1 Wednesday, 1 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Riedlmayer.
7 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Your evidence will again continue.
9 Mr. Hannis.
10 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 WITNESS: ANDRAS JANOS RIEDLMAYER [Resumed]
12 Re-examination by Mr. Hannis:
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Riedlmayer. Yesterday Mr. Bakrac asked you at
14 page 5538, line 23, of the transcript, if it were "possible for a serious
15 assessment of damage to be made on the basis of photos alone." And your
16 answer was --
17 A. My answer was that it is indeed possible.
18 Q. And in the context of your report, you're basically just assigning
19 one of five categories to the level of damage?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Particularly in those cases where you were called upon to make an
22 assessment based on photographs alone, in what way would you resolve a
23 close question?
24 A. As I indicated in my testimony earlier, we were always extremely
25 conservative in our assessments. So if there was any doubt, we would rule
1 for the lesser damage.
2 Q. Even though it might appear -- it could be possibly classified as
3 heavily damaged, you would rule it as lightly damaged, if all you had was
4 the photograph?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Regarding your ability to distinguish the types and possible
7 causes of damage, for example, whether or not the damage had been caused
8 by explosives placed in the interior or by firing from projectiles from
9 the outside or bombing from the air, both Mr. Bakrac and Mr. Ivetic asked
10 you some questions about your experience and abilities in that regard.
11 You indicated that in the course of this project you got some on-the-job
12 training so to speak.
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. And did you learn anything in this regard from your partner, Mr.
15 Herscher, who was an architect?
16 A. Yes. He knows something about the structure of buildings, and he
17 had also worked in Bosnia after 1995, working on the restoration of
18 buildings in Mostar.
19 Q. And in your answers to Mr. Bakrac at page 5539 and Mr. Ivetic, I
20 believe, at page 5602, you mentioned that you had done a good -- you had
21 read a good deal of the technical literature in this area.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you explain or elaborate on that a little bit. What kinds of
24 things were you reading?
25 A. There is a growing field of literature dealing with damage to
1 heritage buildings in armed conflict. Publications such as by the
2 observatory for the protection of cultural heritage in armed conflict at
3 the University of Naples has a series of publications on this. The
4 international committee on monuments and sites, a non-governmental
5 organisation, has also had a series of publications, again with chapters
6 that discuss the various types of damage, the various remedies for it and
7 so forth.
8 Quite aside from that, much of this is common sense if, for
9 example, the rubble -- there's a hole in the building, the rubble is
10 inside the building, I think it's usually safe to assume that the force
11 that caused the hole came from outside the building. Similarly, if the
12 rubble is scattered at some distance from the building, if there are
13 radiating cracks from where the hole is and soot marks radiating outward
14 from the site of the damage, it is often safe to assume that the explosive
15 was inside the structure.
16 Q. Thank you. At page 5553, line 24 through 5555 at line 9, Mr.
17 Bakrac was asking you about your description of the damage at the old
18 bazaar Peje/Pec, and the source of your information for the allegation
19 that the damage you saw was a result of having been burnt down by Serb
20 police in June of 1999. First of all, in your answer at line 14 on page
21 5555, you indicated that several individuals told you this and that they
22 barraged you with this information.
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. When did you visit that site?
25 A. In October of 1999.
1 Q. Okay. And you personally have no way of knowing who the
2 perpetrators are?
3 A. I was not there earlier, no.
4 Q. However, based on what you observed at that time, was the damage
5 consistent with having been burned down from the ground up?
6 A. Yes. I based that on several signs that I saw. First of all, the
7 entire line of shops had been obliterated, basically. The rubble was, in
8 all cases, pushed to the back of the site, and it was heavily charred.
9 What was also significant, in my view, is that there was no damage to the
10 next row of buildings in from the street on the side street behind. So it
11 was limited to the shop fronts facing the street.
12 Q. Was it consistent or inconsistent with an allegation of it having
13 been caused by NATO bombing?
14 A. I would judge that to be inconsistent with an allegation that it
15 done from the air.
16 Q. Was it consistent or inconsistent with the allegation that it had
17 occurred in June of 1999?
18 A. Well, the damage looked relatively fresh as of October. I have no
19 way of judging whether it happened in May or June, but I would say it's
20 safe that it didn't happen six months earlier.
21 Q. All right. Yesterday, at page 5571, Judge Bonomy asked you a
22 question about the indictment that you had seen prior to writing your
23 report in 2001. Do you recall, did that indictment have any -- list any
24 specific sites or locations with regard to cultural damage?
25 A. No. That version of the indictment, as far as I recall, did not
1 have a schedule of sites under the rubric of cultural heritage. There
2 were sites mentioned that had to do with other charges.
3 Q. With regard to cultural heritage, was it just a general
5 A. A general allegation in the first indictment, yes.
6 Q. Okay. Now I want to move on to some of the questions Mr. Fila
7 asked you --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the evidence there is that there were sites
9 mentioned in other charges, although there wasn't a charge relating to
10 damage to cultural heritage. Let's be sure we're not at cross-purposes.
11 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour, there were other sites mentioned
12 with regard to deportations or killings.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
15 Q. At page 5582, line 23, Mr. Fila told you how he had or has the
16 impression that you -- that you wrapped up your research quickly and he
17 thought that -- that that quick wrapping up had something to do with
18 "something to do with the arrest of Mr. Milosevic." Did it?
19 A. No. Our research took us over two years, and the arrest of
20 Milosevic came towards the end of that two years.
21 Q. Mr. Fila also said he thought "you were receiving instructions
22 from the Prosecutor to wrap things up as quickly as possible so the
23 indictment can be supplemented."
24 Any truth to that suspicion on Mr. Fila's part?
25 A. I wasn't under pressure from the Prosecutor, but we were told that
1 any data we wanted to submit had to be in by the autumn of 2001.
2 Q. And who told you that?
3 A. That was the Office of the Prosecutor.
4 Q. Okay. Page 5586, line 16, Mr. Fila asked you about whether you
5 had gone to Belgrade to try to get additional information relative to the
6 White Book and allegations about NATO damage to Serb cultural sites.
7 First of all, I want to confirm, was the White Book your only source of
8 information about such damage?
9 A. It was not the only source.
10 Q. Was it your primary source?
11 A. No. It was one of several sources.
12 Q. Okay. Now, regarding Gracanica -- well, actually, let's --
13 MR. HANNIS: I would like to pull up an exhibit now, Exhibit
15 Q. We have a couple of extracts from the White Book. Do you have
16 that on your screen? Do you recognise that.
17 A. It hasn't come up yet.
18 Q. And you recognise the cover page?
19 A. That is the title page, yes.
20 MR. HANNIS: If we could go to the next page of this exhibit. And
21 if we could scroll down to the bottom of the page.
22 Q. Mr. Riedlmayer, can you see a reference to Gracanica --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. -- at page 226?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you read what was in the White Book about Gracanica?
2 A. It says:
3 "The Church of the Assumption in the Gracanica Monastery, the
4 endowment of King Milutin, was built in the second decade of the 14th
5 century. The monastery keeps a significant collection of icons" and other
6 descriptions of the monastery. "On the night of 30/31 March, the village
7 of Gracanica was bombed for the third time, while four shells fell 500
8 metres away from the Gracanica monastery. With continuous, unrelenting
9 bombardment of Pristina, Gracanica is further endangered by detonations."
10 MR. HANNIS: Could we go to the next page of this exhibit and if
11 we could, yes, focus in on the top.
12 Q. Regarding Pec and the Patriarch of Pec could you read that?
13 A. Yes.
14 "The Patriarchate of Pec: The complex of the Pec churches is the
15 spiritual seat and mausoleum of Serbian archbishops and patriarchs, built
16 in the third decade of the 13th century. During the bombardment on the
17 night of 31 March/1 April, the pumping station of the city water-supply
18 system, situated 500 metres from the monastery of the Patriarchate of Pec,
19 was struck. The old city centre was bombed during day-time on 10 April,
20 and after a series of repeated bombings of Pec, on the night of 14/15
21 April the old city centre was heavily damaged."
22 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly slow down for the interpreters, please.
23 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry.
24 MR. HANNIS: That's okay.
25 If we could go to the next page. Yes, we have another entry in
1 volume 2. If we go to the following page, the last page in this that is
2 marked Gracanica.
3 Q. Could you read that one for us.
4 A. "Gracanica: The village Gracanica has been the target of
5 countless attacks since the beginning of the war. It was once again
6 targeted again on the 1st of May. The missiles landed about 500 metres
7 from the monastery, causing the loosening of the walls."
8 Q. Now, in your report you indicated that in addition to the White
9 Book you had other sources from Serb authorities or Serb websites?
10 A. I'm thinking, for example, the Ministry of Information website in
11 Belgrade which issued repeated statements on these matters including
12 statements about Gracanica and Pec.
13 MR. HANNIS: If we could go next to Exhibit 2471.
14 Q. And I think you have a full list of those other sources in your
15 report at footnotes 9 to 11?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Okay. I would like, with the assistance of the usher, if I could
18 hand you a hard copy of the document that's on the screen. And if I could
19 have you read the highlighted portions of that that are pertinent to this
20 discussion at that moment.
21 A. Yes. This comes from the Serbian government website maintained by
22 the Ministry of Information. It is dispatched by the state news agency
23 Tanjug on June 12th, 1999.
24 "During the two and a half month barbaric bombing of Yugoslavia,
25 some 160 cultural monuments in Serbia have been most seriously endangered,
1 damaged or destroyed ..."
2 "According to the information of the Institute for the Protection
3 of the Cultural Monuments of Serbia, stated today ... by the institute's
4 collaborator, Svetlana Pejic ..."
5 "Through direct hits of the NATO air force, 24 monuments ... have
6 been destroyed, through actions in close proximity, 78 have been damaged
7 and, due to detonations, 57 cultural monuments have been endangered ..."
8 "The old city centres of Djakovica and Pec ... have been
9 irreparably destroyed."
10 "Among the 13 damaged monasteries and 11 churches, Gracanica" --
11 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour. Mr. Fila is standing up.
12 MR. FILA: [Microphone not activated]
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Fila.
14 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] The interpreters are telling us, as you
15 all speak English, of course it's fast enough for you, but they don't have
16 time to interpret into Serbian. It's not an objection, it's just for the
17 sake of interpretation.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Fila, for drawing that approximate
19 to our attention. It was remiss of me not to be wearing the headphones.
20 If you could both slow down a little and also observe a pause between
21 question and answer that would help the interpreters greatly.
22 THE WITNESS: Should I repeat anything?
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I think we all have the document on the screen, but
24 just continue your reading more slowly.
25 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 MR. HANNIS: And I think if we could scroll to the next page of
2 the document he's about to read from.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you continue reading, is this item
4 footnoted in the report?
5 THE WITNESS: It is. It's --
6 MR. HANNIS: That's footnote 9, Your Honour, I believe.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Footnote 9. Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: So: "Among the 13 damaged monasteries and the 11
9 churches, Gracanica has suffered the greatest amount of damage.
10 "Due to the explosions of several dozens of missiles in the close
11 proximity ... the facade of the church has been damaged and numerous
12 creaks have appeared in the fresco paintings, widening after every
13 detonation. Parts of the frescoes have been broken off walls. The damage
14 done to the building of the old, eastern bedrooms of the Gracanica
15 monastery, the frescoes of which are in all the encyclopaedias of the
16 world, is visible.
17 "The Pec Patriarchate has been several damaged also ... old creaks
18 in the frescoes have widened and new have appeared. Parts of frescoes
19 have been broken off walls."
20 And I believe that is the end of the excerpts.
21 Q. I assume there the reference to creeks probably means cracks?
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. Now, did you visit Gracanica personally?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What did you see there in terms of damage, compared to what's
1 described in the White Book and this website?
2 A. I could see no sign of recent damage. Much of the monastery has
3 been heavily restored over the years, so there are old blasted-over
4 cracks. When touching the walls, you could also feel the dampness rising
5 up from the ground. More specifically, conservators who have visited the
6 site subsequently, have reported -- and these are conservators who have
7 expertise in mural paintings -- have reported that there is no damage
8 other than that from the rising damp and deferred maintenance.
9 Q. And you didn't see any evidence that would be consistent with
10 damage from NATO bombing?
11 A. No, I did not.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: When you went there, were you in possession of this
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, I was. That's one of the reasons I went there,
15 Your Honour.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, there are two possibilities here. One is that
17 these various features highlighted, in other words, parts of frescoes
18 broken off walls, damage to the building of the old eastern bedrooms, is
19 possible that that damage did exist. Can you say whether that's right?
20 And then the second question is: Whether, if it did exist, it was
21 consistent with bombing, the result of a bomb blast.
22 THE WITNESS: Well, I saw no signs of the damage, Your Honour --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: So you're saying this is misleading in its
24 description of the state of the building?
25 THE WITNESS: As far as my observations and those of other
1 professionals who have visited the site are concerned.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Who are these other professionals?
3 THE WITNESS: In the case of the Pec Patriarchate, a team from the
4 Italian Instituto Centrale di Rettorato, the central institute for
5 restoration, did a project on the Pec Patriarchate in the aftermath of the
6 war. They published an entire monograph on it. And subsequently, in
7 collaboration with an organisation of Serb conservation professionals,
8 issued a report on damaged and endangered heritage in Kosovo. And their
9 conclusions state in so many words that all damage observed had to do with
10 deferred maintenance and problems of rising ground-water.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: That's a separate question, I think, Mr.
12 Riedlmayer. My first point to you is whether this damage actually exists.
13 THE WITNESS: I think in terms of -- of cracks, there are old
14 cracks. And I had no way of judging whether the cracks were, you know,
15 millimetres wider than they had been before.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: But, you see, that's -- I thought you had said
17 initially, just now, that this was misleading. For example, "parts of
18 frescoes have been broken off walls."
19 THE WITNESS: I saw no sign of that having occurred, and I also
20 asked the monks, who were escorting us, to show me if there had been any
21 damage during the war, and they were not able to show me any.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I'm thinking of damage that might even
23 pre-exist the war. You know, the two separate questions are: What is the
24 state of the building? And separately: How much of it can be attributed,
25 if any, to the bombing? And I'm trying to focus for the moment what was
1 the state of the building. Is this an accurate description?
2 THE WITNESS: No, it's not I don't know. It is a building that is
3 almost 700 years old, and therefore it has had many ravages of time and
4 repairs done to it. There was an extensive restoration of the building
5 before the war, but the building hasn't been kept up for more than a
6 decade since then.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
8 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Excuse me, did you check when was the last
9 restoration carried on. And from taking that as a benchmark or as a
10 measurement of time, were you then able to see any cracks or fissures
11 coming up after the restoration? Were you able to check this with respect
12 to the restoration after?
13 THE WITNESS: Well, I did not, Your Honour, I did not have the
14 detailed documentation in hand when I visited the site. However, I have
15 seen three books that talk about that restoration and have extensive
16 photographs of the most important parts of the monastery. And what I saw
17 is consistent with what I saw in those three books, and those photographs
18 all pre-date the war. So I am convinced that there was no additional
19 damage caused by the war.
20 There is an ongoing issue of, you know, the gradual dilapidation
21 of an old building. For example, if a building built of brick doesn't
22 have the mortar pointed at regular intervals, the mortar tends to crumble
23 and fall out which allows rain and other things to fall inwards, which in
24 the long term does raise issues. But, no, there was no visible damage.
25 JUDGE CHOWHAN: You actually saw those restorations? Did somebody
1 point out the restoration? And then standing over there, did you see any
2 damage caused because -- or not caused?
3 THE WITNESS: The restorations are very evident, Your Honour,
4 because there are broad white streaks where plaster has been put over old
5 cracks, but that is -- it was clearly not recent. It dated from the
6 pre-war restorations.
7 MR. HANNIS:
8 Q. Thank you. You've already been talking now about what I wanted to
9 show you next, Exhibit P2470, I believe, I'd like to put up now. And this
10 relates to another web site. I believe this is the one that is YU
11 Heritage. Is that a site that you visited before you went to Kosovo?
12 A. Yes, and it's cited in my -- in the notes to my report.
13 Q. Okay. And can you -- can you read that first description
14 regarding the Patriarchate of Pec.
15 A. "The Patriarchate of Pec. NATO bombs repeatedly detonated in the
16 nearest vicinity. Due to detonations the walls of the churches are badly
17 shaken. The old fissures on the fresco paintings have widened and new
18 ones appeared. Portions of the frescoes have detached from the walls and
19 their collapse is imminent."
20 MR. HANNIS: Now, could we go to the next page.
21 Q. Did you actually visit this site?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And to the --
24 MR. HANNIS: Am I too fast again?
25 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] No, not this time, but could you please
1 explain where this document is from. I don't know what you're reading.
2 What is the provenance of the document.
3 MR. HANNIS:
4 Q. Mr. Riedlmayer, can you answer that, please?
5 A. Yes. This is from a web site put up by the Institute for the
6 Protection of Monuments of the Republic of Serbia.
7 MR. HANNIS: If we could go to the next page.
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] And where is this in your list?
9 THE WITNESS: It is in the footnotes to my report between
10 footnotes 9 and 11.
11 MR. HANNIS: I believe this one is also in footnote 9.
12 And can we go to the next page, please. And finally the last page
13 I think is the one I want.
14 Q. Mr. Riedlmayer, is this church a part of the complex?
15 A. It is part of the complex, yes.
16 Q. And this appears to show some cracks in frescoes and the photos
17 are purported to be April/May 1999. Did you see those cracks when you
19 A. I did see the cracks; however, I looked at pre-war photographs
20 that also showed the same cracks.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. And the Italian study discusses them at some length.
23 Q. And concludes what about --
24 A. And concludes that it is caused by natural factors.
25 Q. Okay. All right.
1 Now I want to move on to another topic. Mr. Ivetic in his
2 cross-examination --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, just before you --
4 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: -- do.
6 The pre-war photographs that you refer to, is any of them in the
8 THE WITNESS: They are not in the database, sir. I was not
9 allowed to take pictures inside of Gracanica and Pec because of the KFOR
10 troops that were stationed outside, prohibiting photography.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 Mr. Hannis.
13 MR. HANNIS:
14 Q. But your reference to pre-war photographs --
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, I think.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think the witness didn't answer your
18 question. You asked him about pre-war photographs and he said he wasn't
19 allowed to take any photographs. That doesn't deal with pre-war
20 photographs; that deals with post-war.
21 THE WITNESS: Oh, I'm sorry. The pre-war photographs I referred
22 to were in works, such as Gojko Subotic's book, Kosovo, Art of the Sacred
23 Land, and a number of other monographs on Serbian Orthodox heritage of
24 Kosovo, which shows the interiors of these churches.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: But they're not in the database?
1 THE WITNESS: They're not in the database.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, did you have a point to make?
3 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I wanted to say the same thing
4 Mr. Ackerman did. I didn't understand one thing, though. Perhaps it may
5 sound like an unusual question, but this is some new data. As for the
6 findings of the Italian conservators and the Serbian conservators, is that
7 among the data provided by Mr. Riedlmayer? We have an assertion here that
8 these fissures date from an earlier point in time, then we have them
9 mentioned in the Italian report and in the Serbian report, but I don't see
10 this among the material that we received.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: It's not -- it is not in the material presented to
12 the Court, but this is a matter, of course, that you have ample time to
13 explore further later when you present your own case.
14 THE WITNESS: Can I, Your Honour?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Riedlmayer.
16 THE WITNESS: I would like to point out that my report to the
17 Tribunal in this matter was submitted in 2001. The joint report of the
18 Italian and Serbian conservators was published in 2003, as was the
19 monograph by the Italian Institute for Restoration. If the Court so
20 wishes, I can provide the references.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I think that would be of assistance to at
22 least Defence counsel, if you can. Do you have that available or is
23 that --
24 THE WITNESS: Not on me, but I can provide it.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: You should provide it through the Office of the
1 Prosecutor, who will relay it to Defence counsel.
2 MR. HANNIS: I will. Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Riedlmayer, I wanted to move on to a question that Mr. Ivetic
4 asked you at page 5605, line 9 and following, and this will help me, too.
5 Can you distinguish for me the deference between a kulla and a family
6 compound. Are all kullas family compounds or are all family compounds
7 kullas? What's the difference?
8 A. The answer to both of your questions is, no, in short. A kulla is
9 a very particular kind of stone building, traditionally built by Albanians
10 in Kosovo and in adjacent areas -- Albanian-inhabited areas of the
11 districts of Plav and Gusinje, Montenegro. That's G-u-s-i-n-j-e. And a
12 family compound is simply a group of buildings, whether modern or of the
13 kulla type, that houses various branches of an extended family. What I
14 was simply referring to is that many kullas are located in such compounds,
15 but not all such compounds consist of kullas.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Riedlmayer, are kullas also tradition to
17 Albania itself?
18 THE WITNESS: They are found in small numbers in northern Albania,
19 but many of them were destroyed during the Enver Hoxha regime.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
21 MR. HANNIS:
22 Q. I guess it's me. I'm still not fully clear. If I have a family
23 compound consisting of several buildings that are connected and surrounded
24 by walls and the lower part of each of the houses is built of stone, is
25 that a kulla?
1 A. A kulla is more than just a building of which the lower part is
2 built of stone. The entire building is monumental, it's usually two,
3 sometimes three storeys high. The top storey is usually elaborately
4 finished. It's usually at the corner of the building and it is known as
5 the guest-room, which is where major occasions, family occasions take
6 place. It is easily distinguishable from any other kind of house.
7 Q. Okay. And then finally there's just a vocabulary item I want to
8 clear up with you in the transcript, if I can find the reference. I think
9 the first one at is at page 5597 from yesterday. And you were discussing
10 with Mr. Ivetic kullas and whether or not they were -- could be used as
11 defensive structures. And your answer -- you described how someone had
12 reported to you fleeing and seeing the kulla destroyed by a hand-held
13 device firing a flammable into it. You say: "So in a -- it's transcribed
14 so in a lead-out in late 20th century warfare they had absolutely no
15 utility." I thought I heard you say "redoubt."
16 A. Neither. I have -- oh, as a redoubt.
17 Q. And on page 5598, you also said that they would make very poor
18 lead-outs, I assume again that was redoubts in the sense of a
19 fortification of some kind?
20 A. Yes.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think we got the spelling right yet. Mr.
22 Riedlmayer, I think it should be r-e-d-o-u-b-t. It's obviously a word
23 with which the transcribers are not familiar, but it was used several
24 times in yesterday's evidence.
25 MR. HANNIS: Those were the two that I had noted yesterday when I
1 was taking notes. If there are more, I would propose that we make those
2 corrections as well.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Would the speakers please pause between
4 questions and answers. The interpreters cannot follow you.
5 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. I'll try to slow down, and actually I'll
6 stop. I have no more questions.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe we are
9 entitled to put some additional questions, and I may have only a couple.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: In respect of what, Mr. Bakrac?
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Regarding Gracanica and some
12 additional information we have concerning the restoration works and
13 fissures, and there is another piece of information concerning Mr.
14 Riedlmayer's findings in those places he actually did not visit but rather
15 made his conclusions based on photographs. So these are the only two
16 questions I have.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the second matter has been explored
18 adequately, has it not? What do you want to raise in relation to the
19 photographs and the use of photographs as a tool in assessing damage?
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we heard today that the
21 damage, or rather, the assessment of the damage based on photographs, as
22 said by himself, by the witness, were incorrect. They were made to appear
23 less significant than the actual damage. I believe this was at the very
24 outset of the re-direct today.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: All he said was he gave the benefit of the doubt by
1 choosing the lesser rather than the higher form of damage, if there was
2 any doubt in his mind about which it was. You want to challenge that, do
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I wanted to ask
5 this: Whether this was done precisely because a photograph can not be
6 considered a reliable source to assess any type of damage.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: You've had adequate opportunity to explore the
8 issue of the use of photographs as a tool for evaluation of damage, but I
9 will allow you to ask further questions about Gracanica in view of the
10 more detailed exploration of the matter that has been carried out in the
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I have only one question regarding
14 Further cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Riedlmayer, you told us just now that you
16 examined Gracanica personally. Is that correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. It's also correct, I assume, that once you carried out that
19 examination, you saw cracks in the walls. Is that correct?
20 A. I saw old -- what appeared to be old plastered-over cracks.
21 Q. Can you assess the age of the cracks, how old are they?
22 A. All I can say is that the plaster did not appear to be fresh. It
23 had a patina of dirt on it. So I assume that it had not been applied in
24 the immediate recent past. As you know, churches have candles and other
25 activities in them that generate some amount of smoke and other particles,
1 which then settle on the walls.
2 Q. Did you have any pre-war photographs, such as in other cases where
3 you carried out assessments? Did you have pre-war photographs of these
4 places so as to be able to compare? When I say "these places," I mean the
5 parts on which you spotted cracks.
6 A. Yes. Some of the books I mentioned which were published in the
7 late 1990s, just before the war, and thus I assume showed the state of the
8 buildings immediately prior to the war. I'm referring to books like Mr.
9 Subotic's book on the Art of Kosovo.
10 Q. In that book, specifically concerning Gracanica, did you notice a
11 pre-war photograph depicting details of the cracks you subsequently saw
12 when you carried out your personal check-up of the place, so as to be able
13 to compare?
14 A. I saw the photographs of the interior. They showed the same
15 plastered-over cracks that I saw during my visit. What I was telling the
16 Court earlier is that I was not able to take comparative photographs
17 myself because photography was not permitted. But what I saw during my
18 visit corresponded to what I had seen in Mr. Subotic's book.
19 Q. Therefore, you claim that what you saw in Mr. Subotic's book
20 compared to the cracks, that they -- that the book shows the very same
21 cracks you saw there?
22 A. That is my conclusion, yes.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Riedlmayer. I have no more questions.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Well, there's one Byzantinian monument on the St.
2 Sofia which has been adopted by plural religions to be a worship place and
3 it still exists, mosque and the church. Now, would this and the question
4 Mr. Bakrac had asked earlier, whether the people respected the Ottoman
5 heritage as their heritage, did you spot any such places in Sofia in your
6 sojourn to this area and where you found in respect of both coming up and
7 whether such monuments or a monument was kept intact or destroyed by any
8 of the ethnic groups? I'm grateful.
9 A. Your question is a little hard to answer because there is nothing
10 quite the equivalent in Kosovo to Ija Sofia which at various points was a
11 church, then a mosque, and now a museum. The closest, perhaps, is the
12 church of the Virgini Leviska in Prizren, which was built in the last
13 century before the Ottoman conquest. After the Ottoman conquest, as the
14 principal cathedral church in town, it was converted into a mosque. And
15 then following the conquest of Kosovo by the Serbian kingdom in 1912, it
16 was turned back into a church and is a World Heritage Site.
17 At the time I visited in 1999, it had not been touched, either by
18 the NATO bombing or by the local Albanians. Subsequently in 2004, there
19 were riots and it suffered damage, unfortunately. There were many places
20 in Kosovo that were revered by both Muslim Albanians and by Serbs, and I
21 think part of the tragedy of the events of 1998/1999 is that this kind of
22 co-existence was shattered and may not be possible for a long time again.
23 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, do you wish now to complete your
1 MR. IVETIC: Sure, Your Honour. I don't know if we need the
3 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I just want to be clear. That's what we can
4 now proceed to do.
5 MR. IVETIC: Yes, yes.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Riedlmayer, that completes your evidence.
7 Thank you for coming again to the Tribunal for giving it and for spending
8 an extra day with us and you're now free to leave.
9 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
12 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 As I had previously advised the Court, and I think it's now
14 clearer from the -- from having gone through all the various extracts from
15 this study, is that there are a multitude of extracts that are not based
16 upon anything that this witness saw that are based upon what he was told,
17 particularly with respect to how damage occurred by other entities,
18 including this Sabri Bajgora of the Islamic community and the IMG
19 database, of which we don't know how the Bajgora group collected the
20 information, whether they in fact based it upon interviews with persons,
21 whether the persons they interviewed were eye-witnesses or not, et cetera.
22 This is the same type of defective second- third- and fourth-hand
23 information that Your Honours have previously stricken from the evidence.
24 For the sake of clarity, according to my notes, the following exhibits are
25 ones that are based entirely on this second-hand information from the
1 Bajgora group and the IMG database with the caveat that, of course, we've
2 heard that the IMG database has nothing about how damage occurred. So
3 essentially, it boils down to information from the Bajgora group as to how
4 damage occurred and that's Exhibits P1773, P1774, P1775, P1776, P1777,
5 P1778 --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I think you could speed this up by telling us
7 between what numbers and going to the ones that are exceptional.
8 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honour, the next two are not on my list
9 for the Bajgora group. The next two are ones that were apparently based
10 only on news where there are no informant information listed for persons
11 that may have been talked with and which Your Honours have already said
12 you will not rely upon in great detail. It all boils down to the fact, as
13 far as I understand it, the only sites where this witness visited and
14 actually spoke with persons personally and recorded the persons he spoke
15 with and what they said, the only ones that would not fall under the
16 objection would be P1781, P1782, P1783 and I've got listed P1788 with a
17 question mark. I think, from my recollection of the testimony, the
18 witness was in Vucitrn municipality and in Djakovica municipality of
19 the -- of the sites that are relevant to the indictment. And therefore I
20 would submit that for the reasons that we have previously identified,
21 namely the lack of probative value, the questions as to credibility and
22 problems with accepting such second- and third-hand information from
23 unknown sources as written evidence that goes towards the acts and
24 conducts alleged against either the accused or alleged subordinates of the
25 accused, violates the Rules of the Tribunal with respect to evidence and
1 we would ask that those exhibits either be stricken in their entirety or,
2 perhaps, be -- have the part that deals with how the damage was said to
3 have occurred stricken or redacted. I think that would perhaps be the
4 more conservative approach, and so that's why I give Your Honours both
5 options and leave it for the Court to decide.
6 And I think that's pretty much all I have on that score.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
8 Mr. Hannis.
9 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we certainly object to the request that
10 the exhibits in the entirety be stricken. I think that's throwing the
11 baby out with the bath water. And I don't think it gives Your Honours
12 enough credit to be able to assess little or no weight to that as hearsay.
13 I make the argument I made earlier, I think it's premature to take that
14 step until you've heard all the evidence in this case. And until you've
15 heard all the evidence about a particular site or an event, those
16 statements that Mr. Riedlmayer heard or recorded in his report should be
17 available [Realtime transcript read in error "entitled"] to everybody. I
18 see the transcript ends with me saying "available" to everybody, I meant
19 to say "entitled."
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I had one other question about exhibits, Mr.
21 Hannis. There is a CD of the IMG database, but that is not an exhibit.
22 Is that correct?
23 MR. HANNIS: We had not tendered that, Your Honour. It is
24 available from Mr. Riedlmayer.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we're satisfied that all of the exhibits
2 challenged are admissible, and they are admissible in their entirety.
3 Each one has relevance to Count 5, apart from certain other elements of
4 other counts in the indictment. Parts of them may be given ultimately no
5 weight at all. But even to understand the basis -- to properly understand
6 the basis for the witness's conclusions, one has to have available all the
7 information that he had. Indeed, it may be relevant to deciding to reject
8 a conclusion that he has reached, that he based it on very weak hearsay,
9 to which we would give no weight.
10 So it would be an artificial exercise to pick our way through
11 these exhibits and, as it were, fillet them of material which is of a
12 particular type of hearsay. So we shall neither strike any of the
13 exhibits or redact parts of them, but we will take a very cautious
14 approach to the hearsay content of these when we come eventually to
15 evaluate the various submissions made by the parties about the evidence of
16 this witness.
17 That takes us to the next witness, Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. Before we move to him,
19 I did want to indicate that of the book by Gojko Subotic, it is listed in
20 the bibliography that appears in the Exhibit 1550, related to the
21 patriarch. It is a book that was published in 1998 called, The Art of
22 Kosovo. And that's for the benefit of the Defence counsel in the court.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
24 MR. HANNIS: Ms. Moeller has the next witness.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Moeller.
1 MS. MOELLER: The next witness, Your Honours, is Sabri Popaj, and
2 he's taking us back to the municipality of Orahovac/Rahovec and
3 specifically to the killing charge contained in paragraphs 75(b), Bela
4 Crkva, Schedule B, but also paragraphs 72(a), 72(a)(i), 25 to 32, and the
5 Prosecution charges in paragraphs 77(a), (b), and (d).
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, this witness is presented under Rule 92 ter.
7 Is that correct?
8 [The witness entered court]
9 MS. MOELLER: This witness was originally a live witness, but we
10 decided to tender his statement and will lead just a short bit in live.
11 He will be very helpful in pointing out the locations where the killings
12 occurred on some photographs, mainly.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Popaj.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please now make the solemn declaration to
16 tell the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be placed
17 before you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
21 Mr. Popaj, we have before us a lengthy statement, which you gave
22 to the Prosecution in June 1999, and we also have some corrections you
23 made to it in the year 2002. In addition, we have certain diagrams that
24 you were responsible for, so we have a lot of material. We've read that
25 material, so we are familiar with the evidence that you are able to give
1 the Tribunal. The purpose of having you here is so that the lawyers
2 representing the Prosecution and the various accused can ask you questions
3 they wish to ask, to clarify things; perhaps to add to the information to
4 some extent, and also to challenge what you've said.
5 To make best use of your presence, it's important to concentrate
6 on the particular questions that counsel raise. We don't need to go over,
7 again, the material you've given us; we already have that. So it would
8 help us greatly if you can concentrate your mind on the particular
9 questions and the particular issues raised in the questions, so we can get
10 as much information as possible, as much extra information as possible
11 from you today.
12 The first person to ask you questions of you will be for the
13 Prosecution, Ms. Moeller.
14 Ms. Moeller.
15 MS. MOELLER: Thank you, Your Honours. Before I start with the
16 witness, I would like to point out that in the witness notification we put
17 in a footnote, saying that the 65 ter summary of the witness that was
18 filed with pre-trial brief was incomplete, and it was lacking. Exactly,
19 the one paragraph is evidence is mainly about, and I investigated this in
20 the team. And there is frankly no explanation how this one paragraph
21 could have disappeared from the version that was filed this year. This
22 one paragraph, which is in -- which is in the 65 ter summary that we filed
23 with the notification was, however, in the initial pre-trial brief that we
24 filed in the original case against the three accused. And we herewith
25 apply for leave to add back this paragraph which goes to the very heart of
1 evidence of this witness, and I'm very embarrassed to have to do that,
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I am sorry it's a problem I was not aware of.
4 I don't see anyone leaping to their feet to give you a hard time on this,
5 so we will grant your application.
6 MS. MOELLER: Thank you, that's appreciated very much.
7 WITNESS: SABRI POPAJ
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Examination by Ms. Moeller:
10 Q. Good morning, Mr. Popaj. Could you please tell the Judges your
11 full name for the record.
12 A. Sabri Popaj.
13 Q. And where are you from, Mr. Popaj?
14 A. I am from Bellacerka.
15 Q. Are you married?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And do you have children?
18 A. I had two. Now I have two.
19 Q. Mr. Popaj, I see on the transcript it says "I had two. Now I have
20 two." Is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Okay.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we know that that can't be quite correct in
24 our understanding of it. So please lead the witness to clarify that, Ms.
1 MS. MOELLER: Yes.
2 Q. Mr. Popaj, two of your sons died at some point in 1999, did they?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. And now you have two other sons?
5 A. One daughter and one son.
6 Q. And they are still alive?
7 A. Yes. One was born in the year 2000, while my son was born in
9 Q. Thank you. Sir, did you give a statement to the Prosecution in
10 June 1999?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And did you make some corrections in another short statement in
13 June 2002 before you testified in the Milosevic trial?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And when you came here this week, did you have the opportunity to
16 read through your statement and the addendum statement?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And when you did so, did you tell us about two changes that you
19 wanted to notify us of, one relating to the addendum and one relating to
20 your statement? And I will address these issues directly so you know what
21 I'm referring to. In the addendum, did you tell us that the name of the
22 surviving 2-year-old child was not correctly set out in the addendum?
23 A. Yes, he was from somewhere else. He was not my son; he was
24 somebody else's son. My sons were called Shendet and Agon.
25 Q. Yes, I think my question was not clear. In the addendum you
1 referred to a 2-year-old boy of the families of Zhuniqi that survived the
2 killing of this family and you corrected his name I think. Could you tell
3 us the correct name, his first name?
4 A. Yes, it was Zhuniqi. He was from the family of Arsim Zhuniqi and
5 he survived.
6 Q. And his first name was?
7 A. Skodran Zhuniqi.
8 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, this is the addendum. This is under
9 additions 1.
10 Q. And the other aspect you pointed out to us when you read through
11 your statement relates to the blowing up of the mosques in Celine, Bela
12 Crkva, and Rogovo that you say.
13 MS. MOELLER: This is page 11, Your Honours.
14 Q. Can you explain when you explain to us, when were these three
15 mosques blown up?
16 A. The mosques were blown up on the 28th of March, 1999.
17 Q. And what specific day was that?
18 A. It was Bajram.
19 Q. And were all three mosques blown up on the same day or on
20 different days?
21 A. On the same day.
22 Q. And which one was blown up first?
23 A. The first one was the Celine one, then Bellacerka, and then I saw
24 the Rogovo one.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Popaj, with these corrections that we have
1 now on the record, do you attest that your statements accurately reflect
2 your evidence; and if you testified today, would you give the same
4 A. Yes, everything I said. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, I would like to tender Exhibit P2446
7 containing both statements.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 MS. MOELLER: That's the 92 bis package.
10 Could we call up Exhibit P93, page 6, please.
11 Q. Sir, I'm now calling up a picture, an aerial picture, and I would
12 like you to point out some locations on this picture to the Honourable
13 Judges. Can you see the picture on the screen?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay.
16 MS. MOELLER: Could the usher assist the witness.
17 Q. Mr. Popaj, can you mark your houses on this picture.
18 A. Yes. My houses are here. I now live in this one. This one is
19 also mine, this one as well, and these two here.
20 Q. Mm-hmm.
21 A. This is the cow-shed.
22 Q. Okay. And in your statement --
23 MS. MOELLER: It is page 3, Your Honours.
24 Q. -- you are saying that on the 25th of March five tanks entered
25 your village. Could you make crosses where these tanks were positioned in
1 our village that morning.
2 A. On the 25th, the tanks came from this road here. This is the road
3 from Xerxe to Rahovec. And two got into the schoolyard, while the other
4 three came towards the mosque, close to the mosque. It's the road that
5 leads towards Celine, towards the hills Brestovc, Hoca e Vogel. So they
6 were positioned here.
7 Q. Sir, I'm sorry, you have to mark it -- to draw it on the screen,
8 otherwise we cannot see it. Can you make a cross where the schoolyard is
9 that you just referred to.
10 A. Yes, I will mark it now.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. Okay. And how many tanks were there?
14 A. Two tanks were there.
15 MS. MOELLER: May the record --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: So that's the area that's circled on the right-hand
17 side of the map.
18 MS. MOELLER: Thank you. Yes.
19 Q. Now, the mosque, could you also draw a line around the mosque
20 where the other tanks were, as I understand you saying.
21 A. They did not stop at the mosque, but they moved on in this
23 MS. MOELLER: Can the record reflect that on the left-hand side
24 the witness draw a line along the street which goes above the mosque.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
1 MS. MOELLER: Thank you.
2 Q. And do you know where the tanks went to after they went your
3 village, where they took positions?
4 A. These tanks went above the Celine village towards Nagavc, up on a
5 hill there.
6 Q. And in your statement you also say that already a week before the
7 24th or 25th of March some troops came into your village of Bela Crkva.
8 Which kind of uniforms, which colour of uniforms, did these troops wear?
9 A. They had light blue police uniforms and also camouflage, army,
10 uniforms. They were positioned above the village. It was above the house
11 of Naim Fetoshi.
12 Q. And the house of Naim Fetoshi, would you be able to see it on this
13 picture or would it be outside of this --
14 A. No.
15 Q. That is outside of this perimeter?
16 A. Yes, you cannot see it here; it's outside this photograph.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. The troops that came a week before the 24th of
18 March, which kind of vehicles did they have, if any?
19 A. They had APCs and trucks, and they were positioned there and they
20 began digging trenches there and they also put some -- a couple of
21 anti-aircraft guns there. Then they took Naim Fetoshi's house. Naim
22 Fetoshi had to leave his house with 38 members of his family. They came
23 from their house to my house, and they were sheltered at this house here,
24 my house.
25 Q. Mm-hmm. Thank you. Now, on the 25th of March, the day on which
1 the events that we want to talk about today occurred, you went back -- you
2 left your house, but you also went back into the village several times
3 during that day. And you refer in your statement to seeing that houses
4 were set on fire and that there was looting going on.
5 MS. MOELLER: This is pages 3 and 6 of the statement, Your
7 Q. How did the people look? What kind of clothes did they wear, who
8 were setting the houses on fire and looting these houses?
9 A. On the 25th of March, in the morning, my family and all the people
10 in the vicinity of the stream were leaving their houses. In the evening I
11 returned; it was after the massacre happened in the stream of Bellacerka.
12 Q. Did you see any of the people who were setting the village on
14 A. The village began to be set on fire in the morning, at 5.00 in the
15 morning, on the 25th.
16 Q. And did the people who set the village on fire wear any uniforms;
17 and if so, which colour uniforms?
18 A. Yes. On the 25th they had police uniforms, the ones that were
19 setting the house on fire.
20 Q. And what do you mean by police uniform? What colour would they
22 A. It was light blue. It was not dark blue, like the army.
23 Q. Okay. Sir, can you, on this picture, now also show and draw a
24 line along the Belaja River along which some of the killings occurred.
25 A. Yes, yes. The first group was from Clirim Zhuniqi's family --
1 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you. Can you make a line along the Belaja
2 river first, and we'll talk about the killings, step by step.
3 A. Yes, okay.
4 Q. Yes.
5 MS. MOELLER: May the record reflect that the witness made a red
6 line along the Belaja river, starting from his house going to the top of
7 the picture.
8 Q. Now, sir, in your statement you refer to two families that you
9 helped crossing this Belaja stream and were then shot. Can you indicate
10 the location where this killing occurred, and can you put a 1, number 1,
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. Thank you. And in your statement you also say that you observed
14 this from a location not far away. Can you put a cross approximately
15 where you were when you observed this shooting?
16 A. Yes. There was a pylon here, an electricity pylon, right here.
17 Q. And how far away was that, approximately, from the group of the
18 two families, the Zhuniqi and the Spahiu families?
19 A. 120 metres.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MS. MOELLER: May the record reflect that the cross, in the right
22 upper corner of this photo, was the location where the witness was
23 observing the killing of the two families from.
24 Q. Sir, when you saw these two families being killed, did you already
25 use your binoculars there, or did you see it with your eyes?
1 A. I did not use the binoculars here; I saw them with my own eyes.
2 When I left this area, this is where Halim Fetoshi was killed. And to see
3 that I used burglars. This is where Halim Fetoshi was killed; he was born
4 in 1932.
5 Q. And you saw him being killed from the same location that you saw
6 the Spahiu and the Zhuniqi family being killed? You were in the same
7 position then when you saw that?
8 A. Yes. Yes, the same position.
9 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, for the clarity of the record, this
10 particular killing is not a victim listed in Schedule B, just to make it
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there a reason for that?
13 MS. MOELLER: No, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it not the case that there may be other
15 identified victims here who are not mentioned in Schedule B.
16 MS. MOELLER: Yes, indeed, all of our schedules list the ones that
17 we were aware of at the time.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you think it might be appropriate to revise
19 these schedules, either in light of evidence that's been led or in light
20 of evidence that may be led --
21 MS. MOELLER: Yes.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: -- So that we have a clear indication of the
23 complete allegations.
24 MS. MOELLER: Yes, we will look into that, Your Honours. Thank
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 MS. MOELLER:
3 Q. Now, in your statement you referred to policemen who shot these
4 two families, which included children and women. How did these policemen
5 look? What kind of uniform did they wear?
6 A. On my side there were 12 policemen. I don't know how many there
7 were across the river. They had camouflage uniforms. There were others
8 who were wearing bandannas on their heads.
9 Q. And the camouflage uniform, which colour camouflage was it?
10 A. It was the colour you see in the photograph, but it was lighter
11 than this.
12 Q. I'm sorry, I'm not all clear. Could you say the colour.
13 A. It was green, and it was light.
14 Q. Okay. And just one more question regarding the colours. What
15 colour is the curtain behind the Judges, if I may ask you? I know it
16 sounds stupid now.
17 A. I call it green.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you.
19 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, we will address that soon. It has to
20 do with local dialects, and it occurred now for several times with several
21 witnesses already; that there is some question about colours, and we will
22 get an opinion from the translation service I think from the interpreters.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this a suitable time to interrupt?
24 MS. MOELLER: Yes, it would be, Your Honour. Thank you.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Popaj, we require to have a break at this time
1 for 20 minutes. The usher will show you where you can wait while we have
2 the break. So can you now please leave the courtroom with the usher.
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 [The witness stands down].
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Moeller, I'm told that we should take a picture
6 of this now, in case we lose it.
7 MS. MOELLER: Yes, I was just reminded by my case manager as well,
8 Your Honour. Thank you.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC91, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. We will resume at ten to 11.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Moeller.
15 MS. MOELLER: Thank you.
16 Could we call IC91 up again, please, because I would like to
17 continue with this one. Yes. Thank you.
18 Q. Mr. Popaj, before we took the break, we had already talked about
19 the shooting of the two families and the older man at the Belaja stream.
20 Now I would like to talk with you about the killing of the big group of
21 men that you observed. First of all, can you mark on this picture, if you
22 can see it, where the railway track crosses the Belaja River and draw a
23 line along there.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MS. MOELLER: May the record reflect that the line parallel to the
2 main street in the village, in the upper part of the photograph, reflects
3 the railway tracks crossing the river.
4 Q. And the shooting of the more than 40 men that you saw that
5 occurred at this crossing of the railway tracks and the Belaja River. Is
6 that correct?
7 A. Yes. Exactly at the crossing.
8 Q. Okay. Can you put --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Should that be 14 men?
10 MS. MOELLER: 40, 4-0.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 MS. MOELLER:
13 Q. Could you put a number 2 close to this crossing on this picture,
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. Thank you. And before we talk about the details of this
17 particular killing, I also want to ask you: After this killing, you heard
18 further shooting. And according to your statement, later on you went to
19 the site where you heard the shots, and you found some more bodies, bodies
20 of six men laying at the site. Can you also indicate where this group --
21 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour.
22 MS. MOELLER: I'm sorry, Mr. Lukic is on his feet.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: I know that we have some of these things in his
25 statement, but our humble opinion is that when we are in a substantive
1 area of his statement, he should be asked open questions by the
2 Prosecutor, not to be led.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I can't say I fully understand that
4 objection, because the witness has already said today that he testifies
5 that this is his evidence in the statement. And all that Ms. Moeller is
6 doing is building on a particular piece of that evidence. There doesn't
7 seem to me to be anything wrong with that.
8 MR. LUKIC: Okay. Thank you.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Carry on, Ms. Moeller.
10 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, maybe I can accommodate that. I just
11 want to have the map complete, and then I will ask some more open,
12 specific questions about what the witness saw and heard himself.
13 Q. Going back to that --
14 MS. MOELLER: And it's page 4, the second-last paragraph of the
15 witness's statement that refers to this third group of men.
16 Q. The area where you heard the shooting from, approximately five
17 minutes, according to your statement, after the shooting of the bigger
18 group of men, where did you find the six bodies, if you can put a number 3
19 on this photo, approximately, where the location is.
20 A. I cannot see it very well here because I went a little bit lower
21 with the red line. But I'll put number 6 here. This photograph was taken
22 after the year 2000; probably in 2002 or 2003.
23 Q. Thank you. The location that you just marked, was it along the
24 railway tracks; and if so, in which direction, please?
25 A. No, it was on this side of the railway track. There is a water
1 canal that goes to Celine here.
2 Q. And how far away, approximately, was it from the Belaja bridge
3 where the other killing occurred, in metres, if you know?
4 A. It's 85 metres from the place where the larger group was killed;
5 that's where the six bodies were.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MS. MOELLER: May the record reflect that the site of the third
8 killing that the witness marked is on the left-hand side, below the line
9 that he marked as the railway tracks.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Moeller, where, in the statement, is that
12 MS. MOELLER: It is on page 4, the second-last paragraph I noted.
13 Yes. It refers to hearing more automatic gun-fire; and then on page 7,
14 the bottom paragraph, and page 8, the first paragraph, he sets out the
15 names of these six men that he found there, later on.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm still ...
17 MS. MOELLER: I can clarify that also with the witness, Your
18 Honours, because I think he only heard the shooting and found the bodies
20 JUDGE BONOMY: No, it's the total. But I see how it's made up
21 now. It's two of his uncle's sons plus four other people; is that right?
22 MS. MOELLER: Exactly.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 MS. MOELLER:
25 Q. Now I would like to go into some details about the killing of the
1 big group of men at the Belaja bridge. When you saw the men being
2 assembled, as you say in your statement, were you still in the location
3 that you marked on this map, or were you somewhere else?
4 A. I was close to the railway track.
5 Q. So you were in the position where you just put the red dot on this
6 mark -- on this --
7 A. Yes, the red dot.
8 Q. Okay. Can you make a circle around this red dot, please, just to
9 mark it clearly.
10 A. I was about 10 metres away from the railway track.
11 Q. Okay. Thank you.
12 MS. MOELLER: May the record reflect that the circle in the upper
13 right-hand corner of the picture is the position the witness was at when
14 he saw the killing of the 40-plus men at the Belaja bridge.
15 Q. How far was that away from the site where the killing occurred,
16 Mr. Popaj?
17 A. Not more than 200 metres, I would say; even less. I didn't
18 measure the distance, but it should be around 200 metres.
19 Q. And while you observed the things that were going on around the
20 Belaja bridge, did you use the binoculars that you had with you or did you
21 only use your eyes?
22 A. I saw them through the binoculars. They were captured on the
23 right side, past the bridge, and then they were taken on this side of the
25 Q. Mm-hmm.
1 MS. MOELLER: Can we take a snap-shot of this photograph, please.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC92, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 MS. MOELLER: And then can we call up Exhibit P93, page 2, please.
5 Q. While the next photograph is coming up, I would like to ask you to
6 clarify something for the Honourable Judges and for us here in the
7 courtroom. In your statement --
8 MS. MOELLER: This is page 4 of the statement, Your Honours.
9 Q. -- you say that you recognised your oldest son, Shendet, being in
10 this group of men that was assembled at the Belaja bridge, but that you
11 only learned later from your wife and your parents that your other son,
12 your two brothers, and your nephew were in the same group. What I would
13 like to clarify with you is what could you actually see, and why could you
14 see Shendet but not the others? If you could explain that to the Judges,
16 A. I saw through the binoculars, when they were brought from this
17 side to this side here. And here, at the telephone pylon/pole, they were
18 assembled there. I was on the other side. When they made them take off
19 their clothes, searched them, and plundered them, they took them then
20 here. And when they executed them, Shendet was here, at this location,
21 and my brother Nesim, while the others were down here.
22 Q. Okay. Can you mark with the pen, if the usher could assist, the
23 way that the group that you just explained walked, just as you showed now
24 with the indications, that we have it on the --
25 A. They stopped them here and they were all turned with their faces
1 towards the river.
2 Q. Can you make a cross where you just ended the line, please.
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. So at this location, the group was assembled, you said, and they
5 were searched?
6 A. They searched them. They had them -- their coats removed,
7 searched their coats, and took everything that they had in their coats.
8 Q. And that you could see through the binoculars, or how did you see
10 A. At this point here, about 40 metres from the bridge was my wife
11 with my parents, father and mother. When they executed them, they had
12 pointed their guns to them and told them to go in the direction of Xerxe.
13 MS. MOELLER: May the record reflect that the cross in the right
14 upper corner of the photograph reflects the position where the witness's
15 wife and parents were positioned.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: It will, Ms. Moeller, but the question wasn't
18 MS. MOELLER: Yes.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: And it would be helpful to have the answer.
20 MS. MOELLER: Yes, I will go back, but I just wanted to put that
21 on the record.
22 Q. Did you, yourself, see the group of men being assembled at this
23 location where you made the cross and being searched, or is that something
24 that your wife and your parents told you?
25 A. No, I saw it with my own eyes. I saw the group with my own eyes.
1 Q. Okay. And --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: The question still hasn't been answered, at least
3 question that you put, which was whether he saw it through the binoculars
5 MS. MOELLER: Yes.
6 Q. Can you answer this question, please, Mr. Popaj. Did you see
7 it -- did you use the binoculars?
8 A. Through the binoculars, that's correct, while with my own eyes 45
9 minutes later, when they were already killed.
10 Q. Okay. I think we have to clear that up. You -- the searching of
11 the group, could you see that yourself through the binoculars?
12 A. Yes. When they searched them here, I could see it through the
13 binoculars. But when they executed them, I couldn't see it because they
14 put them down there. I could only hear the sound of the gunfire.
15 Q. So are we understanding correctly that before they were shot, they
16 were taken down to the edge of the river. So they were lower, and this is
17 why you didn't see the actual shooting, yourself?
18 A. Yes. They took them to the bank of the stream, and I couldn't see
19 it because this side is about three metres tall.
20 Q. And why did you manage to see Shendet shortly? Was he standing in
21 a particular spot?
22 A. I could see Shendet when they were standing by the stream. I
23 don't know if it is in my statement. I saw him only in his shirt,
24 sweater, because he had his coat removed. And when I found him later on,
25 he was in sweater, in a sweater.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: What did you mean, Mr. Popaj, when you say that 45
2 minutes after the shooting, you saw them with your own eyes?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, after 45 minutes the police
4 had already left and moved in the direction of Celine. I went there
5 myself and saw everybody who had been killed.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think that appears from this statement at
7 all. Have I misread it?
8 MS. MOELLER: I think that's what he just clarified.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's what he said, but it's different from
10 the statement. The statement gives the impression that he's told about
11 the identity of the victims at that stage and that he wasn't allowed to go
12 to the place of the execution.
13 MS. MOELLER: No. But it later says, Your Honour, that he went
14 back and he actually personally buried all of them.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, but is that 45 minutes after the event?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I went there 45 minutes after
17 they were executed. Among them, we found eight persons who were still
19 JUDGE BONOMY: All of that --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was only last year that one of
21 them died, a neighbour of mine.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: You see, the statement says he got all that
23 information from somebody else. It casts, again, a question mark over the
24 quality of these statements.
25 MS. MOELLER: I can ask him again, Your Honours.
1 Q. Mr. Popaj, according to your statement, it wasn't you who went
2 back to check on what had happened at the site. But your family didn't
3 want you to return, and it was, rather, your wife that did that. Are you
4 changing this account now or is there a misunderstanding in the statement?
5 A. My wife went to the spot and saw that they were all executed; then
6 she returned. She came to me, and she told me that everybody was
7 executed. Later on we took the body of Feim Popaj, Alban Popaj, Hysni
8 Popaj, and Qamil Zhuniqi and took their bodies to Xerxe.
9 Q. And when you say "we," just to clarify, in your statement you also
10 say that two villagers from Zerze volunteered to return with a tractor and
11 bring these bodies back to Zerze. So was it these two or these two
12 including you, because that would be different from your statement?
13 A. They were together with us. It was Shemsedin Kelmendi and Abaz
14 Kryeziu. They were in the tractor with us and also my aunt Zymrete Popaj
15 and my wife.
16 Q. But you weren't on this tractor, were you?
17 A. I went on foot, not by tractor. I was waiting for them at the
18 railway track.
19 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, it appears that these details are not
20 in the statement, that he himself also went back, but I think that
21 clarifies maybe the discrepancy between his account and the statement to
22 some extent now.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: If this is an accurate account, you have to ask
24 yourself how the statement came to be written the way it was, then
25 checked, then checked again, and still remained like that. It's very
2 MS. MOELLER: I think the -- as I understand the evidence now, the
3 only sentence basically missing is that the witness himself went back
4 after 45 minutes again and had a look at the bodies, and that was
5 apparently not recorded and he didn't mention that in any of the
6 read-backs. I don't think in my submission that it necessarily undermines
7 the reliability of the rest of the statement.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: But what's also missing is that the -- having been
9 to Zerze, returned along with the two who had the tractor and actually
10 were involved in taking the survivors to Zerze.
11 MS. MOELLER: I think that is this one detail that is actually
12 missing, that he went together with the others but on foot before he
13 finally went back and buried all these bodies. It just seems to be not
15 JUDGE BONOMY: It's not my impression that this removal of the
16 bodies took place 45 minutes after the shooting, but if that's what you
17 think he is saying, then you had better clarify it with him. My
18 impression is of two separate occasions when he's now saying that he
19 saw -- first of all, he saw the bodies, and then on a later occasion, he
20 was there to remove the -- the survivor.
21 MS. MOELLER: Okay. Maybe I can clear this up with Mr. Popaj.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I mean, it's not bodies that are being taken in the
23 tractor, it's survivors.
24 MS. MOELLER: Yes, yes, exactly, and that is what I was talking
25 about actually, but I'll clarify that.
1 Q. Mr. Popaj, just to get some chronology into the events, after --
2 can you listen to my question. I'm sorry. After this shooting occurred,
3 what did you do then? What did you do next? And I'm talking about the
4 Belaje bridge incident.
5 A. When the incident occurred, I heard the screams of my mother and
6 my wife, who saw the execution, and after that I went to them. Together
7 we went to Xerxe. Abaz Kryeziu, Shemsedin Kelmendi, they came with a
8 tractor. It was also my aunt, my wife, and my mother. We heard Isuf
9 Zhuniqi screaming. When we came to this location, we found eight
10 survivors beneath the bodies. The persons who had survived the execution,
11 we took them in a tractor to Xerxe.
12 Q. And how much time had passed between the massacre and this group
13 going with the tractor to pick up the survivors, approximately?
14 A. It was very soon after because Abaz's house is very close to the
15 Belaje bridge. It's on the opposite side, 500 metres away. We went to
16 Abaz Kryeziu's house.
17 Q. So when you say you went back after 45 minutes, is that the event
18 that you referred to, when you went back together with the people on the
19 tractor to gather the survivors?
20 A. Yes, the people who survived. We took them. It was about 45
21 minutes later; it was not more than that.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, I think that clarifies it as --
24 sufficiently hopefully.
25 I would like to play a very short video. It is a video that was
1 taken -- oh, yes, maybe can we first take a snap-shot of this picture,
3 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC93, Your Honours.
4 MR. VISNJIC: Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if the video-clip that
7 was intended by the OTP to be shown here, if this is V0002468, in that
8 case I have an objection to make. We viewed the footage and it was taken
9 by someone unknown to us. The comments that can be heard are actually a
10 testimony of someone testifying as to the events. That person is talking
11 about things that were not even mentioned by the witnesses called here by
12 the OTP. Then that person describes it in a way the witnesses did not,
13 providing some additional information, from which I gathered that that
14 person was some sort of a weapons expert. That was my impression
15 regarding the comment accompanying the footage. I spoke to my learned
16 friend Ms. Moeller yesterday and she said she was going to show only a
17 portion of it, although I don't know which portion.
18 First of all, we object to the entire footage. Second of all, if
19 they wanted to show a portion of it, they could have made an excerpt
20 without any voice-over because what can be heard on the footage is
21 something that is even beyond what the OTP at a certain moment asserts.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Moeller.
23 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, indeed I talked to my learned
24 colleague Mr. Visnjic yesterday, and what I intend to show is a very small
25 excerpt of this video, which we otherwise we do not intend to tender at
1 all. And it's purely showing the location of the Belaje bridge and this
2 part of the river where the shooting occurred. And the reason why I want
3 to show it is it was taken by investigator Garry Selsky exactly one year
4 after the shooting occurred at the same time of the year, so it depicts
5 very well how the area looked and how open it was to see in. And it's
6 only for the witness, really, to identify this location as the location
7 that -- where the massacre took place. I'm not even sure that there is
8 any talking in this small clip of the video that we show. I don't think
9 so. But if there is, we do not rely on the narrative at all. It is
10 really just depicting the location.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what you should do is compile a still from
12 the video and submit it with a brief statement confirming its
13 authenticity. I mean, there's no need for us to see this. As far as this
14 witness is concerned, are there questions you are wanting to ask him?
15 MS. MOELLER: Yeah, I just wanted to ask him whether this is how
16 the Belaje river side, where the killing occurred, looked at the time the
17 massacre occurred. Because as the witness already noted in his evidence,
18 the pictures we looked at earlier were taken in summertime, later, so it
19 was a different scene, actually, in terms of vegetation. And we tried
20 take stills from some videos in other cases. Unfortunately, due to the
21 bad quality of the stills, it doesn't work technically. But if there is a
22 big problem with that -- I don't insist on showing it, I just thought it
23 would be helpful to give an impression of the site --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, do you know if there's any sound on it or
25 not? Because if there's no sound, then there's no problem.
1 MS. MOELLER: I think if there is any sound, it's saying this is
2 the Belaje bridge.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, very well. We -- we will allow it to be
4 shown in that case, since you wish to ask a question. It will be the
5 briefest possible part of it to show just the condition of the
6 countryside, and I, for my part, will take my earphones off while it's
7 being played just in case anything is said, but we will ignore anything
8 that's said.
9 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. I'm told that the volume can be muted.
11 MS. MOELLER: That would be perfect, Your Honours. Thank you.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MS. MOELLER:
14 Q. Mr. Popaj, can you look at this video, please.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Would that be similar to how the place looked where the killing
17 occurred on 25 March 1999?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And do you recognise this bridge?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. Is that the Belaje bridge where --
22 A. Yes, the Belaje bridge. It's the same one, yes.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, as I say, Ms. Moeller, what you should do is
25 prepare a still, and it should be submitted just confirming what that is.
1 There's no need for this to be exhibited, and that removes any doubt in
2 anyone's mind that attention's being paid to the wrong sort of material.
3 MS. MOELLER: We'll try, Your Honours, but the technical
4 possibilities are limited. It may be of a very bad quality, but we'll do
5 our best to provide that.
6 Q. Mr. Popaj, in your statement you speak about helping with the
7 burial of the victims of these three killing sites. To start with, the
8 big group of men killed at the Belaje bridge.
9 MS. MOELLER: And if we could go back to Exhibit P93, page 2,
11 Q. Did you bury the victims who were killed there?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And in your statement, did you set out all the names of the
14 victims and even for a large part of them the order in which you buried
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 MS. MOELLER: Can we go to page 2 of this exhibit, please. Okay.
18 Q. Mr. Popaj, do you see on this picture the site where you buried
19 the victims?
20 A. Yes.
21 MS. MOELLER: And can the usher assist with a pen, please.
22 Q. Could you make a circle around the area where you buried them.
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. What is the second little box that you made on the right-hand
25 side? Can you explain that?
1 A. This is where Isuf Popaj and Mehmet Popaj were buried; it was
2 father and son.
3 Q. And the other victims were buried where you made the big square?
4 A. Yes, the other. The big square.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MS. MOELLER: Can we take an IC picture, please, of that.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Is that will be IC94, Your Honours.
8 MS. MOELLER:
9 Q. And did you also bury the members of the Zhuniqi and the Spahiu
10 families, who were killed a little bit further down along the Belaje
11 bridge -- the Belaje river, excuse me?
12 A. Yes, I was there when they were buried.
13 Q. And were they -- where were they buried? Was it also close to the
14 stream, or somewhere else?
15 A. It was close to the stream. It was at the place they were
16 executed. It was higher up.
17 Q. And the group of the six men who you found along the railway track
18 towards the direction of Celine, did you also help burying them?
19 A. They were killed here.
20 MS. MOELLER: May the record reflect that the witness marked in
21 the left-hand upper corner of this picture the spot where the group of six
22 men was killed. Thank you.
23 Q. And were they buried close to this, in this vicinity?
24 A. Close to this tree here; that's where they were buried.
25 MS. MOELLER: Can we take another IC shot, please.
1 Q. Mr. Popaj, how many relatives of you were killed at the Belaje
3 A. Two of my uncle's sons were killed here; while, altogether, 22
4 were killed. There was cousins, my sons, my uncle's sons.
5 MS. MOELLER: Can we call up Exhibit P94, page 1, please.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: The registrar may wish to give us an IC number for
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC95, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 MS. MOELLER:
11 Q. Mr. Popaj, is that your son that you see on the screen now?
12 Sorry, it's not up yet.
13 A. Yes, my younger son, Agon.
14 Q. How old was he when he was killed?
15 A. He was not 14 yet. On the 31st of March was his birthday. He
16 would be 14 on the 31st of March.
17 MS. MOELLER: Can we go to page 13, please.
18 Q. Is that your other son, Mr. Popaj?
19 A. Yes, Shendet.
20 Q. And how old was he when he was killed?
21 A. 17, 17 years old.
22 Q. And you also lost two brothers, did you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What was your brothers' professions?
25 A. Nazmi was an agronomist, while Nesim was a doctor, urologist.
1 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, the brothers are preferred in
2 paragraph 75(b) of the indictment, and his nephew as well.
3 Q. And how old were your brothers when they died?
4 A. Nazmi was born in 1956, while Nesim, 1965.
5 Q. And in your statement you also referred to your nephew, Alban.
6 A. Yes, Alban.
7 Q. And he first was among the survivors that were picked up by the
8 people on the tractor, was he?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And did he later succumb to his injuries?
11 A. The first one to die was Hysni Popaj. It was 6.00 p.m. when he
12 died, while Alban died on the 26th at 1.00 p.m. --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Correction, a.m.
14 MS. MOELLER:
15 Q. And how old was Alban when he died?
16 A. 21 years old. He was born in 1978.
17 Q. Mr. Popaj, when the metropolitan police team arrived in your
18 village in June 1999 and started exhuming the bodies of the victims, were
19 you present?
20 A. Yes, I was present there. I was the first one there.
21 Q. Did you help the metropolitan police find the graves?
22 A. I helped them exhume the bodies, and also when the bodies were
24 Q. And did you also identify a number of bodies to the metropolitan
25 police for their formal exhumation report?
1 A. Yes.
2 MS. MOELLER: Could we call up Exhibit P97, page 3, please. And
3 scroll down, please. Your Honours, this is just for me to point out to
4 you that Mr. Popaj on page 3, 4, and 5 is mentioned as identifying 15 of
5 the deceased in this exhumation report.
6 Q. Mr. Popaj, after these killings occurred you also spent time in
7 Celine between 28 March and I think early May. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes, yes, that's correct.
9 Q. How was the situation in Celine during these days and weeks?
10 A. When I went to Celine, I found out that many people had been
12 Q. Did you observe any destruction in the town itself, destructed
13 houses or other buildings?
14 A. Destroyed houses, people who had been killed, burnt, burnt bodies.
15 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, this is pages 8 to 12 of the statement
16 where he deals with Celine.
17 Q. And while you were in Celine, did you also help bury the bodies of
18 killed people there?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. And approximately, how many bodies did you bury while you were in
22 A. 85 bodies.
23 Q. And from the bodies you buried yourself, was there anyone among
24 them who would wear a KLA uniform or who would have weapons on him or her?
25 A. No, none of them, neither weapons nor uniforms. They were women,
1 children, men -- elderly men. We buried an elderly man who was born in
3 Q. Now, we already clarified some aspects about the mosque in Celine
4 and in two other villages in your area at the beginning of your testimony.
5 MS. MOELLER: Can we call up exhibit P1792, please.
6 Q. In your own village, in Bela Crkva, did you have a mosque?
7 A. Yes, we had the mosque. The new mosque it was called Xhamia e Re.
8 Q. And when was this mosque built?
9 A. In 1997.
10 Q. And do you recognise this picture?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you say what it shows.
13 A. Close to the mosque here there was a shop, and there was also a
14 minaret here 46 metres tall. This is where the minaret was. This
15 photograph has been taken from outside the walls, the surrounding walls of
16 the mosque.
17 Q. So is -- which mosque is that to start with, Mr. Popaj?
18 A. This is the mosque in our village, in Bellacerka.
19 Q. And can you -- can you draw with the pen where the minaret was
20 that you already mentioned.
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. And when was this mosque destroyed in the way that is depicted on
23 this picture, if you know?
24 A. On the 28th of March. It was Bajram day.
25 Q. And how far away were you when the explosion, as you mention in
1 your statement, occurred?
2 A. When the mosque was blown up, I was in the field between Celine
3 and Bellacerka.
4 Q. And Celine and Bela Crkva, how far are they apart, approximately?
5 A. They're very close, about one and a half kilometres. I was in
6 between the two.
7 Q. And in relation to that, where would Rogovo be, how far away was
8 Rogovo from Bela Crkva and Celine?
9 A. It's about 800 metres from the Belaje stream, maybe one kilometre.
10 Q. And if you could explain how could you see the explosion of all
11 three churches, as you say in your correction today?
12 A. We were there at the side of the mountain - that's what we call
13 it - we were together with Nazim Rexhepi, and then we heard the explosion.
14 And then I looked towards my village and the mosque was not there anymore.
15 And then there was another explosion and I said, Well, the mosque in
16 Rogovo is not there anymore. It was at the same time that these
17 detonations were heard.
18 Q. You're saying we were at the side of the mountains. Were you at a
19 higher level overlooking the cities where you saw that; is that what
20 you're saying?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you.
23 MS. MOELLER: Can we call up Exhibit 2445, please.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you wish a photograph of this exhibit first?
25 MS. MOELLER: Oh, yes, sorry. Can we take a snap-shot of this.
1 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC96, Your Honours.
2 MS. MOELLER: I'm sorry, can we call up Exhibit 1800. I had the
3 wrong number, 1800.
4 Q. Mr. Popaj, do you know what this picture shows?
5 A. This picture shows the mosque in Celine.
6 Q. And when you went there after the -- on or after the 28th of March
7 when you say the explosion took place, did it look like that when you
8 first went back?
9 A. Yes, that's what it looked like. Because of the detonation, you
10 could see the carpets and everything else that was inside the mosque.
11 They were blown in another direction, off in another direction.
12 MS. MOELLER: And could we now call up as a last picture Exhibit
13 1806, please.
14 Q. Mr. Popaj, do you recognise this mosque?
15 A. Yes, I do. This is the mosque of Rogovo.
16 Q. And after the 28th of March, when did you first go and have a look
17 at this mosque, if you recall?
18 A. I think it was early April when we went to see this mosque.
19 Q. And did it look similar to that or like that when you first saw
21 A. Well, this is not the full picture of what -- of the destruction
22 because there was a house here on the left, and that was destroyed as
24 Q. Thank you. Now, to go back to the mosque in Celine. In your
25 statement you say --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you move to that. Where was the minaret in
2 this mosque, Mr. Popaj?
3 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: So we are seeing part of it, the remaining part of
5 it in the photograph?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Here is where the minaret was,
7 and to the left of the mosque there was another house used by the mosque.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Take a picture of that, please, may I ask.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC97, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 MS. MOELLER: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Q. Mr. Popaj, the Celine mosque, you described that closely before it
13 detonated -- closely before it exploded, you saw policemen going into the
14 mosque and staying there for I think you say perhaps one hour. Can you
15 describe how these policemen looked, what kind of uniform did they wear?
16 A. When they came that day in Celine, they torched houses as well.
17 They went directly to the mosque. When they left the mosque, they were
18 wearing uniforms in a colour similar to the curtains, camouflaged.
19 Q. And you're referring to the curtains behind the Judges, the
21 A. Yes.
22 MS. MOELLER: May the record reflect that these are blue curtains,
24 Q. And you also say that they arrived in an armoured vehicle. Do you
25 recall how this vehicle looked like, what kind of vehicle was it?
1 A. Yes, an APC.
2 Q. And on this same occasion, you saw these policemen also burying
3 some bodies, did you?
4 A. The APC was a police APC. That, what you mentioned about burying
5 some bodies, the eight bodies that were brought from Rahovec, that
6 occurred later.
7 Q. So that was not on the same day?
8 A. No. They returned again and torched houses when they brought the
9 eight bodies from Rahovec.
10 Q. But you mention in your statement that I understand the day the
11 mosque was dynamited the policemen came with an excavator and started
12 digging two holes in which they would put bodies. Do I understand that
13 correctly or not?
14 A. The event with the mosque, the mosque was blown up before the
15 bodies were brought, the bodies from Rahovec. I wasn't even 100 metres
16 away when they buried these bodies.
17 Q. Okay. My last question, Mr. Popaj: The killing sites at the
18 Belaje river where these massacres occurred, are they still recognisable
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And how?
22 A. I wanted the traces of the execution to remain there. The shoes
23 of my children are still there, hung on the trees. I've put a stone, a
24 rock to the place where the sons are and my cousins and brothers are.
25 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Popaj.
1 MS. MOELLER: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Ms. Moeller, you've abandoned any attempt to
3 clarify page 11, have you?
4 MS. MOELLER: Yes, I have, Your Honour. Do you want me to go into
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I mean, that's your choice, but it -- it's quite
7 inconsistent with what apparently the witness is saying so far as timing
8 is concerned. And, for example, the link between the same personnel
9 involved in the two matters. It may be that these things happened. We
10 have to evaluate that. But who was responsible may be difficult to
11 determine in light of the apparent inconsistency between what's just been
12 said and what's in the statement.
13 MS. MOELLER: I can try and clarify it a little.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it would be helpful.
15 MS. MOELLER: Yes. Thank you, Your Honours.
16 Q. Mr. Popaj, we need to go back to -- to the blowing up of the
17 mosques and to the event when you saw policemen coming into your town with
18 excavator and digging two holes in which they put bodies. Now, in your
19 statement, it reads like that these two events occurred on the same day.
20 Are you now saying it occurred on different occasions?
21 A. When they blew up the mosque in our village - maybe I
22 misunderstood you - they came in our village with the excavator.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. They buried animals in those holes, not humans.
25 Q. So when you were talking about excavators coming later, after the
1 mosque was blown -- were blown up, you were referring to excavators coming
2 into Bela Crkva, not to Celine?
3 A. I apologise. I misunderstood your question. I thought you were
4 mentioning -- referring to Celine. In Bellacerka the excavator was at the
5 yard of Sari Zhuniqi. We thought that they were burying bodies there, but
6 later on it turned out that they were burying animals in those holes. It
7 happened on the same day, the 28th.
8 Q. I think it is still not clear. Let us only talk about Celine at
9 this point --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Why don't you give the witness his statement and
11 ask him to look at the first paragraph on the English page 11.
12 MS. MOELLER: I can certainly do that, Your Honours.
13 Q. Mr. Popaj, it is -- in the English version it is page 11; and it
14 is towards the end of your statement. It should be the second-last page
15 before you sign it, if you could have a look at that.
16 MS. MOELLER: Can the usher maybe assist, the second-last page,
17 page 11 in the English.
18 MR. LUKIC: In Albanian it's page number 14, paragraph number 2.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
20 MS. MOELLER: Thank you.
21 Page 14, paragraph 2, according to Mr. Lukic.
22 Q. Is this paragraph relating to -- starting with saying: "One day
23 during this period, around 1.00 and 2.00 p.m. I saw a green-coloured
24 armoured vehicle arrive ..."
25 A. When they came here in Celine, they came to clear the terrain.
1 Later on, a truck, a Mercedes make, came in Celine. This refers to
3 Q. Yes. And what you say in this paragraph:
4 "That a green-coloured armoured vehicle arrived, that an
5 excavator started digging a hole, that they then moved across the road,
6 that they repeated it, dug another hole on the other side."
7 Did these events occur the same day that the Celine mosque was
8 blown up?
9 A. No. In Celine it happened, it occurred on another day. In
10 Bellacerka it happened on the same day. The cows were taken to the yard
11 of Sari Zhuniqi.
12 Q. Mr. Popaj, could you have another look at your statement, please,
13 at this paragraph, page 14, paragraph 2. Your statement, as we understand
14 it, says that these excavators came into the village before the mosque was
15 blown up; and that it was basically the same people who first dug the two
16 holes and who then drove to the mosque, went into the mosque, and then the
17 mosque exploded. Are you changing this evidence now, or are we just
18 misunderstanding each other here?
19 A. It was on the 28th in Bellacerka, the same day when the mosque was
20 blown up; and in Celine it was on a different day. I mixed up the two.
21 Q. Okay. Do you recall which day you saw these excavators coming
22 into Celine and digging these two holes and putting bodies in there, as
23 you say?
24 A. In Celine it was either on the 12th or the 13th of April when they
25 brought the eight bodies. They brought Sefedin Sahani with his entire
1 family, five-member family; and Hajdar Rexhepi and Sakip Rexhepi as well.
2 Q. And the people who came with the excavator and dug the holes, what
3 colour uniforms did they wear, if any.
4 A. Not all of them were policemen. Some of them were prisoners of
5 war. They were wearing yellow -- what we call a yellow sort of uniform.
6 Q. And the ones that you say were policemen, what did they wear?
7 A. The police was wearing the same uniforms. While those who
8 unloaded the bodies, they were Albanians who had been captured.
9 Q. And by "the same uniforms," what colour uniform do you mean, if
10 you could restate it, please?
11 A. The police was wearing the uniform in the colour of the curtains
12 but camouflage pattern, not single colour.
13 Q. And now to go back to the day the mosque in Celine exploded. You
14 say that the people who went into the mosque shortly before it exploded,
15 they drove to the mosque and stopped close to it. What kind of vehicle
16 did they have?
17 A. It was a Pinzgauer, and there was a second vehicle, an APC.
18 Q. And just to be absolutely clear, the people who went into the
19 mosque before --
20 A. Land Rover or whatever they call it, a Pinzgauer.
21 Q. And the people who went into the mosque before it exploded, what
22 colour of uniform did they wear, if any?
23 A. The same policemen moved around. There were two groups in
24 Bellacerka and Celine, groups of policemen. They wore the same uniforms.
25 Q. So had you seen those policemen who went into the mosque before,
1 on other occasions in Celine?
2 A. No. The day the mosque was blown up, that's when we saw them.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, I think that's as far as I can clear
5 it up here.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I have a couple of questions for you, Ms. Moeller,
7 to try and clarify things. On page 8 of the statement in the second
8 paragraph, there's a reference to 13 people; and I think on page 4 the
9 similar incident there's a reference to 14 people. That may be neither
10 here nor there. Are these people identified anywhere?
11 MS. MOELLER: Yes, Your Honour. If -- do you want me to clarify
12 it with the witness or can I clarify it from the context of the statement?
13 JUDGE BONOMY: No, can you explain to me what you understand.
14 MS. MOELLER: These are the two families, the Zhuniqi family and
15 the Spahiu family. And I think it was 14 originally, but then this 2-year
16 boy survived which the villagers found out later. So this is probably why
17 sometimes it's 13 and sometimes it's 14. But 13 of them are in Schedule B
18 as killing victims.
19 And it is my understanding that it is these two families that he
20 talks about. And then the six bodies or the six men who were killed a
21 little further down the railway roads -- tracks, sorry, as we heard
22 earlier today. So it was three killing incidents; the two families being
23 13, then the men being 40-something, and then the six men along the
24 railway track. And plus the one older man who is not on Schedule B yet.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. And the second question was
1 particularly related to page 10. There's a large number of deceased
2 buried in Celine.
3 MS. MOELLER: Yeah.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Where does this fit into the indictment, this
5 material in relation to Celine?
6 MS. MOELLER: In our submission, it fits into paragraphs 77(a),
7 which is persecution, and describes the killing of hundreds of Kosovo
8 Albanians which refers back, as far as I know, to paragraphs 25 and the
9 following, which is the campaign of terror including killings. Celine is
10 a deportation site but it's not particularly charged as a murder site in
11 the indictment. And we don't have a schedule for Celine victims, which is
12 why I only led general evidence about the number of killed people the
13 witness saw there.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: But which part of 72 does it appear?
15 MS. MOELLER: As deportation site it appears in 72(a)
16 Orahovac/Rahovec. It refers to the morning of 25 March and the village of
17 Celine/Celin. And I think we heard witness Mr. Jemini on Celine.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Thank you very much.
19 Mr. O'Sullivan.
20 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, the order will be: General Ojdanic,
21 General Lukic, General Pavkovic, General Lazarevic, Mr. Milutinovic, and
22 Mr. Sainovic.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the best plan is to take the break just now
25 and then start the cross-examination immediately after the break.
1 Mr. Ackerman.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, before we break, the motion that you
3 were given a courtesy copy of this morning has now been formally filed.
4 And it's my understanding that all of the rest of the accused all want to
5 signify that they join in that motion, so that it becomes a joint Defence
6 motion regarding the witness Zyrapi.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: I suspect, though, as time passes, it may be easier
8 or it may be clearer how to deal with that motion because the situation
9 envisaged may or may not arise this week. It's just not clear at the
10 moment. So we will address it at an appropriate stage and you will have
11 an opportunity to deal with the matter, but I don't think now is the
12 appropriate stage.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I'm not asking to deal with it now, except I
14 now must respond to what Your Honour just said. And I will inform you
15 that one of the teams submitted the Rule 68 documents that are
16 untranslated to CLSS this morning, asking for it --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: You misunderstood me.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman. We already have this week an example
20 of a witness who's being brought back for cross-examination. The
21 situation may develop where the Prosecution have to decide: Do they lead
22 the witness in chief -- I'm only raising a hypothetical. Do they lead him
23 in chief and bring him back for cross later or do they bring him back for
24 examination and cross later. And I'm sure that decision will depend on
25 how the rest of this week pans out. So it seems to me premature at this
1 minute to try to address that issue if it cannot, as I understand it, be
2 resolved amicably.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand and I agree.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Popaj, we have to have a break now and the
5 usher will show you where to wait during that break of about half an hour,
6 so could you please leave the courtroom with the usher.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If necessary, I can submit you this
8 list with the names of victims from Celine. In case you need the names of
9 the victims, I have them with me.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much. That won't be necessary at
11 the moment. If you could please leave the courtroom just now. Thank you.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE BONOMY: And we will resume at quarter to 1.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
17 MR. VISNJIC: I'm waiting for the witness, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Popaj, you will now be questioned by the
21 counsel for the accused. The first of these is Mr. Visnjic.
22 Mr. Visnjic.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Visnjic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Popaj, my name is Tomislav Visnjic, appearing
1 for General Ojdanic. I have a few questions for you regarding the events
2 on the 28th of March, 1999. Mr. Popaj, is it correct that your village of
3 Bela Crkva has around 3.000 inhabitants?
4 A. 2.800.
5 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that people by the name of Popaj, like
6 yourself, were your close or distant relatives?
7 A. Yes, relatives.
8 Q. Today you testified that a week before the 25th of March, Serb
9 forces entered your village and took up position at a location called
10 Brdo. In your statement, you say that around 40 Serb policemen and
11 soldiers arrived in the village.
12 My question is: How do you distinguish between a policeman and a
13 soldier? Is it by the colour of uniform?
14 A. Yes, the colour of their uniforms.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have Exhibit P93,
17 page 6, put on the ELMO.
18 Q. Mr. Popaj, this is another, or rather, the same photograph on
19 which you marked certain locations, when being examined by the OTP. I
20 wanted to ask you about one portion of your statement, in which you say
21 that you saw five tanks enter the centre of your village.
22 Can you tell me whether -- well, first of all, can you point at
23 the photograph, the place you were when you saw the tanks enter the
25 A. I was at home. Above my house, and as I said two of the tanks
1 entered the schoolyards and the other three moved on towards the mosque.
2 Q. Can you mark for us, can you put a dot, where exactly you were, in
3 which of your houses.
4 A. [Marks]
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] For the transcript, the witness put
7 a blue dot on the photograph, marking the house he was in.
8 Q. The total number of tanks which entered your village was five.
9 There were no more than that. Am I correct?
10 A. Yes, five tanks. And at the village, two remained at the school;
11 the others went towards the road, Xerxe-Rahovec.
12 Q. My question was: Were there any other tanks there or were these
13 the only ones; the only tanks to enter your village at that day, at that
15 A. That day, in the morning, five tanks entered the village, while
16 the others were on the main road. They were on the main road that came
17 from Prizren and Gjakova and led towards Xerxe and Rahovec.
18 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Mr. Popaj, at a certain point, the tanks
19 left for Celina; that's how I understood your testimony. Can you tell me
20 how much time elapsed between the time the tanks left for Celina and the
21 time when, according to your testimony, automatic rifle fire was opened on
22 the village.
23 A. The automatic rifle fire started before 3.00 a.m. in the morning,
24 and it never stopped. They also shelled from this Brdo. And the tanks,
25 the three tanks that I mentioned, they just moved on and went into the --
1 in the direction of Celine.
2 Q. Did any time pass between the moment the tanks entered the village
3 and the moment that automatic fire was opened on the village? I
4 apologise. I will repeat.
5 Did any time elapse between the moment the tanks left the village
6 and the moment when fire was opened on the village from automatic rifles?
7 A. The two tanks did not leave the village; they stayed there until
8 the 4th of May there in the schoolyard, while the other three, they moved
9 on towards Celine.
10 Q. Tell me this, please: On this photograph can you mark the houses
11 that were set aflame first by the Serb forces.
12 A. At the entrance of the village, it was this neighbourhood here.
13 These were the houses that were set aflame first, and then they moved on.
14 But the houses were not burnt all on the same day. They continued to burn
15 the houses until the 4th of May. The last houses to be burned were these
16 here on the 4th of May.
17 Q. Can you mark the houses which, according to your statement, were
18 burned on the 25th of March, in the morning.
19 A. The first houses are not in these -- in this photograph.
20 Q. Are those houses to the left- or to the right-hand side of the
21 photograph or immediately beyond?
22 A. The ones that were burned are on the right, to the right.
23 Q. Can you mark the spot where you were as this was taking place.
24 A. On the 25th of May [as interpreted], in the morning, the villagers
25 left and went towards the stream. Half of the village left. I left my
1 home later and I went here.
2 Q. From that point, you observed the houses being set on fire. Am I
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. Very well.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you going to have that marked properly, Mr.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. It should be
9 assigned an IC number.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, but it's not clear which mark relates to
11 where the witness was at the time the houses were being set on fire. Can
12 we have that marked clearly in some way?
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I will ask the witness.
14 Q. Could you please put a circle around the place where you were when
15 the houses were set on fire.
16 A. I was here. There's an oak tree here. Under the oak tree.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: And I note that the witness's answer relates to the
18 25th of March and not as page 75, line 18, says, the 25th of May.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC98, Your Honours.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we have 3D97, page 11 put on
21 the screen, please.
22 Q. Mr. Popaj, did you know that the KLA arrived in Bela Crkva and
23 distributed weapons to the inhabitants to defend themselves from the
25 A. There was no KLA in Bellacerka.
1 Q. Mr. Popaj, did you know that there was civilian protection in the
2 village? One of their members, among others, was Nesret Popaj. This is
3 Exhibit 3D122.
4 A. No, I don't know. Nesret Popaj was not there at all.
5 Q. Nesret Popaj, N-e-s-r-e-t. He's a relative of yours; am I
7 A. He does not live in Bellacerka. He had not -- has not been living
8 there from 1985. I know him.
9 Q. Did you know that he provided a statement to this Tribunal at page
10 755530. This is the exhibit we have on the screen, in which he asserts
11 that --
12 A. No, I don't know that.
13 Q. -- in which he claims to have been a member of the civilian
14 protection, that he carried a semi-automatic rifle, and that on that very
15 day at the same time, abandoned the houses in Bela Crkva heading towards
16 the brook of Belaje and the railway bridge. Are you telling me today that
17 he was not there at all on that day in Bela Crkva?
18 A. He was not in Bellacerka, neither in 1999, nor in 1998. He
19 returned there in 1999, but on the 5th of July, when the burial occurred.
20 Q. Mr. Popaj, did anyone else from your village belong to the group
21 carrying a weapon and was a part of the group that was hiding in the
22 vicinity of the bridge?
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please prepare 3D99, page
25 Q. Mr. Popaj, did anyone else from your village carry a weapon and
1 was part of the group which was hiding next to the railway bridge?
2 A. I did not see any. There weren't any such people. The only
3 people that were there were people, civilians, elderly people, women, and
5 Q. Thank you. Mr. Popaj, did you know that the KLA held positions in
6 the village of Celina on the 25th of March, 1999.
7 A. No, I did not know what happened there on the 25th.
8 Q. Did you know that even before the 25th of March, the KLA moved
9 about your village and in its vicinity, particularly in the area between
10 the -- between Bela Crkva and Zerze, with the river close by?
11 A. No, I didn't.
12 Q. Mr. Popaj, did you know that on the 21st of January, 1999, in an
13 ambush close to Bela Crkva, a KLA fighter was killed. This is 3D114,
14 paragraph 212.
15 Did you know that there was an incident on the 21st of January in
16 the vicinity of your village?
17 A. He was killed in Rahovec, Drenoc, not close to the village.
18 Q. Mr. Popaj, did you hear of an event on the 27th of February, 1999,
19 when there was an abduction of a Serb close to the village of Velika
20 Krusa, after which there was an exchange of fire between the KLA and the
21 Serb forces; the consequences of that were 400 to 600 people who fled
22 Krusa and went to Bela Crkva. There was 3D113, paragraph 1 -- paragraph
24 A. No. I did not hear about that.
25 Q. Mr. Popaj, in your statement, you stated that you were never a KLA
1 member, but that there were three KLA members in your village and that
2 they were known to everyone. Can you name these three KLA members from
3 your village.
4 A. They were not in the village. They were somewhere else in Drenica
5 or Drenoc, but they were not in our village.
6 Q. Can you tell me their names?
7 A. I don't know the names. What I know is that three people had said
8 that they were from Bellacerka, but I don't know who they were.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, which paragraph is this?
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, page 2, paragraph 4 in
11 the English; and paragraph 4 in the B/C/S.
12 Q. Mr. Popaj, I will put a somewhat different question to you. Did
13 any of the three KLA soldiers bear the last name of Popaj?
14 A. I don't know their names.
15 Q. Very well.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we have Exhibit 3D183 put on
17 the screen.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you do that, Mr. Visnjic.
19 Mr. Popaj, in your statement you say this: "There were three
20 members of the KLA in our village whom everyone knew."
21 What did you mean?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, what I said is that three
23 people from my village were in the KLA. They had uniforms. But where
24 they were serving, whether in Drenica or in Drenoc.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Visnjic would like to know their names,
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know who they were.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what did you mean by saying: "Three members
4 of the KLA in our village whom everyone knew?"
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what they wrote down
6 there. But what I said is that people knew that there were three people
7 from our village in the KLA. And when I -- until 1998, I was up in the
8 mountains. And when I came back, somebody told me that three people were
9 with them.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And what names did they give you?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not given the name. I just
12 heard that they were three people from the village.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The witness said: "I was
14 in the mountains with cattle until 1998."
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would kindly ask for
17 Exhibit 3D183 to be put on e-court. This is a document we received from
18 the Prosecution. And judging by the explanation given, it is a notebook
19 of Krasniqi Lulzim, who was commander of the 184th Brigade.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 124th Brigade.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I wanted to use two short excerpts
22 from the notebook and ask the witness about two incidents, two events.
23 Q. Mr. Popaj, did you know that the KLA provided security at the
24 entrances of the villages of Celine, Velika Krusa, Randobrava, and Pirane,
25 after the 16th of January, 1999?
1 A. What I know is that the KLA was only in Reti, Reti village.
2 Q. Mr. Popaj, do you know a person by the name of Bajram Popaj?
3 A. Yes, he is a co-villager of mine.
4 Q. And do you know a person named Ilir Popaj?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Mr. Popaj, I will now ask you, or rather, let me try to read out
7 to you an excerpt from this log-book where it says that Ilir Popaj and
8 Bajram Popaj plus two soldiers from Bela Crkva, when crossing toward
9 Jablanica, had to secure the elevations. Ilir Popaj and Bajram Popaj plus
10 ten soldiers from Bela Crkva, as it says in the text.
11 Mr. Popaj, according to the records kept by Jusuf Krasniqi, the
12 commander, apart from Ilir and Bajram Popaj, there were ten other soldiers
13 who were carrying out certain tasks for the KLA.
14 A. I don't know about that, but I can tell you that these were not in
15 our village, and as for Lulzim Krasniqi, I don't know who he is.
16 Q. Are you trying to tell me that Ilir Popaj and Bajram Popaj were
17 not in your village or that the KLA was not in your village?
18 A. I did not see them in my village. You say they were KLA members,
19 but I did not see them. Bajram Popaj used to work as an electrician in a
20 factory, but I do know both of them.
21 Q. Mr. Popaj, I'll now ask you at following.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have Exhibit 3D184 on the
23 screen, please. And can the Albanian booth read out the first two lines
24 of this exhibit, or rather, to interpret it or translate it into English.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note that counsel should read the
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, is there any reason why you can't simply ask
3 the witness to read it or read it yourself? That would be the normal
4 course, Mr. Visnjic.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm afraid if I start
6 reading in Albanian, we'll have a big problem.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, can't we ask the witness to read it?
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Popaj, do you see the first two lines?
10 A. I read it, but this occurred between Rahovec and Drenovc.
11 Q. I'm satisfied with your answer, but could you please read out the
12 first two lines.
13 A. I cannot read the first line; it's illegible. I can read the name
14 Skender Rexhepi was wounded, his friends Fitim Duraku, Mustafe Bajraktari,
15 and Xhavit Elshani.
16 Q. You know, Mr. Popaj, what event this refers to?
17 A. I don't know what event it refers to but there is a monument
18 honouring them on that location.
19 Q. If it's correct that it says in the first line that the event
20 occurred near Bela Crkva, am I wrong?
21 A. No, it's not close to Bela Crkva. It's about 9 kilometres away
22 from Bellacerka. The road from Bellacerka ...
23 Q. The road from Bela Crkva to?
24 A. To Drenoc and Potoqan, Rahovec. So it goes to Rahovec and it
25 turns at Drenoc.
1 Q. Do you know that on the occasion of this event the military police
2 of the KLA was carrying out certain activities which were carried out by
3 Xhavit Elshani and Selami Popaj. Do you know the name of Selami Popaj, a
4 member of the military police from Bela Crkva?
5 A. No. Selami Popaj could not have been a member of the military
6 police because he was the same age as my son, he was 14 years old. How
7 can a 14-year-old be a member of a military police unit?
8 Q. Do you know the name of Xhavit Elshani?
9 A. No, I don't know him. I don't know Xhavit Elshani. As for Selami
10 Popaj, I know him, he was my neighbour, and he was 14 at the time.
11 Q. Very well. Thank you. It may be another person bearing the same
12 name. Let me ask you the following --
13 A. You cannot find two same names in the Popaj family in my village.
14 Q. Very well, Mr. Popaj. Did someone from your village or your
15 extended family undergo arrest, maltreatment, or were they killed by the
16 KLA? And this is Defence Exhibit 3D120?
17 A. Hidajet Popaj was killed but he was killed by the police, not by
18 the KLA in Pristina.
19 Q. What about Nesim Popaj?
20 A. Nesim Popaj is my brother, the doctor that you killed.
21 Q. Mr. Popaj, do you know - and I believe you should know this - that
22 according to statements made by the Albanians Sokol Morina, Exhibit 3D120,
23 and Isuf Berisha, Exhibit 3D119, in 1998 the KLA abducted, interrogated,
24 and ultimately liquidated Hidajet Popaj and Nesim Popaj, and this was
25 planned by the group which was in the village of Drenovac?
1 A. This is not true --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, before you answer that, do you mean Hidajet
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, Hidajet Popaj and
5 Isuf Berisha. The persons who gave the statement are Sokol Morina and
6 Isuf Berisha. The persons were liquidated by the KLA, Hidajet Popaj and
7 Nesim Popaj.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nesim Popaj is my brother, the
9 doctor. Mesim Popaj, however, he's a relative of mine, and he is still
10 alive. Hidajet Popaj was killed by the Serbian police in Pristina, and we
11 found his body last year. He was visiting his mother at the hospital when
12 he was killed. If you are referring to Mesim Popaj, he is alive and I can
13 bring him here. As I said before, you cannot find members of Popaj
14 family, two members with the same name.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation].
16 Q. Mr. Popaj, evidently the KLA and the Serbian investigation organs
17 are wrong, according to you, when noting down names; however, I'll ask you
18 the following now. In your statement, when referring to your sojourn in
19 the village of Nagavc, you stated that you saw parts of a bomb that landed
20 in the village, and that you saw an inscription in Cyrillic on that bomb.
21 Can you tell me what Cyrillic letters you saw, sir.
22 A. It is a clear proof that the fragments of the bomb exist… are there,
23 we have them… they were in the Nagafc village, where the bombing occurred. We
24 have them, the fragments of the shell, I have them at home. The bombing
25 occurred on 2 April, at the hour after midnight… at 2… We have the
1 shells there. The investigators themselves have seen them.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Moeller, do you know anything about this?
3 MS. MOELLER: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I was checking something
4 else about --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the witness is saying that he still has
6 the --
7 MS. MOELLER: Oh, yes, I'm seeing the --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: -- shells he calls them. He's also called them
9 fragments of a bomb. These are said to have Cyrillic writing on them and
10 the investigators had a chance to see them.
11 MS. MOELLER: I am not aware that we have any artefacts of that
12 nature, but I would need to investigate that further. I haven't seen such
13 evidence myself.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: When was it, Mr. Popaj, the investigators had a
15 chance to see the fragments of the bomb?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In June 1999. Feim Elshani took
17 these fragments, and he was with the members of KFOR or investigators - I
18 don't know exactly what they were - who inspected these fragments and took
19 photographs of them. But I don't remember whether I mentioned this in my
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And you say that they are still available?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, we do have fragments of the
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the Office of the Prosecutor has staff in
25 Pristina, and it may be that the staff in Pristina have a camera, and
1 maybe this could be clarified. It seems a simple exercise to me, but I
2 may be oversimplifying it.
3 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, we will definitely check that out.
4 And I remember the other witness from Bela Crkva, Mr. Zhuniqi talked about
5 having given -- or that this material went to KFOR. So we will inquire
6 about it.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: But this witness is staying that he has it in his
8 own house.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have it in my house, but it
10 is with Feim Elshani in Nagavc. Because they refused to remove it from
11 there, it is still there. The fragments of the bomb are with Feim Elshani
12 in Nagavc.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: [Microphone not activated]
14 It's the interpretation that creates these problems.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: It's page 84, lines 17 and 18, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. "I have them in my house." How do we get
17 that sort of interpretation? I suppose I'm asking a rhetorical question
19 Did you say, Mr. Popaj, that you had these fragments in your
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They are in the house of Feim
22 Elshani, where they were found in his courtyard. He was a witness here as
23 well in 2002. We found the fragments of the bomb together with him in
24 Nagavc village.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, hopefully this will be further investigated
1 by the Prosecution.
2 Mr. Visnjic.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Microphone not activated].
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I don't have the exact page, but as
6 the witness has broached this topic from the Milosevic case, but he said
7 that the KFOR had taken those fragments. And my last question for Mr.
9 Q. Was Feim Elshani a member of the KLA?
10 A. He was 70 years old; how could he be a member of the KLA? When
11 the bombs fell on his house, his brother was -- son was killed. Now he's
12 76 years old. He couldn't have been a member of the KLA then.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have given the OTP
14 more precise information as to where to look for the fragments of the
15 bomb. I have no further questions.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, we change at the last moment. Mr.
19 Ackerman should continue after Mr. Visnjic.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour. The first thing I'd like
22 to do, Your Honour, is ask that you have that part of the transcript
23 checked, 84, lines 15 and 16, to see if what we have is a translation
24 error or if that's what the witness actually said. I'd like to know that,
25 even for the purpose of cross-examination, if it could be checked that
1 quickly; I don't know if it can.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: That will be available for you tomorrow.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
5 Q. Mr. Popaj, I think I have very few questions for you, but there's
6 one matter that I really would like to make an effort to clarify and I may
7 or may not succeed. The statement you gave to the Office of the
8 Prosecutor was given over a three-day period in June of 1999. You were
9 interviewed by a -- an investigator by the name of Nigel Stewart. You
10 recall that, don't you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And apparently that interview was given in your village, Bela
14 A. Yes, Bellacerka.
15 Q. And it's the case, isn't it, that once that was completed on the
16 14th of June, that there was a translator there by the name of Algent
17 Mezini, who then read that statement back to you word for word, page for
18 page, and asked you to make a determination as to whether or not it was
19 correct. That happened also, didn't it?
20 A. Well, I stated in my statement what I saw and experienced.
21 Q. That's not my question. My question was: Was the statement on
22 the last day there, the 14th of June, read back to you word for word and
23 you were given an opportunity to tell them whether or not what they had
24 written was correct. That happened, didn't it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And at that time you agreed that what you had said in your
2 statement was correct, didn't you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The next time that you had an opportunity to review that I think
5 was when you came to the Tribunal to give your testimony in the Milosevic
6 trial, which you gave on the 10th of June, 2002, starting on the 10th of
7 June, and I think when you came here, at that time they had a copy of your
8 statement in the Albanian language. And the authorities asked you to read
9 it and tell them whether it was correct or not. That happened, didn't it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you were given adequate time to read it, and if you had any
12 changes to make, you were given an opportunity to make those changes,
13 weren't you?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Then you came here to testify in this case a few days ago, and I
16 believe you were shown your statement in the Albanian language again and
17 you were given an opportunity to read it and take as much time as you
18 wanted and to advise the prosecuting authorities if there was anything in
19 there that was not the case. Is that true?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So if I'm counting correct, on three different occasions you had
22 an opportunity to review this statement and make determinations as to
23 whether the language contained in there is the truth of what you -- of the
24 evidence you want to give to this Tribunal. That's true?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, I want to talk to you about these tanks that you say came
2 into your village at 2.00 a.m. on the morning of, I think, the 24th of
3 March or the 25th of March. And you told Mr. Visnjic in the
4 cross-examination today that three of the tanks left the village but two
5 stayed at the school until sometime in May, the 4th of May. That's what
6 you told him today, wasn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, in this statement that you reviewed three times, here's what
9 you said: "I saw the five tanks move off and take up positions on a hill
10 overlooking Celine. I then told my family that the tanks had moved off."
11 Now, how can it be that you reviewed that statement three times and didn't
12 get that right? Or is what you said today wrong?
13 A. The tanks moved on, but the shooting continued from the hill.
14 Q. So what you said about the two tanks staying at the school until
15 the 4th of May was untrue?
16 A. That is true because until the 4th of May, I was in Xerxe. On the
17 4th of May, the inhabitants of Xerxe left in the direction of Potoqan.
18 The last houses that were set aflame were the house of Muharrem Zhuniqi on
19 the 4th of May. They took my truck and everything else.
20 Q. All right. You've talked about that enough. Now, Mr. Popaj, you
21 took an oath before you started testifying here today. You remember doing
22 that, don't you?
23 A. Yes, and I'm telling the truth --
24 Q. No you're not; you can't possibly be. So you're going to have to
25 make a decision here. Is it the truth, as you say in your statement: "I
1 saw the five tanks move off and take up positions on a hill overlooking
2 Celine. I then told my family that the tanks moved off." Is that the
3 truth that you're telling here or is the truth you're telling here that
4 three tanks moved off and two stayed at the school? You can't tell both
5 of those; you have to pick one.
6 A. I didn't say all the tanks moved off. I said that three of the
7 tanks entered the village in the direction of the mosque and then set off
8 in the direction of the hill. I said that the tanks from the vicinity of
9 the mosque moved off, not those in the schoolyard.
10 Q. Mr. Popaj, I think -- I fear we've run out of time for today, but
11 we will have a copy of your statement for you to look at tomorrow, and
12 that's in fact what you did say, that the five tanks moved off?
13 MR. ACKERMAN: I think we have to stop now, don't we, Your Honour?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: We do, but I doubt if what you're proposing is
15 going to be productive. Your point is made, I think, Mr. Ackerman, and
16 the witness has given his explanation. If you feel it's necessary to
17 pursue it further, that's a matter for you.
18 Can I just, before we finish, Mr. Popaj, ask you this: When the
19 tanks moved off, where did they go?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The tanks went in the direction of
21 the hill above Celine in order to be able to see Celine, Bellacerka, and
22 Nagavc. This location is called the Pajata e Mullabaceve.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Popaj, we need to stop there for today and we
24 will resume your evidence tomorrow, that will be at 9.00. You need to be
25 back here ready to resume giving evidence at 9.00.
1 Meanwhile, you must have no discussion with anybody, anybody at
2 all, about your evidence, that's either the evidence you've given or the
3 evidence you may given tomorrow. You can talk about anything else to
4 anybody at all, but nothing about the evidence must be discussed with
5 anyone else. Now, the --
6 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. The usher will now show you the way
8 from the courtroom. Thank you.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: 9.00 tomorrow.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 2nd day of
13 November, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.