoran. I didn't have an opportunity to speak to him,
15 but I have run against him on the street with his wife many times.
16 Therefore, I am certain that it was Zoran.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Are you --
18 A. Because no one better than he, than Zoran, knew to speak such
19 good Albanian.
20 JUDGE PARKER: So it was the way that he spoke Albanian rather
21 than the actual voice that caused you to identify the speaker as Zoran.
22 A. Yes, because his Albanian was -- you could take his Albanian for
23 a native speaker's. I didn't say that it was Zoran's brother, even
24 though his brother, too, was in the group. But in the case of Zoran, I
25 am sure that it was him. It was his voice.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
2 Now, you'll be pleased to know that that concludes the --
3 Ms. Gopalan.
4 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, based on your questions, I have one
5 final question, with your leave.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Well, we'll see first whether there is any
7 question that Mr. Djurdjic would like to put arising from what I asked.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Yes.
9 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Djurdjic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Did Miskovic also speak Albanian?
11 A. I don't know about Miskovic. I am not sure about him, whether he
12 spoke or not, Albanian. I knew Zoran more than him. But Miskovic's
13 brother had a good company among Albanians.
14 Q. Yes, Madam Shyhrete, but he, too, spoke Albanian; is that
16 A. I don't know about Miskovic. I am not sure. But I do know about
17 Zoran. I am 100 percent sure about his Albanian. He spoke Albanian
18 every day.
19 Q. I'm telling you that all Serbs in Suva Reka spoke Albanian if
20 they needed to, just as you can speak the Serbian language.
21 A. No, no. Not all of them speak Albanian. We Albanians use --
22 most of us used to speak Serbian because we were obliged to learn Serbian
23 in school, but this was not the case with the Serbs. Very few of them
24 knew how to speak Albanian. Zoran was one of them. He spoke very good
25 Albanian. And the brother of his wife, Kola, he too spoke very good
1 Albanian. I know who spoke Albanian. We, all of us, knew how to speak
2 Serbian, but the Serbs, there were a minority who spoke Albanian.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
5 Ms. Gopalan.
6 Further Re-examination by Ms. Gopalan:
7 Q. Madam Berisha, you just said that Zoran spoke very good Albanian.
8 When was the first time in your life you ever heard Zoran's voice?
9 A. I heard Zoran speak many times when I met him with his wife. He
10 spoke with Albanians; hey you, you are, where are you, and so on. But
11 directly, I didn't have an occasion to speak with him myself, but I heard
12 him speak Albanian many times with Albanians and with Serbs. It was
14 But in Belgrade
15 had passed, and he had changed a lot. He had become thinner. He was
16 wearing glasses. So it was not the same man I used to know, whereas
17 Miskovic and Zoran's brother I knew -- recognised him immediately. It is
18 normal for me after nine years of what I went through that I was unable
19 to recognise him. But when he spoke in the court, I immediately
20 recognised Zoran.
21 Q. Thank you very much, Madam Berisha. I have no further questions
22 for you.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
24 Ms. Berisha, you'll be pleased to know that that completes the
25 questions which are put to you in this matter. We would like to thank
1 you for coming to The Hague
2 than once, and it puts you under pressure. We appreciate your coming and
3 we thank you for the assistance that you've been able to give.
4 You may now go with the court officer and you are free to leave,
5 to go back to your ordinary life. Thank you very much.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp.
9 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour. The next witness is
10 Ali Gjogaj, and he will be taken by Mr. Matthias Neuner, who is just now
11 coming in front of the court.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, sir. Would you please read aloud
14 the affirmation which is on the card now shown to you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I solemnly declare that I
16 will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 WITNESS: ALI
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down. I believe
20 Mr. Neuner has some questions for you.
21 Examination by Mr. Neuner:
22 Q. Good evening, first of all.
23 A. Good evening.
24 Q. Could you please state your name.
25 A. My name is Ali Gjogaj. I was born on the 25th of November, 1963
1 Q. And what is your ethnicity, Mr. Gjogaj?
2 A. I'm a Roma.
3 Q. Could you tell us, what job did you perform in 1999?
4 A. In the beginning, I worked as a cleaner in the city, in the town,
5 and then in the meantime I was assigned by the civilian defence to work
6 with corpses.
7 Q. Could you tell us for which company did you work?
8 A. Public Hygiene, it was called.
9 Q. And who was your superior in Public Hygiene?
10 A. The director general was Jova Vujicic and Budimir Spasic was our
11 director, supervisor.
12 Q. And I want to take you now to the events in 1999, the NATO air
13 bombardments. Could you tell us what clothes was Mr. Jova Vujicic
14 wearing during the air bombardment at work?
15 A. Jova Vujicic wore police clothes. He was a reservist wearing
16 police clothes. He was a major by rank. This is -- this was his duty.
17 Q. And where was the headquarters of Public Hygiene in 1999?
18 A. In the outskirts, on the road leading to Albania, this is where
19 the offices were.
20 Q. And could you tell us, during the NATO air campaign in 1999, who
21 was having offices at the headquarters -- at the headquarters of
22 Public Hygiene?
23 A. Different police that were there and that had come from Serbia
24 were also stationed there, but I didn't know them. But there were other
25 policemen there in the office.
1 Q. If you're saying "in the office," where exactly were the
2 police -- where exactly were the police from Serbia stationed? Can you
3 clarify it?
4 A. They were stationed inside our company's building, in our
5 offices. They removed our bosses, and they took over the offices.
6 Q. Okay. And why do you think these people coming from Serbia
8 A. They were wearing police uniforms, and you could tell from their
9 uniforms that they were policemen.
10 Q. And when did these people start using offices in the headquarters
11 of Public Hygiene?
12 A. During the NATO air-strikes. They were not stationed there
13 before, but in the meantime when the campaign started, the NATO campaign,
14 a group of policemen came to the headquarters.
15 Q. And could you just, for the record, clarify in which town Public
16 Hygiene was located?
17 A. Public Hygiene is situated in the western part of the town.
18 Q. Of which town, please?
19 A. Prizren.
20 Q. I want to ask you now about your work which you performed during
21 the NATO air bombardment. What were you doing?
22 A. I worked as a cleaner, but when the NATO air-strikes began, they
23 provided us with civilian defence uniforms. And one day we were taken to
24 Koris, to dig bodies. There they had prepared everything - the trucks,
25 the bulldozers, everything. And I also worked at the --
1 Q. Can I just stop you there for a moment --
2 A. -- the Prizren morgue.
3 Q. You gave us a lot of information. You said, "One day we were
4 taken to Koris." Could you first of all transcribe -- okay, the
5 transcript says Koris. Could, you first of all, describe the location or
6 the name of the location correctly, please.
7 A. Korisha, in fact, Lubizhda. I misspoke. It is a village, the
8 village of Lubizhda, and the police had a check-point nearby; and they
9 carried out their training, the army there. It was a training ground of
10 the army of Serbia
11 Q. An army training ground for what?
12 A. The army practiced target practising, did target practising there
13 in that training ground.
14 Q. Okay. Would it help you if I show you a map that you could
15 introduce us to where the training ground of the army called Korisa was?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. NEUNER: We have prepared here hard copies. I know we're
18 working with e-court system normally, but the point is that we had to
19 combine two maps which are on separate sheets in e-court, and I'm
20 referring here to item 65 ter number 615. And to make it also easier for
21 this witness, we have produced print-outs today; and with the assistance
22 of the usher, I would ask that these be distributed to the witness and
23 please also to the Defence and the Judges.
24 [Prosecution counsel confer]
25 MR. NEUNER: We are making an attempt to do it electronically.
1 Q. Mr. Gjogaj, could I ask you maybe to wear your glasses as well,
2 because it might not be very visible on the screen. We'll try it
3 electronically first.
4 MR. NEUNER: For the record, in e-court it's uploaded, it's 65
5 ter number 615.01. Maybe to make it easier here we could not divide the
6 screen but have the map on one screen, because it's very small, as it
7 stands right now.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 MR. NEUNER: Could the witness please have -- could we zoom out a
10 little bit.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now it's okay.
12 MR. NEUNER: Yes. Could the usher please give the witness a pen.
13 Q. And I would ask you to encircle, if you can, Korisa.
14 A. Just a moment, please. This is approximately the location where
15 we dig out the bodies. It's not the exact location but the approximate
16 area. It's very small on the map.
17 Q. Could you mark a 1 next to this area you just encircled.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. Thank you. The first question I have for you is when
20 approximately during the war did you go there?
21 A. We went in early April. I'm not good with dates because we
22 didn't pay attention.
23 Q. Okay. And which year is that, sir? Early April which year?
24 A. 1999.
25 Q. Could you tell me who, if anybody, escorted you on your way
2 A. They came to our houses to collect us. It was about 8.00 or
3 9.00 p.m.
4 clothes and gloves. Buda was there and three other men. And we straight
5 set off in the direction of Suhareka and then returned to the training
7 There, everything was prepared, the excavators, the trucks,
8 everything. Our director was there.
9 Q. May I just interrupt. Please try to answer my question. I only
10 wanted to know who, if anybody, was escorting you on the way there. We
11 will come to the rest later.
12 A. Buda and Jova, in other words, the director and my immediate
14 Q. And for clarification, these are the directors of Public Hygiene?
15 A. Yes, the director of the Public Hygiene company, Jova.
16 Q. And once you arrived on the spot in Korisa, whom did you see?
17 A. The police was there with another truck. We were in a van. We
18 got off the van, and we were waiting.
19 Q. Could you describe the truck of the police. You say the police
20 was there with a truck.
21 A. It was a Pinzgauer, not a truck. There were four or five
22 Pinzgauers of the police.
23 Q. Why do you believe these Pinzgauers were of the police?
24 A. Because it was known that police was present there, and the
25 police moved about with these vehicles in that area.
1 Q. What colour did the vehicle have?
2 A. It was dark, but to my recollection it was dark blue. They were
3 police vehicles.
4 Q. You said already it was dark. What time approximately did you
5 arrive in Korisa?
6 A. Around 9.00 p.m.
7 Q. And you mentioned earlier that the directors of your company were
8 there, Buda and Jova. What were they wearing?
9 A. The director Jova was wearing police clothes, while Jova [as
10 interpreted] military clothes, army clothes.
11 Q. Okay. Then you said the police were there. What were the
12 policemen doing on the spot in Korisa?
13 A. Some of the policemen were guarding us so that we wouldn't be
14 disturbed, and some other policemen were removing bodies from another
15 grave with an excavator on a different site.
16 Q. How many policemen were engaged in doing this removal of the
17 bodies on the other side?
18 A. About seven or eight policemen. Seven or eight.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Neuner, could I direct your attention to page
20 41, lines 7 and 8. There seems an inconsistency of answer which you may
21 need to resolve.
22 MR. NEUNER: Yes.
23 Q. I want to clarify one issue. You gave an answer a moment ago
24 about the clothes of the director Jova.
25 A. Jova.
1 Q. Yes. The transcript reflects that you said, and it may be a
2 translation error, that Jova was wearing police clothes and Jova was
3 wearing military clothes. Could you clarify who from your directors was
4 wearing which clothes, please.
5 A. Jova was wearing police clothes, the general director, while
6 Budimir Spasic, who was our boss, immediate boss, he was wearing army
8 Q. Okay. I could clarify this further.
9 MR. NEUNER: Could we maybe take a shot of this map for now. I
10 will use it later on again, but I want to show an exhibit to make it
11 really clear. Could I ask that this be tendered into evidence,
12 Your Honour.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received. We need also to receive the
14 unmarked version first, and then the marked one.
15 THE REGISTRAR: The unmarked version, Your Honours, is document
16 ID 00615.01 will be assigned P00276.
17 MR. NEUNER: And could I kindly ask that the marked version be
18 tendered as well.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00277, Your Honours.
20 MR. NEUNER: Just before the break, could I have 65 ter
21 number 02375 be shown to this witness.
22 Q. While this is popping up, Mr. Gjogaj, I just wanted to follow up
23 on your description of the uniforms of your directors.
24 MR. NEUNER: Could we enlarge this a little bit. I see my
25 learned colleague on his feet.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think it is
3 inappropriate to carry out identification or recognition of four uniforms
4 shown to the witness. First of all, this sort of exhibit existed before
5 when the witness participated in proceedings and this same picture was
6 shown. If an identification is being carried out, and if the witness is
7 meant to recognise something, there should be many more uniforms shown so
8 that there really is a choice and the witness really does recognise
9 something. But this is not recognition. Otherwise, you could show the
10 witness a single uniform and ask him, Is that the one?
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Neuner.
12 MR. NEUNER: Indeed, the Prosecution's aware that there are four
13 options given here to this witness. The point is that these were the
14 options initially shown to this witness when he was interviewed by
15 investigators of this Tribunal, and in the Prosecution's submission, each
16 of these four models here have a distinct character.
17 So of course 10, 15 could have been shown as well; but we believe
18 that still the witness has an option here to choose between one of the
19 four models, or he could even say that his directors did not wear any of
20 these four models. So he's at liberty to pick one of these options or
21 even say, As far as I remember, the uniforms by my superiors, they are
22 not reflected here at all, so in fact the witness has five choices.
23 So we would submit that this is still a valuable choice for this
24 witness to make. And the montage was also used in the previous case, in
25 the Milutinovic case, and we don't have another montage prepared,
1 Your Honours.
2 JUDGE PARKER: That answers the question I was about to ask: Is
3 this the only prepared examples of camouflage uniform that you have?
4 MR. NEUNER: I was just asking again my colleagues. We don't
5 have, I'm told, another such example with more options available. One
6 moment, Your Honours.
7 [Prosecution counsel confer]
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 MR. NEUNER: What we can do ...
10 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber would allow the question to be put,
11 Mr. Djurdjic, recognising of course that the choice is limited, that the
12 samples are not extensive; and that, therefore, there may be quite a
13 question as to the weight which the Chamber in the end can give to the
14 answer. But that will be something to be determined in due course.
15 Mr. Neuner, we are over time. Do you want to press this issue
16 now or should it continue tomorrow morning?
17 MR. NEUNER: I hope that we are getting a short answer tonight.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Very good. We'll press on.
19 MR. NEUNER:
20 Q. Witness, you talked about Jova Vujicic. Do you, in looking at
21 this example, remember how eventually his uniform looked that night?
22 A. Jova's uniform was this one of the police.
23 Q. You will get a pen. If you could mark the sample you recognise
24 with a 1.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Okay. You have twice ticked this sample. It's the upper
2 left-hand sample in the exhibit here.
3 And do you recognise, if possible, any uniform which was
4 Budimir Spasic wearing that night among the four samples?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Which one would that be? If you can mark it with a number 2,
8 A. [Marks]
9 MR. NEUNER: For the record, the witness has marked the upper
10 right-hand square on this exhibit. With this explanation, I would seek
11 to tender it into evidence, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00278, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Neuner, we need to break for the evening now.
15 We must now break to continue tomorrow morning at 9.00 in another
16 courtroom. The people assisting you will show you where to go and give
17 you further directions overnight. If you could be back here to continue
18 your evidence tomorrow morning before 9.00.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No problems.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
21 We will now adjourn for the evening and resume at 9.00 in the
22 morning, I believe it's Courtroom I.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.06 p.m.
24 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 5th day of
25 February, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.