1 Tuesday, 5 September 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 3.33 p.m.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let me first of all apologise to everyone
7 for the late start this afternoon caused by the cancellation of my flight
8 back here, which I regret was unavoidable. We will, as a result, sit from
9 now until 5.00, and then from 5.30 until 7.00.
10 Good afternoon, Mr. Shaqiri.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you now make the solemn declaration, please,
13 by reading aloud the document which will be placed before you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I solemnly declare that I
15 will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Please be seated.
17 Just one thing I'd like to say to you before your evidence
18 starts, Mr. Shaqiri. We've been experiencing some difficulty in the
19 presentation of evidence here because witnesses often want to give an
20 account of things that are not necessarily the things that the Tribunal and
21 the lawyers here are most interested in. So it's very important if your
22 evidence is to have its maximum impact that you pay very close attention to
23 the questions that are asked and confine the answer you give to the point
24 that the question deals with. I hope you understand what I'm saying, that
25 we want to concentrate on -- we want to concentrate on the issues that the
1 parties here consider to be the important ones. And to enable us to cover
2 as many of these as possible, it's vital that the answers given are
3 directed to the point that's asked about.
4 So with that introduction we'll move straight to the questions,
5 and the first counsel to ask questions of you will be for the Prosecution,
6 Mr. Hannis.
7 Mr. Hannis.
8 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I would indicate for the
9 record that this is a viva voce witness, that his testimony, Your Honour,
10 relates to paragraphs 72(i) and 73 of the indictment relating to
11 deportation and forced transfers, relating to Gnjilane or Gjilan
13 WITNESS: ABDYLHAQIM SHAQIRI
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Examination by Mr. Hannis:
16 Q. Sir, could you state our first and last name and spell it for the
17 court reporter?
18 A. My name is Abdylhaqim Shaqiri.
19 Q. Thank you. And, sir, I just want to recite some biographical
20 data and will you advise me whether or not this is correct. You are a
21 Kosovo Albanian, born in Prilepnica village in Gjilan municipality in
22 Kosovo in 1949?
23 A. 1949.
24 Q. Thank you. And, sir, I understand you've lived there most all
25 your life up until 1999; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I understand further that you're married with four children, two
3 sons and two daughters?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. And could you tell the Court what your current job or occupation
7 A. I am an imam in Prilepnica mosque.
8 Q. And how long have you been the imam there?
9 A. From 1996.
10 Q. And I understand that that's somewhat of a family tradition in
11 your family; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, we have this for generations.
13 Q. Your father and grandfather were both imams in that area?
14 A. Yes, they've been imams from the time of Turkey.
15 Q. Sir, what area did you cover as imam? Was it just the village of
17 A. Part of the village of Prilepnica there is Kmetofc, Verbica
18 village covered by this mosque, another village Kosaca, and the people who
19 live in Poropotova, part of Prilepnica.
20 Q. Briefly could you describe what are your duties as imam in that
22 A. We carry out religious duties as imams. We perform our duty in
23 the mosque during the prayer, and then when someone dies we escort the
24 coffin to the cemetery. We teach students who come to the mosque. We
25 perform the marriage ritual and baptise the newly born and other religious
1 rites as we are asked for by the population.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, when you were a young man in Kosovo, did you
3 have to perform military duty, mandatory military service?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When did you do that?
6 A. I went to the army in 1968.
7 Q. And what branch or what type of military work did you do in 1968?
8 A. I was in the unit called the First War Echelon or the 20th Regiment,
9 that is the 20th Gardijski puk or Prvi eselon rata, thatís what it was called.
10 I was in the artillery branch in Valeve, specialized in 76 mm cannons.
11 I was in Titoís Guard at the time, one of Titoís soldiers.
12 Q. And how long did you serve?
13 A. For 18 months.
14 Q. After that, did you continue to serve in the reserve of the JNA?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. For how long?
17 A. Until 1985 or 1986, for some 15 years.
18 Q. And what rank did you achieve?
19 A. A surgeon [as interpreted] -- first class.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Correction.
21 MR. HANNIS: Sorry, the transcript says "surgeon" --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it was an interpreter's correction to first class.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, private first class I was.
24 MR. HANNIS:
25 Q. Thank you, thank you. Now, could you tell the Court, please, how
1 big was your village at Prilepnica, approximately how many houses and how
2 many people?
3 A. Our village has around 350, 360 households and about 3.000
5 Q. And what was the ethnicity of the people who lived in your
7 A. Before the war there were these 350, 360 Albanian families that I
8 mentioned. There were also about 30 Roma families and some five or six
9 Serbian families.
10 MR. HANNIS: Now, could we show the witness a map, Exhibit P36.
11 Q. While that's coming up on your screen, Mr. Shaqiri, I would like
12 to ask you: Were you aware of when the NATO bombing began in 1999?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. From the time that bombing started until you left, sometime in
15 April of 1999, was there any NATO bombing in your village?
16 A. No, there wasn't.
17 MR. HANNIS: Now, if we could enlarge that map a bit on the area
18 slightly north of Gjilan. One more, please, thank you.
19 Q. Now, sir, on the monitor can you see your village on that map?
20 And there's a pen there I'll have the usher hand you.
21 A. This is where it is.
22 Q. You can actually draw on the screen. If you draw a circle around
23 your village of Prilepnica.
24 A. [Marks].
25 Q. And could you draw a circle around the other villages that you
1 covered as the imam. You mentioned them before.
2 A. Yes, Kmetofc, bordering Ropotove. This is where the Albanian
3 Muslim families lived, and then there is Verbica and Kosaca.
4 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
5 Could we take a screen shot of that and give it the next IC
6 number, please?
7 THE REGISTRAR: That will be marked IC28, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
10 Q. Now, Mr. Shaqiri, before -- before the NATO bombing started, had
11 you had any problems or violence in your village?
12 A. No.
13 Q. And before the 6th of April, 1999, had there been any significant
14 presence of either the VJ or Serbian police in your village?
15 A. No, there wasn't any.
16 Q. I then would like to direct your attention to the 6th of April,
17 1999. Did you hear or see anything unusual on that day?
18 A. That day I was at my mother's visiting my younger brother. This
19 is where the mosque is. It is about 1 kilometre away from my house. I
20 dined there and at 8.10 I heard gun-fire from all sides in Prilepnica. It
21 struck a lot of fear among us because the village is situated in a canyon.
22 And people started to flee their homes and take to the mountainsides.
23 Q. What did you do when you heard the gun-fire?
24 A. For the moment I was stunned, and after talking with some of my
25 relatives I decided to go in the direction of the southern part of the
1 village from where the gun-shot was heard. I put on my imam uniform and I
2 was walking on the main road, and after 5 or 600 metres I ran into a
3 soldier who was holding two hostages, Nazim Xhelil, now retiree, and Shelik
4 Shaqiri who was a teacher of physical training. Both of them were being
5 held in the middle of the road. I approached them. That soldier asked --
6 stopped me and asked me who I was. I introduced myself to him, and then I
7 asked him why do we hear gun-shots? He replied in this way: We have
8 received information that there is KLA presence in the village and that the
9 village has to be emptied in order for us to fight the KLA soldiers. I
10 assured them that there was no KLA presence in the village, but
11 nevertheless he ordered me to tell the population to leave their homes. I
12 went back to the mosque and used the loudspeakers of the minaret.
13 Q. Let me stop you for a minute and ask you a few questions to go
14 through this. You say you put on your imam uniform before you went in the
15 direction of the shooting. What -- what does your imam uniform look like?
16 A. It is a similar uniform like the one you are wearing, a long
17 robe, dark robe, and I put on a hat, not the imam's hat, but a white cap.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. Usually worn by those who go to Haxh.
20 Q. And you say when you approached the area where you heard the
21 shooting, you saw a soldier who had two men you described by name as
22 hostages at gun-point there. Was it just one soldier?
23 A. There was only this person who was holding the two hostages. A
24 little bit further away where the centre of the village is, there was a
25 group of 10 or 15, 12 or 15 people who fired now and again in the air just
1 to strike fear among the population.
2 Q. Were this other group soldiers as well?
3 A. Yes, yes, they were soldiers.
4 Q. How were they dressed? What kind of uniforms did they have?
5 A. Most of them had similar -- the same uniform, one colour uniform
6 SMB olive-green-grey uniform. There were one or two who were wearing
7 camouflage uniform, green and blue uniform, camouflage.
8 Q. Is that green and blue mixed together or some green and some
10 A. Green and yellow, lemon yellow. That was prevalent. There were
11 other colours, but these were most striking.
12 Q. Did you see any kind of insignia or badges or markings of rank on
13 any of these uniforms?
14 A. No, no, they didn't have any rankings that I saw. The soldier --
15 this soldier who was holding the two people ransom in a way had a cap -
16 bandanna --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Correction.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- on his head.
19 MR. HANNIS:
20 Q. And can you tell us anything about the weapons that these men
22 A. Usually they carried automatic rifles, Kalashnikovs as they
23 called them. There were other weapons, but most of the weapons that I
24 could see were automatic rifles.
25 Q. You told us before when you were describing this that you spoke
1 with the soldier who was holding the two men hostage. What language did he
2 speak to you in and you speak to him in?
3 A. In Serbo-Croatian.
4 Q. You speak and understand that language?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. In addition to Serbo-Croat and Albanian, do you speak or
7 understand any other languages?
8 A. I understand some Arabic, but I have forgotten a lot.
9 Q. And when and how did you learn Serbo-Croatian?
10 A. All my life.
11 Q. Now, you mentioned you spoke to the man who was holding those two
12 prisoners and he indicated that they were looking for KLA in the village.
13 Is that correct?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. Is he the only one you spoke with?
16 A. Yes, for the moment he was the only one.
17 Q. And I'm sorry, when I stopped you before, I think you had said
18 that you went to make an announcement to the village. Why did you do that?
19 A. He ordered me to do that, to tell the people to leave the village
20 for them, as they told me, to be able to fight the KLA, as they alleged,
21 which in fact did not exist in the village. So in the midst of fire when I
22 started to tell the people: Attention please, attention please, in the
23 microphone, the Hoxha or the imam of the village is talking to you, all the
24 fire stopped. For them to leave the village and to take to the streets. I
25 repeated this message seven or eight times maybe. The people heard me
1 attentively and left their houses and gathered on both roads of the
2 village, one on the east and one on the western part of the village,
3 because the village is divided in two by the river. On the western part of
4 the village, I went there, too. I was heading the crowd of people going in
5 that direction, in the direction of the west. And then I went back to the
6 same soldier, the one who was holding the two people hostage.
7 Q. And what -- did you speak to him again?
8 A. Yes, I did. I asked him to talk to the officers who had given
9 this order.
10 Q. What officers would those be?
11 A. For the moment I didn't know who they were or who he was, but we
12 walked together with this soldier for some 200 metres and we arrived at the
13 end of the village. And there I met three officers. They were dressed in
14 camouflage uniform like the one I described earlier, and they were carrying
15 only pistols. And their caps, they were carrying them on their shoulder.
16 Q. Did you speak with them?
17 A. Yes. The first -- the first words we exchanged were -- the
18 soldier was the one who addressed the officers and I am quoting his words.
19 Q. And Mr. Shaqiri, I see now you appear to have some notes in your
20 hand. Can you tell us what those are?
21 A. It's nothing much to speak of. It's just the order of events as
22 you are asking me, just some points, that is the contact with three
23 officers is one of the note. And then I realised that they were holding
24 100, 150 citizens hostages. This is something which I learned later.
25 Q. Let me ask you --
1 A. I can leave them aside if you want.
2 Q. Yes, that's fine. If at some point in time you think it would be
3 helpful to refer to your notes, that's fine, if you'll just let us know
4 when you're referring to your notes. Okay?
5 A. No problem. I don't need them anyway.
6 Q. But if at some point in time there comes a need, just let us know
7 and you can have a look and we'll know when you're using those.
8 Now, the three men that you spoke to that you understood were
9 officers, did they have any kind of rank or insignia on their uniforms?
10 A. No. They didn't have ranks. They only had the military belt
11 worn by regular police --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Correction.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- soldiers and the pistol. Their
14 uniform was camouflage one, as I described earlier, green and yellow
15 camouflage uniform.
16 MR. HANNIS:
17 Q. And in what language did you converse with them?
18 A. In Serbo-Croatian.
19 Q. Of the three, was there one who seemed to be in charge?
20 A. Yes, the one in the middle.
21 Q. Had you ever seen any of these men before?
22 A. No.
23 Q. What did they tell you they were there for, if they did?
24 A. Initially they threatened me and said that they were going to
25 kill me first -- or rather, they were going to execute me first. And they
1 were trying for the firing coming from the eastern, northern, and western
2 part of the village to claim as if it was coming from the KLA, that the KLA
3 was firing.
4 Q. And were you aware of any KLA in your village or in the -- the
5 immediate area around your village?
6 A. There was never a KLA presence in Anamorave.
7 Q. And that name that you've just given, it appears on the
8 transcript, I don't recognise. Could you say it again and describe what
9 region it refers to?
10 A. It is the east-southern part of Kosovo. It includes Vitir
11 Gjilan, Kamenica, up to Serbia, namely Bujanovc, Presheve. This is what we
12 call Anamorave. In B/C/S it would be ...
13 Q. Thank you. Now, you said the commander threatened to kill you.
14 Did he say how you could avoid that happening?
15 A. While the firing was going on, firing from different weapons,
16 they were trying to convince me that this was firing from Skorpion or
17 Chinese-make rifles. And I explained to them in this way. I told them:
18 Look, I'm not an expert in equipment or weapons. There is no KLA presence
19 in our village. And I tried, actually, to warn them not to shoot in that
20 direction because about 500 metres further was the village of Kmetofc where
21 Serbs lived. We were surrounded on all sides by Serb-populated villages.
22 The entire northern part and north-eastern part is covered by Musgova,
23 village on the west is Kuvca, again a Serbian village. In south-west,
24 again another Serbian village, so we are surrounded by seven Serbian
25 villages. This is what I told them: If you continue to shoot in this
1 manner, you will even cause harm to your own population, the Serbian
3 Q. And how far was your village from the border with Serbia?
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note --
5 MR. HANNIS: [Previous translation continues]...
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Bujanovc is 30 kilometres far from
7 Gjilan and from my village 35 kilometres.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, the last part of the
9 previous answer given by the witness was: "And blame it on the Albanians."
10 MR. HANNIS: Okay. Thank you.
11 Q. So obviously they didn't execute you because you're here with us
12 today. What happened after that discussion?
13 A. Later on one of the officers, about 42 or 43 years old, he took
14 me aside and we spoke, only the two of us.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you proceed further, Mr. Shaqiri, I'm
16 confused about a reference here in the transcript to Bujanovc. Can you
17 clarify that for me, Mr. Hannis, how that fits?
18 MR. HANNIS: We can.
19 Q. Can you tell us where the town of village of Bujanovc is located?
20 A. [No interpretation].
21 Q. Is that in Kosovo?
22 A. No, Bujanovc is on the border. It's the first town in Serbia.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I now understand. Thank you. And I'm sorry to
24 have interrupted you, Mr. Shaqiri. If you can take up where you left off
25 there, and you were telling us about speaking to this one officer who was
1 42 or 43 years old.
2 MR. HANNIS:
3 Q. What did the two of you talk about?
4 A. His nickname was Russ. I heard the other officers call him Russ.
5 He was not Russian by origin, but this was just his nickname. So I asked
6 him not to make us move from the village because the population was mainly
7 unemployed and they were tied to their homes. I told him that we had never
8 experienced any problems in the past, so this is what he told me: "I see
9 you're an honourable man. An order has come from Belgrade. People must be
10 moved out of Prilepnica. If you have any wits about you, you should flee
11 to one of the neighbouring villages."
12 So he took me inside his military vehicle, in the Pinzgauer.
13 There was his driver as well. And from there we went together to the place
14 where the population was gathered. With us this officer nicknamed Russ
15 also came. The western part of the village had been plundered. Some
16 people were even beaten. Their documents were seized from them, and one of
17 the co-habitants from the village told me what had happened. The officer
18 asked me: What is this person saying? So I told him what the villager
19 said. The officer then ordered for the documents to be given back to the
21 Q. And did the soldiers do that?
22 A. They just threw them near a wall. That's where they threw these
23 documents. I went to the place where the population was, and this officer
24 and the soldiers were also there present.
25 Q. About how many soldiers were with the officer and you when you
1 went to where the people were gathered?
2 A. It was me, the officer, and the driver in the Pinzgauer, while
3 there -- there was a group of 20 to 30 soldiers. They were scattered into
4 groups, because the population was not moved out from the village entirely,
5 it was stopped on the road.
6 Q. Were the people stopped on the road, were they in cars? Were
7 they on foot? What were they doing?
8 A. They were in cars and also on foot.
9 Q. When you had earlier, pursuant to the order you'd been given,
10 gone to the mosque and made an announcement to the people, had you told
11 them where they should go?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What did you tell them?
14 A. I just told the people to come out on the roads, to go together
15 to the southern part of the village on a field because the army was in the
16 village. But the army actually stopped the population on the road inside
17 the village.
18 Q. What happened next?
19 A. While I was there present, they took a vehicle from a villager
20 and also another four vehicles from other villagers. I was surprised and
21 looked at the officer because that's how they introduced, they said they
22 were regular army.
23 Q. Now, who said they were regular army and when did they tell you
25 A. When I spoke to these three officers in the beginning, they
1 introduced themselves as follows: Listen, Hoxha, we are a regular army.
2 The bombing has started and we will defend our country at any cost.
3 Q. Now, before -- well, now when you're gathered on the road where
4 the soldiers have stopped the people, what happened next? Did anyone stay
5 in the village, return to the village, go somewhere else? What happened?
6 A. While we were on the road, there was the Albanian population and
7 the Roma population. We were all there.
8 Q. How about the -- you mentioned I think a few Serb families in
9 your village. Were they present?
10 A. No. The Serb families were in the beginning of the village, on
11 the western part of the village. A platoon had penetrated the village from
12 that side without even knowing that what population lived there. They
13 nearly killed a Serbian woman who was in her courtyard. She then
14 introduced herself, told them that she was a Serb. They didn't believe her
15 right away. The road coming from the west of the village is about 50
16 metres away from the place that I was speaking about. After they had taken
17 these vehicles, they were firing in the air and they were actually happy
18 that the vehicles were filled up. So while they were firing in the air,
19 the part of the soldiers that were just near the place where I was started
20 firing, too. Somebody could have just gotten killed, but fortunately or
21 unfortunately there was an iron gate nearby. And while they were firing
22 from an automatic rifle, a Serbian soldier got injured. They administered
23 first aid to him. I was just 2 metres away. I asked the soldier: Who
24 inflicted this injury on you? How come you're wounded? And he just simply
25 answered: By ricochet. So the officer nicknamed Russ and some others took
1 this soldier in the same Pinzgauer and told the other soldiers to withdraw.
2 They set off in the direction of Gjilan and we remained in the village. It
3 was necessary for us to report this to the police or other authority
4 because we didn't want to move Rexhep Medeti and Mr. Bajrami --
5 Q. Let me stop you there for a minute. You said it was necessary to
6 report because you didn't want to move. Before the soldiers left, had the
7 officers or any of the soldiers given you further instructions on what you
8 were supposed to do after they left?
9 A. I think I mentioned it earlier that the order was for the entire
10 village to move out in the direction of Ferizaj in two hours.
11 Q. And you say -- you said just before I asked you that question
12 that you didn't want to move. So you sought help or permission from some
13 other authority to not have to do that?
14 A. We tried to establish contact with the police in the town, with
15 the chief of the police, and we also tried to contact a local Serb, Vlado
16 Denic, who was the deputy director of the hospital. And with his mediation
17 we hoped to get somewhere else.
18 Q. Let me ask you a couple questions about that. Do you know who
19 the chief of police was in -- well, in Gjilan, I guess, at that time?
20 A. Dragan was the chief of police of the police. He is from
21 Ranilluga, Dragan Peric, namely, who was a very good man and an honourable
23 Q. He was a Serb?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the other name you mentioned, the deputy director of the
1 hospital, Vlado Denic, he was a Serb?
2 A. Yes, he was a Serb, too, but he was from my village.
3 Q. And why did you think he might be able to help you? Was there
4 something about his position as deputy director of the hospital?
5 A. Yes. It was because of his position and we thought that by
6 contacting him we might not move from the village. And even if we didn't
7 manage to contact the chief of the police, we wanted to contact his
8 brother, Bora Denic.
9 Q. How far was Gjilan from your village?
10 A. 6 kilometres.
11 Q. When you were given the direction to leave within two hours, were
12 you told anything about what would happen at the end of the deadline if you
13 had not complied?
14 A. They said that the following day at 12.00 they were going to lay
15 mines in the village, that that was their order, and that they were going
16 to mine the dam as well because there is a dam in the village. The order
17 came from above and that it was necessary for them to carry it out. They
18 did not threaten to kill us, no, they didn't do this.
19 Q. Who went to town to try and talk to the chief of police or Vlado
21 A. Demush Bajrami and Rexhep Mehmeti, Korolube Deniqi [phoen], his
22 pseudonym was Goxhe [phone]. He was wearing a military uniform, a
23 camouflage one, and carrying a Kalashnikov.
24 Q. I'm sorry, who was wearing this uniform?
25 A. Gorulub Denic, a.k.a. Goce, he was a Serb from my village, who
1 was part of the army that had had began the shooting at 8.00 a.m.
2 Q. Okay. And he had not left with the other -- with the rest of the
4 A. When the other soldiers withdrew, he went to his house.
5 Q. Were there any other Serbs from your village who had on the same
6 uniform as these soldiers and participated with them during that day, or
7 was he the only one?
8 A. It was only him on that day.
9 Q. Was he related to the Vlado Denic who was the deputy director of
10 the hospital?
11 A. Yes, they are part of the same family.
12 Q. So he was part of the delegation that went to -- to Gjilan to see
13 if you could get some relief from this deadline at --
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. How long were they gone, approximately?
16 A. The hospital you mean?
17 Q. No, how long were the men who went to town that -- I think you
18 named three men that went to town to try and get some relief. How long
19 were they gone?
20 A. For half an hour, 20 minutes, half an hour maximum.
21 Q. And did all three of them come back?
22 A. I was with them, too.
23 Q. Okay. So four of you went to town?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And what happened when you got there?
1 A. The military guards who were standing guard duty in front of the
2 hospital did not allow us to go in, but with Goce's help, he told them that
3 we were with him. We managed to go in. We met with Vlado. Vlada was also
4 surprised to hear what had happened, and we actually did not allow him to
5 go back to his office. We took him with us, to help us, and to come with
6 us either to Peric, the chief of the police, or to Bora, his brother.
7 Q. Now, Bora is whose brother?
8 A. Vlado's brother.
9 Q. Okay. And what position did he hold?
10 A. Vlada was a member of the military staff in Gjilan.
11 Q. Vlada was or Bora?
12 A. Vlada was in the hospital, deputy director, while his brother,
13 Bora, was a member of the military staff in Gjilan.
14 Q. And by "military staff," are you referring to the VJ or something
17 A. Yes, the Yugoslav army was there in our country. There were no
18 other formations at that time.
19 Q. Okay. Did you manage to see the chief of police?
20 A. One of the officers who were in my village, he had seen us while
21 we were in the vehicle on the way to the hospital, and he had followed us.
22 Before we left the hospital yard, this officer with his soldiers encircled
23 us. They had their guns pointed at us. He addressed the -- these persons
24 and said ...
25 Q. And said what?
1 A. "Where are you taking this man?"
2 They meant where were they taking me, why they were holding me.
3 Q. Who answered and what did --
4 A. And to this Redzep replied: We wanted to go to the police to
5 report what had happened -- what has happened in our village. The officer
6 then said: There is no police here, no army. I am everything here.
7 Q. Now, which officer was this? Was this the one that was nicknamed
8 Russ or one of the other three?
9 A. No, it was another officer, not the Russ.
10 Q. Was he one of the three who had been in your village earlier in
11 the day?
12 A. Yes, exactly, one of the three officers who had been in my
13 village. He had a moustache. He was about 50 years old, approximately
14 1.75 metres tall. Then the officer turned to me and said: Have you got
15 your orders? And I replied: Yes. And he asked: What was the order? And
16 I said to him that we have to move in two hours, at least those who are in
17 the village, while those who are out to their works, they have to leave the
18 village by 12.00 the next day. Then he addressed the other persons and
19 said to them: Do you hear this? Do you hear what he is saying? And then
20 he asked Vlado: Who are you? Vlado introduced himself; he said he was the
21 deputy director of the hospital. And -- I'll execute you on the spot.
22 Vlada is a civilised person and he turned to me and said: Shaqiri, you
23 have to obey the order. We went back to the village --
24 MR. ACKERMAN: [Previous translation continues]...
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: I -- I don't know what happened. I don't know if
2 it's a mistake or whatever. The witness is going along talking and the
3 translation is going along and if you start looking at 22, line 5, where
4 are you. Vlado introduced himself. He said he was the deputy director of
5 the hospital. And then a different voice, translation comes in and says:
6 I'll execute you on the spot. And then it goes to the other voice and
7 says: Vlada is a civilised person and he turned to me and said. I don't
8 know how it got in the middle there but I don't think it belongs there.
9 I'm not sure the witness even said that.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, the witness interjected
11 that in Serbo-Croat.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
13 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, then Vlado told you that you needed to obey the
15 order and you went back to the village. That was you and your original
16 group of three that were with you?
17 A. Yes, the four of us.
18 Q. What happened when you got back to the village?
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, before you do that I thought perhaps we
20 should clarify this point.
21 Mr. Shaqiri, did you say at one stage just now that someone made
22 the comment: I'll execute you on the spot?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it was the officer who
24 threatened Vlado, the Serbian officer, the one who threatened Vlado in
1 JUDGE BONOMY: All right, thank you.
2 Does that clarify it, Mr. Ackerman?
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, it does, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: I thought there was a mistake there, there wasn't.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
8 Q. What happened when you got back to the village?
9 A. Again, through the loud-speakers, we announced that we must leave
10 the village by all means, and after we set out to meet on the main road
11 Gjilan-Bujanovc, the place is called Bunar, maybe it will come up again
12 later on. I was heading the column. I didn't go in the direction of
13 Gjilan and Ferizaj, but took the eastern direction, the opposite side, in
14 the direction of Dobercan village and this road passes -- goes to Kamenice
15 and Bujanovc.
16 Q. Okay. About how many people were in your group or your convoy
17 that left that day?
18 A. At least 3.000 inhabitants, over 400 vehicles.
19 Q. And where was your destination? Where were you leading the group
21 A. Initially I wanted to go to Kmetofc, past that village. The
22 Albanian and Serb families in Kmetofc are divided by the road. Among the
23 Serbian families living close by to the road there was a regular Serb army,
24 this is where they were deployed in Kmetofc. We had passed there several
25 times and nothing had happened to us, but that day they had planted mines
1 on part of the road and there was a police first and then military guard in
2 that place. The police looked at the convoy of people and didn't do
3 anything, but soldiers, army soldiers, stopped us.
4 Q. What happened when they stopped you, did you speak with them?
5 A. Yes. They asked us: Why are you leaving, where we were going.
6 And I replied that we have orders from the army to leave the village. And
7 this convoy of people had fled on the orders of the army. The same person,
8 the same military man, showed surprise and he told me: One hears
9 everything these days. He didn't stop me because -- and ask because I said
10 to him that we had orders. And then we continued our way in Dobercan, that
11 is the last village before you go to Gjilan.
12 Q. At this first point where you stopped, you described police and
13 military. What kind of uniforms were the men you described as police
15 A. They were the road -- traffic police, wearing the usual uniform,
16 blue uniform. And they had white ...
17 Q. They had white -- you were indicating something on your arm --
18 A. White parts on their arm.
19 Q. And the military --
20 A. It's a white cloth with a ribbon -- with elastic that they wear
21 on the arms.
22 Q. Thank you. And you described the military that were there. What
23 kind of uniforms were they wearing?
24 A. The soldiers had olive-green-grey uniforms.
25 Q. Now, from -- from that point, that check-point I guess, where did
1 you go next?
2 A. We stopped at Dobercan village. They had heard what happened in
3 Prilepnica. I talked with my colleague there, with the Hoxha of the
4 village, Muslim priest of the village, who unfortunately on the 15th of
5 June was killed, by some people in uniforms while they were withdrawing
6 from the place, at a very early age of 38.
7 Q. How long did you stay in Dobercan?
8 A. I did my best to distribute -- to spread out the population in
9 the village. I wanted them to go wherever they could to find shelter at
10 this difficult time, but people didn't want us to break and so we wanted to
11 go together everywhere. But 3.000 people was hard to find shelter for in
12 one place. But I had a strong confidence in me to enter the Serbian
13 territory. In the Albanian-inhabited villages I thought to go to Trnovc.
14 Q. And where is Trnovc located?
15 A. It is next to Bujanovc.
16 Q. Is that in Kosovo?
17 A. No, no. It is in Serbia.
18 Q. And did your entire group of 3.000 from your village follow you
19 onward from Dobercan?
20 A. For some 12 or 15, 17 kilometres until we reached the
21 administrative boundary when we entered the Koncul village, but before
22 arriving there at Dhen I Bardhe, the Kamenica police took care of us.
23 Q. How did they --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Correction.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They didn't care of us but they
1 looked after that place that I mentioned. They did the usual -- the
2 routine patrols, stopped cars, tractors, and searched them, the usual
3 police searches.
4 MR. HANNIS:
5 Q. Where did that happen?
6 A. At the triangle of the road that goes from Gjilan to Bujanovc,
7 and then it turns to Fogosh.
8 Q. Is there a village at that location?
9 A. No. Koromjan village inhabited by Serbs is the closest village
10 to that place.
11 MR. HANNIS: If we could put up an exhibit now, it would be 615,
12 which is the Kosovo atlas, and it would be I believe page number 25.
13 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, I want to show you a map that I hope will show some
14 of the places you've just been telling us about that you went to when you
15 left your village of the 6th of April. And from this place where the
16 Kamenica police searched you, where did you go?
17 A. We were stopped there, they stopped us. They asked us, and I
18 answered, as I did to the soldiers in Kmetofc, since in Anamorave in the
19 direction of Dumarovc that was the first convoy of people that was being
21 MR. HANNIS: If we could enlarge the upper half of that map.
22 Okay. Thank you.
23 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, can you see your village on this map, Prilepnica? I
24 don't know what you have on your monitor --
25 A. I can't see very well. Maybe you should move it a little bit on
1 the right side where Gjilan is. I can see Kmetofc. Here is Prilepnica --
2 Q. [Previous translation continues]... could you put a 1 --
3 A. Yes, if you can enlarge it, it would be better.
4 MR. HANNIS: Can we enlarge it one more time -- oh, I'm sorry --
5 yes, can we enlarge it one more time and I'll have him draw again. I
6 realise that we have to start over. And if we can have Prilepnica sort of
7 in the upper left of the enlargement, I think everything else will be on
8 there that we want.
9 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, we're going to try and enlarge our map one more
10 time. And now if you can start again, and if you could draw a circle
11 around your village and put the number 1 in --
12 A. Yes, now it's clear.
13 Q. The usher will help you.
14 A. Prilepnica is here, number 1.
15 Q. Could you draw a circle around that for me.
16 A. Number 2 is Kmetofc, here.
17 Q. And then show us the second village you went to or the next
18 village you went to?
19 A. Kmetofc, number 2.
20 Q. And from there, you said Dobercan?
21 A. Dobercan.
22 Q. Can you draw a circle around that and put a 3 inside it?
23 A. [Marks].
24 Q. And from Dobercan, where did you go next?
25 A. We went -- we continued our way in the direction of Ranilluga,
1 it's a Serbian village, far from the road, in the direction of Dumarovc [as
2 interpreted]. I can't see it here. Here is Koncul. We came approximately
3 here before going to Bujanovc. We walked some 17 kilometres until here,
4 the place where the road divides to go to Dumarovc, that triangle that I
5 mentioned is not shown here. This is where Dhen I Bardhe is. This is
6 where the regular police was deployed. It used to be there all the time.
7 Q. Let me ask you a couple more questions. From Dobercan did you go
8 past the village of Ranilluga?
9 A. Yes, we passed that and Koromjan.
10 Q. Can you draw a circle around that?
11 A. [Marks].
12 Q. Could you put the number 4 there?
13 A. [Marks].
14 Q. And when you got there, which direction did you go?
15 A. We went in the direction of Koncul to come to Bujanovac.
16 Q. Now, what municipality are Ranilluga and Koromjan in? I see a
17 border there?
18 A. They are in Kamenica.
19 Q. And from Koromjan, you went in the direction of Bujanovc?
20 A. The last village of Gjilan commune is Dobercan and then starts
22 Q. Okay and how far did you get? Did you get all the way to
24 A. No. Before arriving in Kocul some 4 or 5 kilometres away, here,
25 the police, the local police came and went before the convoy and stopped
2 Q. Before we go on, can you write a number 5 and write a circle
3 around that location where you say you were stopped and contacted by the
5 A. [Marks].
6 Q. All right.
7 MR. HANNIS: Now could we take a screen shot of that and save
8 that as the next IC exhibit, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That would be IC29, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
12 Q. Now where were these police from?
13 A. The local police of Kamenica.
14 Q. And on this map it looks like the number 5 inside the circle
15 there is on the right side or the east side of another border. Have you
16 left Kamenica municipality at this point?
17 A. Yes, and we had left the border of Kosova altogether and entered
18 the Serbian territory.
19 Q. So what did the Kamenica police tell you when they stopped you at
20 this location?
21 A. I introduced myself to them, telling them that I was imam of the
22 mosque. Three policemen came up front. One of them approached my car and
23 said: We have taken orders from Gjilan from the chief of the police for us
24 to go back to our own homes, because no harm will come to you.
25 Q. So what did you and your group of villagers from Prilepnica do
2 A. I felt good to hear such words, and I informed my people, telling
3 them to pass the news to all the convoy and return to our homes.
4 Q. How long did it take you to get back?
5 A. A very small number of people returned to the village that night.
6 The police in Gjilan and Kamenica had taken positions at crossroads,
7 whereas I stayed in Dobercan.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Hannis, are you saying that this place
9 called Kamenica is number 5?
10 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour. Kamenica is a municipality. The
11 police from Kamenica municipality --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh yeah.
13 MR. HANNIS: -- reached them at this location inside Serbia
14 proper and told them that they had orders for them to return.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So -- I've got a mark in front of -- on the plan
16 here that's got a 4 inside it, and then it would appear to be changed to a
17 5. Is that where we are at the moment?
18 MR. HANNIS: That's where we are. That's the place where he's
19 indicated they were stopped on their way to Bujanovac and told to turn
20 around. I understood 4 to be in the circle near the name Kormojan. Does
21 that assist Your Honour?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: So you're saying the account is --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Koromjan is a Serbian village but
24 is not close to the road.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: This account is that the police from the
1 municipality of Kamenica have entered Serbia and told them to turn back?
2 MR. HANNIS: That's what his testimony is.
3 Q. Is that correct, Mr. Shaqiri?
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, you said you stayed the night where?
6 A. In Dobercan village.
7 Q. Was it just you alone or others from your village?
8 A. People went to many villages because people went to their
9 relatives, acquaintances they had. I went to a friend of mine with some 15
10 members of my family. That friend of mine is of Turkish nationality.
11 Q. Did you return to Prilepnica?
12 A. I did in the evening of the 7th of April, it was a Wednesday,
13 around 6.00 in the afternoon, 1800.
14 Q. Okay. Was it just you and your family or others from the
16 A. About 70, 80 per cent of its inhabitants had already returned;
17 the remainder had not yet returned.
18 Q. When you got back on the 7th of April, did you notice anything
19 different about the village from when you had left on the 6th?
20 A. Our houses had been looted and raided, especially in the western
21 part of the village. Not the entire village was looted. The eastern
22 partly was left intact.
23 Q. Did you have occasion to talk with any of the villagers who had
24 stayed behind on the 6th?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were they able to tell you anything about how this had happened,
2 about how the looting had occurred or about who had done it?
3 A. It had occurred on that day, and in the evening many families had
4 rallied together and they spent the night together. Some houses,
5 especially at the end of the village or in my house was -- and where those
6 150 people were kept prisoners, were destroyed more or were looted more.
7 Q. And did they tell you who had done it?
8 A. We all knew who did it.
9 Q. Well, you were on the road in the convoy several kilometres away.
10 What did they tell you about who had done it? Had they seen it happen
11 themselves, the people who remained in your village?
12 A. Just an explanation. The entire population left the village.
13 The village was completely deserted. There was not a single Albanian left
14 in it. When some families first returned in the evening of the 6th of
15 April, they found the damage that I mentioned.
16 Q. Okay. So they didn't actually see who had done the damage; it
17 had already occurred by the time they got back. Is that correct?
18 A. No, they didn't see it. You are -- that's correct.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you.
20 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, perhaps this would be a good time for
21 the break.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, it would be, Mr. Hannis. We have a long way
23 to go yet with this witness, have we?
24 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have estimated two and a half hours
25 with his testimony. I've done an hour and a half. I think I'll be two and
1 a half hours total.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Very good. We'll resume at 5.30.
3 --- Recess taken at 5.00 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 5.32 p.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
6 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, we finished talking about the trip you and your
8 fellow villagers made on the 6th of April, and you told us how you returned
9 on the 7th. Did there come a second time when you and the other villagers
10 had to leave Prilepnica?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When was that, what day was that?
13 A. This was on the 14th of April, 1999.
14 Q. Okay. Before I ask you the details about that second trip, can
15 you tell us what -- what did you do in your village during that week after
16 you returned? Was it the normal life you had before the 6th of April?
17 A. No, the life was no longer normal. Every citizen tried his or
18 her best to contact people with authority who were of Serb nationality to
19 avoid moving out from the village because there was no reason for us to
20 move. Subsequently, on the 9th and 10th of April, we stood guard duty
21 together with the police from the town. But this did not last long, and on
22 the 13th of April, while I was getting ready to go to the mosque, around
23 12.00, 12.30 in the yard of my mother's house, two officers came. They
24 were wearing uniforms, military uniforms, and my brother's wife, my sister-
25 in-law, she got scared and she immediately came back to the house and said
1 to us that there was some soldiers in the yard. I went out in the yard. I
2 met with these soldiers. I knew very well who they were.
3 Q. How did you know who they were?
4 A. I knew them from earlier, from before. Ljuba Palamarevic, he
5 worked for a long time in Anamorave region, and not only me but hundreds of
6 other people from my area know him, while Djilas Mladenovic who at that
7 time worked as a director at the radiator factory, I and other citizens
8 knew him as well because we worked in that factory.
9 Q. Where is the radiator factory located?
10 A. In Gjilan.
11 Q. And where did Ljuba Palamarevic work?
12 A. He used to be a lawyer in Binacka Morava and just recently he had
13 taken up the position of a judge at the local court in Gjilan. And that's
14 why the contacts that I and other villagers had with him were very
15 frequent. We were friends.
16 Q. What kind of uniforms were these two men wearing on this day, the
17 13th of April?
18 A. Those who came in the yard on the 13th of April were wearing
19 camouflage uniforms, yellow-green camouflage uniforms. I did not notice
20 any military ranks on their uniforms, and they were not armed. They
21 conveyed the order to me and said -- of course they greeted me first, and I
22 will quote now.
23 "Good afternoon, sir."
24 I said: Good afternoon. I asked him: What do you want? And
25 they said that they were looking for the Hoxha, for the imam. Despite the
1 fact that they knew me very well and that I knew them, too, they just
2 wanted to verify my identity. I smiled and said to them: Well, you know
3 that I am the Hoxha here. You could see kind of a happiness on their
4 faces, and they said: It's good for us that we found you. We apologise,
5 but an order has come from the supreme staff in Belgrade, Prilepnica must
6 be evacuated.
7 Q. Did he tell you why?
8 A. Of course. And I asked him: Why? And he said: We are an army.
9 We have to carry out our orders and we do carry out our orders and we don't
10 know the reasons for those orders. They wanted to leave, but I insisted on
11 them staying for a while because I wanted other people from the village to
12 hear of this. I explained to them that it wasn't easy for someone to tell
13 his people to leave. My youngest son was there in the yard, my nephew,
14 too, my brother's son. So I ordered them to go outside in the road, and
15 whoever they see there, they should invite them in the yard of my house so
16 that they could be informed about the order that was conveyed to me by
17 these officers. Rexhep Mehmeti came, Demush Bajrami followed, and in the
18 meantime Ramadan Mehmeti came there as well. The last who arrived there
19 was a driver at this radiator factory, Reshat Rahmani and when he saw his
20 director he said to him and I'll quote: "Hello director."
21 And the director replied: Hello Reshi. And Reshi said to him:
22 What is this all about? And the director replied: We don't know Reshi.
23 We received the order for Prilepnica to move out. And then Reshi asked
24 him: Where is this taking us then?
25 Q. What did he say?
1 A. An army is an army, an order is an order. We respect orders, we
2 obey orders, and Prilepnica should be emptied by 9.00 tomorrow.
3 Q. Now, Mr. Shaqiri, did you tell them that you had been ordered to
4 leave and had actually left a week before?
5 A. Yes, of course. This is why other villagers, for example,
6 Ramadan, told him: Well, you made us move out from the village once. Why
7 did you make us come back? And Djilas replied: On 6th of April, you were
8 moved out by the paramilitary army. This is what Djilas said. And now he
9 continued: We are dealing with the regular army. And it is Hoxha's
10 mistake because he did not set off in the direction pursuant to the order
11 that was issued to him; he went to an opposite direction. And my reply to
12 this was that I went towards this direction because I knew that road and I
13 cannot go somewhere where I don't feel safe. So there we were told that we
14 should set off in the direction of Ferizaj --
15 Q. Okay. Let me stop you there for a minute. So when he was
16 talking about that Hoxha had made a mistake before, that meant you;
18 A. Yes, that meant me because on the 6th of April I set off with my
19 people in the direction of Bujanovc because it was a free zone, and it was
20 easier for us to walk in this direction because there was no danger
22 Q. So on the 6th you had taken your people and gone toward Serbia
23 proper, correct?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. And on the 6th where had you been told you were supposed to go,
1 what direction?
2 A. In the direction of Ferizaj.
3 Q. Now, on this day you were also told that this was the regular
4 army doing it, as opposed to the paramilitary army that had ordered you out
5 on the 6th. What did you understand the term "regular army" to mean in
6 this context?
7 A. I always have respected the regular army. As every other country
8 in the world who respects its own army, we as well did not have any
9 problems whatsoever with the army --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Just hold on there, Mr. Shaqiri. You've obviously
11 misunderstood that question. I think Mr. Hannis should explain it again.
12 MR. HANNIS: I will.
13 Q. What did you understand the difference to be between the regular
14 army and the paramilitary army that had been there the week before?
15 A. For me there was no difference. They were wearing the same
16 uniform. It didn't even occur to me to call them paramilitary army. This
17 is what Djilas called them, this formation of the 6th of April.
18 Q. Let me ask you a question about Djilas and Ljuba Palmarevic, you
19 indicated one was a director at the factory?
20 A. Ljuba --
21 Q. And one was a lawyer who became a judge?
22 A. Djilas was the director of the radiator factory, while Ljuba, he
23 had worked in another cooperative in Binicka Morave and he had become a
24 judge, he was a judge then.
25 Q. So I take it these two men are not professional soldiers or
1 career soldiers of the VJ?
2 A. No.
3 Q. So when they're in uniform there that day, what army are they a
4 part of, if you know?
5 A. Serbian army.
6 Q. But not -- not the regular full-time army?
7 A. No, no. Reserve officers.
8 Q. Were there any other soldiers with them when they came to the
9 village on the 13th?
10 A. As villagers were coming in to my yard, the third soldier came in
11 as well and he brought three weapons with him, three Kalashnikovs. He
12 distributed one to each, one to Ljuba, one to Palamarevic. We sat down and
13 we had a conversation. It was a heated conversation because we refused to
15 Q. And what was their response to your refusal to leave?
16 A. In order for me to be able to obey their order, I requested an
17 escort, and one of them then asked me what kind of escort I wanted, a
18 police or a military escort. And I said to him: It's all the same for me.
19 I just don't want to take all the responsibility. It doesn't matter
20 whether it will be the police or the army who will escort us. So I will
21 now quote what I actually said to them.
22 My regards to your staff. I demand an escort. If you promise an
23 escort, then I will organise the move out; and if you don't, then I will
24 not organise the moving out of the villagers.
25 Q. Did they agree to provide an escort?
1 A. They agreed to convey my demand to the staff, and they said that
2 they will -- they would inform me of their answer. They left then, the
3 three of them. Shortly after, three villagers, Demush, Rexhep, and another
4 person, Ramadan Rrama, respectively, they went to the police.
5 Q. Where?
6 A. In Gjilan. And they informed me that they had spoken with the
7 police. They had given me even a name of the policeman, but I don't
8 remember it. And the police had asked them who had issued that order. And
9 they told them that it was Ljuba and Djilas. This is what they said to me.
10 These are their words. They actually said that the policemen told them
11 that the army had taken the situation into their hands and that the police
12 could no longer do anything about it.
14 Q. So that's what Demush, Rexhep, and Ramadan reported to you when
15 they returned?
16 A. Yes, Ramadan, too.
17 Q. Okay. So when -- when -- when Ljuba and Djilas had told you that
18 you were going to have to leave again, did they tell you -- did they give
19 you a deadline?
20 A. The deadline was for us to go out at 9.00 to the point, to -- on
21 the main road, and within an hour, Ljuba and Djilas, they both returned to
22 Prelepnica. They didn't meet me when they returned. They simply left a
23 message for me, and it contained just a small change, to be at the well at
24 8.00 and that an escort was approved.
25 Q. So after you had learned of what the police had to say about this
1 and you got this message from Ljuba and Djilas changing the time from 9.00
2 to 8.00, what did you do?
3 A. Well, we prepared ourselves that night. People were crying.
4 They were crying more than it rained. And the following day at 7.30, the
5 whole population of the village was on the road, in tractors, motor
6 cultivators, cars.
7 Q. And how many people in your convoy this time, the same as the
8 week before?
9 A. The same as the first time.
10 Q. Was there an escort waiting for you that morning?
11 A. On the 13th of April, the army encircled the village because some
12 villagers began to fled -- to flee.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Correction.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And now that they came, nobody
15 could leave the village any longer. In the end of the village an APC,
16 almost the same one as the one on the 6th of April manned by the three
17 officers, was positioned at 2 kilometres from the main road, at the end
18 part of our village. I approached them. I greeted them, and they asked
19 me, I quote: "Hoxha, have you got it all in place? Do you need a bus or
20 some fuel?"
21 And I said to them: No, I don't need anything. I just need the
22 escort that you promised. So then they said to me: You can go now and the
23 escort is waiting for you at the well. On the way to the well, there is
24 the village of Kosac, and people from this village were also ordered to
25 leave. And I was actually surprised to see them there and to see them
1 joining our convoy -- Q. Approximately how many people were in that group
2 from that village?
3 A. I don't know how many there were. Maybe 300, 400, up to 600. I
4 would say 3 to 400.
5 Q. Did they all join you?
6 A. They joined the convoy from my village.
7 Q. I need to back up just a second. I forgot to ask you. You
8 mentioned seeing the three officers, and I take it that's Ljuba Palamarevic
9 and Djilas from the battery factory. Who was the third one?
10 A. Their driver. I don't know his name.
11 Q. Is he the same man that you referred to earlier as having brought
12 the weapons that had been given to them on the day before?
13 A. Yes, yes, the same. He worked in the people's defence in Gjilan.
14 Q. After the villagers from Kosac joined your convoy, where did you
16 A. We walked for another 50 or 60 metres to the main road. There we
17 stopped. A reservist offended me, said to me: Why did you stop here? And
18 I said to him: I have to wait for the escort. And he said: Wow, you want
19 an escort? He threatened me, but I was determined to wait there. It was
20 ten past 8.00.
21 I want to mention a small detail here. A black Mercedes came
22 there. It belonged to high-ranking officers. There were four persons in
23 that Mercedes. I would say all of them were generals. They stopped the
24 Mercedes. I was 5 or 6 metres far from this vehicle speaking to this
25 reservist, military person. They continued towards Gjilan, and the
1 military person contacted the military staff in Gjilan via radio. The same
2 question that was put to me by Ljuba at the turn, whether I needed a bus or
3 not or whether I needed some fuel, the same question was put by the people
4 from the staff. And I gave the same answer. I said I didn't need any.
5 And then they just replied: Let them wait there. The escort will be there
6 in five minutes.
7 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, when you left that morning on the 14th, what was
8 your ultimate destination? Had you been told to go to a particular
10 A. I didn't know. They just told us to go in the direction of
12 Q. And the Serbian name for Ferizaj is Urosevac?
13 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you mentioned this reservist who offended you at this first
16 crossroads. When you say "reservist," what -- what organisation are you
17 talking about? He was a reservist in what?
18 A. He was a reservist in the police force. He was wearing a dark
19 blue uniform, a winter uniform, that is heavy clothes.
20 Q. And how did you know he was a reservist as opposed to a regular
22 A. Because I used to wear the same uniform for 15 years.
23 Q. Okay. When you were in the army reserve or the police reserve?
24 A. In the army reserve.
25 Q. Is there any other factor that helped you distinguish what you
1 sometimes refer to as the regular army and army reserve or regular
2 policeman and police reserve, as far as the appearance of those
4 A. I want to make an explanation. During the time I was a reservist
5 - and I have seen other people doing the same - we kept the uniforms at
6 home to be ready when they might call us for some exercises. At the time
7 there were both uniforms, military police and the usual army. They used
8 the same uniforms, that is, the military police. My brother had the same
9 police uniform; he was a reservist.
10 Q. Any differences, generally speaking, in physical appearance
11 between reservist and full-time police or army personnel in terms of
12 conditioning or age?
13 A. I may distinguish two aspects. The regular army soldiers always
14 obeyed military commands. They went in large formations, not in small
15 formations of one or two, whereas people of various ages above 35 or 40,
16 they always acted in groups without having any kind of certain command, at
17 least this is what I thought, this is my impression.
18 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, I want to --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm -- sorry, Mr. Hannis, to interrupt.
20 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I have to say I don't understand the comparison of
22 the uniforms at all.
23 Mr. Shaqiri, why did you mention military police uniforms?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For many years on end, we used to
25 keep a uniform at home at a reservist. And now and again when there was
1 some mobilisations for military exercises or drilling, we reservists
2 participated in these exercises organised by the regular army. And the
3 army always supplied us with uniform -- with SMB uniform, that is green
4 uniform, one plain uniform, and dark green uniform to other units, but we
5 acted together in military barracks. That was in the context of a unified
6 military command.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: What do you mean by military police?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By this I mean a unit belonging to
9 the regular army or unit belonging to the reserve army. It was a military
11 JUDGE BONOMY: And did it have any particular duties?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Depending on the orders we were
13 given by the army, whatever exercises were organised we abided by the
14 orders given to us, but nothing specific.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: I've simply managed to increase my confusion, Mr.
16 Hannis. I don't understand what's being said about -- it may be me alone.
17 I don't understand what's being said about uniforms. If you want to
18 clarify, please do, if you don't feel it's necessary, then carry on.
19 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. I'm going to try one other question.
20 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, were there any differences between the uniforms of
21 the regular army, regular full-time VJ, and the uniforms that the army
22 reservist wore, any difference in terms of colour, quality of uniforms,
23 texture, anything like that that you could tell by looking at a uniform and
24 saying: That's a reservist uniform, that's a regular army uniform?
25 A. Someone at the age of 40 or 50 that wears a winter uniform in
1 summer, because this is what we kept at home, and the young man of 20 --
2 you can tell between those two categories of people. I said earlier that
3 the soldiers didn't come to our homes. I don't -- I can't speak for other
4 places because the soldiers went in columns under commands, whereas these
5 people acted in groups of two or three using private cars. The regular
6 soldier didn't have any private car, whereas these people had and they
7 looted and raided our homes and took away the goods from our homes in their
8 cars. This is the difference.
9 Q. Okay. I'll --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: This arose, Mr. Shaqiri, because you said that you
11 recognised a police reservist uniform because you had worn one for 15
12 years. And we understood that you were an army reservist, and therefore
13 we're confused - at least I am - about the relationship between an army
14 reservists uniform and a police reservist uniform.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The blue uniforms were worn also
16 by the aviation army -- Yugoslav air force --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, do without anymore complications. Just
18 confine yourself to the two examples I've given you. So tell us if they
19 are -- if there is a difference between a police reservist uniform and an
20 army reservist uniform.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The military uniform had a green,
22 olive-green-grey colour, dark green, whereas the military police uniform
23 usually wore light blue uniform or blue uniform, at least this is how it
24 was in my time.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: So why would you then say that you recognised the
1 uniform of a police reservist, which is blue, because you had for 15 years
2 been wearing the same uniform, but as an army reservist we would expect you
3 to have a green one?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, mine was green, that is true.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. It's obviously me.
6 I'll go back to you, Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
8 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, I want to move on to your journey on that day.
9 Where did you eventually end up at the end of -- of your travels after you
10 left your village on the 14th?
11 A. It is true that after five minutes, Mila came. A road traffic --
12 normal road traffic policeman. He said that: I am the one who will escort
13 you by a police car.
14 Q. Let me stop you there for a second. I want to work -- I want to
15 jump forward and then come backwards and we'll go through your journey step
16 by step. But what was your ultimate destination? Where was the final
17 place you had ended after you left your village on that day?
18 A. We ended in Macedonia.
19 Q. Okay. And what town in Macedonia?
20 A. I was in Senakos of Gostivar with 925 inhabitants.
21 Q. Okay. And approximately how long did it take you to make the
22 journey from your village to Macedonia in number of hours or days?
23 A. It took us one day.
24 Q. And during that --
25 A. Until the border.
1 Q. Okay. During that journey to the border with Macedonia, did you
2 go through a number of check-points?
3 A. Yes, we did.
4 Q. And we'll talk about each one in a minute, but in general who was
5 manning the check-points that you went through, was it civilians, army,
6 police, paramilitaries?
7 A. At Kllokot check-point, I saw people wearing the same uniform as
8 the policeman I mentioned, that is blue uniform.
9 Q. Let me ask you from your village, did you go to -- did you go to
10 Gjilan this time, to the town of Gjilan?
11 A. Yes. Mila escort us up to Livos.
12 Q. And Mila was the local policeman from where?
13 A. He is from Ranilluga, a regular police, road -- traffic police.
14 Q. Was he the only person in your escort or were there other
16 A. He was the only one up to Livos. There -- we stopped there and
17 we saw a bus in front of us and we saw the last inhabitants of Livos
18 getting on that bus. In the meantime, another bus from Zhegra came and
19 until Partizani road as we call it, which goes in the direction of Tetova,
20 the buses came with us.
21 Q. Let me stop you there.
22 MR. HANNIS: And if we could put up a map, this again will be the
23 Kosovo atlas 615, at page 24 in the e-court version.
24 Q. I want to take you from Gjilan to Macedonia, Mr. Shaqiri, and
25 you'll have a map on your screen in a moment that I hope shows most of the
1 route that you went on and we'll see if it's big enough. From Gjilan, what
2 was the next village or town you went through?
3 A. Parteshi --
4 MR. HANNIS: Can we enlarge that a couple of steps -- or can we
5 reduce it one or two steps? Okay. Let's try that.
6 Q. From Gjilan you went to Parteshi?
7 A. First lower Livos, then Partesh.
8 Q. Okay. Can you use the pen. Again I'll have the usher hand it to
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And can you draw a circle and put a number 1 around Partesh.
12 A. [Marks].
13 Q. From Partesh, where did you go next?
14 A. Here, Radivojce.
15 Q. And after that what was the next village?
16 A. Kllokot.
17 Q. I see the road divides there and it appears that one road goes
18 south towards Vitia or Vitina --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And one goes west to Ferizaj. Could you draw a circle around it
21 and put 2?
22 A. We went to the village of Viti.
23 Q. Can you draw a circle around Kllokot and put a 2 there.
24 A. [Marks].
25 Q. And why did you decide to go to Viti instead of Ferizaj?
1 A. At Livos the escort was changed. Now we have a white Zastava
2 car, 101, Jovak, also a traffic police officer in Gjilan, with three other
4 Q. So a total of four policemen are escorting you now?
5 A. Yes. Now we have a total of four policemen, and we followed them
6 wherever they went.
7 Q. Okay. And they took you in the direction of Viti at that
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Where did you go after Kllokot?
11 A. We passed through Viti.
12 Q. And from Viti, where did you go?
13 A. We went to the main road that goes to Ferizaj and Skopije, the
14 main road.
15 Q. Can you draw a circle with the number 3 in it around Viti.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And from there, where did you go next? .
18 A. There is a village here, maybe I need to consult my notes about
19 the name.
20 Q. Yes, if you -- if you want.
21 A. Yes, we went to Duganaj, this is the name of the village we went
23 Q. And where is that located, approximately, if you don't see it on
24 the map?
25 A. Duganaj is situated some 15 kilometres before you enter the
1 Macedonian border. I can't read it here in this map. I can't see it very
3 Q. I -- if you look directly south of Ferizaj, toward the bottom of
4 the map, I see something that appears to have a name like the one you're
5 describing to me. It looks like Duganovic or Duganaj.
6 A. Yes, yes. It must be this, it reads Duganaj. It's along the
7 main road where it divides with Partizani road, it goes towards Tutova.
8 Yes, that's it, Duganaj, now I see it. It goes in the direction of Tutova
9 or Prizren, it divides here.
10 Q. Can you draw a circle around it and put the number 4 if you see
11 it now.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And from there where did you go?
14 A. The road continues towards Gllobocika or Macedonia, Jazhince is
15 the first village in the border.
16 Q. And that would be south of what you can see on the map here?
17 A. Yes, it is at the border.
18 Q. Okay.
19 MR. HANNIS: If we could take a screen shot of that and give it
20 the next IC number, please.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That would be IC30, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 MR. HANNIS: And then to complete the journey, if we could put up
24 another page from the Kosovo atlas and I think that would be page 28.
25 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, were you familiar with this route that you were
1 taking, had you ever been along that route before?
2 A. I passed quite rarely.
3 MR. HANNIS: And if on this map we could enlarge the upper half.
4 One more time, please.
5 Q. In the upper left-hand corner, I don't know if you can see the
6 name, it's the village that you just told me about before called --
7 MR. HANNIS: Could we enlarge it one more time. I'm sorry.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Gllobocika is where we went
10 MR. HANNIS:
11 Q. And is that where you crossed the border into Macedonia?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Had you been in this part of Kosovo before?
14 A. I don't think I have used this road because usually I went
15 through Skopije.
16 Q. During your journey on the 14th of April from Gjilan to the
17 Macedonian border, did you notice anything about the villages you were
18 passing through on the way?
19 A. The Albanian villages like Livos was vacated of its people.
20 Budrika didn't have a single inhabitant. In Radivojce, which I encircled,
21 there was only an old man and an old woman crying. I didn't see other
22 people. There we saw Serbian army vehicles that were covered with hay
23 between two houses, camouflaged. We saw barbed wire on the road, we had to
24 come around it. And they insulted us, and -- but we never stopped. For
25 some -- after some 5 or 6 kilometre at a water tap, there was a check-point
1 and it was an army check-point. They were wearing olive-green uniforms.
2 In Duganaj we waited for three hours in the road.
3 Q. Let me ask you: When were you across the border into Macedonia,
4 were there any check-points or border guards or police or army?
5 A. Before we arrived at the border, it was some 5 or 6 kilometres
6 away from the border, that was a military check-point. The officer stopped
8 Q. What happened when he stopped you, did you talk with him?
9 A. Yes. I introduced myself to him and informed him where our
10 convoy was heading to and that we were being escorted by police. He asked
11 me where the police was, and I told him that they went back to make sure
12 that the convoy was all in order because we were approaching the border.
13 He ordered me to go and line up people in their cars, 50 by 50, for us to
14 go to the border. But initially he said that he would search them to see
15 if they were carrying any weapons.
16 Q. Okay. And this person, was he a soldier or a policeman?
17 A. He was an army is officer.
18 Q. What kind of uniform was he wearing?
19 A. The green uniform, olive-green.
20 Q. Camouflage or solid colour?
21 A. Solid green-grey uniform.
22 Q. Did he have any rank or insignia that you recall?
23 A. I didn't recall seeing any.
24 Q. What did -- what, if anything, did you say to him when he said
25 they were going to search your convoy?
1 A. I assured him that nobody was carrying any weapons, but of course
2 it was his right to check, to make sure, and that I obeyed the order he
3 gave me. I left my car and walked, informing everyone in the convoy that
4 they would be searching them for weapons. I couldn't make all -- I
5 couldn't make it up to the end of the convoy. After informing 50 or 60
6 cars, vehicles, I gave order for them to pass the news to everyone. By the
7 time I returned to the head of the column Jova arrived, and he asked me in
8 Albanian because he speaks Albanian very well like me: Why did you stop,
9 he said?
10 Q. And Jova is the policeman with the other three escorting you?
11 A. Yes. And I told him that the military check-point stopped us and
12 that they wanted to search us for weapons.
13 Q. What happened then?
14 A. He laughed and said that nobody has weapons, but I think we -- he
15 said: Maybe you want to -- they want you to go back to Kacanik because it
16 is not allowed at this place to cross the border. It's not allowed to
17 cross the border at this check-point. If you want to cross the border at
18 this place and if you agree, then maybe you have to pay them money. I
19 agreed. I didn't care how much it would cost us because there was no way
20 we could go back. And I walked for some 10 or 15 metres; before my car
21 there was a soldier. When I approached him he asked me, and I am quoting:
22 "Is this your car?" I said: Yes. Without any reason, he hit me with his
23 weapon on my stomach. I bent a little. For the second time he hit me on
24 my leg and I was suffering from my leg for a long time. Then he started to
25 slap me until I kind of woke up because for some moments I kind of lost
1 consciousness. My mother was sitting on the front seat and near the place
2 where the soldier was hitting me was my younger son and then my wife. And
3 on the back seat was my sister-in-law with her younger son. And then my
4 people was following behind.
5 Q. What happened then after this soldier hit you?
6 A. Someone informed Jova that: The Hoxha is being beaten, and he
8 Q. What happened after Jova intervened, what happened to the soldier
9 who had hit you?
10 A. To tell you the truth, I -- at that moment I was unable to hear
11 well. I had a noise on my -- in my ear, but other people told me that Jova
12 shouted - and I'm quoting - "Don't hit the man." And the officer and Jova
13 pulled that soldier away from me. Jova stayed with the soldier while the
14 policeman returned to me and apologised, and I am quoting --
15 Q. Let me stop you. You said Jova stayed with the soldier and the
16 policeman returned. Did you mean the policeman or the officer?
17 A. Not the policeman, but the officer who had issued the order to
18 line up the vehicles 50 by 50 while the traffic policeman, he remained
19 there with the soldier.
20 Q. And this officer is the first one you had talked to when you
21 stopped there, the same one?
22 A. Yes, the one I had spoken to shortly before.
23 Q. He apologised to you, and then what happened?
24 A. Yes. Then he was trying to convince me that he was innocent, and
25 I quote: "Please believe me, Hoxha, that it's not my fault."
1 I lost control for a moment, and in a strict voice I told him:
2 You are not innocent. It is your fault because this is your soldier, and
3 it's not a civilised thing to beat up a Hoxha in the presence of his own
4 family and in the presence of his own people. But the officer then in
5 return just promised that he will let my column and my people go through
6 the border without being searched. I said to him that I will pray to God
7 for his sins in case he lets all the villagers from my village pass the
8 border safely. He kept his word and I kept mine.
9 Q. Okay. And once you got across the border, where did you and your
10 group go to stay that first night?
11 A. Before we crossed the border, this soldier, this officer, handed
12 us over to the border police. There is a border station there, so he
13 handed us over to the person in charge of the border station. He ordered
14 us to leave all our vehicles in a field nearby and to leave the car keys
15 inside as well as the licenses of our vehicles.
16 All of you leave your keys and your licenses.
17 Maybe you will find them when you come back. This is what
18 happened. After that, we crossed the border on foot, all of us.
19 Q. Did you ever get to go back and get your vehicles and your
21 A. The -- we spent the first night in the zone between the two
22 borders and the next day in the evening, sometime after 7.00 p.m., buses
23 from Macedonia took us to different camps. As I mentioned earlier, I was
24 in Senakov village together with 925 villagers from my village. Others
25 went to the camp called Stenkovac 1. Some went to other camps, and
1 according to some statistics we were all scattered in 24 states throughout
2 the world. When we returned, some earlier and some later, we didn't find
3 anything. We didn't find our vehicles. Those that had remained had been
4 burned and looted.
5 Q. When did you --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I be clear who it was who told you to leave
7 the vehicles in the field?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The chief of the customs police. I
9 think he was from Viti. He was about 60 years old.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 MR. HANNIS:
12 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, when you -- when did you return to your village
13 after the war then?
14 A. I returned on the 25th of June.
15 MR. HANNIS: Could we show you Exhibit P1798, 1798, which is a
17 Q. Did you notice any damage in your village that was not there when
18 you left on the 13th or 14th of April?
19 A. We found the village completely burnt, destroyed, looted.
20 The mosque burnt.
21 Q. Do you recognise that photograph that's on your screen now?
22 A. This is another photograph. This is not the mosque in my
23 village. It must be a mosque from another village.
24 Q. You don't recognise this particular one?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, when --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry to interrupt you again, Mr. Hannis, just to
3 be clear. Mr. Shaqiri, did you mean to say it was the chief of the
4 customs police who told you to leave the vehicles?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: And is that something distinct from the border
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The border police and the chief of
9 the police, they were one thing. I could not add anything to this. He was
10 wearing a police uniform, a blue uniform. He introduced himself, and he
11 ordered us to leave the vehicles in the field.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
13 Mr. Hannis.
14 MR. HANNIS:
15 Q. Did you notice any difference between his police uniform and what
16 you recognised as a regular police uniform? Was it a solid colour or
18 A. It was a solid colour.
19 MR. HANNIS: Could we show the witness Exhibit P24, please.Q.
20 Mr. Shaqiri, why did you and your fellow villagers leave Kosovo on the 14th
21 of April, 1999?A. Simply because of the order and the fact that our village
22 was encircled by the army at that time, on the 13th of April. There was no
23 other way out for us except to fulfil -- to obey these orders or to fight.
24 Since we were not able to fight, we just obeyed their orders as calmly as
25 possible.Q. Were you afraid of NATO bombing? A. No.Q. Were there any
1 significant battles or fighting between the KLA and Serbian police or VJ in
2 your village or the immediate area that you know of?A. Nowhere, not in my
3 village or in Anamorava.Q. Could you have a look at the map that's on your
4 screen now and tell us, can you recognise or can you point out to the
5 Judges the general route you took from your village to Macedonia? A.
6 From Prilepnica, we went to Gjilan. We passed by Cernice, Gladove,
7 Zhegra, Kllokot, and we returned through the road from Sllatine to Viti,
8 then we came on this road leading to Dubrava. And finally to Gllobocika.
9 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. Could we take a screen shot of that and
10 give it the next IC number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC31, Your Honours.
12 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MR. HANNIS:
16 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, when you were in Macedonia, do you recall, were you
17 interviewed by any representatives of the OSCE or some other human rights
18 organisation about how you came to leave Kosovo?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. HANNIS: Could we put Exhibit 2288 on the screen, please.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: That last exhibit, Mr. Hannis, the witness seemed
22 to have marked in part. Is that right?
23 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: As he went along.
25 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: And it would really be absolutely impossible to
2 tell what he marked on it because it already has markings in the same
4 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I think if you use the exhibit in
5 conjunction of the transcript where he said we went from here to here to
6 here you could follow on the exhibit.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, I --
8 MR. HANNIS: I take your point it's not --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I just wondered if it's even necessary since we've
10 had the route actually drawn for us already. But anyway, the point is --
11 MR. HANNIS: I was trying to identify his particular route.
12 Thank you.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
14 MR. HANNIS:
15 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, what's your date of birth?
16 A. 6th March 1949.
17 Q. And are you the only imam from Prilepnica?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is there -- do you know any other Shaqiri who has a first name
20 Abylthaqin A-b-y-l-t-h-a-q-i-n?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Does this document refer to you? I know it's in English -- oh,
23 maybe it's not on your screen yet?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. That appears to refer to you, even though the first name is
2 A. Yes. My name is misspelled. There is a letter missing, a D, A-
3 b-d and it's not T, it should be H, Haqim. So it's A-b-y-d --
4 Q. Okay. Thank you. After the interview, did anybody read back the
5 information they'd taken from you or did you sign anything?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I'm sorry. I asked you multiple questions, so now I don't know
8 which one you're answering yes. Did they read it back to you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you sign it?
11 A. Yes, I signed it.
12 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. I don't have any more questions about
13 that document, and I don't have any more questions for you at this time. I
14 think Defence counsel may have some questions.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you help me, is the document signed?
16 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, this is not. This is from our
17 database. This is not the raw form that would have been used with the
19 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
20 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan.
22 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, we'll proceed in this order:
23 General Pavkovic, General Lazarevic, Mr. Sainovic, Mr. Milutinovic, General
24 Lukic, and General Ojdanic.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, there's very little I can do with ten
2 minutes that I might not have to almost repeat tomorrow in terms of a set
3 up, but if you would like me to go ahead, I certainly will.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, I would like you to, please, Mr. Ackerman.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: All right.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
7 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, my name is John Ackerman. I represent General
8 Pavkovic, along with Aleksander Aleksic and our case manager Aleksander
9 Vujic. I'm going to have quite a few questions to ask you, as it turns
10 out, and I'm going to try to make those questions as -- as easy to
11 understand as I possibly can. If you don't understand a question that I
12 ask you, please let me know that you don't understand it and I will
13 rephrase it so that you understand exactly what I'm asking. Would that be
14 a fair thing to do?
15 A. Everything is all right.
16 Q. Just as a kind of preliminary, basic question, would I be safe in
17 assuming that you're like most of us, that your memory tends to fade with
18 the passage of time?
19 A. Some things do fade; that's correct.
20 Q. I notice that you've even brought some notes here with you today
21 just in case you had some difficulty remembering something; correct?
22 A. [No interpretation].
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter could not hear the witness.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: I think he said "po," Your Honour.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 MR. ACKERMAN:
2 Q. And you have given your account of these events, either
3 completely or incompletely, on a number of occasions, haven't you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And for instance, you just saw on the screen one of the occasions
6 where you gave an account of what happened, and I think -- I think this
7 occasion when you were interviewed in Macedonia, that was like on the 19th
8 of April as I recall, just basically right after you had arrived there. Is
9 that true?
10 A. That's true.
11 Q. And of course that would have been a time when your memory
12 probably would have been extremely clear about the things that had happened
13 to you over the last couple, three days?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. All right. Now -- then the next time that I'm aware of that you
16 talked about these events was about six days later on the 25th of April,
17 1999, when you talked to Kathrine Driguet [phoen], do you remember that?
18 A. Yes, in French.
19 Q. Yes, that was in French, and of course there was an interpreter
20 there interpreting into your language, into Albanian, wasn't there?
21 A. It was very difficult because the interpreter was not a good one.
22 Q. After this interview had been completed, the interpreter
23 certainly read to you the statement and gave you a chance to make any
24 corrections that you would want to make. Isn't that true?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And it was read to you in a way where you can understand what
2 that interpreter was telling you. Isn't that true? It wasn't read
3 hastily, it was read carefully, wasn't it?
4 A. At normal speed.
5 Q. And after it had been read to you and you had heard what the
6 interpreter told you that was in the statement, you then signed at the end
7 what's called a witness acknowledgement; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that acknowledgement has this language, which is a little
10 different from normal, it says: "I declare upon my honour and conscience
11 that the information contained in this statement, which has been read over
12 to me in my language, accurately reflects the interview held on 25 April
14 Do you remember signing that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you ever read the certification that was signed by the
18 A. I don't know. I don't remember.
19 Q. All right. And you understood that when you signed this and
20 acknowledged this, that what you were saying was the things you had said in
21 this statement were true to the best of your recollection; correct?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. The next time then that -- that I know that you gave a statement
24 was in 2001, in June of 2001, on the 19th and the 22nd, to Annette Murtagh
25 an interviewer from this Tribunal. Do you remember that statement?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And again, once you had finished giving that statement, it was
3 typed up into English and read to you by the interpreter, and you were
4 given an opportunity to make any additions or corrections that you believed
5 necessary, weren't you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And just to underscore that, you were asked to sign the bottom of
8 each page after it was read to you, weren't you?
9 A. Yes, I signed, I know I signed, but I don't know if it is on
10 every page.
11 Q. Would you take my word for it or do you want me to have it shown
12 to you?
13 A. I take your word for it.
14 Q. Thank you. The witness acknowledgement on that one says: "This
15 statement consisting of eight pages has been read over to me in the
16 Albanian language and is true to the best of my knowledge and
18 And you signed that, didn't you?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And that was about two years after the events that you've
21 testified about today - correct - 2001?
22 A. 2001, yes.
23 Q. The next time that you were asked to make any kind of a statement
24 about this matter was on the 5th of February, 2002. You gave a statement
25 to a Jan Pfundheller. Do you remember giving that statement?
1 A. I know that I have corrected some technical mistakes.
2 Q. Yes, that's the one I'm referring to. And again, you signed that
3 one, didn't you?
4 A. Having corrected it, yes, I signed it.
5 Q. Yes, and what -- what you said there was also true to the best of
6 your knowledge and belief; correct?
7 A. These were just mistakes like the date, my birth date, the name
8 of my father, and some other mistakes. So those that I noticed, I
9 corrected them and I underlined them and then initialled them. So I
10 corrected technical mistakes.
11 Q. Yes, I understand that, and we'll get into those in a little more
12 detail when we talk tomorrow. One more quick question: You then provided
13 some information to the Prosecutor's office after you arrived here on 28
14 August when you talked to attorneys Keith Scully and Irina Dragulev and
15 gave some supplemental information about these events, didn't you?
16 A. Yes, photographs and --
17 Q. Yes, and you were also telling them the truth when you -- when
18 you told them those things. Is that correct?
19 A. I told them the other part after I returned to Kosova. The
20 filming and the photographs that I had taken of the burnt mosques and the
21 house and some other photographs of my house.
22 Q. My question was: You were telling them the truth when you told
23 them the things you told them on the 28th, weren't you?
24 A. Of course.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think that's a good place to stop.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that's very helpful, Mr. Ackerman. Just one
2 thing perhaps you could clarify. The interview you mentioned with
3 Pfundheller, what organisation or group --
4 MR. ACKERMAN: ICTY, Your Honour, OTP.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: That's another OTP?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 Well, Mr. Shaqiri, we need to adjourn there for today and resume
9 your evidence tomorrow; that will be at 2.15. You need to be back here in
10 place to continue giving evidence at 2.15 tomorrow. Meanwhile, it is
11 extremely important that you do not discuss any part of your evidence with
12 anyone, and by that I mean either the evidence you've already given or the
13 evidence you may yet give in the case. You can talk about anything else
14 you wish with anyone you see, but you must not, with anyone, discuss any
15 aspect of your evidence.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for your advice, Your
17 Honour, and I will respect it.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 And we'll resume tomorrow at 2.15.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 6th day of
22 September, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.