1 Friday, 8 April 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Shin.
6 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Your Honour. The Prosecution is now
7 prepared for its next witness.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Could the witness be brought in, please.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, sir.
11 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Would you kind enough to read aloud the
13 affirmation on the card that is given to you now.
14 THE WITNESS: Certainly. I solemnly swear that I will speak the
15 truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
17 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
18 Yes, Mr. Shin.
19 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Your Honours.
20 WITNESS: Peter BOUCKAERT
21 Examined by Mr. Shin:
22 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, since you and I speak the same language, I would
23 just remind you that we need to speak a little slowly that so the
24 interpreter can keep pace. And for the similar -- or actually for the
25 same reason, if you could permit a brief pause between my question and
1 your answer and I will do the same after every answer before going on to
2 the next question. Do you understand?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Could you please tell the Judges your full name.
5 A. Peter Norbert Bouckaert.
6 Q. When were you born?
7 A. I was born on 14th July, 1970.
8 Q. And were was that?
9 A. In Louvain, Belgium.
10 Q. What languages to you speak?
11 A. Flemish, French and English.
12 Q. I'm going to ask you a little bit now about your background.
13 Could you please tell us about your education first.
14 A. Yeah I graduated from the University of California at Santa
15 Barbara in 1993 withe a degree in law and society and African studies.
16 Then I went on to law school at Stanford law school, where I graduated
17 with a juris doctor degree, JD, in 1997.
18 Q. I'm going to ask you a little bit about now about work
19 experience. Can you tell us what you did after law school for your first
20 work experience.
21 A. During law school I took a year off to work at a legal resources
22 centre, constitutional litigation unit in Johannesburg. After law school
23 I immediately went to work at Human Rights Watch first as a fellow, then
24 as a researcher and presently as a senior researcher.
25 Q. What year was that when you first went to Human Rights Watch?
1 A. It was in 1997, September, 1997.
2 Q. And you told us that you first went there as a fellow. How long
3 were you a fellow at Human Rights Watch?
4 A. I was a fellow for a period of one year in the Africa division.
5 Q. Did that fellowship have a name?
6 A. Yes. It was called the Orville Schell Fellowship.
7 Q. During that career, of your fellowship when in the Africas
8 Division what sort of work did you do?
9 A. I first went to South Africa to do research on South Africa's
10 treatment of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers, which was
11 published later as a report called "Prohibited Persons." I also went to
12 Uganda to do research on the political system in Uganda as well as the
13 war in northern Uganda with the Lord's Resistance Army and in western
14 Uganda with the Allied Democratic Forces, which resulted in the
15 publication of a report called "Hostile to Democracy."
16 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, I apologise. Perhaps because we're both
17 speaking the same language both Prosecution and the witness, perhaps --
18 JUDGE PARKER: You could only have said that with Mr. Guy-Smith
20 MR. KHAN: Indeed, Your Honour. I think for the interpretation
21 I'd ask my learned friend and witness perhaps to pause slightly between
22 the question and the answer.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you Mr. Khan. And no doubt all counsel will
24 take note of that as the matter progress.
25 Mr. Shin, things are running a little quick for the people to
1 keep up.
2 MR. SHIN: Yes, Your Honour. I have apparently already violated
3 my own caution to the witness.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. Well, Mr. Khan will act as your conscience.
5 MR. SHIN: I'm very grateful for that.
6 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, as you probably heard, we have both probably
7 prompted first by me started speaking a little bit too quickly. So I
8 will be mindful of that and will ask that you be as well.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. We had left off your speaking about your fellowship. You told us
11 earlier that following your fellowship you continued on at HRW. Could
12 you tell us what you did next after your fellowship, what you did at
13 Human Rights Watch. I'm sorry, could you tell us what position you held
14 and then tell us what you did.
15 A. Yes. Just before the completion of my fellowship in late July
16 1998 I was approached by the Europe and Central Asia Division of Human
17 Rights Watch to join our work on Kosovo and I became researcher in
18 September 1998 after the completion of my fellowship.
19 Q. How long did you work as a researcher at Human Rights Watch?
20 A. I worked as a researcher at Human Rights Watch till December 1999
21 when I became a senior searcher.
22 Q. And just to stay right now with the names of the positions that
23 you held. How long have you been a senior searcher?
24 A. Since December 1999.
25 Q. And does that mean that you are still a senior researcher now?
1 A. Yes that's correct.
2 Q. Is there a particular part of Human Rights Watch within which you
4 A. Yes. I head our Emergencies Unit which focuses on research in
5 war zones around the world.
6 Q. Before I ask you further about the Emergencies Unit, if you could
7 take you back to when you began your work in Kosovo. You said that you
8 were first approached shortly before July of 1998 about working on Kosovo
9 and then became a researcher in, I believe you said September of that
10 year. Could you tell us what you did in between the time that you were
11 first -- you first started working on Kosovo and when you became a
12 researcher if that was different from what you were doing as a
14 A. My work as a fellow also was a research-like job. It was just a
15 special entry-position programme. We had a Human Rights Watch for people
16 who wanted to come and become researchers at Human Rights Watch. So my
17 work as a fellow and as a researcher was similar in content.
18 Q. Now, as a researcher on Kosovo, what did you do?
19 A. As soon as I was asked to join the work on Kosovo in late July
20 1998, I began to work very closely with our then senior researcher on
21 Kosovo, Fred Abrahams, who had been working in the Balkans for many
22 years. And our immediate -- my immediate work involved my own
23 preparation for a mission we would undertake in September 1998 to Kosovo,
24 as well as supporting Fred in the preparation of a report he was
25 finalising based on several research trips he made to Kosovo called
1 "Humanitarian Law Violations in Kosovo."
2 Q. I'm going to ask you more about your work in Kosovo shortly, but
3 before we do that if I could just ask you a little bit more about your
4 other work with Human Rights Watch.
5 Just remind us: Approximately how long have you been with the
6 Emergencies Units within Human Rights Watch?
7 A. Well, the Emergencies Unit was formed in December 1999 and I was
8 the first person in that unit, and have been the head of the unit up to
10 Q. What is the Emergency Unit? Could you describe that for us,
12 A. Human Rights Watch is an international human rights organisation
13 and we have a special expertise in doing research in conflict-related
14 area. The Emergency Unit at Human Rights Watch serves as a repository
15 for that experience, both in terms of kind of the security challenges we
16 face working in conflicts zones as well as our IHL, international
17 humanitarian law experience. So whenever a major conflict like Iraq,
18 Afghanistan, Chechnya or Kosovo breaks out, it's the Emergencies Unit
19 which is the working with the divisional regional researchers who sets up
20 a response and who are often the first people on the ground to document
21 violation of the laws of war.
22 Q. You've mentioned Iraq and Afghanistan. Are there other places
23 within which you worked as a researcher for the Emergencies Unit?
24 A. Yes. There's countries all around the world. Would you like me
25 to name them?
1 Q. You needn't name all of them but if give us some more examples of
2 places where you have done work as a researcher.
3 A. It would include Sierra Leone; the Democratic Republic of Congo;
4 Uganda, in Africa; Kosovo and Macedonia in the Balkans; Chechnya;
5 Afghanistan; Iraq; Israel and the occupied territories; southern
6 Thailand, Nepal, Azerbaijan and some other countries which I can't recall
7 right now. There's about a dozen countries on which I have written
8 reports for Human Rights Watch.
9 Q. And approximately how many reports have you written for Human
10 Rights Watch?
11 A. I think at last count there was 23 or 24 reports.
12 Q. Have you produced documents other than reports?
13 A. Yes. The reports are books or shorter stapled reports but
14 there's also shorter work, materials such as press releases. I would
15 estimate there was at least over hundred press releases. OpEd editorials
16 in major newspapers like The New York Times and the Washington Post,
17 International Herald Tribune, and some European papers; letters to
18 governments and international organisations; various advocacy materials
19 as well as a few academic articles relating to the democratic process in
20 South Africa.
21 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, have you testified previously on the basis or on
22 the basis of work that you have done from Human Rights Watch or for
23 reasons otherwise arising from work you have done in Human Rights Watch?
24 A. I have not testified before a court or a tribunal. But I have
25 provided testimony in front of the Foreign Relations Committee in United
1 States Senate about war crimes in Chechnya as well in front of the
2 Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The Political Affairs
3 Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly.
4 Q. From all of this work that have you done in the human rights area
5 do you also give talks on it or attend conferences?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. Could you describe to us where and on what topics.
8 A. I have spoken at the Pearson Peacekeeping Institute about the
9 role of human rights in peacekeeping exercises. That talk was
10 particularly focussed on our experiences in Kosovo. I have also given
11 talks about my work at various law schools, including repeatedly at
12 Stanford Law School, my alma mater at UC Berkeley, and at Columbia
14 Q. You've mentioned that one topic that you have mentioned is your
15 experience in Kosovo. Could you just give us a general idea of what --
16 what other topics, if there indeed others, that you have given talks on.
17 A. Most of my talks were explanatory talks about the nature of the
18 work and how we conducted the work. So it focussed on approach to our
19 research, how we did our field work and wrote up our field work as well
20 as the sources of law that we use in our work including various human
21 rights instruments as well as the Geneva Conventions.
22 Q. Mr. Bouckaert have you ever received any honours for the work
23 that you have done in human rights?
24 A. I have received a few honours. I was elected as a term member to
25 the Council on Foreign Relations, which is a policy body in the United
1 States. I also was recognised as the public-interest lawyer of the year
2 by Stanford Law School and -- at the same year, and this was last year, I
3 was recognised by the human rights community in Azerbaijan as their human
4 rights lawyer of the year.
5 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, I'm actually listening to the French translation
6 to maybe sure we don't get too far ahead of the interpreters.
7 I'd like to ask you now, moving to Human Rights Watch, I'd like
8 to ask you a little bit about that organisation.
9 What is Human Rights Watch?
10 A. Human Rights Watch is one of the two largest international human
11 rights organisations, an honour we share with Amnesty International.
12 We're an independent non-governmental organisation which does research,
13 writes about and does advocacy to promote human rights and adherence to
14 the laws of war around the world. We're an organisation of about 200
15 people at the moment. We've been growing quite fast and we work in about
16 80 countries around the world. My programme has a special expertise in
17 the laws of war and documenting violations in conflicts areas, but our
18 work spans a very wide range of topics from conflict-related issues to
19 protecting the rights of people with HIV/AIDS, just to give one example.
20 Most of our reports -- all of our reports are public. They're
21 widely distributed to policy-makers and various international bodies and
22 they're also available on our wet site.
23 We also engage in a wide range of advocacy activities:
24 Supporting the formation of the International Criminal Court; we're a
25 founding member of the international campaign to ban the use of
1 land-mines; the international campaign to stop the use of child soldiers;
2 just to give a few examples.
3 We do not accept any money from any government. All of our
4 funding is privately raised to ensure our independence and objectivity.
5 Q. Where is Human Rights Watch based?
6 A. Our headquarters are in New York City but we have satellite
7 offices around the world, in Brussels, London, Washington D.C., Moscow,
8 and some smaller field offices in other places because we truly consider
9 ourselves a global human rights organisation.
10 Q. Does HRW, being based in New York, does it investigate alleged
11 human rights abuses in the United States or the other countries within
12 which it has offices?
13 A. Yes. We document -- we have a very active programme which has
14 certainly become more actively since the events of 9/11 on documenting
15 human rights violations in the United States. We also document abuses
16 committed by U.S. forces deployed in places like Iraq and Afghanistan
17 which has been part of my work as well. And we investigate abuses in all
18 of the countries that we have offices in.
19 Q. Now, you've mentioned investigations a few times so this may be
20 part of your answer to my next question. How does Human Rights Watch go
21 about doing it's work?
22 A. Well, unlike a lot of more policy-oriented organisations, the
23 strength of Human Rights Watch is that we go out and investigate abuses
24 committed in the field themselves. We travel to the countries that we're
25 researching. We meet with victims and witnesses to abuses as well as
1 local and national officials. So our reports are based on primary
2 investigations from wide range of sources.
3 Our public reports are heavily footnoted to ensure that the
4 readers of those reports know where our office information is coming
5 from. So in addition to the careful editing of our reports, they can
6 assess for themselves the reliability of our information.
7 Q. Now, you have begun explaining to us a little bit the way in
8 which Human Rights Watch goes about doing its investigation. Could you
9 tell us how is a report prepared and the relationship between that and
10 the investigations as you have outlined it for us.
11 A. In most of the countries we work in, we have had a long-standing
12 research programme in that country. For example, we started our work in
13 Kosovo in 1990. So we have access to a very extensive source -- sources
14 of information ranging from the diplomatic to local and international
15 correspondents, to victim and witnesses, hospital workers. Really a very
16 broad range of information. Normally we would be in the field gathering
17 information on specific topics for a period of two weeks anywhere up to
18 two, three months, conducting interviews. Then we go home. We collate
19 that information into a report format to assess the reliability of
20 witness statements try to corroborate various accounts. We exclude quite
21 a significant amount of the information that we have gathered, because we
22 feel it's not reliable enough not to be made public.
23 Then we make a draft report, which is written up by the
24 researchers who conducted the field work, people like myself, which is
25 then reviewed by our legal office, our office of counsel, which consists
1 of people with significant experience and legal backgrounds. They review
2 the report and send queries to us and ultimately proof the report. Then
3 it goes to our programme division who review the report again.
4 Sorry. I forgot one step. Prior to the report going to counsel,
5 it's reviewed by the regional division. So in the case of Kosovo, that
6 would be the Europe and Central Asia Division. Then goes to counsel,
7 then programme division, which ensures that our findings and our
8 recommendations are consistent throughout the organisation and who also
9 check for accuracy.
10 In the case of particularly sensitive reports which includes the
11 reports on Kosovo, because of the prominence of our work on Kosovo, those
12 reports would also bb reviewed by executive director prior to
14 Q. If I could ask you a few questions about the procedure you have
15 just outlined for us now.
16 You have mentioned I think the counsel's office, the programme
17 division and regional divisions. Just so that we're clear, these are all
18 parts of Human Rights Watch?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now the procedure that you have outlined as well, in your
21 experience was that a procedure generally approached -- applied at Human
22 Rights Watch? Or maybe I should put it this way: How generally was that
24 A. All of our reports are reviewed in this careful manner, because
25 -- the reason why we are well known and effective human rights
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 organisation is because of the reliability of our reports. And making
2 errors in our reports will have a devastating impact on our ability to
3 influence policy-makers. So this very extensive review process is used
4 for all reports.
5 Obviously, as I pointed out, in the case of Kosovo and other
6 particularly high-profile work of the organisation, another example would
7 be our work on the Israeli defence forces operation in Jenin. The
8 executive director and other senior management people would also become
9 directly involved in reviewing our research and our recommendations.
10 Q. You have told us there are a wide range of sources from which
11 Human Rights Watch receives information or gathers information. Could
12 you explain to us how Human Rights Watch assesses those sources.
13 A. Yes. We receive information which ranges from rumours to very
14 detailed accounts by direct eyewitnesses. We try to corroborate
15 information as much as possible, preferably through going and
16 investigating in situ where events have occurred and tracking down direct
17 witnesses. We interview witnesses and victims in private; we interview
18 them separately from each other and take detailed statements which allow
19 us to cross-corroborate information.
20 When we're dealing with information which does in the come from
21 eyewitnesses or victims, such as reports from other human rights
22 organisations or from journalists, normally we would be familiar with the
23 work methodology of those journalists or local human rights organisations
24 or international groups like the International Committee of the Red
25 Cross, which would allow us to assess that kind of secondary-source
2 Q. Now, receiving this range of information that you have told us
3 about and the value of being accurate which you have also mentioned, has
4 Human Rights Watch ever declined to publish a report or any other
5 document based on the information it has received?
6 A. Yes on any mission we go to we exclude a significant amount of
7 information from our reports that we have received, either because we
8 consider it to be unreliable or because we have been unable to
9 substantiate those allegations.
10 Q. When you say unreliable, how do you determine whether something
11 is unreliable or not?
12 A. Well it will again depend on our knowledge of the source, our
13 familiarity with the work methodology of the source and whether or not we
14 have received any other information which is consistent or inconsistent
15 with that information. Whenever we receive secondary information from
16 any source our first attempt will be to seek primary substantiation of
17 that information by going to track down the witnesses or victims
19 MR. POWLES: Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt my learned
20 friend. I've just consulted with both of my colleagues on this side of
21 the bench. I can say as far as the Defence is concerned, there is no
22 dispute that Human Rights Watch is a reputable international organisation
23 and that generally the reports are fair and accurate. If that helps my
24 learned friend move things on a little faster, then that is our hope and
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Powles and your
3 You heard that, Mr. Shin?
4 MR. SHIN: Yes very grateful move on directly to the next topic.
5 And the next topic, Mr. Bouckaert, will be this: What does Human Rights
6 Watch do after a report is published?
7 A. We're in the business of promoting and protecting -- promoting
8 human rights and protecting people from human rights violations. So
9 after the publication of a report we would normally engage in a vigorous
10 advocacy campaign, both with the national authorities and with the
11 international authorities to try to stop the abuses and also to seek
12 accountability, if necessary, for abuses that we have documented.
13 Q. We made address this issue of the advocacy that you are talking
14 about again later.
15 Right now, if I could direct your attention to the work that
16 Human Rights Watch has done in Kosovo. Are you familiar with the work
17 the Human Rights Watch did in Kosovo before you joined Human Rights
19 A. Yes. And I reviewed that material in my preparation before going
20 to Kosovo.
21 Q. When did Human Rights Watch first begin doing work in Kosovo?
22 A. Human Rights Watch was formed as Helsinki Watch in 1978 and has
23 had an extensive focus on eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
24 Our work in Kosovo intensified after 1989 [Realtime transcript read in
25 error: "1999"] when Slobodan Milosevic withdrew the autonomy of Kosovo
1 and human rights abuses in Kosovo increased and against a majority ethnic
2 Albanian population increased exponentially.
3 Q. The transcript says that the -- your work in Kosovo became
4 intensive in 1989 when Milosevic withdrew the human rights; is that
6 A. 1989.
7 Q. Between this time when the work became a little more intensive in
8 1989 and the time that you joined Human Rights Watch, how many reports
9 did Human Rights Watch publish on Kosovo?
10 A. Prior to the outbreak of armed conflict in Kosovo, we published
11 at least four major reports that I'm aware of.
12 Q. And could you just give us a month and date and time range?
13 We're talking from about 1989 to when?
14 A. 1989, 1990. I'm not sure when first report was published.
15 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, again, following from Mr. Powles'
16 comments, these reports are in the public domain. There's no objection
17 to my friend leading on the dates it assists the witness.
18 THE COURT: Thank you.
19 MR. SHIN: Once again, I'm very grateful to counsel.
20 MR. BLACK: I think the general mood is one that you can
21 anticipate a general level of acceptance about the background material
22 and lead fairly swiftly.
23 MR. SHIN: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Bouckaert if you could just tell us briefly, then, what sorts
25 of abuses were covered by those reports?
1 A. They dealt with -- the four reports that we issued dealt with
2 very similar abuses. After Milosevic came to power, in the then
3 Yugoslavia, he withdraw the autonomy of Kosovo. The public service and
4 universities, hospitals and other various sectors of society were purged
5 of Albanian official. There was a vast level of police abuse, unfair
6 trials and other such abuses conduct the against the ethnic Albanian
7 majority of Kosovo. The ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo responded
8 with relatively peaceful protests under the control and authority of
9 president Ibrahim Rugova.
10 Q. I think that should suffice to explain types of abused that you
11 were dealing with.
12 I would like to turn to the work that you were doing in Kosovo
13 and the reports that you were produced during the time that you were
14 doing that work. And if we could begin with -- with the people who did
15 that work. Who from Human Rights Watch apart from yourself was doing
16 work on Kosovo when you were working on it?
17 A. In terms of the research, the research staff included Fred
18 Abrahams, our senior researcher working on Kosovo as well as Albania and
19 Macedonia and Serbia, although during the period of the conflict his work
20 was almost exclusively on Kosovo; as well as myself and a number of
21 short-term consultants we hired to cover specific aspects of the
22 conflict. Later on, as the conflict became more intensified and
23 ultimately led to the NATO war in Kosovo, an additional number of people
24 were hired by Human Rights Watch and research staff from other parts of
25 the Balkans were reassigned to working on the Kosovo conflict.
1 Q. And what kind of presence did Human Rights Watch have on the
2 ground from -- let's say, first, let me ask you first. Do you know when
3 Fred Abrahams started working on Kosovo? Just the time period.
4 A. I don't know exactly when he started working on Kosovo. He
5 covered Kosovo as part of his work in the Balkans since the early 1990s
6 when he joined the organisation.
7 Q. What kind of presence in Kosovo did Human Rights Watch have from
8 the time that you joined? And you explained that was I think about July
9 of 1998.
10 A. Yes. When I joined, Fred Abrahams had just returned from -- what
11 I believe was his second research trip to Kosovo since the outbreak the
12 intensification of armed conflict in Kosovo in about late February 1998.
13 Then Fred and I started planning for a research trip to Kosovo which took
14 place in September 1998 and we returned again in November 1998. At that
15 time, access to Kosovo was very difficult because of the obstacles we
16 faced from the Yugoslav authorities.
17 Q. This time period, you mention February 1998 to November 1998.
18 What kind of presence on the ground did Human Rights Watch have?
19 A. As I explained, I personally took part in those two research
20 trips which both took place over -- we were in country for a period of
21 about three weeks each time. And Fred had made two similar research
22 trips earlier in the year. So from February to November 1998, we had
23 been to Kosovo four times, each time for a period much about three weeks.
24 Q. Did Human Rights Watch do its work during this time period, the
25 time period that you were involved? Did it do its work on its own or did
1 it have any involvement with others?
2 A. Kosovo certainly had much less of an international presence
3 during the conflict in 1998 than it does today. We did consult closely
4 with Amnesty International who were also travelling to the region. And
5 we worked particularly closely with the Humanitarian Law Centre, a
6 Belgrade-based human rights organisation of great repute, as well as the
7 Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms which was an ethnic
8 Albanian-dominated human rights organisation based in Kosovo. And we
9 obviously had very regular contacts with various diplomatic officials who
10 were based in Kosovo: the International Committee of the Red Cross; the
11 Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission, which was in Kosovo at the time;
12 various international journalists and local journalists, particularly the
13 journalists at the ethnic Albanian newspaper Koha Ditore.
14 Q. And just briefly on two organisations. The Humanitarian Law
15 Centre that you have described as a human rights organisation, where was
16 that based first?
17 A. The Humanitarian Law Centre was a Belgrade-based -- was and is, I
18 should say, a Belgrade-based human rights organisation headed by Natasa
19 Kandic. It has worked throughout the Balkans and played a very
20 courageous and independent role in documenting the abuses committed in
21 Bosnia, Croatia as well as Kosovo.
22 Q. Okay. If I just interrupt you to a couple of follow-up
24 Did you know the people for that organisation who worked in
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Who were they?
3 A. There was one Serbian woman, her name was Gordana, as well as
4 four or five ethnic Albanians whose names I cannot remember at this
5 stage. It's been quite a while. As well as Natasa Kandic herself, who
6 came down quite regularly to work with the team and to review their
8 Q. Do you know how they did their work?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were you familiar with it?
11 A. Yes. We frequently went on field visits ourselves to investigate
12 abuses and met every few days when we were in the country, both in Kosovo
13 and Belgrade to discuss the findings, the things that we were finding,
14 what kind of investigations we hoped to carry out as well as the
15 difficulties that we were facing. And we were so impressed with their
16 methodology which very closely mirrored our own that we actually ended up
17 hiring two of their staff to come work for Human Rights Watch.
18 Q. Turning now to the reports that were produced during your time.
19 Could you tell us just the title. What was the first -- what was the
20 first -- what was the title of the first Human Rights Watch report that
21 was published while you were working on Kosovo?
22 A. When I joined, Fred Abrahams was completing a report called
23 "Humanitarian Law Violations in Kosovo." It was completed in late
24 October 1998, completed and released.
25 Q. And just the time period. What time period was addressed by that
2 A. The time period addressed in the book starts in late February
3 1998, when a series of very severe attacks by Yugoslavia and Serbian
4 forces took place in the Decan area -- sorry, the Drenica area of Kosovo
5 and ends in -- up to late September 1998.
6 Q. Just so that we're clear. Could you explain to us what
7 specifically your role was in the preparation of this book for
9 A. Yes. There was a period of just more than a month prior to us
10 travelling to Kosovo, and that would be August 1998, in which I helped
11 Fred Abrahams finalise the text of the report, and we continued to
12 finalise and update the text of the report up to and including
13 information from our September 1998 visit to Kosovo.
14 Q. How familiar are you with the contents of that report?
15 A. At the time I could have recited it in my sleep because we worked
16 on it for such a long time, every day arguing over what cases to include,
17 what information we had. So I was very familiar with the report.
18 Q. Do you know the methodology that Human Rights Watch used in this
19 particular report?
20 A. Certainly.
21 Q. And how does that compare to the methodology that you have
22 described earlier for Human Rights Watch?
23 A. We used the same methodology in that report that we normally use.
24 There were some great difficulties in reaching some places in Kosovo
25 because of the ongoing conflict and the hostile position of the
1 Yugoslavia government towards our work in Kosovo. But the methodology
2 was essentially the same as I have described earlier.
3 Q. We'll get to some of those points shortly. Could you just
4 provide very briefly a summary of what those findings in the report are.
5 You have told us and let me just say that you did tell us that the book
6 addressed a series of very severe attacks in the Drenica area.
7 A. Yes. It's difficult to summarise a report of over 100 pages in
8 just a few words. Basically, the report deals with the abuses committed
9 by both the Yugoslav and Serbian forces in Kosovo, as well as the UCK,
10 what you say, the Kosovo Liberation Army during this period of time.
11 We found that the Yugoslavia forces and Serbian forces had
12 committed the majority of the violations during that time and those were
13 massive an amounted to war crimes. They included widespread summary
14 executions of civilians; attacks on civilian targets; shelling of
15 civilian targets; the use of the Red Cross emblem during attacks, attacks
16 -- arbitrary arrests and torture and killings in detention. I think that
17 gives a pretty good idea of what we were finding on the Yugoslav side.
18 In terms of the KLA side, we found that there had been a
19 significant number of abductions of some ethnic Serbs and ethnic Albanian
20 and some Roma during this period of time which we estimated to be at
21 least over 100 persons and some of those persons had been found dead
22 after last being seen in KLA custody. The report also has an extensive
23 analysis of the legal nature of the conflict in Kosovo and the
24 applicability of Common Article 3 and the Protocol Additional to the
25 Geneva Conventions to the conflict.
1 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, if you can say how would -- and you would also
2 feel free to tell us if it's not possible to say -- how would the abuses
3 you investigated or that Human Rights Watch investigated alleged to have
4 been committed by the KLA compared to the abuses alleged to have been
5 committed by Yugoslav and Serbian forces.
6 A. We don't necessarily like to engage to that kind of comparative
7 analysis, but certainly, during this period of the conflict in Kosovo the
8 vast majority of the abuses committed in the conflict were committed by
9 the Yugoslav forces.
10 Q. Turning to this area where abuses alleged to have been committed
11 by the KLA.
12 What were the sources that Human Rights Watch had for these
13 alleged abuses?
14 A. It was very difficult for us to track down direct eyewitnesses
15 and victims. Too many of the abductions and killings committed by the
16 KLA, we certainly tried to and sought the cooperation of the Yugoslav
17 government in both tracking down witnesses and gaining access to
18 autopsies conducted on bodies that the Yugoslav government claimed to
19 have found. But we found no cooperation from the Yugoslav authorities at
20 this stage.
21 We were able to confirm some of these abductions through primary
22 sources, particularly the abductions of -- two separate abductions
23 involving two Serbian journalists each time. But for most of the cases
24 we had to reply on information provided to us by the previously mentioned
25 Humanitarian Law Centre in Belgrade; the International Committee of the
1 Red Cross; some journalistic sources, as well information provided to us
2 by the Yugoslav and Serbian authorities.
3 Q. You've told us about difficulty in cooperation from Yugoslavia --
4 from the Yugoslavian government.
5 Were there other difficulties that Human Rights Watch encountered
6 in trying to investigate abused alleged to have been committed by the
8 A. Yes. First of all, it was difficult to find Serbian translators
9 who were willing to travel through KLA-held territory into Serbian
10 villages to speak to witnesses there. They were concerned about their
11 own safety and in most cases the Serbs in those villages refused to talk
12 to Albanian translators because they believed that the Albanian
13 translators were not translating the information accurately. In many
14 cases, when went to Serbian villages we also faced personal threats and
15 hostility to our own safety. Many Serbs in Kosovo believed the kind of
16 propaganda President Slobodan Milosevic was spreading and his government
17 was spreading about the role of international organisations in Kosovo.
18 So they saw us as the enemy.
19 So unfortunately, even though we were deeply concerned about
20 these victims, it was often very difficult to get to speak to them.
21 Q. And those were the problems in going to Serbian villages. Any
22 problem with going to Albanian villages?
23 A. An additional factor is a that many people in KLA-held territory
24 simply were too afraid to talk about those kind of abuses because they
25 faced -- they were concerned about probable or possible retaliation by
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the KLA. So people were much more unwilling to speak about abuses by the
2 KLA in KLA-held territory than they were willing to speak about abused by
3 the Yugoslav authorities.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. SHIN: Mr. Bouckaert, with the assistance of the usher I
6 would like to show you a document and this will be tab 5 in the bundle
7 which has been provided.
8 Mr. Bouckaert, do you recognise this document?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And what is it?
11 A. This is a report that I have been speaking about. It's our
12 report called "Humanitarian Law Violations in Kosovo," which we released
13 in late October 1998.
14 Q. Now, going to the issue about abuses allegedly committed by the
15 KLA, is there is a particular report that addresses that?
16 A. Yes. I believe that is Chapter 10, which -- yes, which starts on
17 page 75.
18 Q. Okay.
19 MR. SHIN: And for the record that is -- that page ERN K0364865.
20 And this is the first time for me, but I will attempt to do this in
21 Sanction as well to make it easier to follow the report.
22 Q. Mr. Bouckaert -- sorry, just one moment, please.
23 I'd like to direct your attention to page 78 of that report which
24 bears the ERN number K0364868 and in particular to go -- there's a
25 heading in the middle of the page "Abduction of Ethnic Serbs."
1 Now before we address that tell us again: In the area of
2 abductions what numbers are we talking about? What numbers did Human
3 Rights Watch find?
4 A. In terms of abductions by the KLA?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. We found that the most reliable estimates ranged somewhere
7 between 100 and 140 persons being abducted by the KLA. There were some
8 higher figures provided by the Yugoslav authorities and those we
9 considered a little bit less reliable. And they also included people who
10 had been abducted by the KLA for short periods of time. So the number of
11 100 to 140 reflects the number of people who were actually abducted and
12 still missing at the time of the publication of the report.
13 Q. And for the time when these abductions took place, what time
14 period are we talking about?
15 A. We're talking basically from late February 1998 up to the
16 publication of the report. The figures cited in the report mostly date
17 from around August 1998.
18 Q. And geographically, what are we talking about in terms of where
19 the abductions took place?
20 A. They took place in many areas of Kosovo but most of the largest
21 number of abductions or in terms of geographical location took place
22 either in the Drenica area or in the area just below it around Malisevo
23 and Rahovec. Which is reflected in some of the cases mentioned later on
24 in the report.
25 Q. Okay. And we'll get to those -- actually we'll turn to them now.
1 Now I'd like you to turn to page 78. And before we go to specifics
2 there, could you tell us what were the findings of Human Rights Watch
3 with regard to abductions of ethnic Serbs?
4 A. We found that -- we estimated that between 100 and 140 Serbs had
5 been abducted by the KLA. But we recognised that the precise number was
6 difficult to determine.
7 Q. And what were your sources for information about these
8 abductions? These particular abductions.
9 A. Yes. They were based on information provided to us by the
10 International Committee of the Red Cross, which had documented 138 ethnic
11 Serbs who they believed were in KLA custody, as well as a detailed report
12 by the Humanitarian Law Centre documented abduction of 103 ethnic Serbs
13 for the same period.
14 Q. And were there -- were there other sources I think you might have
15 mentioned what they were. Can you specify within the government what
16 they were.
17 A. Yes. On page 79 of the report, that's K0364869, we also mention
18 some reports we had received from the Yugoslav Ministry of Foreign
19 Affairs also in August 1998, relating to their estimate that 178
20 individuals had been abducted in Kosovo. That includes ethnic Serbs as
21 well as people from other nationalities as well as figures provided by
22 the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs saying that 233 civilians had
23 been abducted by the KLA, again including people of other ethnicities.
24 Q. And you've mentioned four sources: The ICRC, the Humanitarian
25 law centre, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Internal
1 Affairs. How did Human Rights Watch assess the reliability of those
3 A. Well, we are familiar with the work of the ICRC and we are
4 working closely with the Humanitarian Law Centre. So we assessed those
5 two sources to be of high credibility.
6 I should point out that the report of the Humanitarian Law Centre
7 also dealt with abductions and arbitrary arrest of ethnic Albanians, it
8 was not just by the Yugoslav authorities. So it was not just a one-sided
9 report on abductions by the KLA.
10 We had greater difficulty with the reliability of the information
11 provided to us by the Yugoslav and Serbian authorities simply because
12 they didn't provide a lot of detail about those sources and our attempts
13 to get greater information out of them relating to those sources were not
15 Q. A little lower on this page that we're currently on, we have
16 heading "Abductions in Rahovec." Could you tell us please, what were the
17 findings there? What's that all about?
18 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, once again. Of course it's for my
19 learned friend to decide how he does this. It may assist -- I don't
20 think of any of us are going to be objecting to any of these reports
21 being admitted into evidence. The witness of course has said that they
22 were carefully prepared and of course the reports really speak for
24 Now of course, my learned friend may wish to elaborate or go to
25 specific parts of it but it may not take matters much further to ask what
1 the report says when it's before you and no doubt in due course will
2 admitted into evidence.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Khan.
4 MR. SHIN: Once again, Your Honour, very grateful to the counsel
5 for any -- any assistance in helping us moving along. So I will move on
6 to some specific instances here.
7 JUDGE PARKER: I think you can go quite quickly and quite
8 directly to the bits that really interest you.
9 MR. SHIN: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
10 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, I'd like to direct your attention to page 80 which
11 bears the ERN K0364870, the case of Jovan Lukic. Now we have the report
12 in front of us and you will have heard what counsel has said. They -- I
13 will direct your attention to a couple of things here.
14 Very briefly what was this case about, Jovan Lukic?
15 A. Lukic was one of the persons who was apparently detained by the
16 KLA during their offensive on Orahovac. Many people were detained --
17 ethnic Serbs were detained at that time, which is what the previous
18 section deals with. He gave a detailed statement to the Humanitarian Law
19 Centre, which was the organisation we were working closely with,
20 describing his detention by the KLA and some of the things he had seen
21 while in the custody of the KLA. And he mentioned that he had been
22 detained with many other people at a KLA-run detention facility in
24 Q. And just a question about the time period and perhaps about
25 sources as well. In that first paragraph the second sentence, sentence
1 beginning "Tanjug reported." The sentence reads, "Tanjug reported that
2 Lukic detained on July 19 along with Veselin Lazdjic. But the Centre
3 mentions only Lukic being detained on July 17th." What is Tanjug?
4 A. Tanjug is a Serbian news agency, which at the time was quite
5 close to the Yugoslav authorities.
6 Q. And the Centre, the Centre there in that sentence. What is that
7 a reference to?
8 A. The Humanitarian Law Centre.
9 Q. Now you say Tanjug was quite close to the Yugoslav authorities.
10 In light of what you have testify today thus far, how did Human Rights
11 Watch assess the credibility of Tanjug?
12 A. We used it as a source of information but as far as possible we
13 would always try to find corroborative evidence or [sic] any information
14 reported there. We did view many of their reports with some suspicion.
15 I think the bias of their reporting is shown in the title of the
16 newspaper article we're discussing, which said "Terrorists abduct two
17 Serbs." So they used the kind of language that we saw coming out of the
18 Yugoslav authorities.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. SHIN: I'd like to turn -- thank you, Mr. Younis. We had
21 that source and footnote now. Turning to page 81, K 0364871, the case of
22 Vojko and Ivan Bakrac.
23 Q. We'll just be skipping through to a few of these cases now. What
24 is that case about?
25 A. T his relates to two ethnic Serbs who were taken off a bus by
1 armed ethnic Albanians on June 29th and who were later released,
2 according to some of the sources of information we had. Two other ethnic
3 Serbs who were abducted together with them whose identities we didn't
4 know remained unaccounted for.
5 This was quite a unique case because these were ethnic Serbs,
6 refugees from Croatia who were on their way to leaving Kosovo because
7 they were going to be resettled by UNHCR.
8 Q. And your sources for that, please?
9 A. This was one of the best documented cased we had. We were able
10 to confirm the case from UNHCR, directly. It was also included in the
11 report, the previously mentioned report by the Humanitarian Law Centre.
12 And it was also referred to by KLA spokesperson Jakup Krasniqi.
13 Q. Turning now to page 83, K0364873. And the heading "Slobodan,
14 Milica, and Nebojsa Radosevic." What was that case about?
15 A. This case involves three elderly Serbs who stayed behind in a
16 village after most of the ethnic Serb population fled when the UCK took
17 control in April 1998. It was quite typical pattern for elderly Serbs to
18 remain behind in some of these villages just because they had nowhere to
19 go. And the bodies of two of the people who were later found in the lake
20 as part of a group of 34 bodies recovered by the Yugoslav authorities in
21 Lake Radonjic near Glodjane which is on the main road from Pristina to
23 Q. And the sources for that?
24 A. This case was documented both by Amnesty International and it was
25 included in the report by the Humanitarian Law Centre. And the
1 identification of those two bodies was also reported by the Serbian
3 Q. Did Human Rights Watch by any chance attempt to investigate this?
4 A. We were in Kosovo in early September when the Yugoslav
5 authorities announced they found the 34 bodies in Lake Radonjic and that
6 the bodies were being stored in a hotel in Glodjane.
7 We travelled to Glodjane the next day to try to seek access to
8 those bodies to look at the conditions of the bodies and attempted to
9 determine how they were killed. And we also asked for further
10 information from the Yugoslav authorities on these cases. By the time we
11 reached the hotel where the bodies were being stored, they had already
12 been moved to a morgue in Pristina and we received no cooperation from
13 the Yugoslav authorities.
14 However, this case was included in the six cases which were
15 investigated by an international forensic team from Helsinki which gained
16 access to Kosovo in November 1998, headed by Helena Romanach.
17 Q. And skipping now to page 84, K0364874. The heading "Abductions
18 of Ethnic Albanians." If you can, could you tell us first what numbers
19 we're talking about here.
20 A. We were unable to establish a clear number. Clearly the number
21 of ethnic Albanians cases -- abduction cases that had been documented at
22 that stage were significant lower than those involving ethnic Serbs. But
23 we had received information we considered reliable of at least some
24 abductions of ethnic Albanians, most of them considered collaborators.
25 Q. And what did you understand that by that phrase or that word
2 A. They were either people working in some way with the Yugoslav
3 authorities, either with the police or the security services, but also
4 more broader: people who were suspected of working as informants or just
5 talking a bit too much to Yugoslav or Serbian officials.
6 Q. And we can look at this mostly on our own, but I will skip now
7 further to page 85. Heading --
8 A. Just --
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. Some of the bodies which were recovered in the same incident at
11 Lake Radonjic were the bodies of ethnic Albanians. I should mention,
12 among the 34 bodies which were found were the bodies of some ethnic
14 Q. And would it be right that in that case Human Rights Watch would
15 have had the same difficulties --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. -- investigating that?
18 A. Exactly.
19 Q. The next page, page 85. K0364875, heading "Restrictions on the
20 Media." I believe there are two cases set out here. Could you tell us
21 about the first one.
22 A. Yes. The first one occurred in August 1998. It involved two
23 ethnic Serbian -- well, an ethnic Serbian journalist and his driver
24 working for the pro-Yugoslav government, Radio Pristina. They were --
25 they went missing near city of Orahovac and it was feared that they were
1 abducted by the KLA. We spoke to officials at Radio Pristina to get the
2 basic information, which was not very clear because they will left and
3 disappeared on the road and had basically gone missing. The KLA never
4 acknowledged having those two people in their detention.
5 Q. I'm going to show you a document at this point.
6 MR. SHIN: Just one moment please.
7 [Prosecution counsel confer]
8 MR. SHIN: With the assistance of the usher if I could show you a
9 document, tab 6.
10 Q. Or actually you could probably just turn to it yourself. Thank
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Quickly, what is this document?
14 A. This is a document that we issued after talking to sources at
15 Radio Pristina as well as other people in Kosovo expressing our concern
16 abduction of the journalist and the driver and asking for their immediate
17 release and setting out the circumstances that we were able to find about
18 this case.
19 Q. What kind of document is this?
20 A. This was a press release.
21 Q. Why does Human Rights Watch issue a document like this?
22 A. Because we wanted to immediately respond to the abduction of
23 these two journalists and try to seek their release. All of these press
24 releases were translated into Albanian and published in local newspapers
25 like Koha Ditore. So it was a direct communication channel to the KLA.
1 Q. So when you say "all of the press releases," you're saying that
2 this particular document was also translated into Albanian?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay?
5 A. It wasn't translated into Albanian by us, it was translated into
6 Albanian by Koha Ditore and certain other newspapers. But Koha Ditore
7 had a policy of ensuring that all of our statements both about Yugoslav
8 and KLA abuses were translated and published in their newspaper.
9 Q. Prior to this document being issued and as it's dated 26th of
10 August, and I believe that's 1998?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Does Human Rights Watch -- did they publish -- issue, sorry issue
13 other press releases in connection with work in Kosovo?
14 A. Yes. If you look at the same statement, on the right side of the
15 page under "Related Material" are some other press releases that we
16 issued in the few months before then, just to give you a few examples.
17 The first one dealt with a the ethnic Albanian journalist being arrested
18 in Kosovo; the second dealt with A protest about academic freedom in
19 Serbia; the third dealt with ethnic Albanian human rights lawyer arrested
20 by Yugoslav authorities and being abused. And obviously there is many
22 MR. SHIN: Your Honour, I'm not sure what the most effective way
23 of handling this might be. If this could be given a number, or perhaps
24 it would be better to give the bundle of documents a number and remain
25 with the tabs.
1 JUDGE PARKER: [Microphone not activated]
2 MR. KHAN: Well, Your Honour, perhaps each document, from the
3 Defence point of view, should be given a separate exhibit number. I say
4 that because tab 3 is not complete and my learned friend has said that he
5 will provide you with a complete version of that report and upon that
6 basis tab 3 will not be objected to; but perhaps each document can be
7 given an exhibit number.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Have you got any comment on tab 3, Mr. Shin?
9 MR. SHIN: No. I did discuss this with counsel beforehand. I
10 was perhaps under the mistaken understanding that some parts of these
11 documents will be objected to. I understand that is not the case now.
12 We have perfectly happy to have the entirety of tab 3 submitted as well.
13 JUDGE PARKER: And is that available?
14 MR. SHIN: My understanding is it is available. So perhaps we
15 could just interpose that and just have it given one number.
16 JUDGE PARKER: What i would propose is to delay the reception of
17 this until tab 3 completed and then admit the whole document as one
18 exhibit, the whole bundle.
19 MR. SHIN: Okay. Thank you very much, Your Honour. In that case
20 I will proceed with the documents and at the enter seek a number for
21 that. Thank you.
22 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, directing your attention now back to page 85 of
23 "Humanitarian Law Violations in Kosovo," that's K0364875. You've told us
24 about one case. What's -- could you tell us about the second case there.
25 A. Yes. In the second case, two journalists working for Tanjug, a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 journalist and a photographer, were arrested by the KLA. And we issued a
2 similar statement, press release about this case.
3 Q. And who were these journalists?
4 A. Their name were Nebojsa Radosevic and Vladimir Dobricic.
5 Q. Where were they abducted?
6 A. They were abducted near the village of Magure.
7 Q. We'll talk about more about this incident later. If you could
8 just tell us what your sources were for the material on this case in this
10 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, for the record, I do object. You have
11 the report before you. The witness used the word "arrested." My friend
12 has used the word "abducted." The report say "captured." Your Honours,
13 I would ask that evidence not be put in the witness' mouth.
14 MR. SHIN: If I may respond. The report itself does use the word
15 "abductions." I do accept that the witness said "arrested" and I'm happy
16 to use that word, if appropriate.
17 Q. This incident, if you could just tell us your source, please, Mr.
19 A. Well this was quite a solidly confirmed case. Initially, when
20 these -- this case came to your attention the two journalists had just
21 gone missing. But a few days afterwards we were able to confirm through
22 the ICRC, the International Committee of the Red Cross, that these two
23 people were in KLA custody. And later the KLA issued a statement saying
24 that the two people had been sentenced to 60 days in prison number 7, for
25 -- convicted on spying charges. So we were able to confirm this case by
1 several sources.
2 Q. And if I could direct your attention to tab number 7. What is
3 this document?
4 A. This was the statement that we issued after we were able to
5 confirm the -- can I say arrest? Of these two journalists with the ICRC.
6 And the like the earlier statement, it calls for their release.
7 Q. Was this -- this is a press release; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. And was this also translated into Albanian?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And who did that?
12 A. I'm certain it was -- it was published in the Koha Ditore
14 MR. SHIN: And turning to page 86, K 036 -- sorry. I think I had
15 my microphone off.
16 Turning to page 86, K 0364876. And as we get that on Sanction.
17 Sorry 4876. I'm very grateful to Mr. Younis for his assistance here.
18 Q. The paragraph in the middle of the page beginning on: "On October
19 14th." Do you see that paragraph?
20 A. On August 14th.
21 Q. Sorry on August 14th.
22 A. Yeah.
23 Q. Can you tell us what this incident was about?
24 A. Yes. It involved close friend of us, Stacey Sullivan, who was a
25 journalist working mostly for the New York Times. She was stopped by a
1 group of KLA soldiers while interviewing ethnic Albanian civilians and
2 the soldiers grabbed her notebook and burned some pages out of her
3 notebook. She had gone -- she then went to complain to a regional
4 commander and the commander apologised to her and said that the soldiers
5 will be stripped of -- that he had stripped the soldiers of his weapon.
6 MR. SHIN: Is that a convenient time for a break?
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be preferable if we ran for another ten
8 minutes, Mr. Shin.
9 MR. SHIN:
10 Q. I would like to direct your attention now to page 11 of the
11 report which has the ERN number K0364801. And if you just give us a
12 minute while we bring that up on Sanction.
13 That's fine, thank you.
14 And I'm going to direct your attention to the heading "To the
15 UCK" -- I won't try that pronunciation.
16 Can you tell us first of all what is in this section? Could you
17 describe to us what it is.
18 A. This section comes immediately after the executive summary of the
19 report and makes recommendations to the various parties -- to the
20 conflict in Kosovo as well as to the international community on how to
21 end the abuses in Kosovo.
22 Q. And now I'll direct your attention now to the first bullet point
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
25 MR. SHIN: Sorry, I didn't have microphone on. I will repeat
2 Q. I'll direct your attention to the first bullet point there. The
3 last sentence there reads, "In particular the UCK should release all
4 civilians in detention."
5 Now this is a recommendation to the KLA. Apart from publication
6 in here, was there any other way in which it was conveyed to them?
7 A. Our first meeting with the KLA took place in November 1998 when
8 we discussed many of these issues. But in general, as I said before, the
9 ethnic Albanian newspapers in Kosovo, particularly the Koha Ditore
10 newspaper, made it a policy to quote extensively from our reports in some
11 cases even serially reproduced entire reports in the newspaper and we
12 also provided a copy of this report to the political representative of
13 the KLA, Adem Demaqi.
14 Q. What language was that done in?
15 A. It's press reports would have been in the Albanian language. We
16 also gave extensive interviews about this report in two ethnic Albanian
17 newspapers, which addressed specifically both the Yugoslav army abuses as
18 well as the KLA abuses. The report that was handed over to Adem Demaqi
19 would have been in English because he is a fluent English speaker.
20 Q. Thank you. You mentioned in one of the cases we discussed
21 earlier that a source was Jakup Krasniqi. Could you explain that now,
23 A. Yes. Jakup Krasniqi was one of the main spokespersons for the
24 Kosovo Liberation Army and he gave an extensive interview to Koha Ditore
25 in which he mentioned the cases of these two -- these two ethnic Serbs
1 from Croatia who had been released.
2 Q. And is this included in the report?
3 A. Yes it's included in the report. I would have to find it
5 Q. Perhaps it will save time if I -- thank you to counsel. If I
6 just direct you to page 76.
7 Sorry. The ERN is K0364866?
8 A. Yes. Two paragraphs at the top of the page, starting with "the
9 UCK has never dealt with civilians" are an excerpt from the interview of
10 Jakup Krasniqi.
11 Q. And we see in the second paragraph, just to move things along, we
12 see a reference to the handing over of two Serbs.
13 A. Yes He said, "A few days ago we handed over two Serbs originating
14 from Croatia to the International Red Cross. Those we have kidnapped are
15 either announced in a list or reported to be executed, but we do not
16 behave in a base fashion like Serbia."
17 Q. And do you have other sources from the KLA set out here?
18 A. Yes. At the bottom of the page is a statement made by Shaban
19 Shala, who is a KLA commander, formerly a human rights activist for the
20 Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms.
21 Q. And turning to page 77 which is K0364867. This is a continuation
22 of what appears to be an excerpt from this interview with Shaban Shala.
23 I'll direct your attention to that last sentence, since we can read the
24 rest ourselves: "There are cases when individuals make mistakes but such
25 cases are punished by the UCK even if the soldiers conducted them." Can
1 you comment on that the last sentence, please?
2 A. Yes. We were very keen to get more information about the UCK and
3 its internal code of conduct and disciplinary procedures as well as
4 evidence that they had actually punished some of their members for
6 Q. You had mentioned Adem Demaqi. The next paragraph on that page
7 refers to, or makes refers to Adem Demaqi.
8 MR. SHIN: If we could just have that brought up.
9 Q. And there's a brief quote from him which we can read. But I'll
10 just direct your attention. Let me just read it; perhaps it will be
11 faster. "When I talked to certain people form the headquarters I saw
12 that there was a united view on one thing. We did not deal in
13 kidnappings" -- I'm cautioned to go slow -- "and some groups do it on
14 their own. And if we have influential on them, we always intervene and
15 kidnapped persons are released."
16 Now, that reference from the headquarters, do you know what that
17 is in reference to?
18 A. Yes. We understood it to be a reference to the general
19 headquarters of the KLA which was a body which was mentioned in quite a
20 few of the statements issued by the KLA. They would issue official
21 statements which were handed over to us through various sources referring
22 to their general headquarters.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you.
24 MR. SHIN: Your Honour, that completes it for that document so
25 this may be a convenient time.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Shin.
2 We will have the first adjournment now. There are circumstances
3 which require us to have a half-hour break at this time rather than the
4 20 minutes. So we will resume at 20 minutes past 4.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.29 p.m.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Shin.
8 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Mr. Younis informs me that we have now distributed tab number 3
10 in its entirety. So perhaps this would be a good point to receive a
12 The only point I would raise is that tabs -- there are nine tabs
13 in all, firstly; secondly, tabs 1 and 2 are previously -- previously
14 tendered exhibits. So this exhibit, if I could suggest, might perhaps be
15 given a number with only tabs 3 through 9. And finally --
16 JUDGE PARKER: Tabs 1 and 3 are already exhibits?
17 MR. SHIN: In fact tab 1 and 2 are previous exhibits in this
19 JUDGE PARKER: Separately tendered?
20 MR. SHIN: Yes. Tab 1 is actually P048 and tab 2 is P138.
21 JUDGE PARKER: We will do an imprecise thing.
22 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
23 JUDGE PARKER: Tab 3 onwards of this bundle will be received as
24 one exhibit.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Tabs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 will be Prosecution Exhibit
2 MR. SHIN: And apologise Your Honours for bringing about this
3 imprecision in our system.
4 JUDGE PARKER: If that is the worst that happen procedurally, we
5 will be in good order, Mr. Shin.
6 MR. SHIN: Hopefully that will only be it's worst that happens.
7 A final point is that tab 9 is also only excerpts from a document but I
8 have not heard from counsel as to whether they have any problems with
9 that. The bulk of that document in fact deals primarily with events in
10 1999. And I -- it's a rather large document which is why I had excerpted
11 only directly relevant sections.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Right. Well, we have received tabs 3 to 9 as
13 Exhibit P212, tabs and 2 being previously exhibits. And in the absence
14 of any other sign, you can move on, Mr. Shin. And the indications are
15 very clear that you can go as directly and as quickly as you can be
16 encouraged to go.
17 MR. SHIN: Thank you very much, Your Honour. As I explained to
18 counsel during the break I had indeed been under a mistaken but perhaps
19 not so mistaken impression that there may have been more difficulty. But
20 I am grateful that we are in agreement on that.
21 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, I'd like to show you a document. In fact you can
22 just turn to it yourself. That's tab number 4.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. This -- could you just tell us what that is, please?
25 A. It's a Human Rights Watch report researched by Fred Abrahams and
1 myself during our September 1998 mission to Kosovo.
2 Q. And the title of that report is "Detentions and abuses in
3 Kosovo"; is that correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. It's also given a heading "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia"?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. When was this report issued?
8 A. It was issued in December 1998.
9 Q. If you could briefly, what detention and abuse there Kosovo is
10 this report about?
11 A. It deals with abuses, detention abuses committed by both the
12 Yugoslav forces and Kosovo Liberation Army. It documents a significant
13 number of deaths in custody as well as detention abuses committed by
14 Yugoslav and Serbian authorities as well as the very negative role
15 plaided by the Serbian judiciary in these abuses. And it has a short
16 chapter summarizing some of our findings in terms of detention and abuse
17 by KLA.
18 Q. Where can we find that?
19 A. It starts on page 23 of the report.
20 Q. And page 23 is ERN 00676492?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MR. SHIN: Sorry.
23 Q. I have been turning the microphone off out of habit. I will stop
24 doing that. Page 23 is 00676492. And how far does this section go?
25 A. It goes to page 25.
1 Q. Which is the same ERN number, ending 94.
2 Mr. Bouckaert, you explained to us that this report derives from
3 work that you and Mr. Abrahams did in September of 1998 in Kosovo. What
4 time period is covered by the detentions and abuse by the KLA that are
5 addressed in this report?
6 A. As the section on the KLA says, it deals with abuses committed
7 since February 1998 up to the publication of the report.
8 Q. And where did these detentions and abuse -- where did they take
10 A. They took place in Kosovo.
11 Q. If possible, could you tell us more specifically where in Kosovo?
12 A. Well it took place in many areas of Kosovo and as we had
13 previously discussed, we concluded that between at least 100 and possibly
14 as many as 300 people had been abducted by the KLA and there are some
15 details from some of those cases included in this short section.
16 Q. And we ask see that in the report itself.
17 If I can direct your attention to a couple of particular sections
18 in the third paragraph beginning: "The ICRC." The report reads, I
19 quote: The ICRC has been denied access to KLA detainees, which raises
20 suspicions about their safety." And it goes to on to refer to a quote an
21 ICRC representative. Could you comment, please, on that paragraph?
22 A. Yes. It's very usual for the ICRC to speak so publicly about
23 access problems as well as abuse problems, which I think is an indication
24 of how seriously the ICRC was concerned about their lack of access to
25 facilities as well as about the general pattern of abuses they were
1 documenting. We obviously had our own discussions with the ICRC which we
2 consider confidential, which discussed the same concerns and abuses.
3 Q. Thank you. The next paragraph reads: "On a number of occasions,
4 the KLA has released people in its custody. On July 22nd, the KLA handed
5 35 ethnic Serb civilians over to the ICRC after they had been detained on
6 July 19th during fighting in Orahovac."
7 Could you please comment on that.
8 A. Yes. That -- those ethnic Serbs who were handed over to the ICRC
9 were part of a larger group of ethnic Serbs who were -- who went missing
10 during the KLA's brief seizure of Orahovac, some of whom were still
11 missing at the time of the publication of our report. There is also the
12 case of the two ethnic Serbs from Croatia who were handed over to the
13 ICRC, which we discussed in the earlier session.
14 Q. And this section that we've just looked at beginning on a number
15 of occasions, there's no footnote to that. Can you please tell us your
16 sources for that.
17 A. Actually, there is a public source for that. The same
18 information is included in the humanitarian law violations report. In
19 Kosovo report citing an ICRC statement which was issued at the time, I
21 Q. The paragraph on the bottom, beginning "On October 18th." Could
22 you tell us what case is addressed there.
23 A. This is the case of the two Serbian journalists which we
24 discussed during the earlier session, the two Serbian journalists who
25 went missing and were later acknowledged to be in KLA detention on
1 October 18.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 MR. SHIN:
4 Q. We will turn to that in some detail shortly.
5 On the next page, page 25, the first full paragraph beginning, on
6 November 27th. If you could read that and tell us what that is about.
7 A. I'll read the paragraph. It says: "On November 27 in honour of
8 Albanian flag day, the KLA released the two journalists.
9 Q. Please go slowly.
10 A. In the presence of U.S. diplomat William Walker who heads the
11 Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) mission in Kosovo.
12 "Two ethnic Albanian political activists from the Democratic
13 League of Kosovo in Malisevo, Jakup Kastrati and Cen Desku, who had been
14 in KLA detention for three weeks, were also amnestied. A KLA communique
15 released on November 27" --
16 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, if you could please read and pause between phrases
17 and sentences.
18 A. "A KLA communique released on November 27 said the amnesty
19 demonstrated the KLA's commitment to international conventions governing
20 warfare. On November 24th, the KLA released a Serb policeman after U.S.
21 diplomatic intervention."
22 Q. Could you tell us about these two ethnic Albanian political
23 activists who had been amnestied. Who were they?
24 A. They were LDK activists from Malisevo. I don't have any other
25 details about them, other than they had been in KLA custody for a period
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of about three weeks.
2 Q. What is your source for the information that they had been held
3 in KLA detention for three weeks and were also amnestied?
4 A. The KLA issued a public statement which is referred to in this
5 paragraph, relating to go these releases.
6 Q. And that next paragraph beginning: "Two other journalists." I
7 believe that is a case that have you told about already; is that correct?
8 A. Yes. Those were the two journalists who had been earlier
9 arrested in August -- or who had gone missing, I should say, in August.
10 The KLA never acknowledged their detention and they remained missing at
11 the time of the report.
12 Q. In the previous report we had seen a section with recommendations
13 to the KLA. Does this report have any recommendations to the KLA?
14 A. I believe it does. They are found on page 6 of the report.
15 MR. SHIN: That is ERN 00676465.
16 Q. Was this report provided to anyone in the KLA?
17 A. In between the publication of the first report we discussed and
18 this report, we had a meet with the KLA at which we discussed our
19 concerns and raised our recommendation as well. And as usual, we
20 provided this report, as all of other reports and information, to the
21 ethnic Albanian press as well as to the office of Adem Demaqi which was
22 also the communication channel which was suggested to us by the KLA
23 representatives who we met.
24 Q. Were any press releases issued in connection with this report?
25 A. Yes. All of our reports are accompanied by a press release which
1 summarises our report and alerts the press to the existence of the
2 report. And also gives them some quotes from -- normally from the head
3 of the division to use in their newspaper articles.
4 Q. If I could direct your attention now to tab 3. Do you recognise
6 A. You've cut off my picture a little bit, but it's a report that I
7 wrote, called "A Week of Terror in Drenica: Humanitarian Law Violations
8 in Kosovo."
9 Q. Was there a picture on the cover?
10 A. Yeah. It seems like a white page kind of cutting off the top
11 half of the --
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. It's not hiding anything significant.
14 Q. Okay. When was this report issued?
15 A. This report was issued in February 1998 -- 1999, sorry.
16 Q. 1999?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What was your involvement in the preparation of this report?
19 A. I was the primary researcher as well as the author of this
21 Q. If you could tell us briefly what is this report about.
22 A. It deals with a week in September 1998 in which some of the most
23 severe violations by Yugoslav forces were committed up to that stage in
24 the conflict. We had been present in Kosovo at this time, and had
25 personally witnessed and visited the sites of these massacres.
1 Q. I'd like to direct your attention with regards to this report
2 simply to two pages. That would be pages 8 and 9. That would be the ERN
3 pages K0364938 and K0364939.
4 Again, these are recommendations to the KLA; is that correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Were these also translated, these recommendations?
7 A. I believe at this time our summary and the recommendations of the
8 reports were translated at least into Serbian and possibly also into
9 Albanian by Human Rights Watch. But they certainly also would have been
10 picked up by the locally Albanian press. And as with all of our reports
11 they were handed over to Adem Demaqi.
12 Q. And we can read these for ourselves. But just to direct your
13 attention to two points. The first bullet point on page 8, K0364938. It
14 begins: "Release all civilians in detention." It continues on after
15 that. This report is about, as you have explained to us abuses committed
16 by Serbian forces. Why would this recommendation appear in that report?
17 A. Well, because we continue to have the same concerns about
18 abductions and the fate of ethnic Serbs and ethnic Albanians abducted by
19 the KLA. I must say, we also had a much more positive reception for our
20 recommendations from the KLA. So we felt it was important to continue
21 that dialogue with the KLA about their own conduct.
22 Q. And turning to the next page, K0364939, page 9 of the report
23 itself. At the top the first bullet point there: "Bring to justice
24 commanders and troops guilty of these violations in conformity of
25 international standards of due process."
1 Could you comment on the that, please?
2 A. We felt important for the KLA to uphold international
3 humanitarian law, but also to implement international humanitarian law
4 by punishing its troops and its commanders when abused were committed.
5 Q. Now, turning away from these reports for the time being. You
6 have referred to the conflict a number of times. Could you tell us who
7 were the parties to the conflict. The Judges will have heard a lot of
8 evidence on this, so you can be brief just to indicate who you mean.
9 A. The parties involved both Yugoslav and Serbian forces on one
10 side, as well as some irregular paramilitary formation on the side of the
11 government. And then the Kosovo Liberation Army as well as other armed
12 Albanian elements on the other side of the conflict.
13 Q. Now, just taking the Yugoslav and Serbian forces first. Did
14 Human Rights Watch research or investigate anything about those forces?
15 A. Yes. I think we listed some of the command structure of these
16 forces in the "Humanitarian Law Violations in Kosovo" report, starting
17 with Slobodan Milosevic down.
18 Q. And again with regards to these Yugoslav and Serbian forces,
19 you've mentioned now the command structure. Was there anything else that
20 was researched or investigated?
21 A. Well, again, I think it's important to remember that we were
22 working in a very difficult environment with an active conflict going on.
23 And certainly our later reports such as the other orders report which we
24 issued after the end of the conflict in Kosovo were much more detailed
25 about the information that we were able to assemble about the command
1 structure of the Yugoslavia army as well as the forces involved in the
2 fighting in Kosovo.
3 At this early stage, we could have at least determine that the
4 fighting involved the Yugoslav army itself, as well as the MUP forces
5 under the command of the Ministry of Interior. And we also had pretty
6 convincing reports that some other organisations such as the special
7 anti-terrorist police under the command of Frankie -- I forget his last
8 name, but known as Frankie's boys were involved in some of the fighting.
9 As well as some armed Serbs.
10 Q. What time period are you talking about now?
11 A. I'm talking about the time period February to the publication
12 these reports, February 1998.
13 Q. Turning to the other side of the conflict, KLA. Did Human Rights
14 Watch likewise investigate or research anything about -- about them?
15 A. Yes. As I said, our "Humanitarian Law Violations in Kosovo"
16 report as well as later reports includes extensive analysis of the
17 applicability of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions as well as
18 Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Conventions. So for that analysis,
19 we did have to look extensively at the nature of the KLA and its
21 Q. And just staying with the KLA now. What factors did you look to
22 in your analysis, the analysis that you just described?
23 A. We looked at the level of organisation of their forces; issues
24 such as whether they were in uniform, whether there seemed to be a
25 general command structure of the sources of their funding. What else?
1 The existence of a high command. Issues such as that.
2 Q. And just taking these one at a time. What were Human Rights
3 Watch's findings with regard to the level of organisation of their
5 A. Well, the level of organisation of the KLA evolved over time.
6 They had been quite active even before February 1998, especially in the
7 Drenica area of Kosovo. By the period that we are talking about now,
8 February 1998, they certainly seemed to have become more organised. Most
9 of their soldiers were in uniform with UCK badges identifying their
10 allegiance. And it seemed like there were a number of zonal commanders
11 which according to the sources that we had available to us, were
12 represented on a high command.
13 Q. And you mentioned that was in the humanitarian law violations
14 report, these findings. Before we turn to that could you tell us how did
15 Human Rights Watch come to these findings?
16 A. Well, they're based on own observations out in the field. Here I
17 would have to restrict my testimony to my missions in September and
18 November 1998. But certainly, my colleague Fred Abrahams also had own
19 authorisations based on his earlier missions as well as our extensive
20 contacts with journalists, especially journalists from newspapers like
21 Koha Ditore which regularly interviewed KLA commanders and were quite
22 familiar with the names of commanders and the structure of the
23 organisation; as well as the ICRC, the Kosovo diplomatic observer
24 commission, international journalists, and locally human rights groups.
25 Q. Could you please tell us where in "humanitarian law violations"
1 we would be able to find these issues addressed. Tab 5?
2 A. Yeah. It would be in chapter 11 of the report which is called
3 "Legal Standards and the Kosovo Conflict," which starts on page 88. The
4 discussion relating to the KLA starts on page 92.
5 MR. SHIN: That's ERN K0364882 for page 92; and the section began
6 on page 88 of the report, which is the the ERN number K0364878.
7 Q. Now, if we could turn to page 92. I would just like to you ask
8 you to explain in further detail. Again we had the page before us if you
9 could just explain to us some of the information set out on this page.
10 The first sentence reads: "Although the UCK is primarily a
11 guerrilla army with no rigid hierarchical structure and there are
12 separate internal factions, during the period covered by this report
13 (from February to September), the UCK was an organised military force for
14 the purposes of international humanitarian law."
15 This phrase, "no rigid hierarchical structure," what does that
17 A. It means that their command structure at that stage was
18 relatively fluid and did not always include formal ranks of officers.
19 And it was often difficult for us to -- in the field to understand where
20 different commander fit into the structure of the UCK. So it would be
21 more accurate as we talk, as we describe a few sentences later to talk
22 about regional and subregional commander with people under their control.
23 Q. And just your answer there so we're clear, what time period are
24 we talking about? Is it February to September as set out in that
1 A. Yes, correct. But over that period command structure did become
2 nor formalised. So we are talking about a situation of significant
3 fluidity. But it certainly -- that description would go back all the way
4 to February 1998.
5 Q. If we could just skip to the last sentence that that paragraph,
6 which -- sorry, second-to-last sentence. Which reads: "Not all but most
7 of the regional commanders were represented in the high command, the body
8 within the UCK that makes decision for the whole UCK."
9 What time period are we talking about it?
10 A. It will be for that same time period. Although the use of the
11 term "high command," it would probably have been more accurate to use the
12 term "general headquarters," which was the term used by the UCK.
13 Q. A few more questions on this page. In the next paragraph, first
14 sentence. There's a reference to checkpoints and policies and
15 procedures. Could you comment on that, please.
16 A. Yes. One of the biggest frustrations that journalists and
17 observers had in Kosovo is that we would be very frequently stopped at
18 checkpoints and asked for travel permission from the KLA. And that
19 travel permission had to come from Adem Demaqi. And if we couldn't
20 produce the permission we would frequently be told to turn back. But
21 unfortunately, Adem Demaqi only issued travel permission for one day and
22 didn't get up early in the morning on some days. So it created a lot of
23 frustration and difficulties.
24 Q. And if you could just remind us again who is Adem Demaqi? What
25 was his position?
1 A. He was the Pristina-based political representative of the KLA.
2 Q. If we look a little further down in that same paragraph, it's the
3 third sentence from the bottom beginning with the word "despite"?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. That sentence reads -- "Despite this." I believe that's a
6 reference to a lack of discipline. "It is clear that the UCK leadership
7 was able to organise systematic attacks throughout large parts of
9 What large parts of Kosovo are you talking about there?
10 A. Well, it would include the quite significant offensive that the
11 UCK undertook after the February/March atrocities committed by the
12 Yugoslav forces that we discussed earlier which led to them seizing
13 control of most of Drenica, the central region of Kosovo, which is mostly
14 a rural area, as well as the offensive -- the relatively unsuccessful
15 offensive on the city of Orahovac which was the only time that the UCK
16 tried to take a big city and it did seize control for that big city for a
17 period of two days. So those offensive actions would have involved the
18 coordination of quite a significant number of fighters.
19 Q. And just one more question on this page. The next paragraph.
20 Sorry, Mr. Bouckaert, you wanted to say something else?
21 A. Yeah. I think a very relevant factor is also the sentence
22 preceding what we just discussed or sorry, after what we just discussed
23 which is the financial -- the coordination of the financial support into
24 Kosovo and weapons into Kosovo which were distributed throughout the
25 province by the KLA and which again indicated to us quite a significant
1 ability to coordinate on the part of the KLA.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 The next paragraph beginning: "From April until mid-July 1998,
4 the UCK held as much as 40 per cent of the territory of Kosovo, although
5 most of that territory was retain by government forces by August 1998."
6 Could you please explain how Human Rights Watch came about that
7 figure of 40 per cent?
8 A. Yes. The area controlled by UCK at that stage involved most of
9 Drenica as well as the area below Drenica around Malisevo and town such
10 as that. So basically we just looked at a map and consulted with other
11 organisations, including the Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission and
12 concluded that was the about the percentage of territory. Most of it
13 rural territory which the UCK controlled.
14 Q. We have the rest of this section to review your findings, so I
15 won't go into detail any further on that.
16 Let me turn to another area. You have made reference previously
17 to the intensification of the armed conflict of February 1998. Could you
18 tell us briefly, what happened in February 1998? What do you mean by the
20 A. As documented in the report and was researched by my fellow
21 researcher, Fred Abrahams, a watershed event in the Kosovo conflict was a
22 series of attacks by the Yugoslav forces on three villages in Drenica,
23 which led to very grave massacres, was the village of Kirez [phoen],
24 Donji Prekaz, and I think Likoshan. Apparently, in terms of the
25 watershed nature of the event, especially the killing of almost the
1 entire family of Adem Jashari who was a main -- was seen as a main KLA
2 leader really changed the situation on the ground. Some of the funerals
3 of the victims of the these massacres were attended by tens of thousands
4 of people, and allowed the KLA to recruit a large number of people and to
5 massively expand its operations. It really changed the situation on the
6 ground in Kosovo.
7 Q. And perhaps following on that, how would you characterise -- when
8 you say intensification, how would you characterise the level of the
9 conflict after what you have just described?
10 A. Starting in February 1998 when we started to see the use of
11 really typical military-style equipment and tactics by the Yugoslav
12 forces including helicopters and tanks and armoured vehicles, and since
13 late February 1998 there was almost constant fighting with brief pauses
14 in the fighting, shifting from these massacres that I just described and
15 to the border between Kosovo and Albania and then back to the central
16 areas of Kosovo as the KLA went on the offensive and took control of
17 significant parts of Kosovo and then towards the end of the summer, a
18 massive Yugoslav offensive started to retake those areas which resulted
19 in some of the massacres described in my report, "A Week of Terror in
20 Drenica." That is a very brief summary of the events which are described
21 in the "Humanitarian Law in Kosovo" report.
22 Q. And this conflict, when did the conflict end?
23 A. The conflict didn't really end. There were brief pauses after
24 Holbrooke and Milosevic came to an agreement with the first threat of
25 NATO bombing of Kosovo. Milosevic promised to withdraw most of the
1 troops from Kosovo. He didn't comply with that agreement. There was the
2 Racak massacre, which is also described in our reports. And ultimately
3 it led to the NATO intervention in Kosovo. So the conflict only ended
4 with the withdrawal of Yugoslav forces after the end of the NATO war.
5 Q. You've made reference to organisational structures. Did Human
6 Rights Watch investigate disciplinary issues on both sides?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And what were its findings with regards to the KLA?
9 A. Let me first say that with regards to the Yugoslav forces their
10 forces acted with complete impunity on the ground. The situation was a
11 little bit more complex with the KLA. They claimed to us that they had
12 disciplinary procedures in place, but through our entire period of
13 research, aside from the relatively minor incident involving Stacey
14 Sullivan the journalist who had notebook burned, we didn't document a
15 single case in which the KLA disciplined or punished their own troops
16 despite our repeated requested from them to provide that information. To
17 them, I should say, sorry.
18 Q. I'd like to turn now, Mr. Bouckaert, to, or rather return to the
19 issue of the missing Tanjug journalists.
20 You had told us that one KLA source for this -- for Human Rights
21 Watch's findings was Jakup Krasniqi, his interview. Did you have another
22 KLA source for that?
23 A. For which particular case?
24 Q. For the missing journalists, missing journalists?
25 A. Krasniqi was a source for the two Serbian, Croatia people who
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 went missing. In terms of the two Serbian journalists there was the ICRC
2 and Adem Demaqi, I believe.
3 Q. And what did Human Rights Watch do in terms of follow-up for this
5 A. We asked through an intermediary to meet with members of the KLA
6 general headquarters to discuss this case as well as other issues.
7 Q. Did the intermediary arrange a meeting?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When was that?
10 A. The meeting took place on November 10, 1998.
11 Q. Just to be clear, what was your purpose in arranged this meeting?
12 A. We wanted to establish a channel of communications with the KLA,
13 explain our work in Kosovo, inform them of their international
14 obligations under the laws of war and raise the concern of these specific
15 two journalists as well as asking them some questions about their code of
16 conduct and other issues of interest to us.
17 Q. Where was meeting held?
18 A. We were asked to go to the town of Malisevo and we waited there
19 until we were met by two KLA representatives. And they then took us to
20 the meeting place.
21 Q. When you say "we," who do you mean?
22 A. It was myself, Fred Abrahams and the local intermediary.
23 Q. So you went to this town, and I believe you said it was a town
24 near Malisevo; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What happened?
2 A. They arrived in a white Niva jeep in military uniform and asked
3 us to accompany them. They drove to us a farmhouse in a town called
4 Banja. We entered the farmhouse. It was just a regular house, not any
5 kind of military structure. And then sat down in a room for the meeting.
6 Q. If I could just interrupt you there to ask you: When they drove
7 you, I gather you were in their car.
8 A. No. We were in our own car. We followed them.
9 Q. What -- did these two persons, did they introduce themselves when
10 you met them before following them?
11 A. We, we immediately recognised one of them as Hashim Thaqi.
12 Q. And the other, at that point, did you recognise?
13 A. No.
14 Q. How did the meeting begin?
15 A. We went around and introduced our ourselves. First they
16 introduced themselves and then we introduced ourselves.
17 Q. How many persons were in the meeting?
18 A. It was ourselves, the three people, me, Fred Abrahams and our
19 intermediary, as well as the two KLA representatives. There was elderly
20 man in the house but he didn't participate in the meeting.
21 Q. And by the way, what time of day was this?
22 A. We met them -- we drove down from Pristina around 9.00 and
23 probably met them around 10.30 a.m. So meeting started about 11.00 a.m.
24 and lasted for two hours.
25 Q. How did the two KLA representatives introduce themselves? If you
1 could take one at a time.
2 A. Mr. Thaqi introduced himself first. Said he was in charge of the
3 -- head of the political department of the general headquarters of the
5 Then the second person introduced themselves as Celiku and said
6 he was head of the legal department of the general headquarters of the
8 Q. And I gather that you and Fred Abrahams introduced yourselves as
10 A. Yes. Then we introduced ourselves and explained the work of
11 Human Rights Watch in Kosovo from -- going back to our early work,
12 beginning in 1990 as well as our work during the conflict.
13 Q. What was the response to your explanation about the work of Human
14 Rights Watch?
15 A. The KLA representatives expressed their gratitude and
16 appreciation for the work of Human Rights Watch and seemed familiar with
17 our work.
18 Q. And when you say "the KLA representatives," can you be more
19 precise as to who was speaking?
20 A. It's impossible for me to say who exactly said what. In general,
21 I would say that Mr. Thaqi seemed senior in rank to Mr. Celiku. He did
22 most of the talking during the meeting, but Mr. Celiku also actively
23 participated during the entire meeting.
24 I think at this stage it was Mr. Thaqi who expressed his
25 appreciation for our work.
1 Q. What was the next issue that you discuss?
2 A. After generally describing our work and being thanked by Mr.
3 Thaqi the KLA representatives, we said we were also investigating abuses
4 by the KLA.
5 Q. What was the response to that, if any?
6 A. Well, as soon as we said that, Mr. Thaqi interrupted us and said,
7 Yes, we know that abuses do occur during wartime.
8 Q. Then what was discussed?
9 A. We went into some greater depth about the kind of concerns that
10 we had about the KLA. The -- there was a discussion which went back and
11 forth between two issues, one of them being the KLA's code of conduct and
12 the second being the two journalists who had been detained by the KLA in
14 Q. If we could take those issues one at a time.
15 The code of conduct, how did the issue of the code of conduct
16 come up?
17 A. Well, after Mr. Thaqi said abuses do occur in wartime, we said --
18 I as a lawyer gave a brief explanation of their obligations under
19 international law and Mr. Thaqi responded saying, Yes, we have a code of
20 conduct to address these issues. We then asked if we could see a copy of
21 that code of conduct and they said that no, because of military secrecy
22 or something, they would be not be able to provide us with that code of
24 Q. And it may be impossible for you to recall now and if that's the
25 case just indicate that. When they said no, do you recall who said no,
1 you would not be able to see code of conduct?
2 A. I believe it was Mr. Thaqi. But Mr. Celiku did participate in
3 this discussion and talked a little bit about the kind of civilian
4 structures that they were trying to create in the areas under their
5 control, to implement -- to ensure the rule of law in the areas under
6 their control.
7 Q. We'll get to that in a minute. If I could just ask you first:
8 You raised the matter of international law and Mr. Thaqi responded by
9 discussing the code of conduct. Did Mr. Thaqi or Mr. Celiku have any
10 other responses to the issue of international law? Is there anything
11 else that they said?
12 A. No. But they seemed generally familiar with their obligations
13 under the Geneva Conventions and acknowledged that the KLA would abide by
14 the Geneva Conventions.
15 Q. Now, turning back to what you were just telling us about the
16 civilian structures to implement the rule of law. That was, as you were
17 saying, Mr. Celiku who was addressing that. Can you tell us anything
18 more about that, what was said?
19 A. I don't recall the exact statement that Mr. Celiku made. But he
20 was basically trying to explain to us that the KLA was an army under
21 pressure; that, you know, they were trying to create structures and that
22 one of the things try to do was create civilian structures under -- in
23 so-called liberated areas and he discussed some of the difficulties they
24 had doing that.
25 We returned to this topic later on when we discussed the case of
1 these two journalists who had -- who were in KLA custody.
2 Q. Why don't we turn to that now, the two journalists. How did the
3 discussion on the two journalists begin?
4 A. We initiated that discussion saying that we were particularly
5 concerned about these two journalists who had been detained.
6 Q. And what was the response, if any? And if there was a response,
7 who responded?
8 A. We then had an in-depth discussion about the case of these two
9 journalists. I recall that Mr. Thaqi presented his frustration about the
10 attention the case of these two journalists had generated, pointing out
11 the fact that many Albanian journalists and human rights activists had
12 been abused by the Yugoslav forces.
13 Then we asked some very specific questions about -- they said --
14 sorry. They said that these two journalists had been tried and convicted
15 by a court. And then we asked some very specific questions about the
16 nature of this trial. We asked if they had been represented by counsel.
17 The response was that counsel had been invited, but had not shown up. We
18 asked if the two persons had been present during their trial and the
19 answer was that they had not been present. We then asked if they had
20 been informed of the charges against them, and if they had -- had
21 adequate time to prepare and present defence and became clear to us that
22 was also not the case.
23 The KLA representatives tried to indicate to us there were more
24 serious charges than spying but did not go into detail about this. So
25 after this discussion, I made the point to them, that we [Realtime
1 transcript read in error: "they"] felt this trial had fallen short of
2 international standards and that the journalists should be released.
3 Q. And before we continue on that, just looking back over what you
4 have just told us about the discussion about the two journalists. You
5 say "they," they responded, speaking of the two KLA representatives. If
6 you can, please be more clear who was speaking?
7 A. I recall that both of them actively participated in this
8 discussion and both familiar with the details of this trial. And we had
9 specifically asked our intermediary for a meeting with the KLA to discuss
10 this case and I believe that Mr. Celiku was part of the KLA delegation at
11 this meeting because he was in charge of the legal department.
12 Q. And you say that there's reference to more potentially -- charges
13 potentially more serious than spying. Do we understand from that that
14 spying was the charge that these persons were convicted of or was that
15 explained or addressed?
16 A. Yes. Through our sources we already knew that the men had been
17 convicted of spying and sentenced to 60 days in KLA prison number 7 which
18 is a prison that we were not familiar with and we didn't know the
19 location of that prison.
20 Q. If you could be a little more clear about that. Who told you
21 about -- who told you that they were being held in prison number seven?
22 A. They were -- it was through journalists at Koha Ditore that we
23 received this information. I'm not sure if the KLA issued a formal
24 statement affirming this or not.
25 Q. Just so we're clear, was there a reference to prison number 7
1 during this meeting?
2 A. I'm not sure if the actual location was discussed. However, we
3 did ask for -- after -- I should continue with the chronology of the
5 After I asked if the -- said that the trial was not in accordance
6 with international standards and asked for the journalists to be
7 released, we were told by -- I believe Mr. Celiku that this was a matter
8 for the judicial authorities and they didn't want to interfere with the
9 independence of their judicial authorities and that the case would go on
10 appeal. So at that stage we asked for -- they also told us that it's
11 prisoners were in good health and not been abused. So we asked for
12 access to the prisoners as well as access to the appeal hearing.
13 Unfortunately, like our earlier request, that request was denied.
14 Q. And again, just so we are clear who was doing the talking when
15 you were talking about this case?
16 A. I believe on the point of judicial independence it was Celiku who
17 was speaking.
18 MR. KHAN: For the record, I wonder if my friend could perhaps
19 press and try and get an answer from the witness regarding the question
20 as to whether or not it's being said now, today, that something about
21 prison number 7 was mentioned in that meeting. There was no answer that
22 I could see to that question.
23 THE WITNESS: I do not recall if prison number 7 was mentioned in
24 the meeting.
25 MR. SHIN: Okay, thank you.
1 Q. Now, you talked about this request to have access to the
2 prisoners as well the appeal hearing and you say the requests were
3 denied. Were they denied during the meeting?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And if you can, do you recall who it was who denied those
7 A. I do not recall.
8 Q. Was there a reason given as to why you could not visit the
9 prisoners where they were being held?
10 A. I believe the general reason why most of our requests were denied
11 was because of military secrecy.
12 They did say that if we wanted to make appeal to the appeals
13 court, that we could do so through the office of Adem Demaqi.
14 Q. You say, you believe was military secrecy. Let me put it this
15 way. What is your basis for believing that the reason was military
17 A. I clearly recall that they denied our request to see their code
18 of conduct on the basis of military secrecy. I don't recall their exact
19 reasoning of we could not visit the prison. So perhaps it will be better
20 for me to say that I do not recall.
21 Q. And just -- I believe you told us that you were told in this
22 meeting that the condition of these detainees was that they were fine?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. If you can, can you recall who it was that told you that?
25 A. Yes. That was Mr. Celiku.
1 Q. Now, you don't speak Albanian, from what you told us earlier.
2 How was the meeting conducted in terms of the language?
3 A. The intermediary also served as our interpreter. And Fred
4 Abrahams, my colleague, does speak Albanian. But it was translated for
5 my benefit, the entire meeting.
6 Q. When told that you would not have access to the appeal, did the
7 discussion move on to any other topics?
8 A. Yes. We did discuss a few other topics. After this we also
9 suggested an alternative way for these persons to be released if there
10 really wasn't an issue of judicial independence involved, would be for
11 general headquarters to amnesty the prisoners and we offered to help
12 facilitate the amnesty and the release of the two detainees. And we
13 argued strongly for the public relations benefits that this will have to
14 the KLA, to amnesty these persons. We did briefly return -- then we also
15 discussed -- do you want me to continue?
16 Q. Please.
17 A. We discussed also cooperation by the KLA with ourselves and also
18 the Office of the Prosecutor of the Yugoslav Tribunal on the issues of
19 war crimes, particularly in terms of identification of Yugoslav officials
20 involved in war crimes. And then a final topic which was discussed is
21 whether or not the KLA had taken any disciplinary proceedings against
22 individual members.
23 Q. And what were you told by the KLA representatives on that last
25 A. We were told by Mr. Thaqi that there had been disciplinary
1 proceedings against some KLA members.
2 Q. Did he provide any details?
3 A. We specifically asked him details and said that if he could
4 provide us with details, or if they could provide us with details, that
5 we would include those details in our own reports to show that KLA was
6 not just talking about its commitment to the Geneva Conventions but also
7 actively implementing it, but did not provide us with any cases, any
8 details of any cases.
9 Q. Were you provided with any details of any cases after this
11 A. No. As we make clear in post-conflict report, under orders
12 ^ name of report?, we never received any information from the KLA about
13 specific instances in which they disciplined or punished their soldiers
14 for abuses committed.
15 Q. Now you told us that Mr. Celiku had introduced himself as, I
16 believe you said the legal department?
17 A. He said that he was the head of the legal department of the
18 general headquarters, yes.
19 Q. Did he explain what that meant?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you ask him?
22 A. No.
23 Q. On the day of that meeting, did you know Mr. Celiku by any other
25 A. No. I didn't know him by the name of Celiku either prior to the
1 meeting. We had never met.
2 Q. Did you later learn of -- did you later learn that he a name
3 other than Celiku?
4 A. Yes. My colleague Fred Abrahams established quite quickly after
5 the meeting that his name was Fatmir Limaj.
6 Q. How long did this meeting take place.
7 A. It lasts for about two hours. And it ended on a very amicable
8 note. We were very pleased that the KLA had entered into such a serious
9 discussion with us and still remained very pleased by the fact that the
10 KLA was willing to engage with us on these issues, unlike the Yugoslav
12 Q. The events -- this meeting itself and the contents of this
13 meeting, were they reported in any of the reports of Human Rights Watch?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Perhaps to save time I will just direct you first to a --
16 detentions and abuses, that report.
17 A. Yes. They are included in a paragraph on page -- the last
18 paragraph on page 24, going into page 25.
19 MR. SHIN: That's tab 4, Your Honours. And Page 24 -- pages 24
20 and 25 would be ERN 00676493, 00676494?
21 Q. Was there also another report within which you reported this
22 meeting and the contents of the meeting?
23 A. Yes. There was an internal note about this meeting but there was
24 also a mention of this meeting in our -- under "orders report," which
25 is -- I think is included as tab 9. I hope it was copied.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Just to save time, I will direct you to page 492 and you can tell
2 me if what is the correct reference.
3 A. Yes. It's also mentioned someplace else in the report but this
4 is one of the two places, in the last paragraph it's 492, going into 493.
5 Q. Your Honours that's page 492 and 493, at the last tab bearing the
6 ERN numbers K0361326 and 1327. That's a section beginning on 1326 with
7 the sentence: "In November 1998 Human Rights Watch researchers had a
8 meeting with two KLA representatives. Hashim Thaqi and Fatmir Limaj to
9 discuss KLA's commitment to the laws of war."
10 Mr. Bouckaert, when was this report under orders published or
11 released it?
12 A. It was released -- I believe it was October 2001 if I may just
13 double-check. Yes, October 2001.
14 Q. Thank you. Did Human Rights Watch take any other actions in
15 connection with this meeting?
16 A. Yes, we wrote a letter to thank of KLA for the meeting.
17 Q. I would refer you to tab 8. That's ERN it's a one-page document
18 ERN U0081346.
19 Is this the letter you're referring to?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. If I could just ask you a few questions about this letter.
22 First, who wrote this letter?
23 A. Fred Abrahams wrote it.
24 Q. And we have a date, 2nd December, 1998; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Who was this addressed to?
2 A. As it says on the top of the page it was addressed to the general
3 political representative of the KLA, which is Mr. Adem Demaqi. The
4 political directorate of the general headquarters headed by Hashim Thaqi,
5 and the judicial directorate of the general headquarters headed by Fatmir
7 Q. And just so we're clear, how do you know that Fatmir Limaj was
8 the head of the judicial directorate of the general headquarters?
9 A. Because that is how he identified himself as during the meeting?
10 Q. We can read the letter for ourselves. I'll just ask you a few
11 questions about it in detail. I'm sorry. We'll be doing this --
12 MR. SHIN: If we could actually have the letter placed on the
13 ELMO, we'll do it the old-fashioned way, since this is not on Sanction.
14 Q. Now, in that first paragraph --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. SHIN: I'm Sorry.
17 Q. In the first paragraph a reference to two meetings in
18 mid-November with Mr. Adem Demaqi and Mr. Hashim Thaqi. Is the
19 mid-November meeting with Hashim Thaqi the meeting that you've just told
20 us about in Banja?
21 A. Yes, that's correct. I'm sorry Mr. Limaj's name wasn't included.
22 Q. Let me ask you: Why wasn't Mr. Limaj's name included.
23 A. Because Hashim Thaqi was seen as the big fish. He was the --
24 seen as the public head of the KLA, so in our haste, I guess we left off
25 Mr. Limaj's name. I hope he is not offended?
1 Q. Did you know the name Fatmir Limaj when this letter was prepared?
2 A. I actually didn't find out Mr. Limaj's name for quite bit of time
3 after that.
4 Q. You have explained to us that the reference to the judicial
5 directorate appears at the top of the letter?
6 A. Yes. Most of it's colour commanders were moan by that time as
7 noms de guerre. They all had names like Celiku or Snake or Tiger. I
8 remember when we left the meeting we were joking that they could start a
9 zoo if they -- even if they lost the war because a lot of their names
10 were animal names.
11 Q. Turning to the second paragraph. There's a reference to the
12 recent decision to release the two Tanjug journalists as with well two
13 Albanian political activists?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you recall when these releases took place?
16 A. It was in late November. The exact date is in our detentions
17 report. We addressed it a little bit earlier in my testimony. I don't
18 want to guess, but I think it was November 27th.
19 Q. Okay. But we can find that?
20 A. It was shortly after our meeting with the KLA where we suggested
21 that they amnesty the two journalists.
22 Q. Did you ever learn whether there was any connection between your
23 meeting and the release of these persons?
24 A. No. The KLA was under a lot of pressure related to the case of
25 these two journalists, and I am sure they heard from many quarters to
1 release the journalists.
2 Q. Turning to the next paragraph, that first sentence includes the
3 phrase: "We wish to remind you of the discussions we had in Kosova,
4 namely about the KLA's commitment to the rules of war."
5 The discussions
6 referred to here, which discussions are they that you are wishing to
7 remind the recipients of?
8 A. Those are the discussions that took place in our meeting with
9 Mr. Thaqi and Limaj in Banja.
10 Q. And maybe in the beginning, about the middle part of that
11 paragraph: "We are well aware that the KLA's judicial structure are in
12 the process of formation. However, this does not absolve you of your
13 obligations under international law to provide humane treatment to
14 detainees including a fair and open trial."
15 Was this a reference also to your discussions during that
17 A. Yes. And our attempt here was to continue to engage in the
18 dialogue with the KLA, to improve their conduct, and to actually
19 implement their stated commitment to the Geneva Conventions.
20 Q. And perhaps in furtherance to that, at the very last sentence of
21 this letter you say: "We are" -- sorry. "We are particularly interested
22 in continuing our discussions on the KLA's code of conduct for soldiers.
23 And your cooperation with the War Crimes Tribunal for the Former
25 Did your discussions on either of those topics continue with the
1 persons addressed in this letter?
2 A. I took no further part in those discussions and I cannot say
3 whether we did have any more meetings with the KLA, especially not -- as
4 far as I know, this is the only meeting we had with Thaqi and Limaj. We
5 did continue our discussions with Mr. Demaqi and his role and his
6 influence over KLA was relatively limited. And then a few months after
7 this letter things just spun out of control in terms of the conflict and
8 we were just completely overwhelmed documenting the vast level of abuses
9 that was occurring in Kosova by the Yugoslav forces.
10 Q. Okay, thank you, Mr. Bouckaert.
11 MR. SHIN: There are no further questions from the Prosecution,
12 Your Honours.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Shin. That's obviously a
14 convenient time for the second break. We will resume at five minutes
15 past 6.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 5.44 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 6.07 p.m.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Khan.
19 MR. KHAN: May it please Your Honours.
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Khan:
21 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, my name is Karim Khan, and I'm co-counsel
22 representing Mr. Fatmir Limaj who sits behind me. I think --
23 THE INTERPRETER: The counsel is kindly requested to speak into
24 the microphone.
25 THE REGISTRAR: You have to speak into the microphone.
1 THE WITNESS: I didn't hear the last part of your question.
2 MR. KHAN: Perhaps that's better.
3 Q. My last part of the introduction was that I think you have met
4 Mr. Limaj on one occasion before; is that right?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Hopefully, Mr. Bouckaert, I won't be too long with you, but I do
7 have some important questions to ask. And I would be grateful if you
8 take your time, don't rush, and answer, of course, carefully. You
9 understand that, don't you?
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. Because, of course, you understand that these are very important
12 matters that you are speaking about.
13 A. Yes. I'm fully aware of that.
14 Q. I think you apologised to Mr. Limaj about not putting him down by
15 name in a letter that you sent, and I can assure you that no offence at
16 all was taken.
17 Am I right also that you didn't intend to insult anyone at all,
18 however inadvertent it may have been, when you recounted your humorous
19 remark as you put it when you were leaving the meeting in which you said,
20 "Now. If the KLA lost the war, they could open a zoo." I'm sure you
21 didn't mean -- being a balanced individual, you didn't mean any offence
22 by that, did you?
23 A. No. And I'm sorry if I did offend anybody by that.
24 Q. Do you know the meaning of the word "Celiku"?
25 A. Yes. It means steel, I believe.
1 Q. Now, you of course have given evidence about reading a lot of
2 material about Kosovo and the complex situation in the Balkans before you
3 went to on your missions to that territory. That's right, isn't it?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. It's normal to read up so that you are aware of the basic issues
6 that may arise when you're seeking to discharge your mandate on behalf of
7 Human Rights Watch. That's right, isn't it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You have been to Kosovo on two occasions; is that right?
10 A. I have been to Kosovo since then also.
11 Q. At the time of writing your reports you had been to Kosovo on two
12 particular occasions; is that right?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. And you say you had one meeting with -- for about two hours when
15 you met Mr. Hashim Thaqi and my client, Mr. Limaj.
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Thats with an informal meeting, wasn't it, in an informal
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you make any notes of that meeting?
21 A. We produced a summary of the content of the meeting about a week
22 after for internal distribution at Human Rights Watch.
23 Q. And you had requested that meeting to discuss the matters that
24 you have already outlined and you were granted that meeting. That's
25 obvious, isn't it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you say that Mr. Hashim Thaqi introduced himself as head of
3 the political directorate. You have a clear recollection about that,
4 don't you?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Isn't it right that my client in fact introduced himself to you
7 as Commander Celiku?
8 A. He introduced himself as Celiku, the head of the legal
9 directorate of the general headquarters, yes.
10 Q. See, it's that that I take issue with, so that you know, on
11 behalf of my client.
12 Do you know how Ram Buja was?
13 A. I know Rambouillet as a place.
14 Q. In your -- in your studies of the KLA, had you ever heard of a
15 commander called Ram Buja?
16 A. No.
17 Q. How detailed in fact was your understanding of what
18 departments or what individuals later on made up the General Staff of
19 the KLA?
20 A. At that stage of our meeting, it was extremely limited. This
21 was the first time that we had individuals identified as holding
22 specific positions within the general headquarters of the KLA. Prior
23 to that, we were only aware of some general spokespersons of the KLA.
24 Q. See, in fact, -- and you don't speak Albanian, do you?
25 A. No.
1 Q. And after your meeting in November 1998, it's correct to say
2 that your colleague, Fred Abrahams, had various meetings with
3 Mr. Limaj. You're aware of that, aren't you?
4 A. Actually, I'm not.
5 Q. And are you aware that whenever Human Rights Watch asked for
6 any assistance from Mr., Limaj whether during 1998 or thereafter, that
7 is correct assistance was given by Mr. Limaj.
8 A. I'm not aware of that fact, but we certainly had a very
9 amicable meeting when I met with him.
10 Q. Are you aware that towards the end of 1998 Mr. Limaj that did in
11 fact become part of the General Staff of the KLA?
12 A. No. I only aware that he identified himself as such as our
14 Q. Have you herd of the 121 Brigade?
15 A. No.
16 Q. In all your research of Kosovo, your readings and travels
17 speaking to Kosovans and members of the Serb humanitarian organisations
18 and military you haven't heard about the 121 Brigade?
19 A. No, I have not.
20 Q. So it follows from that that you don't know who the head of the
21 121 Brigade was at the time that you met with Mr. Thaqi and my client.
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. You met in Banja?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I don't suppose you have any knowledge of where my client was
2 A. I believe he was born there Banja.
3 Q. From your experience in going to different parts of Kosovo, is
4 it correct that when you met with various individuals from the General
5 Staff or from regional commanders, as you put them, that the local
6 commander or the person in charge of that particular area would attend
7 that meeting, as a courtesy. Are you aware of that or not?
8 A. I'm not aware of that as a general principle, no.
9 Q. Is it possible that you could be mistaken and what Mr. Limaj
10 said was that he had studied law at Pristina University?
11 A. He did say that at the meeting. But he did [Realtime transcript
12 read in error: "didn't"] identify himself as head of the judicial
13 directorate of the KLA.
14 Q. And in that capacity, you say, that he was in the General Staff,
15 he was director of judicial matters in the KLA General Staff?
16 A. General headquarters, yes.
17 Q. Have you -- please?
18 MR. SHIN: The transcript, just to be clear, says on line 22, 23,
19 the answer is he did say that at the meeting but he didn't identify
20 himself as the judicial directorate. I believe the witness said "did,"
21 but perhaps that could be clarified.
22 JUDGE PARKER: The answer as I heard it was certainly that he did
23 identify himself.
24 THE WITNESS: That's correct.
25 MR. KHAN: I'm grateful to my learned friend.
1 Q. From your very thorough investigations, your reading of papers
2 and your meetings that you held on your two trips to Kosovo, have you
3 ever heard from any other source that there was in fact at General
4 Staff level somebody called director of judicial matters? Have you
5 heard that from any other source apart from your recollection of what
6 happened in that meeting?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Now, you juxtaposed the attitude and willingness of Mr. Thaqi
9 and Mr. Limaj at that meeting, as you put it, their will willingness
10 to be open to a constructive dialogue to the attitude that you received
11 from the Yugoslav authorities. That's right, isn't it?
12 A. Absolutely. We had amicable and positive discussion with
13 Mr. Thaqi and Limaj, at which they repeatedly said -- expressed their
14 will willingness to adhere to Geneva Conventions and appeared to be
15 cooperating quite willing Lee with our work, aside from the fact that
16 they denied us the kind of details that we wanted. Which is not the
17 kind of relationship that we enjoyed with the Yugoslav forces or
19 Q. And I think you said in effect there was no attempt, at least in
20 relation to this, of any subterfuge by anybody at that meeting because
21 Mr. Thaqi immediately interrupted you and immediately accepted that there
22 were problems that happened in war.
23 A. Yes. We were less pleased with their responses when we asked
24 for specific cases where they had addressed those problems.
25 Q. And, of course, unfortunately, problems do happen in war, don't
2 A. Certainly.
3 Q. In fact, problems happen even in very disciplined armies, don't
5 A. Yes. The question is whether those problems are addressed.
6 Q. Even armies like -- in the United States Army, in the British
7 army, in the Canadian army, even armies that have a very long and
8 detailed tradition of military tactics and knowledge and rules of
9 chivalry. even there, of course, problems happen in the heat of battle.
10 That is a fair assessment, isn't it?
11 A. As I have documented, yes.
12 Q. Yes. And from your meeting, in fact, there was no attempt to
13 disguise that by anybody in that meeting. Problems did occur?
14 A. Certainly. As I pointed out previously, our main concern was how
15 problems were addressed and we wanted the factual information about how
16 KLA was addressing those problems.
17 Q. Yes. The heart is willing, the body is infirm; you have heard
18 that on mutilation, I suppose, of that saying before today, haven't you?
19 A. I don't specifically recall hearing it, but I'm sure it's a
20 saying, yes.
21 Q. Well, that that is the mercy on you, no doubt.
22 But in these discussions, in fact a very real attempt was made to
23 describe the difficulties that were facing the KLA as a fledging military
24 organisation than was told to you, wasn't it?
25 A. Yes. We expressed very clearly in that meeting that we did not
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 feel that these difficulties could justify summary executions and other
2 abuses such as that.
3 Q. Yes. Mr. Bouckaert, I'm very aware of your position, of course,
4 and it's also correct to say that Human Rights Watch has the very
5 understandable and laudable aim to extend humanitarian law as widely as
6 possible, to mitigate the ravages of war. I mean, that is the mandate of
7 the Human Rights Watch. Am I right?
8 A. I would disagree with you on that point. Our aim is to implement
9 international humanitarian law, not necessarily to extend it. Because we
10 feel that by extending international humanitarian law beyond its
11 boundaries we actually end up undermining IHL.
12 And the issue of -- the question of genocide in Darfur right now
13 is a clear example. Human Rights Watch is not one of the organisations
14 which has called situation in Darfur genocide because we want to have
15 actual implementation of IHL, not necessarily extension of IHL.
16 Q. Yes. Well, it may be a bore, but going back just for the moment
17 to Kosovo. It's correct, isn't it, that you described in your
18 recollection Mr. Limaj talking about the attempts that were being made on
19 the ground in the heat of battle to actually build something that could
20 resemble civilian institutions that could implement international
21 humanitarian of law and mitigate the ravages of war? I mean, that was
22 being described to you, wasn't it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Yes. And, of course, being a realist, knowing what it is like on
25 the ground if war, of course, in conflict there are numerous different
1 scenarios as to the state of organisation of the parties, aren't there?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Ranging from tradition wars, as we have seen in Europe in the
4 last 50 years, between two organised military structures, to guerrilla
5 warfare, even where the state is not being evolved at all. I mean,
6 between the two extremes, everything is possible?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Yes. And of course if an army has not previously existed, if
9 there is, in effect, a largely spontaneous ground swell of support by a
10 population to join a group, whether it's called a terrorist group or a
11 resistance group, it will not be easy to immediately organise such a
12 ground swell of popular support. There are difficulties, aren't there?
13 A. There could be.
14 Q. In short, of course, you would accept that whatever the
15 requirements on paper of IHL, or as far as implementing these objectives,
16 different Armed Forces have to start somewhere?
17 A. Yes. But the requirements and the tests for application of IHL
18 are clear.
19 Q. Yes. But different Armed Forces have to start somewhere. They
20 are not all at the same stage of evolution, are they?
21 A. That would be correct.
22 Q. And, of course, even under, for example, Additional Protocol II
23 you're quite aware that the law actually doesn't demand the impossible?
24 It talks about the ability of the opposing party to implement the
25 requirements of Additional Protocol II. You're aware of that, aren't
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In fact, from your analysis and your study and your presence in
4 Kosovo, it's correct to say on a balanced view that there were very major
5 structural weaknesses in the Kosovo Liberation Army, even at the time
6 that you went there in September. Is that right?
7 A. I would be willing to say there were weaknesses. I wouldn't call
8 them very major weaknesses.
9 Q. Would you call them structural weaknesses, weaknesses of
11 A. There were some structural challenges that the KLA faced, yes.
12 Q. And, in fact, I think in your report --
13 MR. KHAN: And, Your Honours, it's tab 5.
14 THE WITNESS: I think it's page 92.
15 MR. KHAN: Yes, I'm grateful.
16 Q. You talk about instances. You say that seasoned war
17 correspondents as well as Human Rights Watch researchers who encountered
18 the UCK observed instances of discipline. This is in your report, isn't
19 it? You instances of discipline were noted. That's right, isn't it?
20 A. Yes. But I object to the reading you're trying to give to that
21 sentence. It does not suggest that in general there were -- there was
22 indiscipline among the KLA.
23 Q. And I also noted that there was no rigid hierarchical structure
24 in the KLA in the period covered by this report from February to
25 September. That's also accurate, isn't it.
1 A. Yes. We're referring to the kind of military ranking that you
2 would find in an organised army.
3 Q. You talk about separate internal factions?
4 A. Mm-hm.
5 Q. Don't you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Of course, in a regular army, a normal organised armed group, you
8 don't get separate internal factions, do you, you get a clear chain of
9 command. Isn't that right?
10 A. Yes. I believe talking about the emergence of FARK, which was an
11 organisation separate from UCK, but it remained very much a marginal
12 player. Our report was issued at a time when this organisation had just
13 emerged, but it did not become a very major player within the Kosovo
15 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, I'm not talking about FARK at the moment. I'm
16 talking about internal factions not being present in normal -- in a
17 normal military?
18 A. Where do you see the language "internal factions" in our
19 description of UCK?
20 Q. You say that there were internal factions during the period
21 covered by this report?
22 A. Sorry. Can you just tell me where?
23 Q. Top of page 92. "Although UCK is primarily a guerrilla army with
24 no rigid hierarchical structure, and there are separate internal factions
25 during the period covered by this report from February to September," and
1 you then go on.
2 A. Yes?
3 Q. Yes. FARK wasn't a part of the KLA, was it, it was a separate
5 A. It was a breakaway faction would be proper way to describe it.
6 Q. In answer to my question, that a normal army, regular army
7 doesn't have internal factions, you would agree with me, wouldn't you?
8 A. We're talking about a guerrilla army, not a normal army?
9 Q. If could you answer my question?
10 A. A normal army typically would not have internal factions,
11 although there are many armies which do have internal factions.
12 Q. You talk about two journalists that had been detained and that
13 was discussed in your meeting. You recollect that discussion?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Even individuals from very eminent organisations like Human
16 Rights Watch were required to get a pass from Adem Demaqi in September
17 1998; is that right?
18 A. Yes. We got a special pass.
19 Q. No doubt very well deserved. But even from -- individuals from
20 newspapers, journalists, they also required a pass from Adem Demaqi,
21 didn't they?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. And at a roadblock, you would normally show the pass that had
24 been issued. Is that right or not?
25 A. That's correct?
1 Q. And if an individual, if a journalist, if two journalists were
2 stopped who did not have a pass, you don't think it would be unreasonable
3 that they would be detained for further investigation?
4 A. I can't recall a single case where this happened with
5 international journalists. It did happen that they were stopped at
6 checkpoints and asked for a pass and turned back at those checkpoints,
7 but I can't recall a single case where arrested and interrogated?
8 Q. The Tanjug newspaper you mentioned was sympathetic. I put it a
9 mouthpiece of Slobodan Milosevic. Would you agree with that?
10 A. I think I said in my testimony that we did not consider them an
11 objective source all the time. And that they did have a pro-Yugoslav
12 tendency in their reporting.
13 Q. You don't know, I suppose, what documents were found on those
14 two journalists from that Belgrade newspaper?
15 A. No. We were not provided with that information.
16 Q. But you do have evidence that they were released?
17 A. Yes. They were amnestied.
18 Q. In fact, you don't have any evidence that those two journalists
19 mistreated, do you?
20 A. No. We never alleged they were.
21 Q. You have no information, I'm not saying that you alleged it, but
22 you have got no information at all as to how they were treated, the food
23 they were given, and their conditions, the conditions that they were kept
24 at during the time that they were detained by the KLA?
25 A. We have no information to that extent because we were denied the
1 KLA's permission to go visit them.
2 Q. Of course after these individuals were released, it was within
3 your gift, within your decision, to go and meet these people?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You could have if you wanted?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you didn't?
8 A. No.
9 Q. And, of course, having your ear to the ground, knowing what is
10 going on, interacting with other agencies like the ICRC, UNHCR,
11 newspapers, journalists, human rights organisations, you hear things that
12 are germane to your work. That's fair isn't it?
13 A. What do you mean by "germane"?
14 Q. You haven't heard anything after the release of these two
15 journalists that would put you on notice to suspect that they were
16 treated otherwise than in a dignified and decent manner; isn't that
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. Now, in your conversations with Mr. Thaqi I think you -- when it
20 was being discussed about the difficulties of the KLA, the difficulties
21 of organising in that time of strive, I think it's correct, isn't it,
22 that Mr. Thaqi given an example of the Drenica zone. Do you remember
24 A. I don't recall if it was Mr. Thaqi or Mr. Celiku, but they did
25 discuss their attempts to put in place civilian structures in the Drenica
2 Q. And does it refresh your memory if in fact --
3 MR. KHAN: For my learned friends, it's paragraph 24 of the
4 statement, the second statement.
5 Q. Does it refresh your memory if I put to you that Mr. Thaqi
6 explained they were in the process of setting up civilian structures in
7 areas that they controlled giving the example of Drenica. Does that help
8 you as to who said it?
9 A. At the moment I honestly don't recall if it was Mr. Thaqi or
10 Mr. Celiku.
11 Q. From your--
12 MR. KHAN: I'm sorry.
13 MR. SHIN: If questions will be put to him about the specific --
14 MR. KHAN: I'm moving on.
15 MR. SHIN: Okay. But if there are going to be questions about
16 statement, if he could please be shown them.
17 MR. KHAN: Yes, of course.
18 Q. From your recollection of yours conversation, did you gain the
19 impression that Drenica was being put forward as the perhaps the most --
20 the best example that Mr. Thaqi could offer as to whether the KLA was at
21 the most advanced stage of evolution. Did you gain anything about that?
22 Did you gain that impression or not?
23 A. I don't know if that is why the example was used. Drenica is a
24 heavily Albanian populated area where the KLA was-- continued to have a
25 presence even at the periods when the Yugoslav offensive was strongest.
1 But I didn't gain that impression, no.
2 Q. Generally in your meeting, and of course things are not perfect
3 and always more can be done, but did you gain the impression from that
4 meeting that what actually was being said to you is, Look, we know there
5 are problems but we are trying our best to sort things out. Would that
6 be a fair assessment?
7 A. I do think that the meeting was very amicable and that the
8 representatives we met with were serious about what they were saying, and
9 they were serious when they said they were committed to the Geneva
10 Conventions. However, we left the meeting less than pleased with their
11 responses to some specific questions about the implementation of those
12 stated commitments. So, in short, there was gap between their statements
13 of intent and the actual examples they could provide us with showing that
14 they were actually doing these things.
15 Q. But individuals, those two individuals and perhaps two others
16 were released very shortly after your meeting?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. That's your evidence, isn't it?
19 A. Yes. And I would like to thank Mr. Limaj again for the fact that
20 those people were released, because there was a specific request during
21 our meeting.
22 Q. You talk about massive violations committed the Yugoslav forces
23 in Kosovo.
24 A. Yes, certainly.
25 Q. Now, these are detailed in your report that the Judges have so
1 it's not my intention at all to belabour these issues. But you remember,
2 do you, one particular incident in September 1998 when you went and saw a
3 18 month old child that had been killed. Do you remember what I'm
4 talking about?
5 A. Absolutely. The picture from that massacre is still on my desk
7 Q. Where was that it?
8 A. Was in Drenica, in Gornje Obrinje.
9 Q. Can you tell Their Honours what you saw?
10 A. We arrived there the day after Yugoslav forces moved through the
11 village. They had found 18 members of the Limaj -- of the -- what is the
12 name of the family?
13 Q. Does the Obir [phoen] name ring a bell?
14 A. That is the name of the village, sorry.
15 A. I forget the name of the family we found 18 members of that
16 family slaughtered in the forest, mostly women and children, most of them
17 shot in the head and I spent most of time in spent and in November
18 documenting that -- and other massacres which was the focus of our
19 report, "A Week of Terror in Drenica: Humanitarian Law Violations in
21 Q. Was that the child that the Serbs had said was a doll?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. They said it a fake. It wasn't a real child it was just staging
24 by the KLA?
25 A. Yeah. I have an entire chapter in "The Week of Terror" report
1 which dealings with the response of the Yugoslav authorities which was
2 absolutely ridiculous and dehumanising.
3 Q. It wasn't a doll?
4 A. Yes, it wasn't a doll, I saw the body myself and she wasn't the
5 only child killed that day. There were two sisters of five and seven, I
6 believe, who were also killed.
7 Q. And the circumstances of their death led you to what conclusions?
8 A. That they were executed in the forest by Yugoslav forces. They
9 weren't even wearing their shoes. They had been sheltering and had been
10 surprised by the Yugoslav forces and killed.
11 MR. KHAN: Your Honours, I don't intend to go through all of
12 these instances of Serb atrocities. They are in the papers that you've
14 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, I will be hopefully quite brief. Have you heard
15 of Mr. Jan Kickert? He's a diplomat from Austria.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Do you know him?
18 A. I knew him at the time.
19 Q. An experienced and capable diplomat, am I right?
20 A. Yes, he was a very courageous man.
21 Q. There was a lot of propaganda in Kosovo 1998 and thereafter; is
22 that right?
23 A. Propaganda by whom? By the Yugoslav government, you mean?
24 Q. Yes, by all sides.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. It happens in war?
2 A. Yes. And it's part of your duties to separate propaganda from
3 the reality.
4 Q. And you talk about -- well, are you aware of allegations made by
5 the Serb authorities of a mass burial site and a large-scale execution of
6 women and children in Klecke?
7 A. Yes, we investigated this.
8 Q. It said that bodies burned in a kiln by the KLA; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you know what Mr. Kickert's views were on that?
11 A. I don't know what his views on them are. I know what our views
13 Q. You don't set much store by these allegations, do you?
14 A. No. We did not -- and if I can explain the reasons for that, the
15 evidence that the Yugoslav forces presented to the international
16 community were two ethnic Albanians whom they claimed were KLA members.
17 Those people presented to media by a Serbian judge. I think her name was
19 Q. Yes, we've hear her name before.
20 A. Who was a woman, I should say the so-called judge, because she
21 was a woman who was deeply implicated in torture. People tortured in her
22 presence. She had convicted people who were clearly the victims of
23 torture. So we -- we cast serious doubt because of her role in this
24 case, and the Yugoslav authorities never provided us with the kind of
25 evidence we needed to actually confirm this case.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Yes. And from your knowledge, perhaps gleaned either on the
2 ground or from your following of reports afterwards, it's right, isn't
3 it, that even the international forensic team that got involved, nobody
4 has actually sustained any information, apart from the Serbs, of a mass
5 execution site in Klecka committed by the KLA?
6 A. I would say that is correct, yes.
7 Q. Did it seem to you, in fact, that that allegation was staged by
8 the Serbs to dirty, to muddy the name of the KLA as part of the
9 propaganda war. Would that be a reasonable assumption, sir?
10 A. We just were not able to confirm the allegations made by the
11 Yugoslav government despite our best efforts, and this was a great source
12 of frustration for us. I don't know if the case was staged or if we were
13 simply unable to confirm the case.
14 Q. Is it fair to say in your experience in Kosovo, your speaking to
15 diplomats and all the rest, that the Serbs were not slow in making any
16 allegation that they thought could show the KLA in the very worst
17 possible light. Is that a fair assessment?
18 A. They certainly made a lot of allegation but when we went to them
19 and asked for cooperation to confirm those allegations, we did not
20 receive the kind of cooperation we needed to confirm those allegations.
21 And in many case their own actions ended up destroying evidence of
22 crimes which they claimed were committed by the KLA.
23 Q. And of course in your experience from what you saw in Kosovo, if
24 you -- if the Serbs actually had an example where there had been
25 arbitrary killings by the KLA, you would expect them not to be shy about
1 it, but to immediately bring to your attention?
2 A. This was our frustration actually even when there were cases when
3 it appeared at least on a prima facie basis that they had evidence of KLA
4 crimes such as it's bodies found in the lake near Glodjane, we did not
5 receive the kind the cooperation we needed to substantiate those claims.
6 Q. I'm not talking just yet about cooperation. I'm talking about
7 actually telling you, These guys, the KLA, are a bad lot. Look what
8 they've done. I'm not talking about evidence, I'm talking about
9 allegation. It's right, isn't it, that they were not slow in making
11 A. Yes, they published a white book on the crimes.
12 Q. It's right that in your time in Kosovo you never heard, even in
13 September 1998, you never heard any allegations made by the Serbs against
14 Celiku or Fatmir Limaj killing people in Lapusnik. You didn't hear that,
15 did you?
16 A. I'm not aware of any such allegations personally.
17 MR. KHAN: I'm grateful.
18 Your Honour, I have no further questions.
19 Thank you very much.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you Mr. Khan.
21 Mr. Harvey.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please.
23 MR. HARVEY: I'm so unused to using this thing.
24 I will yield to Mr. Powles. It may be that I will have one or
25 two questions, but it won't be more than that. I may not even have that,
1 depending what Mr. Powles is going to ask.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, indeed.
3 Mr. Powles.
4 MR. POWLES: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Powles:
6 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, I represent Mr. Isak Musliu who sits behind me.
7 I hope that the matters I'm going to put to you are fairly uncontentious
8 with the result that we should get through things fairly quickly;
9 however, I doubt we will finish this evening leaving you with the
10 prospect of having to spend the weekend in The Hague, and for that I
12 A. That's fine.
13 Q. There Three areas which I wish to consider with you. First of
14 all, the aims and objectives of the KLA. Second of all, the structure of
15 the KLA, to an extent, and then finally the context of what was going on
16 in Kosovo in 1998, in particular, the activities of the Serb forces and
18 So beginning, then, with the aims and objects of the KLA in
19 particular in 1998, you, I think, testified -- you think, I testified,
20 that the events in Drenica in February and March of 1998 really
21 radicalised the ethnic Albanian population and caused a swelling in the
22 ranks of the KLA?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And really what happened in Drenica in February/March 1998 was
25 the killing of 83 ethnic Albanians, including 24 women and children.
1 A. That's correct. That case is documented in detail in our report,
2 "Humanitarian Law Violations in Kosovo."
3 Q. And it's the view of your colleague Mr. Fred Abrahams, when he
4 testified in the Milosevic trial, that the Drenica massacres radicalised
5 the Albania population and, in his words, "pushed them over the edge."
6 Would you agree with that?
7 A. I wasn't present during the testimony. I think it's correct to
8 say that it did radicalise the Albanian population, and caused massive
9 upswelling of support for the KLA among the ethnic-Albanian population.
10 Q. Would you agree with his classification of it as having pushed
11 people over the edge?
12 A. I would not have used those words.
13 Q. Do you agree with his testimony that from that point, on it was
14 clear a peaceful resolution to the conflict was no longer available?
15 MR. SHIN: I'm sorry, could I have, if counsel has it available,
16 a reference to the Milosevic testimony.
17 MR. POWLES: Of course. It's page 6.062, perhaps in the early
18 days of the Milosevic trial, 6.062, and I can give you a line reference
19 as well. Yes, page 6.062, lines 24 to 20.
20 MR. SHIN: Thank you.
21 MR. POWLES:
22 Q. Yes. In Mr. Abraham's words, in that trial, he said, "I believe
23 he said I believe those incidents referring to Drenica were extremely
24 important for the conflict because they radicalised the Albanian
25 population. Up until that point, the KLA was still a disorganised and
1 somewhat mysterious organisation. After the Drenica killings..."
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow down for the
4 MR. POWLES:
5 Q. "... I believe it was clear that a peaceful resolution to the
6 conflict was no longer available."
7 Would you agree with him that from that point on, a peaceful
8 resolution to the conflict was no longer available?
9 A. I am a bit more of an optimist than Mr. Abrahams, I guess. I
10 think a peaceful resolution to the conflict could always have been
11 achieved, but it was an extremely remote possibility because of the
12 actions of President Slobodan Milosevic.
13 Q. Yes. And it was those killings, in particular seeing the
14 laughter of women and children that radicalised the Albanian population
15 and caused them, in large numbers, to rise up and defend themselves.
16 Would you agree with that?
17 A. I don't want you to put words in my mouth.
18 Q. Don't.
19 A. I will -- it led to a massive upsurge in support for the KLA.
20 Q. Of ordinary people rising to join the ranks of the KLA.
21 A. Well, not everybody joined the KLA, but many -- mostly young and
22 even some older old men did join the KLA at that stage, yes.
23 Q. There were ordinary Kosovan Albanians, nothing special about
24 them, ordinary folk.
25 A. Yes, it drastically changed the situation in Kosovo, no doubt.
1 And Adem Jashari became a martyr for the Albanian people, and in many,
2 many Albanian houses we visited, his picture would be up on the wall.
3 Q. Yes. People who would perhaps rather not fight but perhaps felt
4 compelled to do so, to defend themselves. Would you agree with that?
5 A. I don't want to speculate on the reasons why people joined the
6 KLA, whether to liberate Kosovo or to defend themselves.
7 Q. Would you turn to tab 5 of the bundle of documents to pages 76
8 and 77, and we've already looked at these before. I, in particular, want
9 to take you again to the quotations by Mr. Shaban Shala, a KLA commander,
10 who used to be an activist with for the Council of Human Rights and
11 Freedoms, and you include a lengthy quotation from him as to the actions
12 of certain individuals within the KLA. And he said, as has already been
13 presented to you by the Prosecution, that there were cases when
14 individuals within the KLA made mistakes, this is on page 77, but as
15 such, cases are punished by the KLA even if its soldiers conducted them.
16 A. Yes. And again, it was our purpose to try to find documentation
17 of these kind of cases.
18 Q. Yes. Now, he is accepting that individuals within KLA made have
19 made mistakes, but if you look at the top of the quotation, he said this:
20 "I can add in this context that the KLA general headquarters has not and
21 will not issue an order to pursue, kill, or massacre innocent people or
22 loot or destroy Serbian property." And then he laments, "However, not
23 everything can be controlled during a war."
24 Would you agree with his classification that it's -- it was not
25 KLA policy to kill innocent people, or loot or destroy Serbian property.
1 It may have happened at the hands of the individuals within the KLA but
2 it wasn't one of their aims and objectives. Would you agree with that,
3 Mr. Bouckaert?
4 A. Well, we never saw any orders to the effect that -- issued by the
5 general headquarters calling on their members to kill or massacre
6 innocent people, or loot or destroy Serbian property.
7 Q. Yes. Would you agree that it was one of the KLA's aims and
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Moving on, then to the quotation from Adem Demaqi in interview
11 with Radio B92, he stated the following: "When I talked to certain
12 people from the headquarters, I saw that there united view on one thing,
13 we do not deal in kidnappings. If some groups do it on their own and if
14 we have influence on them, we always intervene and kidnapped persons are
15 released. "
16 Now, it very much seems that in his view, and in the KLA
17 headquarters' view, there are some groups that will carry out some
18 actions, namely kidnappings, on their on. Now, would you agree with that
20 A. Whether it was groups that the kidnappings were being done by
21 groups acting on their own?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. No, I would not agree with that.
24 Q. So you would not agree with a quotation of someone who you have
25 included in your reports; is that what you're saying?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You disagree with a man who you've quoted?
3 A. Yes. We don't -- we quote the statement to -- to point to the
4 fact that the KLA had repeatedly stated, publicly stated that they would
5 abide by the Geneva Conventions. However, as I have repeatedly said, we
6 had no evidence that they were actually punishing people, and it's a
7 convenient excuse to use that the group is doing it on their own.
8 Q. Going back to your previous answer though, you stated that you
9 had no evidence of a policy on the part of a KLA to carry out of murder
10 of innocent people or loot or destroy Serbian property.
11 A. We said that -- I agree that there was no an order to pursue,
12 kill, or massacre innocent people or loot and destroy Serbian property,
14 Q. Right.
15 A. But our concern was with the disciplinary procedures which were
16 in place to address the kind of abuses that were clearly taking place in
18 Q. Exactly. Leaving that to one side there may not have been such
19 procedures in place, but you would agree that it was not KLA policy to be
20 committed in the first place. Whether they addressed them thereafter was
21 another matter?
22 A. I cannot agree -- I cannot testify that the KLA never issued an
23 order to kill a particular person.
24 Q. All right.
25 A. Or a group of individuals. I can say that it wasn't their
1 general policy.
2 Q. Yes. It wasn't their general policy.
3 A. Yeah.
4 Q. We'll move on, then, to perhaps what one of their general
5 policies was and that was to protect the civilian population from
6 Yugoslav forces. Would you agree with that?
7 A. I think we had a discussion in this in our report under orders.
8 Many of the KLA attacks took place very close to Albanian civilian
9 populations. And it was perfectly within the knowledge that the KLA
10 would respond -- sorry, that the Yugoslav forces would respond with
11 atrocities to those KLA attacks, including the case of Gornje Obrinje
12 which we discussed earlier, where the young child was massacred and the
13 KLA placed land-mines on the road just in front of that village, which
14 killed a number of Yugoslav -- actually Serbian police soldiers.
15 So in -- in that context, I -- I cannot agree with your
16 statement. I think that the KLA at times endangered the civilian
17 population through the kind of tactics it was using.
18 Q. Are you seriously saying that the KLA did not at any time seek to
19 protect the civilian population from the onslaught of Serb forces?
20 A. No. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that at the same time
21 the KLA, through its military tactics, endangered that same civilian
23 Q. Well, that may be your view --
24 A. And that's also the view expressed in our "Under Orders" report.
25 Q. Well, that may be your view, but would you also agree that at
1 times the KLA undertook operations and actions to protect civilians from
2 the onslaught of Serbian forces? Would you agree with that?
3 A. I'm certain there were such cases, yes.
4 Q. Do you know of any examples?
5 A. I can't think of any off top of my head. In most of the
6 massacres that I documented personally, there was no KLA presence in the
7 villages, which only adds to the severity of abuses committed by the
8 Yugoslav forces.
9 MR. POWLES: Your Honour I see the time. It may be a convenient
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Powles.
12 I'm sorry that it will be necessary to ask you to return on
14 THE WITNESS: I will go and visit my relatives in Belgium.
15 JUDGE PARKER: I know it will cause you great heart rending,
17 We will resume on Monday at 2.15.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Monday, the 11th of
20 April, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.