1 Wednesday, 8 April 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Berisha, the affirmation you made to tell the
7 truth in your evidence still applies.
8 Mr. Djordjevic.
9 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 WITNESS: HALIT BERISHA [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Djordjevic: [Continued]
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Berisha.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. I will continue with my cross-examination. After 1992 and 1993,
16 do you know whether parallel authorities existed as set up by the
17 Albanian population at that time?
18 A. In my municipality there were no parallel authorities. The full
19 authority there was exercised by the Serbian authorities. There were two
20 segments of life that were organised by the Albanian citizens, and that
21 was the health care and education. There was no other parallel
23 Q. You mentioned health care and education. Were you personally
24 involved in any of these activities and services?
25 A. No, I didn't work in any of them. As I already said yesterday, I
1 was involved in agriculture in order to survive.
2 Q. After, as you put it, your expulsion from the municipality, did
3 you have any problems with the Serbian authorities? And by that I mean
4 political persecution or criminal prosecution or something of that
6 A. I only had a problem once when my late brother had a car
7 accident, a POP
8 forces came and examined the situation, and I was taken together with him
9 and my other cousin. The police took us and interviewed us. This was in
11 Q. Thank you. What do you do now, Mr. Berisha?
12 A. I am a pensioner. I work as a volunteer for finding out the
13 truth about victims and missing persons. We have a coordinating council
14 at the level of the whole country which deals with these issues, with the
15 fate of the missing persons and victims. We still have 135 missing
17 Q. You are doing this work together with Mr. Hysni Berisha, who
18 testified here with you; am I right in saying that?
19 A. Yes. He is the chairman of the organisation, and I am a member
20 of the Presidency of the organisation. We help people who are looking
21 for their loved ones.
22 Q. I would kindly ask you now to answer me this: While you were in
23 Suva Reka and before you left Suva Reka before the war, were the Serbian
24 forces and the army deployed in Suva Reka during the bombing if they were
25 deployed there at all?
1 A. Before the bombing, starting from 1998, early June, the police
2 forces were stationed in Suhareke, mostly in Hotel Balkan. The military
3 forces were close to the dumper. We call it the dumper but it's a
4 construction company close to that area. These forces would also move
5 around but not very much. The police forces would move around a lot.
6 Q. While you were in Suva Reka during the NATO bombing, did the NATO
7 aircraft targeted the position of the police and the army? Do you have
8 any knowledge about that?
9 A. The NATO forces only struck twice in Suhareke, once on a
10 cafeteria owned by a Serb which was destroyed; the other one was on the
11 bus company which was owned by the Nisavics. This was close to the
12 forest. There were no other strikes in the town of Suhareke.
13 Q. Mr. Berisha, can you tell me roughly out of the 42 villages that
14 existed in the area of Suva Reka municipality, how many villages were
15 under the control of the KLA?
16 A. I could not give you the number of villages; however, I can say
17 that the villages on the right side of the road Prishtina-Prizren,
18 Slapuzane, Peqan, Semetisht, Doberdelan were under KLA control. On the
19 other part, only Budakove was under KLA control. The other villages were
20 not under KLA control.
21 Q. Do you have any knowledge about the KLA giving orders to the
22 local population to move based on the information available on the
24 A. No, the KLA did not give any orders. The first order was given
25 by the Serb police on the 28th of March around 1600 hours when the
1 policeman Noi Gjura wearing a police uniform said we had to go to Albania
2 because the other ones will come and we don't know who those other ones
3 will be, and they will slit your throats. Those were his words, and at
4 that time in town we could hear gun-fire, so the people started to leave.
5 The KLA did not give any orders. The orders were given by the police. I
6 mentioned only the example I know in my neighbourhood. The other people
7 in other neighbourhoods received orders from other policemen.
8 Q. Was this Djuro a local policeman?
9 A. Yes, he was wearing police uniform, and he used to live in the
10 neighbourhood, was a neighbour of ours before. I knew him personally.
11 Q. I didn't understand from your evidence whether it was an order,
12 whether it was a recommendation, or whether it was just a friendly
13 neighbourly advice.
14 A. His words were, Prepare to go to Albania because the others will
15 come and they may slit your throats. These were his words, and I
16 understand it as an order to leave the country.
17 Q. Concerning my first question, I didn't get an answer from you.
18 Do you know whether the KLA coordinated with the civilian population
19 living in the villages around Suva Reka if they believed that the
20 population was under a threat from the Serb forces and thereby
21 instructing them to move out of that territory? Do you know anything
22 about that?
23 A. We, the citizens of Suhareke, did not have any contact whatsoever
24 with the KLA. We never received any order or recommendation from them to
25 leave the town or the country. I don't know about the villagers because
1 I did not have a chance to contact them, the villagers living elsewhere.
2 Q. Then I am not going to ask you any more questions about this
3 topic. A minute ago you mentioned Mr. Misko Nisavic and his bus stop.
4 Who was that man?
5 A. Milorad Nisavic is his full name, but his pseudonym was Misko and
6 people called him Misko of UDBA or of U-d-b-a. He worked in the same
7 office since 1989. I knew him personally. I had contacts with him in
8 1989/1990 and also on the 16th of May, 1999, when he caught some
9 relatives of mine, eight or nine of them and took them to the police
10 station, and that was when I contacted with him, on the
11 16th of May, 1999.
12 Q. Do you know whether Nisavic was ever a commander or the chief of
13 the police station in Suva Reka? Do you know anything about that?
14 A. No. He was chief of the secret service office, state security
15 office, the Serbian service, not of the police station.
16 Q. Do you know who Zoran Lazic is?
17 A. Yes. I know both of them, him and his brother. Their father was
18 called Laza, their mother Vjera. Zoran was a driver. Later on he worked
19 in the Territorial Defence Unit. I knew him well. He was born and bred
20 in Suhareke and everybody knows what he did to Albanians.
21 Q. When you know that everybody knew what he did to Albanians --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Would counsel please repeat the question; the
23 interpreters didn't hear the last part.
24 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. When you say that he did all kinds of things to the Albanians and
1 that everybody knew about that, what were you referring to?
2 A. I'm referring to his participation in the massacre of the
3 26th of March against the Berisha family, and now he's being tried in
5 Q. Do you have direct knowledge about this or is this a second-hand
6 knowledge that you heard from witnesses or from judiciary in Belgrade
7 concerning his activities?
8 A. I say this because I have read the whole transcript of the trial
9 in Belgrade
10 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, do you know who Dr. Boban Vuksanovic
12 A. Yes. His two name is Bobek Vuksanovic. People knew him as
13 Boban. He's the son of Imer Shefrat, and his mother was called Nada. He
14 was an illegitimate child. His father used to work at the Secretariat
15 for Internal Affairs in Suhareke. I knew him from his childhood. When
16 he became a doctor. And the last time I saw him, he was wearing a
17 military uniform as a commander of the Crisis Staff for the Suhareke
19 Q. What position did he hold in civilian attire in March 1999 prior
20 to the NATO bombing?
21 A. His last position was commander of the Crisis Staff for Suhareke.
22 Q. And can you tell me what his civilian post was? Was he employed
24 A. He was a doctor by profession. Whether he worked as a doctor or
25 he dealt with other issues, I don't know that, because I was keeping my
1 distance from the authorities. They know what they did. He worked in
2 the municipality in the Executive Council then, later on he became mayor,
3 and he also worked as the director of the health care centre in Suhareke.
4 These are the positions he held that I know of.
5 Q. Do you know what happened to Dr. Vuksanovic?
6 A. Yes, I heard that he was killed on the 14th of April, 1999, on
7 the road Suhareke-Mushtisht. He was killed on that road.
8 Q. Do you know under what circumstances he lost his life?
9 A. He was killed in a car which people say had gone to -- on an
10 inspection trip to Mushtisht. The four people who were in the car were
11 in uniform.
12 Q. Was that a traffic accident or was he killed by gun-fire?
13 A. No, he was killed by gun-fire. This was announced by his
14 neighbours later on, after the 14th of April, the fact that he was killed
15 by gun-fire.
16 Q. Do you know the people who were with him in the car, were they in
17 police or in army uniforms?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Was Dr. Bobek Vuksanovic one among the five people who entered
20 the municipal building in 1991 and asked you to leave your office?
21 A. Yes. Of the locals there was Boban Vuksanovic,
22 Stanislav Andjelkovic, Tomislav Borisavljevic [as interpreted], and five
23 other people.
24 Q. Was it Dr. Bobek Vuksanovic who succeeded you as the president of
25 the municipality of Suva Reka
1 A. The decision of the Assembly of Serbia did not decide who the
2 mayor would become. The decision said that he would become chairman of
3 the executive council of the municipality. He became mayor later on.
4 Q. Thank you. And my last question for you today, Mr. Berisha,
5 relates to your first statement in which you said - and you repeated the
6 same answer to my learned colleague the Prosecutor - that at the border
7 crossing, someone's ID cards were confiscated but some other people's
8 cards were not. Will you tell me whether any criteria was applied and
9 how this procedure was decided? Can you tell me some more about that?
10 A. Yes. On the 21st of May, 1999, about 10.15 in the morning, in
11 the house of my aunt where we were, a policeman came. At the moment I
12 can't remember his name, Sinisa Andrejevic. He's a son of the
13 Andrejevics who were teacher in the primary school. And he said, In 15
14 minutes you have to prepare and leave for Albania. He was with five
15 other policemen. They were in uniform and carrying guns. And I asked
16 him, Is this your decision or is it coming from higher up? He did not
17 answer. He just said the same words, In 15 minutes you must leave for
19 And from 11.00 to 2.00 when we reached the border crossing point,
20 I was travelling with my brother and my cousin. There, a policeman and a
21 soldier looked at the hands of all the people who were going through that
22 crossing point, and that was how we crossed the border point and we went
23 to Vrmice. In Vrmice there were policemen and soldiers who asked for our
24 ID cards. I was taken -- my ID card was taken away, all the ID cards of
25 my family as well. This was on the 21st of May, 2.00 in the afternoon,
1 when we crossed the border to Albania
2 Q. You said in your statement that you kept your ID card with you.
3 Was that a mistake which you never actually corrected?
4 A. I gave them my ID card because the consequences could be dire if
5 I didn't do so. Everybody else also had to hand over their ID cards.
6 Some people also had to leave their cars behind.
7 Q. I will beg for another moment of your patience. Let me remind
8 you, first of all, that the Prosecutor read out the summary, the
9 65 ter summary, and in the penultimate paragraph my colleague says the
11 "Some of the people had their ID cards taken away from them,
12 although the witness retained his ..."
13 That's one thing. Then secondly - just a moment - your
14 statement, Mr. Berisha, of the 17th of August, 2001 - again, it's the
15 penultimate page in the statement in all languages, and in the second
16 paragraph right at the end you say:
17 "We headed towards Prizren and then towards Zulj. As we were
18 leaving Prizren next to the drugs factory, a police officer and a soldier
19 checked our IDs. They took IDs from some of the people, but they didn't
20 take our IDs. So this soldier and this police officer took IDs from some
21 of the people but they didn't take yours. And today you say something
22 different. You signed this statement --
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic, if you read the next paragraph?
24 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] The police took ID cards and
25 driver's licences from all of us and removed licence plates from the
1 vehicles. Yes, I read it.
2 Q. Here you say police yet you told us it was the military so which
3 is correct? You've just told us that the military took your ID cards.
4 A. There was one policeman and one soldier there. At Farmakos area
5 they took the IDs of some people; however, they took my ID and the IDs of
6 the people who were on the same tractor with me at the border, whereas
7 they took the ID cards of other people at Farmakos factory near Prizren.
8 I was taken my ID card by them at the border crossing. They removed the
9 registration plates, and they also confiscated the driver's licence from
10 other people at the border.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Gopalan.
12 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, just on this point but not referring
13 to the witness's evidence specifically as he's testifying at the moment,
14 I'd just like to refer to the summary that I read out in court which
15 Defence counsel referred to. And I'd like to point out that the
16 reference or the quote provided by Defence counsel does not reflect what
17 I read out in court.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
19 I think it is clear from the evidence that the witness spoke
20 about two occasions when identification cards in particular were called
21 for. On both occasions, according to my note, he spoke about a policeman
22 and a soldier or police and soldiers; and he indicated that it was at the
23 border that his identification card and all identification cards of those
24 of his family were taken as well as vehicle registration.
25 Is that a correct understanding of your evidence?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is correct. About 5.000
2 people crossed into Albania
3 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. This completes my
4 cross-examination, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic.
6 Ms. Gopalan, any re-examination?
7 MS. GOPALAN: Yes, Your Honours.
8 Re-examination by Ms. Gopalan:
9 Q. Good morning, Mr. Berisha.
10 A. Good morning.
11 Q. I have some questions for you arising from Defence counsel's
12 cross-examination. Yesterday you mentioned - this is at page 63 of the
13 transcript - that the Albanian population was expelled from Mushtisht,
14 Sopi, Vraniq, and Bukosh on the 2nd of April and ordered to go to Albania
15 and that these villages were empty of Albanians.
16 First I'd like you to clarify the names of these villages that
17 you referred to. Which were the villages from which the Albanian
18 population was expelled on the 2nd of April?
19 A. On the 2nd of April the following villages were emptied: Sopi,
20 Mushtisht, Vraniq, Stavrove, and Bukosh, and Buzhalle.
21 Q. In which municipality were these villages located in?
22 A. All of them are in Suhareke municipality.
23 Q. Mr. Berisa, how did you find out that Albanians were expelled
24 from these villages on this day?
25 A. I was in Vraniq and Buzhalle that day and there I learned about
1 this. Part of my family left from Buzhalle village on the 2nd of April.
2 Two days and two nights later, they were returned; they were made to go
3 back to Stavrove from Prizren area. Myself and my two sons, Luan and
4 Shefqet, did not join the rest of the family but took shelter in the
5 mountains in the area called Llanishte.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Berisha. Just going back to your answer to my
7 question on how you found out that Albanians were expelled from these
8 villages, you say that you were in Vranic and Buzhalle on that day and
9 that you learned about this. How did you learn about this when you were
10 in those villages?
11 A. I escorted them up to Bukosh and Sopi, and I could see how they
12 were leaving on tractors and other transportation means. And in
13 Mushtisht, two or three days later, people had to move too. Some young
14 men who did not join their families and who took shelter in the mountains
15 told me that their families from Mushtisht had to leave because they were
16 expelled by the police.
17 Q. How many people did you see being expelled in these areas
18 approximately, if you remember?
19 A. I can freely tell you that there were more than 60.000
20 inhabitants in Suhareke municipality, with the exception of Gelance
21 village, about 70 per cent of the villages were emptied. People were
22 expelled and ordered to leave. I mentioned the 21st of May when I
23 witnessed and was part of 5.000 people who crossed into Albania mainly
24 from Suhareke municipality.
25 Q. And just taking you back to your answer about escorting the
1 people from Bukosh and Sopi and that they were leaving on tractors and
2 other transportation means. Did they tell you why they were leaving
3 these villages?
4 A. It wasn't necessary for them to tell me. I could see that the
5 offensive launched by the Serb forces was coming from Mushtisht in the
6 direction of Popovan and Mushtisht; we were attacked with military
7 equipment on the 2nd of April.
8 Q. Do you recall what military equipment that you were attacked
10 A. Yes. There was single- and double-barrel weapons that they used
11 to fire and mortars too.
12 Q. And when you say "they used to fire," who are you referring to?
13 A. I'm referring to the Serb police.
14 Q. Thank you. I'd now like to move on to the 28th of March. You
15 said yesterday at page 64 that after the 28th of March a large number of
16 citizens were expelled from Suhareke, and you then went to Stavrove and
17 Budakove. Now, in relation to these citizens who were expelled from
18 Suhareke, how did you know that they were expelled on that day?
19 A. On the 28th of March, 1999, up until 7.00 p.m. I was in Suhareke
20 and I could see the convoys leaving in the direction of Prizren. People
21 were leaving in various transportation means. Myself and my wife, since
22 we had no information about the fate of Jashar, we joined the rest of my
23 family that left for Stavrove on the 25th. At 7.00 p.m., I met up with
24 my family in Stavrove, whereas the rest of the relatives and cousins left
25 in the direction of Prizren and later on to Albania.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Berisha. Do you recall the number of people in
2 the convoys that were leaving in the direction of Prizren?
3 A. Which date do you have in mind, 28th or the 21st of May? On the
4 28th we did not count each and every citizen, but it was a large group,
5 whereas for the 21st I was there myself, and I can tell you with full
6 certainty that we were more than 5.000 people who crossed into Albania
7 Q. Mr. Berisha --
8 A. Those who did not have transportation means were organised by
9 Serb authorities to be taken by buses to Zhur.
10 Q. Thank you. My question relates only to the 28th of March. Now,
11 another incident that took place on the 28th of March you have also
12 testified about. This was the destruction of the mosque in Suva Reka.
13 Did the people leave Suva Reka before the mosque was destroyed or after,
14 if you recall?
15 A. After. The mosque was destroyed at 11.55 and the exodus started
16 after 1600 hours.
17 MS. GOPALAN: Could I call up Exhibit 614, please.
18 Q. Mr. Berisha, you were asked yesterday about this mosque.
19 MS. GOPALAN: Could we go to the second page of this exhibit,
21 Q. What is it you see in the second page?
22 A. On the second page I can see the minaret that used to be there at
23 the mosque and it's destroyed.
24 Q. And this convoy that was leaving Suva Reka on that day, would
25 they have passed by that destroyed minaret?
1 A. Yes. Close by the road because the mosque is near the main road
2 that links Prishtina with Prizren. It's just a few metres above this
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Berisha. Just a few more questions --
5 JUDGE PARKER: Before you do, the -- only the first photograph
6 was tendered earlier. You've now referred the witness to the second. I
7 think we should have that in the same exhibit, which is I think
8 Exhibit 614 --
9 MS. GOPALAN: 614.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
11 MS. GOPALAN: Thank you, Your Honours. I appreciate that.
12 Q. Moving on, Mr. Berisha. You also spoke yesterday about local
13 Serbs being mobilised - this was at page 66 of your transcript. I have a
14 few questions about these individuals who were mobilised. Now, what
15 time-period are you referring to when you -- when you talk about the
16 local Serbs who lived in your neighbourhood being mobilised?
17 A. After 1989, every now and then the local Serbs were armed and we
18 knew this very well. They were mobilised into the ranks of the reserve
19 forces. The mobilisation was carried out before June 1998. They were
20 walking around in police and military attire because the main road that
21 separated us -- we could see them very clearly reporting to the
22 municipality building or the police station on a daily basis.
23 Q. And who mobilised these local Serbs at that time?
24 A. The power was entirely in the hands of Serbia, the local
25 authorities too. So it must be them who mobilised these locals. We had
1 nothing to do with this mobilisation. We could only see them wearing
2 uniforms and coming back from work or from the places where they were
3 mobilised to their homes.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Berisha, you say that mobilisation was carried out
5 before June 1998. How long did these local Serbs stay mobilised after
6 the mobilisation was done in -- just before June 1998, as you say?
7 A. From that date on until the war ended in June 1999, they were all
8 dressed in police or military uniforms, especially the -- our neighbours,
9 members of the Trajkovic and Krstic families.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Berisha. And if you know, did such mobilisation
11 only occur in your town in Suva Reka or did it occur elsewhere as well?
12 A. I can only speak about Suhareke proper because I didn't go to the
13 towns nearby, Prizren or Prishtina, it was impossible for us to go there.
14 So I can only speak about the town where I lived, Suhareke, where I could
15 see this with my own eyes. My house is behind the municipality building,
16 and they moved about in that area every day.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Berisha. I understand. You were also asked some
18 questions about uniforms when you were in Suva Reka - this is also at
19 page 66 - and you referred to individuals wearing black clothes who had
20 shaven heads. Could you clarify the time-frame when you saw these
22 A. We saw these individuals once I think before the coming, before
23 the 24th of March. They came close to the petrol station in a
24 Pinzgauer - this is how they called their vehicle - and they didn't
25 behave in a normal manner, at least in my opinion. This is the only time
1 I saw them. Later on it was impossible for me to go out on the main
2 street and that's why I could no longer see them.
3 Q. And after the 24th of March, who did you see in Suva Reka.
4 You've just said that you no longer saw these individuals with the black
5 clothes and shaven heads.
6 A. From 24th to 28th of March, because on the 25th, as I said, there
7 were killings in the centre of Suhareke. On the 27th, that is, on the
8 26th of March the massacre of the Berisha family was carried out. We
9 were nearby. On the 27th of March, at around 4.00 p.m., the houses on
10 the Rreshtan road, starting from the place where the massacre was
11 committed were set alight. And I left for Stavrove on the 28th of March.
12 I returned in Suhareke on the 29th of April, 1999 --
13 Q. Mr. Berisha, if I could just stop you there and take you back to
14 my question. You've described the events that happened between the
15 24th and the 28th of March. What I would like to know is who you saw
16 participating in these events if at all you saw anyone.
17 A. It was impossible for us to go near these sites where these
18 events took place because we would have suffered. We would probably be
19 in Batajnica or in morgues now.
20 Q. And by the events, you are referring to the killing of the
21 Berisha family, am I correct, as you mentioned before?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. Mr. Berisha, I have no further questions for you. Thank
25 A. You're welcome.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 Questioned by the Court:
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Berisha, you did mention during the
4 questioning of Mr. Djordjevic that in the course of your voluntary work
5 assisting to identify victims that there was still some 135 missing
6 persons. Are they from the municipality of Suhareke or from the town or
7 some other area? Could you help me?
8 A. There were 176 missing persons initially. Now we have 133
9 missing persons from the territory of Suhareke
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much for that.
11 JUDGE BAIRD: You told us that a cousin of yours who lived close
12 to the mosque told you that the minaret had been mined by the Serb
13 forces. Do you recollect the name of that cousin at all?
14 A. Her name is Sala Elshani.
15 JUDGE BAIRD: Thank you very much indeed.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Berisha, you'll be pleased to know that that
17 concludes the questioning. The Chamber would like to thank you for
18 coming again to The Hague
19 to give us, and you are now of course free to return to your normal
20 activities. So thank you once again.
21 The court officer will assist you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE PARKER: This is the time when I think by the arrangement
25 made yesterday we adjourn to resume at 11.15 to hear the next witness.
1 So we now adjourn.
2 --- Recess taken at 9.58 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.17 a.m.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Would you please read aloud the
6 affirmation that's shown to you now.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
8 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: SHEFQET ZOGAJ
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
12 Ms. Gopalan has some questions for you.
13 Examination by Ms. Gopalan:
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Zogaj.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. Please could you state your full name for the record.
17 A. Shefqet Zogaj.
18 Q. Thank you. And what is your date of birth, Mr. Zogaj?
19 A. On the 24th of May, 1972.
20 Q. And where were you born?
21 A. In Bellanice.
22 Q. And where do you live now, Mr. Zogaj?
23 A. In Bellanice.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 A. You're welcome.
1 Q. Mr. Zogaj, did you provide two statements to the
2 Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY, the first one on the
3 26th of April, 1999, and the second on the 8th of June, 2001?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And have you recently had the opportunity to review these
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And having reviewed these statements recently, apart from a
9 number of minor spelling errors, are you satisfied that these statements
10 are true and accurate to the best of your knowledge and belief?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zogaj.
13 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, I seek to tender these two statements
14 into evidence.
15 JUDGE PARKER: They will be received.
16 MS. GOPALAN: They are respectively 65 ter 2322 and 2323.
17 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 02322, Your Honours, will be
18 assigned P00615; and 65 ter number 02323 will be assigned P00616,
19 Your Honours.
20 MS. GOPALAN: Thank you.
21 Q. Mr. Zogaj, did you testify in the trial of
22 Prosecutor versus Milutinovic et al. in this Tribunal in September and
23 November 2006?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Have you recently had the opportunity to review your previous
1 testimony in this case?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And having reviewed your testimony, if you were asked the same
4 questions again would you provide substantially the same answers today?
5 A. Of course.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, I'd like to tender the witness's
8 testimony in Milutinovic et al., that's 65 ter 5047.
9 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00617, Your Honours.
11 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, in order to proceed efficiently with
12 this witness, with your leave I would like to tender into evidence two
13 associated exhibits that were referred to by the witness in his testimony
14 in the Milutinovic case.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
16 MS. GOPALAN: These are 05048 and 05049.
17 JUDGE PARKER: They will be received.
18 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 05048, Your Honours, would be
19 P00618; and 65 ter number 05049 would be assigned P00619.
20 MS. GOPALAN: I would now like to read the witness's in-court
22 The witness is a Muslim male living in the village of Belanica
23 the municipality of Suva Reka
24 from the 20th of March, 1999, when the OSCE-KVM mission pulled out from
25 Kosovo. The streets were empty of Albanian civilians but there was a
1 heavy presence of Serb and -- my apologies. There was a heavy presence
2 of Serb police.
3 On the same day, Serb forces attacked the villages in the area
4 and people started to flee to safer places like Banja and his home
5 village Belanica. As the inhabitants fled, they gathered in a big field
6 in Belanica and by the 31st of March, 1999, there were a large number of
7 civilians gathered in this village. On 1 April, 1999, Belanica was
8 shelled and a large number of Serb forces entered the village. The Serb
9 forces forced people from their houses and set the houses on fire. They
10 were then -- the people were then forced by the Serb forces to leave
11 Belanica in a convoy. The convoy was directed in two directions. During
12 the trip, the convoy was stopped at a number of Serb check-points, where
13 the civilians were beaten, robbed, and insulted. Members of the convoy
14 arrived at the Albanian border, where their documents and vehicle plates
15 were seized.
16 That's the end of the witness's in-court summary.
17 Q. Mr. Zogaj, as you know, the Trial Chamber already has before it
18 your previous testimony and statements, and therefore I'll just have a
19 few clarificatory questions for you in relation to the events in Belanica
20 on the 1st of April, 1999.
21 In your statement you refer to the shelling of Belanica by Serb
22 forces on the 1st of April, 1999. After the shelling, you say Serb
23 forces entered Belanica. Could you tell us what these forces did when
24 they entered Belanica, please?
25 A. After the Serb forces entered Bellanice, in the beginning they
1 started with the burning of the houses. At the entrance to the village
2 about 60 men came out and they immediately started being beaten by the
3 Serb police. Robbing of people took place, the expulsion of people, also
4 people were being killed. At that time, about 80.000 people had gathered
5 there from various villages from other municipalities such as Rahovec,
6 Shtime, Lipjan, Suhareke, and Malisheve.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zogaj.
8 A. You're welcome.
9 Q. And these people who were gathered in Belanica, you say that they
10 then formed a convoy and started to leave the village. You also say in
11 your statement that the convoy was directed in two directions. Could you
12 tell us in which direction this convoy was split into, in which two
14 A. The first direction was towards the village of
15 Banja-Malisheve-Rahovec-Xerxe-Prizren-Morine. The second direction was
17 Q. Which convoy did you follow, Mr. Zogaj?
18 A. My family and I were in the Temeqin-Duhel-Suhareke-Prizren-Morine
20 Q. And these two convoys, where did they end up eventually?
21 A. They ended up in Albania
22 point to Albania
23 Q. And, Mr. Zogaj, who was directing the convoys in these
25 A. The convoys were being directed by the police, the army, and Serb
1 paramilitaries. They were armed up to their teeth.
2 Q. Did they say anything to the members of the convoy?
3 A. There were constant insults, all kinds of swear words. They were
4 swearing at NATO, Bill Clinton, and so on.
5 Q. And did they do anything to the members of the convoy?
6 A. Yes. People were beaten - I am one of them. They were people
7 who were abducted. When we came back from Albania, we found them dead.
8 Some of them were not found, they haven't been found to this day.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zogaj. I would now like to --
10 A. You're welcome. Thank you.
11 Q. Let's move on to the events you experienced at the border
12 crossing. Could you tell us which border crossing with you arrived at.
13 A. We arrived at the Morina border crossing. After about 30 hours
14 of travelling -- in normal conditions it only takes about one and a half
15 hours. Our truck was stopped by a civilian who was wearing normal
16 clothes. He had a side-arm, and he ill-treated us in various ways, and
17 he took all our IDs and other documents. And he said, Don't even look at
18 Kosova anymore. Kosova is Albania
19 Although we believed in our heart of hearts that we would be back in
20 Kosova, and that's what happened.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zogaj. Now, when was it that you arrived at the
22 Morina -- at the border crossing in Albania?
23 A. At the border crossing of Morina, we arrived the next day, on the
24 2nd of April, 1999, after 1500 hours.
25 Q. When did you return to the village of Belanica
1 village, after these incidents?
2 A. I returned to Bellanice on the 21st of June, 1999.
3 MS. GOPALAN: Could I call up 65 ter 2345, please.
4 Q. Mr. Zogaj, there will be a photograph on your screen shortly, and
5 I will ask you some questions about that photograph.
6 Mr. Zogaj, do you recognise this photograph?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What does it show?
9 A. This is my house burnt by the Serb barbarians.
10 Q. When was this photograph taken?
11 A. On the 21st of June, 1999.
12 Q. And who took this photograph?
13 A. I personally took it.
14 MS. GOPALAN: Could we go to page 2 of this exhibit, please --
15 I'm sorry, page 3 in that case.
16 Q. What about this photograph, what does this show? Do you
17 recognise it?
18 A. This photograph shows the basement of a house. This is where we
19 had some -- our personal effects, and I also had hundreds of documents,
20 my personal documents, school documents, and so on.
21 Q. Mr. Zogaj, where was this house located, in which village?
22 A. In Bellanice, of course. It's my uncle's house.
23 Q. Thank you. Now what about the rest of the village in -- of
24 Belanica, what was the condition of the homes in that village?
25 A. About 70 per cent of the village was burnt.
1 MS. GOPALAN: Your Honours, I'd like to tender the first two
2 pages of this exhibit into evidence, please.
3 JUDGE PARKER: The --
4 MS. GOPALAN: First three pages --
5 JUDGE PARKER: -- the second page appeared to be the reverse of
6 the first.
7 MS. GOPALAN: I believe in that case I'd like to tender the first
8 four pages of this exhibit because -- no, I stand corrected, the first
9 three pages of this exhibit, please.
10 JUDGE PARKER: They will be received.
11 THE REGISTRAR: That will be assigned P00620, Your Honours.
12 MS. GOPALAN:
13 Q. Mr. Zogaj, at this stage I do not have any further questions for
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Ms. Gopalan.
16 Now, Mr. Djordjevic, do you have cross-examination.
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Just give me
18 a short time to prepare.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Djordjevic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Zogaj. As Defence counsel, I
21 will like to ask you a few questions, but I would like just to make some
22 remark relating to the procedure. I don't know whether we were working
23 under 92 bis. I would like to add that we have received from the
24 Prosecution about 600 pages of documents in Albanian; however, these
25 documents were not discussed today.
1 Mr. Zogaj, can you please tell me before the NATO bombing began,
2 were there any clashes between the KLA and the Serbian forces in and
3 around Belanica, your home village?
4 A. There were none in Bellanice. Before the clashes started, the
5 Serb police and army and paramilitaries killed and massacred the civilian
6 population, the Albanians, innocent people. Those who could leave came
7 to our village; the others took to the mountains.
8 Q. Let me stop you, please. What you are talking about now is
9 something that you already gave evidence -- or actually, this is
10 contained in your statement. For the sake of time at our disposal, I
11 would kindly ask you to give me as brief answers as possible to my
12 questions. I asked you whether you know if there were any clashes
13 between the Serbian forces and the KLA, yes or no; or if you don't
14 know ...
15 A. There were no clashes in Bellanice.
16 Q. Thank you. Prior to the beginning of NATO bombing, you
17 personally, as a journalist, were you aware of the incidents in which
18 members of the Serbian families were abducted by the KLA and the Albanian
20 A. Could you ask the question again, please. I'm not clear what
21 you're asking. I didn't understand it. And then I will give you an
23 Q. My question was: Given that you are a journalist and you said
24 that you worked for Bujku magazine and Rilindja publishing house, do you
25 know that before the bombing started if there were any abductions of
1 Serbs in Kosovo committed by members of the KLA?
2 A. In the territory where I operated, there were none.
3 Q. Thank you. Do you have any knowledge of the killings of members
4 of the police prior to the NATO bombing, regardless of their ethnicity?
5 So I'm referring to police officers in Kosovo and Metohija, and I'm also
6 asking about whether they -- you know that they had been killed by
7 members of the KLA?
8 A. I don't have any knowledge of these cases, and you never admitted
9 or accepted -- even when there were any such killings, you never accepted
10 that there were.
11 Q. I don't understand what you wanted to say, Mr. Zogaj. When you
12 say "we never," can you please specify who is "we." I really didn't get
13 your point.
14 A. We Albanians, during the time of the Serb occupation from
15 1989 to 1999, I don't know of any other killings except for the killings
16 of Albanians. Even if there were any other cases, you never admitted to
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Zogaj, if I could interrupt. You will
19 understand that in this Court counsel has a role to perform to represent
20 an accused on the one hand and to represent the Prosecution on the other.
21 That does not mean that they are the accused or the Prosecutor. They
22 have a role to fulfil to assist us. If you want to speak about actions
23 by Serb forces, if you could refer to them. Don't address counsel as
24 though he was a member of those Serb forces or police. He was -- he is
25 not here in that capacity. He's here to assist us. So if you could
1 observe that distinction and show that respect for the Court and the
3 You grasp what I'm saying?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do, yes.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
6 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I'll
7 proceed with my examination.
8 Q. Mr. Zogaj, my next question is: Do you have any information
9 about the killings of respectable and prominent Serbs in the area where
10 you lived? I'm talking as of the beginning of NATO bombing period.
11 A. Honestly, I don't.
12 Q. Thank you. Could you tell me, do you know or are you able to
13 describe -- first of all, tell me, Belanica, the village where you were
14 born and where you lived, was it controlled by the KLA or by the Serb
15 forces during the NATO air-strikes, so from the 24th of March, 1999
17 A. From the 24th of March until 1st of April, 1999, Bellanice was a
18 village between two fires. The war had not started there yet. Until the
19 28th of March KLA members were there, whereas the fighting was going on
20 somewhere else, in Dulje, Bllace, Peqan, Suhareke, Dragobil, and Banja.
21 Bellanice was a calm place.
22 Q. Now I would like to ask you to tell me what villages around
23 Belanica were also controlled by the KLA, and what villages near Belanica
24 were controlled by the Serb forces, if that was the case at all.
25 A. Under KLA control were the following villages: Banja, Kravoseri
1 [phoen], Pagarushe, Semetisht, Bllace, Temeqin, Lladroviq, Guncat, and
2 Senik, whereas under Serb control were the following: Malisheve,
3 Dragobil, Duhel, Suhareke, and other villages.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zogaj. And could you now tell me this: What
5 uniforms, if any, were worn by the KLA members in the area where you
6 lived, if you can describe them?
7 A. They had military uniforms. I don't know where they got them
8 from; however, they also had civilian clothes like I'm wearing now,
9 because it was very difficult for them to provide each and every member
10 of the KLA with a uniform.
11 Q. Thank you. And can you tell me what kind of weapons did the KLA
12 members have in the territory where you were?
13 A. Basic and simple weapons - I don't know if any other army in the
14 world has such weapons - basic weapons, Kalashnikovs.
15 Q. Thank you. Were there any movements of people - I'm asking about
16 the Albanian population - that had been pre-arranged by -- with the KLA
17 based on the situation in the field or on the ground? I'm asking you
18 about March 1999 until the end of the conflict; in other words, until
19 June 1999. Were there any movements of Albanian civilians that had been
20 pre-arranged with the KLA because of the situation on the ground?
21 A. Absolutely not. The KLA never did such a thing. It was
22 impossible for the KLA even to protect the population because they didn't
23 have the means necessary for protection.
24 Q. If there was an imminent threat by the Serb forces, did the KLA
25 withdraw from the territory it held until that time together with the
2 A. The KLA had its own fighting positions. It was impossible for
3 them to defend these positions because the Serb forces, military police,
4 and paramilitary had sophisticated weaponry including aircraft.
5 Therefore, the KLA had to move from one location to another location to
6 quieter and more peaceful areas.
7 Q. Could you just answer my question. Did the KLA do that together
8 with the people; in other words, when the people moved?
9 A. The people were withdrawing because bombs were falling amidst --
10 in their midst, bombs from far, and they had to take shelter somewhere.
11 Q. Sir, you've already explained that. It's already on the record,
12 from your testimony in the Milutinovic and Milosevic trials and from your
13 statement. My question is: When the KLA had to withdraw, did it
14 withdraw together with the columns of the people?
15 A. The Kosova Liberation Army withdrew on their own, because had the
16 population withdrew -- withdrawn with them, 80.000 people wouldn't have
17 been caught in Bellanice and sent to Albania
18 member of the KLA in Bellanice on 1st of April, 1999.
19 Q. You mean to say that among the 80.000 people there was no --
20 there was not a single KLA member? Is that what you're saying? Am I
22 A. On the 1st of April, 1999, there was not a single member of the
23 KLA amongst the population. They were in the mountains. They had
24 abandoned their fighting positions.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zogaj. We heard you say that you were a
1 journalist, that you worked for Rilindja and for another magazine. Can
2 you please tell us, when did you become a journalist in Rilindja?
3 A. I started writing articles in 1996. At that time only Bujku was
4 operational. Rilindja had been closed down in 1990, but we found our way
5 of operating and writing.
6 Q. Could you tell me, at the time when you worked as a journalist in
7 1999, did Rilindja still exist as a publishing house and the Bujku
8 newspaper or not?
9 A. That was the same thing, Bujku and Rilindja were the same thing.
10 Bujku was created as in 1990 Rilindja was closed down. So we found a way
11 to assist the population and inform the population, and we converted
12 Rilindja into Bujku. It was a well-known newspaper.
13 Q. In 1999 did Bujku exist?
14 A. At that time it had started to convert again from Bujku into
15 Rilindja. After the beginning of the NATO bombing, it was not published
16 at all. It began being published again after we returned from Albania
17 Q. I'm trying to get from you an answer. This newspaper, be it
18 Bujku or Rilindja, was it registered as a public medium officially in
19 1999 in accordance with the valid legislation of the Republic of Serbia
20 and the autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija?
21 A. The editor-in-chief is the competent person for these issues. I
22 was a simple journalist. I would bring information to the office, the
23 information was published. If something had remained unclear, they would
24 consult their people on the ground. This is how it worked.
25 Q. Thank you. Well I understand that you have no knowledge of that.
1 My next question is: Did you receive any salary for the work that you
2 put in?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zogaj, do you know anything about any parallel
5 institutions and authorities of the Albanian citizens in
6 Kosovo and Metohija?
7 A. From 1989 we, the Albanians in Kosova, were active in different
8 ways to the extent we could because we were stripped of all our rights.
9 The constitution of 1974 was forcefully revoked by the Serb authorities;
10 however, we had to work and inform the international public opinion about
11 what was going on in Kosova. This was the only way to get where we are
13 Q. So there were parallel authorities and institutions. What do you
14 know about that specifically?
15 A. We were expelled from our schools, from our work, from every
16 institution that existed there before 1989, that is, that existed in
17 Kosova. All our rights had been taken away and given to Serbs. They
18 enjoyed all the rights.
19 Q. Mr. Zogaj, you spoke about that, but what I'm interested in is
20 what parallel institutions existed in Kosovo and any authorities, if they
21 existed, to tell me what you know about that, or is it the case that you
22 don't know anything?
23 A. The Democratic League of Kosova was created by the now-late
24 President of Kosova Ibrahim Rugova. The institutions were established in
25 Kosova and in the diaspora, lead by prominent people of Kosova,
1 Bujar Bukoshi; Fehmi Agani, now passed away.
2 Then the new education system was set up, new schools were
3 opened, those that were taken away by the Milosevic regime. This is how
4 the education system worked. We were mainly organised in private houses,
5 not in proper school buildings. Fortunately now they have been given
6 back to the Albanians in Kosova.
7 Q. And light of the fact that you're a journalist, do you have any
8 knowledge about the St. Edigio agreement about the return of the Albanian
9 students to the Pristina university and the return of some elementary and
10 secondary schools into the Serbian school system, that's the year
11 1998/1999, on the eve of the air-strikes against Serbia and the whole of
12 Kosovo and Metohija?
13 A. I do have knowledge about this. This was an effort of the
14 international community, a pressure on the Serb government. They had to
15 release and put at our disposal, according to this agreement, all school
16 institutions and buildings. However, the agreement was never
17 implemented. Milosevic insisted on signing the agreement, but he never
18 implemented it in real terms.
19 Q. Are you sure about that?
20 A. Partially, partly implemented.
21 Q. Thank you. My next question for you, Mr. Zogaj, is this: Did
22 you personally participate in any parallel system of government at that
24 A. I want to point out the fact that in 1990 Albanian students were
25 poisoned by certain Serbs, and this is how it all started, the separation
1 of Albanian and Serb students in terms of education. I was amongst the
2 students who were poisoned, and I was part of those who were expelled
3 from proper school buildings and had to continue my education in private
4 houses. Then I joined the LDK in the village and was active in different
5 ways, initially by collecting funds to pay the teachers because the
6 teachers were not getting any salaries.
7 Q. Did you have any problems with the Serb authorities for that
8 reason or for any other reason? I am referring to any criminal
9 prosecution or perhaps some misdemeanour proceedings against you or
10 anything of the sort, against you personally.
11 A. In 1990 I was poisoned. I was in secondary school, third year,
12 in Malisheve. In 1994 I was robbed by the regular police, Serb police, I
13 was beaten too. Again, in 1994 in Prishtina I was beaten by the Serb
14 police just for having on me a writing that was being prepared for
15 publishing in the monthly Bota e Re magazine, which was a student
16 magazine. I was beaten by the Serb police solely for this reason. I was
17 again beaten on the 5th of May, 1998, in Duhel. They beat me for about
18 37 minutes. It's Duhel.
19 Q. Were any proceedings instituted against you at all?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Thank you. Could you tell me, what do you do today, now? How do
22 you make your living?
23 A. At the moment, I have a small business.
24 Q. Are you still in journalism?
25 A. Not at the moment.
1 Q. Thank you. We heard you say that you were poisoned in Malisevo
2 while you were in secondary school, but was it not the
3 Pristina university that was targeted by poisoning and not the Malisevo
4 secondary school? Could you please elaborate this a little bit.
5 A. I will elaborate it a bit more. Not only in Malisheve secondary
6 but also in Suhareke, Prishtina, and Podujeve, almost in every secondary
7 and primary school a kind of poison was thrown by the Serbs. I fell ill
8 together with 7.000 pupil and students of different ages as a result of
9 this poison that was thrown in different schools, primary and secondary
10 schools. At the time, the regular police did not allow us to go to the
11 nearest health clinics for treatment. This is a reality.
12 Q. Are you trying to tell me that only ethnic Albanians got sick in
13 schools while Egyptians, Turks, Romas, and Serbs remained healthy - am I
14 right? - throughout Kosovo, not only in Malisevo and in Pristina?
15 A. I don't know what happened to other students, but there was a
16 policy of segregation between Albanian and Serbian pupils. They were
17 working in shifts. Let's say Albanians will attend school in the
18 morning, the Serbs in the afternoon, and vice versa. I will give you the
19 example of an 11 year old, a Serb. In Prishtina, in the clinic there
20 where I was also admitted, I was told about [as interpreted] his mother
21 about what had happened to her child. This was an attempt by the Serb
22 authorities to extinguish a whole generation of students and pupils.
23 Q. Can you tell me whether any such events - because I personally
24 was not aware of any such incidents - resulted in criminal prosecution of
25 persons responsible? Is there any evidence obtained, either by the
1 international community or by some Serb organs that the Serbs authorities
2 or Serbs were responsible for that? How do you know that it was the
3 Serbs who did it?
4 A. It's a known fact. The international community carried out the
5 analysis and they designated the type of poison. The Serbs were
6 preventing the examinations in the institutions in Prishtina and Prizren.
7 Only samples that could be taken abroad were examined and analysed. If
8 you want to find out more about this, you can search the archives in
10 Q. Thank you very much. I will not dwell on this anymore. You
11 mentioned the Serb forces that came into your village. Could you tell me
12 what kind of uniforms did you see at that time while you were in
13 Belanica? How did the uniforms worn by the Serb forces look like?
14 A. Police had the police uniform; the army had the military uniform;
15 the paramilitaries had different types of clothes, shaven heads,
16 head-scarfs, different types of weapons, and so forth.
17 Q. Tell me, the people with shaven heads, what kind of uniforms did
18 they have? Was there anything peculiar, something that struck you?
19 A. They resembled paramilitaries, i.e., the people with the shaven
21 Q. Could you tell me, was there anything peculiar about the weapons
22 that those people, people with shaven heads that you can -- that you
23 thought were paramilitaries?
24 A. They had the same type of weapons as the police and the army.
25 They also had pliers and other instruments that are used to fix
2 Q. Tell me, please, among the members of the Serb forces who wore
3 uniforms, were there any such members that you or your fellow villagers
4 or generally people in Belanica managed to recognise?
5 A. Yes, there was a policeman who was known to the whole village,
6 Zika. He was known in Bellanice, Bllace, Temeqin, and so on because he
7 used to patrol there at the time when the war had not yet come to
9 Q. Were there any men, any Serbs, from the local area who had not
10 been members of the armed forces?
11 A. There was one from the village of Banja
12 forces. He was a policeman.
13 Q. So he was a policeman too.
14 Generally speaking, in and around your village were there any
15 Serbian households, any Serbian families living there?
16 A. In my village there were no Serbs. In Banja there was one Serb
17 household, but they moved to the Serb side. In the other villages around
18 Bellanice there were no Serbs - I'm not speaking about Suhareke here, I'm
19 speaking about Bellanice.
20 Q. Are there any Serbian families living still there, for example,
21 in Suva Reka where they used to live? Do you know anything about that?
22 A. I don't know of any Serbs in Suhareke now who used to live there
23 before because they know what they did to the Albanian population, and
24 that's why they don't come back. Our government structures today are
25 working with the whole people, with the entire population, but they have
1 not come back. We are equally working with Serb minority, the Roma
3 Q. Do you know who the man called Milorad, a.k.a., Misko Nisavic is?
4 In your first statement given in Tirana, Albania, he mentioned him not by
5 the name of Nisavic but Milorad Miskovic, which you later corrected and
6 confirmed that his last name was actually Nisavic. What do you know
7 about this man?
8 A. Miskovic used to have a driving school. The civilian population
9 knew him very well. Later on, Misko Miskovic, Nisavic, these were his
10 nicknames. His real name is Milorad Nisavic; the others are nicknames.
11 Q. Tell me, what did you mean when you said that he was the chief of
12 the police station in Suva Reka?
13 A. Yes, he was the chief of the police station. He was known by all
14 as a policeman; but instead of exercising his duties as a policeman, he
15 killed Albanians in the end, mercilessly.
16 Q. Who is Zoran Lazic?
17 A. He was also a killer in Suhareke.
18 Q. I have to tell you, in your statement given in March you said
19 that he was the chief in the municipality; then you in February 2003
20 changed that and said that he was the greatest and the worst criminal in
21 Suva Reka; then on the 22nd of September, 2002, and I think it is given
22 in the supplemental information said that he was a member of the army and
23 the command and that you heard about him from the KLA. So you first
24 described him as the chief of the municipality, the worst criminal, and
25 then the member of the army. Can you tell me which of all these
1 qualifications are -- is correct.
2 A. The fact that the Serbs overnight made him chief of the
3 municipality, director, and everything else cannot be forgotten. And
4 that does not exclude the fact and the possibility that he committed
5 crimes. The Albanian people were in a miserable situation. Children and
6 old people, the elderly, were not spared by him.
7 Q. He was never president of the municipality. This Zoran Lazic,
8 whom you qualified as the worst criminal in Suva Reka, did you know him
9 personally or did you acquire this information, as you said, in
10 September 2002 from the KLA?
11 A. I did not know him personally; but in my cooperation with the
12 KLA, they told me what crimes he had committed.
13 Q. Did you personally know Misko Nisavic or had you only heard of
14 him from other people?
15 A. I did not know him personally. However, I'd like to mention
16 Seidi Bytyqi, the history teacher who was abducted by Misko Nisavic, and
17 Misko had ordered for this group of people he was with to be killed.
18 Seidi fled the site of the tragedy and hid himself in a sewer, where he
19 had stayed for five or six hours. I took this information from
20 Seidi Bytyqi, who later on left Suhareke. I know Seidi very well, and he
21 can give a statement or testify here.
22 Q. You mentioned that as well in your previous statements and
23 testimonies. Do you know anything about a person known as
24 Boban Vuksanovic or Dr. Bobek Vuksanovic from Suva Reka? Do you know who
25 I'm referring to or you don't?
1 A. I don't know this person. I don't know anything about him.
2 Q. You said that you cooperated with the KLA in response to my
3 question about Zoran Lazic. How did this cooperation with the KLA look
4 like? What did it imply and include? And how long did it last?
5 A. We were not able to receive information from the Serb police,
6 army, and authorities. They wouldn't give us any kind of information on
7 anything that was happening in Suhareke or anywhere else. The only
8 cooperation that we had was by personally observing the territories where
9 the KLA operated, and from there I could see the shelling and the
10 fighting conducted by the Serb police and army forces against the KLA.
11 Q. Do you consider yourself to have been a member of the KLA at the
13 A. I never was a member of the KLA.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zogaj.
15 A. I feel honoured to have been able to cooperate with them, but not
16 as a journalist of the KLA. I was an independent journalist.
17 Q. My next question is: Do you have any information about the KLA's
18 organising Territorial Defence or civilian protection?
19 A. Of course that there was defence. It had to be organised because
20 we were oppressed all the time by the Serb police. We didn't have the
21 right to move from the 1990s until the liberation of Kosova. Every time
22 we moved, we were scared; and torture and killings ensued only because we
23 were Albanians.
24 Q. I think that you didn't understand me correctly, but I will
25 conclude that you have no information to offer in response to my
1 question. Next question: What armed formations, whatever they were
2 called, were present in the area where you lived?
3 A. That's your opinion. In my area, I mentioned the villages
4 earlier where the KLA operated, but on the 28th of March there were no
5 members of the KLA in Bellanice --
6 Q. You didn't understand me. I'm asking you if you know what --
7 which KLA units were in that area. If you know, tell us their names, the
8 number of the brigade and what the names they had if you know; if you
9 don't know, then ...
10 A. In our area, the 121st Brigade, the Kumanova Brigade, was
11 operating; the other part in Semetisht, the 123rd Brigade was operating.
12 Q. Mr. Zogaj, do you know who the commanders of the
13 121st and 123rd Brigades were? Do you know their names?
14 A. Fatmir Limaj was a commander of the 121st Brigade, if I'm not
15 mistaken; commander of the 123rd, I can't give you the exact name now,
16 Commander Drini I think, but I'm not sure. I know, however, that the
17 123rd Brigade was operating there. This because their names were not
18 given to us at the time.
19 Q. Do you know who Bislim Zyrapi was and what position he held?
20 A. I did not have any contact with Bislim Zyrapi before. I only met
21 him here in the Tribunal. I know him by name, but I don't know what his
22 position was.
23 Q. If that is the case, sir, I'm not going to ask any questions of
24 this nature. My last question today: In your first 1999 statement you
25 said that you filmed a lot of footage with your camera but that
1 unfortunately all of this material was burned in your cousin's house --
2 actually, that was your statement given in 2000. But in your first
3 statement given, I think, in Tirana you mentioned that a Sanyo camera,
4 tapes, and a Dictaphone that you were given as a present were confiscated
5 from you by the police.
6 So in order to avoid any confusion, can you tell us which version
7 is correct and accurate. Did your camera and all the material burn in
8 the house, as you said in 2000; or was the camera, the tapes, and
9 everything else confiscated from you back in 1999 while you were leaving
10 the area of Kosovo and Metohija and that it was done by the Serbian
12 A. The fact is that the documents I had - and there were tapes
13 there, photographs as well which I had put in my uncle's basement for
14 protection - and they were burned. But the other ones, when I was caught
15 by the Serbian police, the camera and every other thing that you
16 mentioned were confiscated by them. Unfortunately, money can open doors.
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
18 continues]... cross-examination with this. Thank you.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic.
20 Is there re-examination, Ms. Gopalan?
21 MS. GOPALAN: No re-examination, Your Honours. But I do have a
22 message to convey to Your Honours from the witness that's unrelated to
23 his testimony directly, but just an apology in relation to the attire
24 that he is wearing at -- in court today. With your leave, he requested
25 me to convey his apologies. He said that he would have preferred to have
1 worn more formal clothing, but due to a shortage of time he wasn't able
2 to change, and he would like to convey his deepest apologies to the
3 Trial Chamber.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Ms. Gopalan.
5 That was not necessary, but thank you.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the President, please.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Now, ...
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Zogaj, the Chamber would like to thank you for
10 your attendance yet again here in The Hague and for the assistance you've
11 been able to give. You will, I gather from what has been said, you have
12 been told that we are following today a shortened procedure, and we also
13 have received the statements that you have made and the transcript of
14 your evidence when you came here last time so that between that material
15 and what you have said today we will have a very complete account of the
16 events about which you were able to speak. So we would thank you for all
17 of that and for your continuing assistance and cooperation. You are now,
18 of course, free to go back to your ordinary activities and the court
19 officer will show you out, but you go with our thanks.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Ms. Gopalan, are there some procedural
25 MS. GOPALAN: Yes, Your Honours. This is in relation to the four
1 witnesses that the Chamber ruled were not required to appear for
2 cross-examination. This is your decision of the 16th of March, 2009
3 in paragraph 41(D), the Chamber orders that the four witnesses are not
4 required to appear for cross-examination --
5 JUDGE PARKER: Right. Do you now propose to tender their
7 MS. GOPALAN: Yes, I do, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE PARKER: The statements of Fazliu Fondaj, that is
9 Hamide Fondaj, Ali Hoti, and Florim Krasniqi.
10 MS. GOPALAN: That's right. I propose to tender their statements
11 and associated exhibits as well.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
13 MS. GOPALAN: I will begin with Fazliu, Hadije, 05033.
14 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00621, Your Honours.
15 MS. GOPALAN: 05034.
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00622.
17 MS. GOPALAN: 02241.
18 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00623.
19 MS. GOPALAN: 02242.
20 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00624.
21 MS. GOPALAN: And 02243.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00625.
23 MS. GOPALAN: Before I proceed to the next witness, would the
24 Chamber like me to read out an in-court summary of this witness's
1 JUDGE PARKER: Please.
2 MS. GOPALAN: Hadije Fazliu this is the in-court summary. The
3 witness describes the events of March 1999 in the Srbica municipality,
4 when many villages were attacked by Serb forces. She states that on
5 26th March, 1999
6 direction of Broje village. The villagers were forced to flee.
7 The witness describes the plight of the refugees as they
8 travelled through different municipalities to the Albanian border. She
9 describes the forces involved in the deportation. End of in-court
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
12 MS. GOPALAN: I'll move on to the next witness. This is
13 Hamide Fondaj. I'd like to tender 05044 into evidence.
14 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00626, Your Honours.
15 MS. GOPALAN: And 02283.
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00627.
17 MS. GOPALAN: Thank you.
18 I will now read the in-court summary for Hamide Fondaj. The
19 witness is a Muslim woman from the village of Pecane
20 municipality. She describes the forcible expulsions of Kosovo Albanians
21 from Pecane in March 1999.
22 On the 21st of March, 1999, her village and others in the area
23 came under the attack of Serb forces. Together with other displaced
24 persons, she ended up in the village of Belanica
25 not blocked by the Serbs. On the 1st of April, 1999, Serb police,
1 military, and paramilitary attacked Belanica and expelled the occupants.
2 Ms. Fondaj witnessed this attack. She and her family had to spend the
3 night on a tractor-trailer and the next night they started to leave
4 Belanica. They were stopped many times by the police who threatened them
5 and demanded money.
6 En route to the border, she witnessed many Albanian civilians
7 detained behind barbed wire in Malisevo. The convoy was subjected to
8 abuse by the Serbs. Outside Ostrozub they had to run over a lot of
9 "plis" this is the Albanian hats that were taken from the men and thrown
10 on the ground. Houses were being set on fire within that village.
11 On the 4th of April, the witness crossed the border to Albania
12 via Vrmnica.
13 That's the end of this in-court summary. I'll now move on to
14 witness Ali Hoti. I'd like to tender into evidence 05010.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00628, Your Honours.
16 MS. GOPALAN: And 05011.
17 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00629.
18 MS. GOPALAN: I will now read his in-court summary.
19 The witness describes the attack by Serb forces on Velika Krusa,
20 Orahovac municipality, on the 25th of March, 1999. He describes the
21 forces that carried out the attack. He saw these forces set his own
22 house on fire as well as those in surrounding villages. He also saw
23 police and soldiers looting property in his village. As a consequence of
24 the attack on Velika Krusa, the population was forced to flee to the
25 hills around the village. The witness and his family joined a group of
1 villagers and headed to Nogavac where numerous other refugees had
2 gathered. While in Nogavac, the witness, who is a doctor, treated
3 several survivors of the Batusha barn massacre, including
4 Mehmet Krasniqi.
5 On the 2nd of April, 1999, the witness joined a large convoy of
6 Kosovo Albanians heading for Albania
7 police confiscated all IDs and documents.
8 End of in-court summary.
9 In the final witness is Krasniqi, Florim Elmi. I'd like to
10 tender 05081.
11 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00630, Your Honours.
12 MS. GOPALAN: And 02269.
13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00631, Your Honours.
14 MS. GOPALAN: I'll now read the in-court summary of
15 Florim Krasniqi. The witness is from the --
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic.
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I will wait for my colleague to
18 complete the reading of the summary and then I will --
19 Albanian on English channel.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Please continue.
21 MS. GOPALAN: The witness is from the village of Mirosavlje
22 the municipality of Urosevac
23 military vehicles on the red from Gnjilane to Urosevac shelling the
24 villages of Rakovica and Zlatare.
25 The following day the witness heard shelling, firing, and tanks
1 moving in the direction of Pojatiste. As a consequence, about 1.000
2 displaced persons from surrounding villages arrived in his village.
3 On the 7th of April, 1999, the witness saw burning houses in
4 Sojevo and Kamena Glava also in the municipality of Urosevac
5 following day a tank and several military APCs came to the witness's
6 village. Together with others he headed to the centre of Urosevac.
7 En route they encountered several military check-points where
8 people in the convoy were harassed and insulted. At the outskirts of
9 Urosevac, the witness was stopped at a police check-point.
10 On 14th April, 1999
11 and went to the border town of Djeneral Jankovic. At the border police
12 demanded identification papers. The witness was ordered to collect the
13 papers, which he did, and they were then returned. The bus continued to
14 the train station, where the police separated the people and collected
15 money from the heads of the families. The witness states that they were
16 eventually ordered to walk to Macedonia
17 End of Florim Krasniqi's in-court summary.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
19 Now, Mr. Djordjevic.
20 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Very briefly, Your Honour. I
21 would just like to say that having worked diligently on preparing the
22 case I noted that some of the statements of those witnesses have not been
23 tendered into the evidence. And since I noticed some discrepancies, I
24 would like to ask permission to do it myself if it is judged to be in the
25 interests of justice and the determination of the truth. That's all.
1 Thank you.
2 JUDGE PARKER: How many of these additional statements do you
3 have in mind?
4 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Since I was not aware that the
5 Prosecution would do that now, I don't have this information here; but I
6 could obtain it, I could look for it, and then inform the Trial Chamber
7 if it is necessary. That's all I had to say. Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. I take it from what you are saying you
9 are not proposing to tender those things today, but we'll perhaps do it
10 after the break.
11 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] That's precisely what I had in
12 mind, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE PARKER: If there are other statements of these four
14 witnesses who have been dealt with today, which statements, in your view,
15 are materially different from the statements that have been tendered?
16 You can anticipate that the Chamber would be prepared to receive them.
17 We don't want to have additional statements just because they exist; but
18 if there is a material difference, we certainly would appreciate that
19 that could be relevant to your case.
20 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Of course, Your Honour. I said
21 this out of an abundance of caution. I don't want to burden the
22 Trial Chamber with things that are immaterial. So only if there are any
23 discrepancies that are really very important.
24 MR. STAMP: Can I note --
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp.
1 MR. STAMP: -- I don't like to interfere. May I just note,
2 Your Honours, that this is a matter that we already have a ruling on.
3 And I don't think there are any statements, so I don't think much will
4 come out of this. But it ought to have been a matter that was addressed
5 in the response to the -- to the filings so the Court would have had
6 that -- the benefit of that when the Court made its decision earlier on.
7 That is all I wish to say, but I'm sure counsel will review it and do
8 what is appropriate. Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp, that issue will be considered, if it
10 is, after the break that Mr. Djordjevic is impressed with the need to
11 offer some further statement or statements, those matters will be
13 MR. STAMP: Very well, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE PARKER: In accordance with the programme that we have
15 indicated, the Chamber will now adjourn to -- for just over a week, which
16 will allow the observance of both the Western and the Eastern Easter
17 vacations relevant to various counsel and to the accused; that will mean
18 that we continue our evidence commencing on Tuesday, the 21st of April,
19 when we will commence at 11.00 a.m.
20 The Chamber would hope that this break, which is the first that
21 we've had after some ten weeks of sitting, will enable counsel, both for
22 the Prosecution and the accused, to review their preparation and plan
23 ahead for what is to continue in the trial. The Chamber would also hope
24 that the opportunity will enable counsel to refresh themselves and to
25 spend a little time with their families.
1 So with those thoughts, we wish you well for the Easter and
2 resume now on Tuesday, the 21st of April.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.53 p.m.
4 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 21st day of
5 April, 2009, at 11.00 a.m.