1 Monday, 28 August 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Pavkovic not present]
5 [The witness entered court]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Aleksic.
8 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
9 I just wanted to state it for the record that my colleague has
10 been injured -- and my client in fact has an injury, and he's agreed for
11 us to continue our work in his absence. Thank you.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we are grateful for that, Mr. Aleksic. I
13 hope he recovers quickly and is back with us as soon as possible.
14 Good morning, Ms. Xhafa.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: We will continue with your evidence. I have to
17 remind you, though, first of all, that the solemn declaration which you
18 took at the beginning of your evidence continues to apply to that evidence
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Okay.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 Mr. Visnjic.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
24 WITNESS: FEDRIJE XHAFA [Resumed]
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Visnjic: [Continued]
2 Q. Good morning, Ms. Xhafa.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. Ms. Xhafa, I will now ask you --
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] First of all, I would like the
6 witness to be shown Defence Exhibit 3D66.
7 Q. I would like you to show on this map the location where you
8 stopped, in fact where you were while the convoy was not in motion. But
9 first of all, I would like to ask you, you said that you found Fazil and
10 Musa again there, you encountered them here again. Am I right?
11 A. I don't understand. Who's Musa?
12 Q. Fazil and Mirsad.
13 A. Oh, yes, yes, Fazil and Mirsad, we met them on the way somewhere
14 in lower Studime.
15 Q. Can you remember at what time it happened, what time it was,
16 approximately? Or let me assist you in a different way. Was it before
17 the convoy stopped?
18 A. No. This was the time when we were on our way to Vushtrri, after
19 the massacre. We were ordered to go to Vushtrri, and it was somewhere
20 on -- at Studime i Ulet, or lower Studime, that we met Fazil and Mirsad.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now show the Defence
23 Exhibit D -- I'm sorry, 3D66.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I think you have it on the screen, Mr. Visnjic.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Mrs. Xhafa, this is a map similar to the one you used yesterday,
2 but this time it is in colour. If you see this thin blue line leading
3 from Vucitrn and then along the Gornja Sudimlja and Donja Sudimlja road
4 and then moving on from Gornja Sudimlja, it should be the stream. Is it
5 right to say that the stream is actually following the road from Gornja to
6 Donja Sudimlja?
7 A. The stream goes from Studime i Eperme to Vushtrri. I don't know
8 in which river it flows.
9 Q. To Ceceli, yes, but that is immaterial now. Can you now tell me
10 whether on this map -- can you see the letter G up there, that should be
11 Gornja Sudimlja, and D marks Donja Sudimlja. Can you please now mark the
12 location where you stopped around 4.00 p.m. on the 2nd of May?
13 A. Somewhere here.
14 Q. Thank you. Mrs. Xhafa, do you know where Mahala Zvarca [phoen] or
15 Mahala Zuci are? It should be somewhere in Donja Sudimlja. Do you know
16 about those two locations?
17 A. No, I don't.
18 Q. Fine. Now my question to you is: In your statement, in
19 paragraph 5, the statement of 1989 [as interpreted], you say that after
20 4.00 p.m. no one was allowed to move because of a curfew, and in the
21 transcript, Milosevic trial, page 4148, you said that: "After 4.00 p.m.
22 we decided to take a rest in Sudimlja." Which one is correct then?
23 A. We were ordered and we were told that after 4.00 p.m. it was a
24 curfew in Vushtrri, so we stopped.
25 Q. Thank you. In your statement you described that after 9.00 p.m.,
1 the police officers appeared. At that time it was already dark, right?
2 You were still in the column of vehicles. Is that correct?
3 A. When the Serb police and army came, we were sitting down on the
4 field, and they ordered us all to go to our tractors, and ordered the
5 drivers of the tractors to clear the road. Some people were walking, some
6 people went and got on their tractors.
7 Q. When you said "to clear the road," you mean to remove the tractors
8 from the road not to have the column moved towards Vucitrn. Am I correct?
9 A. I mean the tractors had to be removed from the middle of the road.
10 It's in the direction towards Vushtrri. All the tractors had to line up
11 on the right of the road in order for their vehicles to be able to pass.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, it may just be me that has slightly
13 lost his way a little. The statement you're referring to there is a
14 statement we don't have. Is that correct? It was translated as "1989" --
15 well, by the translator I heard "1999," but I see it's appeared as 1989 on
16 the transcript.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter correction, this is statement 89(F).
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, it's 89(F). Now, I -- it was translated
19 as "1999" and I was trying to find it there, but it's now clear if it's
20 the 89(F) statement. Thank you.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mrs. Xhafa, you told us - again, this is paragraph 5 - I don't
23 that you hid Ismet in -- in the trailer after the incident that you had
24 with the police. In fact, it was after the vehicles had been moved away
25 from the road. Am I right?
1 A. Yes. After everybody got on their tractors, a group of policemen
2 came. I can't remember how many they were, whether there were three or
3 four of them. They came to our tractor. They began to beat Ismet up. He
4 was with Jetish on the tractor.
5 Q. Yes, yes, we do have it in your statement. Thank you. I just
6 want to ask you about some details. Please tell me, can you describe how
7 you actually hid him in the trailer
8 A. Yes, very easily. They left for a moment, so he came to the
9 trailer and he laid down. We sat on him, and then we were trying to go on
10 with our way but the next group of policemen came and they began to beat
11 up Jetish.
12 Q. Yes. We will get to that. But let me now ask you something about
13 Ismet. At the Milosevic trial at page 4142 you stated that your brother's
14 son was -- had been mobilised into the KLA and that he spent some time
15 there and then returned home. And then on the same page you stated: All
16 the young men had been mobilised at that time. Is that correct?
17 Now, my question to you is in fact the following: Do you know
18 anyone else who had been mobilised together with Ismet?
19 A. There were not many of them that joined the KLA. There were young
20 people that joined, of course, but I can't give you any names. Jetish
21 responded to their mobilising order in the beginning, but then he came
22 back home. He did not stay with them.
23 Q. So let me go about this this way: Did you hear that in 1999 the
24 KLA also had the mobilisation order put out?
25 A. No. No, it was not like an order. It was voluntarily. Whoever
1 wanted to join them, they could.
2 Q. Fine. And do you know whether anyone -- any other young men who
3 had gone together with Ismet, whether they returned back home after their
4 stay in the KLA?
5 A. No, I don't.
6 Q. Mrs. Xhafa, your village, Donji Svracak, was it controlled by the
7 KLA until the outbreak of the conflict with NATO on the 24th of March,
9 A. No, there were no KLA in our village. In our village there were
10 villagers who stayed there, and there were Serbs as well from our village
11 who stayed there.
12 Q. Fine. Now, please tell me, there were no Serb police in your
13 village. Is that correct?
14 A. There was some villagers, Serb villagers, who had police uniforms.
15 Q. Fine. I will now take you back to this location between
16 Gornja Sudimlja and Donja Sudimlja, this is paragraph 6 of your 89(F)
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you do that, Mr. Visnjic, this map we have
19 on the screen which is marked, do you wish that copied at this stage or do
20 you wish simply to leave it there in case you use it again?
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, we can give it a
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit IC21.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mrs. Xhafa, in paragraph 6 of your statement you describe how a
2 second group of police officers came to your tractor. Now you call them
3 paramilitaries. And in your statement you describe them, but what I want
4 to ask you is whether perhaps they wore black masks over their faces?
5 A. No. The second group were not wearing masks, black masks. They
6 had blue uniforms.
7 Q. Fine.
8 A. One of them had a vest, a green vest on, the one that beat Jetish.
9 Q. Did Jetish give him the money?
10 A. We did not have any money left to give to the second group of
11 policemen, so my sister-in-law gave him -- gave them some gold things that
12 she had.
13 Q. Who did she give it to?
14 A. The policemen. She was somewhere in the middle of the tractor.
15 Q. In fact, she gave -- I apologise. Just a moment. So Hamide gave
16 it, Fazil's wife. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes, Hamide, Fazli's wife.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you give us some estimate of the time that elapsed
19 before the third group came? You said that around 10.30 -- the time is
20 okay, but I would like to give us an estimate of the time that elapsed
21 between the arrival of the second group and the third group. How much
22 time elapsed, if you can recall at all?
23 A. So when they took the jewellery and the gold, they left and we got
24 off the tractor and started walking. I can't remember how long it took
25 for the third group to come, and they came from behind a bush. Two of
1 them were wearing masks. And they shot my brother. My father spoke
2 something in Serbian. I don't know what he said, and they came back and
3 took my father.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... statement, Mrs. Xhafa --
5 A. It was about 10.30 after we decided to start walking. I can't
6 remember exactly, but I remember that my brother said it was about -- it
7 is 10.30 after the killing occurred.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Correction.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was my brother's daughter who
10 said it's 10.30.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Are you trying to tell me that you moved towards Vucitrn on foot
14 before the third group arrived? Am I right?
15 A. No, after the killing.
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
17 A. And they left.
18 Q. Fine. So when the third group appeared, was Jetish on the
20 A. Yes. Jetish was on the tractor. They took him. They shot him,
21 they killed my father. After the killing, I can't tell you how long we
22 were staying there shocked. We didn't know what to do, and the order came
23 for us to move the tractor away. And they ordered a 13 year old to drive
24 the tractor, but he was so young he couldn't drive it.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... to that point. But we
1 definitely will get to that point. I would like you to listen carefully
2 to what I am asking you. I'm referring only to portions of your
3 statement, specific portions. You don't have to go through it all again.
4 I know that you want to tell the Court about it, but please focus on what
5 I'm asking you.
6 Now I would like to read out a sentence from paragraph 7 of your
7 statement where you describe precisely this detail. In fact, it's several
8 lines, but you say: "One of them," you are now referring to this group of
9 policemen, "pointed a machine-gun at my mother's chest. Jetish had not
10 had a chance to get back onto the tractor after being beaten when they
11 took hold of him and dragged him to bush around 5 metres away on the right
13 This is a sentence from paragraph 7 of your statement. From what
14 I was able to gather on page 8, line 22 -- 21, in fact, you said that
15 Jetish was on the tractor. So now I'm asking you, if you can recall at
16 all, whether he was on the tractor or, as you described it here, he did
17 not have a chance to get back onto the tractor after he was -- after he
18 had been beaten.
19 A. He was close to the tractor. He wanted to get on the tractor.
20 But we were discussing at that time whether to get off the tractor and
21 walk or continue on the tractor. I don't know how long this lasted, and
22 when we -- he was trying to get on the tractor, the third group -- this
23 group of policemen came and they took Jetish and shot him.
24 Q. Were there any other people there at the place where Jetish was
25 taken to, apart from himself and the police officers there by that bush?
1 A. There was a convoy of people, but at our tractor only the
2 policemen came and Jetish, and there were four others close to the
3 trailer. One of them put -- pointed the gun, the machine-gun, on my
4 mother's chest.
5 Q. So there were just the police officers and Jetish and no other
6 people; for instance, no other tractor drivers. Am I right?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Fine. Mrs. Xhafa, I put it to you that your brother Jetish was
9 approached by two groups of paramilitaries not three, as you claim. Is
10 that correct?
11 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I think that misstates what's in her
12 statement. She says "police officers," not "paramilitaries."
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is irrelevant, in
15 fact, but if, if --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: It may be picked up as a positive confirmation that
17 they were paramilitaries at a later stage when you're trolling through the
18 transcript for your final submissions. So I think it ought to be put in a
19 way that doesn't alter what she said so far. If you're challenging the
20 identification of the personnel involved, you need to do that separately.
21 And indeed, it's you who have called -- you have gone along with her
22 description of them so far as police officers.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mrs. Xhafa, let me rephrase the question. I put it to you that
25 your brother Jetish was approached by two, not three, groups of police, as
1 you claim. Is that correct?
2 A. The correct thing is that three groups approached them. The first
3 group beat up Ismet; the second group came, beat up Jetish, and asked for
4 money; and the third group came and shot Jetish and our father.
5 Q. Mrs. Xhafa, what I'm claiming is that Jetish -- that it was Jetish
6 and not Hamide who gave all the money in their possession. So Jetish gave
7 them the money, not Hamide, as you claim. Is that correct?
8 A. They asked money from Jetish and from my father. They went to my
9 father to ask for money while they were beating up Jetish. And my
10 sister-in-law, because she knew he had no money, she gave all her
11 valuables, jewellery and gold, and then they left when they took it.
12 Q. Mrs. Xhafa, it is still my position that the second group of
13 policemen again asked for money and that Jetish had nothing left to give.
14 Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that's correct. Jetish did not have anything to give them.
16 Q. Mrs. Xhafa, I put it to you that Jetish was told to go to where
17 the bushes were, together with a few other tractor drivers. Is that
19 A. No, that's not correct. He was close to the tractor -- the bush
20 was close to the tractor. They took him to that bush. It was right in
21 front of us that he was killed.
22 Q. Mrs. Xhafa, I also put it to you that at the moment when he was
23 ordered to go to the shrub together with the other few tractor drivers and
24 that he was shot at when he caught up with that group. Is that correct?
25 A. I don't know about other drivers. I'm speaking here about Jetish
1 and my family. They took Jetish only to that bush. When they took
2 Jetish, these people in masks, they didn't exchange any words. They just
3 pointed the gun at him. I know that my father said something, and they
4 also took my father and they shot him as well.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the question at
6 page 10, line 7, through to page 12, line 4, these questions are based on
7 paragraph 6 of the statement given by Jetish Xhafa to the OTP
8 investigators on the 26th of February, 2000, at page K0075428.
9 Q. Mrs. Xhafa, you say that - this was in paragraph 8 of your 89(F)
10 statement - you say you heard three shots when your father was being shot
11 at. In that paragraph, as regards the third shot, you said: "I heard
12 another shot, but I didn't see where it came from."
13 Could you clarify it for us, please?
14 A. Yes. When they took my father, we realised that he would be
15 killed as well. We heard a shot and then another. I turned my head
16 around because I didn't want to look. I heard a cry, and they both
17 remained killed there.
18 Q. Did you hear the third shot after that? Because this is the way I
19 read your statement, if I understand it correctly.
20 A. There were many shots. The police were shooting all the time.
21 There were other tractors around, where there were shots as well, from all
23 Q. So you are stating that there was general firing in your environs
24 and that the police fired on several occasions and many shots. Did I
25 understand your testimony correctly?
1 A. Yes. Because when we started to walk, we passed some corpses on
2 the road; that means that other people were killed as well.
3 Q. Mrs. Xhafa, it was quite dark at that time of day and you didn't
4 see -- well, how far ahead or behind you were you able to see, having in
5 mind the time of day?
6 A. It was a clear night. The moon was shining, and the tractors had
7 their lights on. So we could see very clearly.
8 Q. Very well. Your uncle, Muharrem, was he with you in the column
10 A. Yes, he was. But we met him on the way to Vushtrri.
11 Q. You met him later as well then?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Very well. In your statement you continue to describe how you
14 were ordered to set the tractors in motion and that only Lavdim knew how
15 to drive a tractor, how to operate it. Am I correct?
16 A. Yes. Ismet was there as well, but because he was hiding and we
17 didn't dare ask him, "Drive the tractor," for fear of being caught, we
18 didn't know what to do. A Serb came and asked him to start the tractor.
19 He just could drive it for a hundred metres, no more, and we stopped then
20 and we continued on foot.
21 Q. And then Ismet abandoned you, he left. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes. After the tractor stopped and we started to walk, we looked
23 around. There were no policemen. We got off the tractor. Ismet was with
24 us in the group, and we walked together until we joined another group.
25 And there was a time when the police left, so he took the chance and went
1 on the other side of the road and went towards Samodreza to meet the KLA,
2 and he met them after that one day or two, I'm not sure.
3 Q. And did you see Ismet again?
4 A. After the war ended, we met Ismet. I think it was on the 17th of
5 June. I went to see my brother and I met Ismet as well in Samodreza.
6 Q. Did the -- the KLA escort the convoy for a while? If they were
7 moving towards Dreza, they must have accompanied you at least part of the
9 A. No, that's not true. When we joined the convoy from Sllakovc, the
10 KLA went in a different direction. We did not see the KLA or meet them
11 that day. There were only unarmed people, civilians, in the convoy.
12 Q. In what direction did the KLA go; do you know?
13 A. I don't know. It was in the opposite direction. Maybe towards
15 Q. Weren't the Serbian forces coming from the other direction? They
16 were advancing, and that was one of the reasons why you went towards
18 A. The opposite direction is towards Dumnica, and from there they
19 went towards the villages of Llapi. I don't know. While the Serbian
20 forces came from the direction of Sekovc --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Vesekovc, interpreter's correction.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. When you say "Dumnica," is it the location --
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I believe I will have to ask again
25 for 3D66 to be put in front of the witness so that she can indicate where
1 the location is.
2 Q. When you say "Dumnica," is it the place we see on the map to the
3 right-hand side of Samodreza?
4 A. Yes. Dumnica is somewhere here, upper Dumnica. I didn't ask or
5 know where they were staying.
6 Q. And you partially followed the road between Sllakovc to Samodreza,
7 and then you turned towards Gornja Sudimlja. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Very well. Thank you, Mrs. Xhafa. I wanted to ask you the
10 following. In paragraph 11 of your 89(F) statement, you state that while
11 in Vucitrn your uncle Muharrem went to see a Serb by the name of Biba who
12 was your neighbour, and he explained to him your situation, and then he
13 helped get Jetish's sons released. My question is, therefore, this man,
14 this Biba, was he a policeman?
15 A. Yes. He had a police uniform.
16 Q. So what did Muharrem explained to him, what situation, that your
17 father and probably your brother were killed that night. Is that what he
18 told him?
19 A. Yes, he told him the truth, everything that had happened to us
20 that night. I don't know how much he helped us, but that day our sons
21 were not taken to prison.
22 Q. And this was all on the 3rd of May, 1999, before noon. Is that
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. And your uncle basically reported the murders of your brother and
1 your father, although at that time you didn't know that your brother --
2 whether your brother had survived. So your uncle reported your father's
3 and your brother's murders to the policemen. Is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you know whether the police took any steps after that?
6 A. No, nothing. I don't know.
7 Q. Thank you. I wanted to ask you this, Mrs. Xhafa, from the same
8 paragraph: In the territory of the Vucitrn municipality, were there some
9 people with tractors who stayed behind and didn't leave towards Albania?
10 Because in your statement you state that all those who had tractors went
11 to Albania. I'm asking you now: Do you know whether -- of anyone who had
12 a tractor and who remained instead of going to Albania?
13 A. How could I know? As far as I know, all the tractors were ordered
14 to go to Albania. The people left on foot, were asked to go to the Kicic
15 and Smrekonice.
16 Q. So you don't really know whether all those who had tractors were
17 ordered indeed to go to Albania?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. While you were in the village of Dobra Luka, there you describe an
20 event in paragraph 15 of your statement, where you say that you saw the
21 Serb police go to one part of Dobra Luka. And then you said you heard
22 some shots and that you were around 200 metres away from that place. You
23 don't really know whether they took away those Albanian families,
24 including women and children. You didn't see that. Is that correct
25 A. No, I didn't see, but I could hear the shooting and we could see
1 them enter that neighbourhood on that day. The following day, we learned
2 that they had taken the children and women and the remaining men there in
3 the direction of the villages Stutarice [phoen], Okrashtica, and so on.
4 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Xhafa.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] This concludes my cross-examination,
6 Your Honours.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
8 Mr. Aleksic.
9 Mr. Aleksic: [Interpretation] No questions for the witness.
10 Thank you.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
12 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 By your leave, before I start posing questions, I wanted to
14 address the problem I discussed with Mr. Hannis. This refers to the
15 patterns on camouflage uniforms, and this refers to this and the next
16 witness. Unfortunately, none of us can make out what exactly is in the
17 pictures, in the photographs. I discussed this issue with my learned
18 friend Mr. Hannis, and I understand their situation. I just wanted to
19 point out this problem because it will have to do with both this witness
20 and the next witness, who is also going to be invited to recognise the
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, as I see it, the Prosecution have failed to
23 give us copies of these uniforms that are capable of being identified, and
24 that therefore the evidence at the moment lacks any specification so far
25 as it relates to these pictures. So the only way you can deal with it, I
1 think, is to try to describe things to the witness and cross-examine on
2 the basis that these don't exist. And it may be that later will be too
3 late for the Prosecution to introduce them.
4 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will have a
5 few short questions, by your leave, for Mrs. Xhafa. Thank you.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mrs. Xhafa, good morning. My name is Djuro
8 Cepic, attorney-at-law, and I appear here on behalf of General Vladimir
9 Lazarevic as a member of the Defence.
10 Today you stated that together with the police -- you've described
11 that the convoy was approached by the military as well, but as you stated
12 the military were somewhere in the middle or at the rear of the convoy,
13 whereas you yourself were at the front. Is that correct?
14 A. We were somewhere in the middle of the convoy, in the middle part,
15 while the military and -- moved along the convoy in their military
16 vehicles. Some were at the entrance of Studime i Ulet.
17 Q. Therefore, in the opposite direction?
18 A. I don't understand you. I don't understand your question.
19 Q. They were moving in the opposite direction of where you were
21 A. Yes. They went up to the upper part and then came down with their
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] No further questions. I apologise.
25 [In English] I do apologise, I will withdraw my intention that
1 I -- I've got some additional questions, please.
2 Q. [Interpretation] If I understood your statement well, when you
3 said they were at the rear of the column, they were not close to you.
4 Isn't that correct?
5 A. While we were resting there at the entrance of Studime i Ulet,
6 there was a tank, a military tank. And those who manned that tank made us
7 shout: Draza, Draza, Sloba, Sloba.
8 Q. You didn't mention that in your statement. In fact, you said
9 something quite the opposite.
10 A. I don't think I said the opposite. This is the truth, what I'm
11 telling you.
12 Q. In English, page 2, paragraph 5; in Albanian, paragraph 2, page 3,
13 you said: "Members of paramilitary units approached our tractors on
14 several occasions." Isn't that correct?
15 A. Yes. This was in the beginning.
16 Q. Thank you. And you couldn't clearly make out the insignia they
17 wore as -- on the members of, as you put it, the military. Isn't that
19 A. Who are you referring to?
20 Q. The previous soldiers you mentioned, not the paramilitaries. The
21 soldiers. You couldn't see -- make out their insignia when they moved in
22 the -- along in those vehicles. Isn't that correct?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] No further questions.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We could see the tank, but not the
2 insignia, no. And we didn't dare look at that direction and see what kind
3 of insignia they had.
4 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honour, I have no
5 further questions.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mrs. Xhafa, what's the significance of the chant:
7 Draza, Draza?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a Chetnik gang, a Serbian
9 Chetnik gang from the past, and they made us chant the name, his name.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petrovic.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. No
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan.
14 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No questions.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mrs. Xhafa. My name is Branko
20 Lukic. Together with Mr. Ivetic and Mr. Ogrizovic, I represent Mr. Lukic
21 as his Defence counsel. I will have a few questions related to your
22 statements tendered by the Prosecution in this case, and now I would like
23 you to answer as briefly as possible so that we are able to complete this
24 as soon as possible. And if the Judges or the Prosecutors think that you
25 need to provide any further explanation, they will, I'm sure, ask for
1 those explanations.
2 In paragraph 2 of your 89(F) statement of the 25th of August,
3 2006, you say that you were forced to leave your house because Serbs
4 started burning houses in your village. In your statement of 11th of
5 October, 2001, the English version that's page 2, paragraph 2; Albanian
6 version, again page 2, paragraph 2; and in Serbian it is page 2,
7 paragraph 3, you say: "We moved out of the village because some of our
8 neighbours, Serbs, from the same village moved out and went to the village
9 of Nedakovc. We thought that something would happen and we decided to
11 Now, in relation to this part of your statement, let me ask the
12 you the following question. How many Serb households were there in your
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Is it true that the Serb families moved out of your village before
16 you, yourself, left your village?
17 A. Yes, that's true. They left a day before we did. They went to
18 the village of Nedakovc. Our Albanian neighbours who were there, they
19 came with us, and they actually informed us that all the Serbs left the
20 village. We saw that the houses were set on fire in Sfracak e Eperm;
21 therefore, we decided to leave as well and set off in the direction of
23 Q. So the houses were set on fire one day before you left the
25 A. Actually, on that day while the Serbs left the village, a day
1 before us.
2 Q. So on the day when the Serbs left the village, which is one day
3 before you left the village, the houses were on fire?
4 A. The houses were set on fire on the day we left.
5 Q. When you moved out of your village, you headed towards the
6 villages that were much stronger strongholds of the KLA. Is that correct?
7 A. Well, we thought that there won't be Serbs in that zone and felt
8 it would be safer for us to go to Dumnice, while the KLA was in Sllakovc.
9 And from Dumnice then we went to Sllakovc.
10 Q. How did this arrangement come about for you to leave the village?
11 How was this agreement reached? Did anyone order you to leave?
12 A. No. We could see the danger coming towards us.
13 Q. Madam, Mrs. Xhafa, is it not correct that the departure from your
14 village was in fact organised by the KLA? In fact, they helped you pack?
15 A. No. No. We left ourselves. There was no KLA in our village, and
16 the KLA was very far from our village.
17 Q. Today you were asked whether the area in which your village was,
18 whether it was in fact controlled by the KLA. You also said that there
19 was no police in this area, just the locals, Serbs as you put it, who had
20 police uniforms. Those inhabitants of your village, did they have the
21 regular police uniforms or were their uniforms different from those of the
22 regular police?
23 A. They had police uniforms. And we could see them even earlier
24 dressed in these uniforms, in blue police uniforms.
25 Q. Do you remember what kind of weapons they had?
1 A. No, I don't remember that.
2 Q. If I were to tell you that the uniforms possibly worn by the
3 people in the villages, and those people in fact were members of the local
4 security, that those uniforms differed from the uniforms worn by the
5 regular police, would you allow that this was in fact possible?
6 A. I don't understand your question, I really don't.
7 Q. Fine. It's not a problem. I will repeat my question. If I were
8 to tell you -- if I were to claim --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I guess I'm objecting for a lack of
11 foundation. I don't know that we've established with this witness what a
12 regular police uniform looks like to compare it to anything else.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: It's an unanswerable question as phrased at the
14 moment. I think the witness's statement was quite right. Now, I assume
15 that it was going to be clarified, so let's hear what the alternative
16 question is, Mr. Hannis.
17 MR. HANNIS: Oh, sorry. I thought you were asking me.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no. Let's hear what Mr. Lukic's alternative
19 version is.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mrs. Xhafa, it would be much easier if we had the pictures that
22 you used in the identification process to determine what uniforms in fact
23 you were able to identify. Unfortunately, we don't have this picture, and
24 as instructed by the Chamber we have to go about it this way. That is why
25 I have to apologise if I have to dwell on this for a little while longer,
1 but we will have to do that in order to determine some things that we
2 can't determine in any other way.
3 My question is as follows: Would you agree with my claim and
4 would you allow that it is possible that the uniforms worn by the people
5 in your village were, in fact, different from the uniforms worn by the
6 regular police?
7 MR. HANNIS: I have the same objection, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: It's the same question.
9 It's impossible to -- to know whether the witness can answer that
10 because we have no idea what her experience of regular police uniforms is.
11 So, as Mr. Hannis points out, we don't have a foundation for the question.
12 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I don't -- I don't know if it would be
13 of any assistance to counsel or not. We have Exhibit P2254 which has
14 photos of various military and police uniforms. Now, if Mr. Lukic has
15 seen that and any of those meet his definition of what a regular police
16 uniform is, maybe he would like to show it to her and inquire if she
17 recognises any of those.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: There's a helpful suggestion, Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: I haven't been using that evidence in preparation for
20 this witness, so I might try --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I perhaps try to understand the significance of
22 the question. If you accept that there are police -- or there are Serbs
23 in the village who wear what she describes as police uniforms, what's the
25 MR. LUKIC: The issue is that it is not -- it's not the police
1 force, it's a local security.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, but that's not going to be determined by her
3 knowledge of --
4 MR. LUKIC: That's what I tried --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Her identification of uniforms.
6 MR. LUKIC: Maybe she knew. I don't know. I tried to -- maybe it
7 was a bit of fishing expedition, but --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: And you're saying that they are not under the
9 jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior?
10 MR. LUKIC: Yes, that's correct.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, is that going to be -- is that particular
12 point going to be determined by looking at pictures of uniform?
13 MR. LUKIC: Maybe not.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: It doesn't seem to me it's going to advance our
15 knowledge of the matter, so it might be better if you proceed to something
17 MR. LUKIC: I'll move on.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mrs. Xhafa, the KLA strongholds were located in
19 Studime i Eperme and Ceceli, and your column was heading precisely in that
20 direction. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In paragraph 4 you describe the size of the column and you say
23 that there were around 50.000 people in it. When asked by my colleague
24 Visnjic, you say that you were sure that there were no KLA members in the
25 column. Did you know each and every one of the 50.000 people in the
2 A. No, I didn't know them, but I'm sure that there were no KLA
3 soldiers in the convoy. The army left in the opposite direction, and the
4 convoy was void of KLA members. These were all civilians from Llap-Shala
5 area, some were from Vushtrri. It was a large number of people in that
7 Q. Are you aware of the fact that KLA members often threw down their
8 weapons and removed their uniforms and joined the civilians?
9 A. No, I don't know.
10 Q. Are you aware of the fact that KLA members, while they were in
11 their villages, often moved about in civilian clothes?
12 A. No, I don't know. I didn't go out to investigate who was wearing
13 what kind of uniforms.
14 Q. This is precisely what my point is, Mrs. Xhafa. For you, only a
15 person in a uniform is a member of the KLA. Is that correct? Or let me
16 try and rephrase my question. If there were some KLA members in the
17 column wearing civilian clothes, would you be able to recognise that
18 person as a KLA member?
19 A. Of course I would because I would recognise the KLA uniform. But
20 as I said, there were no KLA members, soldiers, in uniforms in the convoy.
21 Q. Thank you. That would be enough.
22 I would now like to move on to paragraph 5 of your statement; our
23 Defence believes that it is one of the most contentious parts. And in
24 this respect I would like to ask you: My learned colleague Mr. Visnjic
25 discussed with you the issue of how many times your column -- or in fact,
1 your tractor was approached by members of various formations.
2 Mrs. Xhafa, to what extent are you in fact able to distinguish
3 among members of the military, police, paramilitaries, local security?
4 Because I would like to ask you a few questions about that. So my first
5 question to you is: Are you sure when you categorise a certain group of
6 people as belonging to a certain formation, are you sure about what
7 formation a certain group belongs to?
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what do you have in mind, Mr. Lukic? You
9 need to give her a specific example, I think.
10 MR. LUKIC: Yes, I can go to specifics, but I try to elicit from
11 this witness whether she's really sure about what she is claiming in this
12 statement or not. And I will go to the specifics, yes. Or you want me to
13 start --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I think it's a pretty useless question to ask
15 her whether she's sure about whether people belong to certain formations.
16 MR. LUKIC: I can --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Perhaps her degree of certainty is different
18 depending on the circumstances. We really need to look at the
20 MR. LUKIC: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mrs. Xhafa, as instructed by the Trial Chamber,
22 let me now ask you a specific question. In your previous statements, not
23 the 89(F) statement, the statement from the 26th of February, 2000, the
24 second group, the group consisting of four police officers, in English
25 version that would be the last paragraph in page 2; Albanian version,
1 page 2, second -- page 3, paragraph 2, you say about this group that they
2 were paramilitaries. In this statement you say: "At around 9.00 p.m.
3 four Serb police officers arrived. They were shooting in the air with
4 their machine-guns."
5 That is why I'm asking you --
6 MR. HANNIS: Just a point of clarification, Your Honour. I
7 believe she referred to this as the first group to approach them.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I -- now that we're jumping between
9 statements, of course it's difficult to follow.
10 MR. LUKIC: Let's try this the first group, actually. Yes, I'm
11 sorry. It's paragraph 5, Your Honour, of the 89(F) statement. It's
12 fourth sentence or fifth sentence in that paragraph. It says:
13 [Interpretation] "We were surrounded on all sides by Serb military.
14 Around 9.00 p.m. four policemen arrived. They were shooting in the air
15 with their machine-guns."
16 In the previous statement, the four men were described as four
17 paramilitaries. Now I would like to ask a question that would allow the
18 witness to explain why at one time she thought that these men had been
19 paramilitaries and at another time she thought these men had been police
20 officers. Whatever the explanation can be provided by the witness as to
21 what details made her --
22 Q. So, Mrs. Xhafa, what are the details that made you change your
23 statement and your mind so that now you think that these people are --
24 were in fact police, not the paramilitaries?
25 A. It's not clear to me to which group you are referring.
1 Q. The first group, the four men who approached your tractor. You
2 have it in paragraph 5 of your 89(F) statement, if you have it in front of
4 A. Yes. Now can you repeat the question, please.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I help you with it.
6 You have the statement in front of you, do you?
7 MR. HANNIS: It appears she has her 89(F) statement.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. And if you look at paragraph 5 of that
9 statement --
10 THE WITNESS: Mm-hmm.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: -- you will see just around the middle of the
12 statement: "Around 9.00 p.m. four Serb policemen arrived."
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, when you made a statement in February 2000 to
15 the Office of the Prosecution, you described these four people as four
16 paramilitaries. The question you're being asked is: Why are the two
17 statements different?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To me, "paramilitaries" are those
19 who wear police uniforms, black gloves, masks, and that's why I call
20 them "paramilitaries."
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Can we conclude then that when you gave the first statement in
23 February 2000, that you recalled -- remembered these people as people
24 wearing police uniforms, black masks, and black gloves? And now, when you
25 gave this statement in August this year, you no longer remembered that
1 group in the same way; in other words, dressed in the same way. Can you
2 now explain to us how this difference between the two statements came
4 A. I think I've already answered this question. In the beginning,
5 the group that I described with the gloves was described as
6 paramilitaries, and I told you already why I called them paramilitaries.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: You've drawn from the answer, Mr. Lukic, the exact
8 opposite impression from the one I've drawn. The witness is saying that
9 they are the same, and she's using two different words to describe the
10 same people.
11 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, but then we have the next question --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed.
13 MR. LUKIC: -- the next sentence actually, the second one --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Which one, sorry?
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The third sentence -- fourth sentence,
17 Q. You say: "Members of the paramilitaries were shouting at the
18 tractor drivers to clear the road for their armoured vehicles to be able
19 to pass."
20 So all around you were the people that you describe as wearing
21 black gloves, masks, and they are in your vicinity and they are actually
22 shouting at the tractor drivers. Is that correct?
23 A. Well, these were walking beside the column and they were shouting
24 at the drivers of tractors and they were shooting in the air.
25 Q. You go on to say that they were cursing and insulting you in
1 Serbian. You don't speak Serbian, Mrs. Xhafa. Is that correct?
2 A. I understand it a little bit.
3 Q. Are you able to read Serbian?
4 A. A little, yes.
5 Q. Are you able to read Cyrillic?
6 A. A little bit.
7 Q. Well, it is impossible to be able to read something a little bit.
8 Either you know all the letters or you don't.
9 A. I know, yes. I might have even forgotten a letter or two in
10 Cyrillic, but I know.
11 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Xhafa. It is now time for our break, if the Trial
12 Chamber agrees with me that this is the right time to take a break.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. Thank you, Mr. Lukic. Can you indicate how
14 long roughly you'll be?
15 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, I have a few issues to clarify with this
16 witness, so I hope that I can finish in one hour. I'll try my best to cut
17 it short as much as possible, but ...
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Well, we'll resume at five minutes
19 to 11.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mrs. Xhafa, I will try to put concise questions to you. In any
25 case, I'll try to be more concise and precise than before the break, and I
1 would kindly ask for similar answers provided to you [as interpreted], so
2 that we can try to finish this as soon as possible, and I also realise
3 that the Trial Chamber was not all too pleased to hear that I would have
4 another hour of questions.
5 Today in the transcript, which is page 4, line 22, you mentioned
6 some paramilitaries shouting at tractor drivers to clear the road so that
7 they could pass with their vehicles. Did those vehicles pass indeed?
8 A. Yes, they did.
9 Q. In what direction did they go?
10 A. In the beginning they went in the direction of Vushtrri, and then
11 they came back from Vushtrri down. So they went up and down.
12 Q. What sort of vehicles were there?
13 A. I can't give you an exact answer here because I did not look very
14 closely to those vehicles, but they were military vehicles.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic, you posed that question on the basis
16 that she said a group of paramilitaries.
17 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Had told her that move. Now, the words that are on
19 the English transcript are "police." That's page 4 from this morning
20 you're talking about?
21 MR. LUKIC: That's right, Your Honour. But in her statement,
22 paragraph 5, it says: [Interpretation] "Members of paramilitary units
23 were shouting at tractor drivers to clear the road so that their armoured
24 vehicles could pass through."
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, but look at your question. Your question is:
1 Today in the transcript you mentioned some paramilitaries shouting at
2 tractor drivers ...
3 Now, that's not in the transcript.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Precisely so, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And it takes us back to the problem we had just
6 before the break, on which perhaps some further clarification is required.
7 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mrs. Xhafa, you remember I pointed out to you that
9 in your two statements you described the four Serb persons who came
10 towards you as a -- differently. On one statement you described them as
11 police and in the other you described them as paramilitaries.
12 Now, what we would like to be clear about is: Have you changed
13 your description of these people? You previously called them
14 paramilitaries. In the statement you did recently for this case, you
15 called them police. Is that a different description? In other words, are
16 you thinking of different people from what you were thinking -- or from
17 the people you were thinking of when you made the original statement?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There were policemen in blue
19 uniforms. There were others with black gloves, and this group wearing
20 black gloves, this is the group that I called paramilitaries. And this
21 was my answer before as well.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, the four people who you say: "Around 9.00
23 p.m. four," and you say now, "Serb policemen arrived." Now, what were
24 these four people wearing?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had blue uniforms -- but there
1 were others along the road who had black gloves. There were many others.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let me read what the statement says a bit
3 further. It says: "Around 9.00 p.m. four Serb policemen arrived. They
4 were shooting in the air with their machine-guns. They were cursing and
5 shouting insults at us in Serbian."
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, what were these four people wearing?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had police uniforms.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And they didn't have the masks or the black gloves?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, others had the gloves. They
11 were circulating along.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
13 Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mrs. Xhafa, in the same statement, the next sentence
16 reads: "Members of paramilitaries shouted at tractor drivers to clear the
17 road so that their vehicles could move along."
18 That is why I asked you about those vehicles. Did you see who
19 operated those vehicles?
20 A. How could I know? I did not have a look who was driving those
22 Q. Therefore, you don't know whether those vehicles belonged to the
23 people who were shouting at you?
24 A. The people who were shouting were on foot, they were walking, and
25 these vehicles were other vehicles. I think they belonged to the army.
1 That's why we had to clear the road for them.
2 Q. I want to move on to paragraph 7 of your statement. In the second
3 sentence of the paragraph you state: "Two were wearing black Balaclava
4 masks with holes for the eyes and mouth. They had blue camouflage
6 Is this the description you provided for the members of
7 paramilitary units?
8 A. I think that the people in black masks were paramilitaries, yes.
9 I don't know what kind of police that would be.
10 Q. And those are the people who shot Jetish and your father. Isn't
11 that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. At the moment when the masked people took Jetish away,
14 you mentioned there was some shooting at the same time close to or around
15 where you were. Did you know that at that moment there was fighting
16 between the KLA and the Serb forces?
17 A. No, that's not true. There was no fighting between the KLA and
18 the Serbian forces.
19 Q. When you were on the tractor - and we know it was around
20 10.30 p.m. - in what direction did these masked people take Jetish in
21 relation to where you were, in front of you, to your black, to your left,
22 to your right?
23 A. They killed Jetish in front of us [as interpreted]. They got him
24 off on the right side. It was right in front of our eyes that he was
25 killed. We were on the tractor trailer when it happened, and I could see
2 Q. Did you know that related to this incident there was a police
3 patrol who was sent out to carry out an on-site investigation relating to
4 the murders, but they were forced to return as they were attacked by the
5 KLA? And that was two days after the conflict in question.
6 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, if there's a document relating to this
7 which the cross-examination is done, I haven't received it from the
9 JUDGE BONOMY: How did you expect the witness to know the answer
10 to this question?
11 MR. LUKIC: If she knows; if she does not, she will tell me. And
12 we'll use a document in the future.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you know anything of this, Ms. Xhafa?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't know anything about this
15 conflict with the KLA.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Did you know, Mrs. Xhafa, that two days after the fighting the KLA
18 again seized control of the very same territory?
19 A. No, I'm not aware of that. I know that on the 4th of May the
20 bodies were collected by the civilians, and they were buried in Studime.
21 Q. What civilians, Mrs. Xhafa?
22 A. People who remained there that night in Studime. There were
23 civilians. People from Sllakovc and other villages came and helped bury
24 the dead.
25 Q. Are you testifying now that not everyone left with the column of
2 A. There were people there that night hiding in the mountains, and
3 those people helped bury the bodies. And also people from other villages
4 who had heard about the event, the incident, came to help as well. I
5 think there were about 115 people who were killed.
6 Q. Were those people from the neighbouring villages? Did they help
7 with the burial of those killed?
8 A. Yes, they buried them.
9 Q. Therefore --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, just hold on, Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Just going back to page 35 of the transcript,
12 line 10, the question ends: "Paramilitary units." Then I believe the
13 answer begins, but it's not indicated that that's part of the answer.
14 Page 35, line 10. "I think" I believe is the first part of the answer.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I agree with that, Mr. O'Sullivan. Thank you.
16 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Mrs. Xhafa, to go back to the topic. Therefore, there were
19 resident civilians in the nearby villages who hadn't left with the column
20 of refugees that you've described for us, and those civilians helped bury
21 the killed people?
22 A. Yes. I told you earlier that there were people in hiding that
23 night, they were hiding in the mountains. There were people from
24 Studime i Eperme and -- who had returned to their own homes. And on the
25 4th of May they came back and helped bury the dead. Other people came
1 from Dumnica, Cecelija, I don't know where from. So they came to Studime
2 to help bury the dead.
3 Q. Was the area controlled by the Serbian forces when those civilians
4 came in?
5 A. I don't know. I wasn't there.
6 Q. I wanted to tell you who was with those civilians. The KLA was
7 there, and you yourself said they remained in that area, that they hadn't
8 left with the rest of you. Isn't it true that the KLA remained in the
9 area you left from?
10 A. No, that's not true. I already said that there were people who
11 were hiding, and days later the KLA helped them bury the dead. The
12 funeral service was on the 4th of May.
13 Q. That's precisely what I was asking, Mrs. Xhafa. You can see for
14 yourself that now we come to the point that indeed the KLA was present in
15 the region one or two days after the fighting. Isn't that so?
16 A. They came to bury the dead when they realised that there had been
17 people who had been killed in Studime.
18 Q. I will take this as an affirmative answer to my question whether
19 there was the KLA there. If I'm mistaken, please correct me, but I wanted
20 to move on.
21 A. The KLA came on the day of the burial. I don't know how else to
22 explain this to you.
23 Q. Thank you. At the moment of KLA entry, there were no Serbian
24 forces in their area. Isn't that correct? Or did you hear of any
25 fighting on the day of the funeral or the burial?
1 A. I didn't hear anything about any fighting.
2 Q. Therefore, at that moment and in that region there were no more
3 Serbian forces. Is that correct?
4 A. I don't know about this. I don't know how to respond to this
5 question. I'm not aware.
6 Q. I will rephrase, put it another way. Were there any Serbian
7 forces present at the time of burial?
8 A. They were not present at the cemetery. Maybe they were further
9 away, I don't know.
10 Q. It is my assertion that they were further away. In fact, so far
11 away that they no longer controlled the area on the day of the burial. Is
12 that correct?
13 A. I don't know.
14 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 9, you talk about sending Ismet to notify
15 KLA fighters who were in the mountains about what had happened. Is it
16 true that you knew where the KLA units were?
17 A. Ismet left that night. He stayed at a mountain called Gradina,
18 and I believe he thought he would meet the KLA soldiers there. I don't
19 know whether it was the next day or the day after that where -- when he
20 met some soldiers in Dumnica, and he joined them.
21 Q. Did he join their ranks after having met them?
22 A. Yes. He joined the soldiers the next day or the day after that.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Some of your family members were, therefore, members of the KLA.
2 Did they wear KLA uniforms all the time?
3 A. No member of my family was in the KLA. The only one was Ismet.
4 As I said, he withdrew. But on the 2nd of May, as I said, he went to the
5 KLA headquarters and he stayed with them until the war ended.
6 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Xhafa. I think we've clarified that sufficiently.
7 I wanted to ask you something about paragraph 13. There you speak
8 about a small blue cardboard box -- oh, actually, it's a -- it was a card.
9 You said you were required to register and your name was put on that, and
10 it used as a permit to be able to stay in one of the houses in Dobra Luka.
11 Did you know that, say, the Serbs who had come from Kosovo to Serbia had
12 to undergo the same procedure, that they were given the same blue card?
13 It is the regular procedure of reporting a place of residence. You are
14 familiar with that, aren't you?
15 A. No, I don't -- I didn't have any contact with Serbs to discuss
16 with them whether they had such cards or not.
17 Q. Thank you. In the same paragraph you also state that: "Later in
18 the hospital yard one of the policemen whom I recognised as Deputy
19 Commander Simic ordered us to go back to our houses and not to assist the
20 KLA in any way."
21 For example, including providing food supplies. Did you return to
22 your houses after that?
23 A. Yes, we returned to our homes where we were.
24 Q. Was it an order or did the man simply tell you: You may go to
25 your houses now?
1 A. It was an order. We were told to go home, not to help the KLA.
2 If they would see any KLA member in Dobra Luka, then everybody would be
4 Q. Is it correct that the police in fact carried out investigations
5 and interrogations to try and establish who was a member of the KLA? It
6 wasn't killing anyone they thought was a member of the KLA. Didn't you
7 say yourself that they took people to the prison in Smrekovnica and then
8 after, those same people were released after questioning. Is it correct
9 that the police carried out investigations and interrogations relating to
10 possible membership in the KLA?
11 A. Not everybody was a member of the KLA. All the people who were
12 imprisoned were civilians and they kept them there. Some of them were
13 sent to Albania, while others, their bodies have been returned from Serbia
14 very recently.
15 Q. Is it your testimony today that some of the people who were taken
16 to Smrekovnica were killed?
17 A. I'm talking about my family.
18 Q. Was any of your family killed in the prison in Smrekovnica?
19 A. No. Other people. I've heard that some bodies have been returned
20 from Serbia recently.
21 Q. You never mentioned this before. It is not found in any of your
22 statements. You are now stating that someone was killed among the people
23 who had been taken to Smrekovnica.
24 A. Nobody knew what was happening with the people who were sent to
25 the prison in Smrekovnica. I only learned about my family members, and
1 this I learned very late, that they were sent to Albania. But members of
2 the families of people who had been in Smrekovnica have told me that their
3 bodies were returned from Serbia later.
4 Q. Will you tell us a name so that we can try and verify what you're
5 stating. Who told you and for which family member who was in the prison
6 in Smrekovnica that they were killed?
7 A. Dritan Merovci, his body was returned recently. It was found in
8 Serbia. I can't remember any other names now. But there were many other
9 people, the bodies of whom were returned recently.
10 Q. Do you know how the man you mentioned was killed?
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. Do you know whether he was killed in the Smrekovnica prison?
13 A. I don't know where he was killed. I know that he was taken to
14 that prison, but his body was returned from Serbia one -- a year earlier,
15 a year ago.
16 Q. Do you know whether he had been released from the Smrekovnica
17 prison or is it something you don't know?
18 A. I don't know. He came from Serbia as a dead body.
19 Q. You say in paragraph 15 of your statement: "One morning in May
20 1999, around 8.00 a.m., I was at a house where we were staying when I saw
21 the Serb police go to one quarter of Dobra Luka. These police were
22 wearing green camouflage uniforms but they were too far away from me for
23 me to make out any insignia on their uniforms."
24 Well, what's led you to conclude that the men in green camouflage
25 uniforms were police?
1 A. I don't know how I would otherwise have described them. They were
2 quite a ways away, and I couldn't really distinguish them well. I don't
3 really know whether they were police or army.
4 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Xhafa. In paragraph 16 you say: "I later
5 heard" - so you don't have any direct of that. This is something that you
6 heard about - "from some people ... from Donja Sudimlja, "from Jashar
7 Rashica and Emine Rashica that they had been made to stand in front of
8 Serb tanks on the front line and that the police separated ten people from
9 the group."
10 Did the Serb police have tanks, Mrs. Xhafa, do you know about
12 A. These people Jashar Rashica and Emine Rashica were in that
13 neighbourhood. And when Emine returned, they -- she was shot at --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mrs. Xhafa, the question is a very specific one.
15 Do you know whether the Serb police - the question is confined to police -
16 did have tanks as part of their normal equipment? That's the question
17 that's being asked. And if you don't know the answer to that, just say
18 you don't know.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I just wanted to
20 explain something that had happened.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: No, we already have the account of what happened in
22 writing, it's just certain particular points that need to be clarified.
23 Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Let me just ask you this: Would you agree with my suggestion that
1 the Serb police did not have any tanks and that no police officers are in
2 fact able to drive a tank? So would you agree with if I were to put that
3 to you, would you agree that this was a very probable statement?
4 A. I know that there were police on foot who drove the people out of
5 their homes, but there were other people who were driving tanks and they
6 lined them up in front of the tanks.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. And thank you, Mrs. Xhafa.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I've tried to cut -- make this as
10 short as possible, so I don't have any further questions for this witness.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 Mr. Hannis.
13 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I do have some questions.
14 Re-examination by Mr. Hannis:
15 Q. Ms. Xhafa, first of all, I want one more time to try to go through
16 the chronology of the men who approached your tractor and your family on
17 the 2nd of May.
18 In your statement in paragraph 5, you were talking about
19 9.00 p.m., there were four Serbs who approached. What uniforms were they
21 A. They had blue camouflaged uniforms.
22 Q. And did any of these four have the black mask or the gloves that
23 you spoke of before?
24 A. The four near the tractor, no; but there were others a ways away
25 who had black masks and gloves.
1 Q. Okay. Then what you referred to in your statement at paragraph 6
2 is the second group who approached, and this included the fat man with the
3 stick who beat Jetish. You describe in your statement that they were
4 wearing the blue camouflage uniforms. Did any of this group have the
5 gloves or the mask?
6 A. No. The person who beat Jetish had a green camouflage jacket.
7 Q. In your statement you describe that as a vest. The translation
8 now came across as a jacket. Did it have sleeves or not, the green piece
9 of clothing?
10 A. No, without -- without sleeves.
11 Q. Then you describe around 10.30 the group of six police who came,
12 two of which you say in your statement had black mask. Did those two with
13 the black mask also have gloves or not, if you recall?
14 A. I don't know. I did see the black masks on their faces, though.
15 Q. Now, after Jetish was shot and your father was killed, you mention
16 in paragraph 9 that after a while, this is after Ismet has gone to look
17 for the KLA, you say: "After a while, the Serbs returned."
18 What were these Serbs -- can you tell us how they were dressed and
19 how many they were? These are the ones telling you to shout KLA and Slobo
20 and Draza.
21 A. Those who forced us to shout were those sitting on the tanks.
22 And the ones who told us to leave for Vushtrri had blue uniforms.
23 Q. Blue uniforms, was it a solid colour or a pattern?
24 A. They were camouflage, with a pattern.
25 Q. Now, with regard to Draza, I think you answered a question of
1 Judge Bonomy's about who that referred to. And at page 20, line 5 I think
2 your answer was: "A Chetnik gang from the past."
3 Can you tell us anything more about -- about that? When from the
4 past or who that individual was, or that gang was, if you know?
5 A. I know that the old people referred to them as an evil group who
6 had killed Albanians a long time ago.
7 Q. Do you know how long ago? Are we talking about 30 years? 100
8 years? 1.000 years?
9 A. No. I would think about 70, 60 or 70 years ago, but I can't
10 really tell you exactly when it was.
11 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, paragraph 9, after this last group came
12 you said you left the tractor and started to walk down the road. And I
13 think it was on page 13, line 1 of today's transcript Mr. Visnjic was
14 asking you some questions about that. In your answer you said: As you
15 started to walk you passed some corpses on the road, and that meant to you
16 that other people were killed as well. How many corpses did you pass as
17 you walked along the road? Was it two or 20 or 200?
18 A. It would be about seven or eight bodies. But there were people
19 who were wounded, lying around but we were afraid to go and help them.
20 The cousin of -- my cousin Emin Xhafa was also killed on the tractor, and
21 we couldn't go to him to do anything for him.
22 Q. These corpses and the wounded you saw, who were they? Were they
23 fighting men in uniforms? Were they women? Were they children?
24 A. They were civilians, women, children. We saw a very old woman
25 there who was lying dead in the road there. Veliu, my cousin, was killed.
1 He was with the women on the tractor.
2 A. There was a young man who was wounded, and he -- he begged us for
3 help. We didn't dare to go to him to assist him.
4 MR. LUKIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: I think this can't be proper re-direct. And
7 everything was drawn from we left our tractors and left our trip on foot.
8 MR. HANNIS: This is also drawn from the answer --
9 MR. LUKIC: This is the first time we hear about these things,
10 this new names. It has never been mentioned before. I beg Your Honours
11 to rule on this issue, please.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: The matter arose in the cross-examination by
13 Mr. Visnjic, and what Mr. Hannis is doing is exploring something that was
14 raised in cross-examination.
15 MR. LUKIC: But I'm afraid that it went too far already.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: In what respect?
17 MR. LUKIC: That this is for the first time in this re-direct that
18 we hear some names and actually to go into this incident in depth.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the question was simply: These corpses, who
20 were they? Were they fighting men in uniforms? Were they women? Were
21 they children? And now you've got the answer.
22 MR. LUKIC: I think that I'll get some help from my colleague
23 Visnjic, if you can listen to him.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: It may be -- if you can later, when you've heard
25 the rest of this re-direct, indicate some way in which you are prejudiced
1 not to be given another chance to ask questions, then you can bring that
2 to my attention.
3 Mr. Visnjic.
4 MR. VISNJIC: I'm waiting for translation.
5 [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps Mr. Hannis could give us a
6 reference as to where exactly in my cross-examination this exchange
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I have it noted. It's towards the end of the
10 You gave us a page, though, didn't you, Mr. Hannis?
11 MR. HANNIS: [Microphone not activated].
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MR. HANNIS: I think I have it the bottom of page 12 and the
14 beginning of page 13.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Page 13, line 1?
16 MR. HANNIS: Yeah, that may not be the very beginning, but that's
17 the time I noted in my handwritten notes.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: It is line 1. Anyway, you may have exhausted the
19 subject. Have you, Mr. Hannis?
20 MR. HANNIS: I have, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. All right.
22 MR. HANNIS: I'll move on, if I may.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
24 MR. HANNIS:
25 Q. Ms. Xhafa, you were asked by -- also by Mr. Visnjic about
1 paragraph 15 of your statement, and I think this was at page 17, line 1 of
2 the transcript, about when you say you saw police shooting in Dobra Luka
3 and some people were taken away that day. And the following day you said
4 you learned that the people had been taken away. How did you learn about
5 that? When did you learn it? Who told you about it?
6 A. The next day the son of the cousin of Veli Xhafa went there, and
7 he asked Emine Rashica, she was his aunt, and he had explained what -- she
8 had explained to him what had happened that day.
9 Q. Thank you. Now I want to move on to Mr. Lukic's
10 cross-examination. At page 35, line 1 there was some questions about the
11 paramilitaries directing tractors off the road so the vehicles could pass
12 by. I think you described those as green vehicles, and in your statement
13 you say they had branches on them or foliage. Could you tell us anything
14 about what kinds of vehicles those were? Are we talking about
15 automobiles? Bicycles? Trucks? Anything you can tell the Court about
16 those green vehicles.
17 A. It was some kind of military vehicle with -- I can't describe
18 exactly the wheels, but I think it was an armoured vehicle, an APC.
19 Q. Was there just one or more than one?
20 A. There may have been many, but I did not pay attention. We were
21 distressed. It was impossible for us to look at everything and follow
22 everything that was happening.
23 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 7 of your statement, and I think in the
24 transcript at page 36, line 1, it's translated you -- in your answer that
25 when Jetish was killed. Jetish actually survived the shooting, didn't he?
1 A. Yes, he's still alive today.
2 Q. Now I want to go forward to page 40 in line 19 in following in the
3 transcript and page 13 of your 89(F) statement. This is after you have
4 gone to Smrekovnica and gotten your blue card to register in the new
5 residence where you're staying. You mentioned Deputy Commander Simic came
6 out and told you all to go back. I think your answer was you were ordered
7 to go home. When you say "home" in that context, that was not your
8 original home where your family lived before March of 1999?
9 A. No. I meant the house where we were staying in Dobra Luka.
10 Q. And what kind of uniform was Simic wearing that day, if you
12 A. Yes. He had blue camouflage uniform.
13 Q. Finally I want to ask you about at page 42, line 1 in following in
14 the transcript today, you were asked about the men who had been taken to
15 Smrekovnica prison. You said a return of those bodies -- of bodies of
16 some of those men had occurred about a year ago. Were there any media
17 reports about that event at the time these bodies were returned in Kosovo?
18 A. There may have been. I did not read any. I don't know.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. HANNIS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 Questioned by the Court:
24 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Ms. Xhafa, I have to ask you know or two
25 questions. Please allow me to do so. I hope you will not be bothered.
1 When we say "Ms. Xhafa," does it mean you are a Shiite?
2 A. I am Muslim, yes.
3 JUDGE CHOWHAN: But are you a Shiite or a Sunni?
4 A. I don't know that, no.
5 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Okay. Do you observe a ritual during the month of
6 Muharrem which is very special with the Shiites or you don't? It's a
7 month of mourning.
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Oh, okay. That is why one of the family members
10 is called as Muharrem?
11 A. Perhaps. I don't know.
12 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Okay. Now my question is, after this
13 clarification, that Jetish was Ismet's son. And Ismet was -- was a person
14 about whom it was being believed that he was a KLA -- he belonged to the
15 KLA or he had some concern with KLA. He was present at the time when
16 Jetish was fired at. Now, I just want to ask you why did they spare Ismet
17 at that time and they attacked Jetish, who was not -- who was not
18 suspected to be of the KLA? Why was he spared at that time?
19 A. Jetish is Ismet's father. I explained it earlier. And I
20 explained earlier also how we tried to hide Jetish on the tractor and the
21 third group of policemen then came and shot at Jetish.
22 JUDGE CHOWHAN: No, but at that time Ismet was available and
23 visible. Why would they spare Ismet and attack his son?
24 A. The first time they attacked Ismet as well. They beat him up and
25 they took money from him, 200 marks.
1 JUDGE CHOWHAN: So it was because of the money that they spared
3 A. So later we decided to hide him, Ismet I mean, who's Jetish's son.
4 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm very grateful. This clarifies. One more
5 point, whereas you had answered the question of my Lord Bonomy explaining
6 what Draza meant. Could you also tell us what Slobo meant in the slogan?
7 Slobo, Slobo, Draza, Draza. What would Slobo mean, because I have not
8 been able to catch that?
9 A. Well, Slobo is Slobodan. They cheered for him. Slobo, Slobo, his
11 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Slobo, Slobo is just a word --
12 A. Slobodan Milosevic.
13 JUDGE CHOWHAN: It's just for the interpreters that at page 6
14 and 7 when there is "Muhala," it would be "Mohalla," M-o-h-a-l-l-a.
15 Thank you.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Now, Mrs. Xhafa, you have explained to the Trial
18 Chamber that Ismet was not a member of the KLA, that he had been with the
19 KLA and then left and that he ended up going to the KLA and staying with
20 them until the war ended. Now, if he was not a member of the KLA, why did
21 he stay with them until the war ended? That's what I want to know from
23 A. On the night of the 2nd of May, he went back to the headquarters
24 where he felt safer. There is the place where he felt safe, at the KLA
1 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you. And there's --
2 [Microphone not activated].
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: There's something else I wanted to find out from
5 you. How would you describe the relationship between the people in your
6 village and the KLA? How was the KLA viewed? What was the response of
7 the people in the village to them?
8 A. The villagers thought well of the KLA. They thought that the KLA
9 were protecting them.
10 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Anything else?
11 A. I don't think I could add anything to this.
12 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much, Mrs. Xhafa.
13 No further questions.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Ms. Xhafa. Then that completes your
15 evidence. Thank you for coming to the Tribunal to give it, and you're now
16 free to leave. Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, is this -- Mr. Marcussen, you're making your
21 first appearance, are you, in the trial?
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: Yes, Your Honour, I am. Thank you.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: And who is the next witness?
24 MR. MARCUSSEN: The Prosecution's next witness is Dr. Shukri
25 Gerxhaliu, and he should be here.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: We have an e-mail suggesting complex issues in
2 relation to how this evidence is being presented, but it may not be as
3 complex as the e-mail makes it out.
4 You have a transcript from a previous trial. Is that right?
5 MR. MARCUSSEN: That's correct. That is Prosecution
6 Exhibit P2258.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: And you say that that has reference within it to
8 one exhibit?
9 MR. MARCUSSEN: It has reference to Exhibit P2273.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And what is that?
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: That is a map. It is the map which has on the
12 existing exhibit list P000038.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: We don't work in 0s here.
14 MR. MARCUSSEN: Then only P38. That is Milosevic Exhibit P123,
15 123. It's a map that was marked by the witness at page -- I believe it's
16 page 4131 and the two following pages in the Milosevic transcript and was
17 made an exhibit there. It was included also in our 92 bis package that
18 was submitted and --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it P38, as marked?
20 MR. MARCUSSEN: As marked, yes.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And that's now in the system?
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: It is now in the system.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: So we don't need to know any more about it?
24 MR. MARCUSSEN: No.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, there is -- in the trial -- in the Milosevic
1 trial, did Mr. Gerxhaliu give evidence through a statement?
2 MR. MARCUSSEN: Yes, he was a 92 bis witness in that case, and the
3 statement dated 17 and 19 February 2000 is Exhibit P2257 in this case.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. I think I have everything, so let's have the
5 witness, please.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you. While we wait for the witness -- no.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Dr. Gerxhaliu, good afternoon.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration by
11 reading aloud the document which will now be placed before you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
14 and nothing but the truth.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marcussen.
18 WITNESS: SHUKRI GERXHALIU
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examination by Mr. Marcussen:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Dr. Gerxhaliu.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. Could you please state your full name to the Trial Chamber.
24 A. My name is Shukri, surname is Gerxhaliu.
25 Q. Mr. Gerxhaliu, as you have been explained before entering the
1 court today, the Trial Chamber has the witness statement that you have
2 given to the Office of the Prosecutor and has the transcript of your
3 testimony in the Milosevic case on the 2nd of May in the year 2000. So
4 the Trial Chamber and the Defence is familiar with the contents of your
5 evidence already. So today we will be focussing on some limited points in
6 your evidence, but I just wanted to make clear on the record that
7 everybody are familiar with the details you have already provided.
8 Before we get into the evidence, I have to ask you a question
9 about the Albanian version of your witness statement given to the Office
10 of the Prosecutor. When you were proofed by the Office of the Prosecutor,
11 was it discovered that some parts from the Albanian translation of your
12 witness statement were missing?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And were you shown a translation of those missing parts?
15 A. Yes, I was shown those parts. And after I saw them, those
16 paragraphs were inserted and I signed those paragraphs. I don't know who
17 made the mistake, because those paragraphs that were missing made the
18 statement incomplete.
19 MR. MARCUSSEN: Could I ask that we show P2276, please, to the
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN:
23 Q. We are waiting for -- there we are. Has a document been displayed
24 now on the screen in front of you?
25 A. Yes, I can see it. Paragraph 25 in the Albanian, I think it's
1 also in English.
2 Q. Is it your signature down at the bottom?
3 A. Yes, it's my signature, 24th of August, 2006, in Den Haag.
4 Q. Thank you. And is that the document that was shown to you during
5 the meeting with the Prosecutor?
6 A. Yes, this is the one.
7 Q. And before you signed it, did you read through these three
9 A. Of course I read them. Carefully.
10 Q. Thank you. And do they correctly reflect your recollection of the
11 events described?
12 A. Of course they are, yes.
13 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I would like to tender this as an
14 exhibit, and I guess we will call it a supplement to the Albanian
15 translation of Dr. Gerxhaliu's statement to the Office of the Prosecutor.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I can't say I followed exactly what this is so far.
17 You were looking at three paragraphs, and these are the missing paragraphs
18 from the previous statement. Is that right?
19 MR. MARCUSSEN: That's correct. The English version of the
20 statement and the --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And it already has these?
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: That's correct.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: And the Serb version also has them?
24 MR. MARCUSSEN: Correct.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: So we're missing this from the Albanian version.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: That's fine. We note that that is tendered as an
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: Now, for the purpose of the presentation of
5 Dr. Gerxhaliu's evidence, we have also prepared a new version of his
6 statement which we would suggest that we tender for the purpose of the
7 rest of his examination before the Trial Chamber, and I will explain what
8 is in that statement now.
9 The English version we have simply added paragraph numbers to each
10 paragraph because in the original statement there were no paragraph
11 numbers. So as to avoid confusion when we take the witness through
12 different parts of the statement, we have added paragraph numbers.
13 Corresponding -- same thing has been done with the B/C/S version. We have
14 added paragraph numbers to the B/C/S version of the statement, but
15 otherwise it's the same one as was already in evidence.
16 To the Albanian version, in order to make the paragraph numbers
17 correspond, we have had to add paragraph numbers, insert a paragraph
18 break, and then we have inserted the missing parts of the statement in the
19 Albanian -- in an Albanian version of the statement so that once the
20 witness is taken through different parts of the statement, we have
21 corresponding statements.
22 Now, we have informed the Defence of this on Friday and asked if
23 they had any problems with this approach, and we haven't received any
24 negative feedback on that suggestion. So I hope the Defence is -- would
25 be agreeable to this approach.
1 So we would suggest that we make these numbered versions of the
2 statement P2275 and that we then proceed on the basis of that exhibit
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
5 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honours.
6 Could I ask that we show Exhibit P38 on the monitor, please.
7 Thank you.
8 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, do you have a map in front of you now?
9 A. Yes, I see it.
10 MR. MARCUSSEN: May I ask the usher to assist Dr. Gerxhaliu with a
11 pen so he can mark this map.
12 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, in which village -- where do you live?
13 A. I live in the village of Studime e Poshteme. It is close to
15 I find it difficult to see the places here, the names of the
16 places, because the characters are very small.
17 Q. Yes. And as I would like you to mark the full map, I'm afraid
18 I'll refrain from zooming in. We have a technical problem if we do that.
19 A. It would have been better if you could zoom it in because I can't
20 see it very well. It must be somewhere here, though, Studime e Poshteme,
22 Q. Thank you. Now, what I'd like, Mr. Gerxhaliu -- Dr. Gerxhaliu,
23 what I'd like to ask you with respect to this map is you have described in
24 your statement that the KLA was holding about -- controlling about 80
25 per cent of your municipality in March 1999. I was wondering if you could
1 on this map draw a rough line showing where the KLA -- the KLA-held areas.
2 It doesn't have to be precise, but just to give us an idea about where the
3 KLA was.
4 A. This is the road Mitrovica-Vushtrri-Pristina, if I'm not mistaken,
5 the main road, while in the north-eastern part above Studime, this part
6 here, was under the control of the KLA at the time, this region. The KLA
7 was positioned here --
8 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, could I ask you just to do -- to draw us a circle
9 or whatever shape it is just to indicate the area you just was showing I
10 could see with a pen in front of the screen that the KLA was holding. If
11 you could draw it on the screen, please.
12 A. I'm not sure whether this is Studime e Poshteme that I've marked,
13 first of all. If it is, then it's this part here above
14 Studime e Poshteme. This part that I marked was under the control of the
15 KLA, while Studime e Poshteme, Begaj, Redakovc [phoen] were closer to the
16 main road and under the control of the Yugoslav army and police forces,
17 while this part here --
18 Q. Sorry --
19 A. I don't know if I made myself clear.
20 Q. The only thing we need to clarify is the area that the KLA held --
21 the part that was north of the line that you drew?
22 A. This was called the Shala operative zone, and so they were in the
23 area of Cicavica. The Brigade 141 was there, while Brigade 142 was down
24 there in Cicavica. While here in the area of Llap, that was the Llap
25 operative area --
1 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, I'm sorry to interrupt you --
2 A. That was close to the Shala area.
3 Q. Unfortunately the Court cannot see what point you are pointing at.
4 So is it correct if I say that the KLA was -- on the map they were above
5 the line that you just drew?
6 A. Listen, up to this line it was the Serb forces up to Saracak and
7 Studime, while the KLA was above that line in the mountains. The military
8 hospital was in Sllakovc. I cannot find Sllakovc here because of the
9 small characters on the map.
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
11 A. So the forces were partly here and partly on the upper part.
12 Because I cannot see the names of the places very well, even though I'm
13 wearing my glasses.
14 Q. I understand --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, as you'll see, Mr. Marcussen, this is
17 It's fairly common with these maps -- it was far better when we
18 had the old-fashioned ELMO and the witness could point things out and we
19 could all see what he was pointing at, and he wasn't committed to actually
20 drawing something on that might be wrong and couldn't be corrected. And
21 it may be that we should be thinking about having copies of these exhibits
22 produced so they can be used on the ELMO in a form everyone can see.
23 Anyway, you can think about how you're doing this because we're
24 going to adjourn now for half an hour and we'll resume at five to 1.00.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Would you please ...
2 --- Recess taken at 12.24 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.57 p.m.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marcussen.
5 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honour. The e-court thing we
6 tried with the map I think we will abandon, so we can give up on the
7 exhibit that we started to draw in the e-court. I had a look at the -- at
8 the screen while the witness was out, and I have to say the map is
9 absolutely minuscule. And I should apologise to the witness. It's really
10 not his fault that he couldn't see what's on the map that I was trying to
11 present to him.
12 What I would like to do is to put another map on the ELMO. Now,
13 the map comes from the bundle of maps that was handed out during the
14 opening. It's not an exhibit, but we will make it one when the witness is
15 done with it.
16 So if we could now have on the -- I guess we should have it on the
17 ELMO. And if we can -- I had folded the card so that if we zoom in on
18 what's there when it's folded, then we would have the view we would like
19 to have, please. And if we can zoom out a little bit. And we'll need a
20 little bit -- we'll need a little bit more out. We should have --
21 basically we should see the whole -- yes, this is good. Yes, please.
23 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, now do you see this map a bit better? You can --
24 A. Yes, of course it's better. And now I can identify the locations.
25 It's easier for me.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, could I ask you to take the pen and mark -- I
2 think that has to be over on your left side on the actual card that's
3 lying next to you.
4 A. This one?
5 Q. Sorry, the usher is giving it to you. Could you mark where your
6 village is, please.
7 A. Shall I make a circle around it?
8 Q. Yes, please. And could you put a number 1 close to that circle, a
9 small number. Thank you.
10 A. Is it okay like this?
11 Q. That's fine. Thank you very much. Now, I asked you to identify
12 roughly the front line in March 1999, where the KLA front line was. Could
13 you try to draw that on that map, please. Just encircle the area roughly
14 held by the KLA on this map.
15 A. This part here was under KLA's control, and the part here where
16 Vushtrri is up to the point between the two Studimes was on the other
18 Q. Could I ask you on the line that you just drew, at the end of the
19 line to mark -- put an N like November. Yes, there would be good. Yes,
21 A. [Marks].
22 Q. Now, to the -- on the other side of the main road that runs up to
23 Mitrovica and on the other side of the railroad, yes, over in that
24 direction, yeah, was there a KLA-held area in that direction as well? And
25 where was the line, if you can draw that? Again, just approximately.
1 A. In this area --
2 THE INTERPRETER: If the witness could speak into the microphone,
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If this represents the railroad --
5 MR. MARCUSSEN:
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. -- then ...
8 Q. Thank you. And could I ask you to put an S like September, or
9 Sierra, at the end of that line. Yes, please.
10 A. Also Gllavatin and Bivolak were under control, in this part
11 Q. So to the south of the line that you have marked with a letter S
12 and to the north of the line that you have marked with a letter N were
13 KLA-held areas in your area. Is that correct?
14 A. [Indicates].
15 Q. Yes. Thank you.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Did we get an answer to that?
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: Maybe I was just taking the gestures as an answer,
18 I'm sorry.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Won't do.
20 MR. MARCUSSEN:
21 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu --
22 A. Yes, yes. So from the line above, it was an area controlled by
23 the KLA, and from the S down it was also an area controlled by KLA. On
24 the upper part, it was the 141 Brigade, and on the other side it was the
25 142 Brigade, and both of them operated within the Shala operation zone.
1 Q. Thank you very much.
2 A. Am I clear? If necessary, I can repeat it.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, that's clear. What we now need to do is
4 give a number to this exhibit.
5 MR. MARCUSSEN: I would -- sure. I will be asking the witness to
6 make some more markings on it. We can give it an exhibit number.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, we'll wait until you've finished the
9 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: You can tell us when you've completed that.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN:
12 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, you mentioned in your statement at paragraph 6 that
13 there were an offensive launched on the 28th and 29th of March close to
14 where you live, and the offensive was launched from a place called Rasica
15 and Saracak. Could you mark those two areas on the map, please. If we
16 take --
17 A. Saracak.
18 Q. Saracak, we can take that one first. Can you put a number 2 where
19 that is.
20 A. Yes, I'll do it now. Studime e Poshteme, it's here. It consists
21 of the upper Muhala that we call it Rasica, and the lower Muhala where my
22 cousins live, Gerxhaliu. So here in the upper Muhala is the place where
23 the Rasica families live. So there were the Serb forces position with all
24 their equipment. It was a strategic hill, and they controlled this area
25 up to Samadrexha.
1 Q. Could I ask you to put, so we stay consistent -- Dr. Gerxhaliu,
2 would you please put a number --
3 A. So the Serb forces were in upper Saracak and in Studime at the
4 Rasica Muhala which is part of Studime. Shall I mark it be a number or a
6 Q. Would you put a number 3 there, please. 3, yes.
7 A. Number 3?
8 Q. Because I think we identified Saracak as being number 2, if you
9 would mark a 2 where that area is, please.
10 JUDGE CHOWHAN: And would the interpreter please put -- write the
11 correct spelling for Mohalla, M-o-h-a-l-l-a, please. That's the
12 universally accepted spelling for Mohalla, which means an area or a
14 MR. MARCUSSEN:
15 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, so these two -- you've already said it, but just so
16 I'm clear, where these two areas hills from where the Serb forces could
17 control the surrounding area. Is that how I should understand your
19 A. Yes. Also the neutral zone above here up to a point between two
20 Studimes, so on a hill called Lisi i Thate. It also included the villages
21 along the highway here. Am I clear?
22 Q. Yes, thank you very much. You described in paragraph 7 of your
23 statement that you -- after you had left your house initially in early
24 April you returned to your house and Serb forces came -- the Serb police
25 came to look for you, and you saw Mr. Bunjaku's house burned. And then
1 the next morning you decided to flee. Now, I'll ask first -- I'd like
2 first to ask you: Why did you flee?
3 A. Well, it's quite understandable why, because we were scared that
4 in case they found us in our houses we would witness a horror like the
5 family of my cousin Seladin witnessed. This I've mentioned in my
6 statement. The order was for us to leave immediately because in case they
7 found us there we were going to face disastrous circumstances.
8 Q. You say the order were to leave. Did you decide to leave or did
9 somebody else tell you to leave?
10 A. I will try to speak slower. The moment when the order came, only
11 my wife and cousins were in my house. The house of my father is about
12 half kilometre far from my house. I was not at home, but when I came they
13 told me what had happened. They told me that the order came for us to
14 leave in 15 minutes, to leave the village in 15 minutes, because otherwise
15 we would face consequences. So we know very well what happened to those
16 who didn't leave.
17 Q. Who issued that order? Who did -- who had the order come from?
18 A. The order was issued by the local police in Vushtrri. They came
19 in a vehicle, I think, a car, and they told us to leave the village
20 immediately, to go wherever we wanted. And this is in line with my
21 statement. I think it is in the first paragraph where I say that an old
22 lady, a Serb, she told me at the clinic to leave as soon as possible. And
23 that's why we took this decision and left out of fear of the consequences
24 because, as I said, those who escaped, who fled, they survived and the
25 others, you know what happened to them. You have photographs and other
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marcussen, can you direct me to where the
3 reference to being ordered to leave within 15 minutes is set out in the
5 MR. MARCUSSEN: I believe it's not in the statement, and I think
6 the witness is talking about the incident in March, on the 26th of March,
7 and around there when he was dismissed -- but I will try to clarify that.
8 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, the order that you just mentioned, was that in
9 March when you had been dismissed from your job at the hospital. Is that
11 A. Yes. But as I said, I wasn't home when the order was given, and I
12 have mentioned it in my statement. I've mentioned that I was not there
13 when they came to issue the order, but that I was informed later on by my
14 family members.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: These -- but these answers he's just given were --
16 related to a specific date in April. Paragraph 7 of the statement, after
17 you had left your house initially in early April you returned to your
18 house and Serb forces came to look for you. And you saw Mr. Bunjaku's
19 house burned. And the next morning you started -- you decided to flee.
20 MR. MARCUSSEN: As I understand it, the family -- I think I should
21 clarify this with the witness. I shouldn't be testifying.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN:
24 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, after the order was issued and you left, did you
25 return to your house again?
1 A. Yes, there was a lot of movement, both by my family members and
2 myself. I've mentioned this in my statement. On several occasions I went
3 back to my house. It happened that I didn't see my family for two or
4 three weeks, and I've said in my statement that they set off in the
5 direction of Pristina, hoping that they could get to Macedonia. But the
6 Serb forces, they sent the column back. Then they stayed in Maxhun. When
7 I got back to the house I found them there. For a couple of days they
8 stayed there. And it is worth mentioning that whenever I was not there
9 someone from the Serb forces would come to look for me. And I've
10 mentioned Sanije in my statement, and she told me that the police was
11 looking for me. So that day --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Dr. Gerxhaliu, you mentioned a house belonging to
13 Izet Bunjaku being burnt. Just ignore the map, please. Just look towards
14 me, please. No, look this way, please. Just forget about the map. You
15 mentioned seeing a house in the village belonging to Izet Bunjaku burnt,
16 and you said something about leaving at that time because you got an order
17 to leave within 15 minutes. Now, are these two events related to each
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they are related to each other
20 because the order was issued in the end of March; I think it was 29th of
21 March. And on that evening the house of Izet Bunjaku was burnt, and
22 that's where we fled for the first time. But then in April I came back to
23 my house and I continued to come back on several occasions. I was told
24 that -- that the director of the hospital had said that we had to leave,
25 as they had received an order from above, from higher ranks.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I am utterly confused by all of this. It
2 makes me wonder why we have these when you then start these examinations
3 of the witnesses which cause nothing but confusion.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN:
5 Q. Mr. Gerxhaliu, you say at --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Shall I explain it again?
7 MR. MARCUSSEN:
8 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: No thank you for the moment. You'll be asked some
10 more questions.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN:
12 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, when you had returned to your house in April of
13 1999 and you were with your wife and children, you say at paragraph 7 of
14 the statement that the Serb police came to your house, you were hiding in
15 some bushes, and then you fled the house with your family through the
16 stream. Now, I'd like to just ask a few questions about that.
17 A. Yes, this was a second time we fled.
18 Q. Yes, exactly. Now, the second time you fled, what I'd like to get
19 you to explain is a little bit about the stream that you were using to
20 flee. Now, my first question -- first thing I need to do is to try to
21 identify where the stream is compared to the road that leads up north.
22 Now, if you stand on the road in your village and you look north towards
23 Studime e Eperme, is the stream on your left or on your right?
24 A. The stream is on my right, and the road is near the stream. The
25 stream is about 2 to 3 metres deep, and this was a road to escape because
1 the Serb forces could not see us, neither from the Saracak hill, neither
2 from the other hill. They had to come very close to the stream to see us.
3 So from the two locations where they were positioned, they could see us if
4 we were on the road but not when we were on the stream.
5 Q. Now, you explained that as you were fleeing on that occasion, at
6 one point you and your family was being shot at and bullets were going
7 through the leaves in the trees around you and that you were very scared.
8 Do you know where those shots came from?
9 A. The Rasica hill was closer to the stream, and from the Serb
10 positions there were shooting in the direction of the stream, of course
11 when they suspected that there was a movement there. And when there was
12 shooting, the branches would fall on our heads. As soon as the shooting
13 would stop, then we would continue our journey until we arrived to
14 Lisi i Thate hill where we felt safe.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, I'd like to jump again a little bit in your
16 evidence and in your statement. You explained that after -- you explained
17 that after you had fled you were attending to sick and wounded at KLA
18 hospitals at Bajgora, Bare, and Kovacica. Could you show us on the map -
19 if the usher would assist us - just point to where those locations are.
20 A. Yes, I will point out the locations. On this one or on the one on
21 the ELMO?
22 Q. The one on the ELMO, please.
23 A. The main hospital was here in Sllakovc. There was another
24 hospital in Kovacice. I think it's not on the map. Bajgora and Bare
25 should be here because the road from Kovacica to these two locations
1 should go like this.
2 Q. So somewhere up just under the text?
3 A. Yes, yes. It should be here, Bajgora and Bare, and here you can
4 see clearly Kovacica where a KLA hospital was. It still exists today,
5 this building, because it was not damaged, the building in Sllakovc.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 A. Shall I mark it?
8 Q. No, I don't think that's needed. You have explained that it's
9 around the text which says February 2000 and UNHCR on the map that we will
10 tender as an exhibit, so I don't think we need the precise locations.
11 Now, you -- on the 2nd of May you say in paragraph 11 of your
12 statement that Serb forces broke through the two -- the front line at two
13 points, Melenica and Llap. Now, Melenica, could you please show on the
14 map where that is. And again, it's over on the ELMO, not on the screen.
15 A. Here is Melenica. This is the road that comes from Mitrovica.
16 This is Trepcani, Melenica. There was a front line here, it is
17 mountainous terrain. Here you have Majden, and towards the Llap zone,
18 near Podujeve. After these two front lines were broken through, on the
19 2nd of May, the Serb forces advanced up to a point before Sllakovc. I
20 have mentioned in my statement that around 2.00 p.m. a wounded soldier
21 died and we buried him --
22 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, I'm sorry to interrupt you. We will get to that in
23 a little bit, but we need to take it in smaller steps so we can all -- so
24 the Court can follow. I'm sorry that I interrupt you.
25 So the front line to the -- to the western side was running
1 around -- following basically the road that we can see on the map running
2 from Mitrovica and up north. And did I understand it correctly that the
3 eastern front line was following more or less the blue line that is going
4 up north and being the municipality line, where Llap is a little in from
5 there? Is that correct?
6 A. [Indicates].
7 Q. The witness is indicating that line --
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. Thank you very much.
10 A. Excuse me. I'm not a military expert and I haven't been on the
11 front lines, but I just wanted to explain that those of the Llap zone were
12 on this side, while those of the Shala operational zone were there. So
13 when these two forces came here, these two units of the Yugoslav army
14 entered, joined together. And on the 2nd of April, they came to Sllakovc,
15 so this point here.
16 Q. As the Serb forces has broken through the front line, you have
17 explained in your statement that the civilians decided to flee, and I will
18 ask you in a little bit to indicate the route that they followed. But
19 I -- I'd like to ask you a question which relates to the KLA first. Now,
20 first, did the armed -- did the KLA members remain with the civilians or
21 did they separate from the civilians?
22 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, before he answers that question, I have
23 an objection to the questions being asked as it misrepresents the
24 statement itself. He says that the civilians decided to flee, but the
25 statement I have clearly says the order came for the KLA to move. So are
1 we talking about the same event? I mean -- I'm having difficulty
2 following this, and if that's how he's presenting this particular event at
3 paragraph 11, I think he's misrepresenting the statement.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'm referring to --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marcussen.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'll rephrase the question. I would refer to what
7 the witness said at transcript page 1403 and 14 -- 4104 in the Milosevic
8 case. There the witness explains where the KLA fighters went.
9 MR. IVETIC: Could I get those page numbers.
10 MR. MARCUSSEN: 4103 and 4104. And that's Prosecution Exhibit
11 2258. There the witness says that the KLA fighters went to the east, to
12 the Dumnica area.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: The objection, though, is not to -- you seeking to
14 get that information, it's the preface to the question suggesting that the
15 civilians left voluntarily, when in fact the statement says they were
16 ordered to leave by the KLA.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'm sorry, yeah, I didn't mean to try to represent
18 it. Let's ask the witness about who took the decision.
19 Q. So as -- Dr. Gerxhaliu, we'll get back to the map in a bit, but
20 who decided that the civilians should leave?
21 A. After the front lines of these two zones were broken through, the
22 KLA informed us and told us that they could no longer resist those forces
23 and protect us. So they issued an order for us to leave.
24 For me personally, they said I should join the wounded ones, but
25 my family wanted to be with me together at all times, so I continued with
1 my family and went to Ceceli, to Sllakovc. I can see Ceceli here. It
2 should be here between the villages of Sllakovc and Studime e Eperme. No,
3 here. Here is Ceceli and here is Studime e Eperme. So Sllakovc, Ceceli,
4 and we set off in the direction of Studime e Eperme. And with the
5 intention to continue to Studime e Poshteme and then to Vushtrri and
6 further on.
7 The KLA then withdrew from Zagore area in the direction of
8 Dumnice. We were a lot of inhabitants in that area, about 40.000.
9 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, thank you very much. I'll stop you. I'm sorry I'm
10 stopping you once again. I would like to -- in your statement you
11 explained how the convoy of civilian moves along and goes very slowly and
12 at one point the convoy has to stop. Now, if you can, could I ask you to
13 mark on the map that you're looking at where approximately the front end
14 of the convoy was when it stopped.
15 MR. MARCUSSEN: And maybe the usher could help us zoom in a little
16 bit on the area that's in the middle of the card now -- yes, that will be
17 good. Thank you.
18 Q. If you could take the pen and put a number 4 at the location where
19 the front end on the convoy was.
20 A. I will mark it with a line here. Here is Studime e Poshteme, and
21 here is Studime e Eperme. As I mentioned Sllakovc, Ceceli,
22 Studime e Poshteme, it moved, but when we arrived at Studime e Poshteme
23 and up to the entrance of Studime e Eperme, here approximately, behind
24 that hill that I mentioned where the Serb forces were, at Rashica, and up
25 to this point here above Studime e Eperme. This was the convoy, the line
1 of the convoy. With what number shall I mark it?
2 Q. Well, let's put an A at the lower part of the line and a B at the
3 top point of the line.
4 A. [Marks].
5 Q. So A -- yes, there please. Yeah. And B --
6 A. So A and B.
7 Q. Now, how long would you estimate the convoy was at that point?
8 How long is the distance from A to B?
9 A. It should have been something between 10 to 12 kilometres, I'm not
10 sure, approximately.
11 Q. And you explain in your statement that you were asked to go to the
12 front of the line and that the convoy couldn't advance because as it
13 advanced it came out to an unprotected position and it was being shot at.
14 And then you returned to your -- to the tractor where your wife and
15 children and other family members were. Is it possible for you to mark
16 approximately where your tractor were in the convoy? And I would like you
17 to put a C at that point, like Charlie.
18 A. It was somewhere in the middle, more to the rear part. It should
19 be here, it should be here, my tractor. So it was closer to
20 Studime e Eperme than to Studime e Poshteme.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, I'd now like -- sorry. I would now like to ask
22 you some questions about the events that happened when you had returned to
23 your -- to your family at the tractor. You --
24 A. When I was at the tractor, I mentioned it in my statement, a
25 person came --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gerxhaliu --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and he said to me --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Wait until the question is asked, please. You're
4 going to be asked some specific questions. It's not just a repetition of
5 the statement. We have your statement in front of us, but some particular
6 questions are being asked. So please listen to the question and answer
7 each question that is asked of you.
8 Mr. Marcussen.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
10 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, I understand that there were different -- you
12 described them as Serb military and paramilitary coming to the area around
13 where your family were -- was, and I'll ask you some questions
14 specifically about them.
15 Now, you explained that first some armed paramilitaries or
16 military came to your wife and threatened to rape her if she didn't pay
17 them money. Now, we have the description of all that and the Judges are
18 aware of what your evidence is. What I'd like to focus on is the -- the
19 men you saw when -- that spoke to your wife. Now, you have also in your
20 statement described the uniforms of the different units that came. But
21 what I'd like to ask you particularly about is the units -- whether you
22 could see the persons threatening your wife. Could you see them when you
23 were hiding?
24 A. Yes, I could see them with my own eyes --
25 Q. Do you remember what --
1 A. -- and I could hear them.
2 Q. Thank you. Do you remember what uniforms they were wearing?
3 A. I've described it in my statement. It was camouflage uniform,
4 some with blue patterns and some with green patterns. Some of them wore
5 masks and had painted faces.
6 Q. And they -- all those three -- the description of those three, the
7 men in blue, the men in green, and the men with masks, they were all there
8 at the same time. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes, because they had a good level of coordination and
11 Q. Now, in -- when they came down to your tractor, what direction did
12 they come from? Did you see that?
13 A. From behind us, because those in front at Rasica hill, they came
14 later on.
15 Q. So --
16 A. These that you're asking me about came from behind us.
17 Q. So they came from the area where the KLA had been and where the
18 Serb forces had now penetrated the line. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now --
21 A. Yes, from that part. And they came to my tractor three or four
22 times. I've mentioned it in my statement.
23 Q. And was that the same group that kept on being in the area and
24 coming back to the tractor, or was there one group that left and then
25 another group came?
1 A. A group would come and ask for money and leave then. And then
2 another group, and then another group, until we had no money to give them.
3 And when there was no money, they would line up the people and execute the
4 men, usually in the presence of their wives and children.
5 Q. So I think you already touched upon it. So eventually, if I
6 understand correctly, this group as it started to kill men, you jumped off
7 the tractor and hit close to the tractor you had been travelling in. And
8 then you were hiding and you heard the Serb forces being in the area, and
9 eventually about a quarter to midnight, in paragraph 24 of your statement,
10 the convoy started to move again. And then you just mentioned that --
11 then another group of -- you say Serb police came in some vehicles. Now,
12 what direction did they come from?
13 A. They came from the direction of Vushtrri -- rather, from those
14 forces that were at Rasica hill from the direction of Studime. So these
15 forces had penetrated in order to control the terrain, and this is what I
16 overheard from the -- from my hiding place.
17 Q. So now we had -- these forces, as far as you could determine, came
18 from the area that had prevented you from advancing -- prevented the
19 convoy from advancing in the afternoon?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And that is the area that was held by the Serb forces. Is that
23 A. Yes, from that direction they came upwards.
24 Q. Now, you describe in your statement that you saw Zastava 101 and
25 APCs coming up the road. Now, you also described that they had search
1 lights on and were looking at -- examining the area. Could you see what
2 colour those vehicles had?
3 A. Well, it was a clear night. There was moonlight. These were
4 vehicles 101 make of the police, and I distinguished them on basis of what
5 I've seen during the day while I was hiding in the stream, near the
6 stream. Of course you cannot distinguish the colours in the evening, but
7 this was their colour. They were of that colour.
8 Q. Do you remember whether it was -- how the weather was that night?
9 A. It was warm. It was a late spring that year, so there were not so
10 many trees. The mountain was kind of bare.
11 Q. Did -- do you remember whether there was any light from the moon
12 that night?
13 A. Yes, I said there was moonlight. It was full moon, but of course
14 you cannot distinguish colours at moonlight.
15 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gerxhaliu. I think I will have to jump from this
16 part of your evidence and take quite a leap forward in time and ask you a
17 few questions about the incident that you have described in your statement
18 on the 31st of May.
19 Now, I'll have to ask you if you could please make a final marking
20 on the map. You explain in your statement that at 4.00 in the morning
21 NATO bombed the old Serb barracks. Can you show us on the map where that
22 is, please.
23 A. The barracks was here in the direction of Mitrovica, where the
24 petrol station is. The road here is marked with red, isn't it, so --
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. -- it should be here. The barracks should be here. Shall I mark
2 it with a --
3 Q. With a 4 I think we have come to now, please.
4 A. So here is 4.
5 Q. Yeah.
6 A. So this is the approximate location where the old military
7 barracks of the Serbian army were, and I heard that there was ammunition
8 in the barracks.
9 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gerxhaliu.
10 MR. MARCUSSEN: I think we have finished with the map and I would
11 like to tender that as an in-court exhibit at this point in time.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we have a number for it, please.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit IC22.
14 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, will the Defence be allowed a copy of
15 that map, because obviously it was something we were not produced
16 previously [sic].
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Certainly it will be given to you.
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: It will be entered into the e-court system, I
19 believe, and be made available.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours, it will be uploaded on to the
21 e-court system in due course.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: Now, Your Honours, I only have a few questions
23 left. I don't know whether we should continue. I see that we are
24 approaching the end of the day today.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, do your best to finish, Mr. Marcussen, this
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honour. I think we can be quick.
4 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, you explain in your statement how Seladin
5 Gerxhaliu's family was killed, along with your uncle --
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'm not going to take the witness to the
8 statement. I'm just going to have a question about paragraph 31 in the
10 Q. But I'll tell you, Witness, what I need from there. You have
11 explained how in your statement 12 members of the family got killed. You
12 saw the bodies, they were buried. As we don't have much time, the -- what
13 I'd like to focus on is a statement in paragraph 31 that somebody
14 suggested that the police should be alerted to this incident. Now, what
15 did the -- did that happen? Was the police alerted?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And what did the police do? Did they respond?
18 A. I just want to add one sentence here. I haven't mentioned the
19 name of the person who went to report this to the police. This is
20 Sheribane, the wife of a cousin of mine. She often went to the town to do
21 shopping, so she went -- we all agreed for her to go and report this to
22 the police in Vushtrri because there were crimes happening on a daily
23 basis. And they, the police, were blaming others like NATO and so on.
24 My cousin Meda [phoen] then said: Let's send Sheribane to report
25 this to the police, and that's what Sheribane did. Sheribane should be
1 one name, not divided, not "Sheri Ban," but just as one name.
2 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gerxhaliu. So am I understanding you correctly
3 that this was reported to the police as an example because there had been
4 no follow-up before? Is that what you're saying?
5 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not what he said, so what you've asked can
6 be no more than leading him.
7 It looks as though we are -- the clock's against you. It's
8 impossible to get short answers, I'm afraid, the way this is being
9 explored. So we will have to adjourn until tomorrow because there is
10 another case to follow us and we don't have the luxury of being able to
11 extend the time we use to complete evidence this way. It's necessary for
12 you to control the presentation better if you want to finish by certain
14 MR. MARCUSSEN: We'll do our utmost, Your Honour.
15 One point for clarification. Are we sitting tomorrow or on
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that this court is not available to us
18 tomorrow because of an appeal hearing. If you've got other information,
19 please alert me to it.
20 MR. MARCUSSEN: No, I haven't. I was just -- thank you. No.
21 Thank you, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Gerxhaliu, we have to interrupt here
23 because another case sits here in the afternoon and we have to adjourn
24 until the next available time for us, and that will not be until
25 Wednesday. So you have to come back here ready -- you have to come back
1 here ready to commence your -- re-commence your evidence at 2.15, 2.15 on
3 Now, meanwhile, as you probably are well aware but I have to
4 repeat it to you, it's very important that you have no discussion with
5 anyone about your evidence. That's either the evidence you've given or
6 the evidence you may yet give in the case. You can talk about anything
7 else with anybody you want, but what you mustn't do is discuss the
8 evidence with anyone at all.
9 So we'll adjourn now and resume on Wednesday at 2.15.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 30th day of
12 August, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.