1 Friday, 20 March 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
6 I understand, Ms. Gopalan, you have a matter to raise.
7 MS. GOPALAN: Yes, just a short procedural matter, Your Honours.
8 I would like to use the witness's statement from 1999 during the course
9 of his testimony today. This statement was provided to the Defence --
10 they were notified of our intention to use the statement in the witness
11 notification. We drew attention to the statement specifically, and the
12 reason I'm requested leave at this stage is because we did not include
13 the statement in our filing of 14th of January, 2009. The witness was
14 led live in Milutinovic, and we only sought leave to use his transcript
15 from the Milutinovic case. However, I think at this stage it would be
16 beneficial and expeditious to use a concise statement, and that is why
17 I'm seeking Your Honours' leave to use it with the witness and tender it
18 into evidence.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Why was it not done with the motion which dealt
20 with the transcript of the witness's evidence in the Milutinovic trial?
21 MS. GOPALAN: Do you mean the motion where we --
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. There's been an extensive --
23 MS. GOPALAN: -- that's true --
24 JUDGE PARKER: -- motion.
25 MS. GOPALAN: That is true, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE PARKER: And in respect of this witness you put forward the
2 transcript but not the statement.
3 MS. GOPALAN: That's right.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Why is the question.
5 MS. GOPALAN: That is because the witness was led live in
6 Milutinovic and therefore the statement was in use by the Prosecution
7 then. Now, having reviewed the statement, I think it will greatly speed
8 up the process because it's a concise statement. So it's not --
9 JUDGE PARKER: We'll see what it is that the Defence feels about
10 the matter.
11 Mr. Djordjevic.
12 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, given that we were
13 notified late, in principle I'm going to object to it and this is all I
14 have to say at this moment.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 MS. GOPALAN: May I just add something, Your Honours?
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Gopalan, we haven't called on you again,
19 although I see you thought we might. The Chamber has noticed a tendency,
20 not only orally but in -- also in respect of written submissions, for a
21 motion to be moved with reasons, a response, and then further reasons
22 which are really matters which should have been dealt with in the first
23 instance, so we will not call upon you in response.
24 On this occasion, we have had notice and has the Defence of the
25 full oral evidence given in a previous trial of the witness. Defence
1 counsel objecting in principle to what you move has not, though,
2 identified any particular difficulty or difference that can be seen from
3 what is now proposed to be added as, from your description, a short
4 version, as it were, of what is in transcript evidence. The Chamber
5 frankly is in two minds but has decided in the end that on this occasion
6 it will allow the use of the short statement, but it is of two minds
7 because the structure of the procedure is one which is designed to enable
8 the Defence or the other party and the Chamber to have prior notice to be
9 able to give consideration to a statement or transcript before the
10 witness comes in court so that there can be attention given to any matter
11 which on prior study has been identified. And to simply allow a witness
12 to come and then tender without warning a statement is therefore likely
13 to be disruptive of orderly preparation and could lead to some
14 unfortunate issues.
15 So with those words, please understand this is no precedent for
16 what the Chamber will do should this sort of application be moved at some
17 other time with some other witness. On this occasion, yes, you have your
19 MS. GOPALAN: Thank you, Your Honours, we're most grateful.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE PARKER: [Microphone not activated]
22 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
23 JUDGE PARKER: [Microphone not activated]
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
1 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 WITNESS: JAN KICKERT
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
4 Ms. Gopalan has some questions for you.
5 Examination by Ms. Gopalan:
6 Q. Good morning, Mr. Kickert. Please could you state your full name
7 for the record?
8 A. My name is Jan Kickert.
9 Q. What is your nationality?
10 A. I'm Austrian.
11 Q. And what is your professional, Mr. Kickert?
12 A. I'm a diplomat.
13 Q. Just a reminder, as we are both speaking the same language, and
14 as you know there are translations and transcriptions in process, if we
15 could just pause between question and answer. Thank you very much.
16 Mr. Kickert, where are you currently posted?
17 A. I'm currently at Vienna
18 Q. In June 1999, did you provide a statement to the
19 Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. Have you had the opportunity to recently review the statement?
22 A. I re-read it again, yes, before coming here.
23 Q. Are you satisfied that the information contained in this
24 statement is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge and belief?
25 A. Yes.
1 MS. GOPALAN: This is 65 ter number 5240, and I seek Your
2 Honours' leave to tender the statement into evidence.
3 JUDGE PARKER: The statement will be received.
4 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00478, Your Honours.
5 MS. GOPALAN:
6 Q. Mr. Kickert, have you previously testified in this Tribunal in
7 the case of Prosecutor versus Milutinovic et al in March 2007?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. Have you had the opportunity to recently review this testimony?
10 A. Yes, I did too.
11 Q. You had indicated that you wished to make some corrections to
12 this testimony?
13 A. Just two minor corrections in -- on names. I just found out that
14 at one page it was --
15 Q. Can I stop you there, Mr. Kickert. We can just get to that now.
16 MS. GOPALAN: If I could call up 65 ter 5214, and if -- yes. And
17 could we go to page 5 on the e-court, please.
18 Q. Are you able to see the page on the screen, Mr. Kickert?
19 A. Yes, this is exactly the right page where Emyr Jones-Perry and it
20 is not Mr. Fischer but Mr. Ischinger, so I must have -- and later on in
21 the text it correctly states Mr. Ischinger; he was the political director
22 in the foreign, German foreign ministry.
23 Q. And those are the names referred to in lines 9 and 10 of that
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And you also wished to make another correction and that was at
2 page 64 of the same document. We'll wait for it to be called up.
3 MS. GOPALAN: Could we have page 64 on the e-court, please.
4 Thank you. And if we could scroll down the page.
5 Q. What was the correction you wished to make here, Mr. Kickert?
6 A. Again on the name. It's Bardhyl Mahmuti, Bardhyl is his first
7 name: B-a-r-d-h-y-l.
8 Q. Thank you very much. And having made these changes, are you
9 satisfied that if you were asked the same questions that you were asked
10 in the case of Prosecutor versus Milutinovic et al, that you would
11 provide the same answers today?
12 A. Yes.
13 MS. GOPALAN: With Your Honours' leave, I would like to tender
14 the witness's testimony into evidence.
15 JUDGE PARKER: The transcript will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As P00479, Your Honours.
17 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, during the course of the witness's
18 testimony I will be referring to a number of documents. I would like to
19 hand over hard copies of these documents to the witness to ease the
20 process of referring to these documents. They are in his original German
21 language, which I believe will assist him in providing clearer answers to
22 us in relation to the questions I seek to ask him.
23 JUDGE PARKER: They will also come up on the screen for the
24 Defence and the accused?
25 MS. GOPALAN: That's right.
1 JUDGE PARKER: -- thank you.
2 MS. GOPALAN: With the usher's assistance.
3 Q. Mr. Kickert, would you also like a copy of your statement?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Okay. Thank you. I'd now like to read the summary of the
6 witness's evidence.
7 MS. GOPALAN: The witness is a diplomat for the Austrian
8 government and was a second secretary in the Austrian embassy in
10 was taken to Kosovo by the Yugoslav Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The
11 witness made several other trips in Kosovo. He describes the use of
12 excessive force by the Serb forces during the 1998 summer offensive. In
13 late July/early August 1998, a pattern emerged when the witness went on
14 field trips. He passed villages going out into the field which were
15 intact, and when he returned on the same route later these villages were
16 destroyed or burning. He concluded that this destruction or burning was
17 done by the police as they were the only ones he saw in these areas. He
18 also saw many internally displaced persons and observed an increasing
19 level of destruction of Kosovo Albanian villages which he also noticed
20 were no longer inhabited.
21 That's the end of the in-court summary.
22 THE WITNESS: Sorry, just a correction, the trip was in June 1998
23 taken to Kosovo by the Yugoslav Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There was a
24 trip in March which I did not participate in, but in June I did.
25 MS. GOPALAN:
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kickert.
2 Mr. Kickert, in your capacity as a diplomat, did you serve in the
3 former Yugoslavia
4 A. Yes, I was a diplomat posted as second secretary as you said to
5 the Austrian embassy in Belgrade
6 Q. And when was that?
7 A. November 1997.
8 Q. Who was the mission chief at the embassy there?
9 A. Wolfgang Petritsch.
10 Q. And while you were in the embassy, did you go on trips to Kosovo?
11 A. Yes, I started to go to Kosovo the first time in January 1998.
12 Q. Mr. Kickert, in your statement, this is at page 2, paragraph 4,
13 you refer to an outing to the -- to Pec and Decani in the summer of 1998.
14 MS. GOPALAN: I would like to call up 65 ter number 2666.
15 Q. Do you recognise this document, Mr. Kickert?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. Does this relate to the trip that you made to Pec and Decani in
18 the summer of 1998?
19 A. Yes, this is a report of the trip I participated in.
20 Q. And who prepared this report?
21 A. I did.
22 Q. I'd like to take you to page 2 of this report that you prepared.
23 At page 2 in the paragraph headed "Decani," you say or the report states:
24 "Considerable devastation, but by no means as drastic ..."
25 And you go on to say that the town appeared dead. Could you
1 explain what you meant by the town appearing dead?
2 A. In German I say "ausgestorben," that means that -- dead in the
3 sense that no people were there.
4 Q. I see. And you also say that the people you saw, the patrons on
5 the main square, looked as though they were on show. What do you mean by
6 the phrase "on show"?
7 A. Well, we were taken down to the area by the Ministry
8 of Foreign Affairs, on the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
9 and to show us how they saw the situation in the area and also to show
10 that they were in control of situation. And we had the feeling or I had
11 the feeling - that's what I wrote in the report - that these few people,
12 this was at the cafe at the crossroads in Decani where you go to the
13 monastery, that there were just a few people apart from the police and
14 that they were just placed there because we got off the bus so that we
15 could see some people, else it was empty.
16 Q. Thank you. And in the next line you refer to the village of
17 Prilep or in the next line below the paragraph on Decani, and you say
18 "similarly extensive destruction."
19 Could you describe this destruction?
20 A. As I write in the paragraph on Decani, you would see impacts from
21 bullets at the same time more obvious was destruction through fire.
22 Q. And what about the inhabitants in Prilep, did you see anyone
24 A. I can't recall seeing anybody there.
25 Q. And at the bottom of the page of this document you refer to a
1 briefing by the Yugoslav foreign minister and Ministry of the Interior.
2 Do you recall who attended this briefing as a representative of the
3 Ministry of Interior?
4 A. No, I don't recall.
5 Q. I'd like to take you to another document now, Mr. Kickert --
6 MS. GOPALAN: Before I move on, may I tender 02666 into evidence,
8 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00480, Your Honours.
10 MS. GOPALAN: Could I call up 65 ter 2665, please.
11 Q. Mr. Kickert, this is another report from the Austrian embassy,
12 and it's dated the 1st of July, 1998. It's numbered 2665. Do you recall
13 this document?
14 A. Yes, I'm the author of it.
15 Q. And in the summary section, in the middle of the page, the first
16 tab says:
17 "Official confirmation for the first time of participation of
18 army units in inland operations."
19 Had you had any information before on army units participating in
20 inland operations?
21 A. No, it was denied that the army was involved, that it was only a
22 police affair, and this is the first time - and I cite Reuters, being
23 told by Mr. Veljko Odalovic, that the Yugoslav army had participated in
24 an action in Belacevac which is near Obilic.
25 MS. GOPALAN: I would like to tender this document into evidence,
2 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
3 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00481, Your Honours.
4 MS. GOPALAN:
5 Q. Mr. Kickert, in your statement you refer to a trip that was taken
6 by Ambassador Petritsch and yourself. It was an inaugural trip for
7 KDOM's arrival. This is at the top of page 3 of your statement. Can you
8 explain what KDOM was?
9 A. KDOM stands for Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission, and the whole
10 idea behind it was that we, as representatives of the international
11 community, had difficulties to get accurate information. We would get
12 allegations from one side and allegations from the other side, and so we
13 wanted to have -- to make our own picture, that's why we wanted to have
14 international monitors in Kosovo. And we have the European Union at that
15 time, it was not yet the EU, but we had the ECMM, European Community
16 Monitoring Mission
17 May there; and the Americans also wanted to be present, and there was
18 some talks with Belgrade
19 international community there in larger number.
20 Q. Okay. Thank you. And you mentioned that the Contact Group
21 ambassadors also came on this trip. Who were they?
22 A. The Contact Group is -- the Contact Group on the Balkans is a
23 group of the -- of six major powers, that is, the US, Russia
25 and the Americans.
1 MS. GOPALAN: Okay. Could I call up 65 ter 2664, please.
2 Q. Mr. Kickert, this is another document from the Austrian embassy
3 and is dated the 6th of July, 1998. Do you recognise this document?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. And how does this relate to the KDOM trip that we just spoke
7 A. From the 1st of July, 1998, Austria
8 European Union, and for that purpose we are co-opted for this half year
9 into the Contact Group as the EU Presidency and one of the tasks of
10 EU Presidency is also to inform all other EU members on events. So what
11 I've done is to write my report direct in English so that my colleagues
12 in Vienna
13 correspondence, EU correspondence, that they could inform the other EU
14 partners about this trip.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kickert.
16 MS. GOPALAN: I would like to tender 02664 into evidence, please.
17 A. It will be received.
18 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00482, Your Honours.
19 MS. GOPALAN:
20 Q. Mr. Kickert --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers make breaks between
22 questions and answers.
23 MS. GOPALAN: Thank you. We will.
24 Q. In your statement you refer to various trips that you made to
25 Malisevo in the summer of 1998. I'd like to focus on the trip you made
1 with the EU troika, and this is set out in your statement in page 3.
2 Could you tell us about this trip, please.
3 A. The Austrians -- we were the EU Presidency, and at that time you
4 had the troika, that's the outgoing and the incoming EU presidencies,
5 that's the troika; and this was a trip undertaken by Secretary-General of
6 the Austrian Foreign Minister Rohan and the two political directors
7 Wolfgang Ischinger from Germany
8 Q. What did you see during this trip?
9 A. First -- the first part of the visit in Kosovo was in Pristina,
10 talking to politicians, and then the decision was made that we would also
11 go inland into Kosovo. And I remember that we were stopped by a police
12 check-point at one stage, eventually let through, and went more inland
13 and came back the same day.
14 Q. And did you see anything during this trip when you went inland?
15 A. Yes, the most remarkable for me was when we went inland we would
16 see unharvested fields, and when we returned these fields were burning.
17 Q. And do you know who was responsible for the burning?
18 A. I didn't see anybody setting them on fire, but I didn't see any
19 people but policemen around.
20 Q. Do you have a specific area in mind when you say you went inland
21 during this trip that you made?
22 A. At this time most of my trips, because that was a time when we
23 established contact with KLA, was to Malisevo.
24 Q. Thank you. And did Malisevo have any special significance as an
1 A. Well, it was strategically located at a crossroads. It's a
2 juncture city, if you like, north, south, east, west, and at that time
3 when I went there it was what the KLA had called their capital.
4 Q. And during the summer period, since you made a number of trips to
5 Malisevo, did you recognise any changes to the city or were there any
6 changes to the area of Malisevo?
7 A. Yeah, at the beginning when I first went to Malisevo, it was
8 controlled by the KLA; and when the KLA abandoned Malisevo, it was empty,
9 hardly any people there; and it was then re-taken by Serbian security
10 forces, by the police.
11 Q. Thank you. And apart from your own observations about Malisevo
12 that you made during your trips there, did you receive any other
13 information from other sources about the situation in Malisevo during
14 this period?
15 A. Yes. By that time we had already established quite a good group
16 of EU monitors, ECMM, and we received daily reports, weekly reports,
17 because my -- as a diplomat my main -- primary occupation was not to make
18 field trips but to leave that to the monitors. So we got from them very
19 concrete reports of what they have seen.
20 Q. And did you receive any specific information on perpetrators of
21 anything being -- of perpetrators who participated in actions in Malisevo
22 or that area?
23 A. Yes. We received a special report on Malisevo where it -- our
24 monitors reported that -- of destruction going on in Malisevo, and
25 particularly two sentences where, one, they saw policemen looting the
1 shops in Malisevo; and a second one was that they saw a policeman in
2 uniform setting fire to a house.
3 Q. And roughly what time-frame would this have been?
4 A. That must have been the end of July -- end of July, maybe the
5 first days of August 1998.
6 Q. Thank you. I'd now like to move on to a different topic.
7 In your statement you refer to a number of trips that you made to
8 Orahovac in the summer of 1998. Could you explain why you made these
9 trips to Orahovac?
10 A. Orahovac is an ethnically mixed city, and there were some
11 fightings in July; and the purpose of our -- of my visits was to try to
12 establish a mechanism for people, IDPs, to return to the city,
13 Kosovo Albanian IDPs to return.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you.
15 MS. GOPALAN: I'd like to call up 65 ter 2655, please.
16 Q. And if we could have a look at the first page, Mr. Kickert. This
17 is a Telefax dated the 4th of August. Do you recognise this document?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Could you tell us why this document was prepared?
20 A. This was a fax to my colleagues from the Contact Group embassies,
21 US, French, German, Italian, and British, and it was about speaking
22 points for a demarche, sort of an intervention if you like, with the FRY
24 Q. Can I take you to page 2 of that document and under the heading
25 "major concerns" in the second bullet point you say:
1 "Reports about looting and burning of houses and setting fire to
2 unharvested fields by members of the FRY security forces."
3 What was the source of this information, Mr. Kickert, if you
5 A. Yeah, that was the ECMM reports.
6 Q. Okay. And in the bullet point below you refer to the number of
7 IDPs growing every day and the situation worsening. Are you able to
8 provide an estimate of the number of IDPs, if you recall, again?
9 A. No. I mean, we -- this point would have been based on report
10 from UNHCR, ICRC, and the bigger international NGOs working in the area
11 which I had contact with, that's Medecins Sans Frontieres, Oxfam.
12 Q. Thank you. And in the middle of the page under the heading:
13 "Therefore we urge the FRY government to ..."
14 The second bullet point you say:
15 "Stop FRY forces damaging houses and property; prevent
16 looting ..."
17 Could you explain what sort of damage you are referring to here?
18 A. This bullet point relates to the second bullet points under major
19 concerns. This is just telling them: Since we have reports, we asked
20 them to stop these actions.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kickert.
22 MS. GOPALAN: I'd like to tender 2655 into evidence, please.
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00483, Your Honours.
25 MS. GOPALAN:
1 Q. Mr. Kickert, I'd now like to turn to the trips you made with
2 Ambassador Parak. This is referred to in paragraph 3, page 4, of your
3 statement and these trips were made, according to your statement, in
4 September 1998.
5 MS. GOPALAN: Could we call up 65 ter 564, please.
6 Q. Mr. Kickert, do you recognise this document?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. It's a report dated the 11th of September, 1998. Did you prepare
9 this document?
10 A. Yes, I'm the author of it.
11 Q. I'd like to ask you some questions about this document, but
12 firstly: How does this relate to the trip that you made with
13 Ambassador Parak in September 1998?
14 A. Well, Mr. Parak was the head of ECMM based in Sarajevo, that was
15 the headquarters of ECMM for the whole of ex-Yugoslavia, and he was
16 coming down to Kosovo, and I accompanied him on a trip.
17 Q. If we have a look at this document, in the first bullet point you
19 "Villages along the main Pristina-Pec road ... with the
20 exception of Serbian villages, no longer inhabited."
21 How could you tell that these villages were not Albanian
23 A. You could judge by way houses or compounds were built, whether
24 there was a mosque or an Orthodox church, and this particular one was
1 Q. And did you see anyone in this village?
2 A. Yes, I recall in this particular village that I saw a civilian
3 walking around with a Kalashnikov.
4 Q. Thank you. And if we go a few bullet points down, the paragraph
6 "Junik has been little damaged ..."
7 There you say:
8 " ... there is nothing to be seen of the 1.000 people who have
9 returned home from the Serbian side ..."
10 A. No, that's an incorrect translation. What I've written in German
11 is that there's nothing to be seen of the thousand persons the Serb side
12 claimed that have -- to have returned. The Serb side claimed a thousand
13 persons have returned, but when we went in there, we didn't see enough
14 people to substantiate that this claim was correct.
15 Q. Could you explain a little bit the background that led to this
16 claim being made?
17 A. Well, the whole situation in summer, since end of July there was
18 clearly an offensive going on by the Serbian security forces against the
19 KLA, and because of this fighting there were huge numbers of IDPs; and
20 the big concern of the international community is: Could we create
21 circumstances that these IDPs would return. So whenever there were
22 claims of pockets of IDPs, UNHCR would try to contact them and we would,
23 through our monitors mainly, would check whether reports of these pockets
24 or of returnees are accurate or not.
25 MS. GOPALAN: Could we have a look at page 2 of this document,
2 Q. Mr. Kickert, you mentioned IDPs, and at the top of page 2 of this
3 document there is a reference to 25.000 internally displaced persons. Do
4 you recall what the source of this figure was?
5 A. We would not rely on IDP figures from either the Kosovo Albanian
6 or the Serbian side. Most likely is this number from UNHCR.
7 Q. Thank you. And in the bullet point below you refer to forced
8 transportation of internally displaced persons to Pec. Could you
9 explain, please, what you meant by "forced transportation."
10 A. Yes, that's the ECMM -- I cite that the ECMM reported that people
11 were taken -- taken from the area where they were located to Pec; and
12 since Pec was controlled by the Serbian security forces, it can only be
13 that the Serb -- Serbian authorities have taken them to Pec.
14 Q. And finally in the summer section of this document the first
15 bullet point you say:
16 "Number of internally displaced persons has not yet dropped" and
17 that these persons were "being shifted locally by action of the security
19 Can you explain what you mean by this bullet point?
20 A. This is the assessment that we could not observe that the numbers
21 of IDPs dropped, but that they just moved around from -- just to avoid
22 the fighting and that this is the assessment I make on the reports we
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MS. GOPALAN: Could I tender 00564 into evidence, please.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00484, Your Honours.
3 MS. GOPALAN: May I call up 65 ter 557, please.
4 Q. Mr. Kickert, in your statement you speak about a trip that you
5 made to an area south of Komorane where you saw approximately 3.000
6 internally displaced persons.
7 A. South of Komorane.
8 Q. Komorane, thank you.
9 The document that is on the screen, that is 557, how does this
10 relate to this trip that you made?
11 A. Yeah, I remember that we went with the Contact Group ambassadors
12 we went to Kisna Reka, which is an IDP camp in the hills. And we went
13 there, and I saw a camp where approximately a thousand people would live
14 in the open.
15 Q. And before we go into that, just to clarify, this report, who was
16 it prepared by?
17 A. There are three authors, that is, mission chief, that means
18 Mr. Petritsch; myself; and my colleague Mr. Senfter in Belgrade. So it's
19 a joint report. I wrote the part of the IDP -- the visit to the IDP
21 Q. And that is set out in page 2, paragraph 2; is that correct?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Now, you've mentioned the IDPs that you saw when you visited the
24 camp in Kisna Reka, that's in the second paragraph of -- under the
25 heading IDP camps and possible repatriation. Two paragraphs below you
2 "Apart from the destruction of their villages, the main reason
3 why the displaced persons do not return home is the lack of security in
4 the villages."
5 Could you please explain what you meant by that statement.
6 A. Well, it's what the IDPs told us, that they don't feel secure to
8 Q. And did they explain why they did not feel secure to return?
9 A. Yeah, it continues in this same paragraph that they told us, they
10 claimed, that when some villagers returned they were shot at or they were
11 shot, three persons having died it says in this report.
12 Q. And did they say who shot at them?
13 A. The way they portrayed it, of course, it was the Serbian security
15 Q. I'd like to look at item 3 in this document. It's headed
16 "alleged massacre by security forces." And that is in page 3 of the
17 English. In the second paragraph of item 3 you refer to an occurrence in
18 Gornje Obrinje reported on by the ECMM and the media. Could you explain
19 to us what this occurrence in Gornje Obrinje was?
20 A. Yes. I saw photographs in the media. It was a -- in a ditch in
21 Gornje Obrinje, IDP family which was killed.
22 Q. So this information was based on a report?
23 A. On ECMM report, as it says in the brackets, ECMM and media.
24 Q. Okay. How about the incident referred to above in the village of
1 A. This is where we with the Contact Group ambassadors went
3 Q. And what did you see there?
4 A. The main issue is that we -- Ambassador Petritsch, the
5 undersigned, as it says, he and I, we saw a man who alleged that he
6 survived a massacre on a group of young men.
7 Q. Thank you. I'd like to move on to another topic now, but if we
8 could go back to the first page of 557, so the same document. At the
9 second-last bullet point you refer to security coordinators in 70
10 villages. Could you explain what you mean by security coordinators?
11 A. This was a project by Belgrade
12 coordinators or assistant policemen of local ethnic Albanian origin who
13 were put into villages at -- in western Kosovo.
14 Q. Is this the same as the initiative you referred to in your
15 statement where David Slinn travelled to Djakovica in 1998 to inquire
16 about Serbian claims on local Albanian police force? This is in page 3,
17 the last paragraph.
18 I'm afraid we don't have your statement, but briefly it was a
19 visit that David Slinn made to Djakovica around August 1999 to inquire
20 about the Albanian police force. Is it the same issue, this Albanian
21 police force, and the security coordinators referred to in this document?
22 A. Yes, that's the same, and there were actually two trips, one I
23 accompanied Mr. Slinn and the second I could not accompany him because I
24 was dealing with the education agreement which was a totally different
25 front in Kosovo. But he reported to me what he saw on this second trip
1 where he was alone. And that was beginning of September, both trips.
2 MS. GOPALAN: Can I tender 65 ter 557 into evidence, please.
3 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
4 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00485, Your Honours.
5 MS. GOPALAN: Could we call up 65 ter 559, please.
6 Q. Mr. Kickert, this is a document dated 7th of September, 1998. Do
7 you recognise this document?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And it's headed or it refers to the Kosovo local police plan of
10 the Belgrade
11 specific document.
12 A. We went to this area to see by ourselves whether this claim that
13 the local police force will be set up is true or not.
14 Q. And what was your assessment?
15 A. That there were some attempts, certainly, at the first visit but
16 we haven't seen it by ourselves; but on the second trip Mr. Slinn saw --
17 saw it by some people in uniforms but without side-arms yet and received
18 a list of villages and persons being members of this local police force.
19 But when he went to the villages after that from Djakovica, he did not
20 find any of these people in the area.
21 MS. GOPALAN: Could I tender 00559 into evidence, please.
22 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
23 MS. GOPALAN: And I'd like to call up 0 -- I'm sorry.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00486, Your Honours.
25 MS. GOPALAN: And I'd like to call up 00558.
1 Q. Mr. Kickert, this is a report dated the 20th of September, 1998
2 and it refers to the Kosovo local police force. Is this document related
3 to the previous document that we saw?
4 A. Yes. This is the follow-up visit by Mr. Slinn, which I said he
5 made on his own.
6 Q. And just above the paragraph headed "verdict" right at the bottom
7 of the page --
8 A. It should read "assessment," not verdict.
9 Q. Assessment, thank you. The sentence above that reads:
10 "Most villages were empty of inhabitants; only a very small
11 number of people had returned even to Junik."
12 What's the source of this information, Mr. Kickert?
13 A. That's Mr. Slinn.
14 Q. And you also refer to a cover-up operation right at the end of
15 the document, this is at the end of the assessment paragraph. What do
16 you mean by that term?
17 A. Yeah, I think that's also a mistranslation. I wrote in German
18 "alibiaktion" so in the sense that we had a feeling it was not a
19 serious -- serious move or attempt to create security by the locals
21 MS. GOPALAN: I'd like to tender this document into evidence,
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00487, Your Honours.
25 MS. GOPALAN: Can we have 00556, please.
1 Q. Do you recognise this document, Mr. Kickert?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Did you draft this document?
4 A. I'm the author of it.
5 Q. Thank you. I'd like to ask some questions to clarify some points
6 made in this document. On the issue of the security coordinators or
7 local police that we have been talking about, if we look at paragraph 5
8 of page 1, this is towards the bottom of the page, the first bullet point
9 that begins with the word "police." You say:
10 " ... the Serbian side still appears to favour the model of
11 'security coordinators' ... "
12 Could you explain this, please.
13 A. This was -- in the brackets this is what my assessment is, that
14 the Serbs still favour this model. I think it must have been -- must be
15 in the context of international presence.
16 Q. I'm sorry, what do you mean by the context of international
18 A. This was the time there were intensive talks with Belgrade mainly
19 done by the United States to -- to talk about models and -- both on the
20 political side but also on the security side how to make arrangements to
21 stabilise Kosovo and to get to the end of hostilities. And I
22 think - that's what I now suspect - is that the Americans have proposed
23 some international -- stronger international presence which would also
24 give some sort of sense of security. And Belgrade probably tried to
25 portray this model of local police, security coordinators, as being
1 enough to assure the local Kosovo Albanian population that they were
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kickert. Before we leave this document, could we
4 go to paragraph 2, also on page 1, where a reference is made to an IDP
5 repatriation initiative. Is this the initiative you have been speaking
6 to us about today?
7 A. Yes, that's the Kisna Reka project. So there -- that's in the
8 context there were two concrete projects, one was the return into
9 Orahovac and the second one was the Kisna Reka return project.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MS. GOPALAN: I'd like to tender this document into evidence,
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00488, Your Honours.
15 MS. GOPALAN:
16 Q. Moving on to my final topic, Mr. Kickert. In your statement you
17 refer to exhumations in Gornje Obrinje.
18 MS. GOPALAN: Could I call up 65 ter 561, please.
19 Q. At the bottom of the page at the paragraph heading
20 "forensic experts." The first bullet point you speak about individual
21 international experts. Could you explain the background and context to
22 this bullet point, please?
23 A. The whole issue of international forensic experts had to do with
24 allegations from both sides of massacres, and the international community
25 said, Well, we cannot rely on either side of the story, so what we would
1 ask for is that independent international experts would look into these
2 cases, and that was the whole idea which was already since June discussed
3 with the Belgrade
4 who gave us a debrief, was cautiously optimistic that the Belgrade
5 authorities might consider accepting individual international experts.
6 MS. GOPALAN: I would like to tender 561 into evidence, please.
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00489, Your Honours.
9 MS. GOPALAN: If we could now have a look at 65 ter 560, please,
10 at page 2.
11 Q. Before we go there, do you recognise this document, Mr. Kickert?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Did you prepare this document?
14 A. I'm the author of this document.
15 Q. And in paragraph 1 you refer to Mr. Sainovic being considered a
16 close associate of the Yugoslav President Milosevic and him being taught
17 to be responsible for coordinating the security forces. What was the
18 source of this information?
19 A. Him being present in Kosovo, and the source of information was
20 the Americans.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you. Could I take you to page 2 of this document,
22 please, and the fourth bullet point from the bottom says:
23 "Open with regard to dispatch of forensic medical experts."
24 Is this related to the issue of international experts that you
25 were just speaking about in relation to the exhumations?
1 A. Absolutely, yes, that's the same issue.
2 Q. And this document is dated the 7th of October, 1998. By this
3 stage had any international experts entered Kosovo to carry out
5 A. Not yet. It was -- at the beginning of October there were --
6 there was already -- I re-read that from another report - a call from the
7 foreign policy advisor of President Milosevic, Mr. Bugarcic, to
8 Mr. Petritsch, saying, yes, they would be willing to accept the Finnish
9 forensic expert team, the team we, as the Austrian EU Presidency had
10 proposed to come.
11 Q. I think you refer to that matter in your statement. Could you
12 explain what the outcome of this issue was, the access of the Finnish
13 forensic team to exhume certain sites?
14 A. In October it was -- the whole of October it was a back and forth
15 on the mandate or the room of manoeuvre given to the Finnish team.
17 Belgrade Forensic Institute; that was not enough for us. Then there came
18 an exchange of letters between the Foreign Minister of the FRY,
19 Mr. Jovanovic, and the Foreign Minister of Finland, Ms. Halonen, where an
20 invitation, an official invitation was spelled out for the Finnish
21 experts to come and make not only exhumations but just to come and talk
22 to them on specific sites which would be investigated.
23 Q. Mr. Kickert, when did you leave Kosovo?
24 A. During --
25 Q. During your various trips. You mentioned earlier that you made a
1 number of trips to Kosovo during the summer and latter half of 1998.
2 When was the last trip that you made to Kosovo?
3 A. Well, during our -- during the Austrian EU Presidency, the second
4 half of 1998, I spent about half of my time in Kosovo and half of my time
5 in Belgrade
6 Then in February we had the Rambouillet conference. Between the
7 Rambouillet conference and the Paris
8 And soon thereafter the NATO bombing started. I left the day -- in the
9 morning, when in the evening the NATO bombing started.
10 Q. And to your knowledge what was the outcome of the exhumations
11 that were proposed in Gornje Obrinje?
12 A. During my time there, there were no exhumations of the Gornje
13 Obrinje victims to my knowledge.
14 MS. GOPALAN: I'd like to tender 561 into evidence, please.
15 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document under 00560 would be
18 MS. GOPALAN: Thank you.
19 Q. I have no further questions for you at this stage, Mr. Kickert.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
21 Mr. Djordjevic, do you have cross-examination?
22 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Let me just
23 prepare, please.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Djordjevic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Kickert.
1 A. [Interpretation] Good morning.
2 Q. I have several questions for you. You said that you didn't need
3 your statement in writing before you, which was admitted as P478. I will
4 have some questions concerning your statement. Mr. Kickert, before we
5 start working on it, I would like to know, From the moment you left
6 former Yugoslavia
7 started in 1999, so the 24th of March - to date could you explain your
8 diplomatic career for us?
9 A. Yes. Thereafter we were in Vienna
10 Special Envoy of the European Union for Kosovo. He was then nominated to
11 be the High Representative in Bosnia
12 returned to Kosovo, to Belgrade
13 the Austrian office in Kosovo; was then political advisor to the SRSG of
14 the UN mission in Kosovo, of Mr. Kouchner. After that I went to Canada
15 on a posting and returned five years ago to Vienna.
16 Q. I read somewhere that you were advisor to Mr. Solana or
17 representative of Mr. Solana's in Kosovo. I would like to know if that's
18 true and something more about it.
19 A. Yes. This was -- I was filling in for Fernando Gentilini.
20 Fernando Gentilini had a car accident, must have been September 2004; and
21 I filled in for three months in his position as personal representative
22 of Javier Solana in Kosovo.
23 Q. What was your duty then? In other words, what was the purview of
24 Mr. Gentilini, the person that you stood in for?
25 A. It was mostly reporting to Brussels so that they had first-hand
1 information. Therefore, I was in contact with Kosovo Albanian
2 politicians, but I was also dealing with the Contact Group ambassadors.
3 We had regular meetings to discuss the political situation.
4 Q. Mr. Kickert, concerning your statement to this Court that I
5 mentioned, the first that you gave to representatives of this Court in
7 second secretary of the Austrian embassy at the time was to talk to
8 politicians of Kosovo Albanians, intellectuals, and to maintain contacts
9 with the parallel university at Pristina. You also said that you had
10 frequent contacts with Albanian journalists.
11 I would be interested in this: What was the purpose of your
12 task, meaning maintaining contacts with ethnic Albanians and their
13 institutions, and you mentioned the parallel university. We can agree
14 that was a paralegal institution as well, can't we? So I would be
15 interested to hear why were you tasked by your government, by your
16 country, by your ambassador to perform those duties?
17 A. On the parallel university, Austria has continued to recognise
18 the parallel university as a university and has accepted the diplomas of
19 this university. The rationale was after the autonomy was revoked we
20 didn't want the Kosovo Albanian students to be punished doubly, A, that
21 they didn't have their own university anymore; and B, that we -- they
22 would not be recognised in Austria
23 students who first studied in Pristina; and based on their diplomas from
24 the parallel university, they were accepted to universities in Austria
25 final -- to finalise their studies. So one of my tasks was also to be in
1 contact with the rectorate of the parallel university, to see whether
2 these diplomas are correct, whether they really enrolled and made these
3 diplomas because there was always a threat of forgery.
4 Q. And my next question would be: Didn't your diplomacy see this as
5 interference into the internal affairs of a sovereign state such as the
6 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia being at the time. Can you imagine an
7 opposite situation?
8 A. I think the recognition of diplomas is mainly an issue of
9 universities accepting diplomas of other universities.
10 Q. But you will agree with me, won't you, that contacts with
11 paralegal institutions, including a university, within the framework of a
12 sovereign state, is no business of Austria?
13 A. I wouldn't say so. We were also in contacts with opposition
14 figures. Why -- why wouldn't we be in contact with other institutions?
15 Q. You mentioned that a second group of your tasks was to prepare
16 the education agreement in Kosovo; am I right in saying so? Your answer
17 is yes --
18 A. No, no. No --
19 Q. Or no?
20 A. The main interlocutors with Belgrade were -- was St. Edigio and
21 Monsignor Paglia to discuss the education agreement. We came in from the
22 European Union side because from the European commission we had projects
23 to give money into the repair of some university premises. And there was
24 a special group even tasked, and they stayed with us in the Austria house
25 in Pristina to do this project because that summer there was an agreement
1 that three buildings of the Pristina University
2 Kosovo Albanian students.
3 Q. Do you know after that agreement what was the conduct of the
4 Kosovo Albanians with respect to the high education system? After that
5 agreement was concluded, do you know whether those institutions started
6 working; if not all of them, do you know which of them did since you were
7 a direct participant in all that, do you recall?
8 A. I do recall that one of the big buildings at the technical
9 faculty was never taken over and used. I think they also gave over the
10 Institute of Albanology
11 the -- if I'm not mistaken, there must have been the Faculty of Arts also
12 given back to the Kosovo Albanians. I think this was also used. And
13 then another project was dormitories.
14 Q. Faculty of philosophy?
15 A. "Filozofski," yeah.
16 Q. And given that you dealt with this matter, education, did you
17 learn that there was a possibility to use the maternal tongue and listen
18 to Jewish in mother tongue in official universities before the parallel
19 system emerged?
20 A. Well, to my knowledge the Pristina University was a
21 mixed-language university until the autonomy was revoked, and then it was
22 mainly Serbian, since 1989.
23 Q. How do you know that it was only in Serbian, that there was no
24 possibility for Albanian classes? Do you know what it's all about? Do
25 you have any direct personal knowledge about that?
1 A. If you ask me whether I was hearing classes, no; I was told.
2 Q. What would be the source of your information in this respect?
3 Maybe the rector of the parallel university or persons of that sort or
4 any official institution maybe?
5 A. Yeah, I also had a meeting with the -- with the Serbian rector of
6 the university in Pristina, and he was very much against any education in
7 Albanian. He says, This is Serbia
8 Q. I will agree that Serbian had to be the official language, but I
9 will not be able to agree with you that the use of Albanian language was
10 denied in the then-institution of high education of Serbia
11 to ask you whether you know that there were Albanian classes in primary
12 and secondary education? Do you have any information about that?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Thank you. Given that you've said that Austria as a state, that
15 you represented as a diplomat, that was concerned over the rescission of
16 autonomy and that you maintained contacts, as you state in paragraph 2 of
17 your statement. I would like to be interested to hear before
18 establishing contacts with the parallel university in Pristina with
19 Kosovo Albanian intellectuals, politicians, journalists that you were
20 personally involved in, did Austria
21 institutions and their politicians concerning this matter? So before you
22 established contacts that you described in paragraph 2.
23 A. Yeah, it was usual practice that when we would go down to
24 Pristina to meet Kosovo Albanians, we'd also meet Veljko Odalovic, the
25 prefect in Pristina. That was standard practice, so -- and it was
1 everybody, every diplomat who went to Pristina did the same -- did a
2 little circus of meetings.
3 Q. Which function was performed by Veljko Odalovic at the time?
4 A. We had known him as the prefect of Kosovo, but I think he was of
5 a certain "okrug," group, the head of it. But he was the representative
6 in Pristina, and so because the trips we diplomats usually took just took
7 us to Pristina, we would see him. Later on there was also Minister
8 Andjelkovic who was in Pristina, and we would also see him.
9 Q. Were you addressed to those persons by the
10 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the time or by some of the competent
11 politicians that you conducted talks at a higher level?
12 A. No, we would establish contact directly with their offices and
13 make appointments.
14 Q. In paragraph 3 of your statement you say that you went to Kosovo
15 in January 1998, as you confirmed today; and you said that in the autumn
16 of 1998, after the Serb offensive against the KLA, you say that your
17 efforts in Kosovo ensued from the prevailing conflict between the Serbs
18 and the Kosovo Albanians. I would like, given that the transcript does
19 not contain what you meant to say on that occasion, could you please
20 explain what you mean by the prevailing conflict between the Serbs and
21 the Kosovo Albanians. Do you see it as a conflict between the Serbs and
22 the Albanians or a conflict between the then-established KLA, the
23 so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, and the Serb security forces, do you
24 see it as a legitimate action of Serb security forces against outlaws or
25 faction of a certain group; or do you really mean a conflict between
1 Serbs and the Albanians?
2 A. When I came to Belgrade
3 there were already an intensifying string of reports of incidents in
4 Kosovo. When I first went down to Kosovo, I just went to Pristina; I was
5 introduced by a Swedish democrat who used to go more frequently and for
6 years down to Kosovo and also to -- outside of Pristina; and then with
7 the -- with the events, a situation escalated. If you say -- if you ask
8 me whether there was a conflict between the Serbs and the Kosovo
9 Albanians, I say no. It was a conflict between KLA, if you can call them
10 armed elements, and security forces. Where the civilian population was
11 dragged in, we have many allegations, maybe that's what you want to refer
12 to, is of abductions at the time. We -- people in Kosovo at that time,
13 there was little interaction between the ethnic groups. Shkelzen Maliqi
14 an intellectual wrote two -- "Separate Worlds." They were living next to
15 each other but not with each other.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe this is
18 the right time for the technical break, given that's it's past 10.30. So
19 I would stop with my cross-examination.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic. Yes, we need now to
21 break for half an hour. I think you're a little used to the system,
22 Mr. Kickert.
23 THE WITNESS: By now, yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE PARKER: We resume at 11.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic.
3 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kickert, we left off citing the words of
5 Mr. Shkelzen Maliqi concerning the relationship between the Serbian and
6 the Albanian people. When I say "the Albanian people," I mean the
7 Albanians living in Kosovo and Metohija, since Mr. Shkelzen Maliqi was
8 born there as well. And you mentioned, answering my question, that the
9 civilian population was dragged into the conflict. Please, try to
10 explain to me what you meant by saying that the civilian population got
11 involved into this conflict and what you meant by it, given that you had
12 good information about the nature of the conflict that was prevailing in
13 that area?
14 A. Can I describe for the number of IDPs this was a direct
15 consequence of the fighting between the KLA and the security forces. The
16 same time when I described the civilian with a Kalashnikov in a village
17 on the main road, Pristina-Pec. It's not by coincidence; he must have
18 felt insecure that he had to carry a gun with him.
19 Q. Those civilians that you saw with Kalashnikovs, which ethnic
20 group did they belong?
21 A. It was one person in a Serbian village, but I didn't stop and
22 talk to him. But my guess is since it was a Serbian village it was a
23 Serbian civilian.
24 Q. Would you agree with me that members of the KLA, with respect to
25 the civilians of the towns and villages where their combat operations
1 were underway against the Serb security forces, that they had removed and
2 moved those civilians in those areas away to safety?
3 A. There were certain allegations. Whether they had moved them away
4 or forced them to leave, this was -- I was asked the last time I was
5 witnessing here, and I cannot say what was the correct thing. But the
6 fact was that civilian population was moving, there were many in the
7 open. For whatever reason, they stayed in the open. When asking them,
8 they told us that they felt insecure because of the Serbian security
10 Q. My question to you is not coincidental, since you were a person
11 authorised by the -- your embassy to talk to the persons that you
12 mentioned in your statement. My question was direct: Do you know that
13 within the framework of the guerilla or terrorist tactics of the KLA
14 army, was it their strategy and tactics to remove civilian or ask
15 civilians to move to a safer place before they launched their attacks.
16 Whether you had such information or not, this is my question.
17 A. No, I didn't have any information on that.
18 Q. Did you have information about the situation where after combat
19 operations members of the KLA would intermingle with the civilian
20 population in the area where they had undertaken offensive actions, did
21 you have such information?
22 A. Well, I think that's general guerilla tactics, but what I can
23 tell you is when I was visiting the IDP camp in Kisna Reka, I think it
24 was two or three times there, at one occasion I did -- ran into a KLA in
25 uniform, KLA soldier in uniform.
1 Q. As a diplomat of a country presiding over the European Union and
2 person in frequent contacts with the most powerful countries in the world
3 and maintaining contacts with powerful military alliances -- but my
4 question to you as a diplomat who frequently visited Kosovo in --
5 starting from January 1998, do you know that the KLA was treated and
6 considered as a terrorist organisation at the time? Do you have such
7 information; and if so, could you tell us what you knew about that?
8 A. It was called terrorist organisation by Belgrade, and I think at
9 one occasion even the US Envoy Gelbard used this term, but in general
10 this term was tried to avoid it by the internationals.
11 Q. I can understand your answer because you yourself stated that you
12 had contacts with the KLA and their politicians and that they asked them
13 to organise themselves so that they could have a single Albanian platform
14 for negotiations. Do you consider your activities inappropriate in terms
15 of diplomatic activities in the territory of a foreign country?
16 A. No. The whole idea was to get the KLA into the political
17 process. This was the reason why we met with the KLA. Because we saw
18 the situation escalating and what we were fearing was a destabilisation
19 of Kosovo and the region and which would have repercussions to us. As
20 you are aware, there are many Kosovo Albanian refugees in western
21 European countries, including my own, and we had no interest that this
22 number would increase.
23 Q. Do you know today as a diplomat that anybody is investing efforts
24 to reach any arrangements with the leading terrorist organisations to try
25 to make them a part of the main stream or of a process.
1 A. Time and again this is part of diplomacy, whether that's the
2 Hezbollah in Lebanon
3 it's the FARK in Colombia
4 whatever you want to call them -- rebel groups.
5 Q. Now things seem clearer to me. My next question is going to
6 concern part of your testimony today during your examination-in-chief
7 conducted by my learned friend. You mentioned Pec, you mentioned
8 internally displaced person, and you mentioned a village by the name of
9 Istinic. You said that there were 20, 25.000 internally displaced
10 persons. Would you agree with me when I say that the village of Istinic
11 at the time was controlled by the KLA?
12 A. At that certain moment I cannot tell you. I know that this was
13 an area where there was intense fighting going on between the KLA and the
14 security forces, but I couldn't say at that particular moment whether it
15 was controlled by KLA, this village, or not.
16 Q. What was the source of your information concerning Istinic, your
17 direct observations during your outing there, or did you receive regular
18 reports from European Monitoring Mission, Contact Group representatives,
19 and other NGOs?
20 A. I was not myself there. Having read the report, we got regular
21 ECMM reports, European monitors, and this particular case I cite the
22 Dutch military attache who gave me his assessment.
23 Q. You are right when you say that fierce fighting was going on
24 there, but the village of Istinic
25 this is why ethnic Albanians sought refuge there. You do not know that,
1 but do you know that those Albanians would later return to their homes
2 after Serb security forces managed to enter the village of Istinic
3 maintain a degree of control for a time? Do you have such information
4 from the sources that you just cited, not necessarily the Dutch embassy,
5 but other sources as well?
6 A. I can't recall them now, but in other cases there were also --
7 like, as I mentioned, Orahovac, there were returns which also tried to
8 facilitate into areas which were controlled by Serb security forces.
9 Q. You mentioned Orahovac. Do you know who actually caused the
10 conflict in Orahovac on the 17th, the 18th, and the 19th of July?
11 A. No. I'm just -- I just thought a little bit more carefully
12 because a few days after, I did go to Malisevo and -- so I wouldn't know
13 what happened these days, but I heard a story that the KLA tried to enter
14 Orahovac and based on that the offensive started and the KLA had to
15 abandon Malisevo.
16 Q. Do you know that what you heard, that the KLA attacked Orahovac,
17 do you know that they actually took Orahovac; and do you know that they
18 killed and kidnapped a number of people, that those people were taken to
19 prison in Malisevo, the place that you just mentioned? Do you have any
20 knowledge of that?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Do you know that on that occasion Zyrapi, the witness who -- whom
23 we have heard recently, and Mr. Thaqi were actually in Orahovac?
24 A. No --
25 Q. Do you have any knowledge of that?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Do you know that the KLA attacked Opterusa, that's the name of
3 the place, and that it took ten men and nine women to the prison in
4 Malisevo. The women were taken to Sali Revkija's [phoen] shop and were
5 sexually molested. Do you have any knowledge of that?
6 A. No.
7 Q. I see that your memory is selective. So did anyone in the
8 Austrian embassy have as his or her task contacts with Serbs? And this
9 involves some really key events. And you were drafting reports that came
10 in from the European monitors, and I actually went through many of those
11 reports. So I'm asking you that how come that you don't have any
12 knowledge of that?
13 A. The monitors were often not given access to areas where there
14 were fights going on. They had, like I, to pass check-points. And if
15 they were not allowed to continue, they could not write reports, like you
16 said, on the Opterusa case. Of course we were in contact with both
17 sides. The whole operation, the whole idea, of the monitors were that
18 they would look into allegations from both sides and try to verify them.
19 I -- talking about Orahovac, after regaining the control of
20 Orahovac there were allegations of mass graves in Orahovac, where we
21 sent - allegations by the Kosovo Albanians - where we sent specifically
22 our ECMM monitors to go there and report. And they said, Well, this was
23 again exaggeration by the Kosovo Albanians. There were some grave-sites,
24 indeed, at a waste dump, but it was certainly was not a mass grave as
25 described in their allegations.
1 Q. Thank you. Do you know that on the 17th of July the KLA attacked
2 Retimlje, took it, that they took 15 Serb civilians prisoner, and
3 transported them to the prison in Malisevo and they have never been seen
4 since? Do you have any knowledge of that event? So it's approximately
5 the same time-period, this major offensive launched by the KLA?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Do you know anything about -- well, I think it was the
8 21st of July that the KLA members attacked the village of Zociste
9 it, burnt down the houses, and expelled all the Serbs who had been living
10 there. Do you have any knowledge of that incident in any way, any kind
11 of knowledge?
12 A. No. There was just general knowledge of these allegations that
13 Serb civilians were abducted. On that, yes, but on -- concretely on
14 Zociste, no.
15 Q. I will now take you back to an earlier period, the Pristina-Pec
16 road. Do you know that on the 18th of June the traffic along this road
17 was cut off in the place of Iglarevo? Near Klina a roadblock was set up
18 from the Pec side, and from the Pristina side a roadblock was set up near
19 Lapusnik, it's the Glogovac municipality. Did you receive such a report
20 from the monitors? Do you have any knowledge of that, about this road
21 being blocked, both from the Pristina and from the Pec side?
22 A. I have knowledge that the road was blocked.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me, what do you know about the village
24 of Kijevo and the KLA activities? What do you know? When I say
25 "Kijevo," what does that make you think of? Does that jog your memory in
1 any way?
2 A. Yeah, the famous Holbrooke sentence: Kijevo, the most dangerous
3 place on earth. It was a mostly Serbian- and I think also Roma-inhabited
4 village which was cut off from the surrounding.
5 Q. Well, you just saved a question regarding Ambassador Holbrooke,
6 but do you know that this village was blockaded; and if you do, for how
7 long after the KLA attack?
8 A. I know it was cut off, blockaded as you call it; but I do not
9 know for which period. But it must have been a suspended period because
10 it was at that time pretty much an issue which was discussed.
11 Q. Thank you. This would be quite sufficient. My next question
12 regarding the KLA activities and the reporting from various NGOs and
13 monitors of the European Commission. Do you know anything about the
14 attack on the Obilic thermal power-plant? It's the late spring or early
15 summer of that year, 1998, and do you know that some employees working
16 there at the power-plant were abducted by the KLA in the summer of 1998?
17 Do you have any knowledge of that? So first of all the attack in the
18 late spring/early summer; and the second question is the kidnapping of
19 the nine employees of the Obilic thermal power-plant. Do you have any
20 knowledge of that?
21 A. I have no knowledge that the thermal power-plant itself was
22 attacked, but the surroundings of Obilic. And I think what I referred
23 to, Belacevac, maybe that's the one you also wanted to refer to, but I
24 know that's very near and that could be the same issue.
25 Q. Yes, Belacevac is fine, but I'm talking about the thermal
1 power-plant and one part that was attacked by the KLA. So that was my
2 question. Do you have any knowledge; and if yes, what knowledge, what do
3 you know about Belacevac? You mentioned it after all.
4 A. No, I don't have a recollection of an attack on the Obilic
5 power-plant, and Belacevac I was mentioning because this was in my report
6 when I said that Mr. Odalovic said it in the end of June that --
7 officially the first time that VJ was involved in inland operations.
8 Q. Thank you. Do you know anything about kidnapping of the nine
9 employees who were on the company bus or van, whatever it was, they were
10 kidnapped by the KLA and have never been seen since or their remains were
11 found? Do you have any knowledge of that?
12 A. There were many reports of abducted people, could also be this
13 one. I also remember that even a Russian journalist was abducted; he was
14 freed, though. It was a time when there were many allegations of
16 Q. And do you have any knowledge of the kidnapping of the nine
17 workers who worked in the Obilic thermal power-plant, yes or no?
18 A. If I would look through my documents and would find it there, I
19 could refresh my memory; but if you ask me now directly whether I
20 remember, I cannot with certainty say yes. I'm sorry.
21 Q. I'm quite satisfied with the answer that I got.
22 Please tell me, do you know anything about illegal, semiprivate
23 prisons that were run by the KLA where they kept non-Albanians? Do you
24 have any knowledge; and if so, what knowledge do you have?
25 A. At the time there were these allegations and more information
1 about them I only got when I was hear as a witness in the Limaj et al
3 Q. I read that part, the -- His Honour Judge Parker was on that case
4 too, but could you please remind me because I can't recall now, what kind
5 of knowledge? What was the source?
6 A. These were the same spirit as the allegations were of kidnappings
7 and killings of civilians, there were also allegations which you would
8 also find in the press, in the media, of detention camps which the KLA
9 had. But we had no first-hand information, and at that time in June we
10 didn't have the observers, the monitors, in larger numbers. We had one
11 team from the end of May which is two persons, and they could only go
12 where, A, the security was enough and where they were not stopped by
13 roadblocks, either by the Serbian security forces or the KLA.
14 Q. Well, it was not my impression that the monitors did not go to
15 dangerous areas. My impression was, in fact, quite the opposite. The
16 only question was the physical ability of reaching some areas. For
17 instance, you mentioned Malisevo many times. But let me ask you this:
18 Did you ever go to Lapusnik?
19 A. Yes, but I -- yeah, I would have to think when exactly, but I
20 went to Lapusnik, yeah.
21 Q. At any rate, you're much more familiar with Malisevo than with
22 Lapusnik, you went there much more often, didn't you?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. Did you hear about any camps or prisons, prison camps, set up by
25 the KLA in Malisevo and in Lapusnik?
1 A. Again, the only -- not concretely, just generally, the rumours
2 that there were some camps. And when I was in Malisevo there was also
3 the ICRC, same what I was looking for, a responsible person to talk to on
4 the KLA for the political side, they tried to contact somebody in the KLA
5 to talk about these allegations. And also when we talked to them, we
6 would -- we would ask them to follow international humanitarian law rules
7 which -- also, because of these allegations, we brought them up with the
9 Q. Who did you talk to from the political -- from the top political
10 wing people in the KLA as you describe them?
11 A. At the time we had no knowledge of how the KLA was organised. So
12 what we tried was to get in contact, the first contacts, and to see who
13 they would represent to us as their spokesperson, as a decision-maker,
14 and that was the from -- must have been the 22nd of July, since I've read
15 my reports again, when Mr. Rohan came we went to Malisevo, and then the
16 day after, 23rd it must have been, I met Mr. Thaqi, which I didn't know
17 it was Mr. Thaqi at the time because they themselves introduced only by
18 numbers to us at the time.
19 Q. Was Mr. Thaqi number one? Who was number one?
20 A. No, it was -- he was number three.
21 Q. That's right. That's right. Who was number one?
22 A. I don't know until today. Maybe it was Mr. Adem Jashari. I
23 don't know.
24 Q. Fair enough. Maybe we won't. Do you know about any other
25 numbers? Three, that's Hashim Thaqi. Two, four, five, six, do you
1 remember? That's how it was, yes. You don't remember?
2 A. No, of course. The number seven, the one we saw first, Mr. Kadri
3 Veseli I learned later on; he was number seven. And in one of my later
4 reports I was speculating Jakup Krasniqi being number 11 or 12. But we
5 were sort of all of us a little bit in the dark on the organisational
6 structure of the KLA.
7 Q. Have you ever met Zyrapi? Yes? No?
8 A. What was his first name?
9 Q. Well, I can't recall at this moment, Zyrapi, that's the last name
10 that I know him by. He was the -- he was also a commander in the KLA --
11 well obviously you don't remember since you're asking for his first
12 name -- and his name is actually Bislim, Bislim Zyrapi.
13 A. The name rings a bell, but I don't know in which context. I've
14 certainly not at that time met him by name. Certainly not by name.
15 Where was he commander, in which area?
16 Q. Well, now we're getting beyond the context of the questions that
17 I'm dealing with now, so we'll stop here. My next question: When did
18 you learn that Mr. Hashim Thaqi was number three? When did you learn
19 that Mr. Veseli was number seven? What time in relation to the time when
20 you knew them only as three and seven respectively?
21 A. They introduced themselves as -- at the meeting itself as number
22 seven and Hashim Thaqi as number three. So we just knew at that time
23 just the numbers, no names.
24 Q. When did you learn their names and what they actually were, who
25 those numbers actually designated?
1 A. I learned the name of Mr. Thaqi rather fast after the meeting
2 with him because the journalist who brought me there was a friend of his
3 from university time. So that's how I got to contact him in the first
4 place. But I kept it -- I didn't even put it into my reports. And
5 about, I don't know, late summer it was public knowledge, it was also in
6 Kosovo Albanian media, his name.
7 Q. In your frequent contacts with the Serbian authorities, did you
8 hear from them about Mr. Thaqi -- well, I'm just now going to limit
9 myself to him. I'm not going to ask you questions about anyone else.
10 And if yes, what is it that they told you about him?
11 A. If his name was mentioned, it was also in late summer, and he was
12 labelled as -- probably as a leading terrorist.
13 Q. Probably or for sure?
14 A. Probably.
15 Q. Well, now it's much clearer. Mr. Thaqi, or rather, Mr. Three,
16 did he introduce himself by saying, I'm number three and my powers, my
17 authority, my function is such and such? Did he tell you what he was in
18 charge of, and why is it that he is the one talking to you?
19 A. He introduced himself as number three, but he didn't state what
20 he was responsible for. I said we were looking for high leaders of the
21 KLA to introduce them to the political process, and he said, We are
22 willing to consider that. But he did not say whether he had to ask
23 somebody else or that he would decide on his own.
24 Q. You know, diplomacy is a very delicate matter; you will agree
25 with me as an experienced diplomat. I could say as an intelligence
1 officer -- well, you might agree with me or not. But did it occur to you
2 that number three might be a Serbian mole? How could you be so sure that
3 here is a representative of that organisation that was labelled terrorist
4 by the other side and they wanted to -- and he wanted to talk to you
5 about it their future activities?
6 A. Well, I mean if you're in a city like Malisevo and you see nobody
7 else but KLA and no Serbian security forces, you would assume that he is
8 from the KLA. And I was -- before I was led through to him I was
9 questioned by a different gentleman in a cafe. He was clearly sounding
10 me out, trying to establish whether I was really a diplomat and serious.
11 As many were returning from German-speaking countries, I could
12 communicate directly in German with them. And this person who was
13 sounding me out, it was about certainly an hour that I was questioned
14 before I was allowed to meet Mr. Thaqi.
15 Q. This gentleman who questioned you -- well, who brought you to
16 him, the journalist that you mentioned or somebody else?
17 A. The journalist. We went to Malisevo. There we were seated.
18 Then this --
19 Q. Dukadjin?
20 A. Dukadjin, Gorani.
21 Q. [In English] Correct.
22 [Interpretation] My next question: Did this gentleman introduce
23 himself by number or by name and did he tell you who he was when he
24 talked to you?
25 A. He had a nickname and introduced himself as -- with his nickname,
1 and let me just think what his nickname was -- Hoxha?
2 Q. Hoxha, very well. Did he tell you what his function was, that he
3 was a member of the KLA, that he was a security officer in the KLA?
4 A. I think he told me he was a security officer. He was not in
5 uniform, he was in civilian clothes, whereas Thaqi when I met him and
6 Veseli, they had uniforms on.
7 Q. Thank you. My next question is: What other officials of the KLA
8 or of the parallel political hierarchy of the Kosovo Albanian government
9 did you meet, either alone or as part of various delegations that went
10 there, what politicians, what officers of the KLA possibly? And, for
11 instance, intellectuals, journalists. In a word, key figures that you
12 deemed to be persons that you should contact. Either -- it was either
13 your opinion or the opinion of the people that you worked with.
14 A. Our primary interlocutors were the politicians in Pristina, the
15 LDK, Ibrahim Rugova, Fehmi Agani, then many others in the LDK. Then
16 there was a group which split off from the LDK, Mehmet Hajrizi, there
17 were others in this group, Qosja, and also -- so we had contacts with the
18 LDK; the splinter faction, which was in opposition to the LDK; and then
19 as a third pillar, the KLA outside, which was very difficult to meet
20 because, A, we didn't know who were the right interlocutors; and B, then
21 because of the fighting and they would move. So it was after two
22 meetings in Malisevo I had, as you are aware, the meeting in Klecka with
23 Jakup Krasniqi, Ram Buja, and Fatmir Limaj, together with my British
24 colleague David Slinn and thereafter we had lost contact because they
25 moved somewhere else. And it was not until we had -- until late summer,
1 September, that we had contact, but it was only via phone.
2 Q. We have understood what you were doing for your country and in
3 what way. But from your testimony I garnered that you did not do that as
5 word in terms of diplomatic activity of the USA and the European Union.
6 I want to know who else - I don't mean persons but states - who was
7 involved in those joint activities that also involved Austria, either
8 through you or through Ambassador Petritsch, in observing and monitoring
9 the situation in Kosovo? Who were the key players, what states?
10 A. I mean, the key state was United States. In KDOM,
11 Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Missions, there was -- there were many
12 components, or three main components, one was the US component, the
13 second one was the European component, and then there was also a Russian
14 component. And there were also joint trips into the country-side. There
15 was also a Canadian car, one team from Canada I remember -- yeah, that's
16 it. Then the Contact Group, of course, as I explained, they are the main
17 political formation where Mr. Hill, the -- at that time the ambassador --
18 the US
19 for Kosovo. We didn't have, on the European side, anybody yet, and we
20 were accused of inaction, inactivity, even ridiculed at times. And it
21 was only until September that Ambassador Petritsch was named
22 Special Envoy and formalised at the foreign ministers' meeting in early
23 October only.
24 Q. The working of the international community you just described
25 through what countries it was implemented. I want to know about the
1 coordination. You mentioned European Union, the USA, and the Russian
2 Federation as the key players. Now I want to know about the interaction,
3 their interaction, not in formal terms, but substantively. What was the
4 cooperation like between the Russians and the EU, the Americans and the
5 EU, Americans and Russians. So not formally because we all know what it
6 looked like on the surface, formally. But I want you to try and answer
7 this question for me because you are the right person. You can tell me
8 what their relationship was like in the actual fact.
9 A. You had various initiatives and the interaction was either formal
10 meetings, Contact Group ambassadors would meet or they would give
11 briefings, so if Mr. Hill saw a high-ranking Serbian politician he would
12 tend to debrief us afterwards, he would not include us, but he would
13 debrief us. The Russians also sent somebody down, Afanasievsky, if I'm
14 not mistaken, to -- so that the Russians would also talk to -- in
16 is escalating. They did participate as I said in KDOM. So there was a
17 joint cooperation in -- on all levels, whether that was the diplomatic
18 level or the monitor level.
19 There were joint reports by the monitors, there were joint
20 outings by the monitors. And they would then also important to put some
21 basic information to New York
22 whether that was kept or not or honoured. So I think their -- they did
23 give different inputs, the three different -- the Americans, the
24 Europeans, and the Russians, input to New York. Does that answer your
1 Q. Partly, but thank you anyway. My next question: You did say
2 that the most important country in this whole process were the
3 United States of America. Am I right in saying so?
4 A. Absolutely.
5 Q. Thank you. Please tell me now, are you familiar with the oath
6 that members of the KLA or perspective members of the KLA had to take
7 while entering that military organisation? Do you know the text of their
9 A. No, never heard of it.
10 Q. Very well. As a diplomat, did number three, that is, Mr. Thaqi;
11 number seven, Mr. Veseli; and the other numbers that we can't recall, did
12 they tell you what their political goals were and how they intend to go
13 about realising them? Did they tell you that?
14 A. I mean, their -- they even stated it publicly,
15 Mr. Jakup Krasniqi, as a spokesperson, that independence was their goal.
16 Q. But how did they intend to go about achieving that independence?
17 A. By military means.
18 Q. And what were the goals, the reported goals, of the most
19 important and strongest political party, Mr. Rugova's party, what did he
20 say about his goals?
21 A. The same, independence. But he -- sorry. But he was committed
22 to peaceful means and sort of the whole in our assessment is that there
23 was a lot of impatience by some circles of the Kosovo Albanian community
24 that this way Rugova took -- will not lead to anything, and this is why
25 you had one political faction breaking away from Mr. Rugova who wanted to
1 have a more proactive way. And then you had the KLA who chose the
2 military way.
3 Q. You mentioned this faction which split off from Rugova. Was the
4 method of achieving independence was armed struggle or something else?
5 Can you tell us anything about that?
6 A. The splinter faction was also political means, not military
8 Q. What was the reason for them going their own road because it's
9 the same goal and the same method of achieving it?
10 A. They wanted to have a more active approach, making
11 demonstrations, and like in the Kosovo Albanian political spectrum you
12 always have different fractions, and it was very difficult - and this was
13 one of our aims - is to get these fractions together because who would be
14 able to talk to Belgrade
15 autonomy if they would not represent the whole spectrum of the
16 Kosovo Albanians or, like the LDK, would be not willing to go it alone
17 because they said, We have no influence over the KLA. How could they
18 negotiate something with Belgrade
19 hostilities if they had no influence on those, meaning the KLA, who did
20 engage in the hostilities.
21 Q. Your ambassador at the time, Mr. Petritsch, and the UK ambassador
22 and the American ambassador to Skopje
23 Russian Federation's ambassador to Belgrade
24 with the political elite of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at the
25 time. I'm not going to specify Mr. Milosevic and his closest associates.
1 I'm not going to mention the top brass of Montenegro. But I would like
2 to call them collectively the political elite of the FRY of the time.
3 I've no -- listed the ambassadors of the countries which I see as key --
4 being key in that process.
5 What I'm interested in is was there a single unified diplomatic
6 stance at one place concerning the problem of Kosovo and Metohija and
7 autonomous province within the Republic of Serbia
8 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, whether there was a common stance
9 with respect to the political efforts invested by the political elite of
11 negotiations with the Albanians; and if not, why not? What was the crux
12 of the political stance of the political elite of Serbia as assessed by
13 international diplomats because you were there in this hot spot at the
14 time? What are your impressions and your knowledge generally speaking?
15 This is what I'm getting at .
16 A. The lead clearly were with the United States and with Mr. Hill.
17 There was also an initiative, so if that's what you're aiming at -- there
18 were various initiatives. One was certainly Mr. Hill who was -- who had
19 lead, then the Russians, with Mr. Afanasievsky, also tried to talk to the
20 leadership. The European Union at that time didn't play a role yet. As
21 I said, Mr. Petritsch was at that early stage in summer nothing but the
22 EU Presidency ambassador. I -- if I may recall, the OSCE and the EU had
23 a double-hatted envoy for ex-Yugoslavia, Mr. Gonzales, if I'm not
24 mistaken, and he was virtual impossible to perform his duties because he
25 was not given a visa to enter the FRY, and this was the -- one of the
1 reasons Mr. Petritsch was picked as a Special Envoy of the European Union
2 because he could not be denied a visa because he was already on the spot.
3 Q. There were certain internal political reasons why Mr. Gonzales
4 was denied a visa. You will agree with me. The authorities had reasons
5 to deny him the visa, he was a persona non grata at the time. What I'd
6 like to hear, whether the attitude of the ambassadors and the reports
7 that they sent to their respective countries and governments was that the
8 Serbian authorities are trying, through negotiations and in a peaceful
9 manner, to resolve all problems concerning Kosovo and Metohija, or was it
10 different? This is the gist of the whole matter concerning that period
11 of time. Do you know what was the explanation of -- proffered by the
12 Serb authorities about why the Serb security forces, why the Serb army,
13 was there on the ground? What was the thinking and the opinion of
14 foreign ambassadors about that problem at the time about the position of
15 the Serb government, Serbian government, sorry.
16 A. Belgrade
17 And as you also accused me of meddling into internal issues. And their
18 opposition towards a greater role, was they didn't want to
19 internationalise the issue.
20 Q. They did not?
21 A. They did not want to have it internationalised. We -- remember,
22 we had OSCE long-term mission before also in Kosovo and Sandzak also
23 and -- which was terminated. And the idea was to have an international
24 mission there to stabilise it, being there so that things would not
25 escalate. And that was so that the thinking from the KDOM led into the
1 Kosovo Verification Mission which -- in October. So the idea was to be
2 present there to stabilise things and not have them getting out of the
3 hand, and one part of it was also to establish a political process where
5 authorities would talk about the future status of Kosovo.
6 Q. Mr. Kickert, I absolutely understand your position, and I
7 appreciate your service. I know that you're a cog wheel in the mechanism
8 of your government who does what he's told. I'm not accusing you of
9 anything. You have to share the prevailing opinion of your government.
10 It's nothing personal. But let's move on.
11 Using your rich experience in the field, now you're entering a
12 contradiction when you say, We have monitoring missions, I'm not going to
13 list them all to save time, OSCE, KDOM, European monitors, a
14 Contact Group, and tens of NGOs. That doesn't fit with your claim that
15 there was no -- that the issue was not internationalised, this issue of
16 Kosovo and Metohija, by the Serb government and that they had not allowed
17 that. Could you please disentangle this illogic stance that you have.
18 A. For me it's not illogic at all, but the international presence,
19 of course there were international NGOs working in the humanitarian
20 field. There was at the time when I went down from 1998 on there was a
22 who would go down to Kosovo regularly. There were just periodic visits
23 by ambassadors, and they only went to -- mostly to Pristina. There were
24 two colleagues, one from the British, one from the Swedish embassy, who
25 would deal more intensively, but there was hardly any international
1 presence there in Pristina. When we agreed on KDOM, and interestingly
2 enough this D came in on the insistence of Belgrade to call it
3 diplomatic, and all these monitors had to be accredited by the -- by
4 the -- by their embassies of their nationality and they were not allowed
5 to have the EU umbrella because that's going too far. So they were
6 always on their national capacity. Of course we organised them as the EU
7 jointly, but the wish of the Belgrade
8 of an international presence. That's also why they denied the European
10 our national capacity rented a house in Pristina which we would sublet to
11 European institutions, like ECHO
12 sort of hub for the EU there. That was in July of 1998.
13 But the whole effort, we also -- as I told you before, we had a
14 lack of information and being present we wanted to have our own sources
15 of information and not rely on allegations and counter-allegations. And
16 as I wrote in my report when we went to Decani, inflating news and -- I
17 say, well, what the LDK claims is nonsense, it's not a second Vukovar,
18 because we were dependent because we had no presence on the ground on
19 what other sources, open sources, we had.
20 Q. Thank you. What I could gather is that eventually there were
21 many monitoring missions in Kosovo. What Ambassador Hill was doing
22 there, the Dutch ambassador was there, Ambassador Walker was there. Had
23 they not been there, there would not have been the reports that you
24 received at different times from different places in Kosovo. But let's
25 move on to a different line of questioning. I'd like to honour my
1 promise that I will finish your cross-examination today because of your
3 My question is going to concern your statement, your 1999
4 statement, taken in Vienna
5 "In March 1998 members of the diplomatic corps were taken by the
6 Yugoslav Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Prekaz in Kosovo to show them
7 what the KLA had done there. The Austrian government did not send a
8 representative on this trip because we did not want to be used as a pawn
9 in a propaganda campaign."
10 Of course doesn't say by whom, but it can be concluded that it
11 would be the propaganda launched by the Serbian or Yugoslav government.
12 I would like you to comment on your obviously personal opinion of this.
13 A. It was a decision by all the EU countries not to participate in
14 this particular outing. We changed our opinion, I'll tell you then why.
15 But why do I talk about propaganda? Because when you're there you see
16 the embassy representatives, see the footage, and then the caption is the
17 story which one side gives. And they would say, Okay, we were taken to
18 see by ourselves the terrorist hideouts and so on. That there was an
19 allegation that -- that sort of a massacre happened there, and we didn't
20 want to be misused to go there. The disadvantage was that we couldn't
21 see by our own. Military attaches then went to this area, but we, as
22 diplomats, not yet. And that's the reason we said at the second offer to
23 Decani that we would take this offer up and go there so that we could see
24 by ourselves what it looked like.
25 Q. The very claim that it went for a propaganda campaign launched by
1 the Serbian government automatically begs the question of your
2 credibility seen through the eyes of the Defence team in this case.
3 Since you took this stance in an uncompromising manner, I can conclude
4 from that - and you've explained it a bit better - but for it to be clear
5 to everybody in the courtroom, I will have to ask you the next question.
6 What was the quantity and extent of your knowledge about what had
7 happened at that location at Prekaz in Kosovo, the place you were invited
8 to by the Serbian government -- or I mean the
9 Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Did you have information about that; if so,
10 from whom, and what was the content of that information?
11 A. I did have information from my then-British and -Swedish
12 colleague who went there the day after it had happened. They saw it by
13 themselves and reported it to me. Later on I also remember I saw
14 photographs of the victims which were laid out in Srbica, Skenderaj,
15 taken by the deputy defence attache of Germany, and they were also in the
16 newspapers, the Kosovo Albanian newspapers, I believe.
17 Q. I see that you remember that. What was -- what were the name of
18 the colleagues that informed you about Prekaz, those who went there the
19 day after. Could you please supply us with their names?
20 A. The Swedish colleague was called Jonas Weiss and the British
21 colleague Julian Braithwaite.
22 Q. Do you recall their positions, what were their titles in their
24 A. The Swedish colleague was, like myself, I think second secretary,
25 had the similar portfolio as I did; and Mr. Braithwaite maybe was first
1 secretary but certainly not -- like myself, a junior diplomat at the
3 Q. Was he in charge exclusively of Kosovo, I mean Mr. Braithwaite,
4 do you know that?
5 A. No, he also dealt with media affairs.
6 Q. My question concerning your answer will be as follows: What kind
7 of information they relayed to you the day after the Prekaz event? What
8 did they tell you about that?
9 A. They told me about the destruction of the compound, which I've
10 only seen much later, and that apparently there were some heavier --
11 heavier guns or -- used to perform this sort of destruction.
12 Q. What did the Serb authorities determine in connection with Prekaz
13 at the time?
14 A. That they have taken out a terrorist stronghold. I even remember
15 that that very day of Prekaz, the German ambassador was seeing
16 Mr. Odalovic; and during the meeting somebody came in and told
17 Mr. Odalovic something and he turned to the German ambassador and said
18 that, The terrorist issue is solved.
19 Q. Between receiving those two pieces of information, the one you
20 received by the Swedish and British colleague and that received by the --
21 from the Serbian government, did you have any other information
22 concerning Prekaz incidents? Do you have any personal knowledge about
23 Prekaz gleaned from other sources?
24 A. I didn't have any personal experience from Prekaz at that time.
25 Q. Your colleagues arrived there the day after the skirmish at
1 Prekaz and they reported seeing destruction, damage?
2 A. I -- maybe it was the day after or maybe even the same day
3 because I think it was in the early morning this action, and they had
4 slipped in, I don't know through which way, to Prekaz. And they told me
5 also that when they returned on the normal road that the Serbian police
6 was taken by surprise that they were there, and I think that they were
7 even taken into custody briefly. But -- yeah, that's what they told me,
8 and I think that the next day they returned to Belgrade. That's when I
9 was informed by them.
10 Q. They were detained? They were not put into custody? There is a
11 significant difference in those two terms. Custody is a very strong
12 measure. Maybe it is a matter of interpretation. This is what I heard
13 in my headphones. So they were detained --
14 A. I apologise.
15 Q. -- for a while to check and verify?
16 A. -- could be questioned --
17 Q. No, it's not up to you or up to me. This is the interpretation
18 that I heard. I do not follow the transcript at the same time. I rely
19 on what I hear.
20 Concerning this information we can conclude - and will you agree
21 with me - that there was a conflict, that it happened there between Serb
22 security forces, whichever forces they may be, and the KLA, which in the
23 eyes of the Serb government at the time was a terrorist organisation?
24 Would you agree with me?
25 A. The problem with Prekaz and why it became such a big thing is
1 because many family members were killed as well from the Jasharis. So
2 you had these pictures of women and children, dead women and children as
3 well, and you didn't have the sort of what we later saw, the classical
4 uniformed KLA against Serbian security forces. I don't recall that any
5 one of those victims had any kind of insignia on them. I know that we
6 were presented or the military attache were presented with weaponry found
7 there. This is true.
8 Q. It is true that a conflict had taken place there between the KLA
9 and the Serb security forces; did I understand you correctly now or not?
10 A. I would be cautious stating that because it was very different to
11 what happened in summer, where it appeared that it was much more
12 organised, the KLA. Here it was an action to a family compound and if --
13 and now in the aftermaths we know that Mr. Jashari was an important
14 member of the KLA, but not necessarily between the KLA only as such and
15 the police forces. I think it was an attack on a compound of somebody
16 who belonged to the KLA but involved many other family members at the
18 Q. Did you hear who Mr. Adem Jashari was?
19 A. Well, now he's heralded by the KLA as the founding father of the
20 KLA, the legendary leader.
21 Q. Do you know that had been warrants for arrest, that there had
22 been investigations undertaken against him because of his work against
23 the constitutional order of the republic? Do you know that?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Do you know that several Serb police officers were killed and
1 injured there?
2 A. Yes. There were, since I arrived in Belgrade, reports of attacks
3 on police cars, escorts -- so, yes, I'm aware of that. And also killings
4 of individuals. I remember a case of a woodworker who was killed and
5 that was in the village of Drenica
6 Q. Do you know that the Serb security forces called on them to
7 surrender to get out peacefully? Do you know that? Do you know that
8 Adem Jashari refused to do that?
9 A. This is what I heard.
10 Q. Do you know that -- do you know what Adem Jashari's house looked
11 like? Have you ever seen it, the house where he lived? Do you know what
12 the walls, the ramparts around his house looked like? There were
13 embrasures there. It was a veritable fortress. Did you know that?
14 A. At the time I didn't know the compound -- later, I did see it,
15 yeah. But sort of the way it is now with the destructions.
16 Q. Do you know -- well, you say that you know that Serb police
17 officers were killed there. Well, I don't know if the interpreter will
18 be able to interpret that properly, but they were not killed by
19 slingshots. They were killed by fire-arms. Did you see the fire-arms
20 that he had in his house, and will you agree with me that the fire-arms
21 are not what is considered to be personal weapons, side-arms? Those were
22 hand-grenades, heavy machine-guns? And after this question my last
23 question, because I can see that you are confirming that by nodding, but
24 I would like to hear you say yes for the record.
25 Is it logical then that now that we've agreed about that that you
1 are labelling this Serbian propaganda? Can you imagine the very same
2 situation, for instance, in your own country? There's a crazy Slovene, a
3 Corinthian Slovene -- I'm quite familiar with this because I see Slovenia
4 to this day as my former country, my homeland, and now you have an
5 Adem Jashari and he decides to gain independence for the Slovenian
6 minority in Austria
7 were to take any measures against such a man or do you think it is his
8 democratic right to arm himself with mines, heavy machine-gun,
9 hand-grenades, and to open fire on the Austrian security forces? That's
10 why I'm asking you: Why did you say that you didn't want to be a pawn in
11 the hands of the Serbian propaganda? I see this as a tragic event and
12 this is something that I find really very upsetting --
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic.
14 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, I apologise, yes.
15 JUDGE PARKER: You are making an extremely lengthy political
16 speech, including in it a great deal of factual substance. If you want
17 the witness to comment on a particular matter, raise it, in a short
18 manner, directly --
19 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, you're right, you're right,
20 of course, Your Honour. Your Honour, you're absolutely right. I just
21 wanted to ask why is this labelled propaganda if we have this state of
22 affairs? And I do apologise for making this lengthy speech. It was not
23 politically motivated, believe me.
24 THE WITNESS: First to answer beginning of your statement. Yes,
25 we were presented with the weaponry - that's what I mentioned
1 before - and it is certainly not side-arms or hunting rifles, but far
2 from that. Point one. Point two, you had two allegations on this Prekaz
3 thing. One was that it was a legitimate police action against
4 terrorists, the other one was that it was a massacre on a family. I'm
5 aware of the fact that apparently Mr. Jashari was asked to give himself
6 up, and he refused to, and that was the reason for the attack on Prekaz.
7 On the, if I may, on the political issue. The situation was that
8 the province of Kosovo
9 there is not -- there is an avenue where we wanted to get the political
10 leaders of Kosovo, engage with Belgrade
11 they would be willing to live in a common state of the future. Why
12 didn't we want to be sent there? As I said, propaganda. You would be
13 just sent there and with the footing you would just get one side of the
14 story and not the other one. And that's the reason.
15 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Thank you. My next question: Have you ever been to Obrinje?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you go there via Lipovac, the road that goes through the
19 village of Lipovac, or not?
20 A. Lipovac or Likovac?
21 Q. Likovac, Likovac, yes.
22 A. Yes. I've been to Likovac, also must have been a few times,
23 because it was also one of headquarter of the KLA; and I remember
24 particularly went to Likovac between the Rambouillet and Paris
25 conferences to see the -- what they call themselves General Staff of the
1 KLA. But when -- whether I went through Gornje Obrinje via Likovac, I
2 don't know. But it's nearby and -- but I couldn't tell now which exact
3 road we took.
4 Q. Do you have any knowledge about the fact that a Red Cross mission
5 came across a mine in Likovac and there were casualties?
6 A. Yes, indeed. There were actually two incidents. One incident
7 was that Canadian KDOM hit a mine, it must have been a bigger mine, a
8 land-mine, and their armoured vehicle was totally destroyed but there
9 were no casualties in this particular instance. And soon thereafter, a
10 car of the ICRC hit a land-mine and at least one local doctor was killed
11 in this incident.
12 Q. Do you know who provided first aid immediately after the incident
13 and took the survivors to nearest medical institutions and so on?
14 A. I suppose it was the Serbian authorities who got them out.
15 Q. Again, is it something that you know or something that you
17 A. Assume.
18 Q. Very well. Thank you. And do you know who laid the mine on the
19 road? Who controlled the territory?
20 A. Again, I assume. I don't know who laid the mines, but it is --
21 our assessment was that the KLA laid these mines. And I do know how the
22 Canadians got out. They were lucky enough that their cellphone worked on
23 a nearby hill because their satphone was also destroyed through the --
24 through hitting the land-mine.
25 Q. My next question pertains to your statement where you say in
1 July 1998 - that's what you said several times - that you went to
2 Malisevo. You accompanied Dr. Albert Rohan, the Secretary-General of the
3 Austrian foreign affairs ministry, and then you mentioned number seven,
4 Mr. Kadri Veseli. And you speak about the so-called Thaqi government,
5 and now I want to know this. I'm not going to go into your notes and
6 dispatches that you sent to your embassy, to Luxembourg, to Vienna
7 so on. But I'm going to ask you: What do you consider as your
8 achievement? Do you consider that you actually achieved anything through
9 those contacts with contact number seven and number three, Mr. Veseli and
10 Thaqi respectively. And if yes, what, in your view, was the consequence
11 of the diplomatic efforts pertaining to the contacts with the KLA? Not
12 the politicians but just the KLA.
13 A. I think if there was an achievement it was that they were in the
14 end willing to integrate into a political process, and as it is shown,
15 they have participated in the Rambouillet conference. So I think having
16 contacted them led them into the political process. That's -- that was
17 our aim, and from this perspective we did achieve something through these
19 Q. And did they cease their operations until the beginning of the
20 NATO air-strikes, the 24th of March, 1999, in other words, and continue
21 their struggle by political means through talks, negotiations?
22 A. The conflict was, at best, through the OSCE
23 Kosovo Verification Mission, detained to a certain degree but it
24 continued. Skirmishes were frequent also thereafter, and I'm talking
25 about the time leading to Rambouillet. Is that what you refer to?
1 Q. You say that it was your achievement, your success, that you
2 managed to reach this result that they embarked on political negotiations
3 and that they came up with those platforms. My next question -- I'm not
4 talking about now -- negotiations now. We'll deal with Rambouillet at
5 the end of the cross-examination today. So my next question has to do
6 specifically with the KLA. Are you familiar with all the cease-fire
7 agreements between the Serb security forces and the KLA. That's my first
8 question before the break.
9 A. No, I was not involved in any of these negotiations. I was
10 involved in January 1999 on the exchange of VJ soldiers, but on
11 cease-fire arrangements, no, I was not involved.
12 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that this
13 is time for our break, and I will have no further questions on this
14 because the witness has no knowledge of the cease-fire agreements reached
15 between the KLA and the Serbian security forces. So this is it as far as
16 this topic is concerned. I will continue after the break.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic. We've been waiting for
18 a logical moment to interrupt, but we will resume now at 1.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
22 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Q. [Interpretation] My next question. You spoke several times about
24 a diplomat from Great Britain, Mr. David Slinn. Could you please tell
25 us, who was he?
1 A. He was at the UK
2 Mr. Braithwaite left. He filled in his position and was covering Kosovo
3 from that time on, must have been spring/early summer of 1998.
4 Q. Could you tell me, to the best of your recollection, what talks
5 did he participate in, who did he talk to while you were both in Kosovo?
6 A. He would talk to the same group of people in Pristina, the
7 politicians, and he was not tasked and not given the permission to meet
8 the KLA until end of July shortly before we went together to Klecka.
9 Q. My next question: You mentioned the events in Obrinje, and I
10 have a document here and it's a document D0024615. I think that's the
11 version in B/C/S and the English document is right next to it, so if you
12 could just show the two documents side by side. It's a document from the
13 Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia
14 receive it on our screens. We'll have to wait a while. This is -- okay.
15 Now we have the translation too.
16 A very quick question: Are you familiar with this document from
17 the Ministry of the Interior? It pertains to Obrinje.
18 A. No, this is not a document I've seen at the time, but I remember
19 the incident, yes.
20 Q. Thank you. And do you know who Kari Korklo is a forensic
21 pathology expert from Finland
22 A. He must have been on the team of Finnish pathologists which we
23 had agreed that they would do investigations in three plus three cases,
24 six altogether. But I remember particularly Helena Ranta, she was
25 heading this Finnish team, and Mr. Timo Lahelma who was an ambassador for
1 human rights issues in the Finnish foreign ministry. They both were on
2 this team which -- which was heading out on the 10th of December to
3 Gornje Obrinje to do the exhumations.
4 Q. And do you have information that the team of Finnish experts who
5 headed to the site together with the investigating of the Pristina
6 district court, Ms. Danica Marinkovic, actually was not able to reach the
7 site because the site was already under the control of the KLA forces and
8 this created some danger because the investigating judge of that court
9 was escorted by the police? Do you have any knowledge of that?
10 A. Yeah, I was on this trip. I was in the Austrian car which was at
11 the top of the convoy. There was ECMM, including trucks, and the whole
12 operation was organised before, and it was no problem whatsoever for the
13 Finnish forensic team in -- accompanied by ECMM to go to Gornje Obrinje,
14 as you said, UCK-held territory. It was only this very morning where
15 they headed out to do the actual exhumations, they had prepared the sites
16 beforehand, that not only Mrs. Marinkovic wanted to participate, but as
17 she did not feel safe enough without, we had a long tail of Serbian
18 police cars, armoured vehicles, following our convoy; and we did not
19 enter the UCK-held territory because we knew this would mean a direct
20 clash where we, meaning the Finnish forensic team, ECMM, and myself would
21 have been in the middle. So we did not enter at that particular day
22 and -- yeah.
23 Q. But it was postponed at the proposal of the investigating judge,
24 Madam Marinkovic, was it not?
25 A. Postponement is a nice word. As it was not possible because the
1 investigating judge insisted to come along with police, these exhumations
2 could not take place. And in the aftermath the Finnish forensic team
3 decided, although everything was prepared, including taking them to
4 Pristina to the forensic laboratory, that they would concentrate on a
5 different site, the one in Orahovac.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like to tender this
8 document into evidence.
9 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D00061, Your Honours.
11 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. My next question has to do with the document 2654.
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation} It's a 65 ter document, and I
14 would like to ask the usher to show this document in English and in
15 Serbian on our screens -- or in German.
16 Q. Now we have both documents. This document was drafted on the
17 7th of October, 1998. Did you draft it, and do you recognise this as
18 your document?
19 A. Yes, I do recognise my document, and I see that instead of
20 7 October at the beginning I write 7/9, 7 September, which is a mistake.
21 It was drafted 7 of October and the meeting of Petritsch with
22 Mr. Holbrooke took place on the 7th of October and not the 7th September.
23 Q. I will not ask you to quote the UN Security Council
24 Resolution 1199 because we know that, but regarding the comments made in
25 this document could you please explain why this is written in this way
1 and what was the position of the Austrian embassy and what was the
2 position of Mr. Holbrooke regarding this issue or any talks about the
3 actions of the Republic of Serbia
4 A. Well, this was the first time that Mr. Holbrooke met with
5 Mr. Petritsch in his capacity as UN Special Envoy on Kosovo. He must
6 have been officially nominated just a few days before. And I remember
7 that I called the US
8 least a briefing of Mr. Holbrooke on his talks with Mr. Milosevic because
9 they didn't take us along in these discussions they had with top brass of
10 the leadership -- republic leadership in Belgrade. And he reports, as I
11 cite here, that he had a grim impression that was one of the hardest
12 talks he had with Milosevic in years. Mr. Milosevic told him that all
13 requests of Security Council Resolution 1199 have been fulfilled and that
14 Mr. Holbrooke said that if the talks he held did not have success, were
15 not successful, they would turn an ACTORD. That's I don't know which
16 level of NATO, but this was clearly a threat of bombardment. That's the
17 beginning of October, so that's before what we call the agreement on the
18 Holbrooke package. And about that time, 7 October, I think the early
19 October, the report of the Secretary-General pursuant to
20 Security Council Resolution 1199 was due.
21 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
22 document into evidence.
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D00062, Your Honours.
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] The next document is
1 2656 65 ter, both in English and in B/C/S.
2 Q. We have both documents. Mr. Kickert, do you recognise this
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. Is the date on this document correct, the 9th of October, 1998
6 A. That's the same mistake as before. I wrote it on the
7 9th of October, and it is on the talk of -- and I was there present of
8 Ambassador Petritsch with Ambassador Kotov on the 9th of October because
9 it makes reference to a meeting on the 8th of October of Mr. Ivanov with
10 President Milosevic.
11 Q. Could you please tell me, we have your report here where you say
12 that Russians are still opposed to the use of military force, it's in the
13 second paragraph. And then you go on to say that the Russians believed
14 that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has already put a lot of things
15 in motion in order to fulfil the Security Council Resolution 1999 [as
16 interpreted] requirements. Can you tell me, what was the practical
17 consequence of this discussion between your ambassador and Mr. Kotov and
18 I can see that the Russian Defence Minister Sergeyev is also mentioned
19 here and also Ivanov who he had talks with the then-President of Serbia
20 Milosevic. You say in the end that on the 4th of October Milosevic was
21 pressured to agree to a substantial OSCE mission for Kosovo. So I would
22 like you to comment briefly on the diplomatic talks that you participated
24 A. That briefing of Russian Ambassador Kotov was to fill
25 Mr. Petritsch in on what the Russians did. As I explained beforehand,
1 there was sort of the US
2 I write in my third paragraph that they were trying to convince
3 Mr. Milosevic to agree to international monitors, and the idea was to
4 expand the KDOM into an OSCE mission, like -- as I state in my one, two,
5 three, four, five, sixth paragraph.
6 Q. This report of yours obviously confirms what you said a little
7 while ago, that Ambassador Holbrooke threatened air-strikes and any kind
8 of force. What was the Russian position regarding the use of military
9 force? I'm sure that after this discussion you did form some
11 A. I mean, this was not a secret. It was even -- the threat of
12 bombing was even mentioned in public domain, in the media. And this --
13 whatever these steps were, ACTORD, and so on, these were used as a means
14 to convince - if I may put it that way - the Belgrade leadership to give
15 in and to agree to what then became the OSCE-KVM plus the NATO air
16 surveillance agreement. So there was a whole package which Mr. Holbrooke
17 in the end negotiated.
18 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Before I continue with another line of
19 questioning I would like to tender this document as well, please.
20 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D00063, Your Honours.
22 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Kickert, since you're a diplomat I'm going to ask you this
24 question. There was mention of threat of military force being used by
25 the most powerful military alliance in the world, NATO, against a
1 sovereign state of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Who was supposed to
2 apply this instrument of pressure or this threat of force against a
3 sovereign country?
4 A. As you're well aware, this is NATO. ACTORD -- is different
5 levels of activating this threat, and all NATO member states would have
6 to agree to this. And I have to add that Austria is not a member of
7 NATO, so I had no insight on what was going on and at which level and --
8 I don't even know how NATO really works in this.
9 Q. My question - obviously we did not understand each other very
10 well - is: When we talk about the application of military might of NATO,
11 should have that application of military force been confirmed by a UN
12 resolution because of president? And since you are a career diplomat and
13 an educated man, trained for to be a diplomat, I'm asking you this:
14 Could NATO conduct air-strikes of its own volition, and that would be a
15 unilateral decision of its member states; or could NATO have been able to
16 do so pursuant to a decision of the United Nations? If you can answer,
17 please do so; if not, I'll be content with that as well.
18 A. I mean, I would have to look into Security Council
19 Resolution 1199, but I doubt that it was a Chapter 7 resolution which
20 enabled the use of force. I very much doubt that. And the discussion we
21 had after the NATO bombardment, also -- the one which happened and
22 started, as you said, 24 March 1999
23 empowering NATO to do so.
24 Q. Can we conclude then that this was a decision primarily taken by
25 NATO member states, not all of them but primarily by the United States of
2 A. To my knowledge, all NATO member states have to agree to such a
3 decision, but as I said I have no clear insight into the mechanisms --
4 the decision-making mechanisms of NATO. But as you've seen subsequently
5 in the NATO bombing, that decision was clearly taken by all NATO member
7 Q. My next question is: Do you have any knowledge that NATO had
8 ever before used force against any country anywhere in the world the way
9 that they did then when they conducted air-strikes against the
10 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
11 A. I think my recollection that there was bombings in Bosnia
12 have been 1995.
13 Q. Apart from that?
14 A. Not to my recollection.
15 Q. When you mentioned Bosnia
16 bombed the position of the Bosnian Serbs there?
17 A. Yeah, now I'm sort of just talking what I get from the media. I
18 was never in Bosnia
19 Q. It doesn't matter. I withdraw my question. My last question or
20 the last topic that we are going to discuss is Rambouillet. What was
21 your role there?
22 A. In the moment Mr. Petritsch was named UN Special Envoy I became
23 his assistant because I was dealing with Kosovo, and my particular role
24 was not only to assist him but also to be the liaison with the
25 Kosovo Albanians.
1 Q. In that situation did any other diplomats from any other country
2 work with you with respect to Kosovo Albanians or was your role there
3 exclusive to you?
4 A. No, no, not exclusive. There was also a German colleague --
5 because from the beginning of January 1999 Germany took over the
6 EU Presidency and the German colleague was also present and had also
7 contacts with the Kosovo Albanians.
8 Q. What was that colleague's name and he acted on behalf of the
9 Federal Republic of Germany or the United Nations or some other country,
10 do you know, and what was his name, please?
11 A. His name was Axel Dittmann, D-i-t-t-m-a-n-n, and he was a German
12 diplomat, and so representing Germany
13 EU Presidency in the first half of 1999.
14 Q. To the best of your knowledge of the time and to the best of your
15 recollection, a mixed composition of the Albanian declaration which
16 included politicians coming from different parts of the spectrums and
17 members of the KLA - I'm not going to name them - did any of them put up
18 anything less in terms of demands other than full independence of Kosovo?
19 A. Of course they put up this as their ultimate goal, but the whole
20 Rambouillet accord was not going to be independence. It was going to
21 be -- was about being some sort of autonomy within the -- within the FRY.
22 Q. Would you agree with me that the basic part of that accord
23 envisaged a final decision on the status of Kosovo being deferred for a
24 number or for a number of years, you can count them on the fingers of one
25 hand, and then to be decided by a referendum of the inhabitants of
1 Kosovo? What would be your answer to this?
2 A. That was one of the most contentious issues in the Rambouillet
3 accord is what we call the review clause, meaning that at a certain time,
4 in this case I think the last version was three years, there would be a
5 decision on the final status of Kosovo and it avoided the mention of the
6 notion referendum, but it said "taking into account the will of the
8 Q. Did the Serbian delegation accept such provisions of such an
9 agreement and the eventual, final version that was supposed to be signed
10 in Paris
11 A. No, it didn't accept it and they refused in Paris. They said
12 they will not agree to this, the whole agreement.
13 Q. Do you recall whether the Serbian side were told that they were
14 going to be attacked by the mightiest military force in the world had
15 they failed to sign such an agreement?
16 A. I think it was clear to everybody there that this threat of
17 bombardment was evident. I mean this was clear that should there not be
18 agreement then the bombardment would start, and I think the decision of
19 the Serbian and FRY delegations, they were a mixed composition, was done
20 in the knowledge that this would lead to bombardment. There was after
22 Mayorski, and Hill seeing Milosevic and then Holbrooke himself came to
24 Q. Do you have knowledge about the position of the international
25 community's negotiation team individually, I mean -- by this I mean the
1 leaders of those teams, most important persons, who took part in the
2 negotiations and if you could share this with us, Albright, Holbrooke,
3 Mayorski, Petritsch, all of them.
4 A. There were three negotiators Chris Hill for the United States,
5 Petritsch for the EU, and then Mayorski for the Russian Federation. Also
6 present in the castle were representatives of the Contact Group and sort
7 of in the large Contact Group also the chairman in office of the OSCE in
8 1999, that was Norway
9 Contact Group often with the political directors coming in, and then they
10 were less frequent but also meetings of the Contact Group on ministerial
11 level. We had visits of individual Contact Group ministers. We had the
12 French, we had the British, and we had the US Secretary of State also
13 visiting and staying for quite some days.
14 Q. Could you please relate the positions of the main three figures,
15 the main negotiators, representing the US of A, EU, and
16 Russian Federation after the Serbian side had refused to sign the
17 agreement and when the negotiations fell through.
18 A. You mean now in Paris
19 Q. In Paris
20 negotiations fell through and that the bombardment will follow. What was
21 the opinion of the US
22 Ambassador Mayorski? Was their position unique about the need to bombard
23 the FRY or the Republic of Serbia
24 A. No, there's also no secret that there were some discrepancies in
25 the opinion, and for sure there was a great degree of disappointment that
1 no decision could be taken in Paris
2 so far that nobody could backtrack anymore. As I said, these last-ditch
3 efforts were made in Belgrade
4 present at these meetings, that some offers were made also to
5 Mr. Milosevic maybe to reconsider, to change things. But as we were told
6 there was an outright no, and what happened afterwards was -- is part of
8 Q. Mr. Kickert, could you please explain your formal academic
9 degrees that you hold. What is your academic education?
10 A. I am a geographer and historian by education.
11 Q. Now certain things have begun falling into place. Thank you very
12 much and this would be all for me. Thank you for coming to testify.
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Your Honour, I have finished with my
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Djordjevic.
16 Ms. Gopalan, do you have re-examination?
17 MS. GOPALAN: Yes, I do, Your Honours, just a few questions.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Please.
19 Re-examination by Ms. Gopalan:
20 Q. Mr. Kickert, I have a few questions about the exhumations in
21 Gornje Obrinje or the attempts as you described it. You mentioned in
22 response to Defence counsel that the original plan -- you mention that
23 the original plan was for the Finnish forensic team and the ECMM to
24 travel to the area and you said that this would not have been a problem.
25 Just to clarify, what was the cause of the problem on that day that
1 resulted in the exhumations not being conducted?
2 A. It was the that our convoy was accompanied by the Serbian police
3 force because, as I said before, we - and I was even present at least one
4 of the visits to the burial site with the Finnish team - we had access
5 even if it was KLA-controlled, we had full access. And in the terms, in
6 these exchange of letters which I mentioned this morning between the
7 foreign ministers of the FRY and of Finland
8 also -- guaranteed. So we thought that we would do these exhumations.
9 Ms. Marinkovic wanted to be part of it. There was no problem with it.
10 But then when she insisted to take along police, we had to abort this
11 operation or else we would have ended up, as I told before, in between
12 the lines and who knows what would have happened.
13 Q. Thank you. So you were not able to access the site on that day.
14 Were any steps taken later in the day or in the preceding days to arrange
15 for access to be regained?
16 A. Yes. I mean, by pure coincidence on this very day the minister
17 of justice was in Pristina, and we were able to secure a meeting with him
18 in the government building in Pristina, and we complained about what had
19 happened. He was not in a position to grant us what we wanted, meaning
20 access on our own to do the exhumations and bring the people -- the
21 exhumed people to Pristina on our own. It was later then also in the
22 month brought up in Belgrade
23 The Finnish team then packed their things and went for Christmas
25 Q. You also said that following access being denied to this site,
1 specific site, Gornje Obrinje, the Finns decided to concentrate on
2 Orahovac. Did they face any access issues in that site?
3 A. No, that was -- Orahovac was controlled by Serbian police, so
4 there was no access whatsoever -- no access problem, sorry, no access
5 problem whatsoever.
6 Q. And could you give us a little bit of background as to what
7 incident was being investigated in Orahovac?
8 A. That was this allegation of mass graves in a waste dump. So the
9 idea was to exhume the bodies there as well and try to - I'm not a
10 forensic expert - to get some information on who these people were and
11 how they were killed.
12 Q. And just my final question going back to Gornje Obrinje: Do you
13 know if exhumations were conducted there?
14 A. Maybe after the NATO bombing. I'm not aware that there were done
15 beforehand, because then things were overtaken by events because then
16 we -- we entered the phase of Racak and so the -- on the -- the whole
17 concentration of the international community was then on this particular
18 incident and no longer on the others.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you. So just to clarify, prior to the NATO bombing,
20 to your knowledge there were no exhumations that were conducted in Gornje
22 A. To my knowledge, no. But from beginning of 1999 I was no longer
23 directly responsible for -- for the Finnish team because they worked for
24 the EU, and then my German colleagues would take over dealing with them
25 directly and no longer myself.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you very much, Mr. Kickert. I have no more
2 questions for you.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Ms. Gopalan.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Kickert, you'll be pleased to know that once
6 again we have come to the end of the questions for you. We would thank
7 you for your attendance here and the assistance you've been able to give,
8 and you of course may now return to your normal activities.
9 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honours, and thank you
10 also the Prosecution and the Defence that I could finish today. Thank
11 you very much.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Well, we've got two minutes to go. I don't think
13 there's any point in trying to occupy that. We shall adjourn for the day
14 and resume Monday afternoon, at 2.15.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.43 p.m.
17 to be reconvened on Monday, the 23rd day of
18 March, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.