1 Tuesday, 7 July 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. Please be seated,
7 Mr. Haxhibeqiri. The affirmation you made to tell the truth still
9 Ms. O'Leary.
10 MS. O'LEARY: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 WITNESS: FUAT HAXHIBEQIRI [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examination by Ms. O'Leary [Continued]:
14 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Haxhibeqiri. When we finished yesterday, we
15 were talking about the forms, specifically we were talking about the
16 authors of crimes and the options that were there. Did you have an
17 opportunity to refresh your memory about what options would have been
19 A. [No interpretation]
20 JUDGE PARKER: We appear, Ms. O'Leary, not to be getting any
21 translation at the moment. The interpretation is faltering.
22 Are you able now to receive any interpretation, Mr. Haxhibeqiri?
23 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
24 JUDGE PARKER: Can we try again. Is there any interpretation
25 reaching you yet?
1 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
2 JUDGE PARKER: You'll just have to wait, I am afraid, there seems
3 to be a connection problem. We just must wait a moment, a technician is
4 checking. I will try once again to ask you whether you are now receiving
5 any interpretation.
6 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
7 JUDGE PARKER: I heard the witness answer, but no interpretation
8 has reached us. There must still be a connection problem. I will try
9 once again now. Are you able to tell me whether you receive any
11 THE WITNESS: [English] Yes.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It appears it may now be functioning.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE PARKER: What you are saying is apparently reaching the
15 interpreter's booth, but the connection back from that booth is not
16 functioning. So with a little more patience.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The witness might be on
18 the English channel.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Is the witness on the English channel? Perhaps if
20 the interpreters could please speak to me from the Albanian booth.
21 Nothing is coming through. So we still have no connection from the
22 Albanian booth.
23 JUDGE PARKER: We are advised that there is a technical problem.
24 It may take up to ten minutes to fix it. We will therefore adjourn.
25 This is just to keep you on your mettle, Ms. O'Leary.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Could the Albanian booth please speak so we could
2 test it once, please.
3 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn for 10 minutes.
4 --- Break taken at 2.31 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 2.42 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: We are informed that the technical problem has now
7 been overcome. Are you hearing me, Mr. Haxhibeqiri?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We are receiving a translation from
10 your answer.
11 Ms. O'Leary, if you would please continue with your
13 MS. O'LEARY: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Mr. Haxhibeqiri, would you like me to repeat the question that I
15 asked or did you hear it before we went on the technical break?
16 A. Sure. I will start to read. "Are you prepared to testify in
17 front of The Hague Tribunal?" That was the first question.
18 Q. And can I just interrupt you. You are reading from one of the
19 sample forms that you had done with the --
20 A. Yes, that's the interview form, the questionnaire.
21 Q. Is this interview form filled in that you are reading from right
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. But it's representative of the same form that was used for
25 everyone; correct?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. Now, a primary concern, if we could just focus on -- in your last
3 testimony you had said, Please describe the authors of the crime, is what
4 the form says. For example the VJ, the police, the paramilitary, or
5 civilians. Is that what it says when asked to list the author of the
7 A. Yes, I can read that out. Sorry.
8 "Were you a victim or a witness to the crime, such as murders,
9 tortures, sexual abuse, kidnapping, destruction of property, looting,
10 persecution, displacement? Please describe on the blank page. If you
11 need more space, you may use an additional blank page."
12 There are five pages here where one could explain what had
13 happened to him or her.
14 Later on, we continue with each individual crime.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Haxhibeqiri. Very specifically though, I'm
16 interested only in the one part of that form, what it says about who the
17 possible perpetrators were, what options were listed. If you could read
18 that for us, please.
19 A. "Please describe the perpetrators of the crime; the VJ, the
20 police, paramilitary, civilians."
21 Q. And that's all the options that are listed there; correct?
22 A. No, there is more:
23 "How were they dressed, what uniform, what weapons, what vehicles
24 and other equipment were they using."
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Haxhibeqiri. It does not list on there, though,
1 the KLA or NATO as a possible alleged perpetrator of a crime, does it?
2 A. If it was from NATO, then the witness has specifically said it
3 was because of the NATO bombing. It was the witness that specified that
4 in the description of what had happened to them. When they described
5 what had happened to them, they specified these details.
6 Q. And so in the narrative did they also describe if it was KLA as
7 perpetrators of crime?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. But they would have to specify that in their own language, just
10 in their own narrative, not specifically a check box; correct?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. Thank you. I want to move on to your statement now.
13 MS. O'LEARY: If we could have P1068 put on the screen, please.
14 Q. And I want to focus first on the statistics you have.
15 MS. O'LEARY: Specifically if we are focusing in on about the
16 fourth page in the English. It's also -- it's on page 2 right away which
17 is page 5 in e-court in English, which would be page 2 of the Albanian.
18 Q. First of all, you said that the last true census was carried out
19 in 1981. What do you mean by true census?
20 A. Because that was the only and the last census and the statistics
21 that are being quoted today are from that census.
22 Q. I am afraid we are having a little technical difficulty, but I'll
23 just ask you some questions without putting the statement at this moment
24 while we get that on the screen. What censuses were available -- has any
25 census been done since 1981 in Kosovo?
1 A. As far as I remember, in 1991.
2 Q. So there was a census done in 1991?
3 A. Yes, but the Albanians were not included in that census.
4 Q. Why were the Albanians not included in that census?
5 A. I'm not a demographer, and I don't know.
6 Q. But it seems from some of the other numbers that you've given
7 that the Albanians were obviously a majority of the population,
8 especially in the municipality of Gjakova
9 you say that, that they were not included?
10 A. Why? A state which uses repressive measures and tanks against
11 our -- our parliament and closes down the university and other schools,
12 that state loses the confidence of the population, and that happened soon
13 after the autonomy of Kosova was revoked.
14 Q. So did the Albanian population boycott that census then?
15 A. I don't know. But I know that they did not take part. They were
16 not included in that census.
17 Q. You were there at the time, correct, in Gjakova?
18 A. Yes, all the time.
19 Q. Why did you not take part in the census then?
20 A. Nobody invited me.
21 Q. How do you know a census was taken then?
22 A. Through the papers.
23 Q. Let's move on to some of the statistics that we have here also in
24 your statement. You estimate - because you said that an accurate census
25 was not done in 1991 in your statement here you say - you estimate that
1 the population of the town - and we're on page 2 here, about a third of
2 the way down:
3 "In 1998, 1999 I would estimate that the population of the town
4 was about 120.000 total."
5 And that would have been the population of Gjakova city; correct?
6 A. Yes. That's according the last census.
7 Q. And you felt that the population had not fluctuated very much
8 between the 1981 census and then in 1998?
9 A. Of course it has changed.
10 Q. So you are saying that actually in 1998 there would have been
11 more or less people in Gjakova city than 120.000?
12 A. Could have been more, could have been more, about 150.000 or so.
13 Q. And how many people do you estimate were in Gjakova municipality,
14 as a total?
15 A. Are you talking about 1988?
16 Q. 1998.
17 A. About 150.000.
18 Q. 150.000 for the city of Gjakova
19 entire municipality, if you would guess?
20 A. No, I'm talking about the municipality here. And here in the
21 statement it's just the population of the town, of the city.
22 Q. That's correct.
23 A. But it's a mistake here. On the third paragraph, the population
24 of the town was 120.000, but that included the municipality, so the town
25 and the surroundings.
1 Q. So it's your testimony today that it was approximately 120-, to
2 150.000 in the entire municipality of Gjakova
3 A. 1981 there were 120.000 in total, whereas in 1998, 150.000 for
4 the municipality.
5 Q. Thank you for that clarification. Do you have any idea, any
6 estimate, about how many people were living in Kosovo at that time?
7 A. Around 2 million.
8 Q. And I want to focus a little bit further down then, because you
9 say that:
10 "Since that time," since 1998 you are discussing, "500.000 to
11 700.000 Kosovo Albanians have been forced to leave the country as a
12 result of persecution."
13 So when you say "the country," are you referring to Kosovo or are
14 you referring to a larger area?
15 A. For Kosova.
16 Q. So in the ten years of 1988 to 1998, you are saying roughly
17 one-fourth to one half of the population of Kosovar Albanians left?
18 A. 500.000 is not half but is one-fourth. Mainly youth. These are
19 figures that I have collected from the daily press.
20 Q. Correct. My math skills are not the best but one-fourth I was
21 saying as far as 500.000 but you give a range of 700.000, so I was saying
22 one fourth to one half.
23 When you say mainly youth left, were they possibly leaving for
25 A. No. They were forced to leave because of the violence. They
1 obviously did not have anywhere to work, but they were also being
2 persecuted, and they were being forced to join the army; but they did not
3 trust that state and didn't want to do that.
4 Q. Were Serbs or Romas, youths specifically, leaving at that time as
6 A. No, they didn't have problems then. They could do whatever they
8 Q. You state here that:
9 "The number of non-Albanians in the town never exceeded 2 per
10 cent." It's directly under that 120.000 number.
11 If we're going with 120.000 or 150.000, wouldn't that be about
12 2-, 3.000 people that would have been non-Albanian?
13 A. Before I came to this Tribunal, I read a few figures from the
14 statistical centre of Serbia
15 1991 the number of Serbs in the Gjakove municipality was 1.475 this is a
16 statistical figure from Belgrade
17 about this. This is something that I can confirm.
18 There were other ethnic groups like the Roma, Montenegrin,
19 Croatians, Bosnians; but the overall figure is no more than 5 per cent.
20 5 per cent of other groups. They could go up to 5 per cent, but the
21 majority, 95 per cent of the population, was Albanian.
22 Q. And so by these figures you've looked up, it was 1.475 or -57
23 Serbs in all of the municipality of Gjakova
24 A. In 1991, yes.
25 Q. Let's move on a little further down your statement where you are
1 talking about education. On page 2, paragraph 3 from the bottom, at
2 least in the English version, it starts off with:
3 "Many of the people who left..." that paragraph.
4 You state that the schools were closed to Albanians. What do you
5 mean by closed?
6 A. Yes. The secondary schools for the Albanians starting from 1990,
7 they were closed. Initially the police was in front of the school gates
8 with tanks.
9 Q. This is in 1990?
10 A. Yes, that was starting from 1990 for the next ten years up until
11 the NATO bombing started. That was the case for all the secondary
12 schools, high schools in Kosova including the universities. And
13 schooling for the Albanians took place in private homes for ten years.
14 For the Serb kids, there was schools, there were schools. And as
15 for the Albanian students, they continued with their education secretly,
16 in private homes. And they were exposed to real dangers if they were
17 found holding Albanian books and Albanian textbooks. Their books were
18 torn and they were tortured.
19 Q. Let me just cut you off quickly because we do have this in your
20 statement almost verbatim what you're explaining now. And I just want to
21 ask a you couple of questions to clarify a couple things I didn't
22 understand about them.
23 When you refer to the tanks - you don't refer to it in your
24 statement - but you are saying now that there were tanks positioned
25 outside the secondary schools for ten years?
1 A. What hasn't been written on this statement has been witnessed by
2 myself in person. I've seen it with my own eyes. It's true that it
3 hasn't been included in this statement, but the statement is not a
4 complete one. There are so many things which have not been included in
5 this one that I have witnessed myself.
6 Q. But I believe you were given an opportunity in the last trial you
7 testified at of Milutinovic et al. To explain anything else that you had
8 eye-witnessed; the Judges gave you an opportunity to discuss anything
9 else that was not in the statement; correct?
10 A. You haven't read the transcript. I have said it very very
11 clearly that the tanks were deployed in front of the schools. I am an
12 eye-witness to that.
13 Q. That's correct. You did say that. But at this point, you are
14 saying -- it sounds like, that the tanks were there for all ten years.
15 Is that true, or was it just 1990, 1991? How long were the tanks there?
16 A. I didn't say that the tanks were positioned there throughout
17 these ten years. I said in the beginning. And that sends a clear
18 message, when you see police presence with tanks outside a school, that
19 means that the school is closed down.
20 Q. It may just be language here, but when you say "closed down" do
21 you mean that the entire school was closed to everyone then in 1990?
22 A. Only to Albanians, yes.
23 Q. But at some point the tanks were moved; correct?
24 A. Yes. I don't remember when they were moved, but they didn't stay
25 there for a long time. But that was enough to keep Albanians away from
1 school buildings.
2 Q. Was it permissible then in 1998 for an Albanian child to enroll
3 in the school?
4 A. No, that situation continued. As of 1990, the Albanian children
5 were no longer able to continue their higher education.
6 Q. And what about the elementary schools? Were there tanks in front
7 of the elementary schools in 1990?
8 A. No, those schools were open.
9 Q. Did Albanian children continue to attend the elementary schools
10 in Gjakova?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And that's through 1998 and 1999?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. And when you're discussing the secondary schools and the
15 university, you said that it was conducted in secret. Was it
16 impermissible under the governing constitution at that time to set up
17 these, I think it's referred to the parallel school system; correct?
18 A. Which governing constitution are you talking about, the one that
19 used tanks?
20 Q. I'm speaking of the governing constitution of the state in 1998.
21 A. Which state are we talking about?
22 Q. I'm asking if the government permitted these parallel school
23 systems to exist. Did they in any way forbid them or try to shut them
25 A. It permitted it.
1 Q. Why then did you say a little bit earlier that they were
2 conducted in secret?
3 A. I was talking about secondary education and universities. They
4 did permit the elementary education system, but not the high one.
5 Q. And you are saying that because some elementary children chose to
6 go to the parallel school system instead of the existing schools;
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Then let's talk about the secondary school system. Did the
10 government in any way forbid these parallel secret school systems or in
11 any way try to shut them down?
12 A. Well, it tried to shut them down. I mentioned the tanks
13 positioned outside school buildings, and that's why the Albanians
14 organised themselves to study in private homes. And this is what they
15 did for a long period of time, for ten years.
16 Q. But the tanks were positioned outside schools that were attended
17 by both Albanians, Serbs, and other minorities; correct?
18 A. Only one secondary school was attended by Serb students.
19 Q. What was the name of that school, if you remember?
20 A. Hydar Dushe [phoen] high school.
21 Q. In 1990 was there a tank outside the Hydar Dushe school?
22 A. Yes, there was.
23 Q. But at that point the Albanian secondary students stopped going
24 and started attending the parallel school system; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the Hydar Dushe school remained open then with Serbs and
2 other minorities?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What other minorities were in Gjakova that would have been
5 attending a secondary school such as that?
6 A. Bosniaks, Romas.
7 Q. And it would have been operating then with a dramatically less
8 population of students then after 1990 if all Albanian students left;
10 A. Yes. What I know is that every year just one class would attend
11 school from the first to the fourth year of secondary school.
12 Q. If we could move on to the next topic you discuss in your
13 statement, one more paragraph down, of health care. You briefly touch on
14 it. It seems, though, that your main concern of that in Gjakova was that
15 there were two Serbs in high-ranking positions at that time. I'm talking
16 about the second line of that paragraph.
17 A. At that time, there was the hospital and the health centre. Just
18 like in every other organisation and institution, the violent measures
19 were in place; and that's why here the Albanian directors were removed
20 from their jobs and replaced by Serbs.
21 Q. This is two positions you are talking about, though, here;
23 A. Yes. Albanians were removed, and they were replaced by Serbs,
24 Serb doctors.
25 Q. Do you know when this was?
1 A. No, I don't remember, but it is during this period of time.
2 Q. But there were other Albanian doctors and specialists working in
3 the health care centre and hospital; correct?
4 A. Yes, correct.
5 Q. Would you say the majority of doctors were Albanian?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And Albanians and Serbs at that time, as far as I could
8 understand here, were receiving adequate health care similarly throughout
9 the 1990s?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And then you go on to discuss television and media that was in
12 the area at that time. What Albanian media continued through
13 1998 and 1999, specifically, which television was available?
14 A. We had one television, the KTV. In fact, that was the Prishtina
15 radio television which was shut down in July 1990. The police brutally
16 entered the premises and removed the employees from their offices. They
17 also had tanks positioned there. And from that day, this television was
18 closed down and it was opened only after the war.
19 Q. Thank you. And we do have some of this in your statement, it
20 should be, I'm going pretty much straight through it, if you want, for
21 reference, to see what was already contained in your statement.
22 You said that you were receiving Serb propaganda at some point.
23 "We got Serb propaganda all the time which was always
25 This is on page 3 in the English at the very top. The Albanian
1 may be page 3, page 4.
2 When did this Serb propaganda start?
3 A. Immediately after Milosevic came into power. It started
4 systematically and intensified in the years prior to the war. Three
5 years before the war started, to be more precise.
6 Q. Sorry, I don't want to cut you off, but when did those programs
7 end then, or do they still continue?
8 A. When the NATO bombing started, everything came to an end.
9 Q. Were you able to access satellite television at that time with
10 Albanian programmes?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And going to the newspapers then, you say the Serbs gave
13 permission for one newspaper; and I'm afraid I'll ruin the name but --
14 A. Excuse me, when I said another TV channel in Albanian, I was
15 referring to TVSH, the Albanian satellite television.
16 Q. And that continued to function through 1998 and 1999?
17 A. The whole time, yes. That was the only source of information for
19 Q. And there was no propaganda of any kind on that station?
20 A. What kind of propaganda do you mean?
21 Q. Well, you classified what was on the other station as Serb
22 propaganda. I'm asking if there was any kind of propaganda on this TVSH?
23 A. No, absolutely not. They conveyed the news of Albanian media
24 from Albania
25 Q. Was it a station that supported independent Kosovo, in your
2 A. That I don't know.
3 Q. And then moving on to the newspapers as we were just -- I was
4 attempting to mention the name of this newspaper, "Bujku." The Serbs
5 gave permission for one newspaper "Bujku." Do you know what group
6 published that newspaper?
7 A. The owner of the MUP is Veton Surroi.
8 Q. Were there any other newspapers at that time that were
9 functioning in 1998 and 1999?
10 A. Excuse me, "Rilindija" at the time was forced to change its name
11 into "Bujku," whereas "Koha Ditore" is a newspaper owned by Veton Surroi.
12 Q. Thank you for the clarification. Was "Koha Ditore" - excuse me
13 in my pronunciation - was that functioning in 1998 and 1999?
14 A. I don't remember. It's a detail and unfortunately I don't
15 remember it. I think it did, but I'm not sure.
16 Q. The reason I ask is because of the qualification that in
17 paragraph that you say the Serbs gave permission for one newspaper, so
18 I'm just trying to discover if there was more that one Albanian newspaper
19 functioning at that time.
20 A. I cannot answer this question with full certainty. I don't
21 remember that.
22 Q. Thank you. At page 4 of the English version of your statement,
23 you discuss hearing things and you say that, Up until the time the
24 newspapers were closed down, we reported to them what was happening.
25 It's at the very bottom of the English, I believe. The very last line of
1 the English on 4, so it may be 4 or 5. The paragraph starts in English
3 "The Serbs had large cannons placed..."
4 So it may be actually on the next page in the Albanian.
5 And the line in English reads:
6 "Up until the time that the newspapers were closed down, we
7 reported to them what was happening."
8 What time-period are you talking about here?
9 A. I'm referring to the time-period March/April 1998, up until the
10 23rd of March when the police searched and broke into the premises of our
12 Q. So how many newspapers were you reporting to that were
13 operational up until the 23rd of March?
14 A. I remember "Koha Ditore" and "Bujku" as two of these newspapers.
15 "Koha Ditore" was being published before the war. I remember it now.
16 Q. Thank you. So how many newspapers were shut down in
17 1998 and 1999 if those two were operational?
18 A. I don't know the exact number of daily newspapers published at
19 the time.
20 Q. Okay. Back on the previous page you are talking about firings
21 that go on. Actually, I believe it's on page 2 back at the beginning,
22 the first page of the statement. Somewhere in the middle of the page you
23 say the Serbs suffered no problems. And this is in regard to the 1400
24 people living in the Gjakova municipality; correct?
25 A. This is in regard to the Serb citizens who lived in Gjakove
1 municipality. They didn't have any problems whatsoever with employment.
2 Q. But as we discussed prior, it was approximately 1500 people in
3 the municipality?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You also state that few Albanians could accept conditions imposed
6 by the Serbs. What were these conditions?
7 A. Are we talking about employment?
8 Q. It's in the same paragraph. And you are discussing people being
9 fired, and you say:
10 "The only way to retain your job was to except," but I think you
11 mean accept "the conditions imposed by Serbia. Few Albanians could do
12 this and suffered the consequences."
13 I'm wondering what those conditions are.
14 A. Can you please give me the reference?
15 Q. It's page 2 of the English, it's on your screen in front of you,
16 I believe. The paragraph starts with:
17 "During this period in Gjakove, people have been ..."
18 Probably about two-thirds of the way down. The last paragraph
19 maybe. It's on the first page of the statement for you.
20 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, if I may assist, I believe this is
21 paragraph 4 of page 1 of the Albanian version, it's been formatted
22 differently in Albanian.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The one starting
25 "Since 1988 ..."
1 MS. O'LEARY:
2 Q. The paragraphs are lined up different apparently on this, so my
3 paragraph starts at a different part. But basically I'm looking at the
4 sentence that says specifically:
5 "The only way to retain your job was to except the positions ..."
6 A. Yes. If one wanted to retain his or her job, they had to sign a
7 declaration of loyalty to accept the Serbian conditions and curriculum,
8 to be ready to work under Serb orders. The majority of Albanians did not
9 accept this order.
10 Q. Was this all positions or certain positions that were asked to
11 sign this declaration of loyalty?
12 A. Only the Albanians were imposed this declaration of loyalty. The
13 Serbs continued their employment normally. The only way to retain your
14 job was to accept these imposed conditions.
15 Q. What I was asking, actually, was did it apply to all professional
16 fields, or were there only specific professional fields that were asked
17 to sign this?
18 A. It applied to all professional fields.
19 Q. Were you ever asked to sign one in your position?
20 A. No. Actually, not in all professional fields, mainly in
21 administration and high-ranking positions.
22 Q. And this was just government positions; correct? State
24 A. Yes, correct.
25 Q. Did any Albanians sign this statement of loyalty?
1 A. There was a group of Albanians, policemen, loyal to the Serb
2 state collaborators.
3 Q. Are you saying that only police signed this?
4 A. I remember this group of Albanian policemen as the category of
5 loyal citizens to the Serb government. They were all from villages.
6 Q. What ramifications did they have for signing this, if any?
7 A. Who were these who signed these agreements? None of the
8 Albanians did.
9 Q. But you just stated some Albanian policemen had signed the
10 statement of loyalty; correct?
11 A. Yes, correct. But what kind of consequences are we talking
12 about? The consequences that these policemen suffered?
13 Q. I'm asking in general, but if you know of anything related to
14 these police?
15 A. As a consequence, they were ignored by the majority of the
16 Albanians. They were an artificial creation so to say, and they were a
17 minority. They gained power as policemen who were loyal to the
18 authorities. They were looked down upon by the majority of the
20 Q. When you are referring to these people at page 3 of the
21 statement, see if I can find where it is here exactly, you are saying
22 that these people -- it's paragraph 2 in the English, so it may be
23 further down on the page. It starts off -- at least the English
24 paragraph says that:
25 "These people that the Serbs found were not the intellectuals,
1 they used people as I've described..."
2 So are you stating that there were no Albanian intellectuals
3 working in Gjakova municipality in the 1990s?
4 A. Not in the key positions.
5 Q. You say that there were approximately 50 to 53 - not sure I have
6 a reference on this - but 50 to 53 people out of the Albanian population
7 who collaborated with the Serbs. Is that an estimate that you find fair?
8 A. These were the rumours in the town at the time. People had
9 knowledge of this group of 50 or a little bit more than that.
10 Q. In your testimony in Milutinovic et al., you were asked about
11 human rights abuses, and you testified that you haven't had any case
12 registered in which an Albanian has killed an Albanian. Is that true?
13 A. I was referring to the data I personally collected, cases that
14 were reported to the office of the Council for the Defence of
15 Human Rights and Freedom. I personally didn't have any such case
16 registered in which an Albanian had killed another Albanian.
17 Q. Despite the cases registered which you said were 1.000; correct?
18 A. Of persons killed?
19 Q. No, no, you took 1.000 cases registered?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Despite those, have you heard in general of any Albanians
22 committing crimes against other Albanians during the conflict?
23 A. I already told you that I took down only those cases that were
24 reported to me by the victims. I cannot speak of other cases.
25 Q. I was actually just referring to your personal knowledge, things
1 you have heard around town, not necessarily something you took in a
3 A. The fighting was between the Serbs and the Albanians. Not
4 between Albanians themselves.
5 Q. So I'll understand that answer to be a no. You know of no case
6 where an Albanian has killed another Albanian in the conflict; correct?
7 A. Personally I don't know of any such case.
8 Q. Thank you. And we have your interview from the OTP --
9 A. I know of one case that occurred after the war.
10 Q. I think we are going to try to refrain to 1998 to 1999 in the
11 period that we are discussing here today as far as things go. Thank you.
12 But we have your interview here from 2001 from the OTP. What
13 other interviews have you given to judicial organs?
14 A. Judicial bodies, no.
15 Q. Did you give any interviews to anyone else, a non-judicial
17 A. I don't remember. I've given interviews to the papers, to the
18 media, but I don't believe I've spoken to any judicial bodies except for
19 the ICTY.
20 Q. Thank you. In regard to these media interviews --
21 MS. O'LEARY: If we could have D004-2194 on the screen please.
22 Q. I'm going to refer to this "Los Angeles Times" article that you
23 were asked about in your prior testimony.
24 MS. O'LEARY: I believe if we go right away to -- it's -- we only
25 have it in English, I'm afraid. If we go right away to what is e-court
1 page 3 at the bottom.
2 Q. Do you remember giving this interview?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And at the bottom of this, and I'll just read it so you have the
5 proper translation, it says:
6 "The fate of those collaborators remains a mystery. Many,
7 including the Jakupis, apparently decamped with the retreating Serbian
8 forces. Others, Haxhibeqiri said, were caught by the Kosovo Liberation
9 Army fighters and executed in apparent violation of Geneva Convention
10 rules governing conduct during the war."
11 And it's referring to collaborators here that you've discussed
12 before. And I know that Milutinovic you said that those were not your
13 words. Are those your words or not?
14 A. Yes, and I have also said that I tried to put the record straight
15 in the "Koha Ditore" newspaper the following day. And during the break,
16 I can bring you that article of "Koha Ditore" where I put the record
17 straight on this.
18 Q. That was what I wanted to ask you.
19 A. This was either a mistranslation or a misunderstanding.
20 Q. What did you mean to say in that paragraph or what did you say
21 that you think was misunderstood?
22 A. Please read it once again, if you can.
23 Q. "The fate of those collaborators remains a mystery. Many,
24 including the Jakupis, apparently decamped with the retreating Serbian
25 forces. Others, Haxhibeqiri said, were caught by KLA fighters and
1 executed in apparent violation of the Geneva Conventions rules governing
2 conduct during war."
3 A. I have not said that bit about they being captured by the KLA and
4 being executed by the KLA because I couldn't have said that. I didn't
5 have any facts.
6 Q. So you are saying the journalist put this in himself?
7 A. This may have been a misunderstanding. He maybe didn't
8 understand me clearly.
9 Q. I know in your prior testimony you said that you did print this
10 retraction --
11 A. Or it may have been mistranslated by the translator because the
12 conversation took place with the help of a translator.
13 Q. That's completely understandable, which is why I was asking what
14 you had said that could have been mistranslated, if you had any idea?
15 A. I could have been more accurate if I had the Albanian script in
16 front of me.
17 Q. I apologise.
18 A. Can you also read me the quotation which you did earlier?
19 Q. If you don't remember, we can move on because you said you did
20 print a retraction to this.
21 A. I can bring a copy of the article in "Koha Ditore" where I put
22 the record straight. And I have it with me; I can bring it after the
24 Q. That's excellent. Because you did say you weren't sure in your
25 prior testimony where you printed a retraction, but you did say that it
1 was the next day, you thought, because you were so upset about what this
2 had said. You said also that you would give a copy to the OTP in this.
3 Have you ever handed over a copy?
4 A. I've brought it with me. I promised that I would bring a copy
5 and I've done so. It was published in the world addition of
6 "Koha Ditore" which is published in Switzerland. That was published on
7 the 20th of January or February, I can't remember exactly.
8 Q. Of the next year, the following year, because this article was in
9 October of 1999, so it would have been January of the next year, 2000?
10 A. [English] January 20, yes.
11 Q. Is there a reason it didn't publish for three months? Is there a
12 reason it took so long to publish the retraction?
13 A. Listen, I wrote this article the next day after the original
14 article was published. I read the "Los Angeles Times" article, then the
15 following day I put the record straight with the "Koha Ditore" newspaper.
16 Q. Well, you said in your prior testimony you would give a copy to
17 the OTP, you would send a copy to them. Did you ever do that?
18 A. No, because the last time I didn't have it with me, but I
19 promised that I would bring it to them.
20 Q. And that was in August of 2006; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. But you didn't bring a copy or give it to them even in speaking
23 with them this week, you kept it in your own papers?
24 A. I gave them some photographs documenting the crimes, and they
25 said that there are some which cannot be accepted as -- in evidence, but
1 you can leave them for the archives. And this one I kept.
2 Q. I'm merely just asking because in your transcript at 1193 of
3 Milutinovic, you were asked:
4 "Could you deliver a copy if necessary?"
5 And you said:
6 "I don't have a copy with me now, but I can send it to the
7 Tribunal later."
8 And it was never sent to the Tribunal; correct?
9 A. Well, nobody asked for it.
10 Q. But they did ask for it in that trial, did they not?
11 A. No, not -- no. No one.
12 Q. We can put the transcript on the screen, if it's helpful, which
13 is 65 ter 5323, page 1193. And they say: "Could you deliver a copy ..."
14 Did you not take that as them wanting a copy of this retraction?
15 JUDGE PARKER: May I ask, Ms. O'Leary, the matter on the screen,
16 did you want to tender that?
17 MS. O'LEARY: That was his statement, Your Honour. I believe it
18 was tendered yesterday as P1068. Oh, you are right, Your Honour, I'm
19 sorry, we did move on to the "LA Times" article. I would seek to tender
20 that, thank you.
21 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
22 THE REGISTRAR: And that will be assigned D00306, Your Honours.
23 MS. O'LEARY: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. But to go to the question: Did you not consider "Can you deliver
25 a copy ..." did you not consider that them wanting a copy? And
1 specifically the words are:
2 "Could you deliver a copy if necessary?"
3 A. What was my answer then?
4 Q. Your answer was:
5 "I don't have a copy with me now, but I can send it to the
6 Tribunal later."
7 A. And as it happens, I'm here again.
8 Q. But it's now three years later. Did you not find it important to
9 that trial to send in the retraction?
10 A. I said I was expecting someone to ask me for it. I was expecting
11 someone to tell me, Can you send me that denial. And if that question
12 was put to me, then I would have sent it to whoever.
13 Q. You did find it important enough to bring with you this time,
14 though; correct?
15 A. I did not say it was not important. I said that I was expecting
16 the Tribunal to call me and say send me the denial. This is my opinion.
17 Q. You don't think, though, that you saying "I can send to the
18 Tribunal later" was enough of an affirmation they would rely on when they
19 said "Thank you." You thought you would be asked additionally?
20 A. Again, I'm saying it that no one called me to say, Please send it
21 to us. I didn't know how to proceed.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Haxhibeqiri.
23 A. You're welcome.
24 Q. Now I want to talk about people leaving and some expulsions,
25 quickly a few questions here. You stated yesterday that the Albanians in
1 the neighbourhood that you were hiding in were ordered to leave and that
2 was about 20.000 to 30.000 people were ordered to leave?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. When was this specifically?
5 A. It was exactly on the 2nd of April. On the 1st or the 2nd, but
6 it's more on the 2nd.
7 Q. How do you know these people were ordered to leave?
8 A. I was there when the police arrived and started evicting people
9 from their homes, telling them to go. If you don't go, we will bomb your
10 houses. So everyone was forced to leave their homes and take their
11 journey towards Albania
12 Q. But at that time you also had stated that you were in a pipe or a
13 pothole in the backyard, so you didn't actually see these people leaving,
14 did you?
15 A. When I saw the people, I was not in the water-pipe hole, but I
16 was looking at what was going on from behind the curtains. They gave an
17 ultimatum to the people, You've got five minutes to leave your homes or
19 Q. But subsequent to that, you didn't actually see people leaving,
20 did you?
21 A. Yes, they were all ready with their bags and luggage they could
22 manage to get with them and they were ready to go. They were all the
23 time under enormous pressure and under threats, and they were anxious to
24 know what was going to happen with them.
25 Q. The reason I ask is because in your previous testimony at 1153,
1 you did say:
2 "On the 2nd of April when they had driven out almost 30.000
3 people from that neighbourhood, I remained in that pothole because I was
4 afraid to come out and cross the border because I was an activist and I
5 was afraid my name would be black-listed. This is the reason I remained
6 there hidden."
7 So it if you were in the pipe at that time --
8 A. Yes, of course, I was frightened and terrified that they could
9 get me.
10 Q. If you were hiding in that pipe, you didn't actually see the
11 people leaving, is what I'm asking.
12 A. I said that at the moment, at the time when the police forces
13 arrived, I was in my house, and I was looking at what was going on from
14 behind the curtains of my house. And I saw them as I left the house too.
15 I saluted them. And after a time, I went into that water-pipe hole.
16 MS. O'LEARY: Thank you, Mr. Haxhibeqiri. I'm about to go into
17 an area where we discussed the periods of time that you are hiding, so
18 this may be an adequate time for the break if Your Honours --
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Yes, we will have the first
20 break now and resume at 4.30.
21 --- Recess taken at 4.00 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 4.34 p.m.
23 JUDGE PARKER: While the witness is coming in, Ms. O'Leary, could
24 we point out that you have been cross-examining on the Milutinovic
25 transcript. It is not an exhibit, if you need to be aware of that.
1 MS. O'LEARY: Thank you, Your Honour. We didn't make any plan to
2 tender the whole thing because it is quite long, so I was just going to
3 read the relevant passages if that's acceptable.
4 JUDGE PARKER: That's fine. As long as you are aware.
5 MS. O'LEARY: Thank you.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. O'Leary.
8 MS. O'LEARY: Thank you, Your Honour. And before we begin, just
9 so everyone is aware, we are now accompanied by our legal intern,
10 Mr. Eric Durand just for the record.
11 Q. Mr. Haxhibeqiri, I wanted to discuss these periods that you were
12 in hiding, because during this very important period, there's a couple
13 different times when you were sheltered or in different hiding places,
14 and it was discussed yesterday to some degree. And the first time you
15 went into hiding is on the 23rd of March; is that correct?
16 A. 23rd of March, I left my home from the Hadum neighbourhood and I
17 went to the Blloku i Ri neighbourhood. I went into hiding on the 2nd
18 when police forces arrived and they evicted the population from their
19 homes in that neighbourhood.
20 Q. But from the 23rd to the 31st, 1st, 2nd, for that week in there,
21 ten days, where were you?
22 A. In Blloku i Ri neighbourhood.
23 Q. And this was at your relatives house, the doctor, with the
24 others, 15, 16 people?
25 A. Yes, that's correct. There were eight of us in that house.
1 Q. Eight of you. From the 23rd until the 2nd you were there? Is
2 that your testimony?
3 A. In that neighbourhood, yes. I remember one or two days I stayed
4 in the house of a friend of mine during that period. The 23rd and
5 the 24th I stayed in the house of a friend of mine which was near the
6 house of the doctor.
7 Q. So you were in the Blloku i Ri neighbourhood starting from the
8 23rd, at your friend's, from the 23rd to 24th; and then from the 25th to
9 the 2nd you were exclusively at?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. Did you ever leave the doctor's house between the 25th and
12 the 2nd?
13 A. No, I stayed in there.
14 Q. Because I don't know if you recall, but you had said in
15 Milutinovic that you were there a week, which actually from the 23rd to
16 the 2nd would be a bit more than a week, more like a week and a half?
17 A. The figures have always been approximate.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you. But from the doctor's house that's where you
19 say you saw houses burning on the 26th of March, from the 2nd floor of
20 the house, you said yesterday?
21 A. On the 27th.
22 Q. 27th.
23 A. But I saw things also on the 26th. Also on the night of
24 the 25th. I saw houses being burned almost every night.
25 Q. When you say "every night," for what period of time? How long,
1 when did it start, when did it end?
2 A. I'm talking about these dates, the 25th, the 26th, and the 27th.
3 During all the time that I stayed in the doctor's house.
4 Q. And those houses burning yesterday you said were about 60 to 100
5 to 200 metres away; is that correct?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. And so I'm assuming some were burning closer at about
8 60 [Realtime transcript read in error "600"] metres but then some were
9 further on about 200 metres away?
10 A. Yes, they could be seen from where I was.
11 Q. And this was six houses you saw burning on the 26th?
12 A. Yes. There were also on one occasion ten houses burning, but I
13 cannot remember exactly when -- which was when. There were two houses on
14 one occasion, ten houses on another.
15 Q. That's understandable. I was taking the six from your statement,
16 actually, you had said at page six that you saw six houses on the 26th,
17 so I was just confirming. Thank you.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Can I interrupt to point out that page 32, line 6,
19 in our transcript, you are quoted as having put in your question 600
20 metres, I believe your question was six zero, 60 metres.
21 MS. O'LEARY: That's correct, Your Honour. Thank you.
22 Q. So how did you know that the houses that were -- especially the
23 houses that were 200 metres away, how did you know that they were
24 Albanian houses?
25 A. In that area, I'm not aware of any Serb houses. Behind the house
1 of the doctor, there is a big building which was inhabited by the Serbs
2 and further on it was the headquarters of the Secretariat for
3 Internal Affairs. Another building which was built by the Albanians but
4 it was taken over by the Serbs.
5 Q. But 200 metres is a pretty good distance away to know exactly
6 which house is burning; correct?
7 A. But when the fires were extinguished after a while, I identified
8 all the houses that were burned down and I've got the names of the
9 families to which they belonged, the names of the owners. You can see
10 the flames, fires burning, even at a distance of 2.000 metres during the
12 Q. But you didn't see any of them being lit, correct, you only saw
13 them when they were actually in flames?
14 A. No, I only saw it when they were burning. I have seen many
15 cases, many occasions, when the houses were lit. When they were set
16 alight. And it was -- the Romas were being used to set the houses of the
17 Albanians alight.
18 Q. How were the Romas being used?
19 A. Are you asking how they were setting the houses on fire?
20 Q. No, I'm actually referring to what you just said, I was unclear
21 as to when you said:
22 "When they were set alight. And it was the Romas being used to
23 set the houses the Albanians alight."
24 I'm not sure what you mean, how were they using the Romas?
25 A. It was the Serbian police who was using them. They were serving
1 the policies of the Serbian state.
2 Q. When you say "they were using them," are you saying that Romas
3 were lighting house on fire for the Serbian police, is that what I'm to
4 take from that?
5 A. The Romas have been seen while setting houses on fire. And I've
6 also seen policemen who were setting houses on fire.
7 Q. So you personally saw Romas and policemen setting the houses on
9 A. No, I saw only policemen. But there are other eye-witnesses in
10 the town of Gjakove who've seen Roma set houses alight and looting
12 Q. In your statement you said:
13 "I did not see them set alight. I just saw them burning."
14 When did you see the houses being set alight?
15 A. When I went to my neighbourhood, the Hadum neighbourhood, there I
16 saw them setting houses and shops alight.
17 Q. Okay. Well, we'll come back to that then, and we'll go back to
18 the period of the 23rd to the 2nd where you are at the doctor's house.
19 And on the 2nd you said you were in a house where two police showed up.
20 This was the doctor's house; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And who was in the house with you then?
23 A. The eight of us that I mentioned.
24 Q. The people who you are referring to as police, who did they speak
1 A. With the owner of the house, the lady.
2 Q. Was everyone else hiding or did they speak to anybody else?
3 A. No, the others were not hiding. I was the only one hiding at
4 that time.
5 Q. And you were hiding because you thought because of your activist
6 position that the police were looking for you; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you said:
9 "I was hiding in the house but I saw and heard them."
10 Where exactly were you hiding in the house?
11 A. When I saw them, I was not hiding at that point in time.
12 Q. So when the police --
13 A. You are asking me this question for the fifth time, Madam.
14 Q. I apologise, I'm just a little unclear as to where you were in
15 the house.
16 A. I don't know if you have problems understanding me or linguistic
17 problems. What do you want to know?
18 Q. I want to know what happened on the 2nd of April. I want to know
19 the sequence of events that happened when the police came and where you
21 A. I will answer your question. On the 2nd of April, about 25.000
22 people were expelled from that area and were directed in the direction of
24 Q. But there were eight people in the house that you were in
25 including yourself; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And when the police showed up at the door, all eight, including
3 yourself, were there; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And so you weren't hiding at that time when the police showed up?
6 A. No, I wasn't.
7 Q. So you had an unobstructed view of the people who you refer to as
8 "police"; correct?
9 A. Yes, I could see them.
10 Q. And how do you know that they were police?
11 A. They were wearing blue uniforms.
12 Q. And you said in your prior testimony yesterday that one was
13 wearing a light blue uniform and one was wearing a regular blue uniform;
14 is that correct?
15 A. One of them was wearing a blue uniform and the other was wearing
16 an olive colour uniform. Military colour uniform. This was one of those
17 loyal policemen that I mentioned who belonged to that small minority of
18 50 people.
19 Q. The one in the olive uniform or the one in the light blue uniform
20 was a part of those 50 people?
21 A. The one with the olive uniform.
22 Q. And he was an Albanian; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I think you referred to him as Mushk Jakupi's son; is that
1 A. Yes, he was a member of that organisation headed by Mushk Jakupi
2 or Musa Ibraj, what is his name.
3 Q. How did you know that he was police if he was wearing an olive
4 uniform, is that a colour you typically associate with the police in
6 A. They were people who had been recruited as policemen. From 1993
7 onwards, the Albanian policemen had been expelled from the state organs.
8 This group, in order to give the impression that there are still
9 Albanians within the ranks of the police, were recruited by the
10 authorities, and, as I said, they were referred to as artificial
11 creations, as bastards, who did not enjoy the support of the majority of
12 the Albanian population.
13 Q. So --
14 A. And were serving the then Serbian regime.
15 Q. So if you are saying that this group of people was enlisted to
16 give the impression that there were still Albanians within the ranks of
17 police, are you saying they had no real power?
18 A. They didn't have much power, I would say. However, there are
19 situations in which they proved themselves loyal to the authorities, and
20 they did have the power to kill, to beat up, and persecute people.
21 Q. So the man wearing an olive drab uniform is Albanian of this
22 artificial creation you say, and the other person is wearing what?
23 A. Blue.
24 Q. Was it light blue or dark blue?
25 A. Light blue.
1 Q. Was it a uniform you are familiar with?
2 A. Yes, I had seen such uniform on a daily basis. It was a police
3 uniform. He was wearing that type of uniform.
4 Q. Do you know what that person's ethnicity was, is?
5 A. He was a Serb.
6 Q. How do you know he was a Serb?
7 A. I was told that later on by people who recognised him.
8 Q. When you were told that, did someone tell you his name?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you happen to remember it?
11 A. Yes. Domitca [phoen] Avramovic he worked in the Secretariat of
12 Internal Affairs.
13 Q. So when they came around and they told the people there in the
14 house to leave and to go to Albania
15 Serb who were doing the expulsion at that time?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And at least one of them didn't have very much power as an
18 artificial creation, as you said?
19 A. Less. Less than the other. He was a tool. I think he was given
20 that task because of the language.
21 Q. And following that, the police left, and you said that you
22 saluted them just earlier?
23 A. The police continued to go to every house.
24 Q. But they left. Right before the break you said you saluted them
25 and they went on their way; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, and I went back to my hiding place.
2 Q. You hadn't been in the pipe before that, had you?
3 A. Yes, I had been in the pipe hole before. I had prepared a
4 strategy in order to rest a little bit. The eight of us would go to that
5 water-pipe hole which was 1.2 by 1.4 metres.
6 Q. At what point before April 2nd were you in that hole?
7 A. On the 26th when it suited me to use that hole as a shelter, as a
8 hiding place. The other seven people who were with me liked the idea,
9 and on the 27th when the houses were being burned and people were being
10 killed, we decided to take shelter, all of us, in that water-hole --
11 water-pipe hole.
12 Q. So it was sporadically over the course of March 24th, 5th, well
13 after the 27th to the 2nd that you would use that hole when you were
14 afraid that somebody --
15 A. Not at all times. Only when the police units would come in that
16 area. Because of fear, we would take shelter into that hole thinking
17 that that might be the way for us to survive.
18 Q. But if you are hiding in this hole and you are afraid of the
19 police, why were you not afraid of the two police that came to the door
20 and spoke to the eight of you on the 2nd of April?
21 A. I didn't speak to the policemen. As I said, it was the landlady
22 who spoke with them. I was behind the door, behind the curtain and from
23 there I could hear the conversation, what she was being told by them. I
24 didn't go outside in the courtyard.
25 Q. I apologise. I misunderstood then where your positioning was.
1 So you didn't actually face-to-face see the policemen who came to the
2 yard that day, or who you say are policemen, you saw them through the
3 curtain; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's correct. You got it right.
5 Q. Thank you. And from what distance were you?
6 A. 15 metres. About 15 metres, I would say.
7 Q. Was anyone with the landlady when she spoke to them?
8 A. All of them, I would say, were there.
9 Q. Everyone except you; correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. Thank you. And so in your statement when you say you go into the
12 pipe in the backyard on the 2nd then, I'm assuming this is after the
13 police leave you decided to head to that pipe and hide out there; is that
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. And you were there -- hid in the water-pump hole for four days
17 and night; is that correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. So we are at April 6th now, does that sound about right?
20 A. The 5th.
21 Q. Okay. And so on the 5th and after you come out of the water-pipe
22 your statement says:
23 "After four days I returned to my own house and stayed until the
24 war was over." Is that correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Why was it safe to return to your house after the 5th? Had
2 something changed, or why did you feel it was okay to go home at that
4 A. I took the risk.
5 Q. And in your statement you say:
6 "I knew they were looking for me," this is all on page 7 of the
7 English, "I knew they were looking for me, I had spoken to my colleagues
8 from my office who had been released and they told me the police wanted
9 me." Correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Why did the police not come looking for you at your house?
12 A. Not only myself, but all the activists of the council were being
13 sought by the police. They were looking for me on the 1st and the 2nd
15 Q. And then they stopped looking for you, after the 1st and 2nd day?
16 A. They called me on the phone.
17 Q. What day did they call you on the phone?
18 A. Two days after the bombing started, on the 25th or the 26th.
19 Q. I am assuming you didn't have a mobile phone at that time?
20 A. No, I didn't. It was a land-line.
21 Q. So they would have called you at what residence?
22 A. They didn't call me directly, but a friend of a niece of mine was
23 contacted via phone by them.
24 Q. And what did they say to her?
25 A. Is this Fuat's house? And she said, no, it isn't. And then they
1 said, Sorry, then I guess we called the wrong number. Do you know Fuat's
3 But at that time there was nobody in my house because my uncle's
4 house, which is in the same courtyard with my own house, was burned.
5 They thought that it was my house actually.
6 Q. At that time you were in the Blloku i Ri neighbourhood; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And who was on the phone? Did they identify themselves in any
9 way? Who called your niece's friend?
10 A. They said they were police.
11 Q. Did you speak directly with the friend or with your niece who
12 heard from the friend?
13 A. My niece told me about this and then I wanted to speak with her
14 friend in person about this. And my niece told me that I should run away
15 because I was being searched by them.
16 Q. Were you aware that you hadn't mentioned this phone call in your
17 statement before or in previous testimony?
18 A. I failed to mention many, many things because I wasn't asked
19 about everything. I have many things to say, and a statement is too
20 small for everything.
21 Q. But you used that as the basis of how you knew the police were
22 looking for you; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So it's fairly important to why you were hiding; correct?
25 A. Yes, of course. It was a sign. Not only the phone call, but the
1 fact that the personnel of the council was arrested on the 23rd and
2 the 24th. And the fact that I was told by members of the personnel that
3 I was being looked for is another reason.
4 Q. But you have no way of being certain who was actually on the
5 phone with the niece's friend, do you?
6 A. That was not important at the time. I only mentioned it as a
8 Q. So from the 5th of April you were at your house?
9 A. People were being actually killed. Phone calls were of no
10 importance at the time.
11 Q. From the 5th of April you were at your house; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And that's through the remainder of the conflict?
14 A. With the exception of those ten days when I went to my uncle's
15 house in another neighbourhood.
16 Q. What ten days did you go to your uncle's house, approximately?
17 A. It was in April. Mid-April.
18 MS. O'LEARY: If I could have P1069 on the screen, please.
19 Q. That was the map that you marked yesterday so we can kind of see
20 perhaps where you were for those ten days.
21 In the time that you were at your house from the 5th until
22 mid-April before you went to your uncle's house, did you go out at all,
23 or did you stay only in your house?
24 A. I went outside the house.
25 Q. Did you speak with anybody?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You ran into people on the street?
3 A. Yes, mainly women and elderly, who were moving from one
4 neighbourhood to another carrying food stuffs with them and going to bury
5 their family members in house yards. They didn't dare bury their family
6 members with a full ceremony in the city cemetery because of the police.
7 More than 30 bodies were buried in house yards.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 A. This too is not in my statement.
10 Q. Yes, I understand. You said there's a lot that's not in your
12 Where were the young men at that time if you say you only saw --
13 sorry, I didn't get the answer.
14 A. This was important for the Tribunal. The youth were very
15 careful. They tried to avoid the streets because of the kidnappings and
16 killings. Had they been found on the streets, they would have been
17 killed or kidnapped or arrested or tortured.
18 Q. Is it possible that the young men were involved in the KLA and
19 that's why you didn't see them on the streets?
20 A. Very little. Very few young men were in the KLA.
21 Q. Did you perceive the KLA to have a strong presence in Gjakova
23 A. No.
24 Q. Do you personally know anyone who was involved with the KLA?
25 A. No.
1 Q. And I want to move on then to the damage to the cultural heritage
2 that you've discussed in your statement here, and you say at page 3 in
3 the English that from 1990 all the Albanian statues were destroyed by the
4 Serbs. I want to focus on 1998 and 1999 and what was destroyed in that
5 period of time.
6 A. In Gjakove and its outskirts, about 6.000 such buildings were
7 damaged. Can you give me the reference, please?
8 Q. Of course. It's on page 3 in the English. It is approximately
9 midway through. And the English paragraph starts with:
10 "I have been asked about any damage to cultural heritage."
11 I'm guessing on the Albanian it might be towards the end of
12 page 3 or the beginning of page 4 as these are lining up.
13 A. I can't see the page number.
14 Q. It seems we are having a little technical problem. Let me just
15 ask you what you know about the mosques in Gjakova. We can specifically
16 talk about that without your statement right now. How many mosques were
17 there in Gjakova?
18 A. Eleven, to what I know.
19 Q. And in 1998 and 1999 which ones suffered damage in the conflict?
20 How many is fine.
21 A. The main one, which is the biggest in Kosova. The one that was
22 built 400 years ago. Actually, the anniversary was in 2004. But not
23 only mosques but also old houses with architectural value like the house
24 of Ali Aga and obelisk.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Haxhibeqiri. I want to focus just on the mosques
1 right now, and we can move on to other damage as we move on. But with
2 the mosques, you say there were 11 in town and you focused on the damage
3 to the main mosque that was 400 years old. Was there damage sustained to
4 the other mosques in town?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Now, yesterday when we were talking about this main mosque you
7 said you observed or witnessed the damage and I believe you stated:
8 "Yes, on the 7th or 8th, I'm not sure, I was in the courtyard of
9 my house when the minaret of the mosques, from what I believe to be an
10 internal explosion, collapsed."
11 Is that correct?
12 A. Well, whether it was internal or external explosion, that I don't
13 know for sure, but I know that there was this cloud of smoke when the
14 minaret collapsed. I only saw the minaret as it collapsed.
15 Q. Yes, I believe in your prior testimony you were asked
17 "Can we conclude you did not see this directly?"
18 And your answer was:
19 "Yes, the debris fell on my book, yes, and I heard the explosion
20 and later I saw that the minaret was cut in half."
21 Is that accurate?
22 A. Yes, that is accurate. I saw it directly. I had my book in my
23 hands, and I just looked up and saw the minaret collapse. And the debris
24 fell on my head as I was with my book in my hands.
25 Q. So the thing I'm confused about is did you actually see it
1 collapse, or did you hear the explosion and look up and it was in two?
2 Which was it?
3 A. I saw the minaret collapse. After the debris fell.
4 Q. So it's not accurate to say that the debris fell on my book, I
5 heard the explosion, and later I saw the minaret was cut in half. That's
6 not accurate. You actually saw it?
7 A. I saw it as it was coming down.
8 Q. So your testimony in the prior trial was not accurate regarding
10 What did I say in the previous trial?
11 MS. O'LEARY: For reference of the parties, it's at T1201,
12 lines 3 through 9, in Milutinovic. You said -- the question asked to you
14 "So we can conclude that you did not see this directly. That you
15 only heard the explosion and then saw the fragments that flew into your
16 room; is that right?"
17 And your answer was:
18 "Yes, the debris fell on my book, yes, and I heard the explosion.
19 And later I saw the minaret was cut in half."
20 A. When the dust and the debris that was caused by the explosion,
21 when the view in front of me was clear, then I saw that it had collapsed.
22 Q. And where --
23 A. I saw the scale of damage then.
24 Q. Okay. So once the clouds passed, the debris, you saw it was in
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Where were you at that time when the clouds passed and you saw
3 the minaret in two?
4 A. In the courtyard of my own house and I was facing the mosque.
5 Q. I'm a little confused then because yesterday when you said that
6 you were in the courtyard of your house, you followed that with:
7 "At that moment I went up on the second floor and from the roof I
8 was following the developments, and within five minute, the minaret
9 collapsed and I saw no one there."
10 So when did you go up to the roof-top of your house?
11 A. Accurate.
12 Q. When did you go up to the roof-top?
13 A. Immediately after the explosion I ran upstairs to observe the
15 Q. So just so that I'm clear on this, you were in the backyard
16 reading a book, you heard an explosion, there was debris, you looked up,
17 you saw the minaret was in two, and then you went up to your roof to
18 follow developments; correct?
19 A. Yes. Is that clear now?
20 Q. That is, thank you very much. And at that time you --
21 A. At last.
22 Q. Thanks for bearing with. And you said at that time:
23 "I saw no one there." Is that correct?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. So you have no information as to how the damage was caused,
2 A. What I know is that NATO didn't bomb it.
3 Q. I wasn't asking you to eliminate possibilities. I was just
4 saying you simply had -- have no direct knowledge of how it collapsed; is
5 that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And as a related matter, when we were just discussing, you were
8 outside in your yard on the 8th of May, and I believe you said in your
9 previous testimony it was 13.08 in the afternoon, that's correct, about
10 the time?
11 A. Yes, on the 7th, that's the accurate date. On the 7th.
12 Q. Approximately 1.00 p.m.
13 A. It was exactly 1.07.
14 Q. Do you have a walled courtyard at your house?
15 A. The courtyard in the direction of the mosque, it was surrounded
16 by shops which were all burned down and I could see them from there.
17 Q. I'm not asking directly about your view right now. I'm just
18 wondering if you had walls on the courtyard.
19 A. In the direction of the mosque, the courtyard bordered shops
20 which were burned down.
21 Q. We'll move on.
22 A. That's to say that I had a clear view from the courtyard.
23 Q. You've stated in both your previous testimony and in your
24 statement that the 7th to the 11th of May was the worst infighting
25 between the KLA and the VJ in Gjakova; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And it's at that point that the minaret collapsed in some
3 fashion; is that correct?
4 A. Yes. What moment are you talking about?
5 Q. I'm talking about the 7th of May.
6 A. On the 7th, yes.
7 Q. And you were outside in the afternoon reading a book, it was safe
8 enough to do that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you weren't obliged to leave as others had been directed to
12 A. Can you repeat your question once again, please.
13 Q. I was asking since it was May 7th and you were still there in
14 your courtyard, you weren't obliged to leave as you had said many of the
15 Albanian citizens had been directed to do?
16 A. I did not communicate with them. I was in my own house.
17 Q. I guess maybe if I rephrase it. Why did you stay in Gjakova?
18 A. Why are you asking that?
19 Q. Because if the majority of the population is being forced to
20 leave by the police and the military as you are saying, and the police
21 are looking for you, as you are saying, I'm wondering why you were not
22 obligated to leave as an Albanian citizen?
23 A. I'm saying that I was not obligated to leave, but I said that I
24 feared that I would be caught by the police and during all the time I was
25 very careful not to be visible in my movements.
1 Q. Did the police stop looking for you at that time, by the
2 7th of May?
3 A. I don't know. The question seems irrelevant. I don't know what
4 you are asking about.
5 Q. Well, I'm asking because at that time you felt it safe enough to
6 be open in your yard and to walk on the streets; is that correct?
7 A. I was monitoring the movement of the forces, and I knew the time
8 when they were moving around, and there was a time that I felt a little
9 bit safer. When the fighting paused, it was a bit calmer. And during
10 that time I availed myself of the opportunity to do something, to read,
11 and I was probably trying to divert my mind from what was going on.
12 Q. But you stated three times now then that the 7th to the 11th was
13 the worst fighting, infighting between the KLA and the VJ in Gjakova?
14 A. Yes. That's correct.
15 Q. Do you consider the possibility that the police were not actually
16 looking for you?
17 A. It's possible.
18 Q. Now, I want to return to the house burnings that we discussed
19 before and I said I would come back to, because you said from your house
20 you saw a couple of fires each day. You said earlier today that you
21 personally saw houses being alit?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And in your statement I believe you say:
24 "I saw paramilitaries set those houses on fire. They would throw
25 small plastic containers with petrol and then shoot them at the houses on
2 Did you actually see that happening with your own eyes?
3 A. Yes, I've seen it with my own eyes. And then they shot these
4 containers and the shop was set alight. I've seen shops being burned
5 that way. Whereas the office of the Council For the Human Rights
6 and Freedoms was burned, and I've seen that, by using a match. They set
7 the curtains alight and then the flames took the whole place. Within
8 three to four hours, all the evidence that we had collected for this
9 Tribunal was burned.
10 Q. When was that?
11 A. During these four days. Sometime around the 5th or the 6th.
12 Sorry, the 8th, the 9th, but that was during this period.
13 Q. Of which month?
14 A. [No interpretation]
15 Q. Well, you've mentioned in your statements before -- sorry, there
16 was no interpretation; you didn't say the month.
17 A. It was between the 7th and the 11th of May, talking about this
18 period of time.
19 Q. And you are saying you actually saw someone light a match to the
20 curtains in your office and set it on fire in that time?
21 A. Yes, I've seen it myself together with my brother. From the roof
22 of our house which was partly burned and with no tiles on. Part of the
23 roof was uncovered, talking about the roof of the house.
24 Q. How far away were you -- I apologise. How far away were you to
25 see that?
1 A. About 100, 130 metres. Probably closer. 120.
2 Q. So you couldn't actually see who was lighting it, but you say you
3 saw someone with a match at 120 metres away lighting the curtains?
4 A. There were about 50 police and paramilitary forces with armbands
5 and bandanas. They entered every shop and business and office, and I've
6 seen a large number of shops being burned. And there were 20 shops in a
7 row which were burned by these forces.
8 Q. And if it's the 7th to the 11th of May and there's infighting
9 between the VJ and the KLA as you've testified to, then the KLA was
10 present there too; is that correct?
11 A. Yes. In the Qabrati Hill, in the suburbs of the town, yes.
12 Q. But are you telling me in your testimony today that you could
13 identify the person 120 metres away who had a match in his hand lighting
14 the curtains of your office? You could identify what forces he was with?
15 A. Yes, judging by the uniforms that they were wearing, yes.
16 Q. What was he wearing that you could tell from 120 metres?
17 A. I said the paramilitary forces were --
18 Q. Please.
19 A. I wanted to describe what they were wearing. They were
20 wearing -- they were in camouflage uniforms, and you could see the
21 armbands which were not of the police or the regular army. They were
22 paramilitaries who were working hand-in-hand with the police and the
24 Q. We'll get to that in a few moments. But you are telling me you
25 could see the armbands from 120 metres away?
1 A. Yes. Well, I could identify them because I've seen them from
2 close up too; five metres away. I could see them as they were going past
3 my house every day; I've seen police and paramilitary forces.
4 Q. Was it night-time?
5 A. During the day.
6 Q. Can you describe the armband that you saw?
7 A. Not only the guy who set the offices alight, but I have noticed
8 that armband in hundreds of paramilitary forces like that. As people may
9 see me wearing this headset, I could see the armbands on these people
10 just like that. From a close distance.
11 Q. Well, I'm actually putting to you that 120 metres is a pretty
12 long distance to notice an insignia or an armband. Would you agree?
13 A. Then it could have been a shorter distance. But I couldn't be so
14 accurate, as it were. And maybe it was 80 metres. And I could see them
15 carrying towels because it was very hot because of the burning of the
16 houses and shops. Actually, they were in one of the businesses playing
17 pool, and then they came out and they set the businesses and shops
18 alight. Ten or 15 of them in that row.
19 Q. How do you know they were playing pool?
20 A. I could see them from my house. Opposite my house there was a
21 business where you could play pool, and from atop my house you could see
23 Q. So you are saying you could see in, you saw these gentlemen
24 playing pool, you saw them come out, go 100 metres away, strike a match,
25 and light buildings including your office; is that your testimony?
1 A. No, they didn't go further away. They were in the shops and they
2 set those shops alight. I was about 100 metres away and saw what was
3 going on there.
4 Q. I know that in your statement, and I believe your prior
5 testimony, you've mentioned that your Agimi firm - I'm going to
6 mispronounce it - I know you've mentioned that that was burned on
7 the 24th; but this is the first I believe you've said that your council's
8 office was burned; is that correct?
9 A. It was the Agimi that you mentioned?
10 Q. You've mentioned that prior, but you've not mentioned that your
11 council office was burned.
12 A. I have mentioned that in my statement. And you find that on the
13 transcript as well. I remember very well three years ago I've said the
14 same. Just like I'm saying it now. Because it's very clear in my mind's
15 eye, and I was crying when I saw the offices where I worked were in
16 flames. And I will never forget that.
17 Q. Well, your transcript is quite long, I would have to review it
18 again to ensure, but it's not contained in your statement, I don't
19 believe. And it should be pretty fundamental, would you agree?
20 A. You can read that on the transcript, if you will.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. O'Leary, is this a convenient time?
22 MS. O'LEARY: Certainly, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Now, would the Chamber be correct in anticipating
24 you will finish today?
25 MS. O'LEARY: Yes, Your Honour. It's quite brief after this. We
1 are wrapping up.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Unfortunately, I am not able to be
3 present for the last sitting; I must be elsewhere in the building. The
4 other two judges will continue the hearing under Rule 15 bis.
5 We will adjourn now and resume at 6.15.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 6.17 p.m.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 JUDGE FLUGGE: Ms. O'Leary, please continue.
11 MS. O'LEARY: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Mr. Haxhibeqiri, you'll be happy to know we're going to try to
13 finish this up very briefly here, but I have a few more things I want to
14 clarify. Over the break, I had an opportunity to look through your
15 statement again and through all of your testimony, and to be honest I did
16 not see that you mentioned that your council's office was burned. I did
17 see that the Agimi firm was burned, but I did not see anything about the
18 council's office being burned. In particular I'm concerned about that
19 not being in your statement, because in 2001 you were the chairman;
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And this statement, after it was taken, was read back to you in a
23 language that you understood; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you signed this statement; correct?
1 A. Yes, of course.
2 Q. And you signed it without asking them to include in there that
3 your council's office was burned?
4 A. And there were other even more interesting things that were left
5 out, things that have more weight. As I said, the statement is
7 Q. But as the chairman, wouldn't that be fairly important to you?
8 A. The statement is incomplete. However, during my testimony here
9 three years ago, I'm sure I mentioned that, the burning of the council's
10 office. Something that I saw myself.
11 Q. Now, is this on Asim Vokshi Street? Is this where the council's
12 office was?
13 A. [In English] Yes.
14 Q. Because on page 8 of your statement in English you do discuss --
15 A. It's one street below Asim Vokshi Street.
16 Q. And you did discuss that there was definitely burning.
17 A. The name of the street is Ilir [phoen] Vula.
18 Q. You discuss that there was burning, but you did not discuss your
19 own council's office. Wouldn't that have been sufficiently important to
20 include in your statement to the Tribunal as the chairman?
21 A. Maybe it was an omission on my part. Do you think it was a
22 mistake that I did not include that in my statement? I think that if I
23 failed to mention it then, I'm mentioning it now and the honourable
24 Judges can hear about it now. However, I will underline it again that I
25 did mention the fact that the council's office was burned during my
1 previous testimony three years ago.
2 Q. And to be fair, I'm not actually questioning that your office was
3 burned, I'm questioning that you actually saw it from 120 metres, that
4 somebody who you describe as paramilitary took a match and lit it, inside
5 the building? Did you personally eye-witness this?
6 A. Yes, I eye-witnessed it.
7 Q. Let's move on then. I have a map up on the screen, it's the one
8 you marked yesterday. And I think I want to have you mark on here a
9 couple of things and hopefully in a different colour than red so that we
10 know the difference. But if you could mark on there, do you know where
11 the Catholic church of St. James
12 A. There is no church of St. James
13 Q. Are there any Catholic churches in Gjakova?
14 A. Yes, there are.
15 Q. What are they named?
16 A. There is the St. Paul Catholic church in Gjakove. We are talking
17 about the town; right?
18 Q. Yes. Where is the Catholic church of St. James then? Is it in
19 the municipality?
20 A. I am not aware of a church by the name of St. James in Gjakove
21 municipality. There are two churches in Gjakove.
22 Q. When you were asked in your testimony prior, you were asked:
23 "Why is the damage to the Catholic church of St. James
24 Djakovica not mentioned here?"
25 And you answered - not that it didn't exist - you answered:
1 "The church did not function. There was collateral damage done
2 to it by the NATO air-strikes. That was an old church. That church did
3 not have permission to be built in the first place, and after the war
4 they built a new church which was the highest building in Gjakova.
5 During the war it was also mined by the Serbian forces and NATO came
6 later and demined the church, although it wasn't functioning as a church
7 at all. It was damaged, yes. It was not me who organised this
8 exhibition." And here you are discussing a book.
9 And then you were asked - after discussing a book:
10 "But can we agree it was damaged by NATO bombing?"
11 And you say:
13 So I am wondering where this St. James church is?
14 A. This is the mosque of St. Dao [phoen], a Franciscan which was
15 opposite the VJ army barracks at the time. Because of the bombing of the
16 army barracks, the new church, although it was next to the army barracks,
17 did not suffer major damages, only some collateral damages. The NATO
18 air-strikes were very precise when hitting their targets. They did not
19 bomb civilian facilities. They only bombed military and police
21 Q. Do you know then -- well, let me follow up on that, so you were
22 mistaken about what you were being asked and you thought you were being
23 asked about a mosque and not a Catholic church; is that correct?
24 A. It's a church; it's not a mosque. The mosque is Muslim facility,
25 whereas the church is a Christian one.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Haxhibeqiri. Can you mark on this map where the
2 Novi Blok neighbourhood is?
3 A. All this part here.
4 Q. Isn't it true that many homes were destroyed from a bomb there
5 and caught fire?
6 A. No, that's not true. Not a single bomb fell in Blloku i Ri with
7 the exception of the bomb that hit the building of the SUP. On the
8 21st or the 22nd of May at around 1500 hours.
9 Q. Is that location on this map where that bomb fell?
10 A. I don't see the legend on this map, so I can only assume. I can
11 only point out the direction; it's the south-east.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MS. O'LEARY: Your Honour, can we tender this marked map, please.
14 JUDGE FLUGGE: It will be received.
15 MS. O'LEARY: And then if we could have -- oh, sorry.
16 THE REGISTRAR: That, Your Honour, will be assigned D00307.
17 MS. O'LEARY: And if we could have P696 on the screens, please.
18 Q. Isn't it true that NATO heavily bombed the Gjakova city and
19 municipality during the air-strike campaign?
20 A. In the town of Gjakova, only the military and police facilities
21 were bombed by the NATO forces. And only one civilian was killed. The
22 first building that was bombed was the SUP building and this civilian who
23 suffered from this bombing lived next to the SUP building. He happened
24 to be in the bathroom when the SUP
25 the result of the bombing.
1 Q. Are you aware of a bombing of a column of refugees in the
2 Djakovica municipality just south of the city?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. How can you still categorise the NATO bombing as having precise
5 targets? How do you explain that incident?
6 A. I'm talking about the town of Gjakove. The column was -- that
7 was hit was outside the town. It was in a village.
8 Q. So the NATO bombing campaign was only precise within the town of
9 Gjakova is what you are saying?
10 A. Military and police targets or bases. With the exception of that
11 civilian victim, the factory in the north part of the town was also
12 targeted, although it was a civilian facility, but there was a large
13 concentration of Serb police and military forces in the courtyard of the
15 Q. So what was the military or police target of the refugee convoy
16 in May?
17 A. I think we should ask NATO about that.
18 Q. Now, if we look at the document on the screen. And if we go to
19 page 2, I am afraid, again, I don't have this in Albanian. I can read
20 out the relevant portion. We have it in English and in Serbian is the
21 original on this. It is a Ministry of the Interior report and summary of
22 events from 28 March, 1999
23 you read some English or Serbian perhaps, maybe you can follow along if
24 we are down. The very first paragraph discusses NATO attacks in
25 Djakovica and it says:
1 "In an attack by NATO armed forces on the Devet Jugovica barracks
2 in Djakovica at around 2110 hours on 26 March 1999, the ammunition and
3 military equipment depot was hit. The explosion caused a fire in which
4 the facility burned down. Enormous material damage was caused to nearby
5 houses, owned mainly by Serbs and Montenegrins."
6 Is this the event you're speaking about in the northern part of
7 the town?
8 A. Maybe you are mistaken there, there is no Devet Jugovica barracks
9 in Gjakove.
10 Q. Okay. If we go further down in the paragraph, let's discuss
11 where it says:
12 "NATO planes also bombed the Novi Blok neighbourhood destroying
13 around 40 family houses, which caught fire. Mark Malota, Morina, Hajdar
14 Vula," it gives some dates, "and Mahkmut Vula all from Djakovica were
15 killed. It is possible that more people were killed in this attack are
16 buried under the ruins."
17 Is that the area that I just had you mark on the map?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Are you saying that this document is incorrect?
20 A. It is absolutely incorrect. There is no grain of truth in it.
21 I've spoken to the parents of those killed from the Vula family, with
22 Mark Malota, I spoke one or two days before the event; or to be more
23 precise, I was with him on the 23rd. He was arrested by the police and
24 he was killed by the police.
25 On the 26th, a bridge was -- he was thrown from a bridge. He was
1 the leader of the LDK branch in Gjakova. As far as the other victims are
2 concerned, they were in the Blloku i Ri neighbourhood. I was sheltering,
3 and I could see the police forces at 4.00 in the morning escorted by
4 about 20 jeeps and Pinzgauers with the headlights on only on the first
5 vehicle. Those who watched the horror movies of Hitchcock can understand
6 this situation, and the Hitchcock movies would be quite entertaining
7 compared to the horror existing at the time. I'm explaining here how I
8 felt at the time. I and other Albanians were persons on the Schindler's
9 List, if you remember the movie.
10 Q. Mr. Haxhibeqiri, but we are running out of time. And I
11 understand you have a lot to tell, but I do want to ask you, can you
12 conceive it as possible that there were fires as a result and collateral
13 effect from NATO bombing in Djakovica municipality and specifically the
15 A. There are no facts supporting that claim, that bombs fell in the
16 town and hit civilian facilities, with the exceptions of the places that
17 I mentioned.
18 Q. I want to very briefly discuss, you speak about some murders and
19 you list some victims in your statement, and in these you talk about what
20 other people had told you. Now, isn't it true that you have never
21 actually, in this time-period, you didn't witness anyone being murdered,
22 you only heard about it or saw a body?
23 A. I saw killed persons myself.
24 Q. Did you see them actually being killed, or did you see them after
25 they were already dead?
1 A. Only when they were already dead on the streets.
2 Q. So you don't know the exact cause of death of any of the people
3 that you saw; correct?
4 A. It was sufficient to be an Albanian to be killed by these forces
5 which had no moral or legal responsibility. It was sufficient to be an
6 Albanian. They had no humanitarian values either. They didn't feel
7 sorry or responsible towards other human beings.
8 Q. If we go through your listing of what you have here, you discuss
9 several incidents. The first ones were on page 7, the 25th of March, the
10 26th, the 27th, the 31st; we go on to the next page, the 1st, the 2nd,
11 the 2nd, and the 4th. And at all of those times, you were in hiding,
12 were you not?
13 A. No.
14 Q. When during that period were you not in hiding?
15 A. I was sheltering. I didn't fall into the hands of the police. I
16 don't know what you mean by hiding. To take shelter means to avoid
17 falling into the hands of the Serb forces.
18 Q. I think I was using the word hiding from your statement, and it
19 may be -- you do use sheltering at one point on the 2nd. But when you
20 are in the pipe, you do say, I hid in the water-pump hole.
21 A. Yes, going into the water-pump hole, that is hiding. But the
22 rest of the story is that I was avoiding being captured by the police,
23 the paramilitary, or the army. I was vigilant all the time. I didn't
24 sleep. I slept very little during those seven or eight days of terror.
25 Q. Mr. Haxhibeqiri, it also says hiding for the 26th on page 6 too.
1 Were you hiding on the 26th?
2 A. The 26th of which month?
3 Q. March.
4 A. As I said, we entered the water-pipe hole when the forces entered
5 the neighbourhood. We stayed there for a certain number of hours, one,
6 two, and then we emerged from there, when we noticed that we were not in
7 the immediate danger of being captured.
8 Q. Well, I put to you then with these individual victims, that
9 during this time you have witnesses that say that all of this was taken
10 from statements and you did not eye-witness any of these events that
11 follow "I have witnesses that say ..."?
12 A. Specify please which events you are talking about? You cannot
13 put everything under one sentence. Mention the dates, and I will answer.
14 Q. If we can go -- if you are on page 6 in the English version, and
15 in your statement it's probably 6 or 7. The reason I wasn't going one by
16 one is because there are one, two, three, four, at least 15 different
17 things that you talk about that you say other witnesses tell you. And so
18 I'm asking you: Are these stories relayed from your information that you
19 took from the council and you're just recalling from memory?
20 A. Which dates are you talking about?
21 Q. If you look at your statement where you say:
22 "From my investigation I have witnesses that say ..."
23 And the first one is Mark Malota. And somebody told you this
24 story that you have here?
25 A. My wife -- sorry, Malota's wife told me the story.
1 Q. Did we see Mark Malota's name in that last document, though, as
2 being killed by a NATO bomb?
3 A. Yes. I said that Mark Malota was one of the leaders of the LDK
4 party in Gjakove. He was the first activist of the party in town. He
5 was arrested when he was distributing aid to the population, and he was
6 arrested in the courtyard of the Mother Teresa Association.
7 Q. You don't know this from personal knowledge though; correct? You
8 know this from witnesses?
9 A. This was reported to our office, this incident, and that was done
10 via the telephone. And after the war, I spoke to his wife and also with
11 the person who saw this happen with his own eyes.
12 Q. When you --
13 A. And he recognised Mark Malota.
14 Q. Mr. Haxhibeqiri, when you discuss these incidents, you say
15 there's common evidence of police and paramilitary. But for each
16 incident that you're listing, you don't know the specific perpetrators
17 that were there. You've given no information here. And I want to know,
18 were you recollecting this from memory when you gave your statement?
19 A. Listen, I said I spoke to his wife and with the two others who
20 were detained in the same place, one was released immediately after the
21 incident, another one by the name of Gzim Puska [phoen], he was held for
22 the duration of the night, and he was tortured, and he was released in
23 the early hours of the morning, and he was -- he managed to escape alive.
24 And he told me how Mark was still being held, and he was being tortured
25 the following day --
1 Q. Mr. Haxhibeqiri, you are recollecting all of this --
2 A. Let me finish. Let me finish. The following day, the witness
3 said, I saw him in front of the gate of my house. He was dead and there
4 was blood on his head. Blood-stains on his head. And when I spoke to
5 his wife, she said when we -- when we buried him, there were no signs of
6 bullets penetrating his body.
7 Q. You are recollecting all of this from memory; correct?
8 A. How do you want me to say these things differently? You asked me
9 about the source of the information, I'm telling you, it was his wife who
10 told me. What else do you want? Invite his wife here, and she will tell
11 you about the body of her husband. Or I can bring the file which is
12 about his case that we have.
13 Before -- the last time I came here, I brought the file because
14 there was confusion created between another leader who had a bullet on
15 his head. And there was confusion about that, and I apologized for that
17 Q. I am afraid we don't have that file here. That's why I was
18 asking. I want know what your personal knowledge is and what you are
20 A. You have it on the transcript specifically. We spend half a day
21 to explain and clarify this case. Alongside the other person that was
22 killed from the Patzi [phoen] village who also died because of the
23 tortures he went through, he was submitted to. Amidzic Alija [phoen],
24 his name. He died on the 16th of January because of the tortures inside
25 the building of the Secretariat for Internal Affairs. And about this
1 case, I spoke to his wife. She came to my office, and I spoke to her.
2 And the following day, I also went to their house and I recorded every
3 detail of this case. And I took part in the funeral.
4 Q. Mr. Haxhibeqiri, I think we can short-circuit this a little bit.
5 When you were here prior and you brought the case file, did you leave
6 that with the Office of the Prosecutor?
7 A. Nobody asked for it.
8 Q. Would it be fair to say that most of your information has come
9 from the 1.000 witness statements that you've read?
10 A. When -- about the cases that you posed questions about, that was
11 my information, personal information. And the rest which relates to the
12 previous statement, I'm trying to bring to you all the details that I
13 remember, and I'm trying to be responsible and truthful about all the
14 things that I say.
15 Q. I appreciate that. We simply don't have the time to, in court,
16 go through what details you have on each one of these, which is why I'm
17 trying to figure out in whole what -- when I say witnesses, you are
18 talking about taking statements; correct?
19 A. Can you ask that question once again, please.
20 Q. When you --
21 A. Because it's not very clear.
22 Q. Of course. When you refer to witnesses that say those words in
23 your statement, does that mean it's something that was told to you in the
24 course of your taking statements?
25 A. That's correct. I quote witnesses about the cases, about the
1 cases that I have information about; and I mention name, surname, and all
2 the things that they said. And I say witnesses say that.
3 Q. When you gave this statement and you listed these things, these
4 were things that you were relaying from memory; correct?
5 A. Yes, all of them.
6 Q. And is it possible that the stories have integrated in your mind
7 to some degree where you cannot be specific about certain details?
8 A. What I've said is possible because I have been trying to select
9 and organise stuff for a book. These events are not forgettable. They
10 cannot be forgotten.
11 Q. And in prior testimony you've quite openly admitted that in your
12 opinion Serbs are the opponent side or that they are the belligerent
13 force and in your frame of mind the Serbs are the enemy; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct. I say Serbian politics, and at no time I
15 have said the Serbian people because it wasn't the Serbian people, it was
16 the Milosevic regime.
17 MS. O'LEARY: And Your Honour -- I am sorry, please.
18 I would have no further questions. I would like to put on the
19 record, though, that the retraction that he said he was from the
20 "Koha Ditore" that he mentioned that he could provide to the Chambers, if
21 he could hand that over to the Prosecution or somebody so we could see
22 this retraction that would be -- this is a specific request because last
23 time it seemed a little vague.
24 JUDGE FLUGGE: Thank you very much, Ms. O'Leary.
25 Ms. Kravetz, do you have re-examination?
1 MS. KRAVETZ: Yes, Your Honour, I have re-examination. I'll try
2 my best to finish the next five minutes
3 Re-examination by Ms. Kravetz:
4 Q. Mr. Haxhibeqiri, you were asked some questions earlier today
5 about the burning of houses. And this is at page 34 or today's
6 transcript. And you were asked whether you saw Roma police setting
7 houses on fire. And you said you only saw police and you referred to
8 having seen this when you went to your neighbourhood, the Hadum
10 I wanted to ask you specifically about what time-period you were
11 referring to when you went to the Hadum neighbourhood, if this was in the
12 period when you've spoken about that you returned after the 5th of April,
13 or if this was another period you were referring to when you went to the
14 neighbourhood and saw police setting fire to houses?
15 A. This was for the whole period of 78 days. With the exception of
16 the time when I was asleep but during -- or when I was in hiding,
17 otherwise all the time I was monitoring the situation and I could see how
18 the police forces were working hand in hand with the paramilitary forces
19 and the army by burning the houses before looting them. I've seen
20 columns of people leaving, being forced and threatened to leave.
21 Threatened with weapons and being expelled to Albania. Being told, Go to
23 Q. Now, you were also asked some questions about the burning of the
24 offices of your organisation. When did that happen?
25 A. Between the 7th and the 11th of May. It was one afternoon. I
1 cannot remember exactly whether it was the 9th or the 10th. It's most
2 probably the 9th which is the middle part of the fighting.
3 Q. You also referred in one of your answers to my learned colleague
4 about the burning of the offices of the organisation to seeing a group of
5 about 50 police and paramilitaries, and you said, They entered every shop
6 and businesses and office and I've seen a large number of shops being
8 When exactly did this happen that you saw this last large number
9 of shops being burned?
10 A. That group, I did not see them only on the day when my office was
11 burned. I saw that group every other day. They went into the people's
12 houses, looted them, took their cars, and everything valuable inside
13 these houses. They broke into these houses using sledgehammers and axes,
14 and they threatened the population, pointing their weapons to their
16 And the honourable lady could say they are not included in the
17 statement, but in my neighbourhood there were cases when immediately
18 after the crime was perpetrated, I went to the place where it had
19 happened and I saw with my own eyes in such a bad state. He was -- had
20 been beaten up and tortured. And that happened from house to house.
21 Q. Mr. Haxhibeqiri, we have very limited time.
22 A. [English] Okay, I know.
23 Q. And I'm just asking about this specific event that you spoke
24 about, about seeing paramilitaries and police entering every shop and
25 businesses and you said you saw a large number of shops being burned,
1 when did that happen? Did that happen over a period of time? I'm just
2 trying to understand when it happened?
3 A. This one was on the 9th or the 10th of May.
4 Q. And where exactly did you see this large number of shops? I'm
5 asking about which neighbourhood was it?
6 A. In the Hadum neighbourhood. At a distance of about 100 metres
7 roughly from my house.
8 Q. Now, in response to some questions by my learned colleague, you
9 have said that in the period, I believe, from the 7th and the 10th of May
10 there was intense fighting in Djakovica. Was there KLA presence in these
11 shops you saw being burned, these businesses and shops?
12 A. No. They were businesses and shops and homes of the Albanians.
13 They were all civilians. The KLA was present in Qabrati Hill in the
14 suburbs of the town.
15 Q. Now --
16 A. This is part of the old Carshia of the old quarter of the town.
17 It's a neighbourhood which is protected by the state.
18 Q. Now, my final question relates to an answer you gave at page 39
19 of today's transcript. You were asked about the period between
20 27th and 2nd April and when you were hiding or whether you were hiding in
21 that period in the water-pipe in the backyard of your relative's house.
22 And you said you were not there all the time, only when police units
23 would come in that area.
24 Now, you've told us about the instance when the police came on
25 2nd of April. Were there other instances between the 27th of March and
1 the 2nd of April when the police came to the area where you were hiding,
2 to that neighbourhood?
3 A. Yes. On the 27th and the 31st of March, I described one occasion
4 when there were police forces arriving early morning. They burned a
5 number of houses, and they killed eight people. In the meanwhile, on the
6 27th, they detained another 11 people from another family. That was in
7 the Qerkezi [phoen] family. Six of them from one family, the Qerkezi
8 family. The father and his four sons.
9 Q. Now, you've given us two dates, the 27th of March and the 31st,
10 and you've told us what happened on the 27th of March, what happened on
11 the 31st?
12 A. The 31st is another such date when six people were arrested.
13 Just like on the 27th, the people who were arrested on the 27th and who
14 were killed on the 27th, on the 31st, and later, their bodies were buried
15 with no ceremony and they were exhumed a week later and they were sent in
16 unknown direction. After the war, they identified more than 1.000 bodies
17 or body remains which had been buried in the cemetery -- at a cemetery in
19 day, there are people who are missing. There were people who went
20 missing in these dates. And the bodies have never been found.
21 Q. Thank you for your answers.
22 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I have no further questions, and I
23 apologise for going over time.
24 JUDGE FLUGGE: Thank you very much, Ms. Kravetz. This,
25 Mr. Haxhibeqiri, is the end of your examination. The Chamber would like
1 to thank you for the assistance you gave us to find out the truth.
2 Thank you very much, again, and now you are free to return to your home.
3 Thank you very much. And the Court Officer will show you out.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for giving me the
5 opportunity to testify.
6 JUDGE FLUGGE: And then we have to adjourn now and resume
7 tomorrow at 9.00 in Courtroom I.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.07 p.m.
10 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 8th day of
11 July, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.