1 Wednesday, 17 January 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Merovci.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: The cross-examination by Mr. O'Sullivan will
9 continue in a moment, and that will be followed by cross-examination by
10 other counsel. I remind you that the solemn declaration to speak the
11 truth which you made at the beginning of your evidence continues to apply
12 throughout your evidence.
13 Mr. O'Sullivan.
14 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Thank you.
15 WITNESS: ADNAN MEROVCI [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Cross-examination by Mr. O'Sullivan: [Continued]
18 Q. Good morning, Mr. Merovci.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. I'd like to begin this morning by asking you a question or two
21 about Zoran Andjelkovic. Now, you know that he was the head of the
22 Provisional Executive Council for Kosovo and Metohija; correct?
23 A. These were institutions that were for us irrelevant at the time;
24 and to tell you the truth, I don't know what positions such people had
1 Q. Did you know that this body had been created by the Government of
2 Serbia in autumn 1998?
3 A. You must understand that we did not agree with such -- did not
4 accept such bodies, and we simply ignored them. By saying that, I
5 personally didn't -- was not familiar with such people, such bodies, and
6 their positions in them according to the hierarchy of the regime then.
7 Q. But you are aware that this body existed and that Mr. Andjelkovic
8 was a part of it. You know it existed and you know who he was; you know
9 that much, don't you?
10 A. Yeah, I do know that.
11 Q. Now, on the 28th of April, 1999, you've testified about the
12 meeting held in the provincial government building in Pristina, and you,
13 Dr. Rugova, Mr. Milutinovic, Mr. Sainovic, Professor Markovic, and
14 Mr. Andjelkovic were present. Do you recall testifying about that?
15 A. I do. I testified, but I must be specific about my role because
16 my presence was required at such meetings in my capacity as a technical
17 person, because as I said that was a role I played during all my time I
18 served with Mr. Rugova. Therefore, my presence there was a necessity for
19 me to be by his side, but I didn't have any responsibility because, as I
20 said, I was simply a technical person.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Merovci, you've explained that to us yesterday.
22 You are anxious that we should make progress with the case. If you
23 continue to be so defensive in your answers, always wanting to add an
24 explanation that we've already heard before, then we will be here much
25 longer than today.
1 It's important that you just listen to the question that's asked
2 and try to answer the particular point that counsel's making. He's not
3 trying to catch you out or trip you up in the way that he's presenting
4 these questions. I'm not saying that counsel don't do that, sometimes
5 they will do that, but that's clearly not what Mr. O'Sullivan's doing. So
6 please try to answer the particular question that's put to you.
7 Mr. O'Sullivan.
8 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Thank you.
9 Q. Do you recall that at the beginning of this meeting, that Dr.
10 Rugova presented Mr. Milutinovic with a gift of one of his precious
11 stones, the ones he would offer as a symbolic representation of the riches
12 of Kosovo?
13 A. I don't recall this incident particularly, but if I am not
14 mistaken this -- such a stone was given to Mr. Milosevic on our occasion
15 before going to Rome.
16 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Can I have Exhibit P416 on the screen, please.
17 Q. Mr. Merovci, in front of you, you should have the joint statement
18 that was signed by Dr. Rugova and Mr. Milutinovic on the 28th of April.
19 You looked at it yesterday in court. I want to look at it very briefly
20 with you. You'll see in paragraph 4 of this document reference is made to
21 the Provisional Executive Council of Kosovo and Metohija, of which
22 Mr. Andjelkovic, I submit, was the head. Do you see that?
23 A. Yes, I do. Yes.
24 Q. And in that same paragraph, paragraph 4, there's a reference to
25 the basic document on self-government in Kosovo and Metohija, and
1 yesterday I suggested to you that Professor Markovic was the head of both
2 the delegation that existed in 1998 and the Rambouillet delegation;
4 A. Yes, correct.
5 Q. Now, you'll see that paragraph 1 talks about, and I quote: "It is
6 necessary to immediately renew and intensify discussions ..."
7 You'll see that paragraph 2 talks about having direct talks
8 involving all communities living in Kosovo based on mutual trust and
9 finding a way out of the current situation.
10 Paragraph 3 talks about participation of the international
11 community. And, more generally, paragraph 4 contemplates an immediate but
12 temporary way out of the current situation through this Executive Council
14 Do you see that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, at the end of the meeting, you know that Mr. Milutinovic and
17 Dr. Rugova gave statements to the press; correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And there were both domestic and international journalists who
20 were present; correct?
21 A. I know that there were journalists, but I don't recall that there
22 were foreign journalists.
23 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, Exhibit 1D60 is a video-clip which
24 I'd like to play. It contains footage of the meeting itself and
25 statements made by Mr. Milutinovic and Dr. Rugova. I'll ask that the
1 video start.
2 Let's make sure that it's on the screen for Mr. Merovci. Are we
3 set for Mr. Merovci. Okay.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Can we stop there, please.
6 Q. In that frame, we see the six of you sitting in the room; and
7 facing the camera at the far end is Mr. Milutinovic and to his right is
8 Dr. Rugova, and you are sitting to the right of Dr. Rugova; correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Can we continue.
11 [Videotape played]
12 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Can we stop, please.
13 Q. That's Mr. Andjelkovic we see on the screen?
14 A. Yes, correct.
15 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Can we continue.
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Can we stop there.
18 Q. Looking at the screen, the man on the left with the moustache is
19 Mr. Sainovic and to his left is Professor Markovic; correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, when the tape continues, there will
22 be the text of -- Mr. Milutinovic and Dr. Rugova giving their statements.
23 The interpreters have been provided with a transcript to facilitate
24 interpretation. The speakers are speaking Serbian. Can we continue.
25 [Videotape played]
1 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
2 "Mr. Milutinovic: I believe that Mr. Rugova and I have talked for
3 the second time, and like you know on several meetings before that we've
4 had starting with the one in Belgrade between President Milosevic and
5 Dr. Rugova. Today we have agreed on joint statement which we'll be giving
6 to you later on, in which we have pointed out the necessity of renewal of
7 the talks between the Republic of Serbia government and political leaders
8 and Albanian political leaders in Kosovo and Metohija on political
9 agreement under which Kosovo will be given wide self-governance with full
10 respect of equality between all the citizens and all the communities as
11 well as the sovereignty and territory integrity of Serbia and Yugoslavia.
12 We have considered this approach for basis and lasting right of the
13 problem in Kosovo. We have both concluded that talks shall be direct with
14 equal participation of all the national communities that reside in Kosovo
15 and Metohija and that such talks should be direct -- that should be a
16 direct approval of stronger mutual trust which is a vital condition for
17 getting out of the present situation.
18 "We have agreed as well that on the basis of our mutual agreement
19 in the role of guest of the international community should be present.
20 And lastly, under item 4, we have agreed on the necessity of temporary and
21 alter conditions in which the temporary Executive Council should be
22 functioning until the establishment of the bodies which have been provided
23 for in the agreement, of which we will talk. This is the essence of
24 today's talks. We have concluded that the bombing and the aggression on
25 our country should be put to a stop as soon as possible. We think that
1 the international community will today and from this place adopt our
2 appeal and that this should be a precondition for the people to come back
3 to their homes and start a normal life in all the national communities and
4 surroundings because of the simplest reason and that is without common
5 life of all the national communities there is no lasting peace in the
7 "Dr. Rugova: This situation, the most important thing is that we
8 have established mutual -- more mutual trust even though we had it even
9 earlier while we were on agreement on Kosova, so we had trust now and in
10 last context in Belgrade with Milosevic, Milutinovic, and Sainovic as
11 vice-president of the government, so we have made it to cooperate it, of
12 course is that we will continue to achieve the solution for Kosova and our
13 main goal is to get out of this present situation.
14 "We will intend to form the bodies in Kosova, the Kosova
15 institutions that will be for the nationalities and for the citizens of
16 Kosova and what is more important, we have established new trust and
17 greater trust which the world will appreciate as well."
18 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, can I ask that the transcript
19 reflect that beginning at page 7, line 5, Dr. Rugova is speaking.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 MR. O'SULLIVAN:
22 Q. Mr. Merovci, you heard what Mr. Rugova spoke of, he spoke of new
23 trust and greater trust, cooperation to achieve a solution for Kosovo,
24 getting out of the current situation, and forming new bodies for all
25 nationalities and all citizens of Kosovo. Now, isn't what Dr. Rugova said
1 there entirely consistent with the guiding principles of his political
3 A. This is leading question. I don't know what you -- what your
4 question is. What he said was heard by all. I don't know what your
5 question is. Can you be more explicit about it so that we can be brief.
6 Q. Yes. The words that Mr. Rugova spoke, about finding a solution,
7 ending the situation, improving the life of all citizens in Kosovo,
8 greater trust to cooperation, those are the principles that from the time
9 Mr. Rugova started in the LDK in the late 1980s was the basis of his
10 political platforms and political life?
11 A. That is true. But if we look at the entire text, even though we
12 didn't hear the entire text, what it says about the international
13 community being present in the meeting simply as guests is not what
14 Mr. Rugova said. It's contrary to his wish.
15 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Merovci, what was actually going on at this
17 stage that we've viewed on the video? We've seen that everyone was
18 meeting, and it's not uncommon at political meetings for a picture or a
19 film to be taken to show the public that everyone is talking, in spite of
20 the fact that they're shaking hands they're probably gritting their teeth
21 and forcing a smile.
22 So that's not an unusual event, but then we hear the words that
23 the participants utter. Now, what was Mr. Rugova actually doing at that
24 stage? This is where I think we need to hear more from you because it
25 puts a completely different gloss on that meeting from the one that
1 appears in your statement in paragraph 72.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was a meeting like all other
3 meetings. But as I said in my statements, we considered being detained at
4 home, being under house arrest and a tendency -- we saw tendencies to
5 manipulate Mr. Rugova. For us, it was, as I said, a life-and-death
6 struggle, and what I am saying now is proven by later developments.
7 Such initiatives were -- were staged, in our view, because
8 otherwise why didn't they continue to abide by the same approach? As you
9 asked me about Mr. Rugova, I may tell you that he was an isolated man in a
10 difficult psychological and physical situation, and he was thinking only
11 of saving his life. I think this is more or less the crux of the matter.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you wish to ask anything further,
13 Mr. O'Sullivan? Thank you.
14 Mr. Fila.
15 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Fila:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Merovci, good morning. I'm Toma Fila and I
18 represent Nikola Sainovic. I see you have your statement before you. I
19 don't have any questions, actually. I just need some clarifications. We
20 resided in the same country, but some people did not in -- reside in that
21 country; that's why the clarifications are necessary.
22 In paragraph 8, you're speaking about a decision on the ban to
23 sell property by Serbs and the programme that was posed by us and Ante
24 Markovic, the prime minister at the time. This was done during the period
25 of the SFRY, and Ante Markovic was a Croat, who was the prime minister at
1 the time, is that correct, and I'm talking about the year 1988?
2 A. No. The law we are talking about was dated earlier; it was
3 dictated on us by the Serb regime.
4 Q. In 1988, the former Yugoslavia still existed, isn't that correct?
5 Do you remember that? In 1988, this was still the time of the SFRY?
6 A. Yeah, you may put it that way. But following 1986, after the
7 event of Mr. Milosevic took power, such measures were imposed which banned
8 the sale of property by the Serbs.
9 Q. We will come to that. I just want to make a distinction. I don't
10 have many objections to what you've said; I just want to make a few
11 clarifications. So up to 1991, the state in place was the SFRY; after
12 that, was the FRY; and now it is the SR Serbia.
13 The law that you've mentioned, would you agree with me that this
14 was not the law on the ban of sale but on limited sale but all
15 non-Albanians; and if you remember it well, the sale could have been
16 allowed with the provision that there should have been a prior approval by
17 the ministry. Wouldn't that be correct? If you don't remember, it
18 doesn't matter.
19 A. Yes, I remember very well. And if you can prove a single case
20 that the ministry has given its prior approval, I will withdraw what I
21 said. This was not allowed, and that happened to me personally. A Serb
22 asked me to sell his house to me and this was a private enterprise, but it
23 was impossible to do that. And this is a fact. There is documentation to
24 prove what happened.
25 Q. Very well. There were instances where this was allowed but this
1 was not my question. What I was saying was this applied to all
2 non-Albanians, not only Serbs, but this was not a full ban but a
3 limitation. You're saying that in this way Albanians were discriminated
4 against. How can you say that Albanians were discriminated against if the
5 Serbs were prohibited from selling their property?
6 Wouldn't that be discrimination against the Serbs and there the
7 law was broken on many occasions and there was severe penalty for that.
8 Would -- don't you remember that? I believe that this was discrimination
9 against the Serbs because the Serbs were affected; they were the ones who
10 couldn't sell their property?
11 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I object that's a compound
12 question, and also I think the evidence was Serbs were not allowed to sell
13 to Albanians or non-Serbs. They were allowed to sell to Serbs apparently.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: I think, Mr. Fila, there may be a mistake in the
15 transcript in the transcript at page 10 on line 10, the limited sale was
16 to non-Serbs, I think you must have meant to say.
17 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Non-Serbs were limited in sales to
18 Albanians, not -- it didn't apply in the transactions between Albanians
19 because there are Turks and Roma there as well.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila --
21 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Because under that law --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, just a moment. You tell me what you say
23 the law was. Was it preventing Serbs from selling to any non-Serb without
24 prior approval, or was it simply preventing sales to Albanians without
25 prior approval?
1 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] The latter is the case.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: So a Serb could have sold his property to any other
3 nationality but an Albanian -- any other ethnic group but an Albanian?
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] On the contrary. Under the law,
6 approval should have been sought by anybody who wanted to sell property,
7 not only by Serbs or Albanians. And approvals were given for any Serbs
8 selling to another Serb, and you're right there, sir; however, under the
9 law there was a restriction on the sale of property. And it was not
10 specifically mentioned what ethnicity was in question. Every time you
11 wished to sell, you had to obtain prior approval.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Merovci, what Mr. Fila is suggesting that there
13 wasn't a law that said, You will not sell to Albanians; the law required
14 administrative approval before you could sell to anyone and that in
15 practice I think what you're saying -- do you agree with that, first of
16 all, that it was necessary to get approval to sell to anyone?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a political decision, first
18 and foremost, and it was described as discriminatory by all organisations.
19 In real terms, this -- to answer your question, Your Honour, in real terms
20 it operated like this. It was forbidden to sell solid properties in the
21 case of the buyers being Albanians; and in order for the transaction to
22 take place, of course it have -- you have to get -- obtain a prior
23 approval in Belgrade.
24 I don't recall of anyone managing to get that approval; then
25 agencies and Serbs appeared who could be corrupted and maybe in some
1 instances could obtain such approval. But still, there were other
2 difficulties to overcome and the transaction never -- was never effected.
3 It was a discriminating law, both against Albanians' and Serbs' interests.
4 It is discriminating both ways, to sell and to buy.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And can I take it that the law required approval,
6 even for a Serb to sell to another Serb; but in practice, it was easier to
7 get approval for such a transaction?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot say that. I cannot.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, the second matter that Mr. Fila raised was the
10 question -- he's put to you the proposition that it was also
11 discriminating against Serbs because it restricted the market for their
12 property. Now, I think in your earlier evidence you've already agreed
13 with that. You've already said that to the Prosecutor in the course of
14 the evidence, that there was an element of discrimination against Serbs in
15 this law as well.
16 So we can move beyond that, Mr. Fila.
17 MR. FILA: [Interpretation].
18 Q. Finally, in order to bring this to an end, do you believe that the
19 reason for passing these reasons, or rather, a political explanation was
20 to prevent the Serbs from moving out of Kosovo? Was that the reason that
21 was given? Wasn't that right?
22 A. If I say yes, then I would accept the logic of the Serbs moving
23 from Kosova, but I do not accept this logic.
24 Q. So I did not ask you whether that was right; I just wanted to
25 remind you that the explanation that was given publicly for that law was
1 to prevent the Serbs from moving out. I'm not saying that that was the
2 case, but that was the explanation given by the state for this happening.
3 Did you hear that kind of explanation? That's what I'm asking you. I'm
4 not asking you to say that the explanation is right, but was that the
5 explanation that was given?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Now I would like to ask you to look at paragraph 12. Mr. Merovci,
8 I highly appreciate the fact that you're in a hurry. I'm a businessman
9 myself. So, please, let us keep your answers short and my questions short
10 so that you get home as soon as possible. In paragraph 12, at the end of
11 your statement, you say that if a kind of confederation is to be
12 established, Kosovo should have an opportunity to choose who they're going
13 to live with.
14 I'm just asking you what you meant by that -- that last sentence
15 in paragraph 12. That is it. Kosovo should be able to choose with whom
16 it would associate. What does that mean, with whom it would associate?
17 Please look at your statement.
18 A. I cannot see the paragraph on the screen; however, I can give you
19 an explanation.
20 Q. All right. You don't even have to see it. You should have the
21 statement in your hands; that's the problem.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you have a copy of your statement there? No?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't have it before me now.
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Merovci, I have it in Serbian, if that's any good for you.
1 A. Just read out in B/C/S that sentence, and it will be okay.
2 Q. I can give it to you in Serbian. You want to have a look? It's
3 my own copy, so it's been marked on.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: It's okay. Mr. Hannis has a spare copy which he's
5 about to pass over to, and if you can turn to paragraph 12.
6 MR. HANNIS: I have both English and B/C/S.
7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] .
8 Q. Paragraph 12, the last sentence, it says Kosovo and so on and so
9 forth. Can you just explain what it was that you were trying to say.
10 A. This was part of the platform of the LDK and of all political
11 associations of the Albanians in the Balkans in addition to Albania; so
12 Montenegro, southern Serbia, and part of Macedonia. There were three
13 options. If Yugoslavia remained as it was with the existing bordering,
14 then Kosova should enjoy the status of a republic. If independent states
15 were to be created within Yugoslavia, then Kosova wants full independence.
16 However, if the external borders are effected in any way, the
17 Albanians should choose whom they would associate with. This was the
18 context. This was a public platform that was emphasised by Mr. Rugova as
19 well while he testified here.
20 Q. My question is: What does that mean they should be able to choose
21 with whom they would associate? They don't have to be with Yugoslavia.
22 They can be with Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, whatever. I want you to
23 explain what this option means. Can they unite with Albania, for
24 instance? Is that the option? That's why I don't understand what you're
1 A. What you are asking I've already answered that, but I will repeat
2 it. The last version was if the external borders are changed, the
3 Helsinki charter, then the Albanians in the former Yugoslavia, their right
4 of associating with whomever they want to should be recognized.
5 This is what I said. There was no prejudice whether it would be
6 Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria. This was the thought prevailing in the
7 platform and in this statement of mine.
8 Q. But those were the options, right? Albania, Macedonia,
9 Yugoslavia, right? That's what you were trying to say, right?
10 A. It could have been Italy as well.
11 Q. All right. Now there's paragraph 13. In paragraph 13, you use
12 certain terms. So you say that after the autonomy in Kosovo was
13 abolished, emergency measures were introduced, or rather, effectively
14 martial law you say. And what kind of emergency measures? What are you
15 saying about 1989? Have you seen your own statement? Perhaps the
16 translation is not good, so that's why it's better for you to see what it
17 says. So you say emergency measures and martial law so --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's stop there. This statement, presumably, can
19 be brought up on e-court in Albanian and --
20 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, there is not an Albanian translation.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: There isn't one at all?
22 MR. HANNIS: No.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Even though the Albanian language was used in the
25 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I see that's what it says. I would have
1 to address that with the witness, but all we have are a B/C/S and an
2 English version.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Merovci, I take it now has a B/C/S
4 version. Is that what you gave him, Mr. Hannis?
5 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I gave him the English version.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, he should also have the B/C/S copy.
7 MR. HANNIS: We have that.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Please pass that to him.
9 Mr. Merovci, I think you may be more comfortable with this one;
10 and if you turn to page 13, I think you and Mr. Fila will be on the same
12 Carry on, please, Mr. Fila.
13 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Paragraph 13.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your question is clear. I have
15 given this statement in English because I understood everything that was
16 said during the interview.
17 THE INTERPRETER: If the witness could repeat this part, please,
18 the interpreter didn't catch it, sorry.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Kosovo institutions had all the --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: A part of what you said was not picked up by the
21 interpreter. Could you repeat what you've just said, please.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When the autonomy was revoked by
23 force and before the constitutional changes that were imposed by the use
24 of force, all the institutions in Kosova were under emergency and coercive
25 measures. Some institutions as, for example, the financial ones had to go
1 through the process of liquidation, which was imposed on them. And this
2 process was not in favour of the Albanians because it resulted in them
3 remaining without jobs.
4 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
5 Q. You answered to part of what my question was, but I'm interested
6 in the term you use here; "emergency measures and a state of war." How
7 can you talk about a state of war in 1989? And there were these financial
8 measures, but we'll get to that. Or did you just say this by way of a
9 description? I mean, we really need an explanation why you said
10 a state of war in Kosovo and emergency measures.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the word "state of war" I don't think appear
12 in the English translation.
13 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] But it says so here in Serbian.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: And when I say "English translation," in fact it
15 should be "English original" because that's the language that was used to
16 give the statement. So it would appear to be some difficulty with the
17 B/C/S translation.
18 The part that I'm looking at says: "It was introduced that the
19 Albanian workers had to wear new identity badges which had the term
20 literally translated 'violently installed organs" printed on them. They
21 said that if the Albanians wore these badges, it would indicated that they
22 accepted the imposition of emergency measures and thus the dominance of
23 the Serbs."
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] The sentence I'm reading is the one
25 before that it reads as follows: "After the abrogation of autonomy,
1 emergency measures had been imposed on Kosovo, effectively a state of war,
2 martial law."
3 That is the English version and that's what I'm reading out in
5 JUDGE BONOMY: But martial law does not mean a state of war.
6 Martial law means military rule. It doesn't mean an ongoing conflict.
7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Let him explain then what kind of
8 military rule was established in 1989, because that wasn't the case
10 Q. Or did you just want to say this by way of a description? Because
11 this is a time when the SFRY was still in existence, right?
12 A. Could you please tell me which paragraph and which sentence it is
13 exactly, because I can't find it.
14 Q. Paragraph 13, and the sentence reads as follows; that is 2, 4, 6,
15 7, line 7 of paragraph 13. Have you found it? And the sentence reads as
17 "After the abrogation of autonomy," I'm reminding you of the fact
18 that you're talking about 1989, "emergency measures had been imposed on
19 Kosovo, effectively a state of war," it says in Serbian; whereas, in
20 English it says "effectively martial law." Can you please explain to us
21 what it is you meant by this.
22 A. This was a misinterpretation or a mistranslation. This is the
23 first time I'm looking at the B/C/S version. I have written it in
24 English. As the Judge explained it, that's the way it is. But I will
25 explain it here. Kosovo was in a military state and did not -- in a state
1 of war. This is the misinterpretation and the relevant version is the one
2 I signed. Kosovo was then full of tanks and military equipment.
3 Q. In 1989? Is that what you're saying? Paragraph 13 refers to
4 1989, not 1999. You'd be right as far as 1999 is concerned, but here
5 you're talking about 1989. Have you made a mistake in terms of time?
6 This is the time of the SFRY; that's why I'm asking you about this. What
7 kind of military rule in 1989? You worked in a bank at that time,
9 A. You're now prejudicing what I said. I'll tell you again. I did
10 not say it was a state of war. There were emergency measures which
11 reflected on the population as a military state. This is the truth, and
12 you're prejudicing what I said. I'm telling you, I did not say "state of
13 war," and you're saying, Yes, you did.
14 I said "a military state," and I did not put this military state
15 in quotation marks. The extraordinary measures were emergency measures
16 were under quotation marks. The military state was proven by the military
17 presence in Kosova.
18 Q. It was full of tanks and weapons in 1989. That is what you claim,
19 if I understood you correctly, and that it was military rule, right, ten
20 years before the conflict broke out? And at the time of the SFRY. That
21 is what you're claiming now, if I understood you well. Yes or no.
22 A. I cannot answer it with yes or no before I tell you that the
23 constitutional changes in Kosova were carried out by force. And the
24 entire world knows this, and all the international organisations that were
25 present there know this.
1 Q. Sir, I repeat, a few moments ago you said that it was full of
2 tanks, weapons, that there were lots of troops, there was military rule in
3 Kosovo. You said that two minutes ago. Don't make me read the
4 transcript. Are you claiming to us now that in 1989 there was military
5 rule in Kosovo, that laws of war were in force? Is that what you're
6 claiming right now, yes or no? And then let's move on if that's your
8 A. I didn't say that there were a state of war or war rule. These
9 were emergency measures; this is what I said. There were tanks and heavy
10 equipment on the streets in Kosova.
11 Q. Let's read it out yet again. Oh, all right. You said what you
12 said. It doesn't work. So this is the time of social ownership and
13 social property, right, 1989? That is what prevailed throughout
14 Yugoslavia, right? Were emergency measures introduced then when companies
15 were being liquidated? So that was the term used. It wasn't violent
16 measures, as you say.
17 When a company went under receivership, then there were these
18 measures that were introduced. So this was done in the case of socially
19 owned property, right? And then there would be receivership authority,
20 the Workers' Council would not be in existence any longer, that was the
21 way things were done. Do you agree with me?
22 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I object. There are three or four
23 questions there. I'm not sure which one he's supposed to answer.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I think, Mr. Fila, if you wish this to be
25 productive, you need to get an answer to each part of the question.
1 MR. FILA: [Interpretation].
2 Q. All right. Was there social ownership at that time, in 1989, as
3 the basic form of ownership?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Were companies socially owned?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Let the record reflect that he said "yes" a few moments ago as
8 well, because it is not in the transcript.
9 Now, when this socially owned enterprise company was liquidated,
10 then these emergency or receivership measures were introduced. Is that
12 A. I am an engineer and you are a lawyer. I'm sorry that you are
13 mixing up these things. The extraordinary emergency measures were
14 introduced before liquidation, and they were applied to all institutions,
15 not simply to the financial institutions.
16 I gave you the example of a financial institution because I worked
17 there, but you can say this of schools, of associations, of kindergartens,
18 of creches, of libraries, of any other organisation. All of them were
19 subjected to extraordinary measures, and the procedure of liquidation was
20 applied to them because there was nothing to liquidate. The workers were
21 simply fired by -- from work.
22 Q. The point of my question was that the word that should be used is
23 emergency measures, but not coercive measures; that's what you tried to
24 say. Extraordinary measures, I'd agree on that, yes. Do you agree with
1 A. You may call them as you like, but my point is they were
2 implemented through violent measures. Outstanding doctors were taken by
3 police and maltreated, beaten up, and they were -- all of them were
4 Albanians. And I cited here the case of the dean of a faculty of medicine
5 a close collaborator of Mr. Rugova, Dr. Akashi, who was fired from work
6 after having been beaten up and made full of blood all over.
7 Q. I just wanted to clear up the terminology with you in terms of
8 these extraordinary or emergency measures. Now let's look at paragraph
9 14. I just wanted to ask you about this paragraph. Do you know at that
10 time Ante Markovic was prime minister of the federal government in
11 Belgrade, the federal government of the SFRY? And that he was carrying
12 out a reform programme. Do you know about that or do you not?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Thank you. That will do. Let's move on. Please look at
15 paragraph 36 now. Have a good look. I just have a small question about
16 something that I'm interested in. You said in that paragraph - have you
17 found it? Yes? - that at the end of the talks, you're talking about
18 Rambouillet, all the members of your delegation, the Albanian delegation,
19 wanted to sign the agreement apart from Thaci.
20 Thaci did not want to do that and you explained why it was that he
21 didn't want to do it. That is his own affair, and then you say that
22 ultimately you all signed a letter stating that you would come to Paris
23 and sign this. Is that right, as is written here?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. All right. Now, in the last sentence -- oh, all right. So in
1 Rambouillet you did not sign an agreement, but you signed a pledge stating
2 that you would sign the agreement in Paris. Is that the way it should be
3 interpreted? Or would you explain if this is not correct.
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Now, I'm just interested in something else in this regard. Let us
6 clarify this fully. In Rambouillet, neither the Serbs, or rather, the
7 Serbian delegation or your delegation did not sign the agreement, right?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. And now we're moving on to paragraph 40. We'll move on very
10 quickly if you give short answers. Now you returned to Paris, and as far
11 as I can see, you're saying that there were certain difficulties for you
12 to agree to sign. You say that Dr. Rugova was reluctant; and then you say
13 on the 19th of March, as far as you can remember, you finally signed it.
14 And you say that the Russian ambassador, rather, representative
15 Mayorski - see, it is the last sentence - although still present, refused
16 to sign. Do you still stand by that? What I'm trying to ask you is the
17 following: Do you know why Ambassador Mayorski did not want to sign it?
18 A. I may only tell you here that Mr. Mayorski didn't sign the
19 agreement; as to why, you have to ask him.
20 Q. Right. I just wanted to find out whether perhaps he explained it
21 to you. Now let's look at the next paragraph, paragraph 40. You say that
22 during your stay in Paris, Robin Cook and Hubert Vedrine told you that the
23 bombing would commence soon; then you go on to say in the same paragraph
24 that several members of the Albanian delegation travelled to Brussels and
25 met there Wesley Clark and that he told them that the bombing would start
1 very soon and that you needed to take care of yourselves while the bombing
2 was going on, ensuring that the Albanian population stayed off the
3 streets. Of course, the Serbs could stay on the streets, and then NATO
4 would be there in a few days.
5 Please answer two questions for me: How can they tell you that
6 there would be a bombing when that decision had not been passed yet as far
7 as we know? Because delegations came to Belgrade after that. Are you
8 sure that they said that there would be bombing very soon, in a few days,
9 and that you should only remove Albanians from the streets? Of course, it
10 didn't matter about us. We weren't important.
11 A. I wasn't present at this meeting, as I have stated here, but it
12 was explained to me what happened. So your question is not a relevant
13 question as to what he said in this case. I can only say that the
14 participants who were there and who met him were told this by him, and
15 that's why I included it in my statement. As to why he asked the
16 question, I can't answer you.
17 Q. And what about Robin Cook? What about Mr. Robin Cook and
18 Mr. Hubert Vedrine, why did they tell you there would be bombing? Truth
19 be told, they didn't tell you to remove Albanians from the streets.
20 A. In my statement, I simply stated what he said, but I don't know
21 the reason why they said what they said. You have to ask them.
22 Q. In other words, did they maybe tell you that the decision on
23 bombing had already been passed and that in a few days NATO would be
25 A. That was an international position which was presented initially
1 to the Serbian side, then to the Albanian one.
2 Q. Very well then. So the Serbs were also told that they would be
3 bombed and that they should stay out of the streets; is that what you're
4 saying? Or are you saying that only you should stay out of the Serbs
5 because only the Serbs would be bombed?
6 Did you hear them say that to the Serb delegation, any of the
7 three men in question? Did you hear it with your own ears? Were you
8 there? Did you witness that?
9 A. These were, in a way, public statements. These were not rumours
10 said in people's ears. I don't remember whether the Serbs were there or
11 not. That was a publicly knowledge stance; and all the participants knew
12 if they failed to sign the agreement, then the bombing would ensue.
13 Q. But you were told that the bombing would take place soon and that
14 NATO would be there in a few days. Where there? What do you mean
15 "there"? How would they be there? How did you understand all that?
16 This is your statement, can you explain?
17 A. I may explain by NATO would be there means that a condition
18 imposed by the international community would take effect and failure of
19 the Serbian side to sign the agreement brought NATO in. The pretext to
20 bomb was not encouraged by the Albanians but by the Serbs with their
21 failing to sign the agreement, and there are official documents to prove
23 Q. This is not what I asked you. I'm not asking you this. I'm
24 asking you how you understood the statement that NATO would be there in a
25 few days. What was that? What were you saying when you said that?
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, don't you think that's been answered
3 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I don't think so because we're talking
4 about NATO, not the international community. We've had numerous witnesses
5 who testified to the fact that NATO wouldn't be there. That's why I'm
6 asking the question. You had Panic and others amongst others.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: The witness --
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] That's why I'm putting that question,
9 but let's move on.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: The witness has just told you: "I may explain by
11 NATO would be there means a position imposed would take effect and failure
12 of the Serbian side to sign the agreement brought NATO in. The pretext to
13 bomb was not encouraged by the Albanians but by the Serbs with their
14 failing to sign."
15 So it clearly says that that means that NATO would start bombing.
16 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's move on.
17 Q. In paragraphs from 50 to 52, you're talking about the conditions
18 of life of Dr. Rugova. You went there and you termed that as house
19 prison, house arrest. As far as I understand, you moved through Pristina
20 in your car until the moment you moved in with Dr. Rugova; and even later
21 on you moved around by car.
22 You would leave the house. You would come back to the house. Did
23 I understand all that well? And you reported to Dr. Rugova what you saw
24 around Pristina, what was happening. Is that correct, yes or no?
25 A. I could leave the house escorted by the police, because I wanted
1 to see the city and to inform the media outlets of what was happening in
2 Pristina. That was the first reason. Mr. Rugova never went out to visit
3 Pristina, and we were under house arrest and I can prove this by giving
4 you two facts because this is what you said.
5 Q. Please answer my questions. Did you have telephone contacts with
6 whomever you wanted, including even Mr. Hill in Skopje? You told us
7 yesterday that you spoke to him on the phone? Did you have mobile phones
8 that you could use to communicate? Can you please answer by saying yes or
9 no, please.
10 A. No. I didn't have a mobile phone but I had a fixed telephone.
11 Q. [Previous translation continues]... You had contacts with
12 journalists, foreign journalists, and everybody else?
13 A. I did have some communications by phone, but it was sometimes cut
14 off, depending on various tactics used. I used a telephone when it was
15 working to inform the world that we were alive, because that was argument
16 for us to save our lives.
17 Q. Very well. You will agree with me that if they had wanted to kill
18 you, they would have done that because you had 20 armed persons in the
19 house. You could not have saved your life over telephone; wouldn't you
20 agree with that? What I'm interested in is the fact that you had the
21 possibility to communicate with the external world, and at one point you
22 sent your family could you tell to Skopje. Is that correct?
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, there was a question. Does he want an
24 answer to the question or are we moving on to something else?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
1 MR. HANNIS: Now we have two questions. I object. Could we have
2 one at a time, please.
3 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Very well, one at a time.
4 Q. Did you send your family to Skopje, this is my question, yes or
6 A. My family went to Skopje by itself.
7 Q. Yes, that's what I'm saying. And at one point you went to Skopje
8 yourself and then returned after that; correct?
9 A. Correct. You can find it in my statement.
10 Q. I'm not disputing anything that you stated. I'm just asking you
11 questions. And now I'm interested in something else. You say in
12 paragraph 59 that you wrote a letter to Milosevic. My question to you is
13 this: Do you happen to have a copy of that letter? We would like to see
14 what it says in that letter. To jog your memory, please look at paragraph
15 59. Don't you have it?
16 A. No, I don't have that letter with me.
17 Q. I would really be curious to see what it says in that letter. And
18 now I'll move really fast because there's nothing disputable about what
19 I'm going to ask you. There has been a lot of confusion about --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you move on.
21 Are you saying you do have a copy somewhere else?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I prepared that letter on the
23 spot and gave it to the first policeman to convey to the person, because
24 that was the first possibility I had to communicate. That was -- that
25 contained a demand that we had to leave Kosova. I want to have it in
1 writing to prove that we had requested to leave Kosova.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 Mr. Fila.
4 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Before we move on, can you please agree with me or not - and the
6 question is following - that in 1999 there was a SR Yugoslavia, which was
7 a state of Serbia and Montenegro. It had a federal government and a
8 federal prime minister. Would you agree with that or not?
9 A. Yes, correct.
10 Q. There was also the president of the Republic of Serbia, the
11 president of Montenegro. There is the president of the federal state.
12 There was the prime minister and the Government of the Serbia as well as
13 of Montenegro, and there was also the president and the prime minister of
14 the federal government. Is that correct?
15 A. That is correct. But as I said, these institutions were not
16 recognised by the Albanians of Kosova.
17 Q. I'm not asking you this question because of that. Very well. But
18 this is not my point. We've established that the president of Yugoslavia
19 was Milosevic. Isn't that correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. The president of Serbia was Milan Milutinovic?
22 A. I regret, Your Honour, to say this, but I am here. If I can say
23 this, if I can say these are very ordinary questions.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, can we get to the point, please? We know
25 all these basic facts. As soon as you -- you start asking him, the
1 witness starts wondering what's going on and hesitates to answer. Just
2 get to the point.
3 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] This is the essence of my objection to
4 Mr. Hannis's questions which was refuted, but now I will clarify.
5 Q. The president of the federal government, the prime minister, was
6 Momir Bulatovic, would you agree with that? Do you know that? Is that
8 A. I don't remember.
9 Q. And Nikola Sainovic was one of the vice-presidents of the federal
10 government. Wouldn't that be correct? Do you know that?
11 A. I don't know accurately what his position was, but probably that's
13 Q. Very well. Do you know anything about the ranking of the
14 political officials? Who is more important, the president of the
15 republic, the prime minister, or a vice-president in the government? In
16 your view, which one of them is the most important?
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. And now let's go to Kosovo. The first time you saw Sainovic was
19 on the 4th of April, 1999. On the 5th of April, did you see him at all or
20 not? Just to be clear on that. We had some confusion about the dates,
21 and I'm talking about paragraph 62 where the dates were corrected. If you
22 can remember, of course. Paragraph 62.
23 A. The first time we met was on the 4th; while on the 6th, we met
24 again on the occasion of the Russian Ambassador Kotov's visit.
25 Q. And the 5th --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a second. In paragraph 64, you say that you
2 met on the 5th, and you're talking about the Russian ambassador's visit in
3 paragraph 63. So it may not be vitally important, but do you remember
4 whether it was the 5th or the 6th?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 4th, we met for the first
6 time. He came with a request for us to meet Markovic. On the next day,
7 the Russian ambassador came for a visit, and Mr. Sainovic attended this
9 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
10 Q. [Previous translation continues]... On the 5th?
11 A. To my recollection, yes, it's correct.
12 Q. And now you saw him on TV once. You mentioned a Crisis Staff, and
13 this is also in paragraph 64, if I understand you well?
14 A. I saw him sitting around this table, and I mentioned this very
15 short, several-seconds-long clip.
16 Q. The question is this: Was this only once?
17 A. Only once, yes.
18 Q. Very well. Again, we are facing a dilemma. He told you something
19 about not being able to guarantee your safety if you moved abroad. What
20 I'm not clear about is whether you were to go abroad on your own or with
21 Mr. Rugova. Who was supposed to go abroad? Can you explain that? I
22 don't have any objections to your answer. I just didn't understand. I'm
23 seeking clarification.
24 A. My explanation is this, and it will be the 50th after I've come
25 here to testify. Our request was always for them to allow myself, Mr.
1 Rugova, and all of us who were there to leave. This was our categorical
3 Q. I didn't ask you that. We agree on that. I don't have any
4 objections. I did not understand you. The warning, "I cannot guarantee
5 your safety." The words uttered to you by Sainovic, did it apply to your
6 travel to Skopje or to you travelling together, the two of you?
7 I know that you sought to go abroad, but I'm not sure about this
8 security and safety remark. What did that apply to? Do you understand my
9 question? Only that, nothing else.
10 A. It was clear. We discussed the request to leave; and when we
11 discussed my leaving, it is correct that he said that there will be
12 security concerns.
13 Q. And he's talking about you personally.
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. This is what I wanted, nothing else.
16 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] The answer was yes, and it should be
17 recorded and it hasn't been. Mr. Merovci's answer was yes to the question
18 about his personal safety. Line 33.
19 Q. Could you please repeat --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, there's no magic wand that line 33. The
21 fact that you've stated the position and no one has dissented is all that
22 will going to happen at this stage, so move on please. You're not going
23 to alter it at this stage.
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Okay, let's move on.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: The one thing you can do is ask the witness to
1 clarify it. It's the way you ask the questions that makes it difficult
2 for him. If you would ask him the simple question, who was Sainovic
3 referring to when he said you're free to go but we cannot guarantee your
4 security, you might get a simple answer.
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] But he did answer that, he meant him
7 Q. Isn't that correct, Mr. Merovci?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. That's that. And now let's move on to paragraph -- just a moment,
10 please, 68. In paragraph 73, actually, yesterday you mentioned for the
11 first time that you met with Mr. Slobodan Milosevic. Somebody asked you
12 that, and you said that Milosevic told you that you could go with your
13 family, if I understood you well. I would like to clarify this.
14 In paragraph 73, if you look at your statement, nothing is being
15 said about Milosevic and you said it yesterday. What would be your final
16 statement? Who was it who told you and Mr. Rugova that you and Mr. Rugova
17 could leave with your families? Was it Mr. Milosevic? That's my
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. And just one more thing. In paragraph 68, you say that you had
21 several talks with Mr. Sainovic and that you warned him in one of those
22 talks - and it really doesn't matter what paragraph it is - and a mention
23 is made of Racak, and then he said that Walter [as interpreted] is making
24 things up. Did I understand you well that a reference is made to Racak in
25 that statement of yours? Did I understand you well?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And something else I would like to know. On several occasions,
3 Sainovic turned up at your place once he proposed a meeting with Ratko
4 Markovic, who was the president of the delegation. The second time he
5 told you that you should meet with Milutinovic. The Prosecutor asked you
6 why Markovic but he didn't ask you why Milutinovic because it didn't suit
7 him, but I'm asking you now.
8 Was Sainovic the spokesman who was sent to make proposals or he
9 was a decision-maker? Was he just an envoy who was bringing messages or
10 was he a decision-maker who told you what you should do? On one occasion,
11 he spoke about Markovic, on another occasion Milutinovic? What was his
12 role? This is what I'm interested in. If you have a problem with that,
13 let me explain.
14 A. In my opinion - and you're looking for my opinion- what his role
15 was, what his function was, you can ask him. But I think you're looking
16 here for my personal opinion, and to my understanding Mr. Sainovic was the
17 person who came more frequently and announced meetings. In a way, he
18 could have been the person who acted in a capacity of an envoy, who
19 conveyed opinions of higher ranks.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila. Mr. Fila --
22 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Thank you, this is all --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: What paragraph is the reference to encouraging him
24 to meet Markovic?
25 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] In paragraph 62, Markovic; and
1 Milutinovic is mentioned in 67.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And you started or part of that question says: "But
3 the Prosecutor didn't ask you why Milutinovic because it didn't suit him,
4 but I'm asking you now," and then you diverted attention away from that.
5 Are you asking that question? It certainly hasn't been answered?
6 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, do you want to ask it?
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] No, no. I just wanted to add that
9 question because Prosecutor only deemed that Ratko Markovic was important,
10 and I'm wondering why he didn't mention Milutinovic and a message from
11 Milutinovic. But now I understand. I'm clear on that and I don't have
12 any more questions. Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 Mr. Visnjic.
15 Shall we break now and start slightly earlier and have you a
16 clear -- do you have questions?
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No questions, and I can finish even
18 before the break.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. That's clear.
20 Mr. Aleksic, you do have questions, do you?
21 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Just one. Thank you, Your Honour,
22 just one.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
24 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] One brief question.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Aleksic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Merovci. Just one question
2 with regard to your conversation with my colleague Fila, and paragraph 41
3 you were at the meeting. What Mr. Cook and Mr. Vedrine told you, you say
4 that several members of the delegation went to Brussels. Can you tell us,
5 if you know, which members of your delegation travelled to Brussels to
6 meet with Wesley Clark? Which members of the delegation were those?
7 A. From the Albanian delegation, several went. I don't remember
8 exactly how many, five or six maybe. Among them was Mrs. Edita Tahiri,
9 who conveyed this information to me.
10 Q. Among these five or six members, were there any members of the KLA
11 who went to Brussels?
12 A. I really don't remember.
13 Q. Thank you. That will be all. I don't have any further questions.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 Mr. Cepic, you do have questions?
16 MR. CEPIC: Yes, I do have questions.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We'll break now.
18 As before, Mr. Merovci, we have to break for 20 minutes or so, so
19 could you leave the courtroom with the usher and we'll resume at 10
20 minutes to 11.00.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
1 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Merovci. I'm Djuro Cepic, one
4 of the Defence attorneys on the Defence teams. I have several questions
5 to you. I'll do my best to put clear, concrete questions, and please
6 respond as briefly as possible so that we could move through this as fast
7 as possible.
8 Mr. Merovci, I'm just going to deal with a topic that my learned
9 friend Mr. Milutinovic questioned you about, that is to say trade in
10 immovable property. Just one question: Do you know that these provisions
11 were in force throughout the territory of Serbia. Like in Kosovo, it was
12 also valid in Sumadija, in Serbia proper, in Vojvodina, and throughout?
13 Do you know about that?
14 A. To my knowledge, it referred to Kosova only; because if these
15 measures were to provide Serbs from selling their property, it is logical
16 that they were limited to Kosova only.
17 Q. So that's your assumption, right? It is not an assertion on the
18 basis of the actual article from that law.
19 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, he answered that was "to my knowledge."
20 I think he has limited it that way already.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the question is legitimate, Mr. Hannis.
22 Can you explain whether it's -- that's your assumption or whether
23 you actually have read the law?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've not read the law, Your Honour,
25 but I'm speaking of what was going on in reality. If we refer to what
1 Mr. Fila said just before, that this law was in force in order to prevent
2 the Serbs from moving out from Kosova, it is logical for me to conclude
3 that this law was referred to Kosova only. This was what I wanted to say.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 Mr. Cepic.
6 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Merovci, let us go back to your statement, as
8 well as to what you said yesterday during your direct examination
9 conducted by Mr. Hannis in this same courtroom. On page 18 of yesterday's
10 transcript, and in paragraph 31 of your statement, you say that you were
11 aware of the Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement. And after it was signed in
12 October 1998, you were with Dr. Rugova and Mr. Christopher Hill in a
13 vehicle in Kosovo on the road between Stimlje and Suva Reka.
14 Where -- thank you. Where did you see the soldiers of the Army of
15 Yugoslavia? Yesterday you said that there were tanks there and APCs as
16 well. My question is whether you are fully aware of the
17 Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement, in its entirety, that is.
18 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I object. There are two questions. Is
19 he asking him about the tanks or is he asking him about the Holbrooke
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I read the question as first of all dealing the
22 issue with whether the witness is fully aware --
23 MR. CEPIC: Excuse me, I apologise. I think there is a problem in
24 translation, because I said on which road you saw VJ soldiers not the
25 question: Where did you see the soldiers. This is line -- this is line
1 39, line 1-- page 39, line 1.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: It still contains the possibility of two questions,
3 Mr. Cepic.
4 But the first question that needs to be answered, Mr. Merovci, is
5 whether you're fully aware of terms of the Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I didn't see this agreement in
7 a written form. The information I got was from what was communicated
8 through the media.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic will now follow-up on that.
10 Mr. Cepic.
11 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. [Interpretation] And do you know perhaps that perhaps by this very
13 same agreement, that is to say the Holbrooke-Milosevic Agreement, what was
14 precisely spelled out was that a certain number of units of the Army of
15 Yugoslavia should be in the area, in the field, in order to protect
16 certain roads, inter alia precisely this particular road: Stimlje-Suva
17 Reka. And those units were at that location and at that time precisely in
18 accordance with the provisions of that agreement?
19 A. As I already said, I did not read this agreement. I did not see
20 it in a written form.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Merovci. We'll move on to paragraph 39 of your
22 statement in which you describe the period between two rounds of
23 negotiations in Rambouillet; and you say that in that period in Kosovo,
24 the atmosphere in Kosovo was very strange that could be described as a
25 lull before the storm.
1 Do you know that in that period, that is to say during the
2 negotiations in Rambouillet, the forces of the so-called KLA considerably
3 intensified their actions and attacks, both against civilians and members
4 of the army and the police, which was indeed established by the Kosovo
5 Verification Mission?
6 A. No, I don't know that.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Merovci. Do you perhaps know how big a territory
8 was held by the so-called KLA at the moment when the Holbrooke-Milosevic
9 Agreement was signed, and how big a territory they held on the eve of the
10 bombing, approximately?
11 A. No, I don't know that.
12 Q. And do you know, perhaps, that it was precisely due to terrorist
13 actions taken by the so-called KLA during the first 80 days of 1999 over
14 100 civilians were killed, several policemen and soldiers, some were even
15 kidnapped. Do you know anything about that, Mr. Merovci?
16 A. Your question is prejudiced. The terms you are using are
17 unacceptable for me, and my answer is no.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: What part of the question do you find unacceptable?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When the counsel says that the KLA
20 actions were terrorist ones, they don't go together in my opinion.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, it's a matter for you, but if we really
22 want to get to the heart of the issues in the case, it's not helpful to
23 constantly refer to the KLA as the so-called KLA because that's you
24 speaking not so much as counsel, but from a sort of Serb standpoint which
25 I don't think is the right way to deal with it.
1 I entirely excuse the use of the word "terrorist," but again --
2 and I can understand that. I expect I've used the expression myself at
3 some stage in the trial. But bearing in mind what happens when this sort
4 of language is used, then it's better I think to be more sensitive.
5 Now, do you want to rephrase that question and confine it to KLA
6 activity, which then removes the objection that the witness finds to the
8 MR. CEPIC: I understood. Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Merovci, even if I were not to use the word
10 "terrorist," your answer would remain the same, right?
11 A. I don't know exactly.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I would like to know your knowledge of this,
13 Mr. Merovci. The question was: Were you aware that during the first 80
14 days of 1999, the KLA were responsible for the deaths of more than a
15 hundred civilians and several policemen and soldiers, and they were also
16 responsible for some kidnappings. Now, do you know that?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can only say that it is possible
18 that I heard this information, but for the Albanian side this information
19 was irrelevant because it came from the side that committed massacres and
20 killings in Kosova. This data for the Albanian side was irrelevant. If I
21 say "yes," then it will confirm this. That's why my answer is that I
22 don't know about it.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you see, we're not in Kosovo just now, and
24 we're not fighting the battle of 1999 at the moment. We're trying to take
25 an impartial view of the circumstances, and it would be helpful to us if
1 you could try to lay aside your natural reluctance to say anything that
2 might be interpreted as somehow or other favouring a Serb point of view
3 and tell us whether as a matter of fact you as I think so far, certainly
4 following Mr. O'Sullivan's line, you as the group trying to approach this
5 from the peaceful point of view were, in fact, aware that there was
6 another group of people who were killing civilians.
7 Now, are you saying you were unaware of that or are you saying
8 it's just that you can't confirm the exact figures or what is your
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this clarifies the
11 question. If the counsel asks questions with figures, with hundreds, then
12 my answer is that I don't know the figures, the exact figures; however, I
13 did hear information about this, but I also know that the KLA platform
14 comprised of the fight against the forces that were considered aggressor
15 in Kosova.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, can I make it really simple and ask you if
17 you were aware that the KLA were responsible for killing some civilians in
18 the early part of 1999.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I'm not aware of this, that the
20 KLA killed civilians.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
22 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Merovci, you should know that at the end of
24 1998 the KLA kidnapped several activists of the party that you belonged
25 to, the LDK.
1 A. This I know. But the way it was interpreted by these people
2 themselves, they even released a press statement. These people said that
3 they were not kidnapped, that they had an interview with certain KLA
4 members. These statements can be found at a press conference that was
5 organised in relation to this case you are talking about.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Merovci. Yesterday on transcript page 24, lines 8
7 and 10, you said that before the bombing started a few shops owned by
8 Albanians were destroyed. The specific number you gave was four or five
9 shops. My question is whether the Cafe Koka and Cafe Medji were among
10 these shops. These cafes were destroyed on the 22nd of March, 1999, in
11 Pristina of course.
12 A. I don't remember exactly because the names you mentioned do not
13 ring a bell. I don't know which these cafes are. I used as an
14 illustration a private clinic called Rezonanca situated in Dardania
15 neighbourhood. It was a solid, concrete building. Explosives were laid
16 and the entire building was blown up.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Merovci. I put a specific question, so please give
18 shorter answers so that we will move on as fast as possible. Are you
19 aware at all of attacks perpetrated by persons unknown and that were later
20 accepted by the KLA as being their own in terms of throwing explosive
21 devices into cafes, shops, and other facilities in Pristina, not to
22 mention all of them specifically and not to waste any time.
23 There were several such incidents and there were several
24 casualties involved. Do you know anything about that, Mr. Merovci?
25 A. To my knowledge, this is not true.
1 Q. What would you say to me if I were to say to you that all of these
2 incidents were verified by the Kosovo Verification Mission?
3 A. This is a leading question, a prejudiced question. I would give
4 you the same answer. I don't know and I don't think that is the case.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Merovci. Yesterday, during your testimony in
6 relation to the direct questions put to you by the learned Prosecutor, you
7 said that between your Tuesdays in France, in accordance with the
8 information you received from the Kosovo Information Centre and
9 information was provided by activists of the party you belonged to, that
10 the presence of Serb troops increased by 30.000 at that.
11 What would you say to me if I were to say to you that no one ever
12 referred to this particular bit of information, either the Kosovo
13 Verification Mission or any other source for that matter; even you in your
14 previous statements and in your testimony in the Milosevic trial never
15 referred to that. You first mentioned it yesterday.
16 A. I will give you the same explanation as yesterday. This is about
17 the period between the Rambouillet and Paris conference when the
18 verification missions could no longer perform their tasks, and this is
19 verified by the fact that they left thereafter. This number is an
20 approximate number.
21 It continued to increase later on. This information was collected
22 by our activists in the field. It is an approximate figure; and, as I
23 already said, this number increased and it is within the estimate given by
24 international institutions as well.
25 Q. Mr. Merovci, I looked at all the reports of the Kosovo
1 Verification Mission and I did my best and I made an enormous effort to
2 look into other documents as well and nowhere did I find the figures that
3 you referred to yesterday.
4 Your Honour, or rather His Honour, the Presiding Judge, yesterday
5 put a question on page 20 in relation to that, whether there was any
6 material available from the Kosovo Verification Mission that would
7 corroborate such an assertion. You stand by what you claimed yesterday,
8 right? Or would you agree with me that you were not quite well-informed?
9 A. Now you're trying to paraphrase my answer. I never said that the
10 verification mission gave this figure. This figure is a result of the
11 activity of our activists in the field. During this time when we were
12 able to collect information, this figure came up; however, later
13 assessments speak of an increased presence later on. This is what I'm
14 trying to say.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Merovci. Yesterday, while making a statement, you
16 said that most information on the arrival of Serb troops was received
17 from your activists in the area of Podujevo, where your activists say they
18 were following the movement of troops. Do you know that most of that
19 territory, that is to say of the municipality of Podujevo, was under KLA
21 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, can we have a date related to that
22 question, because Mr. Merovci is talking particularly about the date
23 between Rambouillet and Paris.
24 MR. CEPIC: I specified the period between two conferences in the
1 JUDGE BONOMY: So we can assume that this question also deals with
2 that period.
3 MR. HANNIS: Okay.
4 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer is this: The
6 Merdare-Prishtine road was free from movement, and your claim doesn't hold
7 water when you say that you could not use this road because of the KLA
9 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Do you know that on that very road that you've just mentioned,
11 there were frequent attacks on the members of the army, police, as well as
12 on civilians?
13 A. I know that the KLA was active in this area, based on the
14 information at the time, but I do not know of any attack of the KLA on
15 civilians, except for attacks on police and army.
16 Q. You personally never went there. You were never present there
17 were you?
18 A. No, I wasn't.
19 Q. Thank you. Now I would like us to talk about the negotiations.
20 Both my colleagues Fila and Aleksic asked you about the announcement of
21 bombing, the information that you heard from Mr. Cook and Mr. Vedrine
22 before you left Paris. Did you personally provide that information to the
23 journalists? Did you tell them that bombing would start soon, or was it
24 somebody else from your delegation who did that?
25 A. This was not a secret piece of information; it was public
1 knowledge. The journalists were there all the time, and the issue of
2 bombing was a transparent condition imposed by the international community
3 to be used in case of the failure of the Rambouillet agreement.
4 Q. Thank you. Upon your return to Kosovo, the plane landed in Tirana
5 where members of the KLA descended; then you and Mr. Rugova got into a car
6 across the border-crossing in Djeneral Jankovic. You went towards
7 Pristina, and coming towards you were vehicles, a lot of vehicles,
8 carrying civilians and representatives of international community. Would
9 you please tell me what date was that. Was it the 20th or the 21st of
10 March, 1999?
11 A. This happened on the 21st of March, and that happened in Hani i
12 Elezet, not Hani i Hotit, and we drove to Skopje by car. And we flew from
13 Tirana to Skopje; and from Skopje to Pristina, we drove and crossed the
14 border at Hani i Elezet. It's is a border-crossing with Macedonia.
15 Q. Do you maybe know that long columns of civilians in civilian cars
16 were on the road headed towards Montenegro and Merdare, in the hinterland
17 of Serbia. Are you aware of that, Mr. Merovci?
18 A. If you are talking about that day, that day I was at the
19 border-crossing point of Hani i Elezet, and I can testify to what I saw
20 there. What you are putting to me happened in other places, in other
21 roads, which I couldn't see.
22 Q. Thank you. Let us now look at 31st of March, 1999. In your
23 statement - and yesterday on direct - you stated that in the neighbourhood
24 where Dr. Rugova's house was, members of the MUP - and among them there
25 were even some soldiers who were armed - had previously expelled people
1 from some houses, and then they broke through the gate of the house where
2 you were together with Dr. Rugova's family.
3 You described them as some of them wearing the uniforms of the
4 former Yugoslav army and the others wore either black or dark blue
5 uniforms. On these uniforms, you did not see the inscription of the Army
6 of Yugoslavia, did you, Mr. Merovci?
7 A. I've seen the emblems and the people were there, but I want to
8 make a correction. In your question you make assumptions which are not
9 correct. Even though you are not asking me, I want to correct it because
10 otherwise it would be implied as if I accept that. It's not a question of
11 several houses and people, but it's a matter for the entire neighbourhood,
12 the cleansing of the entire neighbourhood.
13 Q. We understand that from your statement. I'm now asking you about
14 the insignia and inscriptions. On the insignia, you did not see the
15 inscription of the Army of Yugoslavia, did you, Mr. Merovci?
16 A. Yes, I saw them. The uniform was that of the Yugoslav army.
17 Q. My question was very clear and it was about the insignia and
18 inscriptions. Did you see the words the "Army of Yugoslavia" on the
19 insignia? This is what I asked you. I didn't ask you about the uniforms.
20 A. I saw only two letters, V and J.
21 Q. What if I were to tell you that in the Army of Yugoslavia does not
22 know of any such abbreviation on the insignia? There is no abbreviation
23 have the "VJ" on any of the Army of Yugoslavia insignia.
24 A. What is your question now? You have no question for me.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not clear.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: The question you're being asked is: Knowing, or
2 being told that by counsel representing a senior army figure, being told
3 that there is no such -- or was at that time no such insignia with simply
4 the letters V and J, do you still say that you saw insignia with these
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I'm clear about the question.
7 The counsel is saying: What if I tell you that there were no such
8 letters? And my answer to that question is: The Yugoslav uniform,
9 because I'm going to speak about something which occurred eight years ago,
10 that uniform was very familiar to us. We saw them, the soldiers, wearing
11 them every day on the streets and they were equipped with various kinds of
13 Now it appears that there was no letter -- that there were no
14 letters V and J. If that were the case, that -- still, that does not
15 refute what I said, that they were Yugoslav forces. I know that the
16 question is whether I've seen these things or not; but very
17 sincerely, I can tell you that maybe it was not exactly V and J. But most
18 probably the letters were the ones that I mentioned, because we were in
19 very difficult situations to concentrate and look properly at such
20 details. But as far as I know, this was uniform of the Yugoslav army.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 Mr. Cepic.
23 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Merovci. Let's move on.
25 Further on in your statement you say that Mr. Jankovic, a major,
1 appeared in a blue police uniform; and in your view, he was in command of
2 the unit that was housed in that house. This is your claim, isn't it?
3 A. This is a person that was a person with whom I had the first
4 communication after having been detained or kept in a hole for four hours,
5 all of us together. He was the first man to communicate with us, and he
6 was dressed in a police uniform with rankings on his shoulders and he
7 introduced himself to me saying --
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Merovci. Yesterday you said that you believed that
9 he was in command of the unit; that was on page 33 of yesterday's
10 transcript. Further on, on page 37, lines 3 and 4, you say that later on
11 Mr. Joksic appeared from the state security and that you realised that he
12 was in charge, that Joksic was in charge and that Jankovic was in command
13 of that unit.
14 Mr. Merovci, what would you tell me if I were to tell you that in
15 keeping with the law and the rules of the then-Federal Republic of
16 Yugoslavia, Republic of Serbia, and the laws of other armed forces in
17 other states, a police officer cannot be in command of a military unit or
18 any of the troops thereof?
19 A. This is your assumption. Now I have a question for you. What is
20 your question for me?
21 Q. Mr. Merovci, I'm the one asking questions here. I'm trying to be
22 as clear and as specific possible, and I'm imploring you to give me short
23 and precise answers and I thank you in advance. I have provided you with
24 the basis for my question, having told you that in keeping with the laws
25 and regulations in the then-Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Republic
1 of Serbia, as well as in many other countries across the world, there is
2 no such an example in which a police officer would be in command of an
3 entire military unit or part thereof, nowhere.
4 And I'm providing you with the legal basis for that, and I am
5 asking you to answer my question for the second time, please. And the
6 question is the same as before.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what is --
8 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Am I right in saying this --
10 MR. CEPIC: I apologise, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the question, Mr. Cepic? I mean, it's a
12 speech you're making that the law is clear, a policeman can't command the
13 army. What we're dealing with here is a witness who's telling us what he
14 experienced on the ground, so there's little point in asking him about
15 political or military theory.
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you will allow me, I
17 just wanted to clarify certain things, and I wanted to compare the things
18 that the witness has provided with so far with the actual facts. But I
19 believe that the answer to my previous question has provided us with a
20 clear view that he had of the situation.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I think you should move on, Mr. Cepic. Thank
23 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Merovci, yesterday, on page 25 of the LiveNote, you stated
25 that there were paramilitaries in Pristina and that they created panic
1 among the population, and then you said something that you never said
2 before throughout the seven years, either in any of your statements or in
3 the Milosevic case; and that is that after the panic was created by the
4 paramilitary formations, the police, and the military would simply move
5 people out.
6 Did somebody instruct you to testify in that way, the way you
7 testified yesterday? Did somebody suggest that you should say something
8 that you had not say for the past seven years?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Merovci.
11 Yesterday, on your direct, you talked about the killing of
12 Mr. Kelmendi and his two sons. This was recorded on page 25 of
13 yesterday's transcript. You spoke with Mrs. Kelmendi on the 26th of
14 March, 1999, in Pristina, immediately after this tragic event. Is that
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. She told you what had happened. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. How come that if you had the information on the 26th of March,
20 1999, until yesterday you claimed that this was done by members of the
21 paramilitary formations, and then yesterday you decided to change that
22 statement of yours? Am I right in saying that your memory was much
23 fresher, much more accurate immediately after the event?
24 A. Can you repeat the question. I'm not clear about that.
25 Q. You will agree with me, Mr. Merovci, will you not, that your
1 memory was much fresher in the course of 1999 and 2000, closer to the
2 event itself?
3 A. No. What you are saying is not true. It's not a question of
4 memory we are talking about here; it's a question of information. At the
5 time I visited Mrs. Kelmendi, in a very pathetic way, she explained what
6 happened. And for your information, Your Honours, the military and the
7 police forces for the bulk of the Albanian population were one and the
8 same in the way they perceived them, because they did what they did in
10 And the narration of Mrs. Kelmendi was exactly as I have stated in
11 my 2000 statement. Therefore, as I'm saying, it's not a question of
12 memory. It's a question of further information I found out, and we
13 learned that they were military forces. So in my statement the sentence
14 starts with "paramilitaries." But when it comes to Mr. Kelmendi, it's not
15 implied that they were paramilitaries. If you read that statement
16 carefully, you will see that I did not explicitly mean these forces in the
17 case of Kelmendi. Maybe if you read it differently, you may understand it
18 differently, as the counsel put it to me.
19 Q. Mr. Merovci, I've read your statement carefully several times.
20 I've studied everything you have stated very carefully, and yesterday the
21 Presiding Judge asked you about the differences in your statements on two
22 or three occasions. Just briefly, after such a long period of time, after
23 seven years, your statement yesterday differed from what you stated in
24 your statement given in 2000 and particularly in reference to the killing
25 of Mr. Kelmendi and his sons, the 30.000 Serbs that were brought to
1 Kosovo, the persecution that was done by the military, the police, and the
2 paramilitaries in Pristina.
3 You mentioned a journalist who was present in Rugova's house, and
4 you did that only yesterday, never before that. And some other
5 differences. All that I have mentioned just now you did not mention,
6 either in your statements or in the Milosevic case. You only mentioned
7 all those things yesterday.
8 Likewise, yesterday, the Presiding Judge asked you about --
9 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: I find it very difficult to find what question that
11 the witness can answer you are about to pose after that speech. Let's
12 concentrate on questioning the witness, not summarising your closing
14 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I've been trying to do it as
15 quickly as I can.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: But combining all these allegations together isn't
17 going to get us an answer that's going to take you anywhere, is it?
18 MR. CEPIC: I agree with you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Merovci, I have mentioned a number of discrepancies that exist
20 between your statement, the transcript, and the testimony provided in the
21 courtroom yesterday and today. Did somebody maybe suggest what you should
22 state today in this courtroom? Did maybe somebody instruct you what to
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
25 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I object to the form of the
1 question. Discrepancies, he needs to point out some specific things. If
2 he's talking about the things he listed in the speech before, a number of
3 them aren't discrepancies. They're things he didn't mention before. They
4 are additions. A couple of them were in the supplemental information
5 which we provided before we came in. So it wasn't just yesterday he told
6 us about them. He told us about a couple of those things the day before.
7 We put it in his supplemental information we gave before he came here.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the first thing you have to do, Mr. Cepic,
9 is specify a discrepancy, which I would understand to be a contradiction
10 between what was said in evidence yesterday and what the said in the
11 statement on a previous occasion. Now, can we identify a discrepancy and
12 then you can ask him a question specifically in relation to that.
13 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, if you allow me to say, I already asked
14 all those questions about Mr. Kelmendi, about the Serbian troops, about
15 extermination in Pristina. I already --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Hold on again. The 30.000 troops isn't a
17 discrepancy. That's putting a firm figure on a vague statement that
18 existed before, and then making it clear that in it in itself is only an
19 estimate based on information coming in from a wide range of sources. On
20 the other hand, the question of paramilitaries and being involved in the
21 killing of Kelmendi or VJ forces being involved is potentially a
22 discrepancy, but the witness explained already that the impression people
23 in Pristina had was that the army and the police acted as one.
24 They were one and the same thing, and it was only later when he
25 got more information about it that he realised that Mrs. Kelmendi was
1 lumping everybody together and that in fact there was more specific
2 information. So in fact you've got an explanation for that.
3 Now, what you're -- what you want to ask here is whether somebody
4 has influenced the evidence of the witness, and your basis for that is
5 saying that, first of all, there's more meat on the skeleton of his
6 original statement; and, secondly, that in some instances it might be
7 suggested there's a change in his evidence. Is that your position?
8 MR. CEPIC: Exactly, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Merovci, has been influencing what you
10 have to say here? That's what Mr. Cepic wants to know. Because
11 information is coming out, either differently from the way in which it
12 appears in your original statement or with more added on. Now, what do
13 you have to say to that question?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, even in earlier
15 question asked of me whether someone has influenced -- has asked me to
16 speak differently, I gave the answer. With respect to my statement of
17 2000 ...
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Please carry on, Mr. Merovci.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My testimony given in 2002 and my
21 coming here in 2007 from this -- from the time that has passed, what I'm
22 saying now doesn't run counter to what I said before; otherwise, why am I
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, if you want to follow-up on this, Mr. Cepic,
25 you should take one example and deal with it exclusively, because as soon
1 as you lump two together you run into difficulties, either of interpreting
2 whether there is a difference or simply an additional piece of
3 information. So if you want to follow this up in any detail, you'll have
4 to take one example and put a specific point to the witness.
5 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I will continue.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Merovci, speaking about the killings, do you
7 know approximately when Mr. Xhemail Mustafa was killed, and he was a close
8 associate of Dr. Rugova?
9 A. He was killed sometime after 2000. I am not sure about the
10 accurate date.
11 Q. Was the perpetrator ever discovered? Is it known who killed him?
12 A. Until now, no, no public information has been released to that
14 Q. And what about Mr. Ismet Raci, a high official of the SK and a
15 president of the municipality of Klina who was buried in 2001 when he was
16 killed? Was the perpetrator of that killing ever discovered?
17 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I fail to see the relevance of killings
18 in 2000 and 2001.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
20 MR. CEPIC: About relation in Kosovo between -- between political
21 party LDK and others.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: And what's the relevance to the indictment of the
23 relationship in 2000?
24 MR. CEPIC: I will change the topic, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
1 MR. CEPIC: That was the last question in that area.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 MR. CEPIC: Just about the relations in Kosovo it was.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Merovci, and now something about you
5 personally. You were the general manager of the postal services and the
6 telecom of Kosovo. Is that correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at Defence Exhibit
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
11 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have an objection about the relevance
12 of this. I'm not sure when he had this job and the document I see I have
13 one page of a story about something. I don't see the relevance of it. If
14 we can have some --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's a matter that definitely arises out of
16 evidence in chief, because you led evidence from the witness that that's
17 what his job had been. And until I hear another question on the subject,
18 it's impossible to say whether it's out of order or not.
19 MR. HANNIS: All right, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
21 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Merovci, am I right if I say that in 2002, in
23 October, you were suspended from that position due to certain suspicions
24 expressed with regard to you personally?
25 A. I was -- I got that position as a result of a public announcement
1 and I was in that position for ten months, but my work there was
2 concentrated on fighting corruption and misuses of powers. And because of
3 my public announcements of misuses carried out in that institution, I was
4 suspended from my work because of breaching the rules of public
5 communication. Quite unlawfully I was suspended from my work, and I was
6 not expelled from my position.
7 I was simply suspended, and that was the case until the expiry of
8 my contract, which was not renewed. The reason for my suspension, as I
9 said once, was publishing of misuses in the course of the work committed
10 by senior officials. And for that, there are documents, public documents,
11 and the entire public in Kosova is familiar with that. You can have
12 access to that page and see for yourselves all this information.
13 Q. So after this suspension you were no longer director of the post
14 office and the telecom, right?
15 A. After my suspension, I remained director of post service. You
16 should know the meaning of the word "suspension." It's not expulsion.
17 It's just a specific status given to someone until his case is examined
18 and a decision has been made. But as I said, there were three more months
19 before my contract expired, and they refused to consider my case, and this
20 is why I'm saying it is unlawful.
21 Because if someone is suspended, you have to take a measure either
22 to punish him, impose a fine, or to fire him. In my case, nothing was
23 done. They just waited until my contract expired, and this went on for
24 three months and it was not renewed. And I took legal proceedings against
25 the management, and the case is in the second-degree court.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Merovci.
2 In the Albanian media, primarily in the Koha Ditore newspaper, an
3 article was published by the UNMIK office for public information in
4 Kosovo; and it says, precisely in this article that it refers to your
5 suspension which is 5D81, that you were Mr. Rugova's personal body-guard.
6 Is that correct?
7 A. I already explained this yesterday. My official title as to what
8 function I performed, there wasn't any. Nobody had that. My job was to
9 look after the office of Mr. Rugova. I covered two fields: The field of
10 his security and his protocol. For your knowledge, security and protocol
11 are closely linked fields. Those who write and comment these things in
12 different articles, it is their problem.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Merovci. I have no further questions for you.
14 MR. CEPIC: No further questions for this witness.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Cepic.
16 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, before we go to the next, he mentioned
17 Exhibit 5D81. I don't know if he proposes to put that in. If he does,
18 what I've been provided with is only one page of a story. Either we
19 should have the whole story in or not at all.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think we want it, Mr. Hannis. Mr. Cepic
21 made from it the point that he wanted to make that there was a statement
22 of the position of the witness; that purpose having been achieved, there's
23 no purpose in admitting this document, I think.
24 I'm concerned about the nature of the document, Mr. Cepic. We've
25 been quite firm so far that newspaper reports are generally forms of
1 evidence we are not anxious to proceed upon. I accept that generally we
2 allow the documents in to the extent they've been used for the purpose of
3 questions, but in this case I don't think we should have this -- a
4 document of this nature when it was adequate for you to quote from it to
5 put your question. If, later, there's some reason for you to try to
6 introduce this as part of your case, then the position may be different.
7 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just one sentence, by
8 your leave. Precisely due to the fact that this was published by the UN
9 Mission in Kosovo that selects newspaper articles, the -- it was their
10 Department of Public Information that dealt with this, and that is why I
11 tendered this article. It's not a mere news article. It went through the
12 selection process of the UN mission in Kosovo.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: That doesn't, I'm afraid, change the nature of the
14 document. This is just their selection of what they consider to be
15 newsworthy items. This is just journalism, and journalism is not,
16 generally speaking, evidence for our purposes. So in this exceptional
17 situation, we will not admit the document, even for the purpose of putting
18 everything in context because that purpose has been adequately served by
19 the quotation from the document.
20 And as I said already, that doesn't stop you trying to introduce
21 it on some legitimate basis at a later stage if you think that could
22 possibly be acceptable evidence for us. All right. Thank you.
23 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. But I would
24 like to ask for something else, to have something admitted into evidence,
25 and I hope that you will agree to that. The transcripts of Mr. Merovci's
1 testimony in the case against Mr. Milosevic; 5D77, that is, and 5D80. So
2 could that please be admitted.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
4 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, is that his entire transcript for both
5 days when he testified?
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Sounds like it.
7 MR. CEPIC: Both days.
8 MR. HANNIS: I have no objection, Your Honour. We were satisfied
9 to present his statement, but I have no objection to you receiving his
10 testimony as well.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, we are not opposed in principle to the
13 idea of admitting testimony from the Milosevic trial. Is it not possible,
14 however, to be more selective than simply put everything in, or have you a
15 particular reason why everything should be tendered?
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I think that we did specify two pages
17 that I would like to have admitted as special exhibits.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, sorry. We thought it was the entire transcript
19 for two days, but you're saying it's only two pages? That's fine.
20 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, knowing that my learned
21 friend Mr. Hannis will object to my proposal and wishing to safe-guard my
22 interests, I proposed both days, but it would be much simpler for the sake
23 of the evidence and for the sake of this Defence if you were to admit two
24 separate pages that we have already prepared as special exhibits.
25 So I would just kindly like to ask for a bit of time while
1 Mr. Lukic is putting his questions, we are going to say exactly which
2 pages they are.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: That's fine, but were we right in understanding
4 that 5D77 is the transcript for one day and 5D80 is the transcript for the
5 other day?
6 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely. 5D77 is the 24th of
7 May, and 5D80 is the 23rd of May, 2002.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you can clarify the position later before we
9 conclude today's business. Thank you.
10 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Merovci. I'm Branko Lukic,
15 and I will have some questions for you today. I would just briefly like
16 to go back to what you discussed with Mr. Cepic today on page 44, line 17.
17 Mr. Cepic asked you about the reporting of the Kosovo Verification
18 Mission, about KLA attacks.
19 You said that you think that that is not correct, so I'd like to
20 ask you the following. Do you have any knowledge about the Kosovo
21 Verification Mission providing erroneous information about what happened
22 in Kosovo?
23 A. No. I have no knowledge about any erroneous information.
24 Q. What are your grounds, then, for not accepting what Mr. Cepic put
25 to you in relation to KLA attacks referred to in the reports of the Kosovo
1 Verification Mission?
2 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I think he answered that question
3 that he didn't know.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Precisely. Then I'm trying to get an
5 answer from the witness as to the grounds on which he does not accept what
6 had been put to him.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's not as clear as that, Mr. Lukic. The
8 witness was being asked whether he knew that there had been -- that the
9 KLA were responsible for the deaths that were referred to, and I certainly
10 wouldn't read that as, Had you read about it in KVM reports? Or, Now that
11 we tell you the KVM say so, do you know?
12 The witness is quite simply saying he doesn't know about that.
13 He's not says, I doubt the report from another source. So I think your
14 question starts off on the wrong basis.
15 MR. LUKIC: I can move on, Your Honour. Thank you.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Now I would like to go back to page 46, again
17 something that my colleague Mr. Cepic asked you about, and we're talking
18 about the Merdare-Pristina road. In your testimony, you stated that your
19 activists had stated that between two conferences, the Rambouillet
20 conference and the Paris conference, that is, about 30.000 Serb troops
21 entered the area.
22 You also told us that you know that the KLA was active in the area
23 of Podujevo; and in response to Mr. Cepic's question, you said that you
24 did not know about KLA attacks against civilians in the area. Is it your
25 testimony today that your activists never reported about these KLA attacks
1 against civilians from the area in which, in your view, they were informed
2 about the entry of Serb troops in Kosovo?
3 A. There were no relevant sources about things you're saying, that
4 what if a certain KLA committed attacks on civilians.
5 Q. I asked you whether your activists ever reported about these
6 attacks, or is it your assertion today that they never reported about such
8 A. They did not report.
9 Q. All right. Thank you. Now I would like to focus on paragraph 4
10 of your statement when you say that in 1981 patrols were introduced.
11 There were always three officers on these patrols, one being Albanian and
12 two others Serbs.
13 Mr. Merovci, is it actually correct that the patrols would consist
14 of one Albanian and two non-Albanians; meaning a Croat, a Slovene, a
15 Hungarian, a Muslim? It wasn't compulsory to one have one Albanian and
16 two Serbs?
17 A. To us it was an Albanian and two non-Albanian. I'm not denying
18 that these other two could have been members of other communities.
19 Q. Very well. Thank you. In paragraph 5, you refer to Slobodan
20 Milosevic's sentence when he addressed the Serbs that were assembled and
21 he said something to the effect of, "No one will dare to beat you again,"
22 in 1987 that is. Who were the Serbs -- who was it that beat the Serbs?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
24 MR. LUKIC: The translation was wrong. I didn't ask who were the
25 Serbs but who beat the Serbs.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was a spectacular political
2 visit that he paid in order to be able to continue with his policy against
3 Albanians. I don't know who he referred to when he said, "Nobody would
4 beat you again." This was a speech that was broadcast on television, and
5 I interpreted it the way I heard it.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Would you agree with me that Milosevic meant the Albanian
8 policemen who were beating the Serbs at that moment?
9 A. No, that is not true.
10 Q. Is it your testimony today that at that moment Albanian policemen
11 were not beating the assembled Serbs?
12 A. Could you please repeat your question. I'm not clear.
13 Q. Is it your testimony today that at that moment Albanian policemen
14 were not beating the assembled Serbs? When I say "Albanian policemen,"
15 I'm referring to policemen who were Kosovo Albanians of course.
16 A. There wasn't a single ethnically pure group at that time. You
17 cannot claim that they were beating the Serbs. It was a huge meeting
18 where he held a political speech intended to intensify his strategy, to
19 encourage the Serbs that his politics is the right one, that he will look
20 after them.
21 Q. All right. We're going to move on now. We're going to move on to
22 paragraph 7 of your statement. You say that you had to use the Serbian
23 language. Is it actually correct that younger Albanians, primarily people
24 born after 1970, did not speak or understand the Serbian language?
25 A. No. The majority of the youth born after this year speak the
1 Serbian language.
2 Q. Here we heard practically from all the younger Albanians who were
3 witnesses that they did not speak or understand the Serbian language.
4 What do you think, were they lying when they said that?
5 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I don't know how many younger
6 Albanians we're talking about that testified here. I don't know that
7 they're a representative sample of the majority of younger Albanians. We
8 had mostly witnesses from rural communities, as far as younger Albanians
9 who testified.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: That's a question for argument, Mr. Hannis, how
11 valuable the evidence is, but the question I think has a satisfactory
12 foundation in the evidence we've heard from some younger Albanian people.
13 I think, Mr. Merovci, it would help if you just concentrate on the
14 period shortly after 1970. During that period, I think the suggestion
15 being put to you is that Albanians were not being educated in the Serbian
16 language. Was there a period when that was the case?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, this is not the case. This is a
18 time when I was attending secondary school. Serbian language was
19 compulsory subject in secondary education. When I say the majority spoke
20 Serbian, I mean that they understood Serbian and could manage with it.
21 The Serbian language was taught in primary school as well, and it was a
22 compulsory subject.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I'm satisfied with that answer, so I will move on to my next
25 topic; although, of course, Mr. Merovci, it is the position of this
1 Defence that Kosovo children did not learn the Serbian language due to the
2 well-known boycott of Serbian schools that were not attended at all by the
3 Albanian children.
4 Do you know that a parallel schooling system had been organised in
5 Kosovo, and was the Serbian language taught at all in these schools?
6 A. We're talking about 1970. You have mixed up the time-period. In
7 1970, the curriculum contained the Serbian language as a compulsory
8 subject, and the Serbian language was a compulsory subject in secondary
9 education as well. Only in higher education you can choose whether you
10 want to do your studies in Albanian or in Serbian.
11 During my time at university, I had subjects that were taught in
12 the Serbian language by Serbian professors, and I actually sit for some
13 exams in the Serbian language. After 1980, when the autonomy was revoked,
14 the Albanians organised themselves and they did not accept the imposed
15 education system by the Serbs. The Albanians organised their own schools
16 and continued their education.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Merovci. I was talking about children born after
18 1970, so I precisely meant school attendance in the 1980s. You gave us
19 your example, too, but I don't think that you were born after 1970, just
20 like I wasn't. Let us move on.
21 In paragraph 12 --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry --
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. You said and --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment, Mr. Lukic.
1 What did you mean, Mr. Merovci, by saying "after 1980 when the
2 autonomy was revoked?"
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: After consulting the
4 colleague, the year was 1989.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, it's a mistake in the transcript.
6 Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. You're talking about the right to secede and you were asked about
9 that on the 24th of March, 2002, in the Milosevic case. He asked you
10 about after 1992. In your opinion, was there no other way out except for
11 independence? What would you say to us today? After 1992, what was the
12 position of Albanians regarding the independence of Kosovo? You were
13 asked in the Milosevic trial on page 5515.
14 A. The stance of the Albanians at the time you are talking was for
15 Kosova to be an independent and neutral state. By "neutral," they implied
16 open to Serbia and Albania. That was a political motto and slogan used by
17 Mr. Rugova for the only reason that we are talking about the time when the
18 former Yugoslavia started to be broken up; and, therefore, the legitimate
19 right of the Kosova people was to organise themselves and they held a
20 referendum in 1991 and the elections in 1992, which were not accepted
22 JUDGE BONOMY: We're going to have to break, Mr. Lukic. How are
23 we doing for time?
24 MR. LUKIC: I'll try to calculate that. I'll do my best and I
25 think that I will successfully end before the end of the day.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. But there will be re-examination, so it may
2 be that we'll try to put in an arrangement for extending in hearing
4 MR. LUKIC: I'll try and avoid that. I don't know how much my
5 learned friend needs for his --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Haider will speak to both of you when we
7 rise just now and, if necessary, will try to set up an appropriate
9 We'll break again, as we have to, Mr. Merovci, for half an hour
10 this time and we'll resume at 10 minutes to 1.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Merovci, at the Milosevic trial on page 5446, line 12 thereof,
16 you say the following: [In English] "Which had been were largely
17 Albanian, most of them left their work refusing the orders brought by
19 [Interpretation] Do you adhere by that statement of yours even
21 A. Yes, I do. We are talking about the time following the
22 constitutional changes when in the police service these measures, the
23 extraordinary measures, were imposed. Therefore, because of such a
24 policy, Albanians left their jobs en masse. I'm talking only of Albanian
1 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 16 of your statement, you say that the
2 Albanian policemen stayed with the police if they accepted to be loyal to
3 the Serb regime, that's how they were kept on. What about the LDK, did
4 they issue a proclamation in order to entice Albanians to abandon the
5 police and other state bodies?
6 A. I don't recall that the LDK has issued such a proclamation. Its
7 stand was that the workers should try as much as they could to keep their
8 work-places and not create -- not give pretexts to be fired. But there
9 was, as I said, an en masse sacking of people or leaving their jobs.
10 But what you are putting to me that only the loyal Albanians were
11 kept cannot be true 100 percent. There may have been some policemen who,
12 for various reasons, personal reasons, has continued to do the same job
13 for some time.
14 Q. Thank you. Do you know that representatives of Serbia spoke on
15 many occasions with Albanian policemen in Kosovo and held many meetings,
16 trying to persuade Albanian policemen, officers, to stay with the police?
17 A. I don't know this. If I had known, I might have said. What I
18 know is that Albanians have refused to abide by a policy which was an
19 anti-Albanian policy.
20 Q. Very well then. Let me move on to paragraph 19 of your statement.
21 You say here that the only contact you had was with the police, and you
22 speak about the return to Kosovo when Rugova got Sakharov reward in 1988.
23 You said that you were harassed at the border-crossing. Since you
24 travelled a lot, you say that you were often stopped. Were you familiar
25 with any of the police officers who stopped you at the border-crossing and
1 harassed you on that occasion?
2 A. No, I don't know them personally. They were police in uniforms
3 serving at the border crossing. As I said, from Pristina to the border,
4 we often saw and were stopped by traffic police, but sometimes there were
5 also drafted policemen not part of the traffic teams.
6 Q. Do you know that the commander of the traffic police, now that
7 you've mentioned it, in Pristina was Mujo Kujovic, who was a Muslim?
8 A. No, I don't remember this, and I don't know the names of the
9 police -- senior policemen.
10 Q. In paragraph 20, when you speak about the interview in May 1995,
11 the time when you were questioned by the state security, you say that you
12 were questioned about the alleged plan by the Albanians to form a shadow
13 Ministry of the Interior.
14 You go on to say: "I was aware of the attempts to create a shadow
15 ministry and that these efforts were led by Dr. Bujar Bukoshi." In other
16 words, we can conclude that at that moment the parallel police force
17 formation was underway in Kosovo, and I'm speaking about May 1995. Would
18 that be correct?
19 A. Yes. We are talking about the government that operated in exile
20 with Mr. Bukoshi, Bujar Bukoshi, being its prime minister. To my
21 knowledge, some efforts were made to set up its structures, as I stated in
22 my statement.
23 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 25, you say that you refused to cooperate
24 with the Serb authorities. The reason was that your only home in case you
25 did would have been a cemetery. Who were you afraid of? Who did you
1 think might have killed you, should you have accepted to cooperate with
2 the Serb authorities?
3 A. It is not as you put it, not the right context. I didn't refuse
4 out of fear, but the meaning is -- here is that before I accept this, I
5 better die.
6 Q. Very well then. Let's go to paragraph 28. You say that among the
7 LDK leaders, only Fehmi Agani had some contacts with the KLA to your
8 knowledge. Do you know anything about the possible cooperation between
9 Agani and the KLA, what was it about?
10 A. Not something concrete, but what I know and have stated is that
11 there was an indirect communication through some activists of the LDK with
12 Mr. Agani, but I cannot be accurate as to the names of such people. It
13 was something which I heard, knew of. When we talk of Mr. Agani, we are
14 talking about a very close collaborator of Mr. Rugova.
15 Q. How did KLA treat the policies of the LDK and Rugova himself?
16 Were there any threats issued?
17 A. From what I remember up to now - and now I recall Mr. Rugova's
18 testimony given in this very chair - at no moment, neither orally or in
19 writing, has the KLA ever issued any threats against Mr. Rugova.
20 Q. Are you familiar with the case that took place in September 1998
21 when the KLA in Cicavica arrested a group of politicians very close to
22 Dr. Rugova, among them was Bleta Pula, Gjergj Dedaj, and others.
23 A. I know of what you said, and another counsel asked me before. And
24 I said that this group was in communication with the KLA with reference to
25 what you are say ago, and then publicly they refuted such statements; that
1 is, there are five news conference given by these very people. And I
2 remember that they said that everything was done in the context of good
3 communication, something which they publicly acknowledged.
4 Q. Are you familiar with the organisation called FARK, and what was
5 the relationship between this FARK and the KLA?
6 A. What I know I know from what I have read from the print media. I
7 was not involved in anything, and I didn't possess any relevant
8 information. Therefore, from what I knew and I know, I'm not in a
9 position to give you an authoritative answer to your question.
10 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to paragraph 38. And let me just ask
11 you briefly, since yesterday on page 19, line 15, you commented upon the
12 Milosevic-Holbrooke plan, and this was on LiveNote, page 19. Is it true
13 that you actually never saw this plan?
14 A. I never saw it personally, and I can say that most of Rugova's
15 associates didn't see it. It was more a plan that was commented upon by
16 the media.
17 Q. We may then conclude that you don't know what it contains and what
18 actions would have been violated by that plan -- what would be the
19 violations based on that plan?
20 A. It's true that I didn't know them in detail, but what I knew and
21 was commented by many and also by Mr. Rugova was the withdrawal of troops
22 from the ground. And this is what I said also in my statement and in my
23 testimony, then I -- as I said, I made a visit about which I spoke about
24 earlier. So I made my statement in this context.
25 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to paragraph 42 of your statement. You
1 say: "At the border we could see all of the vehicles and personnel of the
2 Kosovo Verification Mission leaving Kosovo. There were also large numbers
3 of Albanians leaving as well in all sorts of civilian vehicles."
4 Just for the transcript, all of this took place before the bombing
5 started. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that's correct. All kilometres of roads were filled with
7 people waiting to cross the car, people -- representatives of various
8 organisations like the OSCE and the verification mission, but as I said
9 there were also civilians in their cars. When we went to Pristina, the
10 situation was terrible.
11 Panic reigned everywhere among people. As to what was going to
12 happen, they were terror-struck as a result of the paramilitaries who were
13 stationed in different places, as I said, yesterday, in the Grand Hotel
14 being one of them.
15 Q. Thank you. I would also like to ask you this. Did you hear that
16 on the 21st of March, 1999, at 6.15 in the afternoon in the street of
17 Miladin Popovic in front of the house number 1 to 9 in the neighbourhood
18 of Grmija, there was a traffic patrol which attempted to stop an Audi car
19 and this patrol was attacked and four policemen were killed on that
20 occasion. At that time, you were already in Pristina.
21 A. No. I don't remember that, because you are talking about a day
22 when we didn't have proper information about, and we were faced with
23 problems of food supply and a panic situation, as I said, reigning among
24 the population.
25 Q. Thank you. So it is possible then that you may have been in
1 Pristina and that you did not know what was going on in the town because
2 of the situation that prevailed at the time? Would that be correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 45, you say that after the 21st of March,
5 nobody went to work and all the services stopped functioning. Up to then,
6 everybody went to work, up to that date. Is that correct?
7 A. This is partially so. This was a process. The 21st is a day when
8 I returned and I mentioned this date because I was an eye-witness to that,
9 but, as I said, this was an ongoing process.
10 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 46, you speak about the killings of some
11 prominent Albanians. Can we then agree that you did not see Bajram
12 Kelmendi and his two sons being killed and their -- and also that you
13 didn't see the killing of Agim Hajrizi and Latif Berisha. Is that
15 A. I didn't see the actual murder act. Nobody did for that matter.
16 They only saw the corpses. But the act of murder of Agim Hajrizi was
17 seen by other people, but not by me personally.
18 Q. Did you hear that they had actually been killed by members of the
20 A. No. They were not killed by the KLA, and this is very immoral to
22 Q. I'm asking you - and I'm not talking about the mortality of my
23 words and I'm not calling for your judgement of my words - I'm just asking
24 you to answer my question. In paragraph 49, you speak about the Serb who
25 was charged with taking you to the apartment where you were to pick up
1 something. You say that he wasn't wearing a uniform but that he was
2 armed. Are you aware of the fact that he was a reservist affiliated with
3 the state security? And, as we all know, those people do not wear
5 A. He was dressed in plain clothes. There is no way how I can know
6 what he was doing, as you are saying he was a reservist. I know that he
7 was armed and he was the man who escorted me up to my apartment.
8 Q. You said that Ljubo Joksic from the state security was in charge
9 of this operation. It is to be assumed that he had his men who
10 participated in that. Would that be acceptable by you?
11 A. I cannot say that Mr. Joksic was what you are alleging him to be.
12 I was the man who simply expressed my opinion that he was a contact
13 person, and there were some other men dressed in civilian clothes who
14 later followed my moves, accompanied me in my moves to the city.
15 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 50, you say that from the 24th of March,
16 when the bombing started, until the 29th of March, you would drive to Dr.
17 Rugova's house every day at around 11.00, which means that you went by
18 car. What is the distance between your house and Dr. Rugova's house?
19 A. It is about three kilometres.
20 Q. Thank you. You've mentioned Jankovic from Suva Reka. Let us just
21 clarify this. Did he say that he worked in Suva Reka or that he hailed
22 from Suva Reka and worked in Pristina?
23 A. I may say what he himself told me at that moment, and this is
24 what he told me: "I'm Major Jankovic from Suva Reka." I couldn't ask any
25 further questions of him because, as I said, the situation was difficult.
1 Q. Thank you. When the policemen entered Dr. Rugova's house where
2 you were at the time, did they try to chase you out of the house?
3 A. Initially, it was the soldiers who came first. They broke down
4 both doors. When they broke down the second door, I came down from the
5 upper floor from where I was seeing what was going on, hoping to calm them
6 down and not be as aggressive as I saw them being from the window with
7 other neighbours. And they maltreated me.
8 When I introduced myself, telling them that there are people here,
9 there are women and children, and Mr. Rugova lives here, then they said,
10 "We came to do our job." And this is where the man who asked for NATO
11 lives. I cannot say at this moment they tried to chase us out, but they
12 consulted their other people because the situation was calm and this
13 situation after that lasted for many hours. To put it briefly, initially,
14 I didn't see any tendency to drive us out of our home immediately.
15 Q. Thank you. Do you also know that Mr. Agim Hajrizi, who was in the
16 limelight as a politician and he was very close to the KLA, was able to
17 walk freely around Pristina throughout the war?
18 A. Yes, I know this. And the policemen themselves told me that he
19 and his sister were walking around the streets of the town and they
20 described him -- people described him as the Mandela of the Balkans.
21 Q. In paragraph 54, you say that during the night, that is to say
22 after the 31st of March, fire was opened by the Serb forces. Do you
23 remember that on the 3rd of April, 1999, Abdullah Hajrullaha, an Albanian,
24 tried to enter Dr. Rugova's house with a weapon in his hands and in order
25 to stop him from doing that the police had to use fire-arms?
1 A. At that time we were told by the police about what you're saying.
2 The police did not mention any names, but only the attempt. However,
3 after some time after the war, things came on to surface, things were made
4 public, and it was discovered that it was Mr. Hajrush Abdullahu who was a
5 driver of Mr. Rugova.
6 And this could not be as an -- understood as a person who came to
7 attack Mr. Rugova, rather than like a person who came to save Mr. Rugova
8 or evacuate him. This is what I know and what I learned also from his
9 family members.
10 Q. You know that on that occasion he had been armed and that he tried
11 to jump over the fence, right?
12 A. I don't know that. I'm only telling you that I was told that
13 someone is trying to attack, to carry out an attack. This was said by the
14 police at that time.
15 Q. When you would go out of Dr. Rugova's house, either when you went
16 to Belgrade or when you moved about Pristina, were you protected by
17 policemen wearing civilian clothes?
18 A. In the beginning it was uniformed policemen. On the first
19 occasion, there were four policemen; on the second occasion, there were
20 two policemen; and later on I was escorted only by persons in civilian
22 Q. All right. Thank you. My next question. Perhaps you've already
23 answered, but I'm going to ask nevertheless so that it would not remain
24 just hanging in the air. Do you know that threats were addressed to
25 Dr. Rugova from Adem Demaci's office by telephone?
1 A. As far as I know, this is not true.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
3 Q. On page 5516, Mr. Milosevic asked you whether you knew Mr. Tanic
4 and whether anyone from your party, Rugova or some other Albanian,
5 negotiated with Mr. Tanic. You said, "I personally never met Tanic and I
6 don't think that any one of us met him." Even after 2002, up to the
7 present day, do you still stand by that?
8 A. Yes, I still stand by that. I do not know this person.
9 Q. I would just like to ask you something else. Did it ever happen
10 that you reported harassment that you were subjected to, for example, in
11 1998 at the time when the Kosovo Verification Mission was in Kosovo?
12 A. I'm not clear what kind of harassment you are referring to. Can
13 you clarify, please.
14 Q. I am referring to mistreatment at the border or by traffic police.
15 Did you report that kind of maltreatment to anyone in the Kosovo
16 Verification Mission or to any of the police officers?
17 A. The police itself harassed us. It is natural that -- it is not
18 natural to report harassment to the person that harasses you. However, we
19 did write about this harassment in press releases and public statements,
20 and we distributed these releases and statements in the entire world.
21 Q. Could you just, please, tell us where we could find these reports,
23 A. You can find information on these harassments in the materials of
24 the Kosova press centre. I don't know if they still exist and can be
25 found on the web page. I don't know what is the status with the archives.
1 Q. Very well. Thank you, Mr. Merovci. I have no further questions,
2 and I believe that we are going to fit into our regular sitting hours and
3 that we will finish today. Thank you.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
5 Mr. Hannis.
6 MR. HANNIS: That remark puts the pressure on me, Your Honour.
7 Re-examination by Mr. Hannis:
8 Q. Mr. Merovci --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, there's an element of flexibility because
10 there's no case this afternoon, I leave it to you to do your best.
11 MR. HANNIS: I think I can do it, Your Honour.
12 Q. Mr. Merovci, yesterday Mr. O'Sullivan was asking you some
13 questions about the meeting on the 28th of April, 1999, and played the
14 videotape for you. I want to ask you some questions surrounding that
15 meeting and that videotape. As of the 28th of April, I understand that
16 you and Mr. Rugova had been under house arrest for four weeks up to that
17 point. Is that correct?
18 A. That's correct. From 31st of March to 5th of May.
19 Q. And how did you and Mr. Rugova get to this meeting? Did you drive
20 on your own or did someone take you there?
21 A. They communicated this meeting to us. We were not in a position
22 to refuse to attend this meeting, and with their cars we were taken to
23 this meeting.
24 Q. Who took you there? Who physically took you there?
25 A. The person who invited us and accompanied us in the cars was
1 Mr. Ljubo Joksic.
2 Q. From the DB?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Who took you back to Dr. Rugova's house after the meeting?
5 A. In the same way, by the same cars, and by the same person,
6 Mr. Joksic.
7 Q. And while you were at the meeting, did Dr. Rugova's wife and
8 family remain behind at the house, guarded by police?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. At the meeting, was there any police or soldiers present?
11 A. Yes. They were always present, but at a later stage they were
12 mainly in civilian clothes but armed, even at a press conference in an
13 interview that I gave there was police presence. There were also
14 uniformed persons with long-barrel weapons.
15 MR. HANNIS: I want to go to Exhibit 1D60, Your Honour. And this
16 was the videotape of that meeting that Mr. O'Sullivan played, and I just
17 want to go to a brief clip. I think it begins at 3 minutes and 33
19 Q. And, Mr. Merovci, I want you to have a look. We've got a still
20 shot. This shows apparently some of the cameramen that were present
21 during this press conference. Can you tell me what the man on the right
22 is wearing in that photograph, if you can see.
23 A. Yes. This was a shirt, a military shirt, a uniform, camouflage
24 pattern and he put on a vest to look as if he was a journalist.
25 Q. Thank you. At this meeting, Mr. Rugova's speech is shown on the
1 tape and he said: "Our main goal is to get out of this present
2 situation." He could have been speaking about your house arrest as well
3 as --
4 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Objection, Your Honour, this calls for
5 speculation and supposition. It's has no probative value the way it's
7 JUDGE BONOMY: It's leading as well the way it's phrased, Mr.
9 MR. HANNIS: Very well, Your Honour. I'll withdraw that and move
10 on to another topic.
11 Q. Mr. Fila asked you today about the emergency measures or the
12 extraordinary measures. In your statement, in paragraph 13, you refer to
13 the badges that Albanian employees were required -- were being asked to
14 wear to come into the bank. Can you tell us in the Serbian language what
15 words actually appeared on those badges so we can hear the translation
16 into English.
17 A. Up to this time, we had our usual bank badges. Mine was with my
18 photograph written in Albanian, my name and the code. With the
19 introduction of the violent measures in the bank, the communication
20 language was the Serbian language and the Cyrillic alphabet. "Organi
21 Presili Mera;" Organs of Coercive Measures was the title.
22 Q. So when you use the word "coercive measures," you're referring to
23 the exact words that were on the badges that you were given at the bank?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Thank you. Mr. Fila also asked about your conversation with
1 Mr. Sainovic when you were asking to be allowed to go abroad, and he said
2 you were free to go but he couldn't guarantee your security. At page 33
3 today, lines 16 to 19, I think you said that you understood that that was
4 addressed to you personally. What about Dr. Rugova, do you know if he was
5 free to go?
6 A. No one was free to go, but what we are talking about refers to my
7 trip to Skopje, and on this occasion Mr. Sainovic expressed his security
8 concerns regarding my security. But this was a pretext in order to
9 prevent our leaving Kosova.
10 Q. I'm not clear on that. Was this the only time that Mr. Sainovic
11 expressed that you were free to go but he couldn't guarantee your
12 security? Was it only one time and in connection with your trip to
14 A. To my recollection, we spoke of this subject only on this one
16 Q. Thank you. Now, at paragraph 74, Mr. -- Mr. Fila was asking you
17 today, I think at page 34, line 22, about Mr. Sainovic's role in all of
18 this and whether you viewed it of him being more of a messenger or an
19 envoy. At paragraph 74, you say that Mr. Sainovic asked if the police who
20 were guarding you were behaving properly and that if they weren't he would
21 rectify that. Do you recall that?
22 A. Yes, I do recall that. This came after a few days after our
23 isolation and after the meeting with Milosevic.
24 Q. And how was Mr. Sainovic treated by the police who were guarding
25 you during his several visits when they came to see you?
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
2 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I don't see where this re-direct comes
3 from. What is it that I asked about the police and Sainovic so that the
4 Prosecutor has to re-examine on that? What the Prosecutor is doing now is
5 examination-in-chief. There are no grounds otherwise.
6 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, it has to do with his role.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Fila, the point that you made was what
8 Sainovic's role was and suggested he was a messenger or an envoy, and that
9 raises an issue that the Prosecutor is entitled to explore. So we will
10 allow him to do that and repel the objection.
11 Mr. Hannis.
12 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
13 Q. Mr. Merovci, do you recall my question? How was he treated by the
15 A. He behaved in a normal way, came and went. He had an armed person
16 who accompanied him. I could not tell if there was any unusual conduct.
17 Q. Did they treat him differently or the same as any of the other
18 people who came to visit you during those weeks of house arrest?
19 A. He was treated as a person who was, in a way, at the head of a
20 mission. He was treated as a senior person. He was treated not in the
21 same way as other people who came to visit us as journalists or the
22 Russian ambassador.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have no other questions for this
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
2 Mr. Cepic.
3 MR. CEPIC: [Microphone not activated]
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry, I apologise.
6 [Interpretation] Just with regard to the transcript, Your Honour,
7 by your leave. We have redacted the necessary pages. So in line with
8 that in relation to the 23rd of May, 2002, which is D580, we would single
9 out 54 --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the page numbers please be repeated.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you give us the numbers again, Mr. Cepic, the
12 interpreter has missed them.
13 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry. 5452, it is one page; 5469; and 5470.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
15 MR. CEPIC: About 24th of May, 2002, pages number 5483, 5484, 5489
16 from 89 to 5491; and then 5496, 5497, 54 -- from 5499 to 5510. Thank you
17 very much, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 Mr. Hannis.
20 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have no objection to that if I may
21 have leave to review it and see if I want to propose additional pages to
22 put something in context.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I think what we should do is reserve a decision on
24 this until tomorrow and you should tell us then.
25 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Merovci, I hope that we've completed the
3 exercise at a satisfactory time for you and that you can catch appropriate
4 transport home. That does now conclude your evidence. Thank you very
5 much for coming back to the Tribunal to give it, or rather, for coming to
6 the Tribunal to give it. And it will be of assistance to us in our
7 deliberations. You are now free to leave the courtroom.
8 THE WITNESS: Thank you, indeed.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, one matter in relation to tomorrow's
11 witness. The notification of the accompanying documents says this: "The
12 Prosecution will be seeking to have portions of testimony of the witness
13 from the Milosevic trial admitted, as there are some portions in private
14 session, there's a public version and a version which the Prosecution will
15 be seeking to have admitted under seal," and you then give the two
17 What I actually have received is a very large transcript because I
18 think it covers three days.
19 MR. HANNIS: More than that, Your Honour, I think it covers seven
21 JUDGE BONOMY: It's seven in fact. Right.
22 MR. HANNIS: It's not the entire transcript. It's excerpts of it.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: That is the redacted version we have, is it? Or at
24 least it's restricted to what you want to rely on; it's not the whole
1 MR. HANNIS: Indeed, Your Honour, not at all because he testifies
2 about Bosnia, Croatia.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed. And the one that has been sent, is it the
4 one which includes the private session evidence?
5 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, Exhibit 2590 is the one that includes
6 everything, including everything the portions that we want under seal.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
8 MR. HANNIS: 2589 is the open sessions only.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: So it is the full version, right. Thank you.
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I should say Exhibit 2600 is the one
11 that we propose to have filed publicly. It has the redactions. Oh, I'm
12 sorry, I misspoke, that's the statement, my apologies.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 Very well, we shall adjourn now and resume at 9.00 tomorrow.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 18th day of
17 January, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.