1 Thursday, 12 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.14 p.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. [French on English channel]
7 WITNESS: JOHN PAUL SWEENEY [Resumed]
8 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, I'm listening to French.
9 JUDGE PARKER: You're listening to French. You should be on
10 channel 4. We'll get that adjusted for you.
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, I'm now back in English.
12 JUDGE PARKER: That sounds familiar, perhaps. Channel 4.
13 THE WITNESS: I now work for the other side. There was one thing
14 I wanted to raise, if I may, and that is that yesterday the Prosecution
15 asked me some questions about dates, and I've just did a bit of checking
16 last night, and so if it helps I can set out precisely the date framework
17 and a couple -- a few bits more information.
18 As I understand it, NATO struck on Wednesday, the 24th of March,
19 1999, at 8 p.m.
20 of March, according to an Albanian witness, from uncle Mehmet Abduli. He
21 told me - and others did as well - but he told me specifically his
22 information was good, I thought. But they arrived -- this convoy arrived
23 at 3.40 a.m.
24 15 buses, with Serb registrations on the buses from Nis and Leskovac.
25 One had "Express Nis" written on it. He reckoned there were 50 men to
1 each bus, so that's 750 men on the buses, and then the men's on the tanks
2 and the half-tracks. He said that there were volunteers with blue police
3 fatigues with white militia armbands and all armed.
4 Now, on their arrival the Albanians in the village ran to the
5 hills, and that is, if you understand the geography, you have the
6 mountains of Albania
7 as it were, and then you have the main road and the village, and then
8 further east there is a bluff, wooded, and that's where the majority of
9 the villagers ran. They were -- the Serbs fired shells at them, some
10 kind of artillery, and they stayed out there the night.
11 The next morning, the morning of Friday, the 26th of March, they
12 realised that they had been surrounded. Some of the Serb forces had gone
13 on the other side of them, and so the villagers surrendered. Then they
14 all came back to the village of Mala Krusa. Then there was the
16 It was at this selection that Granny Batusha recognised
17 Dimitri Nikolic. So when I said the name Dimitri Nikolic, that's where
18 she in particular places him, and she called out Dimitri, and he looked
19 away. Mehmet Abduli, himself, he recognised, he says, others, but I
20 don't want to -- well, the names I've got are the names I've got.
21 In terms of the numbers, it's hard to put a precise number on,
22 but I believe my best estimate was 109 men in the hay barn of whom six
23 survived. That number may be wrong, but the order magnitude is right.
24 THE WITNESS: The oldest was a man called Bali Avdyli who was 72,
25 the youngest --
1 JUDGE PARKER: You'll see the Defence.
2 THE COURT REPORTER: Sorry, can you slow down, please.
3 THE WITNESS: Sorry.
4 JUDGE PARKER: You'll see the Defence.
5 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry. I'll do this. The oldest was Bali
6 Avdyli, 72; the youngest was Xhelal Shehu, 13.
7 Do you want me to spell those?
8 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
10 MR. DJORDJEVIC: I see that the witness is reading from a little
11 notebook. He didn't do that yesterday; he is doing that today. I would
12 ask him to have the witness just explain what notebook he's using today,
13 why he didn't use it yesterday, and what this is all about today, before
14 he continues with his testimony.
15 JUDGE PARKER: I couldn't see the notebook from here,
16 Mr. Djordjevic. Thank you for that.
17 THE WITNESS: It's a simple notebook. Essentially I wrote a
18 series of articles associated with the film for my newspaper. I re-read
19 the articles, and I've got the dates, which I've written down in this
20 notebook. This is simply a --
21 JUDGE PARKER: Are these notes you made last night, is what
22 you're saying?
23 THE WITNESS: Yes. But also, yesterday I didn't have in front of
24 me my statement. Simply, and I'm expanding a little bit, but I want to
25 be able to tell you the dates of the programme. That was the precise
1 question that I couldn't remember. So --
2 JUDGE PARKER: I think what you've done so far is to enable us to
3 understand more precisely the time of some of the events you spoke of --
4 THE WITNESS: Yes.
5 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... yesterday
6 from your own understanding overnight. It would be better now if you
7 left off what you were doing and put away your notebook, and
8 Mr. Djordjevic can proceed with his questions, and if there's anything
9 more needs to be followed up in your re-examination, Ms. Kravetz will be
10 able to deal with that.
11 THE WITNESS: Sure thing. I'll put it away. It's just I've got
12 the precise dates of when I entered Kosovo, when I first went to
13 Little Krusa, and the dates of the two films.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
15 If you want any of those, Mr. Djordjevic, you can ask for them,
16 or else Ms. Kravetz may in due course.
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I think
18 that this intervention will do, as far as I'm concerned.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Djordjevic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon. I'm Dragoljub Djordjevic,
21 Defence counsel for the accused Vlastimir Djordjevic. I'm an
23 Mr. Sweeney, I'm going to put a few questions to you now that
24 primarily have to do with your testimony yesterday. Also, my questions
25 relate to the statement that you gave on the 22nd of January, 23rd of
1 January, and 24th of January, 2001, to an investigator of the OTP.
2 Now I'm going to start my series of questions. I heard from you
3 yesterday, like we all did, that you are an experienced journalist and
4 that you've been doing that kind of work for almost 20 years. Over the
5 past 10
6 investigative journalism.
7 I would kindly ask you to explain this genre of journalism in the
8 briefest possible terms. What is this investigative journalism, and what
9 do you mean when you say that?
10 A. Good question. All journalism is, in some sense, investigative
11 because what we're trying to do is tell -- tell people things they
12 perhaps don't already know or they don't appreciate the significance of.
13 What I've tried to do is to -- is to tell stories which are worth
14 telling, which aren't invading people's privacy, doing stories about the
15 Royal Family. I would hate that; I don't like that. The stories -- I
16 prefer to do stories that powerful people don't want told, and they're
17 stories that must be well-evidenced.
18 So, in a sense, the most important thing is you've got good
19 evidence something bad that's going on and you put it out, and you put it
20 out fairly and squarely. And there are often bits which don't make sense
21 or don't initially make sense or are in some ways against the -- against
22 the flow. And it's very important to report those, too, as well.
23 So that is -- my essential description of what I do is telling
24 stories powerful people don't want told.
25 Q. This kind of reporting, does it mean that there should be
1 objectivity involved and should the nature of your work be documentary?
2 A. Absolutely.
3 Q. Thank you. When we're speaking specifically about the report
4 that you compiled for channel 4 and for your newspaper - I believe that
5 you said that you were writing for The Observer at the time - did you
6 make assessments that were lopsided because you did not obtain enough
7 information beforehand?
8 A. I'm not perfect; I'm only human. But you'd have to give me
9 slightly more information.
10 Q. Do you know about the then-Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
11 were its bordering states, especially the Autonomous Province of Kosovo?
12 If you give me an answer to this effect, could you also refer to the
13 cardinal points - north, south, east, west? Who are the neighbours on
14 north, south, east, west?
15 A. Well, yes. I've been to Yugoslavia
16 in March 1991 after Mr. Milosevic sent the tanks in against the students
17 in Belgrade
20 bottom, next to Macedonia
21 Q. What about Kosovo, as an autonomous province? What states does
22 it border? I am not referring to Serbia and Montenegro
23 because they later established a country that was called the Federal
24 Republic of Yugoslavia
25 Republic of Serbia
1 of Serbia
2 is Vojvodina and the other one is Kosovo and Metohija. So what were the
3 border states on the south of Kosovo and also what about the border on
4 the west? Or to be more specific, on the south-west? And what about the
6 A. We're talking -- well, obviously I've just said Albania, and
8 part of the former Yugoslavia
9 getting at.
10 Q. No, no, the Federal Republic
11 and I will ask you now specifically whether you will agree with me that
12 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, that is to say, not the former
13 Socialist Federal Republic
15 is called the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, whereas the Socialist
16 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had not been in existence for quite a
17 while by then. Will we agree that Kosovo or, rather, the Federal
18 Republic of Yugoslavia
19 which is called the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia?
20 A. Okay.
21 Q. That's because of the dispute with Greece.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Just slow down your question. It's not even a
23 question but parts of it are questions. But it's very long, and it's
24 becoming extremely difficult for those trying to do so to keep up with
1 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Good point, Your Honour. Good
2 point. I shall abide by that in the future. I am sorry.
3 Q. So, on the south it borders the former Yugoslav Republic
5 within that framework, on the north there is the so-called Serbia
6 and on the west, the present-day Republic of Montenegro
7 independent state but at that time was within the Federal Republic
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. Thank you. Thank you. My next question: You mention figures in
11 your statements ranging between 700.000 and 800.000 Kosovo Albanians who
12 fled to Albania
13 A. Yes. I don't want to -- I'm a human being. I didn't count every
14 single Kosovo Albanian who left Kosovo after the NATO strike. So
15 essentially what we were doing was relying upon estimates that the
16 international -- various international bodies, like the Red Cross, and
17 various UN bodies were giving out. And that was the rough -- those rough
18 numbers which are reported at the time. I believe they were accurate at
19 the time. If there are new numbers, which I would imagine would be
20 smaller numbers, that wouldn't surprise me.
21 And I would make this distinction in my evidence to this Court.
22 There are things that I heard about and reported, both on the film and in
23 my newspaper, and then there are things that I have seen with my own
24 eyes. So, I would say with my own eyes I have seen the holes in the
25 ground of the Batusha hay barn was, evidence of a massacre covered up. I
1 would say as to the 800.000 refugees --
2 Q. We'll deal with that later.
3 A. Okay, but you appreciate the distinction between the two, between
4 things which I'm reporting because I've heard them and things which I've
5 seen with my own eyes?
6 Q. As for these groups that you are referring to now, we're going to
7 deal with that later, Mr. Sweeney. The objective of my cross-examination
8 is to get to the truth, the truth that you have in your hands, of course,
9 and with mistakes that are permissible. Well, you've been saying that
10 you're a human being and I fully respect that, so perhaps there weren't
11 any mistakes.
12 But my next question now: Do you know that the Kosovo Albanians
13 did not only flee to Albania
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Could you agree with me that the figure that we discussed a few
18 moments ago, and you say that the source are governmental and other
19 international organisations, like the Red Cross, et cetera, when we look
20 at this figure in reference to absolutely all the refugees who fled from
21 Kosovo, are you referring to all of those who fled or only the Kosovo
23 A. Well, my number was -- the number in the film, I believe, is it
24 800.000, and they are essentially Kosovo Albanians fleeing after the NATO
25 strike and then the Serb military attack on the Kosovar population in the
1 spring of 1999.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sweeney. However, when we're talking about
3 objectivity and figures, part of my cross-examination is geared towards
4 that, as you've realised by now. The first thing that we're looking at
5 is your arrival in Kosovo with the NATO forces. So you or the reporter,
6 I mean we -- I think it's your voice, but we haven't discussed that. It
7 doesn't really matter because you said that it doesn't matter. You enter
8 Kosovo where tens of thousands of Albanians were killed. You said that
9 later on you familiarised yourself with the facts that the figure is
10 between 3.000 and 5.000, according to the official sources.
11 Can you tell me, is this not a sensationalist way of writing? If
12 you say tens of thousands, that is at least 20.000 and that is ten times
13 more than what the figure actually was. I assume that you and I will
14 both agree that it is a shame if a single person loses his or her life,
15 but isn't this a bit too much?
16 A. The problem is that you're speaking with the benefit of
17 hindsight. At the time we didn't know for a fact. All we did know is
18 that in the spring, in March 1999, hundreds of thousands of Albanians
19 fled and they said their relatives had been massacred and killed and
20 their homes had been destroyed. And we could see some of that evidence,
21 and for myself I went to the highlands of Albania and saw tens of
22 thousands of people pass me day in, day -- you would go away and come
23 back and that would continue. But these numbers were -- they were
24 accurate, not sensationalist, when I reported them at the time.
25 The number of dead, it's very, very difficult to check on a
1 massacre, how many people have you killed, if you're banned from the
2 country, if the authorities don't allow reporters to go with the
3 military. So what you're asking me to do is to be absolutely accurate as
4 to the numbers of people who fled and were killed at a time when it was
5 impossible to do so. And I don't think to do the impossible or to fail
6 to achieve the impossible is -- I don't think it's fair to call that
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sweeney. My next question: Do you know, this
9 figure that you referred to, the official one, 3.000 to 5.000 people who
10 lost their lives in Kosovo, does this figure pertain to Kosovo Albanians
11 only, or does it pertain to all the ethnic communities that lived in
13 A. I would imagine it -- I would imagine it pertains to everybody.
14 What's the date of that figure?
15 Q. There are many sources. Not a single one is very precise, as
16 you've said. The first estimates started in June 1999. Different
17 international organisations, like the International Red Cross and
18 Red Crescent
19 some organisations are providing their estimates but no one has said so
20 far that 5.000 citizens of Kosovo had lost their lives.
21 Also, will you agree with me in reference to this figure that it
22 is not a reference only to civilians but rather the total number of
23 fatalities in Kosovo, regardless of whether they were members of the KLA
24 or some other formation, not to go into ethnic affiliation?
25 A. I think to an extent we're agreeing with each other that there is
1 a question here about the number of people who fled and who were killed
2 in Kosovo. Now, all I can do as a reporter at the time, in the spring
3 and the summer of 1999, is report the numbers.
4 For example, I also covered September the 11th, 2001, and I
5 remember there was a front page of the Daily Telegraph saying, 60.000
6 feared dead in Manhattan
7 3.000, far higher. The point is thousands of people were killed. So
8 what I know to be a fact is that thousands of people were killed, the
9 precise number I don't know. But obviously it's the nature of human
10 beings is that the first number's in the shock of the moment, you don't
11 understand quite how many has happened.
12 But to go on to argue that because the numbers at first -- at
13 first glance put out by the international organisations were far too high
14 does not mean that people were not killed. People were killed. I saw
15 the dead bodies, and I certainly have spoken to people who said that
16 they'd never seen their loved ones again, for example, the Albanian
17 Kosovars of Little Krusa.
18 Q. Since you've mentioned the 11th of September, I didn't really
19 want to ask you about this, but did you write a book about
20 Saddam Hussein?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know that after September 11th, the basic strategy of the
23 foreign policy primarily of the United States and of the entire
24 international community, which I fully justify, was struggle against
1 A. It may be. Some of that struggle, as you call it, may not have
2 been wise or right. But do carry on.
3 Q. I do beg your pardon for this digression. Then a war ensued in
4 the Middle East. I'm not going to refer to particular persons or states
5 or the consequences of all of this that no one can really like.
6 My next question, Mr. Sweeney, it has to do with what we've been
7 discussing so far. After that, when you found out that it wasn't tens of
8 thousands of citizens of Kosovo that got killed, did you publish this
9 information, that the total number of fatalities was between 3.000 and
10 5.000, actually? Did you publish that in any media in 1999 onwards?
11 A. Well, no, the critical question is when did the world community
12 know that the true figure was between 3.000 -- 3.000 and 5.000. So
13 forgive me, but it seems that you're criticising me for not getting a
14 figure, the date of which I don't know. So what was your date for that
15 figure? When was that first figure enter the international arena?
16 Q. I'm not criticising you, Mr. Sweeney. I'm just putting questions
17 to you and I'm expecting answers, because we are not allowed to debate
18 matters with witnesses. We are just allowed to put questions.
19 My next question now --
20 A. I'm sorry, I can't answer your question unless you tell me the
21 basis on which you put the question. So if you don't tell me the date of
22 that number, then I can't answer your question. Not because I don't want
23 to; it's because you haven't given me enough information.
24 So when you say the official number is 3.000 to 5.000, what date
25 is it? Because my next point was that if it's after 1999, it's unfair
1 for you to criticise me for a date which wasn't available at that time,
2 in particular in the summer of 1999 when I was reporting on this.
3 Q. No. No, I'm not criticising you, but you said, Afterwards I
4 found out that the number of casualties was between 3.000 and 5.000. So
5 when did you find out? On what date?
6 A. Well, as time has gone on, the number has gone down, but I
7 haven't followed -- it's a perfectly good explanation. I haven't
8 followed the story of the massacre in Kosovo in every detail for the rest
9 of my reporting career. I was there at the time, I was conscious that
10 thousands of people had been killed, and that was correct.
11 Now, the nature of journalism, certainly if you're making TV
12 films, documentary films, is you don't go back to the subject and say,
13 That number, by the way, was wrong. I'm very happy to say that here now.
14 So there's no question about it, because I'm not responsible for that
15 number. All I am responsible for is the fair reporting. And the point
16 is that when the international community, because NATO's military machine
17 got into Kosovo, then the war crimes people and the forensic people could
18 start counting bodies and taking statements from the Albanians. That was
19 impossible when Mr. Milosevic's men were ruling Kosovo.
20 So you cannot criticise me for any number I generated before the
21 NATO got in and opened up Kosovo to the possibility of fair and honest
23 Q. Mr. Sweeney, have you ever heard the term "collateral damage"?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. When was the first time you came across that particular term?
1 A. Well, it's obviously a phrase that's used in Hollywood films. I
2 believe it first emerged in Vietnam
3 tries to hide -- "collateral damage" it tries to dehumanise when armies
4 make terrible mistakes and bomb civilians.
5 Q. We'll easily agree on that. You do remember Mr. Jamie Shea, the
6 NATO spokesperson and his reports. He often used the term, as a matter
7 of fact, "collateral damage," exactly as we quoted. Shall we agree on
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you perhaps have information to the effect how many civilians
11 exactly were killed in Kosovo as a result of collateral damage which in
12 -- was the consequence of NATO, the air raids, strikes?
13 A. No, I don't know.
14 Q. Mr. Sweeney, do you have any information indicating how many
15 civilians were killed as collateral damage as a result of the activities
16 performed by the Serb military and police forces as they were trying to
17 put down the unrest in Kosovo? Do you perhaps have that information?
18 A. Well, I'm afraid that question opens up a very, very bitter
19 debate, because if you say that it was the number of civilians who were
20 killed while the Serb forces were trying to put down unrest, I know of
21 specific stories where Serbs murdered people, murdered civilians - this
22 is in 1998 - and arrested, tortured, abused people. So the Albanians
23 would say, the Kosovars would say, that this was no peace-keeping
24 exercise. So we're not comparing like with like. It's a bitter dispute.
25 I do know -- I would imagine -- I remember when NATO had forces
1 bombed the Belgrade TV transmitter, and there was a number of journalists
2 who were killed. I thought that was wrong, not just because I'm
3 journalist, because I don't believe that knocking out other people's
4 journalists is a good thing to do. I have often said the thing of
5 ambulance workers as well, obviously journalists aren't anything near as
6 useful as people who drive ambulances.
7 In answer to your question how many people were killed by NATO,
8 by mistake, collateral damage, I would estimate that it would be in --
9 maybe in the low hundreds, and every single one of those lives lost is a
10 tragedy. My understanding is it doesn't compare with the thousands
11 killed by Serb forces.
12 Q. I'll agree with the first part of your assessment, not the
13 latter, though. Therefore, I will pursue this line of questioning.
14 Do you know that in addition to the targets belonging to the Serb
15 police and military, NATO also targeted some facilities holding members
16 of the KLA or perhaps Albanian civilians specifically in Kosovo?
17 A. Yes. Istog prison. There was a prison which -- which they hit.
18 Q. You were talking about the huts or cottages holding members of
19 the KLA. You said so in the Milutinovic trial when you testified. You
20 said it was your opinion that the incident was by no means a coincidence.
21 You talked about that column of tractors, that convoy of tractors, on
22 which civilians were travelling. You mentioned that, too, didn't you?
23 Is that correct?
24 A. Yes. That's a -- sorry, we were talking at -- there is -- if
25 you're talking about the incident where a column of tractors was bombed,
1 yes, I reported about that, and I was concerned that it was a set-up job,
2 essentially -- and this is what survivors of that incident told me, that
3 they had been, if you like, they had been corralled into a place, held
4 there by the Serb forces, and then NATO bombed it. And one reading of
5 events is that the Serbs had become alerted to the fact that if they put
6 military messages, military communications out of any place, then NATO
7 would come along and bomb it. They would find the signals and put
8 rockets into wherever the signals were coming from.
9 Therefore, one reading of this -- what happened at that place
10 with the tractors was the Serbs had deliberately blown up these people
11 and then -- who were Kosovar Albanian and then showed it to the -- those
12 journalists who were in Serbia
13 reality an entire different picture was potentially the truth.
14 Q. I'll agree with you to the extent --
15 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I don't mean to interrupt my learned
16 colleague, but I just want to ask if it was possible for him to indicate,
17 each time there's a reference to the witness's previous testimony in the
18 Milutinovic trial, to the statement, if we can have appropriate
19 references, because so far none have been given when there have been
20 references. Thank you.
21 JUDGE PARKER: This has been raised yesterday, Mr. Djordjevic.
22 Thank you.
23 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Judge, I agree with my learned
24 friend. I entirely accept what she's suggesting. But if the witness
25 were to answer that what I was suggesting to him was not true, then I
1 would draw up the reference. But the witness answered in the
2 affirmative, and that's why I believed it wasn't a good idea to waste any
3 more time on that. Therefore, there is no need for me to call up the
4 reference. That's at least what I believe, as long as the witness
5 confirms what I'm put to him. May I continue my cross-examination?
6 JUDGE PARKER: No, that's not a satisfactory position,
7 Mr. Djordjevic. If you're going to be referring to past testimony,
8 especially from another trial but even previous testimony here, both
9 counsel will need to be in a position to give a transcript reference so
10 that it is possible for the other side to check. Thank you.
11 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] As I said, I entirely accept the
12 suggestion of my learned friend. I stated my reasons, and I will try to
13 comply in the future.
14 Q. Since you were fully involved in what was going on in Kosovo, did
15 you perhaps watch any coverage by ABC?
16 A. Since I was in Kosovo, no.
17 Q. In that case I will not have any questions to ask you about that.
18 The Defence will be tendering that particular exhibit, but the audio was
19 not particularly clear; therefore, I'm not moving to have it shown today
20 until we get a proper audio-recording for that.
21 My next question: During the wars in the former Yugoslavia, you
22 suggested that you were in Vukovar, Osijek, Vinkovci, Zagreb
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is that true, sir?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. My next question: While there, did you cover the war crimes
3 committed by the forces of what was then Yugoslavia against the peoples
4 living in those areas?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Since you say that you covered those areas, were you also
7 covering the areas during the operation performed by the Croatian forces
8 known as Operation Storm?
9 A. Which one was Storm? When?
10 Q. Operation Storm was the only operation marking the end of the
11 clashes between the Croatian forces and the then still remaining Serbian
12 people living in the Krajina area when Knin, Lika, and all the other
13 areas were taken. There was a huge convoy containing many thousands of
14 people that then left for Serbia
15 can pinpoint the year for you. But what I want to know is, did you cover
16 that particularly event? The event is generally known, and I want to use
17 it as a reference later on.
18 A. Yes. I believe -- the answer is I didn't cover it because I
19 wasn't -- my job had changed slightly, and I was not in former Yugoslavia
20 in 1995 when I believe that -- when the Croat forces kicked the Serbs out
21 of Krajina. So I wasn't there. But I was there in 1991, from 1991
22 onwards, and I saw horror on both sides committed by both sides. I was
23 well aware of, for example, Serb -- Yugoslav People's Army, led and
24 officered by the Serbs, shelling Osijek Hospital. It was shelled several
25 times. But also at the same time there was innocent Serb civilians who
1 had been shot at and tortured and killed by Croat fascists in -- or
2 near-fascists inside Osijek
3 So although I missed Operation Storm because I was based in
5 in particular I was aware of Serb aggression but also that many of the
6 victims were Serbs and I understand that particularly true of the
7 population in Krajina.
8 Q. When you say "the Serb aggression," what you mean is the attacks
9 carried out by the JNA against the Croat-held positions, the Croatian
10 people, Croatian targets, generally speaking? Is that what you were
12 A. If you shell a hospital, that's aggression, and the Serb-led JNA
13 shelled Osijek Hospital
14 was also in Sarajevo
15 it certainly felt like it. People said they were shelling the city with
16 3.000 shells a day, and they shelled Sarajevo
17 I use the phrase "Serbian aggression" advisedly and with intent. It's
18 not necessary to shell hospitals. It's just plain wrong.
19 Q. Did you cover the crimes committed by the Mujahedin in Bosnia
20 the Al-Qaeda branch in that particular county as well as the vicious
21 crimes they committed against Serb civilians?
22 A. I wouldn't -- I would use the term Al-Qaeda with caution, and I
23 would use the term Mujahedin with caution because I don't really think it
24 applies. I've obviously heard the term because it was a big -- it was a
25 big engine in Serb -- Bosnian Serb propaganda, in particular from Pale
1 and the friends and relatives of Mr. Karadzic. However, I'm completely
2 aware that as the war continued, all the communities - first, the Serb,
3 the Croat, and then the Bosnian Muslims - became more -- there were more
4 and more acts of barbarity and all three communities were -- had
5 something to blame, none of them were innocent.
6 I would say that as far as numbers are concerned, it was the
7 considered view of fellow journalists like myself that the lion's share
8 of violence had been committed by the Serb forces, and then in 1993 the
9 Croats caught up killing people and the Bosnians -- the Bosnian Muslims
10 were always somewhat behind. But yes, they did kill people and that, of
11 course, is wrong.
12 Q. Was your coverage tantamount to what you're suggesting today from
13 these various areas, the ones we're discussing?
14 A. I don't understand the word "tantamount" in this context. I'm
15 not sure I understand your question.
16 Q. I'm sorry, I'll try to clarify. The backdrop to my question is
17 this: Did you simply cover the crimes committed by the Serb forces, or
18 did you also cover the crimes that were committed by the other sides in
19 this conflict? And you suggested that there were crimes being committed
20 by the other sides, and I have no trouble agreeing with you.
21 A. Absolutely. As a friend of mine called Paul Jenks who was killed
22 in Osijek
23 the Croats and the government was that Jenks had been killed by a Serb
24 sniper. I did a documentary for channel 4 and wrote several articles for
25 The Observer suggesting that there was entirely different view, that in
1 fact he had been killed by Croat neo-fascists led by a man called
2 Eduardo Flores.
3 So I am entirely open and have reported victim stories where the
4 Serb forces may well have been innocent, and I have certainly reported on
5 stories where Serbs have been victims. And I keep on returning to
7 horror, but in particular remember doing a story, I believe that there
8 were nine Serbs who had been killed in Osijek, who had been trapped, if
9 you like, on the wrong side when the war started. And there was an old
10 man and his son who were shot and dumped in the river. The son died; the
11 only man managed to survive. I went to see him on the Serb side, and he
12 told me a story which I found entirely credible, with him managing to
14 So it's absolutely true that I have covered all sides of it, and
15 I'm also aware of the growing Islamicisation on the Bosnian Muslim side.
16 To be fair, as I said, the lion's share of my reporting was from 1991 to
17 1994, and I didn't go back in 1995.
18 Q. I thank you for this answer, Mr. Sweeney. Next question.
19 Can you please clarify this: You said yesterday that channel 4
20 wanted you to tape massacres. I believe that was the phrasing used.
21 What sort of massacres? Perpetrated by whom, by which side? You said,
22 "They asked me to tape some coverage on massacres."
23 A. No. Well, to answer your question -- actually, while we were
24 talking, I was thinking in particular about the balance of my reporting.
25 For example, I have reported on the massacre in Little Krusa. We also
1 reported on the fact that the Albanians burnt down the Serb homes, and we
2 showed it in our film, because I believe that to be objective and fair
4 On the question of this -- of how I came to make these two films,
5 I went to them because I met some of the men who had survived by running
6 away from the -- from the selection, from the massacre that happened in
7 late March, and these were -- I believe that these were men who lived on
8 the western side of the river and their escape was more easy. They were
9 the men who I met in very late March or very, very early April.
10 I then went home to London
11 and channel 4 commissioned a film specifically about -- what was in my
12 mind, what specifically was about the massacre in Mala Krusa, Little
13 Krusa. But the idea that channel 4 would come to me and say tape a
14 massacre, any massacre, they wouldn't do that. I wouldn't want them to
15 do that, and that would be wrong. That didn't happen.
16 Q. Thank you for this answer, too. Now it's all much clearer. What
17 I want to know is this: Did you ever learn that the KLA had committed
18 any sort of crimes or abduction, anything like that, against Serb
20 A. Yes. You'd have to be blind and deaf not to realise that. For
21 example, Belgrade TV constantly reported abductions, kidnappings, torture
22 and murder, and killings by the KLA, and we were well aware of them, and
23 they happened.
24 Q. All right. That was coverage on Serbian TV, which can be taken
25 to be Serb propaganda, as simple as that. What I want to know is any
1 personal interest you held in things like these going on.
2 A. Well, I -- I didn't come across anything like that in
3 Little Krusa, but bear in mind that my focus from a very early age, or
4 very, very early stage was on Little Krusa, and I didn't come across it.
5 I was aware of it happening because I was aware of, you know, of the
6 wider story.
7 But nevertheless you've got -- you know, look at the population.
8 In Kosovo I believe the population was nine-tenths Kosovar Albanian and
9 one-tenth Serb. So you have a situation like apartheid, and I did go to
10 South Africa during apartheid, the very, very end. And where you have a
11 small minority trying to keep down a much, much bigger majority, you can
12 only do that by fear and torture and killing.
13 And so the lion's share of the killings was by the Serbs against
14 the majority Albanian population, not the other way around. To ignore --
15 or, rather, to treat both equally would be unfair and wrong because it
16 wouldn't be telling the whole truth. And the whole truth was that a
17 minority of Serbs were repressing a majority of Albanians, and that
18 eventually led to NATO's action and, by way of consequence, the attack by
19 the Serb forces on the Albanian population. And I focused on
20 Little Krusa.
21 Had there been a story of abduction or torture by Dimitri Nikolic
22 and his family, then we would have found out about it, and we would have
23 reported about it, but there wasn't. Because when there was evidence of
24 violence or wrong behaviour by the Albanians, for example, the burning of
25 the -- of the Serb homes, we reported it.
1 Just on the question of propaganda, the problem with Serb TV was
2 that it never, ever appeared, it appeared to me, to question its own
3 side. So there was a friend of mine who worked on the OSCE and he --
4 there was a story on -- it was reported that a family of five Albanians
5 had died in a road accident. They were on a tractor. He described what
6 happened in reality, as far as he told it. It happened in 1998. But the
7 family were coming down on the tractor, and a team of MUP guys were
8 ambushing them because they thought they were KLA arms smugglers. And
9 they shredded this -- with so many bullets, they shredded this tractor
10 and only afterwards realised that it was a family and there were no guns.
11 And that was reported as a car accident, a traffic accident. So we had a
12 real difficulty in trusting Belgrade TV's output.
13 But on the wider question of Albania, just to give you, I think,
14 some sense of doing stories that question what your own military does, I
15 did a story later in 1999, which was well evidenced, with a Danish
16 colleague which said that NATO had bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade
17 deliberately. So, now, there's lots of evidence for that, and it's a
18 very simple point, is that caused -- it was front-page news in
19 The Observer, and it went all the way around the world.
20 Now, the point about that story is that NATO, the Americans, and
21 the British, hated the story, went around denying it, and it caused a
22 major diplomatic embarrassment with the Chinese Government, but
23 nevertheless we had the evidence to run it.
24 The idea that I would in some way fabricate or exaggerate the
25 story presented to me by these Albanian victims as some part of pro-NATO
1 propaganda, that's -- I would resist that.
2 Q. I'm not quite certain that I've now got an answer to my question,
3 Mr. Sweeney. This was a comprehensive answer, and I had no intention of
4 interrupting you.
5 My next question, Mr. Sweeney: Where do you get the information
6 that the operations performed by the Serb forces were planned? Where do
7 you get the information that this was an act of ethnic cleansing? That's
8 another thing you suggested. Where do you get any information on a chain
9 of command from the top down and any actions that were planned along
10 these lines? This is several questions, not a single one. I am sorry
11 for that.
12 A. Yes. Nema problema. "Where do you get the information that the
13 operations performed by the Serb forces were planned?" No one told me.
14 It's by deduction, but it's simple. When Mr. Abduli and others said that
15 after the NATO strike -- the NATO strike was 8.00 in the evening on the
16 Thursday, if I'm right, and on the Friday told me there are 750 men in
17 15 buses, obviously requisitioned, arrive at Little Krusa, and there are
18 tanks and armoured cars, half-tracks, and the Serb men are in police
19 uniform with militia. That requires an enormous amount of planning,
20 because Kosovo -- this part of Kosovo is right at the bottom. It's a
21 long, long way from where those buses came from. So I believe that that
22 required a lot of planning.
23 Then you have the evidence of the cover-up. So the Albanian
24 refugees told me that their friends and family and loved ones had been
25 murdered. I got to -- the NATO invasion of Kosovo took place on the 12th
1 of June. I went in that day. I believe I went to Little Krusa for the
2 first time on the 17th of June, but we were still ahead of the Albanian
3 refugees who didn't know whether it was safe to go back.
4 When we arrived the hay barn was no more. It had been blown up.
5 There were two holes in the ground. And that also requires organisation.
6 There were no dead bodies, and we were looking for more than a hundred
7 dead people. And moving all of those bodies and blowing up the barn,
8 that also requires organisation.
9 And I used to -- you know, I know what former Yugoslavia was
10 like. You couldn't do that unless you had organisation from the top.
11 How on earth do you get rid of a hundred dead bodies?
12 Q. Mr. Sweeney, you said it yourself, and it's a generally known
13 fact: There was a state of war that had been declared in the Federal
14 Republic of Yugoslavia
15 out by NATO. Am I right?
16 A. There was a certain point when I believe western governments
17 became sick of the sight of Albanian Kosovar civilians being murdered,
18 and they wanted it to stop. They asked Mr. Milosevic to stop it. He
19 didn't and eventually the strikes happened. Then there was an immediate
20 reaction, yes.
21 Q. That's right. There's no need to dispute this. This would open
22 other avenues and the discussion might become very broad. We're here to
23 ask questions and provide answers. That's actually the only thing we're
24 allowed to do; therefore, I'm not objecting to this last answer.
25 Mr. Sweeney, when my learned friend Ms. Kravetz got your
1 information, your details, from you, we also heard, unless I'm mistaken,
2 that you completed the London School of Economics. Am I right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Is the part of your statement true where you say that you did not
5 go through any sort of military training? Your statement dated the 22nd
6 of January, 2002; and the 23rd of January, 2002; and the 24th of January,
7 2001. More about this before you provide your answer.
8 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the Court's
9 assistance. This is 65 ter statement D001-4054. That is the statement
10 in English. Can a copy please be provided to the witness, and can the
11 witness please have a look at page 2 of that document.
12 THE WITNESS: I think I've got one already.
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Is it perhaps necessary to have
14 the statement on our screens for the benefit of the Chamber. Fine.
15 Page 2 in that case. Thank you. We still have page 1. That's right,
16 move on to page 2. Thank you. We have agreed to provide appropriate
17 references from now on. I will now follow suit.
18 Q. Paragraph 2, is it true what your statement claims: "I have no
19 previous military training ..." That's how the paragraph begins.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. More about this, Mr. Sweeney. Did you perhaps
22 complete any form of training allowing you to become an expert in
23 military and police matters, political matters, historical background,
24 even perhaps a forensic expert? Did you receive any sort of additional
25 training in those fields, and I mean formal training?
1 A. No.
2 Q. You made certain statements about the political situation that
3 prevailed in the country. You made these to the OTP in your capacity as
4 a witness. I consider them to be worthless for this reason. I believe
5 we have to drop these statements, and I'm not entitled to take them into
6 account. A witness is only allowed to tell us what he knows and not what
7 he believes or thinks.
8 That portion of your statement is problematic and open to
9 challenge. That's why I asked you this question. I will press on with
10 my cross-examination until the break. I have a couple of questions left
11 before the break.
12 Mr. Sweeney --
13 A. May I answer the point that you've just made?
14 Q. Please go ahead.
15 A. It's a bit snobbish. Just because you've not been trained to
16 understand something formally doesn't mean that you're not allowed to
17 report on it. I am a former British journalist of the year. I've helped
18 free in Britain
19 miscarriages of justice starting with Sally Clark in 2001, and I have
20 been to lots and lots and lots of war zones. And so when I see evidence
21 of a cover-up of a massacre, I'm entitled to say so.
22 Q. Oh, no, by no means, that was not the purpose of my question.
23 The purpose of my question was this: You provide opinions, you provide
24 conclusions about the political, military, and police-related situation,
25 the historical background, and the forensic aspect of this situation.
1 Everything else you are saying, I have no objections and I believe you're
2 perfectly within your rights. I do believe we have an understanding on
4 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now please have page 5
5 displayed on the monitor, please and thank you, of Mr. Sweeney's
7 Q. Mr. Sweeney, can you please look at paragraph 4, focus on
8 paragraph 4 -- 3.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. We come here to something that I said I would be asking you about
11 at a later stage. You obtained information from witnesses, that is what
12 you call them, that the Batusha hangar was precisely where the bodies
13 were now. Is that a fact, sir?
14 A. Yes. So we're clear, I'm looking at paragraph 3 on my screen.
15 Is the paragraph that begins in English: "The hole was about 10 feet in
16 diameter ..."? Yeah? To that extent, I'm not relying on witnesses.
17 That's my own observation.
18 Q. That's correct, Mr. Sweeney, but I wish to clarify things
19 completely. You say that the holes that you personally saw were most
20 likely a result of a dynamite explosion. Since you had no military
21 training prior to that, I wish to ask you: Do you know what consequences
22 a dynamite explosion leaves or another type of explosive, such as TNT,
23 not to enumerate all other explosive devices? And before you learned of
24 this, did you contact any team? For example, you said that a team
25 arrived later on from Great Britain. I believe they were from
1 Scotland Yard and that they conducted investigation in various locations,
2 including this one. Is this how you learned that this was a dynamite?
3 Is this how you know that the holes that were there came as a result of a
4 dynamite explosion, or is this an assumption on your part, and you don't
5 have any reliable information about this, but this is what you think
6 about it?
7 A. My cameraman who was with me is James Miller. He was killed in
9 Irish Guards. He had, I believe, some military experience, and I think
10 James thought exactly the same as I did. But it's right to say I've had
11 no formal military training. It's also true to say that I was --
12 reported the wars of former Yugoslavia
13 invasion or, rather, the British and American invasion of Afghanistan and
14 the western invasion of northern Iraq in 1991 and again in Iraq
15 I've also been to war zones in places as different as Burundi and Angola
16 and all sorts of civil unrest.
17 So I'm not saying I'm a forensic expert. Far from it. On the
18 other hand, I'm looking at a big hole in the ground and next door there
19 is a hole in the building. It looks as though there has been some big
20 explosions, two explosions in the Batusha hay barn. But I don't think
21 you can say because I haven't had a formal training or I've never been in
22 uniform I can't make that deduction.
23 Q. Do you have any witnesses among Albanians who confirm to you that
24 the Serb forces had come and blown up that hay barn with specifically
25 dynamite, or was that another one of your conclusions?
1 A. Well, no, obviously not, because all of the survivors of the hay
2 barn massacre fled immediately they could. The -- and nobody was left
3 around other than the Serb population, the Serb community, of the
4 village. So the dynamiting and the cover-up and the removal of something
5 like a hundred dead people, dead bodies, would have taken place, and
6 there were no Albanian witnesses. So I don't -- as I said, it was a
7 deduction. Was it dynamite? I don't know, but it was some explosive
8 force. A hole in the ground -- two holes in the building next door.
9 What cause could you ascribe to this other than some explosion?
10 Am I missing something here?
11 Q. If you're asking me, although I'd rather not discuss this, it
12 could have been an explosion of a gun grenade, a mortar grenade, an air
13 bomb or some other thing. But this is why I asked you whether you had
14 found any traces of this particular explosive or some other evidence, any
15 piece of this hay barn that would led to this conclusion. That's why I
16 asked you this question. I read carefully your report. I spoke -- I saw
17 what you wrote about wheelchair and the soil particles and that's why I
18 put this question.
19 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this concludes
20 this part of my cross-examination, and I think it's time for a break. I
21 don't think it would be a good idea to move on to a different set of
22 questions in my cross-examination.
23 JUDGE PARKER: We'll have the first break now and resume at 4.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 3.26 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 4.03 p.m.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
2 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Could we now see page 9 of this witness's statement. Fine.
4 Q. Mr. Sweeney, now before you, you have page 9 of this transcript
5 that we have referred to several times. Please look at paragraph 5.
6 A. Before we go on to that, may I just go back to what you said
7 earlier. I ascribed the holes in the ground in the Batusha hay barn to
8 some kind of dynamite, and you said it could have been the explosion of a
9 gun grenade, a mortar grenade, an air bomb. Now, I think you're wrong
10 about that for the following reasons: A grenade or a mortar grenade
11 would cause significantly small damage, almost like a grenade would cause
12 a football, a mortar a bit more damage, but nothing like that size, and
13 an air bomb -- a bomb from the air, I saw one in Chechnya, you have a big
14 hole, but all of the hole is created, as you would imagine, from an
15 object falling from above down. Now, had it been a bomb from a plane,
16 you would have expected the next building to be flattened too as well.
17 It wasn't.
18 So that's why I believe the hay barn was in some way dynamited by
19 an explosion. "Dynamite" is just a layman's term as far as I'm using it.
20 But I'm going to stick with that, and I don't accept any of your
21 alternatives. I just wanted to be clear about that.
22 Q. Believe it or not, I truly do not have an opinion on that. There
23 are experts that we will be able to consult. There is also a photograph
24 that you took of the house and one can see the damage and the broken
25 windows. This is much more significant damage than those holes that
1 you're mentioning. Thank you for this additional explanation.
2 Now, page 9, paragraph 5, you speak about evidence of
3 organisation and the chain of command, and you say that it can be deduced
4 based on the fact that these buses had licence plates from Nis, Leskovac,
5 and so on, and these vehicles had come to Kosovo. You also mention a
6 gentleman here, a gentleman from Subotica
7 contact with him through witnesses mentioned in your statement.
8 However, what I have to ask you in relation to what you have said
9 in your statement in paragraph 5 that is now before you is this: It is
10 not clear to me based on what did you conclude that there was evidence of
11 organisation and the chain of command and so on, given that these were
12 legal activities of a country that was in war? What is so unusual about
13 it? One knows that in wartime one uses all resources, that these are
14 huge costs, especially for a country that was under sanctions at the
15 time. There were no fuel, and so on. It was the civilians that suffered
16 most of the time, not Milosevic and other leaders of the country.
17 So what was so unusual, abnormal about it? Why do you conclude
18 that this was a chain of command, organisation, and so on? In my view,
19 these were quite normal activities. Would you agree with me or --
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic.
21 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: It is an enormously long question and getting
23 longer. Could you limit it -- I think you've made your point quite
24 clearly and the witness may be able to respond, but I don't think it's
25 going to help us, and it's certainly taking a lot of time when you get
1 these very long questions.
2 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Your Honour --
3 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, just --
4 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... I accept
5 your comments.
6 MS. KRAVETZ: Just one clarification. I see there on the
7 transcript there is a gentleman from Subotica. I don't know if this was
8 a problem with the interpretation of the question, but I don't see any
9 reference to that in paragraph 5, so I don't know --
10 JUDGE PARKER: The question was getting, I think, beyond the
11 capacity of those trying to record it, it was getting so big. What we
12 might do is hear the witness's reaction to what you said so far --
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Can I repeat?
14 JUDGE PARKER: I don't think you need to repeat yet. Let the
15 witness react if he can, and then you may want to put something more
16 specific following his answer.
17 THE WITNESS: Mr. Djordjevic, you made the point that these were
18 quite normal activities. Well, forgive me, but the murder of a
19 hundred -- more than a hundred men and boys in a hay barn is not a normal
20 activity. That's a war crime. The organisation -- and I believe that it
21 happened because I believe what the Albanians had told me, separately and
22 together, but I believe they're not lying. They're not making it up.
23 And therefore the question about organisation: Buses, 15 buses,
24 an awful lot of men, buses from places far away from Kosovo. The blowing
25 up of the hay barn, or certainly what we're looking at is evidence of
1 something that I believe has been dynamited, and then the disappearance
2 forever of more than a hundred men and boys. They've never come back.
3 Now, they've been murdered and their bodies have been disappeared. That
4 requires organisation, organisation of the militia men to come from
6 the ground; organisation to select the men and boys away from the women
7 and the children, as evidenced by the Albanian witnesses; organisation to
8 place the men with their hands over their heads, the machine-gunner to be
9 in place to kill them, and then to try and destroy the evidence. All of
10 that requires organisation.
11 We're talking about more than a hundred people being killed here.
12 You can't do that in any normal, ordinary open democratic society, like
13 we have in western Europe. You just can't do that. If the British Army
14 did that in anywhere it was fighting in anywhere in the world, we would
15 report it in seconds flat. You cannot kill a hundred people and get rid
16 of their bodies without organisation.
17 Q. Please don't tell me about the British Army. I would rather not
18 get into that discussion. So it is your position, it is your claim, that
19 those forces that had come in buses committed this crime.
20 A. No. The -- well, that seems very, very likely. I can't say for
21 a fact who committed this crime. What I can do is set out the evidence
22 that we've set out in the film. The Albanians say, the Albanian women
23 and children say, there was a selection and there are multiple people who
24 are ordinary farming folk - they're not sophisticated; they are not
25 urban; I don't think they are conspirators; I believe that they were
1 telling the truth. And they recognised some of their neighbours and they
2 saw and they were terrified of the Serb forces which arrived.
3 Then they hear the machine-gunning. There were six witnesses in
4 the hay barn, men who survive because they're covered in blood; they're
5 protected by their dead friends and brothers and sons. Now, the people
6 who did this were Serb forces. That is what they say, and I believe
7 them. There is more than enough corroborative evidence for the picture
8 which they tell to be true. If there was some big gaping hole in this
9 chain of evidence that they told me that we found, then I would report it
10 because that's my job. And would never do something -- I wouldn't tell
11 lies or put lies out.
12 Now, there are some things I can be confident about and some
13 things you hear are hearsay. It's absolutely true to say that I spoke to
14 dozens of these people and their story together made absolute sense, it
15 fitted, and it's a story of a massacre.
16 Q. We have heard about that yesterday. My question had to do with
17 the organisation. It was clear and brief and you gave a very lengthy
18 answer. And I will now move on. I don't want to dwell on this or put
19 additional questions.
20 Now, again, the same page of your statement, paragraph 7 this
21 time. Would you please look at it. You say there that experience has
22 shown that nothing happens in the former Yugoslavia without an order from
23 the top. Would you agree with me that you said this in a negative
24 context, with a negative connotation, given your experience from 1997
25 when Milosevic, as you say, sent tanks against students, including 1999
1 in relation to Kosovo?
2 A. I'm sorry, forgive me. I'm looking at page 7. I can't find the
3 paragraph you're relating.
4 Q. Page 9.
5 A. Page 9, paragraph 7?
6 Q. [In English] Yes.
7 A. "At this time ..." yes. Yes, that's my statement and I agree
8 with it. I agree with myself.
9 Q. [Interpretation] My question had to do with this: Given your
10 experience from 1991 until 1999, did you say this in a negative context,
11 with a negative connotation, in relation to Serbian authorities?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. Are you familiar with the constitution of the
14 then-Yugoslavia, at least partially?
15 A. Not a great deal. As I say, I've studied a bit of politics, and
16 one of the things that it struck me about was that a constitution of a
17 country could be marvelous, and the reality for life in that country
18 could be disastrous. So, for example, the constitution of the
19 Soviet Union which I studied in 1977 to 1980 was glorious. The reality
20 of life in the Soviet Russia was miserable. So I wouldn't have studied
21 or looked at the Yugoslav constitution in any great detail for that
22 reason. But also I'd add that my views on the constitution of Yugoslavia
23 are, frankly, to my mind, are neither here nor there.
24 Q. In view of the statement that you made, do you not find it
25 strange that the leadership of a country has the right to make a decision
1 as to whether a state of emergency would be introduced or not? On the
2 24th of March, middle-European time, that this country was attacked and
3 was suffering continuous air-strikes for 74 hours. Does it strike you as
4 strange that the top leaders of that country took that decision?
5 A. The story is much more complicated than that, but no, it doesn't
6 strike me that they reacted in that way. It doesn't strike me as
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sweeney, for your very precise answer. Do you
9 think that the incidents in Kosovo happened because orders had come from
10 that -- to that effect from the very top? We're talking about Mala Krusa
11 specifically. Do you have any evidence to back this up in terms of
12 witnesses telling you about any links between the very top in Belgrade
13 the leaders, and those who were the immediate perpetrators on the ground,
14 as it were?
15 A. No. You can deduce something -- I believe you can deduce
16 something from the organisation on the ground. Separately, I did a story
17 about something called Operation Horseshoe, which was a story that said
18 that the leadership, the Milosevic leadership, had set out to ethnically
19 cleanse Kosovo. But, again, this is a story like the numbers. This is a
20 story that I was given but I -- or I sourced, but I didn't -- there is a
21 different quality of evidence in that story and the eye-witness
22 descriptions I've got from Mala Krusa and the evidence of my own eyes in
23 Mala Krusa, which make me say to you that I will rely -- I will say that
24 there was a massacre in Mala Krusa. I'm not so sure about, for example,
25 Operation Horseshoe. Whether the story is true or in some way
1 fabricated, I don't know. But that was -- certainly the Albanians and
2 the people connected with the KLA leadership were saying it was part of a
3 plan from the top, from Milosevic.
4 Q. Mr. Sweeney, as far as I remember while I was preparing this
5 cross-examination you stated at one point that the source for all your
6 knowledge about the Horseshoe Operation was a source from the German
7 intelligence agency, the BND; is that right?
8 A. It may be right in part but not -- I'm sure I would have checked
9 it with somebody else, with other people as well, so I would have thought
10 a number of sources, quite a few of them Albanian. It's never a good
11 idea to base a story on one story -- on one source.
12 Q. Did you have any Serb sources that you were using for that story?
13 A. I had -- funnily enough, I did have a good friend who had been a
14 former police officer in Belgrade
15 as well, but nothing -- nobody at the top of the Milosevic regime.
16 Q. This Serb friend of yours, the policeman, did you ever put his
17 name forward as a potential witness in this trial?
18 A. No, I was answering a general question, I think, generally. This
19 guy was not in Kosovo, doesn't know about the massacre in Mala Krusa. In
20 terms of what he was good at was telling me what the mindsets of people
21 in Belgrade
22 Milosevic regime was and some, you know, juicy bits of gossip. But he
23 didn't know anything about Mala Krusa or Kosovo in particular. I did
24 because I ended up going there myself personally.
25 Q. We spoke about the Horseshoe Operation, not about Mala Krusa, but
1 your answer is still sufficient, since you said there was a lot of gossip
2 circulating, stories, hearsay. My question is about the piece you say
3 you wrote upon receiving word that the Serb forces would commit a crime
4 against another ethnicity or some ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. When did
5 you publish that? Which year? Do you remember that?
6 A. I believe it's in my statement somewhere. May I have a look at
7 it? Yeah, it's on page -- if you look at page 10, it says: "From March
8 until November 1999 ..." I'm just reading from my statement now, "I was
9 in Albania
10 about Operation Horseshoe. This was a Yugoslav government plan to
11 ethnically cleanse Kosovo by military action against the Albanian
12 population" --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down when he
14 reads. Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: Sorry.
16 [Previous translation continues] "... targeting the border areas
17 first. Operation Horseshoe was allegedly first identified by the German
18 intelligence agency, the BND, and picked up in Time Magazine."
19 And I go on to say: "I have no firsthand knowledge of any
20 documented planned operation."
21 Reading that, it's clear that my source is Time Magazine, i.e.,
22 something in Time magazine, not German intelligence. So it's absolutely
23 the case that my source -- my sources for this -- I believe I read this
24 story and then checked it out with some Albanian Kosovar contacts, and I
25 got hold of more information. And I wrote that story in The Observer I
1 believe in early June 1999.
2 Q. As far as I understand, you say that you partially had a source
3 from the BND and now you're saying the Times alone. But alright, this
4 piece that was published in the Times, would you agree with me that it
5 was published somewhere in mid-March 1999?
6 A. It may well be. I have a good memory but not so good that I can
7 remember every single event or publication or thing I published from ten
8 years ago. However, to be fair, once I found that paragraph in my
9 statement, it's clear that what I said in my statement is correct, and
10 what I said five minutes ago in this court was wrong. I didn't have a
11 source in the German intelligence agency; I was relying on what I'd read
12 in Time Magazine. And that triggered a line of inquiry which ended up in
13 a story about Operation Horseshoe. But as I said, I bottomed it out by
14 talking to other people. So I wouldn't just take somebody else's story
15 and pass it on.
16 Q. Thank you. My next question: Mr. Sweeney, did you write about
17 Kosovo after the entry of NATO into Kosovo?
18 A. Yes. Well, basically I was in Kosovo for my paper, The Observer,
19 so that I was writing -- which is a weekly paper, and I was writing a
20 story pretty much every week because it was the biggest story in the
21 world at the time. So I was writing stories from Albania about the
22 massacre in Little Krusa as evidenced by the witnesses who had managed to
23 survive and escape and the women and children. That was from the spring,
24 from March onwards. Then I was waiting in Macedonia to go in on the
25 heels of NATO, and then I started reporting on a series of stories from
1 inside Kosovo.
2 I was drawn by the -- what had happened in Mala Krusa because it
3 struck me as being a shocking example of something that had -- well, it
4 was a shocking story that I wanted to concentrate on and get to know it
5 as well as possible, but I was also doing other stories at the same time.
6 Q. Mr. Sweeney, do you know what the KLA is?
7 A. It's a -- the Kosovo Liberation Army, the UCK. Many people, many
8 Serbs would say that it's a terrorist organisation that thrives on
9 killing, murder, and abduction. Others, Albanians, in particular
10 Kosovar, would see it as a liberation army. And my view would be
11 somewhere in the middle of those two perspectives. It was both some kind
12 of liberation army; also members of it, leaders of it, killed and
13 abducted and tortured and did disgusting things for no proper good
15 Militarily it wasn't particularly competent and the sources in
16 the British and American military were pretty dismissive of it, of its
17 ability to do anything in serious terms, in terms of changing the
18 military picture on the ground.
19 Q. Do you know anything about the fact that certain western
20 countries declared the KLA to be a terrorist organisation? Do you have
21 any information indicating that, sir?
22 A. No. Which ones?
23 Q. Thank you for your answer. I can't be expected to answer your
25 A. Oh, sorry, it's -- my question is -- you've asked me a question
1 which assumes something to be a fact. I'm questioning the basis upon
2 which you ask that question because I find it surprising, and so I'm
3 interested to know the basis on which you say that a number of certain
4 western countries declare the KLA to be a terrorist organisation. You
5 may well be right. I'd just like to know which ones.
6 Q. I can tell you about a country that was among the first to
7 recognise Kosovo, the United States of America; however, this is no time
8 and place for a discussion. I do have certain knowledge of that. I
9 asked you about your knowledge, any knowledge that you had, and you said
10 none. That is a very satisfactory answer in my perspective -- from my
12 Mr. Sweeney, there is something else that I would like to hear
13 from you. Do you know anything about any crimes committed by the KLA
14 against Serbs and civilians at the time when the events at Mala Krusa
15 took place? I'm talking about March and April 1999 and then all
16 throughout this time up until the entry of NATO. That is what I'm asking
18 A. Sorry, in relation to your previous point, in what context did
19 the United States of America
20 organisation? Was it an expressed statement by the White House, was it
21 the view of the State Department, or was it, in a sense, from -- where's
22 it come from? What's the source? Because I'm -- I believe I've got a
23 memory of this, so I'd like to know a little bit more about that point,
24 because I don't remember, for example, President Clinton saying or
25 behaving as if the KLA was a terrorist organisation in the same way that
1 Hamas or the American -- the Bush administration considered Hamas to be a
2 terrorist organisation.
3 Q. Mr. Sweeney, I'm telling you again that I just want to know
4 whether you had any knowledge about this or not. We can have a private
5 talk once your evidence has been given here about all these various
6 governments and what they said about this.
7 A. Sorry, you're presenting something as a fact to me, and I'm just
8 hesitating and saying, Are you sure about that? I don't need to have a
9 private conversation. But the point is this: If your question to me is
10 am I aware that the KLA or people in the KLA did disgusting things to the
11 Serb population, yes, I am, and we were very conscious of that. And
12 there was -- there were a number of -- I remember, I believe, there were
13 two brothers who were killed and abducted in, I think, 1998, and there
14 were a series of terrorist outrages by the KLA on the Serb population.
15 But their number and the number of dead Serbs was small in comparison to
16 the number of dead Albanians in 1998, and in 1999 the numbers of dead
17 Albanians grew and grew and grew, in particular after the NATO
18 air-strikes, to a completely horrific degree.
19 So it is not a question of comparing like with like. But if your
20 question is: Did the KLA commit terrorist acts? The answer has to be
22 Q. I'm afraid you are again speaking about something that you have
23 no specific information about, but since that seems to be a chosen mode,
24 I really have nothing to counter that.
25 Let me ask my next question. Following NATO's entry, do you know
1 anything about any KLA crimes against Serb civilians, such as abduction,
2 torture, kidnapping, murder? Are you aware of the horrifying story about
3 the organs of captured Serbs being sold to third parties?
4 A. I'm -- sorry, you asked me two questions. Yes, obviously, I'm
5 aware that Serb civilians were abducted and tortured and killed and
6 murdered by members of the KLA. As I said, the lion's share of the
7 violence was by the Serb forces against the Albanian population.
8 I'm not aware of the story about the organs of captured Serbs
9 being sold to third parties. I certainly didn't come across that in
10 Little Krusa. And I'm a little bit skeptical, but no doubt you've got
11 lots of evidence.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sweeney.
13 My next question is about your arrival in Kosovo. I will allow
14 for the possibility that you were mistaken about the 14th of June being
15 the date you entered Kosovo, which is what you shared with us yesterday,
16 on the front of a British tank. In your statement you claim the 12th of
17 July, which I'm more inclined to take as the correct date, since this was
18 a document that was produced shortly after --
19 A. To be fair, yesterday I said I wasn't clear about the dates. And
20 this morning -- or rather when the session started today, I said -- I
21 believe I said that I entered Kosovo on the 12th of July. And I think
22 yesterday I said I wasn't sure whether it was the 12th or the 14th. But
23 yes, you're absolutely right, it's the 12th of July -- 12th of June,
25 Q. Yes, the 12th of June, for the record.
1 A. For the record, I believe it's -- it says in your question here,
2 "In your statement you claim the 12th of July." Surely you mean the 12th
3 of June?
4 Q. No, no, I said clearly the 12th of June. It was the interpreter
5 who got the month wrong. So there's a correction there, and I think we
6 both meant the right date.
7 A. Okay. Good.
8 Q. My next question to you, sir: Who allowed you as a civilian to
9 sit on a combat vehicle being used by the British Army? That is one
10 thing that I'm slightly unclear about.
11 A. There was an enormous traffic jam. The British Army was at the
12 head of it, and essentially there was a huge traffic jam of ethnic
13 Albanians getting back into Kosovo to reclaim their homes, rebuild their
14 lives. And the media, our car, was jammed up in the traffic jam, so I
15 took my rucksack out of the back of the car, I walked to the front of the
16 cue, and then I hitched a ride. I hitched three or four separate
17 vehicles. I'm obviously British; I'm obviously English. I can talk
18 immediately to the British Army and say, Can you give us a lift? And
19 they did. It was the quickest way of getting to where I wanted to get
20 to, which was Pristina.
21 Q. The reason for my question is this: I know a lot about military
22 rules, and I know that the British Army was in the middle of a combat
23 operation at the time. Regardless of the fact that an agreement had been
24 signed, the army's presence was necessary to protect and to intervene, to
25 protect the civilians returning and to make sure there was peace in
1 Kosovo. That was the official NATO explanation. I asked you about the
2 permission you obtained. Was it informal or another kind?
3 A. Another kind?
4 Q. Any other way.
5 A. It was informal.
6 Q. Thank you. Were you armed on this occasion?
7 A. No. I would never carry a gun anywhere.
8 Q. You say in your statement -- again, this is page 10, it's the
9 statement that you have before you. That's what I believe. I haven't
10 checked it. I think it's that statement. Two German journalists, your
11 own fellow journalists, were killed and this caused you great concern.
12 Is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you know who killed your fellow journalists?
15 A. The story we originally heard was that -- the gossip was, and
16 remember this is -- this is a kind of war situation so it's very
17 difficult to get hold of --
18 Q. Of course?
19 A. [Previous translation continues] ... the truth. But we believe
20 it was -- the story doing the rounds in Pristina was that it was Serbs
21 who were opposed to Kosovo's -- sorry, NATO's intervention, who killed
22 the two Germans. I don't know that as a fact. That was the story that
23 was running around at the time.
24 Q. You have no other knowledge concerning this, do you?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Thank you. After this you rented a vehicle, and you were off to
2 Mala Krusa, were you not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Mr. Sweeney, you say you were the first to arrive in Mala Krusa,
5 that it was deserted and one could still see the marks of Serbs leaving.
6 Can we therefore conclude that the houses were all locked up? To begin
7 with, and then I have a follow-up question?
8 A. We were the -- James Miller and I were the first westerners to
9 arrive there. I think that's absolutely right. There were still some
10 villagers around, Mr. Shehu, a small boy who was in the film, are the two
11 that stand out in my memory, but it was pretty much empty. The houses,
12 the Serb houses by -- and there were some others. The Serb houses I
13 think we didn't go into immediately because we were still kind of
14 uncertain, and by the time we went into them, the doors had been
15 opened -- for example, Sava Nikolic's house, somebody, presumably
16 Albanian, had been in there beforehand and had kind of -- in a rough way
17 had ransacked through the clothes and so forth, so they were lying
19 Q. How long before you arrived could those Albanians have entered
20 those houses, since you claim the doors were open?
21 A. Well, I believe I arrived on the 17th of June in Little Krusa,
22 and then we started filming. So it's entirely possible for Albanians to
23 have gone into -- well, it was clear that somebody had gone into those
24 Serb homes before we did. There was -- in one of the houses there was a
25 sign saying, "Watch out for mines" in Albanian, so the Albanians had gone
1 before. They hadn't destroyed and they hadn't burned the houses down.
2 We were looking for photographs and videotapes, home videos, anything
3 like that, which we could use in our television programme as evidence of
4 you get faces. The Albanians, certainly the ones that lived in Little
5 Krusa, didn't need to do that. They know exactly what these people
6 looked like. So we were, in a sense, looking for different people. But
7 I'm under no allusions. Some Albanians had been into those places before
8 we did.
9 Q. So it is your conviction that they looted the houses, taking away
10 all the clothes, all the valuables, looking for money. I think you said
11 something to the effect. Can we agree on that?
12 A. It's not my conviction; it's my guess, but yes.
13 Q. Did you go into those Serb houses with some Albanians, or did you
14 just go in with your cameraman?
15 A. I would have gone -- a lot of the time our -- we had two Albanian
16 translators, first a woman and then a man, and he or she would have been
17 with us. I believe -- I can't be -- he would have -- so there would have
18 been myself and James Miller who would have gone into most of those
19 houses and our Albanian translator, obviously not from Mala Krusa. I
20 think we hired them in Prizren. But most of the time it would have just
21 been me and James.
22 Q. Mr. Sweeney, are you aware of the fact that you had no right
23 entering anyone's private property without special authorisation, or
24 perhaps you can share with us today that you were in fact authorised in
25 one way or another for that particular entry?
1 A. There had been a massacre of more than a hundred men and boys,
2 the youngest of which was, what, 13 or 14. I was investigating that.
3 That's why I was there. Now, I -- the idea that I would need special
4 authorisation certainly -- doesn't that seem to be, in some way, slightly
5 bureaucratic? What I'm trying to do is to put names to faces, maybe to
6 secure evidence of who these people were. But that's the context I went
7 in those homes, and I think that morally the context is entirely
8 justifiable and to question it seems absurd.
9 Q. That is possible, but that's just your position. Are you aware
10 of the fact that you took possession of another's belongings in an
11 unlawful way? And after all, Mr. Sweeney, this was far from being an
12 honourable thing to do. You are no police officer; you're no
13 investigator. You're a journalist, a citizen, a civilian.
14 A. What's the question?
15 Q. I'll look at the record to see if it reflects what I asked you.
16 JUDGE PARKER: The question I heard, accompanied by quite a bit
17 of comment, was: "Are you aware of the fact that you took possession of
18 another's belongings in an unlawful way?"
19 THE WITNESS: Fine. My answer to that is the same as before: I
20 was investigating a massacre of more than a hundred men and boys. I had
21 every reason to believe that this massacre happened, because I'd spoken
22 at great length to the survivors of the massacre in Albania in April. We
23 were now in June. So that I knew for a fact, as far as I was concerned,
24 that these Albanian witnesses were telling me the truth, that their men
25 had disappeared. I was now standing in the village. The Albanian homes
1 were gutted and ruined, and there was a huge hole in the ground where the
2 hay barn had been.
3 In that light and in that context, I went and looked for evidence
4 that would help me and the rest of the world, policemen included who
5 weren't there at the time, to try and apprehend, at least identify the
6 people who the Albanians said were responsible for this massacre. Now,
7 that is a morally right and proper thing to do, and it is not
9 Q. Mr. Sweeney, this is what I want to know: On that occasion you
10 say you entered alone, for the most part, you and your cameraman. Did
11 you have any evidence in relation to the persons you mentioned, any
12 evidence identifying them as the immediate perpetrators of this unheard
13 of crime in Mala Krusa, as you say? I mean Mr. Nikolic, Mr. Tasic, so on
14 and so forth. Did a single Albanian tell you that they were the
15 immediate perpetrators of the massacre at the hay barn?
16 A. Sorry, you've used a phrase there, "this unheard of massacre,"
17 "this unheard of crime." What do you mean?
18 Q. I mean the murder of 103 men in the hay barn belonging to the
19 Batusha family. That is what we've been talking about throughout, isn't
21 A. Yes. I wouldn't characterize it -- use the phrase "the immediate
22 perpetrators of this unheard of crime." I'm just puzzled by the use of
23 the phrase "unheard of." So the answer so your question --
24 Q. All right. Let's stick to crime then.
25 A. Good. Yes. As I said yesterday, the Albanian survivors and the
1 women and children had identified these men. Now, as a result of the --
2 just doing some homework last night and this morning, I read through some
3 of the articles that I'd written, and I can identify, I believe, when
4 these various names came up. The first one is Mr. Dimitri Nikolic. Now,
5 he used to, I believe, work in the local Rakia distillery along with
6 Albanian colleagues, and he was well known to Granny Batusha. Granny
7 Batusha is a vivid witness, and she said on tape, and it's in the first
8 film and again in the second film, she said, I realised it was Dimitri.
9 I saw him. Even though he had a microphone -- sorry, a camouflage
10 balaclava on, she knew it was him and she shouted, Dimitri, and he turned
11 his face away. And she actually acts like that. So I knew that I was
12 looking for Dimitri Nikolic.
13 Sava Nikolic, I believe, according to Xhelal Shehu had shot at
14 them the first day, the Thursday before the massacre on the Friday, as
15 they were running up into the woods on to the bluff.
16 Sava Nikolic, I know the name, and I can't at this time remember
17 who said, look out for Sava Nikolic, he was one of them.
18 One of the survivors in the hay barn, I believe, saw
19 Momcilo Nikolic. Those are the names. The key ones - Dimitri Nikolic,
20 Sava Nikolic, and Sveta Tasic, those are the people I'm looking for.
21 They lived in the village; their houses were looted but intact, and
22 that's where I went to find evidence.
23 Q. As for your testimony yesterday, it is my understanding that you
24 said that their Albanian neighbours recognised them, and that they were
25 in police uniforms, all the persons that you mentioned, that is.
1 However, as far as I can remember, I think that I seem to remember that
2 you cannot say with certainty that they were the ones who opened fire.
3 So could you please clarify that? You started talking about it today
4 when you identified these persons as the persons who had been recognised;
5 however, I asked you whether they were the perpetrators, whether these
6 people directly said that the three of them were the perpetrators of this
8 A. I believe I'm going to be entirely consistent with what I said
9 yesterday, and I'm saying that I cannot say for a fact -- listen, I
10 wasn't there. I don't know. What I can say -- sorry, I do not know who
11 ordered or commanded or organised the massacre, and frankly I don't
12 believe it was these three or four names that the Albanians come up with,
13 because I think that they were basically locals who were part of it. So
14 that, yes, they are perpetrators because they were there. They could
15 have done something to stop it, and they didn't. Yes, they are
16 perpetrators. I don't think that they organised or commanded it, but
17 they were part of it, yes.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sweeney. My next question is whether you
19 personally reported these persons to any prosecutor's office, court, or
20 to the police? And do you know whether any criminal proceedings were
21 instituted against these persons because of the war crime that had been
23 A. Yes. I mean, I told -- when -- The Hague investigators, the
24 people from here, people from Scotland Yard, I told them the evidence I'd
25 got, and I actually -- I believe the first contact was before June. But
1 anyway, I told them and the Tribunal, or people working for the Tribunal,
2 took this -- took the information I had and subsequently that led to the
3 statement that you've got in front of you.
4 Q. Apart from that statement, are you aware of any other
5 consequences of what you said to the Court, to the effect that
6 proceedings were started against these persons in Serbia, in The Hague
7 or perhaps in a third country?
8 A. I'm not -- if that's true, I'm -- I'd very much like to know
9 about it. I am not aware of any proceedings against these persons in
11 Q. My next question: Since you mentioned the exact number of
12 survivors, in your view, and also the exact number of casualties as a
13 result of the incident in the hay barn in Mala Krusa, did you receive any
14 information about the names of the persons who had been killed in the hay
15 barn in Mala Krusa?
16 A. Yes. Sorry, going back to your earlier point, you asked me, Are
17 you aware of any other consequences of what you said to the Court to the
18 effect that the proceedings were [indiscernible] against these persons in
20 THE COURT REPORTER: Who? Sorry. I'm sorry, but can you start
22 THE WITNESS: Okay. I apologise, sorry.
23 I'm just returning to that last point: Are you telling me that
24 proceedings have started or have taken place against these people in
1 Q. No, that's not what I said to you. I asked you whether you had
2 any knowledge of any proceedings taking place before any court, including
3 this one here, against the persons that you referred to as the
4 perpetrators and who were present on site? I'm talking about the Nikolic
5 family, Dusan, Sveta Tasic, et cetera. That's what I asked you, whether
6 you had any knowledge. I did not provide any information to you.
7 A. Sorry, I was mystified by the question. Right. Moving on, let
8 me -- let me, I'm sorry, look at the screen so I can see what your last
9 question was.
10 I told the investigators from this Tribunal everything I knew and
11 I gave them the evidence they wanted from me. That's what I did. I
12 don't think that's a mistake.
13 Q. Thank you. Thank you. My next question: Do you have any
14 knowledge today about these persons? Are they all registered as missing,
15 or perhaps do you have some information that is different?
16 A. As I understand it -- now, there is some concern or some doubt
17 about the numbers, obviously because it's difficult. As I understand it,
18 the last number that I heard was that 103 men and boys were killed in the
19 hay barn. Six survived and then I believe that there were eight killed
20 in the separate, smaller killing, which took place on the western side of
21 the road in Mala Krusa, and in Velika Krusa, Greater Krusa, up the road,
22 20 dead. But let's just talk about Mala Krusa. The numbers, then, would
23 appear to be well over a hundred dead in the hay barn, and I have heard
24 nothing that challenges that.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sweeney.
1 In order to clarify the name of the river that you referred to,
2 in all the records it says that it's the Drina river. For the record,
3 could you please say what the name of the river is? Because that river
4 is not called Drina
5 you do know what the actual name of the river is.
6 A. No. If our translator said it was the Drina and they got it
7 wrong, then I'm afraid I have just passed on that mistake. It's a river,
8 and it's near Mala Krusa. I'm sorry if I've got the name wrong. I don't
9 know the right name of the river. If you do, please tell me. I'd be
10 always happy to be better informed.
11 Q. Mr. Sweeney, can we agree that the name of the river is Drim?
12 A. Well, can we? Because we've got three separate languages running
13 around here. It could well be that what I've picked up is an Albanian
14 translation or an Albanian phrasing of the river, not the Serb one. But
15 the two aren't miles away, Drim or Drini. I defer to you. You're
16 obviously right about the name of the river.
17 Q. I think that the Albanians call that river Drini, not Drina. But
18 all right, Drina
19 the border between present-day Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Very well
21 Let us move on to something different. You said that you saw a
22 truck in the river. What is this that you actually saw? What kind of
23 truck? Why did you mention that yesterday?
24 A. Because when I was up in the hills in March 1999, one of the
25 witnesses, one of the men who first told me about the massacre in
1 Mala Krusa, more than a hundred dead, and he was right about that, he
2 said that he'd seen a lorry in the river and it was burning. And it
3 struck me that the river was a good place to put burnt human remains.
4 And let's remember, this mystery still remains. No one knows where these
5 dead are buried. The people who lost these people, the mothers and the
6 wives, don't know where -- where their dead are, and that is a continuing
7 and unbearable pain for these people. It's awful to lose somebody and
8 not know where their body is.
9 So I was trying to find out. And we went, and we had a simple
10 problem: The river was strong, and we couldn't risk losing the camera by
11 taking it out in the middle of the river where we might damage the
12 equipment, and it was a real difficulty. It's a difficult place, in
13 particular at that time. So we couldn't get the shot that I wanted. But
14 I went out there and swam in the river, and I saw what I thought looked
15 like blood on the lorry.
16 I'm completely aware of the possibility that your mind can
17 suggest things that actually aren't there, so I may be wrong about that,
18 and we don't have any precise evidence. I'm not forensic. By the time
19 the forensic people came along, I think that the lorry had gone, moved
20 down the river, or the moment was lost, or they didn't look.
21 Nevertheless, where are the dead?
22 Q. Did you indicate to any one of these pathologists at the time
23 that you saw that truck? And if so, who did you speak to?
24 A. You're misunderstanding the scene. When we first arrived in
25 mid-June, there were no pathologists. They only turned up much later, I
1 believe in -- in -- in July, so three weeks later. So at the time there
2 was only us, and that's why I tried to gather as much information as
3 possible and as much evidence as possible. So I believe I did tell them
4 about it, but it's up to them. What we did do was go and have a look,
5 and we tried to film it, and we couldn't.
6 Q. Now, as we near the moment of the end of this cross-examination,
7 I would be interested in hearing the following: Mr. Sweeney, did you
8 investigate the broader context of the events in Mala Krusa?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Within that framework, did you have any knowledge about the
11 activities of the Kosovo Liberation Army in that territory at the
12 critical time?
13 A. We heard stories. What the villagers told me, the Albanians, was
14 that it had been very, very quiet there, and there had been a -- they
15 were on good terms with their Serb neighbours, which is why the
16 resulting -- what happened was so shocking to them. I believe it's
17 entirely possible that the KLA used the -- kept trouble away from this
18 area, the whole area, because it was a good place to run guns out of
20 somewhere like Mala Krusa, then that would have caused the MUP to come
21 down, the police to come down, and then it would make the smuggling of
22 guns more difficult.
23 We had no direct evidence of this, and there was -- when we first
24 arrived, there was no sort of KLA leadership of any kind there. The
25 place was empty. So it was something that we were aware of. That
1 doesn't excuse for a second the killing of all of these people.
2 Q. That is not what I wanted to say, that that was an excuse for any
3 single person to lose his or her life. My last question for you today,
4 Mr. Sweeney: Do you have any knowledge about killed or abducted citizens
5 of Serb ethnicity from that area at that time?
6 A. I believe there was a -- there was a story in a village nearby
7 that some Serbs had been abducted and I think killed. There was -- it
8 was while we were there, but it was not in the village. It was not in
9 Mala Krusa; it was some kilometres away in a zone organised by a Dutch
10 battalion. We focused on Mala Krusa to the extent that, for example, I
11 believe we mention it, but we didn't go in any detail into the smaller
12 massacre in Velika Krusa of 20 dead. So because our focus was precisely
13 on the chain of events and the massacre, that's what we stuck to.
14 But you're absolutely right, there were Serb victims, and they
15 were killed -- innocent Serbs were killed and abducted and tortured by
16 the Albanians and the KLA, and that's wrong, too.
17 Q. I will agree with you, Mr. Sweeney. I feel sorry for the
18 innocent Albanians and innocent Serbs and any innocent person who lost
19 his or her life anywhere. At the end of my cross-examination, I'm going
20 to thank you for the answers that you've provided, and that is how I'm
21 going to end my cross-examination. Thank you.
22 A. Thank you.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic.
24 Ms. Kravetz, do you have any re-examination?
25 MS. KRAVETZ: No, Your Honour, I have no further questions for
1 this witness. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: Just -- sir ...
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 THE WITNESS: Would it help? There's a couple of dates of the
5 films which you asked me about yesterday.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Kravetz.
7 MS. KRAVETZ: Yes, if you want to provide the dates, that's fine.
8 Re-examination by Ms. Kravetz:
9 Q. Could you clarify the dates when your first documentary was
11 A. That was broadcast on the 20th of 5th, 1999.
12 Q. And your second documentary, "Prime Suspects"?
13 A. The 4th of November, 1999.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MS. KRAVETZ: No further questions, Your Honour. Thank you.
16 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sure pleased to know that that completes the
17 questioning in respect to this matter. Can we indicate our appreciation
18 of your attendance here and the assistance you've been able to give. And
19 we will arrange now, of course, for you to leave the courtroom, and you
20 may go about your ordinary activities. Thank you, indeed.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Kravetz.
24 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, the next witness is
25 Mr. Mehmet Krasniqi, or Avdyli. He also goes by that name. This witness
1 will be led by Mr. Stamp who is on his way to the courtroom now.
2 JUDGE PARKER: I'm just looking at the time now, and I wonder
3 whether it would be more practical to have the next break now and then
4 resume with the witness afresh.
5 MS. KRAVETZ: That would be convenient for us. No problem.
6 JUDGE PARKER: It will give Mr. Stamp time to get here as well.
7 I think we will do that, and we will resume, then, at 5.45.
8 --- Recess taken at 5.09 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 5.47 p.m.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp.
11 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours. May it please you, the next
12 witness is Mr. Krasniqi, Mehmet Krasniqi.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please read aloud the affirmation on the
17 card that's given to you now.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
19 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: MEHMET KRASNIQI
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
23 Mr. Stamp has some questions for you.
24 MR. STAMP: Thanks, Your Honours.
25 Examination by Mr. Stamp:
1 Q. Good afternoon, sir. Could you please state your name.
2 A. Good afternoon. I am Mehmet Krasniqi.
3 Q. And your date of birth?
4 A. 19th of May, 1967.
5 Q. Has your surname, that is, your last name, always been Krasniqi?
6 A. For some time I used the surname Avdyli.
7 Q. And when did you change to Krasniqi?
8 A. In 1999.
9 Q. When in 1999? Do you remember?
10 A. I think it was September, but I'm not sure.
11 Q. Where are you from, Mr. Krasniqi?
12 A. Krusa e Vogel.
13 Q. And that place is sometimes referred to by the Serbian name
14 Mala Krusa.
15 A. Yes, Mala Krusa.
16 Q. Now, prior to 1999 or prior to the NATO intervention in 1999,
17 what was the -- about how many houses made up that village?
18 A. There was a total of a hundred households, I think.
19 Q. And what was the ethnic distribution like? About how many
20 households were Albanian and how many households were others?
21 A. Seventy-three households were Albanian.
22 Q. And the remainder were?
23 A. Serbian, and three Roma households.
24 Q. Now, prior to March 1999, how did the different ethnicities
25 co-exist within your community, as far as you are concerned, as far as
1 you knew?
2 A. We didn't have any problems. We never had any problems with
3 them. We had good relations. No trouble.
4 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, could I bring up the exhibit with the
5 65 ter number 00615. That is the booklet with maps of various areas. I
6 just want to look at it briefly, just to get us oriented. And I'd like
7 to go straight to page 22 of that booklet. We could probably zoom in a
8 little bit more to the bottom of the page so that we can see all of the
9 major towns. Yeah.
10 Q. On the page here you see the main towns near to your village.
11 You see to the top left the town of Djakovica
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. To the right, Orahovac or Rahovec?
14 A. Rahovec and Prizren.
15 Q. And Prizren to the south, that's to the bottom right. Do you see
16 where Mala Krusa is on this map? Can you make it out?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could you circle Mala Krusa.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. We see that's just on the border of Prizren and Orahovac.
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. STAMP: Can I just indicate that the witness has drawn a
23 circle that really looks like the number 6.
24 Q. Do you see other villages nearby, like Celine, Nogavac?
25 A. Yes, yes, I can.
1 Q. Zrze?
2 A. Xerxe, yes.
3 Q. Can you just put a little tick beside these villages.
4 A. So Xerxe, Celina and Nagavc. You want me to circle them?
5 Q. Yes. Celine, Nogavac, and Zrze.
6 A. Nagavc, Celina and Xerxe.
7 Q. Do you also see Velika Krusa?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Also put some marks for Zrze, Celine and Nogavac. So you could
10 just put a dot beside that as well. Thank you.
11 A. I already did, yes.
12 MR. STAMP: Could we give this an exhibit number. I just have
13 him mark his town and his village and surrounding villages because many
14 of these surrounding villages are the subject of witness statements that
15 have applied for 92 bis in respect to. So I just do this for the benefit
16 of the Court, to identify the area, and you will see from his evidence
17 later on that the -- some of these villages become relevant to the
18 testimony. So I'd ask that the marked map now be received.
19 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
20 THE REGISTRAR: That's Exhibit P301, Your Honours.
21 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
22 Q. Now, on the 24th of March, 1999, the NATO intervention into
24 next day, the 25th of March, did anything happen in your village?
25 A. On the 25th of March, the Serb forces came and surrounded the
1 village, from the main road Prizren-Gjakove, and the population was
2 concerned so they went up to the mountain.
3 Q. Okay. When you say "the Serb forces came and surrounded the
4 village," what forces were these? Can you describe them a little bit
6 A. Well, the forces of Serbia
7 Q. Did they have vehicles?
8 A. Yes. They did have heavy artillery, tanks, APCs.
9 Q. And about what time did you observe that they were in the
10 vicinity of your town or village?
11 A. I saw them early in the morning. We could see the lights of the
12 vehicles and the military machinery around the village. They stopped at
13 the junction from the road Prizren-Gjakove and turned towards the
14 village. It was before dawn.
15 Q. Can you give us an approximate time?
16 A. It was about 5.00.
17 Q. Now, when you observed these Serb forces, did you and your family
18 do anything?
19 A. The whole people from the village were going towards the
20 mountain. So I took my family, we left our house, and we went to the
21 mountains as well.
22 Q. Firstly, could you tell us about your family? What -- how many
23 members of your family were there?
24 A. At that time there were four of us in my family - myself, my
25 wife, and two children.
1 Q. How old were the two children?
2 A. My children were -- one of them, the son, was 2 years old; my
3 daughter was nine months old.
4 Q. And I think you said in your -- in an earlier answer that -- the
5 whole people from the village. Did the Serbs go into the forest as well?
6 A. No, the Serbs did not leave to the mountains. They did not leave
7 their houses.
8 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, I think I'd like to bring on screen
9 document 00099, and page 2 thereof. This is an aerial photograph of the
10 village taken in 1999 by an ICTY investigator. Does this -- is this
11 page 2? Yes.
12 Q. Is this the village -- is this your village, sir?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you see your house on this photograph?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. I'm going to ask you to put a letter 1 on your house --
17 not a letter, a number 1 on your house.
18 A. I put number 1 over my house, on the roof there.
19 Q. Okay, thank you. And does this photograph include the forest
20 that yourself and your neighbours went to?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Okay. But can you use an arrow to point to the direction of
23 where the forest is? Mark an arrow, an arrow in the area where the
24 forest is, pointing to where the forest is. Mr. Krasniqi, if you hold
25 the pen ...
1 A. Here. If you start here from the houses, this is the stream and
2 the woods are there.
3 Q. I can't see what you're pointing to. Just put an arrow that
4 points us to the direction of the forest. That's what I'm asking you to
6 A. My hand is trembling.
7 Q. Okay. I think we understand what you're showing us. While you
8 were in the forest did you observe anything happening in respect to the
9 village that you had just left?
10 A. I couldn't see anything, but I could hear the noises from the
11 main road towards the village, and I could see smoke coming out of the
13 Q. And did the forces that had entered and surrounded your village
14 do anything while you were in the forest?
15 A. We couldn't see what they were doing in the village itself. We
16 were in the woods, close to the stream. But we could hear the shots, the
17 gun-shots, and we could see the smoke coming out of the houses.
18 Q. I see. Now, in the forest where you were towards the mountains,
19 did anything happen in that area?
20 A. On the 25th nothing happened. Only the gun-shots, and we could
21 see the branches of the trees falling down because of the bullets. The
22 branches fell on the ground, but nothing apart from that.
23 Q. Bullets were being fired where?
24 A. The bullets came towards the forest.
25 Q. And from where?
1 A. From the lower part and from the Serb forces.
2 Q. Now, how long did you, your family, and the other villagers
3 remain in the forest?
4 A. We remained there for the whole day, until the next morning.
5 Some of them who had small children went to Sejdi Batusha's house, while
6 the rest of us remained in the forest.
7 Q. Who is Sejdi Batusha?
8 A. He's a villager, a co-villager.
9 Q. Do you see his house here?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Now, I'd like you to take the pen, hold it carefully, and just
12 put a 2 where his house is, on top of his house.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. Thank you.
15 Those of you who remained in the forest, did anything happen to
17 A. On the 26th of March, when the police and the Serb forces ordered
18 everybody to come together and go to Sejdi Batusha's house - the women,
19 the elderly, the children. There were two disabled people; they couldn't
20 walk. And they ordered for these people -- these two people to be
21 brought where the others were as well.
22 Q. Did you --
23 A. They called their names from the window, Aziz Shehu and
24 Sulejman Batusha were called to go and fetch those two disabled people
25 and bring them to Sejdi Batusha's courtyard.
1 Q. You're going a little bit ahead of me now. I'm still in the
2 forest. Did any of the police come to the forest while you were there?
3 A. On the 26th of March, the tanks climbed up the village and
4 surrounded the village from the forest part, and no policeman came to
5 where we were in the forest. But they told these two people to come and
6 tell all the persons who were there in the forest to come to the village.
7 Q. And do you remember where in the village you went to?
8 A. To Sejdi Batusha's house.
9 Q. Now, when you arrived there, did you enter the house, or did you
10 remain outside?
11 A. We were all together - women, children, men. We were gathered
12 together in Sejdi Batusha's courtyard.
13 Q. And what happened while you were there?
14 A. When we were in the courtyard, we were told to go out to the
15 street and they separated us, the men from the women. They told the
16 women to go towards Albania
18 above their heads.
19 Q. Okay. What about the little children, the very young children?
20 A. The women and children were told to go and drown in the
22 above, and all the men, including Bali Avdyli, who was 72 years old, were
23 told to stay in the street and were told to put their hands above their
25 Q. So what did the women and the young children do? Did they
1 remain, or did they have to leave?
2 A. They went downwards, because the police gave the order so they
3 started moving.
4 Q. Okay. Now, I'd like you to put a number 3 on the map to depict
5 the area on the road where the women and children were separated from the
6 men. Can you do that?
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. Thank you. Now, can you describe to us carefully who you saw
9 there present ordering the men to line up in columns of three and
10 ordering the women to leave, to drown themselves or to go to Albania
11 Who was doing it?
12 A. There were several policemen with white -- with yellow and white
13 ribbons on their arms, upper arms, on the street. They ordered us to
14 produce our wallets and documents and give those things to them. And
15 they were insulting us and asking questions such as, Where is NATO? Why
16 is NATO not rescuing you? NATO will come and rescue you, of course.
17 Q. These people, these policemen, what colour uniforms did they
19 A. They were wearing blue uniforms, dark blue.
20 Q. Now, before that day, had you seen policemen in uniform like this
22 A. Yes. We could see them in the village. They would come to
23 Dimitrije Nikolic's house.
24 Q. Now, after the police separated you men from the women and
25 children, did they order you to do anything or to go anywhere?
1 A. They told us to get up with our hands up, not to look on any of
2 the sides, just to look down. And they took us to Rasim Batusha's house,
3 where there was this house with two rooms and a corridor. Rasim Batusha
4 used to keep the hay for his animals there. They told us to get in the
5 house. The corridor was full, and the room where I was, the other room
6 as well. In the room where I was, there was fodder for the animals. And
7 then they executed us, they shot at us.
8 Q. Okay. Do you see Rasim Batusha's house on this photograph?
9 A. The place of the massacre? Yes.
10 Q. Okay. Can you put a circle around that place, please.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Now, about how many men were forced into that house, or the house
13 that was at that place?
14 A. There were 109 men forced into the house.
15 Q. Was it a one-storey house or a two-storey house?
16 A. Single-storeyed.
17 Q. And did it have windows or not?
18 A. One of the rooms had just one window, while the other had two
19 windows; one towards the street and the other opposite the first one.
20 Q. Now, about how big were these rooms of this house, in square
21 metres, if you can?
22 A. Sixteen square metres, one of the rooms.
23 Q. Was that the room that you were in?
24 A. Yes, the room I was in.
25 Q. And do you know a villager by the name of Sait Hajdari?
1 A. Yes. He is a relative, an in-law.
2 Q. Do you know where he was?
3 A. He was there among the men, together with the rest of us. When
4 we were forced into the house, Sait Hajdari was in a wheelchair and he
5 was left near the door, because it was impossible to put him further in.
6 So they blocked the door with him.
7 Q. Now, while you were inside this house that was used as a barn, as
8 you described, could you tell us slowly what happened to you and the men
9 who were in that house.
10 A. A little while later when we were inside, they started shooting
11 at us. The execution began, and there were people who were killed
12 immediately. Others were not killed, and they were screaming and some
13 were saying, "Please don't scream. Maybe they won't come and execute us
14 one by one. Please don't scream." So some of the people were screaming.
15 Shefqet Shehu looked outside the window because he thought that they had
16 left. At that time he saw Momcilo Nikolic at the window. He was his
17 neighbour. And he said, Momcilo Nikolic, are you doing this to us? And
18 he's a Serb from our village. Momcilo Nikolic shot him -- shot Shefqet
19 there and then and started to shoot at the bodies of the people as well.
20 After that they put some liquid, incendiary liquid, in the room.
21 I had Asllani close to me, an elderly person. His arm was hit by the
22 bullets and he said, "My arm is cut off." So when they put that liquid
23 inside, Zenun Hajdari was above me. He covered me in blood. My face, my
24 jacket, everything I had on was soaked in blood.
25 A little later they began to bring maize stems and put them on
1 the bodies.
2 Q. Just if I can stop you there. When you said that they used a
3 liquid, tell us more about that. What did they use the liquid to do?
4 A. They wanted to burn the people. Some of it, some of the fuel
5 fell on my ear. I tried to wipe it away. For a month and a half my ear
6 was -- I couldn't hear, and my face and my hands, which were burnt, got
7 better sooner than the ear did.
8 Q. Okay. So they started a fire in the house after the shooting; is
9 that correct?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. Now, did you actually see -- did you see the persons who were
12 shooting into the house?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Do you know where they shot from?
15 A. From the windows.
16 Q. Do you know what type of weapons they used to fire into the
18 A. I don't know -- I don't know the names, but there was a box they
19 had put down at the window that was linked to the machine-gun. They had
20 put the machine-gun on that box.
21 Q. Did you see a machine-gun?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Where was it?
24 A. At the window, in the room where I was at the window. The barrel
25 of the gun was inside the room.
1 Q. So you're telling us now what happened to you inside the house.
2 How long did you remain in the house?
3 A. I remained under the bodies for some time, until the blood I was
4 soaked in dried. When they threw the maize stems on the bodies, I could
5 no longer breathe because of the smoke. I started to choke. So that's
6 when I stood up and said to myself, I'd better go out and die of a bullet
7 than of fire. So as I got up, my face was caught in the fire and my
8 hands, too, because I had to use my hands to get myself out of the
9 bodies. So I left through the windows and went straight to my uncle's
10 house, to the cellar of his house.
11 Q. Let's see if you can identify on this map where your uncle's
12 house is. Can you see it on this map that's before you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In relation to the circle that you put depicting the area where
15 the execution took place, where is your uncle's house?
16 A. It is adjacent --
17 Q. Don't mark it yet. Okay.
18 A. It is next to the place of the massacre.
19 Q. I see. Just so we know exactly where you're talking about, just
20 put a number 4 carefully on top of your uncle's house that you escaped
22 A. [Marks]
23 Q. About how long did you remain in your uncle's cellar?
24 A. Until it got dark, and that is when I left for the mountains.
25 Q. Now, were you alone in your uncle's house, or were there other
1 people there?
2 A. I was alone in the cellar of my uncle's house.
3 Q. While you were in your uncle's house, did you observe the Serb
4 police, who were in the village, doing anything?
5 A. I saw them enter the courtyard of my uncle's house. Three
6 policemen took away the Mercedes car and a Renault 18 make. They started
7 the car, and they let it drive into the wall on its own. Nobody was
8 driving it.
9 Q. When you saw this, where were you in your uncle's house?
10 A. On the second floor.
11 Q. So you escaped and ran to the cellar, and I take it from your
12 answer that at some point you went to the second floor of the house.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. When you went to the second floor of the house, was it still day
15 or was it night by then?
16 A. It was day.
17 Q. The persons who took your uncle's vehicle, the Mercedes, did you
18 recognise any of them?
19 A. Only Sveta Tasic I knew, not the others.
20 Q. Well, how well did you know him? Did you know him before?
21 A. He was a Serb from my village. I knew him very well.
22 Q. And did you see anybody doing anything in respect to the house
23 that was -- or the house where the execution took place? Maybe you don't
24 follow what I'm asking. While you were on the second floor of your
25 uncle's house, did you notice anything happening at the place where the
1 shooting took place?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Probably it's because I'm --
4 A. They continued to bring in maize stems, two young men, and to
5 throw them on the bodies, during the day. And policeman around the
6 house, he was in company of young men, and he was saying, "If you see
7 anyone move, don't feel sorry for him. Kill everyone you see."
8 Q. When they were throwing these maize stems in the house, was the
9 house still burning at that time, or the area where you were, still
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, can you recall about what time you left your uncle's house
13 and went to the forest?
14 A. At around 6.00 in the evening. It was dark. I left the house
15 and went to the mountains. There, I saw two men running away. One of
16 them was Refki Rashkaj and the other was Adnan Shehu. I was there in the
17 mountains. I could see the house set on fire. They were still carrying
18 maize stems and throwing them on the bodies. I could observe this from
19 the mountains. I could see the house on fire.
20 Q. Did anything happen to the other houses in the village?
21 A. They were all burning.
22 Q. Did anything happen to the Serb houses in the village while you
23 were in the forest?
24 A. No, nothing was happening to them.
25 Q. How long did you remain in the forest?
1 A. I remained in the forest until Monday.
2 Q. How many days would that be?
3 A. That would be Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, three days.
4 Q. And where did you go to after that?
5 A. On Monday, before dawn, I went to Nagavc village.
6 Q. While there, did you receive any medical attention for your
8 A. When I arrived in Nagavc village, there were many people there.
9 I first came across Ali Hoti, the doctor. He didn't have anything with
10 him to treat my wounds. He said, Xhemajl Danaj is here. He might help.
11 I went to him. He didn't have any material, so he used baby nappies to
12 treat and dress my wounds.
13 Q. Xhemajl Danaj, he's a doctor as well?
14 A. Yes, he's a doctor, too.
15 Q. Now, when you arrived in Nagavc village, you said there were many
16 people in the village. What were these many people doing there?
17 A. People from Celina, from Krusa e Madhe, Hoxha [phoen] and
18 Brestovc were there in Nagavc.
19 Q. What were they doing there? Why were they there? Do you know?
20 A. I was not there, but they had been told to remain there, not to
21 move about. People talked and told me that the Serbs had collected the
22 money and the valuables from them and had told them to remain there in
23 the village until they're further told to go to Albania. This is what I
24 heard from the people on that day when I was in Nagavc.
25 Q. What was the ethnicity of these people who were in Nagavc?
1 A. They were all Albanians and Muslims.
2 Q. And did they eventually go to Albania?
3 A. Yes. When Nagavc was bombed on the 2nd of April, at 2.15, we set
4 off. We gathered first on the road, and from there we set off for
6 Q. Which border did you cross through to go to Albania?
7 A. Qafe Morina.
8 Q. Did anything happen to you while you were at the border?
9 A. Yes. While I was crossing the border, they noticed that my face
10 and my hands were burned. And they insulted me, they cursed me. They
11 said, "You've been hurt by a shell. You're a soldier. Who is your
12 commander? Where were you hit by this shell?" So they took me inside
13 and tied me to a radiator.
14 Q. Who did this to you?
15 A. The Serb forces, policemen. They were wearing police clothes,
16 but there were also people from the army.
17 Q. And the room they took you to, was this at the border post?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And how long did you remain there?
20 A. Until it got dark. I don't know the time, the exact time, but it
21 still wasn't dark. Until dusk.
22 Q. And you left to where?
23 A. They told me to go to Albania
24 Q. Okay. Before we get to Albania
25 crossing into Albania
1 treated by the border police?
2 A. They plundered them. They took their money, their identification
3 documents. They were told to throw the documents in one spot. So when
4 they noticed my wounds, they sent me back. All the people who were
5 crossing the border, they were cursing them all.
6 Q. Where in Albania
7 A. In the Berat area.
8 Q. And did you receive further medical treatment there?
9 A. In Kukes I remained for three days. I was given medical
10 assistance there, issued some medicaments. But I didn't want to stay in
11 Kukes. I wanted to find my family as soon as possible. I didn't know
12 anything about them, didn't know whether they were alive or dead. So I
13 wanted to leave and refused to stay in the hospital. So I treated my
14 wounds with bear fat, with alternative medicine. So this is how I lost
15 all the scars, and I have no scars left on my face or my hands.
16 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, I propose to show the witness a -- yes,
17 I was going to ask permission to show a video, but I realise I need to
18 tender this first. In the circumstances, I think I should return to it
19 to have him do one more marking before I tender it.
20 Q. Mr. Krasniqi, while you were outside your cousin's house at the
21 place where you marked 3 on this map, where the women were separated from
22 the men, and during the time, that time to when you're taken to the house
23 or the barn where the execution took place, did you see anybody, any
24 member of the police that you recognised?
25 A. From there we were taken to the execution place. I could
1 recognise two persons during this time - Dimitrije Nikolic,
2 Zvezdan Nikolic, Momcilo Nikolic, Sava Nikolic. So these three were
3 coming from the lower part. This is where I saw them and these were the
4 ones that I recognised. The others ones I didn't know.
5 Q. I think you gave us four names there.
6 A. I made a mistake with Momcilo.
7 Q. Okay. So you didn't see Momcilo there.
8 A. No, I didn't see him there.
9 Q. Who were these three persons - Sava, Zvezdan, and
10 Dimitrije Nikolic? Did you know them before?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Where did you see them?
13 A. I saw them at the location where we turned towards
14 Rasim Batusha's house, there at the junction.
15 Q. Now, do you see that place on the photograph in front of you, the
16 place where you saw them?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could you put a number 5 at the place where you saw these three
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. How were they dressed?
22 A. They were dressed in police uniforms.
23 Q. Did they or did they not have any weapons or arms with them?
24 A. Yes, they were armed.
25 Q. With what?
1 A. They were wearing their weapons on their soldiers. They're
2 called Kalashnikovs, or I don't know what.
3 Q. Did you see them doing anything in that place where they were?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Now --
6 A. But they were coming towards us.
7 Q. Now, from the place where they were, could they have seen the
8 house or the barn where the execution took place?
9 A. Yes. The place is visible from where they were.
10 Q. I probably asked this before, but can you tell me, about how long
11 did you know these people before?
12 A. We were born and lived in the village, all of us, so I knew them
13 since I was a child, from birth.
14 Q. You said Dimitrije -- you used to see police in uniform going to
15 Dimitrije's house. Did he operate a business of any sort at his house?
16 A. We didn't know what kind of business he had. It resembled a sort
17 of cafe. The Serb police would go there. The policemen would come by
18 car and get drunk there. The children were scared to go to school by
19 that road and the adults would avoid using that road, too. They would go
20 out only if they had to go to the doctor or for other bare necessities.
21 Q. Thank you. While we are back at this place, can you tell me
22 about what time it is you entered the house where the execution took
23 place? About what time in the day, approximately?
24 A. I didn't have a watch, but I said that it was approximately
25 11.00, 11.30. But I don't know the exact time; I didn't have a watch.
1 Q. And that's in the morning?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And about what time did you escape through the window?
4 A. That I don't know. I stayed for quite some time under the
5 bodies, but I don't know for how long exactly. You could no longer hear
6 any noise from the people. And when they threw this liquid and when the
7 smoke came out, I started to choke. I touched the blood on my face and
8 on my body, and it was nearly dried. So I could no longer breathe in
9 there and that's when I said to myself, I will go out, and it's better
10 that I get killed by bullet than be burnt alive. So I don't know what
11 time it was exactly, but this is how I left and God saved me.
12 Q. Could you give us an estimate, a ballpark estimate, as to the
13 time when you left?
14 A. What can I say? I didn't have a watch. I cannot tell you
16 Q. Very well.
17 MR. STAMP: With your leave, Your Honours, could this marked
18 photograph be received in evidence and given an exhibit number.
19 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
20 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That's Exhibit P302, Your Honours.
22 MR. STAMP:
23 Q. Now, do you remember approximately how many men and boys were
24 taken into that house where the execution occurred?
25 A. I didn't count them at the time, and I didn't do it now either,
1 because it brings me pain. I don't know how many men and young boys were
2 there, but all of us were taken into this room and from all that number,
3 only six survived. But there were people starting from the age of 13.
4 The youngest was 13 years old.
5 Q. While you were in Albania
6 people, to investigators from this Tribunal in regard to what happened to
7 you at the barn or the house where the executions took place?
8 A. Yes, I recall that. I've given statements to all of them who
9 told me they were from the Tribunal, but I don't know the dates when I
10 gave these statements. I didn't take any notes of the dates, but I was
11 at their disposal whenever they wanted to ask me questions.
12 Q. In -- well, you just said that you don't remember how many people
13 were taken to the room. Do you recall giving a statement on the 4th of
14 April, 1999, when you compiled for the OTP Prosecutors a list of the
15 names of the persons that you recalled then who were taken into the barn?
16 A. I remember giving a statement to the Tribunal and testifying. I
17 don't know the date; however, I know that I did give them a statement.
18 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, I propose to show the witness a
19 statement just to refresh his memory, because he says he doesn't remember
20 the number and the names of everybody that was taken to the barn. It is
21 a statement of the 4th of April, 1999, and I don't propose to introduce
22 it for the general -- the statements he makes in it about what happened
23 to him. He has already testified to that. But just to remind him of the
24 number and the names he compiled. It is 02341.
25 JUDGE PARKER: The witness may be shown the statement and asked
1 if it refreshes his memory about those matters.
2 MR. STAMP: I think we need to go to page 7 of this document.
3 Your Honours, I'm wondering if perhaps we could take this up
4 tomorrow. I have left my copy -- it's a pretty long exhibit, and I have
5 left my copy with the number -- the page numbers for the Albanian
6 version, which is what I'd want to show him, while we look at the English
7 version. And it probably would take some time for me to scroll through
8 the document here to find the right page numbers. So I see it's just a
9 minute before the normal adjournment time. Perhaps it would be better if
10 we resume tomorrow.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will adjourn now, and we resume
12 tomorrow morning at 9.00.
13 Mr. Krasniqi, we have to finish for the night now, and we will
14 continue tomorrow morning at 9.00, in the morning, 9.00. The court staff
15 will give you further advice and assist you to be here in the morning.
16 Thank you very much.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.58 p.m.
18 to be reconvened on Friday, the 13th day of
19 February, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.