1 Thursday, 14 May 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. We will go into closed session for
6 the witness to come in.
7 [Closed session]
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Before the witness arrives,
10 Your Honour, I would like to point out one problem. At the very outset
11 of this trial regarding statements admitted under 92 ter, the
12 Trial Chamber decided that those statements on the notification list are
13 statements that go under 92 ter, and on that basis the Defence prepares
14 for its cross-examination.
15 I now find out that the Milutinovic transcript, both redacted and
16 unredacted, has not been exhibited; and we prepared our entire
17 cross-examination based on it, that is not to cover again the issues, the
18 questions, covered in the Milutinovic transcript. And let me point out
19 immediately the statement 2668 refers to the Milutinovic transcript, both
20 unredacted and redacted, as we find it in the notification.
21 And as to the facts covered by this transcript, if we included
22 them in our cross-examination, it would be much, much longer. The
23 Defence relied on what we thought had been agreed. We did not want to
24 introduce issues that were on the 92 ter list.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Djurdjic.
1 Ms. Kravetz.
2 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, it is correct we had originally listed
3 the transcript, but we decided not to tender it. I have informed my
4 colleague that if he seeks to tender the transcript that is not a
5 problem. We had prepared a public, redacted, version of the transcript
6 which is also in e-court, and the 65 ter numbers have been indicated in
7 the notification.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Well, that may have overcome the issue with this
9 witness, but I have a recollection that this issue may have gone
10 unnoticed with some previous witnesses because not always, I think, has
11 every statement or every transcript been tendered. What concerns me is
12 the original decision of the Chamber about admission and about the
13 expectation of the parties with respect to all the transcripts and
14 statements that were dealt with in that original decision.
15 It was certainly the expectation of the Chamber that those
16 statements and transcripts which had identified as properly admissible
17 would in due course be tendered. The problem may only be with this
18 witness, but I suspect that there are some other witnesses similarly
20 I think we will need to look at that - not right now - and it may
21 be that there will need to be some regularisation, that is, a tendering
22 of things that may have been omitted. I think it's fair to say that
23 there was an expectation which probably was shared by the Defence but
24 certainly of the Chamber that we would have all of these documents
25 tendered in due course. And it would be dangerous to leave that matter
1 not properly considered at the point of receiving exhibits in case it is
2 the situation that something was omitted which the Defence thought was
3 going to be tendered, something was omitted from the tendering.
4 In the present case for this present witness, I'm sure
5 Mr. Djurdjic will take up your offer of tendering the transcript that was
6 not tendered by you. But we will have a look at other witnesses to see
7 whether there has been a due tendering of the statements. And perhaps
8 you might convey to Mr. Stamp our view that in future -- for future
9 witnesses if there is not to be a tendering of each of the statements and
10 transcripts which we had identified in our primary decision or decisions,
11 that it should be specifically mentioned in court that even though the
12 Prosecution had originally proposed the tendering, it does not now seek
13 to tender. If that is done, the Chamber can consider and the Defence can
14 consider whether there is a concern about the Prosecution not proceeding
15 as originally proposed where its tender of all statements and
17 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, if I may address the matter just very
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
20 MS. KRAVETZ: I remember that a couple months ago when this came
21 up I was in court and I had to address it. The practice so far since
22 this issue was first raised by the Defence has always been that we
23 notified them when we do not seek to tender everything that was listed in
24 the third column of our annexes to the motion. That has been the
25 practice so far. In this case it was simply an oversight from our part
1 not to notify them - and it's actually my oversight; we should have
2 e-mailed them - but the practice so far had been that. So we have each
3 time always informed the Defence. If we listed more material than we
4 intend to tender, we always let them know beforehand whenever we send out
5 the notification; so so far this has always been done, and it has been
6 done by e-mail.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
8 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic, no need to deal with the matter
10 further now unless you have been able to consider it, but is it the case
11 that so far you've been satisfied wherever the Prosecution has not
12 formally tendered a statement or a transcript of one of the earlier
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think you stated
15 the practice so far the most precisely. The Defence had raised that
16 issue in the past, and you said everything will be admitted that the
17 Prosecution offers for admission and that's how the Defence will prepare,
18 and that's how we did so far. Here we have the list again. If something
19 was not on the list, the Defence never thought we should put it in. You
20 put it very well today, and I would suggest immediately that these two
21 exhibits, 05203 and 05203.01, the redacted and unredacted transcripts, be
23 JUDGE PARKER: They certainly will be received, Mr. Djurdjic, and
24 we understand from what you have said that the Defence has no concern or
25 objection in respect of any earlier witness so far in the trial, that
1 there has been a failure to tender either a statement or a transcript of
2 that witness which the Defence had wanted in evidence.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] The invaluable [Realtime
4 transcript read in error "infallible"] Marie O'Leary again brought this
5 situation to my notice earlier today. I always relied on the supposition
6 that whatever is on the list will be tendered, but I cannot really say
7 anything until my assistant checks whether we have admitted all this
8 evidence so far or not. I promise that within a few days, probably
9 sooner, because Ms. O'Leary is very efficient, we will submit to the
10 Court everything that is on the list and has not yet been admitted.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE PARKER: Well, then we will leave this issue open, as my
13 earlier comments indicated, to enable you to consider whether there is
14 something that has been unwittingly omitted. And I'm not sure whether
15 line 24 correctly records what you said, was it infallible or invaluable?
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Both, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. I will make an order for all of this
18 to be recorded in public session. We had gone into closed session, but
19 it will be recorded in open session because it is of procedural
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: We are in public session, Your Honours.
13 WITNESS: WITNESS K54 [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Djurdjic: [Continued]
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness. We left off yesterday on
17 the issue of your departure on the 25th. Were you in the motorcade, the
18 column of vehicles that started from Prizren to Trnje?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. How many vehicles were there?
21 A. If I remember well, around five or six.
22 Q. Thank you. How many trucks?
23 A. There was only one small vehicle that we called Pinzgauer.
24 Q. I suppose there was someone in the cab with you?
25 A. I think so.
1 Q. Do you remember who it was?
2 A. No.
3 Q. And in that motorcade, your truck was which number in the line?
4 A. Second in the line, I think.
5 Q. And who was driving ahead of you?
6 A. I don't remember.
7 Q. Did that vehicle lead the column?
8 A. It was supposed to.
9 Q. You as a driver, before you went out into the field on the 25th,
10 did you have a meeting?
11 A. No.
12 Q. How did you know where to drive?
13 A. In that first truck, there must have been one of the NCOs and the
14 NCOs did attend a meeting because it was late at night that these
15 meetings were usually held.
16 Q. As you went by certain places, there were boards and traffic
18 A. I don't remember. Probably.
19 Q. As far as I know, before the war there were normal traffic signs
20 in the whole Prizren area.
21 A. I must not have been paying attention.
22 Q. And from June 1998 you served in Prizren and the Prizren area as
23 a driver. You must have paid attention to the roads?
24 A. Yes, but when you are in a motorcade, you don't need to pay
25 attention, you just follow the car ahead of you, and you don't pay
1 attention to the signs.
2 Q. When you got out of the trucks in the place you -- where you
3 stopped, how many troops were there?
4 A. Well, those two or three lorries that were there were full, and I
5 drove a lorry full of food. I was not able to count.
6 Q. But occasionally you would drive troops as well?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What was the type of that lorry?
9 A. Dietz [phoen].
10 Q. How many troops fit in a Dietz lorry?
11 A. About 20.
12 Q. Thank you. And if there were three lorries full of troops, how
13 many could there have been in -- maximum?
14 A. They were not really packed if you really want to know.
15 Q. And how about the Pinzgauer, who was in it?
16 A. The commander of our battalion.
17 Q. Witness, I remember in the military police there is a space
18 behind the cab for troops. Is that the kind you had?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So who was there behind?
21 A. Two or three soldiers and the commander drove.
22 Q. And who was in the cab with him?
23 A. I don't remember.
24 Q. At what time did you leave Prizren?
25 A. After midnight
1 Q. And when did you arrive at destination?
2 A. Early in the morning. It was still dark; I remember that. And
3 the time it took us to find our positions -- I think it was about an
5 Q. Can you remember when you arrived at destination?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Was it night or day?
8 A. Night.
9 Q. And now tell me, we finished yesterday with those teams, and you
10 seem to have said there were two teams?
11 A. There were more, but two teams left first, followed by another
12 two teams, and so on.
13 Q. Could you explain a bit more, how was this redistribution done?
14 A. Well, they would discuss it with the commander, I mean the NCOs
15 would discuss it with the commander, and then they would pass it on. And
16 every NCO chose which soldiers he would pick.
17 Q. Thank you. Were you in that food lorry when you came to the
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And where was the commander?
21 A. Well, I can't remember anymore.
22 Q. We've talked so far and you didn't mention a single commander
23 except that one.
24 A. Well, you don't stand in one place, you move all the time.
25 Sometimes you take over. The commander doesn't stand still. He also has
1 to move.
2 Q. Would you please take care to tell me only what you know from
3 seeing it with your own eyes. Don't tell me what happens in theory or
4 what should happen.
5 A. Well, it was late, it was still dark. I didn't see much of him
7 Q. I agree that you can't remember the details, but when you talk
8 about whatever, please tell me only what you saw. We've now been talking
9 for now five, perhaps ten minutes. You didn't see a single commanding
10 officer except that battalion commander?
11 A. Maybe there was one commanding officer with me. I think that
12 one -- let me not mention him now.
13 Q. You told me you drove food supplies. How many teams did you
15 A. Well, reckon that there was one team per truck.
16 Q. So to which team were you attached?
17 A. One of those teams. I can't remember exactly now.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now move into private
19 session, please.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 4458-4465 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we zoom in a bit, please.
22 Q. Witness, can you see? And if we zoom out would that be better?
23 A. I can see.
24 Q. Could you put a circle around Mamusa.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Right. Thank you.
2 A. I think that would be roughly that area.
3 Q. I can see quite well on this map. Put a number 1, please, to the
4 left of the circle.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Would you please mark Medvedce village.
7 A. I'll put a dot here. I think it's here.
8 Q. No.
9 A. This is Trnje village.
10 Q. I asked you about Medvedce.
11 A. I don't see well enough here.
12 Q. Put number 2 next to Trnje.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. And below, circle number one. Do you see the name Medvedce just
15 below the circle?
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. That's it. Can you put number 3 there.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. And now tell me, 1 is Mamusa, 2 is Trnje, and 3 is Medvedce.
20 Relative to Mamusa, where is Medvedce? I mean north? South? East?
22 A. This seems to be south-west.
23 Q. What about Trnje?
24 A. To the east.
25 Q. In your statement given in April, paragraph 2, page 6; in English
1 that's page 5, paragraph 4, you say:
2 "We participated in the encircling of the area near Mamusa. My
3 unit had a position in one Albanian village just south of Mamusa."
4 Now, tell me, which village is south of Mamusa?
5 A. Perhaps when I was giving the statement I said roughly speaking
6 because we located things together with the investigator, we located our
7 area, and he -- and I -- I'll draw a line her, that's our area.
8 Q. And when did you do that with the investigator?
9 A. I think on the 28th of July or June when we went there
11 Q. I think the village was Medvedce.
12 A. I think so too.
13 Q. Is what you said in the first statement true? I'll quote it
14 exactly. That's the statement given 25th and 26th of April, 2002. Is
15 that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May I now tender this exhibit,
20 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: And that will be assigned D00115, Your Honours.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Witness, I asked you a question yesterday and on transcript 4389,
24 lines 9 through 19, you told me that the soldier who told you about this
25 who comes from the same area as you was in the border area, at a border
1 crossing. That was his position; right?
2 A. Right.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now call up P5203 -- sorry,
4 D00013 [sic], that is a triple zero, 13. Page 10.615.
5 Q. We're waiting for this exhibit to come up. I'll repeat my
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, before I begin the
8 question, we admitted this Defence exhibit earlier today, that's
9 Milutinovic transcript D00013 [sic], I think. That was the number given
10 to this exhibit. I'm afraid I was the one who took that down, not
11 Mrs. O'Leary.
12 THE REGISTRAR: That's D00113, Your Honours.
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Whatever I do, I do wrong it
15 Q. You told us yesterday, and I gave a reference, that this soldier
16 who told you that story was at the border crossing. Here we have the
17 document on the screen. In the Milutinovic trial in response to a direct
18 question, Did this soldier who told you this tell you that he was at the
19 border crossing as a soldier, you said no.
20 A. I can't remember this. Yesterday I said he was.
21 Q. Let's move on. I want one thing cleared up regarding Jeskovo.
22 Hamit Thaqi, Hunjen Rexhepi, Bashkim Supa, Hajdar Shalja, Feriz Susuri,
23 Tahir Gashi, Skender Latifi, Umredin Chengaj, Aledin Dzezahiri, soldiers
24 of the special unit of the 125th Brigade Operation Zone Pastrik died a
25 heros' death in Jeskovo. What I read to you is from "The Road to
1 Freedom" by Zafir Berisha, commander of that brigade. You were there.
2 Did you see any bodies of KLA members in Jeskovo?
3 A. Well, I didn't see the KLA. I'm not sure. There were people in
4 civilian clothes. If they had been wearing uniform, I would have thought
5 they were KLA.
6 Q. Thank you. Yesterday during the first part of my examination
7 when you told us about various statements and how you gave them, you told
8 me you had lost your passport.
9 A. No, not the passport. Telephone number.
10 Q. And you never lost your passport?
11 A. No.
12 Q. I must have gotten this wrong.
13 A. You must have.
14 Q. What was that about the telephone number? Were you going to
16 A. I went to Sarajevo
17 passport to get a visa.
18 Q. That's what must have confused me. After the war, were you again
19 in touch with anyone who served in your unit during the war in 1999?
20 A. You're asking me whether I was in contact with anyone after the
21 war. I was.
22 Q. And did you talk?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did that person hide at your place?
25 A. No.
1 Q. I won't name the person.
2 A. You can say K41.
3 Q. Okay, K41. I won't say the name of the town. You were not in
4 contact with him?
5 A. I was.
6 Q. Was he present --
7 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Kravetz.
9 MS. KRAVETZ: I would request that we go into private session if
10 my learned colleague is going to be asking questions about this protected
12 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps as a precaution we could do that.
13 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
25 MS. KRAVETZ: I see my learned colleague on his feet.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. I was talking to
3 Ms. O'Leary. I'm sorry for interrupting you. That map that the witness
4 marked, has it been admitted? I'm very sorry.
5 JUDGE PARKER: I believe so, Exhibit D115.
6 Carry on, Ms. Kravetz.
7 MS. KRAVETZ: Could we have this map up on the screen, and could
8 we please zoom where -- the section where -- that has been marked by the
9 witness. If we could zoom in a bit more.
10 Re-examination by Ms. Kravetz:
11 Q. Witness, you were asked a series of questions about the action
12 that you participated in the village of Trnje
13 across -- between positions numbers 2 and 3 on the map. What does that
14 line represent?
15 A. That line represents where my unit was deployed, where it had its
17 Q. Now, in your statement, you had initially said that this action
18 was carried out in the village of Medvedce
19 area with an investigator from the Office of the Prosecution, did you
20 correct this, the name of the village?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And having visited the area to the best of your recollection
23 where did this action take place, in which village, the action you
24 describe in your statement?
25 A. In village Trnje, number 2.
1 Q. Now, you were asked a series of questions by my learned colleague
2 about how you got to the village. Just very roughly speaking, are you
3 able to draw on this map and indicate the direction in which you were
4 advancing, your units were advancing, when you were heading towards the
5 village of Trnje prior to this action?
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MS. KRAVETZ: Just for the sake of the record, the witness has
9 drawn a line with an arrow that goes from the south towards the north and
10 ends at number 2 that has been circled as the village of Trnje
11 Q. You were also asked about the village of Novaki
12 on the map? I know the map is a bit blurry because it has been zoomed
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MS. KRAVETZ: The witness has drawn a rectangular -- rectangle
17 around the village of Novaki
18 Q. Witness, you were asked yesterday by my colleague - and this is
19 at page 4414 and 4415 - whether you saw MUP units when you entered the
20 village and you said:
21 "I did not see MUP units on that occasion, but they were there in
22 these days."
23 Were MUP units involved in the action against the village of
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You have shown on the map the road your unit took when you were
2 advancing towards this village. Did the MUP units that were involved in
3 this area, did they advance with you along this same road, or were they
4 progressing or coming from a different direction?
5 A. [Marks]
6 MS. KRAVETZ: For the sake of the record, the witness has drawn a
7 second line to indicate the direction in which MUP units were advancing.
8 Q. Could you maybe mark that with --
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MS. KRAVETZ: And has marked it as MUP.
12 Q. Do you know what type of units, MUP units, were involved in this
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MS. KRAVETZ: And the witness has marked the first line that
17 shows the road taken by his units with a VJ.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
19 MS. KRAVETZ:
20 Q. Thank you. Sir, did the MUP units that were involved in this
21 action, did they -- what was their role? Did they perform similar tasks
22 as the VJ units, or did they have a different task to perform during the
23 conduct of this action against the village of Trnje
24 A. They had a different assignment.
25 Q. Can you explain if you know what was their assignment? What were
1 they supposed to do during the course of this action?
2 A. I don't know; I'm not really sure. But they were probably the
3 first to start implementing that action.
4 Q. And when you say they were probably the first to start
5 implementing the action, what do you mean?
6 A. Well, I don't know how to explain.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I really wouldn't want to
9 interrupt or to influence, and now I don't know how to express myself
10 without doing either --
11 JUDGE PARKER: Let's --
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Let him continue.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Djurdjic.
14 Ms. Kravetz, please continue.
15 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you.
16 Q. Sir, do you know if these units entered the village of Trnje
17 JUDGE PARKER: You mean the MUP units?
18 MS. KRAVETZ: Yes, I mean the MUP units.
19 Q. I was asking about the MUP units. I'm sorry.
20 A. Over the course of the following days, I saw MUP members here.
21 MS. KRAVETZ: For the sake of the transcript, the witness has
22 drawn an arrow above number 2 which he has marked as MUP.
23 Q. Now, this first line that you drew alongside the line that is
24 marked VJ, were these units that were moving along that line, that is,
25 from south to north, towards the village of Trnje
1 the same time as your units?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And was there any sort of communication between those units, the
4 MUP units and your unit, when this action was being carried out?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. What sort of communication? I mean, how would you know what sort
7 of progress the MUP units were making along the axis that they were
9 A. I'm not sure. I don't know that.
10 Q. And when you said that there was sort of communication between
11 MUP and VJ units, what were you referring to? How would you communicate
12 with them?
13 A. Well, the communication was between our officers and them, by
15 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, you said that you saw MUP units in --
16 along a second axis which you've drawn above number 2. When did you see
17 those MUP units there?
18 A. I saw that through binoculars. I wasn't right there on the spot.
19 Q. And where were you when you saw those units?
20 A. In village Trnje.
21 Q. Now, you were asked by my learned colleague - and this is again
22 the same page I had referred to earlier - to clarify whether these units
23 were present when you entered the village and you say -- you said:
24 "No, they were not there on the first day."
25 Did you see them on any of the following days in the village?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And what were these units doing in the village when you saw them?
3 A. They did the same thing we did. They were waiting, and they must
4 have been involved in an operation before that or -- I really am not sure
5 what to say.
6 Q. Okay. Thank you.
7 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I seek to tender this exhibit into
8 evidence which has been marked by the witness.
9 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: That will be assigned P00785, Your Honours.
11 MS. KRAVETZ:
12 Q. And just a final clarification before we move away from -- on
13 from this topic. When I asked you what you saw them doing you said:
14 "They did the same thing we did."
15 What did you mean exactly?
16 A. Waiting to withdraw from that area. I don't know because the
17 operation was over, and they were there.
18 Q. Okay.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
20 MS. KRAVETZ: I see my learned colleague on his feet.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] All I can say now that he has
22 already -- he has confirmed an answer to the question that he had already
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Kravetz.
25 MS. KRAVETZ: I'll move on from there.
1 If we can have -- I see the map has disappeared at least from --
2 the map's still there. Yeah.
3 Q. Sir --
4 MS. KRAVETZ: The map that was just tendered, I just wanted to
5 ask a final question.
6 Q. Sir, on the map you were asked to mark the village of Mamusa
7 you know what was the ethnicity of the inhabitants of the village of
9 A. The Turks.
10 Q. And did your VJ unit conduct any actions against that village
11 during the course of this operation that you've drawn there, did you go
12 into the village?
13 A. I did later, but the army did not take part in carrying out any
14 action, neither did the police.
15 Q. Now, you were asked several questions by my learned colleague
16 about looting and specifically about how you were able to tell which
17 villages were Albanian and which were non-Albanian. And you were asked
18 whether in this area there was a single name of an Albanian village and
19 you said that between the road from Prizren to Djakovica on the left side
20 there was not a single Serbian village and on the road to Prizren there
21 were several Serbian villages, Bosniak villages, and some Albanian
23 Now, with respect to looting of houses, do you recall whether
24 your unit or other VJ units conducted any looting of houses in
25 non-Albanian villages during the time you were deployed in this area of
2 A. There was no looting in the predominantly Serbian villages;
3 however, I think that some Bosnian houses were plundered and the looting
4 was conducted in Albanian houses for sure.
5 Q. And the reference I was --
6 MS. KRAVETZ: Oh, I see my learned colleague. Just to give the
7 transcript reference I was referring to at page 4421 of yesterday's
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I was waiting for the witness to
11 finish his answer. Several questions were asked in terms of the
12 ethnicity of the owners of looted houses. My question was: How were
13 they able to distinguish the ethnicity of the owners of the houses. How
14 did they know the houses belonged to Albanians and not to someone else.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
16 MS. KRAVETZ: That was one of the questions, but the question I
17 mentioned was also asked yesterday.
18 Your Honours, I don't know if this is a convenient time for the
19 break because I have a couple more questions. I think I will --
20 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps you would like to think about that over
21 the break then, Ms. Kravetz.
22 MS. KRAVETZ: Okay. Yes.
23 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn now and resume at five minutes to
25 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
2 JUDGE PARKER: We will go into closed session so that the witness
3 can leave.
4 [Closed session]
11 Pages 4482-4483 redacted. Closed session.
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
2 MS. KRAVETZ:
3 Q. I'll just wait for a second while the blinds come up.
4 Sir, yesterday you were asked a series of questions about the
5 action you participated in Jeskovo or Jeskovo and you were -- my learned
6 colleague from the Defence read out some passages from two reports of --
7 by the OSCE and my learned colleague - and this is at page 4437 - asked
8 you after reading the passage:
9 "You see that the monitors knew that the KLA was present in
11 And you said:
12 "I understand this but why did they prevent them from coming any
13 closer to the road."
14 My learned colleague asked: So you knew they were all the time?
15 "Yes they were seen."
16 What were you referring to when you said: Why did they prevent
17 them from coming to the road?
18 A. The OSCE was prevented to come closer to that place.
19 Q. Prevented by whom?
20 A. The Yugoslav Army.
21 Q. You said yesterday that - and this was at page 4438 - that -- my
22 learned colleague read a passage of a report and said:
23 "On the second day they went out to make an inspection if that's
24 what you would call it."
25 And you said:
1 "And what about the first day. Where were they?"
2 And my learned colleague said:
3 "But they were at the entrance as you could hear."
4 And you said:
5 "The operation was completed before the night."
6 Do you know whether the OSCE representatives were allowed into
7 the village once the action was completed?
8 A. They were not allowed to enter the village.
9 Q. Yesterday you told us that you and your unit entered the village
10 and you mentioned seeing bodies there and my learned colleague asked you
11 some questions about that. Were any of the bodies that you saw in
12 Jeskovo after this operation was completed, were any of them in KLA
14 A. No.
15 Q. While you were in the village, did you see any signs of KLA
16 presence in the village?
17 A. Well, I noticed bunkers and sandbags, probably they were there.
18 That's the only thing that I noticed though.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you.
20 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I have no further questions for this
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE PARKER: You'll be pleased to know that completes the
24 questioning for you. The Chamber would like to thank you for coming
25 again to The Hague
1 you may now return to your normal activities. We will go into closed
2 session again to enable you to leave.
3 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
4 [Closed session]
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Nilsen.
14 MS. NILSEN: Yes, Your Honours. The next upcoming witness is
15 Mr. Qamil Shabani.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
17 MS. NILSEN: He will testify pursuant to 92 bis.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, sir.
20 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Please read aloud the affirmation that is shown to
22 you now.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will say
24 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 WITNESS: QAMIL SHABANI
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
3 Ms. Nilsen has some questions for you.
4 Examination by Ms. Nilsen:
5 Q. Good morning, Witness. Could you please state your full name for
6 the record.
7 A. My name is Qamil Shabani.
8 Q. And where and when were you born?
9 A. I was born on the -- on the 14th of the 11th, 1952, in Zhegra.
10 Q. Zegra, is that a village in Gjilan municipality?
11 A. Yes, it's a village in Gjilan municipality.
12 Q. And are you still living in this village?
13 A. Yes, I continue to live there. That's where I was living, and
14 I'm still living in the same village.
15 Q. What is your profession, Mr. Shabani?
16 A. I was a teacher, but it's some time that I'm not exercising this
17 profession. I am privately employed, self-employed on family matters.
18 Q. And are you educated as a teacher?
19 A. I was qualified and graduated in the Faculty of Technology, and I
20 worked as a teacher from 1974 until the 21st -- in fact, up until 2001 in
21 an elementary school and then in the gymnasium of Gjilan.
22 Q. Thank you. Mr. Shabani, did you provide a statement to the
23 Office of Prosecution in June 2001?
24 A. Yes, I made a statement in June 2001.
25 Q. And did you in August 2006 provide additional information and
1 give an amended version of your statement to the Office of Prosecution?
2 A. Yes. I made additional information available so that it's -- so
3 that we have clearer information about the events in my village.
4 Q. Right. Did you have a chance to read through those statements
5 before coming to court today?
6 A. Yes, I had the opportunity to read them.
7 Q. And are you satisfied that the information contained in these
8 statements from 2001 and 2006 is true and accurate and -- to the best of
9 your knowledge and belief?
10 A. Yes, that's correct, as far as I'm aware and as far as I believe,
11 that's correct.
12 MS. NILSEN: Your Honours, I seek to tender those two statements
13 into evidence, two --
14 JUDGE PARKER: They will be received.
15 MS. NILSEN: Thank you. 65 ter number for the 2001 statement is
17 THE REGISTRAR: That will be assigned P00786, Your Honours.
18 MS. NILSEN: And 2006 statement has 65 ter number 02280.
19 THE REGISTRAR: And that will be assigned P00787.
20 MS. NILSEN:
21 Q. Did you also testify, Mr. Shabani, on the 31st of August and the
22 1st of September, 2006, in the Milutinovic et al. case for this Tribunal?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. All right. Have you been given also a chance to review this
25 transcript together with a language assistant before you came to court
2 A. Yes, I had the opportunity to look at that.
3 Q. If I asked you the same questions as you were asked in 2006,
4 would you then provide me with the same answer?
5 A. Yes, I will try and provide the same answers that I gave then.
6 MS. NILSEN: I seek to tender the transcript into evidence with
7 65 ter number 05071, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be assigned P00788, Your Honours.
10 MS. NILSEN: There are also two associated exhibits for this
11 92 bis witness. The first is an exhibit containing different examples of
12 vehicles, and the second is an exhibit containing different examples of
13 uniforms used by the Serb forces. They have already been tendered and
14 received, and they have been given number P00318 and Exhibit P00325 this
15 is only for the record.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
17 MS. NILSEN: I would now like to read out the court summary for
18 this witness, and after that I will have a few questions.
19 The witness has described that two or three weeks before the
20 air-strikes started Serb army and paramilitary managed to create a
21 check-point on the edge of the village of Zegra
22 The witness describes their uniforms and their weapons. Initially Serb
23 forces occupied a local house and transformed it into a base for 70 to 80
24 soldiers. When the air-strikes started, five additional Albanian houses
25 in the village were occupied and the owners were forced out.
1 On the 28th of March, 1999, Serb forces searched for prominent
2 people in the village and shot the LDK, that is, Democratic League
3 of Kosovo, president's brother, and injured his sister. The next
4 morning, on the 29th of March, 1999, the Serb forces started to expel
5 people from their houses, ordering them to leave the village, and
6 threaten them with their weapons. The witness left the village that day
7 together with his family and 1300 other people and went approximately
8 10 kilometres outside the village towards Donja Stubla, which is Vitina
9 municipality, and they spent the night outside there.
10 The following morning they returned back to the village Zegra,
11 but because the armed vehicles drove through the village firing with
12 machine-guns, they escaped once again and this time they went to the
13 village Donja Stubla. Approximately one week after, Serb forces started
14 to attack the surrounding villages of Donja Stubla, resulting in wounding
15 of women and children and six people were killed. This also resulted in
16 the presence of up to 20.000 displaced people in this little village of
17 Donja Stubla.
18 The witness and his family stayed in Donja Stubla for
19 approximately five weeks. On the 2nd of May they left with a group of
20 600 people for Macedonia
21 area in Gjilan municipality called Rustaj where they were surrounded by
22 forces and detained for two hours. The men were separated from the women
23 and the group was threatened with weapons.
24 They were then escorted by 30 to 40 paramilitaries to a hill near
25 the Macedonian border from where the witness was interrogated. Finally
1 the witness was allowed to continue to the border into Macedonia.
2 This is the end of the court summary.
3 If we could please have up 65 ter number 00036 on the screen,
4 please. And if the usher could assist the witness with a pen because I
5 would like him to mark something on it.
6 If we could zoom it in a little bit more, the area to the right
7 side, lower right side of the map. Yes. Thank you.
8 Q. Mr. Shabani, are you able to locate on this map your village
9 where you were from, Zegra?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Good. Could you please mark it with a circle and put a 1 next to
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. Thank you. We know from your statements and your previous
15 testimony that you escaped to a village not far away and stayed there for
16 five weeks. Could you please put a circle around this place, this
17 village, and then mark a number 2 next to it.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. And this place would be -- the name of this village?
20 A. Lower Stublla.
21 Q. Or Donja Stubla in Serbian?
22 A. Or Donja Stubla.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you remember the date that you arrived
24 Donja Stubla and the day you left this village?
25 A. Yes. On the 30th of March we arrived in Upper Stublla. On the
1 2nd of May, we started leaving Lower Stublla, which means we stayed there
2 around five weeks.
3 Q. Exactly. And from Donja Stubla we know from your previous
4 statements and testimony that you fled to the Macedonian border. Can you
5 just explain to us why you decided to leave Donja Stubla after five
7 A. Yes. We were not -- we did not feel safe in Lower Stublla. We
8 didn't feel safe because in the surrounding areas there were Serb forces,
9 and we feared that they would come to us and provoke a massacre. And our
10 food supplies were running out so there was uncertainty, and due to this
11 uncertainty we decided to leave towards Macedonia.
12 Q. Thank you. On your way to the Macedonian border, you reached a
13 place called Rustaj; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Good. And do you remember when you reached this place?
16 A. We arrived there. We stayed a night in the hills of Seferaj
17 village, and the following day we went to Rustaj. That's where we came
18 across military and paramilitary Serb forces around 2.00 after midday
19 That's where they received us and all the column of people was
20 taken, the people were searched, and we waited for a couple of hours for
21 the commander of that unit operating in that area until he arrived. And
22 when he arrived, the operation to search every single individual, male
23 and female, and then they separated the male population from the female.
24 They forced us men to get together at one point and we were
25 encircled by Serb soldiers and paramilitary who were threatening us with
1 their weapons. We feared that we'd be liquidated. There was a heavy
2 rain at that time, and we could hear the voices from our wives and
3 mothers and children who were fearing for our lives. So after some time,
4 Serb forces then brought us together, both groups, and they were
5 escorting us. It was about 70 soldiers and paramilitary, together with
6 their commander they escorted us to a valley, to a meadow - let's call it
7 a meadow --
8 Q. Thank you. I'm going to stop you there. Could you just explain
9 whether anything concrete happened to you in this place that you call
11 A. Yes, more specifically, when we went to that meadow, the
12 commander of that region together with three or four paramilitaries who
13 were armed, they got closer to me and they said, You, Professor, they
14 spoke in Serbo-Croat, who is the organiser, the leader of this march?
15 And then there was a conversation for about an hour. There were threats
16 and insults against me and my ethnic group. I thought that following
17 this threat they would lead me away and kill me, but that didn't happen.
18 Fortunately that didn't happen because I was -- I kept my cool in the
19 face of the provocations.
20 Q. Thank you. Are you able to locate this place, Rustaj, on the
21 map; and if you are, could you please put a circle around it and a
22 number 3 next to it. You can also draw a line between number 2 and 3
23 like you have done with number 1 and 2.
24 A. That's it.
25 Q. Thank you. This is sufficient. Are you also able to see on the
1 map where you crossed the border to Macedonia?
2 A. Yes. These are the Lojane mountains. This is the border with
4 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
5 A. Yes, that's it. That's the border crossing.
6 Q. And this is the place you call Lojane; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, the mountain, the mountains of Lojane, belonging to
9 Q. Thank you so much, Mr. Shabani.
10 MS. NILSEN: Your Honours, I would seek to tender this exhibit
11 into evidence.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be assigned P00789, Your Honours.
14 MS. NILSEN: I have no further questions with this witness at
15 this time. Thank you.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
17 Mr. Djurdjic.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Djurdjic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Shabani. My name is
21 Veljko Djurdjic. I'm a member of the Defence team for the accused,
22 Vlastimir Djordjevic, assisted by Ms. Marie O'Leary, also a member of our
23 Defence team. I hope we will communicate well and allow the interpreters
24 to do their job. Therefore, when you see the typing finish on the
25 screen, only then start your answer, and I will do the same.
1 Mr. Shabani, what is your occupation now?
2 A. I work in agriculture, work in my land. I'm also a handy
4 Q. Are you perhaps retired?
5 A. Not yet.
6 Q. Thank you. What is the structure of the Zegra village in terms
7 of educational attainment and training?
8 A. Educational structure and training structure in Zhegra, I'm not
9 clear about this question. I don't know what you want me to tell you.
10 Q. First of all you started answering and then you said you didn't
11 understand. What I meant is, What level of education did the greatest
12 part of the village reach? Primary school or high school? That was my
13 first question. And my second question was to be: What is the
14 occupation of most of the village?
15 A. There are people with university education, there are people who
16 have got secondary education, and there are people who have only been to
17 the elementary school. As for the schools that exist in our village,
18 we've got an elementary school and a gymnasium, and it's got its parallel
19 structures in Gjilan.
20 Q. I didn't mean to ask about schooling institutions. Do you know
21 perhaps which percentage of the village population only finished primary
23 A. I'm not into statistics, but I could say most of them have been
24 through the elementary school, most of them, most of the village
25 population with percentage terms I could say 60, 70 per cent.
1 Q. I'm sorry, perhaps I was not precise enough. My main question
2 related to 1999. All my questions will be mainly about 1999, and if I
3 want to ask something about a different period, I will indicate so. This
4 percentage you gave me, it refers to 1999?
5 A. Yes, yes, it's related to that year.
6 Q. So you're saying that over 40 per cent of the population has more
7 than primarily school, for instance, finished secondary school or higher,
8 university, for instance?
9 A. Yes, that's roughly the case. I do not know exactly what the
10 statistics are because I haven't been involved with those.
11 Q. Thank you. And in terms of occupation, what would you say is the
12 occupation of the majority of the villages of Zegrani?
13 A. At that time, that is, in 1999 and before then, most of them were
14 involved in agriculture or in various crafts or they were employed by
15 schools, some worked in factories in Gjilan and so on.
16 Q. Thank you. I'll explain why I asked this. Most of the witnesses
17 we have seen so far were teachers or people with university degrees and
18 most of the witnesses are people who live outside of big cities, that's
19 why I asked.
20 And now, tell me, in 1999 who were you living with?
21 A. I lived with my wife in Zhegra.
22 Q. I read that in the statement. I meant did you live with your
23 parents, your brothers, in one household?
24 A. No. We had separate houses, four brothers, one has passed away.
25 And I've talked about that in my statements during the Milosevic case.
1 Three of us are still alive, and we live in separate houses.
2 Q. Thank you. Does your family house have a yard?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Is the yard surrounded by a wall?
5 A. Partly, just a small part of it, and another part has got other
7 Q. That part with a wall, where was the wall built and how tall is
9 A. There is a barn there which we have built. That's -- that's a
10 wall -- it's a building, it's a building, which serves a purpose in my
11 family's interest in agriculture.
12 Q. How high is that building?
13 A. It's a one-storey building, and it stretches several metres long,
14 and there is part of the building where we store the fodder and part of
15 it it's where the animals live.
16 Q. Thank you. Does that structure separate your house from the
17 street or the yard from the street?
18 A. Yes, this building separates my proper house from the road, so
19 this is on the side of the road.
20 Q. Is there a gate leading to the yard?
21 A. Yes, there is.
22 Q. How high is the gate?
23 A. The gate is about 2 metres high, and there is another gate where
24 the cards [as interpreted] go in and it's like 3, 4 metres high and long.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters say cars rather than cards.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. What is the gate made of?
3 A. Concrete blocks and wood. The groundwork, it's made of stones.
4 Q. How large is your own plot of land?
5 A. I have some 2 and a half hectares, and it's on the plain and on
6 the hill-sides including.
7 Q. Mr. Shabani, in your statement I read that in 1978 you did your
8 military service in the town of Vranje
10 A. Not in Vranje but in Kranj in Slovenia.
11 Q. Perhaps the interpreters misunderstood me. I said Kranj. My
12 question was: What was your military specialty?
13 A. It was pyro-ing [as interpreted] engineering.
14 Q. Thank you. Now when we're talking about 1999, when was your
15 memory of it the best?
16 A. I can't understand the way you formulate this question. I do not
17 see -- I can't make sense, what's the aim of your question?
18 Q. I mean that you have given quite a few statements and you
19 testified on several occasions in court; and when we're now talking about
20 events from 1999, when was your recollection of these events the best?
21 A. My memory is quite clear now, and it was quite clear then when --
22 when it -- when we talk about events that I have been through.
23 Q. Thank you. I noted down that I wanted to show to you a couple of
24 discrepancies compared to your first statement, it's P786. Earlier today
25 in line 46 -- line -- on page 46 of the transcript of the LiveNote you
1 described how you came to the border crossing of Rustaj. And you said
2 you were searched, mistreated, and so on. Could you tell me again what
3 was the first thing that happened when you came to Rustaj? Who did what
4 to you?
5 A. Are you talking about Rustaj?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. We were surrounded by the forces. We had to wait for a couple of
8 hours and then there was a detailed search of each individual in the
9 convoy, men or women, young or old. After the detailed search, they
10 separated men from the women. We were encircled, and we were being
11 threatened with automatic rifles, and that to us was a signal that we
12 were going to be killed. And we feared that we would be executed at any
13 moment then, but that didn't happen. And when we heard the screams of
14 our wives and women and children, they -- then the groups were brought
15 together. And from then on we continued.
16 Q. Thank you. Am I right if -- in saying that nothing was taken
17 away from you when you were searched?
18 A. Yes. I already said in my statement that at that moment nothing
19 was taken from us. However, as we passed the border, we gave some money
20 to a person. I have described this also in my testimony in the Milosevic
22 Q. Thank you. We'll come to that. Earlier today you said that you
23 had decided to leave Donja Stubla because you felt unsafe because the
24 Serbian forces were around and you feared that they would come in and
25 slaughter you and you were also short of food. And on page 4,
1 paragraph 4; English version page 5, paragraph 4; and Albanian 4 and 5,
2 you said that 1.300 people including the villagers of Zegra decided to go
3 to Macedonia
5 Am I right in saying that once you decided to leave there were no
6 forces in your village, neither the police nor the military?
7 A. It's true that there were no army or police in Stublla; however,
8 around the area in some other villages around, there were forces of the
9 army and the police. At the moment we left there was nobody there;
10 however, we always felt scared. We thought that they would come one day
11 and slaughter us all in the village of Stublla
12 Q. But these forces had been in the same place for the previous five
13 weeks; is that right?
14 A. Which forces are you talking about? Five weeks I stayed with my
15 family in the Stublla. These forces were around us. During all the time
16 the conflict went on until when NATO intervened, these forces were there.
17 Q. I didn't understand you. You said that the conflict went on.
18 What were you referring to?
19 A. I was talking about the war in Kosova. During that time, the
20 army was there, the military were there, the paramilitary were there, and
21 they did all kind of things against the civilian population. I'm talking
22 about that time. They were in permanent action during that time. People
23 suffered a lot in their hands. Everybody saw them. There were murders,
24 maltreatment, beatings, imprisonment until the last days.
25 Q. Mr. Shabani, you said that you had spent five weeks in the
1 village of Donja Stubla. My question was, During that time, were Serbian
2 forces in the area around Stubla while you were there? Were they there
3 the whole time?
4 A. They were in the surroundings of Stublla. The distance of
5 5, 6 kilometres away from the village, it's there where these forces were
6 present. They were there all the time. However, they were not in
7 Stublla. They did not come there for as long as we were there.
8 Q. Thank you. You said that you worked as a teacher until 2001, and
9 you also said that you had graduated from the Faculty of Technology.
10 When did you graduate, in which year?
11 A. I graduated from the Faculty of Technology in 1977.
12 Q. And at what university?
13 A. The University of Kosova
14 Kosova at that time.
15 Q. Thank you. I heard that this was in Pristina? Did you say that?
16 or maybe I misheard.
17 A. Yes. Once it was in Prishtina, then it was transferred to
18 Mitrovica; however, it was the same university, the
19 University of Prishtina
20 Q. Thank you. You started working as a teacher in 1974. Which
21 subject did you teach?
22 A. I taught physics, and also I taught subjects in which I was
23 needed to teach the subjects the school asked me to teach depending on
24 its needs.
25 Q. Who did you receive your salary from?
1 A. At that time I received the salary from the state which existed
2 at that time in Kosova, from the Government of Kosova, from the
3 Yugoslav Federation which existed at that time.
4 Q. Tell me, where did you teach, in which institution?
5 A. As I told you earlier, in the elementary school of Zhegra
6 as in the gymnasium of Gjilan. That gymnasium had some classes in Zhegra
7 at the time.
8 Q. Thank you. And in 1999?
9 A. In 1999, at that time I was in charge of collecting financial
10 means for the Government of Kosova. That money was used to pay for the
11 teachers, for the education which was separated at that time from Serbia
12 The wages of the teachers at the time were not paid by the state. This
13 started to happen from 1999 -- 1990, 9-0. So from that time when the
14 autonomy was abolished, all the money for the educational sector were
15 paid by the people of Kosova themselves. So at that time I was
16 responsible for collecting the money from the citizens for the
17 Government of Kosova for the institutions of Kosova.
18 Q. Thank you. Tell me first, according to which syllabus did you
19 teach in 1999?
20 A. The syllabus of that time was drawn up by the so-called
21 Republic of Kosova
22 you, the education was separated. This was imposed on us actually. The
23 Serbs tried to force us to be taught only in Serbian language. They also
24 sought to eliminate many Albanian-language subjects. They ordered that
25 the subjects should be taught in Serbian language. So this led to the
1 separation of the education. The autonomy of Kosova was lifted and at
2 that time the process of the separation of us from the state of Serbia
3 began to take place.
4 Q. Thank you. You told us twice that the autonomy was abolished.
5 Can you tell us how you understood this abolishing of autonomy, what did
6 it mean to you personally?
7 A. The abolition of autonomy was a deprivation of the elementary
8 rights of people of Kosova. This was taken us -- taken away from us
9 forcefully from Serbia
11 Q. Are you trying to tell me that the autonomous province of
12 Kosovo and Metohija had a different position and status from the one
13 enjoyed by the autonomous province of Vojvodina
14 A. The status at that time was the same; however, the status of
15 Kosova was abolished. The delegates in the Assembly of Kosova on
16 2nd of July declared Kosova a republic. These were the delegates elected
17 by the people. They rejected the violence of Serbia. This was the
18 declaration of 2nd of July.
19 Q. Thank you. What Assembly are you referring to?
20 A. I'm referring to the Assembly of Kosova.
21 Q. Who was the president of the Assembly of Kosovo, or are you
22 referring to the parallel Assembly that was set up solely by the Albanian
23 ethnic community? Is that what you were referring to? Or are you
24 referring to the socialist, or rather, the Assembly of the socialist
25 autonomous province of Kosovo
1 A. The Assembly of autonomous province, the Assembly is the
2 parliament of Kosova. On 2nd of July they declared Kosova a republic.
3 The majority of deputies took this decision. That was also the decision
4 of the citizens of Kosova. Since Serbia
5 they led to that situation. The violent measures in Kosova continued to
6 be applied until 12th of June, 1999. There were also different kinds of
8 Q. Thank you. When you said "the government" you were referring to
9 the government of Mr. Bukoshi; is that correct?
10 A. This government you're talking about was set up in exile. The
11 Assembly of Kosova was legitimate. It was that Assembly who declared the
12 Republic of Kosova
13 Constitution of Kosova was drafted. Then due to the repression of the
14 Serbs, all these deputies were forced to go into exile.
15 Q. Are you referring to the so-called Kacanik constitution?
16 A. Yes, exactly. I'm talking about the Kacanik constitution.
17 Q. When were you collecting the money that you mentioned, the funds
18 that were intended for education?
19 A. Are you talking about the date? The year?
20 Q. I'm asking you about the period in which you did this.
21 A. I was a member of a commission since this fund was set up, then
22 as a collector of the means, I worked from -- for two years, from 1997
23 until 1999, so from 1997 until 1999.
24 Q. Thank you. Do you know what the Kosovo Liberation Army is?
25 A. Yes, I know.
1 Q. Can you tell me what was the Kosovo Liberation Army involved in?
2 A. From its title itself you can understand that this was an armed
3 formation who put itself in the service of the liberation of Kosova from
4 the military and paramilitary Serbian forces.
5 Q. Thank you. When was the first time you heard or learned some
6 information about the liberation -- Kosovo Liberation Army?
7 A. As soon as it came out in public. I learnt about it from the
8 media. I had no idea about its existence before.
9 Q. And what did you know about their activities?
10 A. I do not know anything about their actions. It was their
11 business. I was engaged in my own business. At that time, I was working
12 as a citizen to collect the money for the compensation. I was collecting
13 the money for the teachers as well as for the health people. This was
14 the activity I was dedicating myself to.
15 Q. Don't you think that this period between 1997 and 1999 while you
16 were raising funds actually coincides with the period when, as you put
17 it, the KLA came into public and announced what its activities were.
18 A. The fund existed even before the KLA existed. Soon after the
19 autonomy was abolished, the fund came into being. And it was from that
20 time that the fund has been working on. The purpose of the fund was
21 purely humanitarian.
22 Q. Based on what can you claim that the KLA was not present in Zegra
23 before the war or immediately after the beginning of the war?
24 A. I never heard about any action of KLA in the village of Zhegra
25 its surroundings. Even in Gjilan, I never heard about them doing
1 anything in Gjilan. Actually, there's been no KLA there. I've also
2 mentioned this in my statements.
3 Q. That's precisely why I'm asking you this. How do you perceive
4 someone to be a member of the KLA? How can you make this distinction and
5 say, Yes, this man is a member of KLA; or no, he is not?
6 A. It's easy to make that distinction based on the practical actions
7 of a person. If a person belongs to an armed formation, he of course
8 acts to obey to the orders given by that formation. He has his uniform
9 and then he also is engaged in fighting.
10 Q. Mr. Shabani, we have heard a number of witnesses here who told us
11 that they were members of the KLA but were dressed in civilian clothes,
12 and they told us also that they took part in some armed actions and some
13 other activities as well. However, you believe that only persons in
14 uniforms were members of the KLA and that led you to tell us that there
15 were no KLA presence in your village.
16 A. I can tell you only this: There were no KLA people in my
18 Q. Thank you. Are you aware of the fact that there were people in
19 your village in illegal possession of fire-arms?
20 A. I did not see anybody carrying such weapons; however, during the
21 war if anybody had such weapons, they just hid them away. They were not
22 able to use them. I know of no case of anybody having any fire-arm with
23 him at that moment in Zhegra or in other places. Could you be more
24 specific about the time-frame you're asking about.
25 Q. Mr. Shabani, my question was: Before the war, prior to 1999, you
1 aware that certain villagers had fire-arms in possession illegally, they
2 were not bearing those arms, they were just keeping them. And I also
3 want to ask you if you know if any lawsuits were instigated against them?
4 A. As far as I know, before 1999 the police in Zhegra, in Gjilan, in
5 Kosova, mounted an action to collect weapons from the civilians, from the
6 citizens. Many people were subjected to maltreatment at that time. Even
7 people who had no weapons, sometimes they were subjected to maltreatment.
8 This action continued. It started from the time when the
9 autonomy was lifted. The purpose was to disarm the Albanians of any
10 weapons they had. It was a police action. It was a notorious action of
11 Serbian police of Yugoslavia
12 Kosova. There were widespread maltreatments. Some people also died
13 during the torture.
14 There are two people in Zhegra who died of such torture, one is
15 Mehmet Hajrullah [phoen]. After four days of police maltreatment, he
16 died in his home. He died due to the torture of the Serbian police on
17 him. The other is Sali Isufi. He is also a village fellow. Due to the
18 torture in the police station, he died one month later. There have been
19 also cases of beating and maltreatment against the people of Zhegra,
20 people living around Zhegra. This was done by the Serbian police who was
21 present in Zhegra, in Gjilan; it was also done by the paramilitaries.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I think, Your Honours, it's time
24 for our technical break.
25 JUDGE PARKER: I take it you're nearly finished, Mr. Djurdjic?
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I haven't finished, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: I know you haven't finished, but you must be
3 nearly finished.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Well, that depends on how quickly
5 we will get the answers as I continue. I started with general questions,
6 and after the break I'd like to proceed with more specific ones.
7 JUDGE PARKER: If you can try and finish in half an hour, we will
8 be grateful. Thank you.
9 We will adjourn now. We must have a break and resume at 1.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Mr. Shabani, is it true that you said that if the KLA had killed
15 some Albanians who had been involved in cooperation with Serbs, they were
16 traitors if they could have done such a thing?
17 A. The Albanians who saw the interests of their own nation, maybe
18 they have liquidated some of them, but I did not sympathise with the idea
19 that people be executed for what they do. I have no knowledge. I
20 haven't heard that this happened.
21 Q. I promised to the Trial Chamber to finish before 1.30, so please
22 listen to my questions carefully and give me specific answers. My
23 question was: Am I right in saying that you said, you stated, If the KLA
24 had killed some Albanians who were involved in cooperation with Serbs,
25 then these people were traitors of their nation and they, the KLA, were
1 entitled to do such a thing? Just let me remind you to make things
2 easier. You said that in the Milosevic trial before the Court. Do you
3 remember that?
4 A. Yes, I remember that. I said it. But I don't know of any cases
5 that the KLA has killed such people. I've said that in the Milosevic
6 trial, that I -- my opinion was that those people should have been tried
7 for what they did to the detriment of our national interests. This was
8 my opinion, and I've said this then; but I have not heard of any cases
9 that the KLA has killed people who may have done that.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: I will now move on to P787, that is this witness's
12 statement from 2006.
13 Q. Mr. Shabani, am I right in saying that you were not an
14 eye-witness and you have no direct knowledge as to who and how killed
15 Tahiri Shaqiri? Briefly, were you an eye-witness or not?
16 A. I wasn't an eye-witness, but it was his family who told me about
17 that when they came to my family, when they left their own home, fled
18 their own home, and came to us.
19 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that in your statement of 2006 you
20 explained for the first time that when you say "paramilitary" you mean
21 somebody working with the police who is not a regular policeman?
22 A. Yes, that what I've said. He is not a regular police officer but
23 is part of a voluntary formation who takes orders from somebody else.
24 Q. Thank you. Regarding paragraph 5, do you agree that it was the
25 first time you stated it's not in the 2001 statement:
1 "While I was in Zegra I learned from Albanians that members of
2 the community had compiled a list of prominent Albanians who should be
3 [Realtime transcript read in error "had been"] killed, the Serb community
4 had compiled a list of prominent Albanians who should be killed."
5 A. I've said this during my second statement where I made additions,
6 but I've said during the Milosevic trial that the members of the Serb
7 community in Zhegra had compiled a list of prominent Albanians who should
8 be killed.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction for the transcript
11 on -- in two different places it's "...a list of prominent Albanians who
12 'should be' killed..." It's currently "...'had been' killed..." in the
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Regarding this man Avni, you made certain corrections in this
16 second statement. Is it right that you were not an eye-witness and you
17 do not know who killed this person called Avni?
18 A. I've said in the statement that I heard this from Hysen Hyseni
19 who was a co-traveller of Avni, and he has described how Avni was killed.
20 And what I've said is the opinions of Hysen Hyseni on this.
21 On the killing of Avni, I also heard when I was in Macedonia
22 Kumanovo, I heard there for a second -- from a second source, and I
23 didn't get any details of how he was killed and who killed him.
24 Q. Paragraph 9, am I right in saying that this is the first time you
25 mentioned people who were wounded? It's not in your 2001 statement. You
1 mention Bedrije Selmani here?
2 A. Yes, Bedrije Selmani and -- I said that a woman and a man were
3 injured. That's to say in the initial statement now I've completed my
4 statement with the names of Bedrije Selmani and the other man had his
5 family name Isufi. I can't remember his name.
6 Q. Mr. Shabani, we have all your statements. The Trial Chamber has
7 them too. I'm just asking you simple questions. Yes or no can be the
8 answer. You just gave me a long answer in order to end up by saying what
9 I stated in the beginning that you first mentioned it in 2006, not in
10 2001. Just tell me whether that's correct or not. We have to save time.
11 A. I said that I mentioned that a woman was injured on her left arm
12 and a man in the foot. And we're talking about Bedrije Selmani and
13 Sahit Isufi. I knew about it, but I didn't know their names. This time,
14 with the additions, my statement has become more complete.
15 Q. Am I right in saying that you were not an eye-witness and you
16 have no direct knowledge who and how injured Sahit Isufi in the leg.
17 A. I've only seen his grave. As for the woman, Bedrije, I saw her
18 from the distance when she was hit by a bullet and she was injured. And
19 it was a light injury, but Isufi was injured more seriously.
20 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 10 you made a correction saying that the
21 Serb forces were not shooting after you, that it started only when you
22 got somewhere away from the village. In the first statement it says only
23 that the Serb police did not shoot after you. Is that correct?
24 A. I didn't quite understand the question. It wasn't only the
25 police but the military and paramilitary forces. I've said they shot
1 from the distance. When we were closer to the village, we were shot at.
2 All the crowd was shot at when we were leaving. But when we went further
3 away at a distance, there weren't any shootings on the crowd, on the
4 column. I'm said this in my statement.
5 Q. All right. Let's go on. Am I right in saying that in
6 paragraph 11 you stated for the first time what happened to
7 Skender Selimi? whereas you were not an eye-witness and you have no
8 first-hand knowledge about how he was wounded.
9 A. I heard this from Skender Selimi himself what happened to him at
10 the time, what he went through. He told me about what happened to him.
11 But in my initial statement, I was not allowed to talk about people who
12 were on the other side of the village. But now I had to complete the
13 details of what happened to the whole village, as is this case. I knew
14 about this then. I knew about his case then.
15 Q. Is it correct that in your statement of 2006 you mentioned the
16 name of Milazim Idrizi for the first time and that you had no first-hand
17 knowledge who killed him and how?
18 A. About this case, about the case of Milazim Idrizi, his two
19 brothers have testified. When I was in Kumanova, Milazim's brothers were
20 there and I went to pay a visit, went to pay my condolences on his death,
21 and they explained me the details of what happened to him. So the
22 testimony is on the basis of what Milazim's brothers and Qazim told me.
23 Q. Mr. Shabani, you don't seem to want to allow me finish when I
24 promised. I asked you a clear question, and I told you we have both your
25 statements. You, again, gave me a long answer just in order to confirm
1 that you did not have direct knowledge and all you know is hearsay.
2 That's all I asked you, nothing else. What you have just said is
3 contained in your second statement. Please, we have to move on.
4 Am I right in saying that it was the first time you mentioned
5 Qazim Idrizi also and that you were not an eye-witness to the event?
6 A. I wasn't an eye-witness, but I'm telling you that I heard the
7 testimony from his brothers. I couldn't say that I was an eye-witness
8 when I haven't been, but I'm telling you that I heard it from his
10 Q. Well, then just tell me yes or no. If it's no, the Court will
11 decide. I'm asking you about Qamile Haziri. Is it again the case that
12 you first mentioned him in 2006 and you were not a witness?
13 A. Qamile Haziri is the wife of Qazim Idrizi. That's their family
14 names, that's what family names they have.
15 Q. And all your knowledge is indirect and 2006 is the first time you
16 mentioned it; right?
17 A. In my statement I haven't mentioned this because I wasn't told --
18 I wasn't allowed to tell about events from that part of the village.
19 That's why I have made the additions now.
20 Q. Thank you. And in paragraph 13 in 2006 you again talk about
21 Idrizi for the first time, or rather, the Idrizis. It's not in your 2001
23 A. I've only stressed there in the statement of 2001 I said that
24 after we left the village, many murders, many killings, took place in the
25 village. And these are the details of those killings.
1 Q. You stubbornly don't want to answer my question which is simple.
2 I keep asking you the same thing. You did not say that in 2001. You
3 first mentioned it in 2006, one; and two, you are not an eye-witness and
4 you keep giving me long-winded answers to each of these questions. Just
5 tell me whether I'm right or not.
6 Now I'm asking you about paragraph 14, the man called Velickovic.
7 I say you first mentioned it in 2006 and you were not an eye-witness to
8 the incident you recounted in 2006.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a question, Mr. Djurdjic?
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I'm just asking: Am I right or
11 not --
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Shabani, it's asked of you whether you first
13 mentioned the name of this man Velickovic, is it, in 2006 statement. Did
14 you name him earlier, Stavre Velickovic?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've mentioned Stavre Velickovic
16 before because he was the commander of the Territorial Defence of Zhegra,
17 a regular formation of reserve forces, military reserve forces.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. You mentioned him in your 2006 statement; that's what you're
20 saying; right?
21 JUDGE PARKER: He's mentioned in paragraph 14 of Exhibit P787,
22 the 2006 statement. I think your question is whether the witness had
23 mentioned this before that statement, either in the 2001 statement or
24 when giving evidence.
25 I wonder, Mr. Shabani, whether you are able to remember whether
1 you'd mentioned this person, Velickovic, in the 2001 --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mentioned that during the
3 testimony in the Milosevic case.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Shabani, my question about all these paragraphs I quoted is
7 the same. Am I right you did not mention it in your 2001 statement and
8 you mentioned certain things for the first time in 2006. Please focus on
9 that, and since I have only two minutes left I'll try to summarise. In
10 paragraphs 16 - I'm talking about the 2006 statement - in paragraph 16
11 you mentioned for the first time the names of these people who met their
12 death, who perished, and you did not know these names in 2001.
13 A. In which statement?
14 Q. In 2006, in paragraph 16, you enumerate the first and last names
15 of these people because you remembered them apparently. Am I right in
16 saying that in 2001 you didn't mention them?
17 A. Yes, it's a fact that I haven't mentioned the names, but I've --
18 I've talked about the number of people who were killed, that six people
19 were killed in the village of Gjylaku
20 in 2006 and the aim of that statement in 2006 was to complete that
21 statement -- my statement with the details, names, and family names, of
22 those people who were killed. And these are notes which the Tribunal has
23 at its disposal.
24 Q. In paragraph 17 you corrected your 2001 statement in which it
25 read that life was normal in Stubla; however, now for the first time you
1 say that life was not normal. Is that the first time that you stated
2 that, this correction that is contained in paragraph 17?
3 A. No, I've made the same correction during the Milosevic case. I
4 have specifically been asked about this case. There can be no normal
5 life if somebody is under military and paramilitary formations under
6 their guard and is threatened, as was the case of Stubla. Because we
7 feared that we could be eliminated at any time by those forces and these
8 cannot be considered as normal conditions, life conditions. We were
9 guarded round the clock, and I've said this in my previous statements and
10 this information that I've given in the latest statement is to just
11 complete my earlier statements with the specifics.
12 Q. Mr. Shabani, I'm putting to you the statements that I want to.
13 If I wanted to put to you some other statement, I would have done so.
14 Therefore, please answer the questions that I'm asking you. And I'm
15 nearing the end anyway.
16 Am I right to say that when you set off towards Macedonia, that
17 the soldiers stopped you and told you to go to Presevo?
18 A. Yes, from the moment --
19 Q. Thank you, thank you. This is all I need to hear.
20 A. [Previous translation continues]... told us --
21 Q. [Previous translation continues]... ask you this: You were
22 afraid of the Serbian army and instead of going to Presevo where they
23 told you to go, you went to Macedonia
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. Thank you. And am I right to say that nobody escorted you, and
1 you travelled on your own along this road towards Macedonia instead of
2 going to Presevo?
3 A. Yes, at that moment nobody escorted us, and I've said it in my
5 Q. Thank you. And my last question for you: Is it fair to say that
6 when you crossed the border nobody asked you to produce any ID or other
8 A. The IDs, our documents were seen when they -- when we were
9 searched -- all of us were searched to see who we were.
10 Q. Mr. Shabani, please, please listen to what I'm saying. You told
11 us how you were searched, but listen to my question. I asked you while
12 you were crossing the border nobody confiscated your documents, yes or
13 no, please answer me that.
14 A. Yes, nobody confiscated the documents. That's how it was. No
15 one took documents from us.
16 Q. Mr. Shabani -- thank you, Mr. Shabani. I have no further
17 questions for you.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. With
19 this, I have concluded my cross-examination.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Djurdjic.
21 Ms. Nilsen, do you re-examine?
22 MS. NILSEN: Your Honours, the Prosecution do not have any
23 questions for re-examination. Thank you.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Shabani, the Chamber would like to thank you
1 for coming again to The Hague
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
3 JUDGE PARKER: There are no further questions for you. You will
4 realise we have the statements you have given earlier and the evidence
5 you have given earlier as well as the answers that you have been able to
6 give today. And we're going to have to study all of that in due course.
7 So we want to thank you again for your assistance, and you may of course
8 now return to your normal activities. The court officer will show you
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE PARKER: Fortunately it turned out that further time was
13 not needed for re-examination, so we are now eight or nine minutes short
14 of finishing. What is the practicality of calling the next witness at
15 this point do you think?
16 MR. STAMP: I don't think it would be convenient at this moment
17 to --
18 JUDGE PARKER: Is it right, Mr. Stamp, it's a protected witness?
19 MR. STAMP: Yes.
20 JUDGE PARKER: We would need time to set up the court anyway.
21 That being said --
22 MR. STAMP: I don't think we would need time to set up the court.
23 It's just a pseudonym. I don't think we -- but to start now it takes
24 five minutes to get him here, and to get him sworn, so --
25 JUDGE PARKER: We've been very considerate of Mr. Djurdjic in
1 having breaks to allow him to look at things, so I think we can allow you
2 to have an early finish today with a view to starting tomorrow morning at
4 MR. STAMP: I'm grateful, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE PARKER: We therefore adjourn until 9.00 in the morning.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.38 p.m.
7 to be reconvened on Friday, the 15th day of
8 May, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.