1 Tuesday, 7 April 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: If the -- good afternoon. If the witness could be
6 brought in.
7 While the witness is coming, I would mention the matter raised a
8 week or so ago about the use of a computer in the Detention Unit. The
9 acting Registrar has confirmed that for matters of security hard drives,
10 external hard drives, may not be used in the Detention Unit. And he
11 confirms that that is the case for all accused persons. The last time
12 that an external hard drive was used was in 2006. Since then, nobody has
13 been able to use. So the decision must remain as originally advised.
14 [The witness takes the stand]
15 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, sir.
16 Would you please stand and read aloud -- well, I'm sorry, I'm
17 reminded that you were sworn yesterday when I was not here. My
18 apologies. I would remind you, though, that the affirmation you made
19 yesterday still applies. So if you would please be seated.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic.
22 WITNESS: MILOS DERETIC [Resumed]
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Djordjevic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Deretic.
1 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, first of all, I
2 sincerely regret that I was unable to secure the document which I think
3 would be extremely useful when it comes to this witness. Despite having
4 the whole morning off, I wasn't able to locate it; and I realised that
5 you would grant me no further leeway concerning this. But I will still
6 put some questions to this witness to clarify some of the things raised
7 during examination-in-chief.
8 And now could we see P584, please, on the screens, P584.
9 Let me say straight away that we need page 2, please. We can
10 remain on this page.
11 Q. Mr. Deretic, do you see the version in B/C/S on the right-hand
12 side of your screen. Please look at the date that is printed on the
14 A. Pristina January 1994.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Now could we please put on the
17 screens call 5357 [as interpreted]; it's in evidence. We need page 1,
19 My associates are telling me that the number in the transcript is
20 wrong. I said P357. [In English] That's correct. [Interpretation] This
21 copy is not very legible. Could we zoom into the bottom portion of the
22 document to see the date, please, in B/C/S?
23 Q. Witness, would you please look at it.
24 A. Well, in English it is quite legible --
25 Q. Can you see the date?
1 A. Yes. Belgrade
2 Q. Thank you. Given that yesterday you gave evidence about the
3 rules that you saw initially and then the rules that you are seeing now,
4 let me ask you this: During the 1998 and 1999 period of time, which of
5 the rules was in force?
6 A. Naturally the more recent one. The most recent rules are in
7 force and usually the accompanying enactments will specific that it
8 supersedes the previous, the older rules.
9 Q. Thank you. Would you agree with me that during giving evidence
10 in examination-in-chief when examined by Mr. Stamp you gave answers in
11 relation to the rules that were not in force at the time, in
12 1998 and 1999, because those rules date back to 1994?
13 A. I truly didn't notice that.
14 Q. Thank you. We don't need to explore this any further.
15 Would I be right to say that from January to June of 1999 you
16 were continuously in Kosovo, in Pristina if I'm not mistaken?
17 A. Yes, I was in Pristina the entire time from 1955 until the end of
18 June 1999.
19 Q. Yes, that's clear to me too, but I asked you about the relevant
20 period of time quite specifically.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. My next question is: During 1999, did you see
23 General Vlastimir Djordjevic, the accused here, did you see him in
25 A. I didn't see him in Kosovo. During 1999, I did see him in
2 Q. Thank you. My next question: Can you tell us do you know what
3 Radio Free Kosovo is; and if so, what can you tell us about it?
4 A. I testified about this in another case, in the Milutinovic case,
5 where I testified about that. Radio Free Kosovo was an illegal radio
6 station of Albanian separatists and members of the KLA. From the
7 territory of Kosovo
8 the events; and they were carrying out a very aggressive campaign very
9 clearly urging Albanian population to leave the territory of Kosovo
10 saying that NATO forces would bomb them and so on and so on.
11 What we know about this illegal radio station comes from the
12 employees of the Ministry of -- Ministry for Telecommunications which
13 came to see me in Pristina in early 1999, asking them to help them to
14 enforce the regulations and to enforce their duties. Their duty was to
15 locate the exact whereabouts of that radio station and where they were
16 broadcasting from; however, they were not very successful in locating
17 them because this radio station frequently changed its location and aired
18 its programmes from various vehicles, from various mobile installations,
19 and they were just moving around very frequently.
20 Q. My last question to you today will be to ask you to explain to us
21 in greater detail how the communications were jammed. When I say this,
22 I'm referring to the communication channels of the
23 Ministry of the Interior in Kosovo especially, that's the first thing I'm
24 interested in. And in order not to waste your time, my second question
25 will be whether any other communication channels were jammed as well; and
1 if so, will you tell us about that and that will conclude my
2 cross-examination today.
3 A. Yesterday in examination-in-chief I said that the radio system of
4 the ministry, which existed not only in the territory of Kosovo
5 in the territory of the entire Serbia
6 special systems that would differ from systems existing elsewhere in
8 radio networks it was very easy to listen in on those communications and
9 to jam them because the equipment of the Ministry of the Interior and
10 their radio stations did not have any particular encryption, it did not
11 have any special protection. It could be easily wire-tapped and jammed
12 by those who wanted to do that.
13 How did they jam these communications? A lot of radio stations
14 were confiscated by members of the KLA who took radios from MUP members
15 who were killed or wounded. So that's how they got hold of these radios.
16 Then, in addition to that, there were a lot of our colleagues, Albanians,
17 who left the Ministry of the Interior and they were well familiar with
18 the frequencies and how they were set up, these radio links of the
19 ministry. So it wasn't a major technical problem for them to disclose
20 this information.
21 And as for jamming itself, it was very easy to jam. For example,
22 one radio station could block the entire channel, and this is how they
23 would do it. And they would also use various verbal provocations to try
24 to prompt the other side to reply so that the channels of the ministry,
25 before and especially during the bombing, were constantly jammed.
1 In addition, there was also jamming on the part of the
2 international organisations which were in Kosovo. I know this because
3 when radios were confiscated from members of the police they would come
4 to us to see what radio channels had been programmed, and very often
5 those would be the channels that MUP used in Kosovo and Metohija. This
6 is how we found out that these international organisations also jammed
7 these channels.
8 Would you now repeat the second question.
9 Q. Certainly. What you just told us now pertains to the
10 Ministry of the Interior and their system of internal communication. I
11 asked you whether there was any jamming of any public communication on
12 behalf of anybody. Was this done in Kosovo and Metohija in 1998 and
14 A. I know that there had been complaints that the sorties carried
15 out by NATO aircraft caused the radio communications to be cut off.
16 Whether that was the consequence of an intensified radiation, I don't
17 know, only it didn't last too long.
18 At any rate, the bombing resulted in huge problems in the
19 functioning of the public and other systems which did not necessitate any
20 additional jamming because the bombing destroyed the entire
21 infrastructure, not only of MUP facilities, but also of Telekom's
22 facilities, the facilities belonging to the Radio Television of Serbia,
23 and so on.
24 Q. In this context, and we're talking about the same period, was
25 there any jamming coming from the Republic of Albania
1 A. Yes, there was some problems caused from the territory of the
2 Republic of Albania
3 often used for utilising the resources of one country by another country.
4 I know that they had been using these police communications, but
5 we were helpless to do anything because this was in the domain of
6 interstate relations, and in jamming coming from another state I suppose
7 should be resolved by some bilateral or inter-governmental agreements.
8 Q. And this is my last question and really my last question: Would
9 I be right to say that crypto protection is primarily relate to state
11 A. Yes. I can explain if necessary.
12 Q. Yes, please go ahead.
13 A. I believe that in 1994 and 1995, on the orders of the
14 then-minister of the interior, the area of encryption and crypto
15 protection was entrusted to the state security department. This
16 department was in charge of all the procedures relating to this affair
17 were in the domain and in the remit of professional services that were
18 part of the State Security Service.
19 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would conclude
20 my cross-examination of this witness.
21 Q. Mr. Deretic, thank you for all your answers. I believe that you
22 were helpful in shedding light to some of the facts. Thank you.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic.
24 Mr. Stamp, is there re-examination?
25 MR. STAMP: Just one clarification, Your Honours.
1 Re-examination by Mr. Stamp:
2 MR. STAMP: Could we replace P357 on the screen, P357. And if
3 you will, could we go straight to page 49 in the English and page 53 in
4 the B/C/S.
5 Q. You were just shown that later 1997 version of the rules,
6 Mr. Deretic, and you confirm that that was the operative rule -- version
7 of the rules at the time. I recall yesterday when we were looking for
8 the provision, which gave you responsibility or gave your sector
9 responsibility for all of Kosovo, we were looking in Rule 45 and couldn't
10 find it and then we found it in Rule 46. Could you just look quickly at
11 this correct version of the rule, Rule 45, the last section of the rule -
12 it's on the screen in front of you, I believe - and confirm that that is
13 the provision -- one moment, please.
14 MR. STAMP: Could we find page 53 in B/C/S? Sorry.
15 [Prosecution counsel confer]
16 MR. STAMP: If I may have a moment, Your Honour. I think I had
17 better confirm the page number.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. STAMP: May I just inquire, is this P357 here?
20 THE REGISTRAR: It is, Your Honours.
21 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
22 [Prosecution counsel confer]
23 MR. STAMP: I think we want page 39 in B/C/S. I'm sorry about
24 the wrong page number I gave before.
25 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
1 JUDGE PARKER: Do you know the number of the article for which
2 you are searching?
3 MR. STAMP: It's Article 45 --
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
5 MR. STAMP: Yes, and that is page 38 in the English. We are
6 looking for the last paragraph of Article 45, which is at page 38 in the
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 MR. STAMP:
10 Q. Have you seen the relevant provision in Cyrillic?
11 A. Yes, I can see Article 45. Yesterday during my testimony, I made
12 reference to Article 45 of the rules which laid foundation for our work;
13 but then I was shown the rules which contain this provision under
14 Article 46, so that sowed some doubt in my mind whether I forgot the
15 exact number. In my memory it was Article 45. Now, in this new revised
16 version of the text it says that under Article 45 the SUP in Pristina
17 carries out other duties for the needs of other secretariats in the
18 territory of Kosovo
19 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours --
20 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Deretic.
21 MR. STAMP: And, Your Honours, that is the re-examination. The
22 Exhibit 584 which was used with the witness was -- came up on an
23 electronic search for the rules of the -- of internal organisation of the
24 MUP and is in fact, as is obvious, not the operative rule or version of
25 the rules, and P584 should really be withdrawn. The appropriate rule
1 is -- or exhibit is P357 --
2 JUDGE PARKER: You move for its withdrawal?
3 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour. This is one of the errors that
4 sometimes arises from doing electronic searchs for material.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Do you have any objection to that, Mr. Djordjevic?
6 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] How can I have any objection
7 when it was actually the Defence who provided this information to the
8 Prosecution a few minutes ago?
9 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Mr. Djordjevic.
10 JUDGE PARKER: It will be withdrawn as an exhibit.
11 THE REGISTRAR: And P00584 will be vacated, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
13 Mr. Deretic, you'll be pleased to know that that concludes the
14 questions for you. The Chamber would thank you for your attendance
15 yesterday and today and for the assistance you have been able to give,
16 and you may now, of course, return to your normal activities and the
17 court officer will show you out. Thank you, sir.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Nilsen.
22 MS. NILSEN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. The next witness
23 coming up is Hysni Berisha. He will testify according to Rule 92 bis.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
25 MS. NILSEN: While we are waiting, Your Honours, I can just
1 indicate that the witness will testify according to the following counts
2 and paragraphs in the indictment, Counts 1 to 5, paragraphs 72(d), 73,
3 75 (d), 77(a) and (b) and schedule D. Thank you.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
7 Will you please read aloud the affirmation which is shown to you
8 on this card.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: HYSNI BERISHA
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
14 Ms. Nilsen has some questions for you.
15 MS. NILSEN: Thank you, Your Honours.
16 Examination by Ms. Nilsen:
17 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Berisha.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. Could you please state your full name for the record.
20 A. I am Hysni Berisha. My father's name Sylejman.
21 Q. Could you please state your birth date and where you were born?
22 Thank you.
23 A. 12th of the 4th, 1948.
24 Q. And your place of birth?
25 A. In Suhareke.
1 Q. Mr. Berisha, did you provide a statement for the
2 Office of the Prosecution in 2001 and 2002?
3 A. Yes, it is true that I did give statements.
4 Q. And did you have the chance to read through the statements before
5 coming to court today?
6 A. Yes, I had a chance to read through them.
7 Q. Now, you're satisfied that the information contained in these
8 statements is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge and belief?
9 A. Yes. As far as I can remember now in the distance of ten years,
10 everything is true and correct.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MS. NILSEN: Then I would seek to tender these statements into
13 evidence, Your Honours, the 65 ter number 02282.
14 JUDGE PARKER: The statement of the 20th of August, 2001, will be
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00584, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE PARKER: And the statement -- the statement of the
18 13th of March, 2002, will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00586, Your Honours.
20 MS. NILSEN:
21 Q. Mr. Berisha, did you also testify previously before this Tribunal
22 in the case of Milutinovic et al.?
23 A. Before I answer this question, I would like to address the Bench
24 if possible.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. What is the --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not receiving translation into
3 JUDGE PARKER: We'll have that attended to immediately.
4 That should now be translated into Albanian.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is okay now.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
7 MS. NILSEN:
8 Q. I will repeat my question, Mr. Berisha. My question was whether
9 you also testified previously before this Tribunal in the case of
10 Milutinovic et al.?
11 A. Yes, I testified two times at this Tribunal, first in 2002 in the
12 Milosevic trial and in 2006 in the Milutinovic et al. trial.
13 Q. Thank you. And before coming to court today, did you have the
14 opportunity to go through the transcript of your previous testimony in
15 the Milutinovic et al. case with the assistance of a language assistant?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. If you were asked the same questions that you were
18 asked in your previous testimony, would you provide the same answers
20 A. I will try to give the same answers, and I will give the same
22 Q. Thank you. Mr. Berisha.
23 MS. NILSEN: Your Honours, I seek to tender also this transcript,
24 the 65 ter number 05043.
25 JUDGE PARKER: It will be an exhibit.
1 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00587, Your Honours.
2 MS. NILSEN: Your Honours, I refer to the Chamber's decisions on
3 Prosecution this motion for admission of transcripts of evidence
4 regarding witnesses who are testifying according to Rule 92 bis. In
5 paragraph 41, 3 and 4 [sic] of this decision, Your Honours have ruled to
6 admit this witness's statements, transcripts, and associated exhibits
7 which should be tendered for admission into evidence. So in order to
8 proceed efficiently with the associated exhibits, I have -- am going to
9 seek to tender, I would propose to read each one of the 65 ter numbers so
10 the court officer can assign an exhibit number. The total numbers of
11 these exhibits are nine.
12 If this pleases Your Honours I would like to just do -- go
13 through with this.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
15 MS. NILSEN: There are exhibits listed in annex B to our 92 bis
16 motion. The first exhibit is 65 ter number 02281, and I seek to tender
17 this exhibit.
18 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00588, Your Honours.
19 MS. NILSEN: The second exhibit is 00120, and I ask that that be
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00589.
22 MS. NILSEN: The third one is 00123, and I ask that that exhibit
23 be received as well.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00590.
25 MS. NILSEN: The fourth exhibit is 00133, and I ask that it will
1 be received as well.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00591, Your Honours.
3 MS. NILSEN: Exhibit number 5 is 00134, and I ask that that be
5 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00592.
6 MS. NILSEN: Exhibit number 6 is 00122, and I seek to tender that
7 exhibit as well.
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00593.
9 MS. NILSEN: Exhibit number 7 is 00125, and I ask that that be
11 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00594.
12 MS. NILSEN: Exhibit number 8 is 02351, and I ask that that will
13 be received as well.
14 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00595, Your Honours.
15 MS. NILSEN: The ninth and last exhibit is 02344, and I ask that
16 that be received.
17 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00596, Your Honours.
18 MS. NILSEN: Thank you.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
20 MS. NILSEN: I would now read a short summary for the Court from
21 this witness's previous statements, and after that I have a few questions
22 for the witness.
23 The witness Hysni Berisha is a Muslim male who has lived in
24 Suva Reka all of his life. The witness describes the events in the
25 Suva Reka after the OSCE evacuated on the 20th of March, 1999. He heard
1 gun-fire and could see flames coming from houses near the technical
2 school on Restane road. He states that on the morning of the
3 26th of March, 1999, Serb forces started to shell Suva Reka town from
4 tanks and Pragas that had been on the hills behind the town since
5 August 1998. The witness saw a lot of police moving towards the house
6 across from the police station. About two or three hours later, he heard
7 shooting from the police station in the vicinity of Sedat Berisha's
8 house, and he saw smoke and flames coming from that direction.
9 The following day, on seeing the police continue to torch
10 buildings and houses, the witness took his family to the home of a
11 neighbour where there were 70 to 100 people hiding in the basement. They
12 remained there until the early hours of the following morning when they,
13 after this, went to another house until Serb paramilitaries drew closer.
14 After this, they went to a field where they were surrounded by
15 paramilitaries who demanded money and valuables from them. One of these
16 grabbed the witness's daughter and threatened to shoot her unless the
17 witness handed money over. The commander intervened and released the
18 witness's child, telling the witness to go to Albania with his family.
19 The civilians set off in convoy. They were stopped for two days
20 and nights near Korisa, where the civilians in the column were again
21 robbed by paramilitaries of approximately 4.000 Deutschemarks before
22 being allowed to continue to Prizren. En route, a number of civilians
23 were wounded and killed by Serb forces. On the outskirts of Prizren, the
24 convoy was told to return to the places of origin.
25 When the witness arrived back to Suva Reka, his hometown, he saw
1 buildings burning and his home had been looted. Over the ensuing days,
2 he observed numerous Serb forces in military and OSCE vehicles around the
3 whole town, and they were looting shops and homes. He also observed a
4 column of approximately 50.000 civilians passing through Suva Reka.
5 The witness remained in Suva Reka until 10th of May, 1999, when
6 he was again ordered by Serb forces to leave Kosovo. He went to Prizren
7 and stayed at a relative's home until KFOR arrived. The witness followed
8 then KFOR into Suva Reka town.
9 Thereafter, the witness undertook an investigation into the
10 Berisha family massacre and the events at the coffee shop in Suva Reka.
11 He describes the location of items of clothing and artefacts at the
12 murder scenes, victims' homes, and at the cemetery. He also produces a
13 number of documents relating to his investigation.
14 The witness also undertook investigations into other events
15 during March-June 1999, where Kosovar Albanians of Suva Reka municipality
16 were killed, expelled, and their properties looted and burnt. The
17 witness assisted the British forensic team in August 1999 with the
18 exhumation of bodies at the VJ firing range in Korisa, Suva Reka, Prizren
19 firing range. The witness took part in identifying clothes belonging to
20 several victims in Schedule D in the indictment of the Prosecution. The
21 witness is an eye-witness to deportation, looting, and burning in
22 Suva Reka, and he describes perpetrators' uniforms and weapons. He also
23 describes vehicles used and kept account of these vehicles. Thank you.
24 Q. Mr. Berisha, the Chamber has your previous testimony and your
25 statement already before them, so I have very few questions for you. But
1 I'm going to direct your attention to I believe it's P00589, that's the
2 previous 65 ter number 00120, and I would like to go directly to page 3
3 of this exhibit.
4 MS. NILSEN: This is not -- yes, thank you, thank you. If you
5 can zoom out a little bit, it would be -- thank you. It's sufficient.
6 Q. Mr. Berisha, would you please describe what you're seeing in this
8 A. Yes. This picture shows the location of the shooting range of
9 the Yugoslav Army where they also held their training before the war in
10 Kosova. This place is -- if you go from Suhareke to Prizren, you can
11 find this place in kilometre 13 between the villages of Korisha and
12 Lobisha [phoen] on the left side, while if you go from Prizren to
13 Suhareke it must be approximately at the fifth kilometre between Lubishte
14 and Korishe on the right side.
15 Q. Thank you. And when did you visit this place for the first time?
16 A. The first time I visited this place was in July 1999.
17 Q. And were you together with the British forensic team this date or
18 did you go there with them at a later stage?
19 A. The British forensic team worked twice at this place, in
20 July 1999 and at the end of August 1999. I went to visit this place
21 without the British forensic team in June -- oh, sorry, in July, while I
22 went there with the British forensic team by the end of August or the
23 1st of September, 1999.
24 Q. And what happened the 1st of September, 1999?
25 A. On the 1st of September, 1999, the whole forensic team of the
1 United Kingdom took their equipment and began exhuming the mass graves.
2 That day, the opening of two mass graves began.
3 Q. And how many mass graves would it be in total in this range, in
4 this area?
5 A. There were two mass graves there which were exhumed on that day.
6 Mass grave 1 and mass grave 2, that's what they were called by the
7 forensic team.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MS. NILSEN: If the witness could be assisted with a pen. And I
10 would like him to draw circles around the places where he is describing
11 these mass graves.
12 Q. If you, Mr. Berisha, please could draw a circle around this mass
13 grave number 1 and mass grave number 2 and just place number 1 and 2
14 inside the circles so the Court would know what you mean.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. Yeah, it's fine. Thank you.
17 MS. NILSEN: Then I would like put up previous
18 65 ter number 00122 which would be P00593 in the e-court. And if we
19 could please have page 5 and 6 up on the screen at the same time -- um,
20 before I do this I would like to -- but this is already tendered -- oh,
21 sorry. Yes, if I could please tender this annotated picture. Thank you,
22 Your Honours.
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
24 MS. NILSEN: Thank you.
25 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00597, Your Honours.
1 MS. NILSEN: Thank you so much.
2 And then if I could have 65 ter 00122, which will be P00593.
3 Thank you. And then page 5 and 6 on the screen at the same time.
4 5 and 6. Thank you.
5 Q. Would you please describe to the Court, Mr. Berisha, what you are
6 seeing on these pictures, the picture to the right is just a detailed or
7 zoomed-in version of the picture to the left.
8 A. This picture reminds me of the worst moment I experienced in
9 September -- on September 1st, 1999. In that mass grave this photograph
10 was found. This is mother and son. This is Zelihe Berisha, my cousin's
11 wife, Hamdi's wife, and her son Mirat. Maybe you cannot see it here or
12 discern what it is, but this is the pencil box, Mirat's pencil box who
13 was in first grade. And that day, it was the first day of school, and on
14 that day he was not amongst us anymore.
15 Q. Thank you so much --
16 A. And on not only these two, but seven members of the family were
17 killed. Murat's father, four sisters, mother, and nobody remains from
18 that family.
19 Q. Thank you so much for your explanation.
20 MS. NILSEN: The next exhibit I would like to ask for is
21 65 ter 02351 and that will be P00595, Your Honours. If I can just get
22 that up on the screen. If we can go directly to page 14.
23 Q. And while we are waiting for this to come up I can ask you right
24 away, Mr. Berisha, is it correct in 2001 you provided a list to the
25 Office of the Prosecution containing approximately 500 names of deceased
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. We see the end of this list here of 14 pages. Could you just
4 please describe to us who are these people mentioned in this list, where
5 are they from, and who are they?
6 A. These are victims who were civilians from the villages of the
7 Suhareke municipality and the city itself who were killed by the Serb
8 police and military forces in 1998 and 1999.
9 Q. Thank you. And the handwriting we can see here on the end of the
10 list, would that be your handwriting?
11 A. Yes. This is the second list after the one that I gave in 2001.
12 That list was corrected and names were added because the list of 2001 had
13 about 500 names. Then the list was amended to have -- to include the
14 names of the people who laid down their lives in the fighting. Later on,
15 people who were killed in Suhareke but were not from Suhareke were taken
16 out of this list and included in other lists. These lists were compiled
17 after the identification of people, bodies, and clothes and
18 artefacts found in various places.
19 MS. NILSEN: And if we can get up page, I think it might be 5,
20 number 5, it should start with 105, 106. I think it will be
21 page number 4. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Would there be any KLA soldiers in this list, Mr. Berisha?
23 A. Allow me to put on my glasses, if I may.
24 Q. Of course.
25 A. Yes, there are.
1 Q. Could you please mention which names these would be that were KLA
3 A. Yes. Number 106, Lulzim Shaip Guta; and under 107,
4 Bahri Hajrush Gollopeni, these people are martyrs; and also
5 Naser Hazir Kelmendi, under number 110; while Shpejtim Tafil Kryeziu,
6 under 105, he was not a martyr but a civilian; as well as
7 Naser Hazir Kelmendi, he was also a civilian, meaning that three of them
8 were members of the KLA who were killed and whose names sneaked in on
9 this list, because at that time I did not investigate how these people
10 had died.
11 Q. Thank you. As you were the author of this list, Mr. Berisha, is
12 this the correct and updated version of this list of the persons who were
13 killed and missing in Suva Reka in March 1999?
14 A. I am the author of this list that I compiled by collecting
15 information on the ground myself from the people who had lost their loved
16 ones and who came to me at the mass grave site where I was with the
17 British and German forensic teams.
18 They came to me, and I took notes of what they said to me on the
19 spot. And this list, that does not include only March 1999 but also
20 April, May, June. There were victims all the time from the time that
21 NATO bombing started.
22 Q. I understand that. Thank you. But my question was whether this
23 was the updated and so far the correct version of this list of missing
24 persons that you have provided.
25 A. Yes, yes. This is the updated list compared to the 2001 list,
1 and I am the author of the list.
2 Q. Thank you. My last question, Mr. Berisha: In your statement you
3 have several times mentioned police, paramilitary, and militaries. Would
4 you explain to the Court how you could distinguish between these units,
5 how would you describe them, how would you describe the uniforms they
6 were wearing?
7 A. I have to say that the Serb police and army forces included other
8 units as well. To my opinion, the paramilitaries - maybe I'm wrong - but
9 I considered paramilitaries all those citizens who were mobilised into
10 the police and army forces, the Yugoslav forces.
11 I also considered paramilitaries, because at the time I did not
12 know what kinds of units there were, the special Yugoslav police forces,
13 which at the time were deployed in Suhareke coming from all the towns in
15 know that they were special forces; but because their uniforms were
16 different from the regular army, I considered them paramilitaries.
17 Q. And how would you describe a regular police uniform, police that
18 you were talking about in your statement?
19 A. The regular police had two types of uniforms. One of them was
20 blue, standard, normal blue; the other one was camouflage blue.
21 Q. Exactly. And did they have any insignia that you could -- that
22 was visible to you?
23 A. Usually they had inscriptions on the arm, but also different
24 insignia and signs that distinguished them from other units. They had
25 colours, white and red, that I saw in Suhareke. They had ribbons, white
1 and red ribbons that I saw in Suhareke.
2 Q. Thank you. And the paramilitaries and the military, how would
3 you describe their uniforms, were there any difference between them; and
4 in that case what?
5 A. In this case there were no differences in uniforms, but they
6 differed as far as their outer appearance is concerned. They were
7 unshaven or they had shaven heads. They did not wear caps but had
8 bandannas on their heads. And because of all these things, the tattoos
9 and everything, I thought that they were not regular forces. But some of
10 them were part of the special units that operated in Suhareke.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MS. NILSEN: Your Honours, I have no further questions for the
14 JUDGE PARKER: Did you mean to tender the list?
15 MS. NILSEN: The list is already tendered, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Which exhibit number is that?
17 MS. NILSEN: It will be Exhibit Number --
18 JUDGE PARKER: Is that P595?
19 MS. NILSEN: Yes, exactly.
20 JUDGE PARKER: It's the same --
21 MS. NILSEN: Yes, it's the same, and since there is no annotation
22 on it, it will be exactly the same. Thank you, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
24 Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Djordjevic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Berisha. I will put some
3 questions to you. There won't be great many of them, but they will
4 pertain to certain facts which I as Defence counsel in this case believe
5 need to be clarified.
6 Mr. Berisha, please tell me, before the beginning of the NATO
7 bombing were there any conflicts between the KLA and the Serbian forces
8 in the vicinity of Suva Reka? Do you know anything about it?
9 A. I don't know to which period you're referring, 1998 or 1999?
10 Q. My question was quite specific. Before the beginning of NATO
11 bombing, and the NATO bombing began on the 24th of March, 1999; so before
12 that, were there any conflicts between the KLA and the Serbian forces in
13 the vicinity of Suva Reka?
14 A. In the summer of 1998, that is to say in August and
15 September 1998, the Serb police and military forces launched an offensive
16 in the direction of the western part of Suhareke, i.e., in the direction
17 of Reshtan, Decan, Semetisht, and Nishor villages, where they burned
18 houses, expelled the civilian population, and there were casualties,
19 victims. At the same time, there was another offensive in the direction
20 of Reqan, Malan, and Budakove villages. In this offensive, more than 16
21 villages were burned down. This was the first offensive.
22 Q. Mr. Berisha, if you can, please focus on the questions I'm
23 putting to you. So please give me brief answers. Were there any
24 conflicts between the KLA forces and the Serbian forces in the vicinity
25 of Suva Reka just before the NATO bombing in 1999 and -- in 1998 and
1 early 1999. I didn't ask you anything about civilians, were civilians
2 injured, involved, and so on. I just asked you about any clashes between
3 the KLA and the Serbian forces in the vicinity of Suva Reka.
4 A. I already stated that in the western part of Suhareke an
5 offensive was launched by the Serb police and military forces. In
6 March 1999
7 withdrawal of the OSCE observers, there was a clash in the centre of
8 Suhareke. During this clash, a Serb was killed and 11 Albanian
10 Q. I would kindly ask you to hold. Again, you are not focusing on
11 the relevant time. Let me phrase it this way: Did the KLA exist in 1998
12 in the vicinity of Suva Reka or not?
13 A. The KLA existed in 1998 in the vicinity of Suhareke but not in
14 Suhareke proper.
15 Q. Thank you. I didn't ask that. Thank you.
16 My next question: The offensive that you are mentioning, the
17 offensive of the Serbian forces in 1998, am I right in saying that you
18 were referring to the offensive of the Serbian forces against the KLA?
19 A. I'm referring to the offensive of the Serbian forces against a
20 civilian population and civilian facilities, not against the KLA.
21 Q. Can I conclude that the civilians fought against Serbian forces,
22 since you say that it was a -- an offensive against the civilians not
23 against the KLA?
24 A. I don't know how a civilian population can fight police and
25 military forces when this civilian population consisted of women,
1 children, elderly, people who lived in their own homes, and these homes
2 were shelled indiscriminately. The civilian population did not fight. I
3 never heard of a child fighting a police or military force.
4 Q. I'm not going to debate this with you. My next question: Do you
5 know anything about the killings of the police members regardless of
6 their ethnic background before the NATO bombing, that is to say before
7 the 24th of March, 1999? Do you know of any policemen being killed by
8 the KLA members?
9 A. I don't have such information because I didn't belong to those
10 services that knew these -- about these things. And I didn't read about
11 this either in the media, in the newspapers.
12 Q. Before the beginning of the NATO bombing, were you aware of any
13 cases where some Serbs were kidnapped by the KLA members and later on
15 A. No, I wasn't aware about this at the time because nobody told me
16 about this at the time. I heard about such a case at a conference held
17 in Belgrade
18 Q. Do you know anything about the killings of the well-known and
19 prominent Serbs in Suva Reka after the beginning of NATO bombing, that is
20 to say after the 24th of March, 1999?
21 A. Are you referring to civilians or to policemen and soldiers?
22 Q. I'm asking you now about the prominent Serb citizens, civilians.
23 A. In March 1999 it was impossible for us to know who was killed
24 because we could not move freely at that time. We could hardly leave our
25 houses, so it was impossible for us to have such information.
1 Q. My next question deals with the period after the beginning of the
2 NATO bombing. Do you know anything about policemen or members of the
3 army being killed, those who were in the territory of Suva Reka
5 A. No, I don't know about this. I don't have any information.
6 Q. Am I right in saying that in the territory of Suva Reka
7 municipality there are 42 villages?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. Can you tell me, out of those 42 villages, immediately after the
10 beginning of NATO bombing how much of the territory was under the control
11 of the KLA? I'm now referring to these villages.
12 A. I wasn't a member of the KLA to know which villages were under
13 their control. I can only speak about Suhareke and surrounding villages
14 where there was no KLA presence.
15 Q. That's exactly what I'm asking you. I'm asking you about the
16 vicinity of Suva Reka, the area around it. But do you still know -- do
17 you know nevertheless what units of the KLA were located in the territory
18 of Suva
19 A. I honestly don't know.
20 Q. Mr. Berisha, would you be so kind and tell me after NATO bombing
21 began, that is to say from the 24th of March, 1999, onwards, what
22 uniforms did you see in the territory around Suva Reka? I'm now
23 referring to the uniforms worn by Serbian forces.
24 A. I saw police and military uniforms. The -- from police uniforms
25 I saw the camouflage ones, blue camouflage ones, whereas from army
1 uniforms I saw the uniforms worn by the special police units that were
2 operating at the time. And these camouflage uniforms were replaced by
3 green camouflage uniforms, the NATO green. I also saw camouflage
4 uniforms and members of Territorial Defence units wearing both camouflage
5 uniforms and classic uniforms known, during the time that I completed my
6 military service, as the SMB uniforms.
7 Q. Did I understand you well that you said that the special units
8 later on changed their uniforms into green camouflage uniforms? You said
9 that today just a few seconds earlier.
10 A. Yes, this is correct. On the 3rd of April, 1999, when the police
11 forces entered Suhareke, torching everything on their way and coming
12 closer to the location where I was sheltering with other families, around
13 5.000 people, these forces were wearing blue camouflage uniforms. And I
14 had the opportunity, since one of these policemen took my daughter out of
15 the car and placed her behind a wall, ready to execute her unless I paid
16 him money, this policeman took 50 Deutschemarks from me and the other
17 asked for 1.000 Deutschemarks to release her.
18 Q. Mr. Berisha, I will have to stop you. That wasn't my question.
19 You gave a brief reply to my question by saying that the Serbian special
20 forces changed their uniforms from blue into green. My next question is:
21 How come you know that those were special units? How come you know that
22 to begin with?
23 A. From the policeman himself, he introduced himself as the
24 commander. He said they were from Nis, and he addressed his colleague.
25 He told him to release my daughter. He himself told me that he was
1 coming from Nis
2 Q. And that fact alone was sufficient for you to conclude that those
3 were special units?
4 A. That is true. There was no reason for me not to believe in what
5 he said. He said himself he was from there, and considering the trial
6 held in Belgrade
7 relating to the special units operating in Suhareke.
8 Q. I don't know that, Mr. Berisha, and I'm putting questions to you
9 in this case, in this trial. My next question: How do you know that
10 they changed their uniforms from blue into green ones?
11 A. On the 7th of May, 1999, large forces with all sorts of vehicles,
12 jeeps, vehicles that I don't know to this date, came to Suhareke from the
13 direction of Dulje. My house is on the side of the road that links
14 Prishtina with Prizren. I counted 106 different types of vehicles,
15 armoured vehicles. They entered the neighbourhood where my house was.
16 They came to my courtyard. These forces were wearing green camouflage
17 uniforms, and this is why I said that they had their uniforms replaced.
18 These were special units.
19 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's time for a
20 technical break, and I shall continue with my cross after the break.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
22 We will now have the first break, and we'll resume at 4.15.
23 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
1 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Berisha, we shall continue where we stopped before the break
3 when we discussed the special forces from Nis. If you look at your
4 statement - and I will shortly tell you which specific statement that
5 is - it's the one dated the 20th of August, 2001, and it was given in
6 Kosovo. If you go to page 3, you are describing the incidents when you
7 were asked to give 50 German marks, if you don't do that your daughter
8 would be killed, then the commander appeared telling you he was from Nis.
9 This is all in paragraph 2 on page 3 of your statement. And
10 somewhere in the middle of the second paragraph it reads as follows:
11 "Everybody stopped and members of the paramilitary units went
12 from one vehicle to another ..." and so on and so forth. Mr. Berisha,
13 can you tell me were those members of paramilitary units or were they
14 members of special forces?
15 A. For me they were members of the special units.
16 Q. In your statement that I mentioned just now, why did you describe
17 them as members of paramilitary units? And you obviously changed your
18 statement today. You said that you carefully reviewed and read your
19 statement. Why this discrepancy now?
20 A. I will repeat again that at the time I thought that the regular
21 police and army forces differ from paramilitary units and special units.
22 At the time, I didn't know how this worked; I was not familiar with this
23 organisational structure, which ones were member of regular police or
24 army forces, which ones were members of paramilitary forces. However,
25 these forces were wearing blue police camouflage uniforms. They had
1 black caps, some of them had tattoos, and you judge for yourselves what
2 they were, whether they were regular forces, special forces, or
3 paramilitary forces.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, it's much, much more clear.
5 Mr. Berisha, you mentioned the trial in Belgrade when we
6 discussed our previous topic. What I wanted to ask you now is: Do you
7 have this knowledge from the trial being held in Belgrade or did you
8 acquire your information from other sources? I really don't know why you
9 mentioned the Belgrade
10 uniforms, the special forces, and paramilitary units. What was the
11 reason for that? Is it that all the information you got from the trial
12 in Belgrade
13 short answer.
14 A. As I already stated, I attended this court on the
15 6th of December, 2006, as a witness in the proceedings against eight
16 accused in Belgrade
18 colleagues, by the Defence counsel of these accused.
19 Q. Are you a lawyer by profession now that you mentioned that you
20 were cross-examined?
21 A. No, I never worked as a lawyer.
22 Q. I read somewhere in your CV that you represented yourself as a
23 lawyer; is that an error? Am I right in concluding that?
24 A. I don't know about the interpretation or translation you
25 received. By profession I am a lawyer, but I never worked as a lawyer, I
1 never practiced it.
2 Q. What were you actually doing before the war?
3 A. I worked in the administration of a construction organisation
4 until I was dismissed from work.
5 Q. What was the name of that company?
6 A. Construction and Industrial Enterprise 19th November Suhareke.
7 Q. When did you start working in that company and when did you stop
8 working for it?
9 A. I started working in the 1979/1980, around that year, and I
10 stopped when I was dismissed.
11 Q. When were you dismissed?
12 A. When the enterprise went bankrupt by the government at the time.
13 I think it was in the year 1989 or 1990. I don't know the exact year,
15 Q. In other words, we can agree that your employment was terminated
16 because bankruptcy was filed for this company, not because you were
17 sacked for other reasons?
18 A. I didn't terminate my employment. I was dismissed.
19 Q. Your company ceased to exist, sir. You are a lawyer. By the
20 way, where did you study law and in what year did you graduate from the
21 law school?
22 A. I would like to ask for guidance from the Trial Chamber as to is
23 it necessary for me to answer these questions which are out of the
24 context of my statement.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Could you please indicate, Mr. Berisha, where you
1 undertook your law studies.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the Prishtina university,
3 Faculty of Law.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
5 Now, if you'd like to carry on, Mr. Djordjevic, with another
6 topic I think --
7 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Just one more question. I would
8 like to know the year in which he graduated from the Faculty of Law.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I graduated in 1978.
10 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you. When your company went into bankruptcy, you remained
12 jobless. What did you do after that? What did you do for living? Which
13 year was that?
14 A. What I did to survive was that I migrated. Four years in Germany
15 I spent in order to earn money and feed my family, and I always worked.
16 Q. In what year did you come back to Kosovo?
17 A. I returned to Kosova on the 22nd of December, 1996.
18 Q. Upon your return to Kosovo and Metohija, what did you do for
19 living? How did you support yourself?
20 A. I had funds that I had saved from my employment in Germany
21 also inherited some land from my parents, and I worked on that land.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Berisha. Tell me, please, are you aware of the
23 existence of parallel authorities in Kosovo of the Albanian people,
24 including in Suva Reka?
25 A. I don't know of any other parallel structures than the education
1 and medical structures. I don't know about any government authorities or
2 civil authorities. If you consider education and medicine as parallel
3 structures, then those are the ones.
4 Q. I don't want to consider anything. I just wanted to ask you what
5 you know about that. Were you personally involved in any of these
6 parallel systems of education and health care, as you said?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Did you personally have any problems with the Serbian
9 authorities, and by that I mean political persecution or some criminal
10 proceedings instituted against you particularly or primarily on political
12 A. No, because I was very careful.
13 Q. Thank you. When you started recording all these events, as you
14 said you did it of your own free will. Can you please tell me when it
15 all began.
16 A. All the work and activity I conducted for investigating and
17 finding out about war crimes committed by the Yugoslav police and army
18 against the defenceless civilians started on the 13th of June, on the day
19 when in Suhareke the NATO forces entered, they entered Kosova in general.
20 Q. Mr. Berisha, did you inform anyone about your activities in these
22 A. As regards informing someone about my activities, I did not need
23 to inform anyone because it was not an obligation that I had. With
24 regard to finding the truth about the crimes committed, I gave
25 information to everybody, to every organisation that was interested to
1 know about them and to have that information.
2 Q. Did you do this on your own, or did you establish a team for that
4 A. In the beginning, I started to work on my own. On the
5 13th of June when the citizens began to come back to Kosova, the ones
6 that had been expelled to Albania
7 had been affected, families that had been affected, in order to find the
8 truth about victims, how the bodies of victims had been found, and so on.
9 In the beginning, I served as a bridge, as a liaison, between the
10 inhabitants and the forensic teams working on the ground. I communicated
11 directly with them and the relatives authorised me to be their
12 spokesperson because it was impossible for 500 people to -- or more, to
13 speak to them personally. Later on, seeing that there was a lot of
14 demand, much more demand to find the truth, in the year 2000 myself and
15 family members of victims created or established an organisation for
16 aiding the families of victims and missing persons. This organisation
17 still exists, and I am a chairperson.
18 Q. You said at the beginning that you did this voluntarily. How did
19 this develop later on? Was that not voluntarily any longer? If not, how
20 can you describe it?
21 A. From the beginning to the end, I worked voluntarily. I still do.
22 Q. Did you start receiving any remuneration for your work from this
24 A. Never. I never received any kind of remuneration. As I already
25 mentioned, I started this work voluntarily, and I'm still working
1 voluntarily. For the years I've been working, I have never received any
2 kind of remuneration.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues]... or you said that a certain
4 organisation had been set up within the government of Suva Reka, this is
5 what you exactly said in your statement. I'm asking you about how you
6 organised your investigation work concerning crimes committed in
7 Kosovo and Metohija.
8 A. I don't know whether you did not understand my statement or what.
9 When you are speaking about an organisation for the investigation of war
10 crimes. If you are speaking about the end of June when we started
11 examining the mass graves in Suhareke, at that time we asked for the
12 assistance of KFOR. And KFOR offered assistance for us to be able to
13 examine the mass graves and to secure the area and to be sure whether
14 there were or not any exploding devices. So that's how we proceeded with
15 opening of graves and exhumation.
16 Q. Mr. Berisha, am I right to say that most of your knowledge
17 relating to the chronicles that you set up regarding the missing persons
18 and the persons killed during 1999 originates from the next of kin of
19 those who were killed or went missing?
20 A. Yes, most of them from the families.
21 Q. Mr. Berisha, during examination-in-chief my learned colleague
22 showed you two photographs of a firing range that you described as mass
23 grave 1 and mass grave 2. Were you present when these mass graves were
25 A. As I said earlier, I was personally there, and I also said that
1 it was the worst day in my life because in addition to those two
2 photographs that you saw --
3 Q. Mr. Berisha, I'm afraid I have to stop you. That was not my
4 question. My question was: Were you present when these mass graves were
5 made? In other words, when these people were buried in this particular
6 location. I'm not asking you about a later period. I'm asking you
7 whether you were present at the time when people were buried in either of
8 these two mass graves.
9 A. I was lucky I was alive and I was not in that group, because if I
10 had been there, I would be in the grave myself.
11 Q. Do you have any knowledge who buried these people and how?
12 A. Yes, there is information. The fate of those, bodies from the
13 moment they were executed in Suhareke, they were loaded on trucks, both
14 people who were dead and some who were not, and who were able to escape
15 and come and testify here at this Court about the events. This is one.
16 Second, who exhumed these bodies from there? Both in the
17 Milutinovic and Milosevic trials but even later there was a witness who
18 testified, a witness who had been forced to load the bodies on these
19 trucks -- on these trucks.
20 Q. My question was aimed at what you knew about who had buried these
21 people at the execution site. Do you have any knowledge of that?
22 A. No, I have no knowledge of that, but of course that is a
23 well-known fact. And I'm not here to speak about things that I have not
24 witnessed myself. There are other people who can witness to that.
25 Q. Do you know these witnesses, their first and last names, who had
1 eye-witnessed this or just testified about that?
2 A. Well, I have to say that in the year 2000, maybe it was 2001 or
3 2002, I can't remember exactly, after receiving information from the
4 workers who had been forced to exhume those bodies and load them on the
5 refrigerator truck, we watched a documentary film; and in that
6 documentary, you could see the workers or the witnesses who had been
7 forced to do that dirty job. And the footage gives -- in that footage
8 they give the names of the people who had forced them to do the loading
9 of the bodies.
10 Q. I'm not asking you about what you have already told us. I asked
11 you something quite different, and it's clear to everybody here I'm not
12 getting any answer from you but I will move on.
13 Sir, you created a chronicle of the destruction of public and
14 civilian facilities in the territory of Suva Reka
15 destruction of private buildings, public buildings, and religious sites,
16 and so on?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. Mr. Berisha, please tell me, when compiling this information, was
19 there an expert present with you such as any engineers, architects, and
20 so on?
21 A. First of all, the things I saw with my own eyes I described them
22 as being burnt and destroyed. I visited different places on the ground
23 and saw the destroyed buildings. I also received information from the
24 villages and the municipality structures that had assessed the damage
1 Q. Who made the assessment?
2 A. The financial assessment was not important to me. I was
3 interested to know how many of them had been destroyed.
4 Q. Do you know with full certainty who destroyed those buildings,
5 the ones that you listed?
6 A. I don't know what buildings you are referring to.
7 Q. Private buildings, public ones, all the ones that you have
9 A. Well, when you say facilities, buildings, I think of collective
10 buildings; but what I mean are private houses which were burned, stables,
11 cattle, people were expelled from their own homes.
12 Q. My question was: In relation to everything that you compiled, do
13 you have information as to who caused the damage? Do you have
14 information you feel certain about?
15 A. I was an eye-witness of the fact that they were burnt and
16 destroyed. I saw who burnt and destroyed them.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues]... in relation to all the
19 A. Suhareke. If you are asking me about Suhareke, I can say that I
20 was eye-witness to the destruction.
21 Q. In relation to all the facilities described by you? You know the
22 number that is involved.
23 A. There is a municipality report about that and about 12.000 houses
24 were destroyed. That is not my report. That's a municipal report and
25 that is a true figure. That is what resulted after they went on the
1 ground, and I received that information.
2 Q. Mr. Berisha, as a resident of Suva Reka, please tell me, after
3 the NATO bombing began where were the members of the army, where were the
4 members of police, and where were members of any paramilitary forces,
5 volunteers, if any at all? Can you please tell me in which facilities
6 they stayed. For example, during the NATO bombing was the army, were the
7 soldiers, stationed in the barracks?
8 A. No, sir, there were no barracks in Suhareke. If you're asking me
9 where the Yugoslav Army and police were stationed after the
10 24th of March, 1999, I will tell you. The Yugoslav Army was near the
11 vineyards during the NATO bombing but also before NATO bombing because
12 their heavy weaponry were stationed there and they were shelling from
13 that area. Part of the Yugoslav Army was also in -- stationed in a place
14 called Biraq. They also had heavy weaponry there. While the police
15 forces were stationed in the police station in Suhareke in Balkan Hotel.
16 They also had their check-points at the crossroads Reshtan-Suhareke-Pecan
17 and other places as well. A little later, they withdrew from the police
18 station and stationed themselves in private homes, Albanian homes.
19 Q. Can you please tell me, do you know why they withdrew from the
20 police station?
21 A. I know that there was no danger to them. I don't know why they
23 Q. My next question: Do you know that NATO forces bombed the
24 positions of the Serbian army and police that they were aware of, they
25 bombed them from planes?
1 A. No, that's not correct. There was no bombing in Suhareke by
2 NATO. The police station was never bombed and was not exposed to any
3 danger. The Assembly building was not bombed. The positions of the army
4 and the police in the private homes were not bombed.
5 Q. Mr. Berisha, do you know a person named Bislim Zyrapi?
6 A. I've heard his name, I know what village he is from, but I don't
7 know him personally.
8 Q. Thank you. Mr. Berisha, please tell me, after leaving your house
9 in Suva Reka, were you and your family escorted by police while
10 travelling in the convoy in which you were the entire time or not?
11 A. If you're talking about escorting the convoy, I would like to say
12 that we were expelled, and we were forced to leave in a certain amount of
13 time and go to Albania
14 Q. [Previous translation continues]... my question was: Were you
15 escorted by members of police along the road you were travelling on at
16 the time, throughout the entire time? Would you please answer my
18 A. You miscalled me, sir. I'm not Mr. Zyrapi.
19 Q. I apologise.
20 A. As for the escort is concerned, if you're referring to the
21 3rd of April, 1999, at around 15 or 1600 hours we were ordered by the
22 police to leave for Albania
23 The convoy was about 5 kilometres long. There they held us for three
24 days. The police did not allow us to proceed.
25 Q. Were you escorted by police?
1 A. During those two days we were robbed and looted by the police.
2 They robbed me personally. They made people get off their cars and took
3 their cars away --
4 Q. [Previous translation continues]... let me interrupt you once
5 again. I don't have any time to waste.
6 A. I'm not Mr. Zyrapi.
7 Q. Once again you haven't answered my question. I will do my best
8 to try to focus you. Please tell me, Mr. Berisha, in the convoy which
9 was 5 kilometres long you say that you were deported. Were there any
10 members of the KLA that you were aware of in that convoy?
11 A. No, I'm not aware of that. I know it was civilian population.
12 Q. Mr. Berisha, please tell me, did you know that in the vicinity of
13 Suva Reka there were KLA forces?
14 A. What you mean by "vicinity"?
15 Q. In the vicinity. I'm now referring to these 45 villages, not all
16 of them, but when I say "in the vicinity," I mean the territory of the
17 municipality of Suva
18 A. The KLA was active in the territory of the municipality. This is
19 what I stated in my statement and I'm telling you now.
20 Q. Thank you. Please tell me, did you ever see a single member of
21 the KLA; and if so, would you tell me whether they had uniforms or not
22 and in general how they were dressed, if you saw any?
23 A. Yes, I had an opportunity to see member of the KLA in 1998
24 dressed in uniforms. I've also seen them on television.
25 Q. Which television?
1 A. I don't know whether it was on RTS or RTSH.
2 Q. Did you see any members of the KLA in civilian clothing?
3 A. No. I couldn't tell whether there was a soldier dressed in
4 civilian's clothes or not.
5 Q. In the territory of Suva Reka
6 protection and Territorial Defence who had been organised by the KLA?
7 Are you aware of that?
8 A. You mean from the Albanians?
9 Q. Naturally. I said "organised by the KLA."
10 A. No, there wasn't any such organisation, at least not to what I
12 Q. I don't know whether you will be surprised to hear that the
13 Chief of Staff of the KLA, Mr. Zyrapi, stated that there was civilian
14 protection in Suva Reka. Now my next question, and we are approaching
15 the end of this cross-examination, is this: Do you know who
16 Milorad Nisavic is?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And who is he?
19 A. I know him as an appearance. Milorad Nisavic was a security --
20 state security inspector in Suhareke.
21 Q. Do you know who Zoran Lazic is?
22 A. Yes. I know Zoran and Miki, the two brothers. I know Zoran from
23 earlier, he was the oldest brother, and he lived very close to my
24 parents' house. Secondly, he worked for a long time as a driver in the
25 organisation that I mentioned earlier.
1 Q. Do you know anything else about him? Have you said anything else
2 about him, about Zoran Lazic?
3 A. I know that he is Lazo's and Vera's son.
4 Q. Do you know who Hysni Berisha is?
5 A. There are many Hysni Berishas, but I guess they should know me.
6 Q. Do you know who Halit Berisha is?
7 A. Yes, I do. He is a relative of mine, member of the organisation
8 that I chair.
9 Q. What is the name of the organisation that you chair?
10 A. Shpresimi.
11 Q. Could that be translated for me, please. I know that this word
12 stands for something, it means something. I know it's not a name.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note that in English "Shpresimi"
14 would be hope or hoping.
15 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Q. Do you know who Dr. Boban Vuksanovic is, Bobak?
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I'm not receiving
19 THE WITNESS: [Previous translation continues]... I knew
20 Dr. Bobak Vuksanovic.
21 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Do you know whether this doctor was president of Suva Reka
23 municipality? Was he a mayor perhaps?
24 A. I'm not sure but I think he was. As I said, I was at the time in
1 Q. Do you know what happened to Dr. Bobak Vuksanovic?
2 A. I heard that sometime in April or May he was killed.
3 Q. What did you hear?
4 A. He was killed and buried.
5 Q. What year?
6 A. I saw the announcement of his death on a pole, on a post, it was
7 sometime in April 1999. I moved about in Suhareke, and I saw the
9 Q. How do you know that he was killed and it wasn't a case of
10 natural death? How come you know that?
11 A. As I said, I read this announcement that was published and posted
12 in public places.
13 Q. Do you know how the doctor was killed?
14 A. That I don't know. I have no information.
15 Q. And since you were not in Germany
16 doctor did at the time, say in 1998 and 1999, or do you not know?
17 A. In 1999, after the commencement of NATO bombing, I saw Dr. Bobak
18 dressed in green camouflage uniform. I don't know what his job exactly
20 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
21 questions for Mr. Hysni Berisha. I have no further questions.
22 Q. Thank you for coming and telling us what you had to say,
23 Mr. Berisha.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic.
25 Ms. Nilsen, is there re-examination?
1 MS. NILSEN: Yes, thank you, Your Honours. I have very few
2 questions for re-examination.
3 Re-examination by Ms. Nilsen:
4 Q. Mr. Berisha, you were asked by my learned colleague whether you
5 were present when the mass graves were made or present at the time when
6 the people were buried in the two mass graves that you have pointed out
7 for us, and your answer was eventually no. I'm referring to page 37 and
8 38 of the transcript. My question to you is whether you ever did observe
9 any acts to what you would think related to the preparing or creating of
10 these mass graves in Prizren?
11 A. Yes. On the 3rd of April while in the convoy when we were
12 expelled and ordered to go to Albania
13 stopped at that part of the road from the police station in Lubishte, in
14 the direction of Suhareke. I was very near these two grave-sites, one on
15 the right side and one on the left side. It was dark, it was raining,
16 and I heard some machinery working, the noise of this equipment, and the
17 lights of these machines on. I saw two excavators working that day, but
18 I wasn't aware of the work they were doing. Later on it was verified
19 that these two excavators were exhuming the bodies.
20 Q. And these equipment and these machines you are referring to, did
21 you see them? Can you just describe them?
22 A. It was impossible because it was raining and it was dark, but I
23 could see the headlights, and I could hear the noise of these vehicles;
24 and that's why I came to the conclusion that these were heavy machinery
25 used to dig or to do some work there.
1 Q. And for how long did you observe this work going on?
2 A. I could not say because, as I said, it was cold, it was raining,
3 and we always were scared looking after -- looking to find shelter. So I
4 didn't have a watch at the time. Maybe it was 2.00 or 3.00 -- hours.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Correction.
6 MS. NILSEN:
7 Q. And how far away would you approximately say that you were from
8 these construction workers or these machines at the time?
9 A. As the crow flies, I would say about 600, 700 metres, 1 kilometre
10 the most.
11 Q. Okay. Thank you. Did you ever speak to anyone who were involved
12 in loading these bodies that you took part in identifying afterwards into
13 these mass graves?
14 A. Yes, I spoke with three workers that were engaged in loading
15 these bodies. They were employers of Higijena Tehnika from Prizren, two
16 Romas and one Albanian. I spoke with them about what had happened there.
17 Q. And what did he tell you?
18 A. These three persons told me that on the 3rd of April,
19 2nd or 3rd of April, they were forced to load the bodies onto the
20 refrigerator truck, that it was police forces that ordered them to do
21 that. They said that the police were digging the bodies, whereas they
22 were forced to load them onto the truck. They also said that they were
23 beaten and that they were not allowed to look on the size and check for
24 the truck. They didn't know to which direction this truck went. And
25 they also said that after they finished the job they were returned to
1 Prizren. They were very distressed.
2 Q. Do you remember when this conversation took place with these
4 A. I don't quite remember, perhaps in July, late July or
5 early August.
6 Q. And when did they tell you that they had to load these bodies
7 into the graves, and did they tell you that that took place?
8 A. They didn't know the exact date. They only described the
9 weather. They said it was raining, that it was dark, and that it was
10 sometimes in early April. So I reached the conclusion that this should
11 be the date of their loading the bodies onto the truck.
12 Q. And you mean -- you mean the same night as you were observing the
14 A. Yes, the same night.
15 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Berisha.
16 MS. NILSEN: Your Honours, I have no further questions for the
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Berisha, you'll be pleased to know that that
21 completes the questioning for you. The Chamber has your statement and
22 your previous evidence and what you have been able to tell us today. We
23 would like to thank you for coming to The Hague yet again and for the
24 assistance that you have been able to give. You are now, of course, free
25 to return to your normal activities and the court officer will assist you
1 to leave. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE PARKER: I think this would be a practical time for the
5 second break --
6 MR. STAMP: Indeed.
7 JUDGE PARKER: -- and we will resume at five minutes to 6.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 5.23 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 5.58 p.m.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please read aloud the affirmation on the
14 card shown to you now.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
16 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 WITNESS: HALIT BERISHA
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
20 Ms. Gopalan has some questions for you.
21 Examination by Ms. Gopalan:
22 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. Please could you state your full name
23 for the record.
24 A. Good afternoon, I am Halit Berisha. I was born on the
25 5th of August, 1940, Suhareke, Republic of Kosova
1 Q. Thank you. And what is your current occupation, Mr. Berisha?
2 A. I am currently a pensioner, but I was a teacher before.
3 Q. And where do you live now, Mr. Berisha?
4 A. I live in Suhareke.
5 Q. Thank you. In August 2001 did you provide a statement to the
6 Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY?
7 A. Yes. On the 17th of August, 2001.
8 Q. Thank you. And have you recently had the opportunity to review
9 this statement?
10 A. Yes, I read it. I read it again.
11 Q. And having read the statement again, are you satisfied that it
12 contents are true and accurate to the best of your knowledge and belief?
13 A. I made two or three corrections to dates to the statement that I
15 Q. And are you satisfied that these corrections have been reflected
16 in the statement?
17 A. I think yes.
18 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, I seek to tender this statement into
19 evidence. It's 65 ter number 2326.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. It will be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00598, Your Honours.
22 MS. GOPALAN:
23 Q. Mr. Berisha, did you testify previously in the trial of
24 Milutinovic et al. in this Tribunal in September 2006?
25 A. Yes, I testified then and in 2002 in the Milosevic trial.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. I testified in September 2006 in the Milutinovic et al. trial.
3 Q. And have you had the opportunity to review your testimony in the
4 Milutinovic trial recently?
5 A. Yes, I read it all.
6 Q. Thank you. And having reviewed your testimony, you have made a
7 change to it, and I will now read out the change so that you can confirm
8 that it is correct.
9 At page 3612 [sic], line 24, in the Milutinovic case you named a
10 reservist policeman as Novic, Radovan. You corrected this individual's
11 name. You said that it should read Novic, Djuro; is that correct?
12 A. I mentioned his brother's name by chance and then I mentioned his
13 name, Novic, Djuro which should be the correct name in the transcript.
14 Q. Thank you. And having made this change to your previous
15 testimony, if you were asked the same questions today would you provide
16 the same answers?
17 A. Of course, yes.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, I'd like to tender the Milutinovic
20 testimony of this witness. It's 65 ter 5040.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Before we do that, I have a trouble with your
22 reference. Page 3612, line 24 of the Milutinovic transcript --
23 MS. GOPALAN: Yes.
24 JUDGE PARKER: -- doesn't contain the reference that you have
1 MS. GOPALAN: My apologies. It should be page 3616, line 24. I
2 misspoke, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
4 The transcript will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00599, Your Honours.
6 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, in order to proceed efficiently with
7 the exhibits that are associated to this transcript, I propose to read
8 out the 65 ter numbers of these exhibits so that the Registrar can assign
9 an exhibit number. If it pleases Your Honours, I will propose -- I
10 propose to proceed in this way.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
12 MS. GOPALAN: The following exhibits that I'm going to read out
13 are listed in page 8 of the annex B of the Prosecution's 92 bis filing.
14 65 ter number 2325.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00600, Your Honours.
16 MS. GOPALAN: 65 ter 778.
17 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00601.
18 MS. GOPALAN: 65 ter 779.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00602.
20 MS. GOPALAN: 65 ter 780.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00603.
22 MS. GOPALAN: 65 ter 784.
23 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00604.
24 MS. GOPALAN: 65 ter 785.
25 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00605.
1 MS. GOPALAN: 65 ter 786.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00606.
3 MS. GOPALAN: 65 ter 787.
4 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00607.
5 MS. GOPALAN: 65 ter 788.
6 THE REGISTRAR: That would be P00608.
7 MS. GOPALAN: 65 ter 789.
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00609.
9 MS. GOPALAN: 65 ter 790.
10 THE REGISTRAR: That would be P00610.
11 MS. GOPALAN: 65 ter 794.
12 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00611.
13 MS. GOPALAN: 65 ter 5041.
14 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00612.
15 MS. GOPALAN: And 65 ter 5042.
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00613, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
18 MS. GOPALAN: I will now read the witness's in-court summary.
19 The witness is a Muslim male from Suva Reka. He was the former
20 mayor of Suva Reka and describes his forcible removal from this role in
21 the early 1990s. The witness also describes the events in Suva Reka from
22 the 24th of March, 1999, including the movement of Serb forces in
23 Suva Reka and snipers positioned in the town.
24 On the 26th of March, 1999, around noon, the witness got a call
25 from his brother, Jashar Berisha, telling him that people had been killed
1 at the shopping centre and that the witness and his family should leave.
2 The witness called his brother later in the afternoon and learned from
3 his brother that Sedat, Nexhat, and Bujar Berisha had been killed by the
4 police and their families and that -- my apologies, and that their
5 families had been massacred in the shopping centre in Suva Reka.
6 On the 28th of March, 1999, the witness heard an explosion and
7 saw the minaret of the mosque in Suva Reka destroyed. Later that
8 evening, a Serb policeman who was a neighbour came to the witness's home
9 and told him that he must go to Albania
12 In late May 1999 the police came once again to the witness's
13 aunt's house, where the witness was staying, and ordered him and his
14 family to leave for Albania
15 others towards Albania
16 witness and others and checked their identification papers. Some of them
17 had their ID documentation confiscated.
18 In the summer of 1999, the witness participated in the
19 identification of personal belongings found during the exhumations of a
20 mass grave located between Prizren and Suva Reka. There he identified
21 part of his brother's leg based on the clothing worn by his brother on
22 the day he was killed. The witness also provided a blood sample for the
23 purposes of DNA
24 his brother's remains were identified in Batajnica. The witness's
25 brother is Jashar Berisha who is a scheduled victim in Schedule D of the
2 That is the end of my in-court summary.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
4 MS. GOPALAN:
5 Q. Mr. Berisha, since the Trial Chamber already has your previous
6 testimony and statements -- and statement before it, I only have a few
7 questions for you. I would like to take you back to the
8 26th of March, 1999, that is the day the members of the Berisha family
9 were killed in Suva Reka. I have some questions for you about your
10 brother Jashar Berisha. Mr. Berisha, what did your brother work as?
11 A. On the 26th of March, 1999, my brother was working at the petrol
12 station in Suhareke of -- station of the firm Beopetrol. He worked there
13 for 30 years. That day in the morning, about 8.00 in the morning, he
14 went to work. He also was at work on the 25th from morning until 5.00 in
15 the afternoon. And I told him not to go to work because there was a war
16 going on and I didn't want him to suffer something bad.
17 Q. And at that --
18 A. However, he took his lunch with him and some milk and went to
20 Q. Thank you. And how old was your brother at that time, if you
22 A. He was born in 1943.
23 Q. Now, going back to the 26th of March when your brother left for
24 work at the petrol station on that day, could you tell us what your
25 brother was wearing?
1 A. Yes. He was wearing a blue jacket, on the back of which you
2 could see Beopetrol written on it, the name of the company. He was
3 wearing jeans trousers, and the trousers he also had the bottom part of a
4 track suit and he was also wearing long johns with stripes on the side.
5 This is what he was wearing that day when he went to work.
6 Q. Do you remember what colour the bottom part of his track suit
8 A. He was wearing blue jeans, under them the track suit trousers
9 were red, and then his underwear, long underwear, white but with some
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Berisha. After the 26th of March did you see your
12 brother again?
13 A. The last time I spoke to him was at 1400 hours from my aunt's
14 telephone, and from that time on we did not see him again. We waited for
15 him to come back home from work at 5.00 p.m. but he didn't show up.
16 Q. When you say you spoke to him at 1400 hours, what day was that or
17 what was the date that you spoke to him at that time?
18 A. It was the 26th of March because at 12.20 he called me and said,
19 Leave your homes because there is a massacre going on at the shopping
20 centre. And he told me that Sedat and other people had been killed at
21 the shopping centre. So I got my family members together and my
22 neighbour's family together. We left our homes and went towards the
23 river. We were scared that massacres would happen in other parts of the
24 town just like the one at the shopping centre.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Berisha. I'd now like to take you forward in
1 time. In your testimony in Milutinovic you speak about participating in
2 identifying personal belongings that were found in a mass grave between
3 Prizren and Suva
4 A. The artefacts or personal belongings that were identified were
5 found after we returned from Albania
6 was expelled on the 21st of May, and on the 24th and 25th of June, at the
7 place called Kroj e Popit, people had been exhumed. And we found some
8 personal belongings of the bodies, and we also found a leg together with
9 the clothing I described earlier. I was together with my wife and
10 Ramadan Haxhiu. We took the things we found and submitted those things
11 to the English mission. They cleaned the belongings and photographed
12 them, everything we had found, jackets, slippers, everything.
13 Q. I -- Mr. Berisha --
14 A. These were found on the 24th.
15 Q. Thank you. I'd now like you to look at a document on the screen.
16 MS. GOPALAN: If I could call up 65 ter 133, page 6 of the
17 document. Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 MS. GOPALAN: Thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Berisha, you just told us that you participated in an
21 identification process and that you identified some personal belongings.
22 In this document before you, do you recognise any items that belonged to
23 your brother Jashar Berisha?
24 A. Yes. KRA/1072. This is part of the leg, so KRA/1072.
25 Q. And what is the red piece of cloth that is located just above the
2 A. It's the track suit.
3 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, I'd like to tender this exhibit into
4 evidence, please.
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 JUDGE PARKER: [Microphone not activated]
8 I should repeat what I just said.
9 It seems already to be part of Exhibit P591.
10 MS. GOPALAN: In which case I will just make the reference to the
11 document Exhibit P591 and not seek to tender it as a new exhibit.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
13 MS. GOPALAN: Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Berisha, we just saw on the screen the -- a part of your
15 brother's limb that you found at this exhumation site. What happened to
16 the rest of his body, do you know?
17 A. Yes, I do. In the forensic office - I did not know this then but
18 I know it now - the forensic office in Prishtina that dealt with the
19 identification of the bodies, these bodies came from Batajnica in
21 told that he had been fired at his back and his head. He had bullet
22 marks. He was killed on the 26th of March, 1999.
23 When I gave the statement, I did not know these things, but
24 because we are working to find the truth about missing persons and
25 victims, we work closely with the forensic office in Prishtina and they
1 explained to us everything.
2 Q. Mr. Berisha, just to clarify your answer, was the remains of your
3 brother's body subsequently found in Batajnica? Is that what you just
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. And did you provide a blood sample to a forensic
7 team, if you recall?
8 A. Yes. Myself, my brother Ekrem Berisha and my sister
9 Hajziza Binaku.
10 Q. Thank you. Mr. Berisha, I would now like to move on to another
11 topic. In your statement you speak about an event you witnessed on the
12 28th of March, 1999.
13 MS. GOPALAN: For the Trial Chamber's reference this is at page 3
14 of the witness's statement.
15 Q. And you say that you saw a minaret destroyed on that day. Where
16 were you when you heard this explosion?
17 A. On the 28th of March at 11.55 I was in my garden and at that time
18 I heard an explosion. And when I turned to look what had happened, I
19 immediately saw that I could not see the minaret of the mosque. The
20 mosque is only about 250, 300 metres from my house, so you can clearly
21 see -- you could clearly see the minaret. A few minutes later, because
22 my house is very close to the Prizren-Prishtina road, I saw a car of the
23 Serbian army, camouflage colours, green and olive, which was driving
24 towards Prishtina up to a place called Biraq where the Serbian army was
1 Q. Thank you. I'll just stop you there for a moment, Mr. Berisha,
2 just a moment. Before we move on to this car that you saw, going back to
3 the minaret being destroyed, did anyone else witness this explosion to
4 your knowledge?
5 A. Yes. Seven or eight minutes later - there is a cousin of mine
6 who is married into the Elshani family, they live close to the mosque,
7 and she told me that the minaret had been mined by the Serbian army.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MS. GOPALAN: I'd like to call up 65 ter 1807, please.
10 Q. Mr. Berisha, if you could turn your attention to the document
11 that will appear on the screen in a moment.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you recognise this photograph?
14 A. Yes, this is the mosque in Suhareke, but in this photograph there
15 is no minaret. The minaret was on my right -- on the right side of the
16 picture as I see it.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MS. GOPALAN: I'd like to tender this document into evidence,
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00614, Your Honours.
22 MS. GOPALAN:
23 Q. Before I finish, Mr. Berisha, one final question: Did the
24 28th of March have any religious or special significance for you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And what was the significance?
2 A. Yes. That was Bajram day, which is a Muslim celebration, but
3 that day nobody went to the mosque to pray for fear that some greater
4 massacre would occur. There was nobody at the mosque.
5 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Berisha. I have no further questions
6 for you at this stage.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
8 Mr. Djordjevic.
9 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Just a minute while preparing.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Djordjevic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good evening, Mr. Berisha.
12 A. Good afternoon.
13 Q. As Defence counsel of the accused, Mr. Djordjevic, I'm going to
14 ask you a few questions. My first question, Mr. Berisha, for you is the
15 following: Before the beginning of the NATO bombing, were there any
16 clashes between the Kosovo Liberation Army and the Serbian forces in
17 Suva Reka and the surrounding area?
18 A. In Suhareke there were never any clashes because the KLA forces
19 were never present in Suhareke. They were in the villages around
20 Suhareke, yes, but never in Suhareke itself.
21 Q. Prior to the beginning of NATO bombing, were you personally aware
22 of the cases of abduction of Serbs?
23 A. Prior to the NATO bombing there was only one case when a Serb was
24 killed on the 22nd of March, 1999, in a shop in Suhareke. And that day
25 the Serb police in a street which we call the street behind the old post
1 office, they killed 11 persons that had nothing to do with the killing of
2 that Serb citizen. To this day we know nothing about the bodies of these
3 people who were killed by the Serbian police. They are missing. There
4 were no abductions of Serbs in the town of Suhareke. I don't know about
5 elsewhere, but not in Suhareke.
6 Q. Do you know whether any such instances took place after the NATO
7 bombing started? I'm not referring only to Suva Reka but to the
8 surrounding villages as well.
9 A. I lived in Suhareke. There was war going on in the villages
10 around, but I had no knowledge about the fighting going on in the
11 territory of Suhareke
12 Serbian police and army forces and the KLA. There were no such fightings
13 or battles in the town of Suhareke
14 Q. Thank you. Do you have any knowledge about the killings of
15 members of the police regardless of their ethnicities, both before the
16 NATO bombing and during the NATO bombing?
17 A. The fighting mainly occurred outside the town of Suhareke, and
18 throughout the time before and during the bombing and up until
19 21st of May I was first in Suhareke; and as of 28th of March I was in the
20 village of Stavrove. So there were no cases of Serbs being killed.
21 Q. I asked you about members of the police, regardless of whether
22 they were Serbs, Albanians, or any other ethnicity. That was my
23 question. Do you know of any such incidents in which the policemen were
24 killed in the area of Suva Reka?
25 A. I have no knowledge about that.
1 Q. Thank you. Do you have any knowledge about the killings of
2 prominent Serbs in Suva Reka after the beginning of the NATO bombing?
3 A. I don't know who you're referring to as prominent Serbs. Those
4 who were prominent Serbs from the mayor of Suhareke and other officials
5 in the municipality, they're still alive.
6 Q. Tell me, do you know what territories in the area of Suva Reka
7 were under the control of the KLA? Please try to give me an answer by
8 making reference to a specific region or village. As far as I know,
9 there were 42 villages in the area of Suva Reka municipality.
10 A. In the area of Suhareke municipality on the right side of the
11 road Prishtina-Prizren, you find the villages of Dobrodeljane and
12 Semetisht, and up to Pagarusha there were the liberation army forces,
13 whereas in Musitiste and in Vorane, where there was Serbs, there were
14 forces -- Serb forces there. The Albanian population was expelled on the
15 2nd of April in Musitiste and Sopi, in Vranishte and Bukosh they were
16 expelled and ordered to go to Albania
18 Q. Can you tell me who was in control of the village of Belanica
19 A. The village of Bellanice
20 to Suhareke municipality.
21 Q. Do you know whether members of the KLA were there?
22 A. I don't know. I never was in Bellanice or Malisheve.
23 Q. Can you answer me this: Do you know which specific KLA units
24 were deployed in the area of Suva Reka?
25 A. I don't know about specific KLA units, but I know of a certain
1 number of Albanians who took up arms to fight the Serb police and
2 military forces. It was impossible for me to leave the house and even
3 cross the road Prishtina-Prizren because there was a large number of
4 policemen in the town and also locals who were wearing military uniforms.
5 So it was impossible for me to cross on to the other side where the
6 forces of the liberation army were.
7 Q. Do you know -- or for start, did you ever see members of the KLA
8 in the area of Suva Reka; and in connection with that, did you have an
9 occasion to see what kind of uniforms and arms they were wearing?
10 A. Yes. After the 28th of March when a large number of citizens
11 were expelled from Suhareke I went to Stavrove and Budakove and there I
12 saw some KLA soldiers. They were at Budakove in the mountains. The
13 uniform they wore was kind of a camouflage uniform; however, many of them
14 didn't have uniforms.
15 Q. Can you describe for us briefly what kind of camouflage uniforms
16 and what kind of weapons did the KLA members have?
17 A. It was a camouflage uniform, green pattern, and they had
18 different types of weapons.
19 Q. Thank you. What were those members of the KLA who didn't have
20 uniforms wearing? What clothes did they have?
21 A. Those who didn't have uniforms had some old clothes, normal
22 civilian clothes.
23 Q. Did some of KLA members wear a kind of mixed clothes, partly
24 military/partly civilian?
25 A. There were not so many dressed like that. Some had some
1 raincoats to protect them from rain, military coats, and otherwise they
2 had civilian clothes underneath.
3 Q. Mr. Berisha, now that we're dealing with the KLA, my next
4 question is this: In the territory of Suva Reka
5 civilian protection?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Thank you. My next question is this: While you were staying in
8 Suva Reka, members of the Serbian forces had uniforms. My first question
9 is: Did all of them have uniforms?
10 A. I lived in a neighbourhood only a street separated us from
11 Serbian families, Trajkovic, Cvetkovic, and so forth. They -- members of
12 these families who were older than 18 had uniforms; some had police, blue
13 camouflage uniforms; some others had the military, green camouflage
14 uniforms. A citizen was wearing the typical cap with a sign of the old
15 Serbian monarchy. They were all armed with Kalashnikovs.
16 Q. Now you are talking about those who were local Serbs, residents
17 of Suva
18 certain unit or was that not always the case?
19 A. We could tell that those who were wearing blue camouflage
20 uniforms belonged to police units, whereas those with green camouflage
21 uniforms belonged to the army. I saw them with my own eyes, because as I
22 said only a street separated our houses and I knew all of them by their
23 names. They had been mobilised, almost all of them who I knew.
24 Q. My next question has to do with uniforms. What other uniforms
25 did you see while staying there in Suva Reka in those unfortunate times?
1 A. I happened to see only once part of them wearing black uniforms
2 and red and blue head-scarfs. They moved around in Pinzgauers, and
3 whoever they happened to see in the street they would collect them and
4 those people would never be seen again. This was the only time I saw
5 these kind of forces. As I said, it was impossible for me to go out on
6 the main street; and where I lived, behind there, it was impossible for
7 them to enter this area with their vehicle. So I described to you their
8 clothes. They were wearing black clothes, and they had shaven heads.
9 Q. You mentioned your neighbours, the Trajkovic family and the
10 others. I naturally know that they were not the only Serbs in Suva Reka.
11 How many other people, Serbs, did you recognise wearing police or
12 military uniforms? Could you give us an approximate number, people that
13 you personally knew, at least by sight.
14 A. I could not give you their number, but for the majority of them
15 we found some documents in the territorial and civil protection. You can
16 say that there was such, not only in Suhareke but in other Serb villages,
17 Leshan, Popovan, and so on. I personally couldn't go to this -- to these
18 villages to verify this, but those in Suhareke, as I said, were mobilised
19 and were dressed in blue camouflage uniforms and green camouflage
20 uniforms. I don't know the -- their exact number.
21 Q. Tell me please, were there any instances where you knew, in
22 relation to, say, a Roma person, a Muslim - if not an Albanian - that he
23 was a member of the Serbian forces? I'm now referring to the local
25 A. You mean local residents that belonged to police units? I think
1 there were two or three such persons. There was a Roma person from
2 Leshan village. He was member of a police unit. I cannot recall his
3 name right now. I don't know his name, but I know that he was a member
4 of a police unit.
5 Q. These mentioned -- these persons that you mentioned were members
6 of the Serbian forces. Do they live in Suva Reka to this day? Is your
7 answer no? Am I right?
8 A. No, they do not live in Suhareke. I don't know where they are
9 currently. They are not in Suhareke municipality, though.
10 Q. I would now like to briefly revisit 1991. In the documents that
11 were provided by the Prosecution we have some material concerning the
12 Socialist Party of Serbia and the letter 1991 where they request that you
13 and some other individuals, who seem to be Albanian, at least judging by
14 their last names, resign. Could you please give an audible answer for
15 the sake of the transcript. Is it yes? Is your answer yes?
16 A. [No interpretation]
17 Q. Thank you. Did you see that letter which was provided by the
19 A. I do have that letter. The Socialist Party of Serbia, the branch
20 in Suhareke, requested from the Serbian Assembly to issue a decision for
21 removal of myself as the mayor, then Sefer Ljuznica, and some others. We
22 didn't resign but we were removed, we were dismissed, and our
23 constitutional right was violated.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Gopalan.
25 MS. GOPALAN: For ease of reference, Your Honours, please, could
1 we have an exhibit number so that I'm able to follow this document that
2 the witness is referring to. Thank you.
3 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I tried to be efficient, but all
4 right we will wait up. That's P601. Could we please see that document
5 on the screen.
6 Q. I did this because my learned friend asked me to do that. You
7 are obviously familiar with this letter, so I won't ask you to read it
8 right now. But the let me ask you this: The reasons given by them in
9 relation to everybody was the support to the Kacanik group and lack of
10 respect for the constitutional system of the Republic of Serbia
11 on. And then they propose that you be dismissed.
12 Could you please tell us something about the reasons why they
13 wrote this, whether these reasons were grounded and whether they
14 represented really your activities in Suva Reka at the time, and this is
15 why the Socialist Party of Serbia proposed this at the time.
16 A. I don't know the reason why they wrote this letter. We found
17 this letter upon our return from Albania
18 take into their own hands the authority and power in Suhareke
19 municipality, the Serbs. They -- I didn't want to work under those
20 discriminatory laws issued by Serb authorities. The structure of the
21 population in Suhareke at the time was 95 per cent Albanian and
22 5 per cent Serb. There were 2 or 300 Romas. There were no other
23 ethnicities. So they requested this at the Assembly and then the
24 Assembly issued this decision for us to be dismissed from work.
25 Q. You say that -- you say that Serbia had discriminatory laws. Are
1 you referring to the constitution of Serbia or something else, something
2 broader than that?
3 A. Discriminatory laws which in 1999 were no longer in use by a
4 decision of the administrator of Kosovo.
5 Q. We're discussing 1991 when this happened to you. We are not
6 dealing with 1999 at the moment. Now let us move away from that time
7 which is not relevant. My next question is this: From that point in
8 time until the beginning of NATO bombing, the 24th of March, 1999, how
9 did you support yourself? What did you do?
10 A. From 5th of April, because the decision of the Serbian Assembly
11 was issued on the 4th of April, 1991. On the 5th of April, five persons
12 came to my office and brought me this decision and basically expelled me
13 from office. Later on, I was given another decision on me being
14 dismissed from work. The decision stated that I had no right to appeal.
15 So as that moment -- from that moment onwards I lived from my own funds.
16 I was not involved in any other activity except for agricultural
17 activity. I worked on my own land that I had as my property in order to
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic, we are told that there's a matter
20 that needs to be raised with the Chamber before we finish tonight. Would
21 that be a convenient time to interrupt your cross-examination?
22 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I have enough
23 questions for this witness, not much, but enough to warrant me continuing
24 tomorrow. The document that is on the screen, I will not tender it into
25 evidence. It is already in evidence and I do not wish to dwell on this
1 document any longer. I will continue tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning, if
2 I'm not mistaken. Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
4 Mr. Berisha, we must adjourn for the evening shortly, and we
5 continue tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning. We would ask you to return
6 then to complete your evidence. The court officer will assist you.
7 Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp, I understand there's a matter you wish
11 to raise.
12 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours. I wish to announce to the
13 Court that there were two witnesses, the last witnesses on the schedule
14 for this week will not be available to testify at all this week. And
15 therefore, the next witness will be the last witness brought for this
16 week. On Friday, as it were, the way things were moving with the
17 witness, Professor Dunjic left over to come into this week, and also
18 Witness Deretic, that we thought would take a much longer time having
19 regard to how things were going, there was a discussion with the
20 Victims and Witnesses Unit in which it was -- it became plain that the
21 risk of bringing the witnesses here this week when we did not expect them
22 to be reached was too great because this is not a long weekend, really.
23 If they came and they could not be reached then it would be very
24 costly. So -- but as it turned out it seems that we may have had time
25 for them. So I just wanted to advise the Court that they are not here
1 and that is the reason why the last two witnesses are not here. In the
2 circumstances the next witness, Zogaj, would be the last witness for this
3 week. And the second thing that he arrives today, this evening -- or is
4 expected to arrive this evening and therefore would not be available for
5 testimony at all tomorrow. And that is, to some degree, as a result of
6 the change in the scheduling from evening to morning. That is my
8 So I just wanted to make the Court aware that we will have
9 witnesses, but if -- depending on how long counsel takes with these
10 witnesses we might have time tomorrow and also on Friday where we don't
11 have witnesses because things speeded up very, very significantly
12 yesterday and today -- sorry, I meant Thursday. When I said "Friday," I
13 meant Thursday. Thank you very much, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Before you sit, Mr. Stamp, did you consult with
15 the Chamber's officers before you made arrangements not to bring these
17 MR. STAMP: No, Your Honour, we did not. We saw how the schedule
18 was working and -- on Friday, and on Friday we were told we would have to
19 decide whether or not they would be brought and what the risks were if
20 they were not brought or if they were brought and could not testify.
21 JUDGE PARKER: The schedule of witnesses, Mr. Stamp, is in the
22 hands of the Chamber --
23 MR. STAMP: Very well.
24 JUDGE PARKER: -- Mr. Stamp. Do you understand. We should have
25 been consulted through our staff. It means that we must fall behind by
1 two witnesses in the programme for this week. We do appreciate, though,
2 that with the long break that follows, we can understand that you would
3 have a care to try and ensure that no witness was part heard. Your
4 enthusiasm in that regard seems to have been a little too strong.
5 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour, apparently.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Now, can I turn to the witness yet to come,
7 Shefqet Zogaj, did you say he would not be available tomorrow?
8 MR. STAMP: He can be made available tomorrow, Your Honours, but
9 he will arrive tonight, and he would need some time to review his
10 statement and his evidence which is pretty substantial. He would need a
11 couple of hours at least to review it.
12 JUDGE PARKER: You're really saying you want us to sit just to
13 finish the present witness for a short time tomorrow morning and then to
14 deal with the witness Zogaj on Thursday?
15 MR. STAMP: Indeed, Your Honour. I don't know -- yes,
16 Your Honour. That is the situation as it is now. One -- I'm sorry. One
17 alternative that had been suggested but this is something I don't know
18 about is whether or not we could take him in the afternoon and not having
19 to have to return on Friday, but that is not something that I am able to
20 manage. It's way out of my bailiwick.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic, how long would you anticipate
23 being with the present witness, Mr. Berisha?
24 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at least 20 minutes
25 and not more than 50 minutes tomorrow. So is the Chamber considering
1 that we hear both witnesses on Thursday?
2 JUDGE PARKER: No, the Chamber is considering whether we will
3 hear both witnesses tomorrow, Mr. Djordjevic. My next question is: How
4 long do you anticipate being with the witness Zogaj?
5 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] About one hour, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Mr. --
7 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Naturally, I must add, unless
8 there is some substantial additional information once the Prosecution
9 completes their proofing of the witness.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp, the view of the Chamber is that we
12 should hear both witnesses tomorrow. Because of the position in which
13 you find yourself, we will not commence the evidence of the remaining
14 witness, that is Zogaj, until 11.15. We will finish the present witness,
15 break, and then resume at 11.15. That ought to enable what has to be
16 done in the morning to be accomplished and that commencing at 11.15 ought
17 to enable his evidence to be completed in the usual time tomorrow.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. STAMP: Very well, Your Honours. We'll endeavour to fit
20 within that time schedule.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Is there any particular problem with that ?
22 MR. STAMP: It is the read-back of the evidence, if we'll have
23 sufficient time to do so.
24 [Prosecution counsel confer]
25 JUDGE PARKER: You may have to start early, Mr. Stamp.
1 MR. STAMP: We will -- we will do whatever is necessary to fit
2 within that time schedule.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
4 Very well. We will adjourn now to resume tomorrow morning at
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.07 p.m.
7 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 8th day of
8 April, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.