1 Friday, 1 September 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the Chamber will sit this morning in the
7 absence of Judge Nosworthy, who's on other authorised Tribunal business.
8 Mr. Shabani, the evidence will continue now. Please remember that
9 the solemn declaration which you made at the beginning of your evidence
10 continues to apply to that evidence today.
11 Mr. Ackerman.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 WITNESS: QAMIL SHABANI [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Shabani.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. Mr. Shabani, my name is John Ackerman. Along with Aleksanders
20 Aleksic and Vujic, I'm representing General Pavkovic here. And I'm --
21 I've got several questions I want to ask you, and the quickest way for us
22 to get through this is if you listen very carefully and only answer the
23 question I ask you. As you know, the -- the basis of your account of what
24 happened is already in the record in this case. The Judges have seen it,
25 read it, heard it, they know about it, so it's not necessary you repeat
1 things unless it's an answer to a specific question I ask you. Do you
2 understand that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right. Thank you very much. The first thing I would like you
5 to tell me is if you have learned from any source about testimony given in
6 this case by other witnesses who appeared here before you did.
7 A. You're asking me about my own testimony? I gave it myself.
8 Q. No. I'm asking you about if you've learned about testimony that
9 was given in this case by other witnesses, who testified before you came
11 A. No. Everyone has his or her own testimony to give, and we have
12 not talked about that.
13 Q. You've not -- you've not watched or listened to any of these
14 proceedings or read any news accounts, newspaper accounts or heard
15 anything on the radio or TV? Is that what you're telling us?
16 A. I have watched some of it on television, but I have not followed
17 the testimony closely.
18 Q. When you say you've watched some of it on television, has that
19 been on a local news channel of some kind?
20 A. Yes, yes. I have watched it being mentioned on television.
21 Q. Now, you gave a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor in 2001,
22 in June of 2001. And then you testified in the Milosevic case in March of
23 2002, and then you gave another statement to the Office of the Prosecutor,
24 what is called a witness information -- addendum to the witness statement
25 that you did on 27 August 2006. Correct?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness be asked to speak louder,
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Shabani, the interpreters are asking you if you
5 could speak a little louder so that they can hear exactly what you're
6 saying. The microphone will be adjusted; that might be the answer.
7 MR. ACKERMAN:
8 Q. And when you met with the Prosecutors on 27 August 2006, you
9 reviewed your earlier statement of 2001 and made several changes in it,
10 didn't you?
11 A. Yes, I made some changes, because at that time there was another
12 person who gave a statement but that witness was not summoned here to give
13 evidence. So the evidence was not complete.
14 Q. When you gave your first statement, the one you gave back in June
15 of 2001, according to the statement there was an interviewer and two
16 interpreters present for that statement. And it took place over at least
17 a three-day period. My question is this: When -- when that process was
18 completed, that statement you gave was read back to you so you could be
19 certain that it was correct, wasn't it?
20 A. Yes, it was read back to me.
21 Q. And it was read back to you in such a way that you were able to --
22 to focus on what was being read to you, wasn't it?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And you know, don't you, that you signed that statement?
25 A. Yes, I signed it.
1 Q. And you know, don't you, that you signed an acknowledgement saying
2 that it was read over to you in the Albanian language and was true to the
3 best of your knowledge and recollection?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. And you then came here in March of 2002 to give evidence in the
6 Milosevic case, did you not?
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, that's enough of the formality.
8 Let's get to the point, please.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: I think I'm getting there, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's awfully slow.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: I believe it has to be, but I'll do my best to get
12 to the point.
13 Q. You came to give evidence in the Milosevic case, and at that time
14 you were -- you met with representatives of the Prosecutor, didn't you?
15 A. Yes, yes, I did.
16 Q. And you were asked to review your statement at that time and see
17 if there were any changes you wished to make, weren't you?
18 A. Yes, yeah, that's right.
19 Q. And then you gave your testimony in the Milosevic case, and that
20 testimony was under oath, the same way as the testimony you're giving here
21 today, was it not?
22 A. That's right, that's right.
23 Q. And my question now is why you didn't tell the Prosecutors when
24 you were here in March of 2002 for the Milosevic case about the errors in
25 your statement, since you'd then had two chances to review it.
1 A. Because I thought that the other person who gave his statement
2 would also come here to give evidence and there was no need for me to make
3 that supplement or changes.
4 Q. So you were content to have in existence a statement which you now
5 say was not correct in many areas and that you've had to correct? You
6 were content with that back in March of 2002. Is that what you're trying
7 to tell us?
8 A. I was content with it on the condition that the other person gave
9 his own statement, because in this way both statements would cover
10 everything that occurred in the village.
11 Q. All right. After you had testified in Milosevic, I assume that
12 you received some kind of contact about the possibility of testifying in
13 this case from the Prosecutor's office. Correct?
14 A. After I came here?
15 Q. No. Before you came here, you must have been contacted by the
16 Office of the Prosecutor about the possibility that you would be
17 testifying in this case, were you?
18 A. Yes, they called me on the phone.
19 Q. And my question now is: Were you ever told that it may be
20 possible that your statement would just be used and that you would not
21 have to come here? Were you ever told that?
22 A. No, I was not told that. They only asked me if I could come here
23 to testify with respect to my statement. And then I said that: If you
24 want me, I will come, and that's why I'm here.
25 Q. And during that telephone conversation, did you tell them that
1 there were some errors in your statement that you would need to correct?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. On that telephone conversation?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. All right. I want to now move to the early part of your account
6 when you were in the village of Zhegra, your village. You told us in your
7 statement that there were 97 Serb family homes in Zhegra. Correct?
8 A. Approximately so. The number is not accurate. I didn't count
9 them, but I think it's more or less accurate. I gave an approximate
10 figure, as I said, because I didn't count the family homes. That's why I
11 just made a guess.
12 Q. Well, what your statement says in paragraph 3 is -- there's no
13 indication that it's a guess. You said: "There were also 97 Serb family
14 homes here in the village."
15 You didn't say "approximately" or "maybe" or anything like that,
16 you just said that there were 97.
17 A. Yes, just mentioned the figure, but I may state here that I never
18 counted them and that this figure was a supposition on my part.
19 Q. Well, anyone reading your statement without what you just said
20 would be entitled to believe that there were exactly 97 Serb homes in that
21 village, wouldn't they, because that's what you said?
22 A. Yes. But as I said, being a villager, this is the number I
23 thought they amounted to. But this is not a correct figure -- I mean an
24 accurate figure I mean. Otherwise, had I counted them, I would certainly
25 give you a very accurate figure.
1 Q. Do you know anybody when asked to estimate a number would come up
2 with something like 97?
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Impossible question --
4 MR. ACKERMAN:
5 Q. -- a precision like that?
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Impossible question for the witness to answer.
7 MR. ACKERMAN:
8 Q. In your statement you then said that these Serb families, 97 in
9 your statement, "marked their homes by putting a piece of white cloth on
10 the door," right?
11 A. Right. This happened before that operation was undertaken to
12 clean the village.
13 Q. Yes. And now my question is this: Do you know - and I want to
14 emphasise whether you know or not - do you know why those people put a
15 piece of white cloth on their door? Not a guess, not a supposition, do
16 you know why they did it?
17 A. Yes. Because they wanted to be singled out from the Albanian
18 homes. And this was the case in other villages, too, where there -- the
19 population was mixed.
20 Q. I'm not asking you about other villages; I'm asking you about this
21 village. And you know that because one of them told you that's why they
22 put a white cloth on their door?
23 A. I know because other inhabitants told me this, but also because
24 I've seen the white cloth with my own eyes, families living close by.
25 Q. Whether you've seen it with your own eyes or not doesn't give you
1 any indication of why it was there. What I want to know is: Did somebody
2 tell you, one of those Serb families tell you, why they had put that cloth
3 on the door? Is that how you know? Or are you just speculating again and
4 guessing like you did with the 97 houses?
5 A. No, no. The Serbs told me why they put up that white cloth. But
6 it was common knowledge that when the Serb forces came to clean the
7 village, the military and paramilitary forces, entered only into the
8 Albanian homes and not into the Serb homes. And that was clear to all of
9 us why they put up that white cloth.
10 Q. Well, if that was common knowledge and clear to everyone and
11 everyone knew it and everyone knew why it was being put there, why didn't
12 the Albanians just put white cloth on their houses, too, to protect
13 themselves? Wouldn't that make sense?
14 A. Yes, you're right. There were two Albanians who put up white
15 cloths like the Serbs, but they were maltreated and insulted by the
16 Serbian forces. This I didn't put in my statement, but I'm telling you
18 Q. Yes. Now, these 97 Serb houses that -- or approximately 97, as
19 you now say, that had this white cloth on them, did they all -- were they
20 all in a line together facing the same direction?
21 A. No. They were in different places.
22 Q. And did some of them face north?
23 A. Some faced north, some faced south. As I said, the houses are
24 scattered all over the village and the village is large. It's not a small
1 Q. And did some face east and west?
2 A. I don't understand. I don't understand your question. You mean
3 the houses -- the Serb houses facing east or west or generally the houses?
4 Q. Were some of the Serb houses also facing east or west? You said
5 they faced north and south. Did they also face east and west, some of
7 A. It's very hard for me to understand this question, sir.
8 Q. Well, I'm sorry, I didn't think it was difficult. I'm asking you
9 about the Serb houses in your village that had white cloths on their front
10 doors. Now, you already told me some of those houses faced to the north
11 and some of them faced to the south. And the next question is, I think,
12 easy: Did some of them also face to the east and the west?
13 A. You mean the entrances to the yards of the houses? Because first
14 you have to enter the yard, and they put this white cloth on the door or
15 the gate of the house, not at the door, on the door of the house.
16 Q. All right. So in the statement when you said "door," that was
17 another error and the white cloth was actually on the gate. So let's just
18 ask the same question -- if you can do this quickly it would really please
19 me. The gates of the Serb houses faced all directions, not just one.
21 A. We must understand each other. There is the house, there is a
22 yard, and that's Serb property. At the gate or on the gate of that house,
23 they put the white cloth. I want you to be clear what I mean. Not on the
24 door of the house. First you have to pass the first gate of the yard, and
25 then you enter the house through the door.
1 Q. Yeah, I'm now very clear about that. And that's not what I'm
2 asking. And I think you know that's not what I'm asking. What I'm asking
3 you is: Did those gates in front of those houses face more than one
4 direction? Did they face all directions?
5 A. They faced different directions. It depends on the position,
6 where it was built vis-a-vis the road or other points. There is the gate
7 and then comes the house. So every Serbian household had such a white
8 cloth put on the gate. I spoke in general, saying that every Serbian
9 house was marked by a white cloth. I meant a house with a yard.
10 Q. I know --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I have to say --
12 MR. ACKERMAN: It took us way too long to get there. I'm sorry.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I have to say, Mr. Ackerman, I don't know
14 where the white cloth is now. I'm totally baffled. Is there only one
15 gate or are there two gates? Because we have a reference to the first
16 gate. Or is it on the gate at the street or where are we with these white
17 cloths? And all you're tending to demonstrate is how difficult it is to
18 note accurate statements from witnesses like this. And if this is the
19 best inconsistency we've got, then I'm afraid, Mr. Ackerman, it's very
20 peripheral to this man's evidence.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: It's not, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: And I'm about to give up on this because I'm not
24 going to get an answer.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: It would be good to get to something that matters.
1 MR. ACKERMAN:
2 Q. I would like to know, just to go back for a second, when was it
3 you received a call from the OTP and you told them that there were errors
4 in your statement? Do you remember when that was?
5 A. I didn't say there were errors, but I said I need to add some
6 things regarding the question of the village, what happened.
7 Q. And the question was: When was that phone call? That's what I
8 asked you.
9 A. That phone call was when they -- the Tribunal contacted me to come
10 and testify here for the second time, here in The Hague.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Was the --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember the date.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Shabani, was that this year?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it was this year.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you remember the month of the year?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It was -- because I had to get
17 ready, prepare the documents, get a new passport. It was the month of
18 May, end of May I think.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. And when you told them that you needed to add to your statement,
22 were you asked what it was you needed to add?
23 A. No, no, they didn't ask me anything. I told them that when I come
24 there I will do what I need to do, and if you accept it, okay. This will
25 depend on you.
1 Q. All right. I now want to go to a different area. And this was
2 the incident where a person named Avni was killed, and I'm referring now
3 to your statement and I know that you have made what you call a correction
4 in that. But, first of all, I want to refer just to your statement. And
5 when I say "your statement," I mean your statement of 2001. Now, first of
6 all -- the first thing you tell us in that statement that this incident
7 happened a couple of days before the air-strikes, right?
8 A. There is a mistake there. It was two or three days before the
9 NATO air-strikes ended. This is when that incident occurred, that is in
10 June. After I returned from Macedonia, I learned of that incident.
11 Q. And so the first time you reviewed this statement you didn't
12 notice that that was wrong, and the second time you reviewed the statement
13 you didn't notice it was wrong. It was only the third time, after you'd
14 come here for your testimony, that you take the position that that was
15 wrong. Correct?
16 A. Yes, correct. But there is only one word, but it changes the
17 whole meaning. It was something which escaped me when I first read it.
18 Q. If what you're actually talking about is a couple of days before
19 the air-strikes --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, a moment.
21 MR. STAMP: I rise to object, Your Honour, belatedly. I think if
22 it's going to be put to the witness that there was a mistake in the
23 statement, then the proper context of this statement in respect to that
24 incident should be put, and that is at paragraph 4 of the English
25 statement. And since the witness is here, I just ask the Court to note
1 the last sentence of that paragraph. So it's really a matter of how the
2 statement is recorded.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Which sentence?
4 MR. STAMP: It could be paragraph 5 where it describes the
5 incident in which Avni was killed, and in the last sentence he said: "I
6 heard this from a local after I returned."
7 It could be well how you interpret that sentence, because he's
8 being told now that it was only later, much later, that he indicated that
9 he discovered this in June when that is not necessarily the appropriate
10 interpretation of the meaning of that sentence in the statement.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE BONOMY: We reject that proposition. The statement is
14 abundantly clear, and the only thing that might be in doubt is the extent
15 to which he claims to have heard it from a local after he returned, but
16 there's no doubt that he said in the statement "a couple of days before
17 the air-strikes a man from this village ..."
18 Carry on, Mr. Ackerman. Let's bring common sense to bear on these
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. And what you said at that time in the statement that you reviewed
22 and approved on at least two occasions -- well, let me ask you a
23 preliminary question.
24 You were in the village at home two days before the NATO bombing
25 started, weren't you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Then what you say after that first phrase about when this
3 happened, you say that: "Avni was walking to his home, which is situated
4 behind my house and higher up on the hill. It was in the evening time.
5 There was about three or four policemen I knew in the field about 400
6 metres from him. One was called Jova, another was Dragan, the others I
7 did not know. The two I have named were from Zhegra."
8 Then you go on: "From a distance they shot at Avni and then they
9 went and mutilated the body. I don't know why they did this, though."
10 Now, one could get the impression -- I haven't asked you a
11 question --
12 A. As I said, after I returned from Presheva --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Wait until you're asked a question.
14 Carry on, Mr. Ackerman.
15 MR. ACKERMAN:
16 Q. One could get the impression from that that you were there and
17 that you were an eye-witness to this event because it's described in such
18 detail about where it was in relation to your house, what time it was in
19 the evening, the policemen that you knew and recognised. I mean, anyone
20 who would read that and think you were reporting was someone told you is
21 not reading correctly, right?
22 A. Yes, it is narrated as if I've seen it with my own eyes. That's
23 how persons who told me this narrated it because they were with Avni until
24 they separated.
25 Q. Okay. Who was the person who told you about this after you
1 returned, which you now say was how it happened?
2 A. My neighbour Hisen Hiseni and his brother Idriz Hiseni. They live
3 close to my house, and when we met they told me what had happened and
4 that's what I described here in this statement.
5 Q. Well, I now submit to you that that can't possibly be true because
6 you told us that it was Hisen Hiseni who gave you the other story about
7 what happened there. It is not this story.
8 A. No, it is exactly this story, not another story. I haven't
9 mentioned his name with reference to other stories.
10 Q. Well, we're going to get to that.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's not lose sight of it at the moment.
12 Where do you say that is? Just give me a paragraph number.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: It's page 1572 of the Milosevic statement -- of the
14 Milosevic trial. And I'll just go to it right now.
15 Q. At page 1572 in the Milosevic trial, Mr. Milosevic asked you the
16 following question: "You said that the army shot at a person called Avni,
17 that they killed him. As a matter of fact, you said that they massacred
18 him, and the truth is quite different. This person was retarded. The
19 army found him dead and brought him there, and that's where the
20 authorities got this statement from the father, that this is a young man
21 who was mentally retarded whom they had tied up themselves so that he
22 would not create problems for them. Do you know about that?"
23 And you gave this answer: "Yes. I have heard about this case
24 when I returned, that Mr. Zenani was killed by Serbian civilians of the
25 Zhegra village who were armed. Those civilians were armed and the killing
1 was carried out on the 6th of June" --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: July, I think. That must be a misprint. My
3 copy --
4 MR. ACKERMAN: It later gets corrected that it was June instead of
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 MR. ACKERMAN:
8 Q. Now, that's a totally different story than the one that was in
9 your statement to the OTP, that he was killed by these police officers
10 that you knew, that he was shot by them, and you agreed with
11 Mr. Milosevic, that what he had suggested to you was true. So did Hiseni
12 tell you two stories?
13 A. As for the killing of Shukri Isufi's son, I heard about it from
14 his father, from Shukri himself. And during the Milosevic trial I
15 mentioned that this killing was carried out by Serb paramilitaries who
16 entered by force his compound. His father was also there present, but in
17 hiding. He was hiding. When the killing took place, he was covered with
18 hay and he did not dare come out of the haystack. So he was hiding there
19 in the haystack. This is what I discussed with Milosevic during that
20 trial at that time.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: All right.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, I'm not understanding your point that
23 he agreed in the evidence in Milosevic with the proposition. The
24 proposition was that his own family had tied him up and left him to die.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, and after Milosevic had made this statement
1 he said: Do you know about that? And the witness said: "Yes.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: But he goes on to say Mr. Zenani was killed by
3 Serbian civilians of the Zhegra village who were armed and the killing was
4 carried out on the 6th of June to intimidate the Albanian population.
5 That's not agreeing with his version.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I'm really not suggesting that he agreed with
7 it was done by his father who tied him up and so forth. And even if it
8 was tied up by his father, he still could have been killed by Serb
10 In any event, it doesn't have an any effect on where I'm trying to
11 go with this. Where I'm going with this is, is he's telling two
12 completely different stories. One, he's killed by Serb civilians on the
13 6th of June; another is he's killed by police that he knows personally a
14 couple of days before the air-strikes.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. I now understand the point. Thank you.
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. And you've now told a third account, haven't you, a third version
18 of this story, when you talked to the Prosecutor on 27 August 2006.
20 A. Please, sir, Your Honours, you are not referring to this
21 correctly. You have mixed things up with other persons. I don't know to
22 which incident you are referring specifically. If, for example, we are
23 speaking of Avni Zenani, this is a person I've mentioned earlier, and in
24 the additional statement I said on basis of what I heard, he was killed on
25 the 6th of June around 1700 hours and that he was taken to Gjilan morgue.
1 Q. Please don't, we don't need the whole story. We're talking about
2 the same person. Every incident I've talked about is the same person.
3 Mr. Milosevic talked about Avni. Your statement to the OTP in 2001 talks
4 about Avni. And finally, when you talked to the Prosecutor here, you tell
5 the Prosecutor his last name was Zenani. But in your -- your contention
6 in Milosevic and your contention so far today in this case was that you
7 learned about this incident after you returned. Now, that's not the same
8 thing you told the Prosecutor on August 27th. What you told the
9 Prosecutor then was, in paragraph 6: "I heard about this incident from
10 another person while I was in Macedonia."
11 Now, is it true that you're just making this all up and not
12 getting the story straight?
13 A. No, I'm telling the truth. That's why I'm here, but it is
14 difficult for the truth to come on to surface.
15 Q. Yeah, it sure is when you tell three stories. It's very difficult
16 for us to know which one is the truth, if any, and I suggest to you
17 perhaps none of them are.
18 A. Everything I've said so far is true.
19 Q. Well, you've said three different things. How could they all be
21 MR. STAMP: I object.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, this is where we descend, really, to
23 the point where there is nothing productive that emerges. Having made
24 your point, can you not settle for it and move on?
25 MR. ACKERMAN: I settle for it, Your Honour. Thank you.
1 Q. Could you tell us how far your village of Zhegra is from the
2 Macedonian border?
3 A. Yes, about 30 kilometres, approximately. I haven't measured the
4 distance. It could be more or even less. So that's why I'm saying it's
5 just an approximate figure.
6 Q. After the -- the Serb forces, the Serb soldiers, whoever they
7 were, came to your village and started staying there and digging trenches
8 and doing things like that, did you know about some killings that occurred
9 and I want to ask you about the killings of - and I may badly mispronounce
10 these names - Qamil Idrizi, Milazim and Shyqri Tahiri? Do you know about
11 the killing of any those people?
12 A. Yes, I do. And I have testified to that event.
13 Q. Do you also know that a Serb by the name of Vlada Zmajevic and six
14 additional VJ volunteers were arrested by VJ security and turned over to
15 the Pristina Corps court for trial for those murders?
16 A. No, I don't know of that.
17 Q. You've not heard about that?
18 A. No, I haven't.
19 Q. And I take it, then, you don't know that these seven individuals
20 are currently serving prison sentences, having been convicted of these
22 A. No, I don't know. I don't know that they have been sentenced.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, where do we find that in the
24 statements or the transcript?
25 MR. ACKERMAN: You don't find it anywhere or any place, Your
2 JUDGE BONOMY: There is a reference to a name Tahiri, but that's
3 different, is it?
4 MR. ACKERMAN: No, you won't find these anywhere in the
5 transcripts, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: But I have a good-faith basis for asking these
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you see, the witness says he's testified to
10 the event and that's why I thought we might have something on it. But you
11 say that's wrong.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, it may be that in the Milosevic transcript he
13 talked about it or -- I don't know where it is in his statement that he
14 talked about these particular individuals being killed. He may have
15 testified to it in Milosevic, I just don't remember.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have mentioned them in the
17 supplement statement that I gave, in the addendum, not during the
18 Milosevic trial.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Carry on, Mr. Ackerman.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. And do you know that the -- the investigation of the incidents
23 that happened in your village is still going on by the Belgrade Special
24 Court? Did you know that?
25 A. No, I don't know that. I have no knowledge of it.
1 Q. Do you know or have you heard that a couple of Serb civilians in
2 Zagreb [sic] by the name of Zvonimir Pavic and Milan Jovanovic were
3 arrested for robbing the house of one Rexhep Ajati in Vitia? Did you hear
5 A. No, I didn't.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, at line 24 the transcript
7 says "Zagreb" and it should say "Zhegra."
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 MR. ACKERMAN:
10 Q. Did you know about the rest of Marinkovic and Denic from
11 Perlepnica arrested by SUP and VJ security for setting fire to a number of
12 houses? Were you aware of that?
13 A. No, I don't know. I haven't heard about this case.
14 Q. All right. I want to now go to the time you spent in Stubla. You
15 left the village of Zhegra with your family on 29 March 1999, and you went
16 toward Donja Stubla. Correct?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. And tell us just briefly why it is you left the village on the
19 29th of March?
20 A. Because we feared that we would be executed by the Serb forces who
21 had already started killing people in the village, like they killed Shyqri
22 Tahiri, the brother of Tahir Tahiri, and they had started to shell with
23 artillery weapons. I have mentioned a transporter in the village. And
24 not only me but the entire village fled in the direction of Kushtavice
25 [phoen], where we thought we would be safer.
1 Q. Yeah, so you spent the night up there on Kuslevica mountain in the
2 rain, didn't you?
3 A. Yes, that's correct, together with other people from Zhegra.
4 Q. There were about 1200 of you there; correct?
5 A. Approximately, yes. Not all of them that I knew, but it was just
6 a mass of people.
7 Q. Yeah. And of that approximate number of 1200, would you hazard a
8 guess as to how many of those were men between 16 and 60 years old?
9 A. I haven't counted them. There were men, women, children --
10 Q. Just say you don't know and that ends it. So then the next
11 morning you went back to this village where you feared that you would be
12 executed by the Serb forces who had already started killing people in the
13 village, like they killed Mr. Tahiri, the brother of Tahir Tahiri, where
14 they had started to shell with artillery weapons. Correct? You went back
15 to that village that you said you left yesterday because of all these
16 fears, the day before?
17 A. Well, we went back because we thought that their activity have
18 ceased and that the situation would become calmer. That's why we went
19 back to the village. And only those villagers who lived in and around the
20 centre of the village, like more inside the village, they returned. And
21 they then moved in the peripheral parts in case of sudden attacks by the
22 Serb forces, which actually happened. There was firing on all sides, from
23 all sides. You could hear machine-gun fire --
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
25 A. Serb forces, paramilitaries.
1 Q. You've testified about this and I didn't ask you about that. What
2 was it, as you were spending the night up on this mountain in the rain
3 that caused you to believe that the activity had ceased and the situation
4 had become calmer? What led you to that conclusion?
5 A. Because we could no longer hear shots firing, and we could no
6 longer see their movements. This is why -- this is how we saw it. We
7 thought that they were not going to touch us. But on the contrary, the
8 biggest incidents occurred then, like the case with Ukshin Ukshini and his
9 wife, Milazim Idrizi --
10 Q. We're trying to move along as fast as we can. You don't need to
11 tell us things twice; I told you that this morning.
12 Now, the other thing I wanted to ask you about that. You could
13 see this village from the mountain where you were spending the night in
14 the rain and determine whether there were movements in the village or not?
15 A. Yes, you could see movement but not from the centre -- central
16 part of the village. The Serb forces were in the building of the primary
17 school, and in the agricultural co-operative and the factory as well as in
18 some Albanian houses in the vicinity of the factory. These are the
19 locations where the Serb forces were positioned.
20 Q. While they were there, those forces were digging trenches and
21 setting up a defensive line, weren't they?
22 A. Well, they dug trenches only in those places where they thought
23 they would face NATO forces. But they were positioned in Zhegra. This
24 was during the bombing and before the bombing. On the 29th and 30th of
25 March --
1 Q. We already know about that. You've told us about that. I want to
2 ask you -- now, you came back down from the mountain to the village.
3 Did you spend that night in the village after you came back or did you
4 leave that very same day?
5 A. No, we spent the night in the village with family members and with
6 other villagers who had their houses in the centre of the village.
7 Q. And so it was the next day, then, that you left and went to
8 Donja Stubla, where you stayed for five weeks. Correct?
9 A. Yes. So on the 30th we set off after we were expelled by the
10 paramilitary forces and Serbian military forces. They were shooting from
11 all sides and expelling people from their houses, killing them, injuring
12 them, beating them up. So we fled in the direction of Stublla i Ulet. The
13 entire village fled in this direction.
14 Q. Do you remember -- excuse me. Do you remember the question that I
15 asked you? Do you remember what I asked you? Could you tell me the
16 question that I asked you?
17 A. You asked me if you went to Stublla village on the 30th? And I
18 explained to you that we did, and I explained how we went to Stublla.
19 Q. Is there any reason you couldn't have just said: Yes, that's the
20 day we went to Stublla, because that's what I asked you, right?
21 JUDGE BONOMY: We've discussed this problem before, Mr. Ackerman.
22 These questions are actually unnecessary, and they do tend to encourage
23 witnesses who come from this region to answer in the way in which this
24 witness answered. It is far from exclusive to him. So we've all got to
25 learn as we go along that we're dealing with people from different
1 culture, different jurisdictions who perceive questions differently, and
2 we've got to tailor our questions to try and avoid these problems. I
3 don't think it's fair to blame the witness for that. But I'm happy to
4 intervene a bit more, if that's what you want me to do to stop the
5 answers, but I think it then becomes rather unfortunate. So the best way
6 to deal with this is to try and avoid the questions that don't really
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, the question matters, Your Honour, because
9 it's not clear from anything he's put in his statement or said whether
10 they spent the night in that village and left the next day or not. That's
11 what I was trying to figure out, is this village that was so dangerous
12 they went back to and spent the whole night in before they left again.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: That's where I was going and I was just trying to
15 lead to where I was going next.
16 Q. And I've not asked a question. Please don't answer anything. I
17 didn't ask you a question.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Just wait, Mr. Shabani, until you're asked a
19 question. Thank you.
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. There were no KLA in Donja Stubla, were there?
22 A. No, there were not.
23 Q. And during the entire five weeks you were there, there was no KLA
24 there. Correct?
25 A. Correct. There was no KLA forces in Gjilan or in that area.
1 Q. And because there was no KLA there, then the Serbian forces had no
2 interest in coming into that village and in fact didn't come into that
3 village. Correct?
4 A. I don't know why they didn't enter. I don't know what purposes
5 they had. I know only that there was no KLA and that civilian population
6 was there in -- spread out in different houses and in nylon tents when
7 they didn't have a shelter.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Shabani. We've got enough of the
9 answer to that question.
10 MR. ACKERMAN:
11 Q. Now, you said also that about 500 to a thousand people a day left
12 Donja Stubla and went to Macedonia. And you tell us in your statement
13 that they left because of, and these are your words, "fear and because
14 they did not have any food." Correct?
15 A. Correct. Out of fear, because even as it is they had been
16 displaced from their homes, from Zhegra and from other villages.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, yeah.
18 MR. ACKERMAN:
19 Q. Thank you. And my question now is this: If they had had no fear,
20 if there'd been nothing for them to be afraid of, they still would have
21 left because they had no food. Isn't that true?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this a serious question, Mr. Ackerman? We're
23 not dealing with a jury here, as I've said repeatedly. That's a -- a
24 pointless question in the context of the trial we are conducting. Please
25 move on.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I thought it went to a pretty important issue
2 in the trial, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we disagree with you. Well, at least we
4 disagree that the question will help us to reach an answer to what I do
5 agree with you is a very important issue in the trial.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: That's different. Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. You told us in your statement - you changed this in your new
8 statement to the OTP - but in your old statement you said, and let me find
9 it, in paragraph 18, the statement that you reviewed twice and swore was
10 correct: "During the five weeks we were in Stublla, we had a normal
12 You've told us now in your new statement to the OTP that it's not
13 true, that you didn't have a normal life, didn't you?
14 A. If you look at the entire statement, you will understand that
15 there was no normal life. That was a way of speaking, of saying, you
16 know -- because if you look at my statement you will see that there was no
17 normal life. We were constantly in fear and on the watch-out less we were
18 killed or attacked by the Serbian forces at day or at night and ready to
19 leave if they did so. So that cannot be a normal life. I don't know if
20 you agree with me, but that's how I saw it and see it.
21 Q. You said you were keeping guard at night. What kind of weapons
22 did the people have that were keeping guard at night, if any?
23 A. We didn't have any weapons. We just kept vigil to be prepared and
24 not be caught asleep if they attacked us in case of some bloodshed that
25 might occur, that we feared. That was all.
1 Q. All right. So finally then on the 2nd of May of 1999 you decided
2 to leave Stublla, along with about 600 people. Now, who made the
3 decision, among that 600, who decided to leave?
4 A. It was a spontaneous decision. Every family was eager to flee in
5 that event, so everybody was interested in finding a way to find a safer
6 place. Because we didn't know what the morrow might bring to us. So
7 every family made up its own mind, and this is how we came together,
9 Q. Well, you hadn't known what the morrow might bring to you for five
10 weeks, and then all of a sudden one morning you say spontaneously 600
11 people said: Okay, we're leaving. Is that your testimony?
12 A. There were other groups before us who left. I told you.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Shabani --
14 MR. ACKERMAN: That's clearly not my question.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Shabani, the question is: What was it that
16 made you think after five weeks of nothing happening at all that you were
17 still in danger?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the constant danger facing
19 us. As I said, we did not know what the morrow might bring. We were
20 living in constant fear. We knew that the Serbian forces would one day
21 come to the village, and we were afraid they would kill each and every one
22 of us.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: But you stayed there -- you stayed there for five
24 weeks. Now, what was it that triggered the move? Why after five weeks
25 did you decide to move on?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because we saw that the situation
2 was not improving, the houses were set on fire, and there was no turn back
3 for us --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: What point was it -- you mean -- sorry, when were
5 the houses set on fire?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When the population left the village
7 of Zhegra from the 6th of April, 10 and 15 houses kept burning constantly.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
9 MR. ACKERMAN:
10 Q. Nothing happened in Donja Stubla on the day before you left or the
11 night before you left, no shots were fired at that village, no Serb forces
12 came to that village. It was the same as it had been for the preceding
13 days. Isn't that true?
14 A. In Stublla, yes, but around it, no. And in other villages, no.
15 Q. All right.
16 A. Because we followed what was going on in village -- in other
18 Q. Well, if you're satisfied to leave this Chamber with the
19 proposition that for no good reason on one morning 600 people just got up
20 and said: Let's leave, I'm satisfied with that, too. Are you satisfied
21 with that?
22 MR. STAMP: That's arguing with the witness, Your Honour. The
23 witness has answered this question many times.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I agree.
25 MR. ACKERMAN:
1 Q. Okay. I want to go now into your trip to Macedonia. At page 1535
2 in the Milosevic testimony, talking about that trip you said: "We moved
3 at night because we didn't want to be discovered by Serbian forces." Is
4 that true?
5 A. Yes. We were always careful not to run into Serbian forces when
6 we walked at night.
7 Q. That's why you moved at night, was to avoid Serbian forces. Isn't
8 that what you were saying in Milosevic?
9 A. Yes. This is what I said in Milosevic trial but also in my
10 statement, that we walked at night, trying to move as cautiously as we
11 could so that we didn't suffer any consequences from the Serbian forces.
12 Q. And then you spent a night in a village called Seferaj, yeah?
13 A. Yeah. It was there that we spent the night after we passed Jsufaj
14 village, Rekaj, the river in the village.
15 Q. Next morning you left there and went to Rustaje where you arrived
16 around 2.00 in the afternoon. So in that instance you travelled in the
18 A. Yes. But always keeping to the hills and avoiding the main roads
19 where the Serbian forces were moving. So we tried to find secondary and
20 tertiary roads, if I might say so.
21 Q. Well, when you got to Rustaje, you encountered some forces there,
22 didn't you?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. And these forces had set up defensive positions in the area of
25 Rustaje, had they not?
1 A. Yes. They had taken up positions there, and when they saw us they
2 surrounded us and took us to the place where they wanted us to go.
3 Q. And they searched you to make sure that you had no weapons, didn't
5 A. Yes. They searched us -- everything we had on us, our documents
6 and everything. It was a very detailed search, both men and women.
7 Q. Yes, it was. And then they escorted you to a hill near the
8 border, and at that point told you to go to Presevo, right?
9 A. Yes. But you are not mentioning everything that I said in my
10 statement. They first surrounded us. We stayed out in the rain for two
11 hours and a half and --
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... told us all about that in
13 your statement and --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Shabani, we don't need to go over your
15 statement again. We just need answers to specific questions, please.
16 Mr. Ackerman.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. Now, after you were escorted to this hill, these soldiers told you
19 to go to Presevo and escorted you no further. You were on your own at
20 that point, after being told to go to Presevo. Correct?
21 A. Correct. They did not escort us. They just showed us direction
22 to go, and we set out in that direction. But we turned back --
23 Q. Yes, we know that, too. And Presevo -- Presevo is in Serbia,
24 isn't it?
25 A. Yes, it is in Serbia.
1 Q. So these soldiers were telling you that you should go to Serbia,
2 weren't they?
3 A. Yes. They sent some other groups before us in the direction of
4 Presheva --
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it might be to your advantage if you just
7 listen to the rest of the answer.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
9 MR. ACKERMAN:
10 Q. Now, instead of going to Presevo you went a different way and went
11 to Macedonia, and on the way I think you say you spent another night in a
12 place called Mal i Thate, I'll pronounce that wrong, but Mal i Thate? Is
13 that right?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. And you joined about 300 other civilians there with your group,
16 didn't you?
17 A. Yes. They had gone from Presheva in the direction of Mal i Thate
18 and they joined us. There were villagers from my village in that group as
19 well, and we spent the night in Mal i Thate.
20 Q. And that group that was around 900 people now were all Kosovo
21 Albanians, were they?
22 A. Yes, all of us were Albanians of Kosova.
23 Q. And --
24 A. There were some from Presheva, but there were very few, maybe one
25 or two. The bulk of us were Albanians from Kosova. And from the same
1 area, we set out from Stublla.
2 Q. And one of these Albanians you said knew the way to the border
3 crossing and showed you the way?
4 A. Yes. One Albanian from Presheva, he told us that he knew the way
5 and that maybe he had connections with the Serbian forces and that he
6 showed us the way to cross the border.
7 Q. You just said it again, but you said in Milosevic pretty much the
8 same thing: "This person who was certainly urged by the Serbian forces,
9 asked us ... to give him some ... Deutschmarks ... to show us the place.
10 I think everything was done in collaboration with the Serbian forces, the
11 border forces."
12 Are you just guessing about that or do you know that this person
13 was collaborating with Serbian forces?
14 A. I know that they took from every one of us 10 Deutschmarks --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: No, let's concentrate on the question. What makes
16 you think that this person was associated with Serbian forces? What's the
17 answer to that question?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] His words, what he told us. He told
19 us that: I have to pay -- to give this money I'm collecting from you to
20 the Serbian forces at the border. This is what made me think or all of us
21 think that he was associated with the Serbian forces.
22 MR. ACKERMAN:
23 Q. The Serbian forces that you'd encountered were trying to get you
24 to go to Serbia. So if he was associated with the Serbian forces, why
25 didn't he take you to Serbia instead of Macedonia? I'm sure you don't
1 know the answer to that. You can just say you don't know.
2 A. I'm not -- I don't understand your question, sir. If you can
3 repeat it.
4 Q. I don't want to ask it. I do want to ask you this: When you
5 actually finally got to the border, near the border you saw some more Serb
6 soldiers in trenches guarding the border and they didn't bother you in any
7 way. Correct?
8 A. Correct. They were in their positions, and we didn't hear
9 anything -- them say anything to us or didn't hear any fire shot. We were
10 in a column, and this is how we crossed the border in an Indian file
11 because this is what they told us that the border was mined and that we
12 had to be very careful while we moved.
13 Q. So at -- at best, they seemed to be concerned for your safety and
14 told you to be very careful and avoid the mines, didn't they?
15 A. I don't know if that was their intention --
16 Q. Let me ask you -- go to another subject completely. At page 1.525
17 of the Milosevic transcript, you were talking about the beginning of the
18 NATO bombing and you said it made the Serbs very angry. And then you said
19 this: "Certain people had made certain preparations under orders from
21 Now, first of all, what certain people had made these
22 preparations? Who were you talking about there that had made these
24 A. Of course, under orders from Belgrade the local inhabitants had
25 made preparations to launch the operation for cleansing the village and
1 eliminating certain people. They had taken care to get -- to be ready for
3 Q. So it was the local Serb villagers who were doing this cleansing.
4 Is that what you're saying?
5 A. The local Serbs, together with the Serbian forces that were
6 stationed in the village.
7 Q. And you say this had something to do with an order from Belgrade.
8 When did you see that order and where did you see it?
9 A. I didn't see the order. They must have seen it, but I presume
10 that they organised themselves on the basis of orders.
11 Q. So this was just a presumption when you said it had -- was based
12 on an order from Belgrade, you were just presuming that, guessing that.
14 A. Every action that is undertaken normally is undertaken on some
15 orders coming from above.
16 Q. So the answer is: Yes, you were just presuming and guessing,
17 isn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, at page 1527 of that transcript you were asked if there were
20 any skirmishes between residents of your village and the Serb forces, and
21 you said there weren't any because: "We didn't have any weapons."
22 Now, nobody in your village had any weapons?
23 A. We didn't have any weapons. If someone had a weapon, a pistol or
24 some other weapon, he had no chance of using it against an armoured car or
25 a tank, even if they had such kind of weapon. Normally they had them,
1 they would hide the weapon and not use it --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Shabani --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know that no one had a
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, why are you telling us what people would do
6 with weapons if they had them if nobody had a weapon. What was the point
7 in that?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to -- my point was that
9 even if they had a pistol, they wouldn't dare to use it, because if an
10 Albanian killed a single Serb the retaliation would be huge. This is my
11 point when saying --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Can't you understand all we want to know is whether
13 or not anyone had any weapons? That's all the question was about, not
14 what they would have done with them if they had them. Please confine your
15 answers to the questions you're actually asked, and we'll get to the end
16 of this eventually if we do that.
17 Mr. Ackerman.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, they didn't have
19 weapons, at least most of them.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Instead of giving a simple clear answer, you've
21 left us wondering: Well, did some people have weapons and were they
22 hiding them because of the answer you've given. It's not helpful to us.
23 It's certainly not helpful to you if in fact the truth of the matter is
24 that nobody had any weapons.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Perhaps now is a suitable time to break, although I
2 hope we're making some progress through this cross-examination, Mr. -- how
3 long are we going to be with this witness.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't know what anyone else is going to do. I'm
5 going to be another five or ten minutes.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we'll break now and we'll resume at ten
7 minutes to 11.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
12 MR. HANNIS: Before we resume, I just wanted to indicate we had a
13 new member of our team sitting in today. This is Yana Mihaylova who is an
14 intern working with us on the case. Thank you.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
16 Mr. Shabani, I gather from the court deputy that you want to
17 correct something from the evidence you gave yesterday. What is it you
18 wish to say?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Regarding the uniforms worn by Serb
20 forces in the village and regarding the APC that was firing at the
21 village, I just wanted to define these two issues in a clearer way. So I
22 was just asking for an opportunity to do that.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, if anyone wishes to ask you more questions
24 about that, they will have the opportunity to do so and you can deal with
25 it at that stage. Meanwhile, we're carry on with the questions.
1 Mr. Ackerman.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. I want to refer now to the time you went back to your village, to
4 Zhegra. Was that after -- that was after the NATO forces had come into
5 Kosovo. Correct?
6 A. When I returned from Macedonia?
7 Q. Yes, sir.
8 A. Yes, yes. After the NATO forces entered Kosova, on the 24th of
9 June, 1999, I returned to Zhegra village, to Kosova, with my family.
10 Q. And so after the Serb forces left and the NATO forces came, what
11 happened in your village was that all the Serb houses were burned to the
12 ground and the Orthodox church was burned to the ground. Correct?
13 A. This was like a retaliation for what the Serbs had previously done
14 to Albanian properties. In other words, as the Serbs burned the mosque
15 and Albanian houses, some Albanians, when they returned, they set Serbian
16 houses on fire after the Serbs had left their houses.
17 Q. Did you assist in that in any way? Did you do any burning or
19 A. No, I did not participate in any way, and it took me by surprise
20 as well. To my opinion -- in my opinion, I don't think they should have
21 been set on fire. They should have been left there untouched for the
22 Serbs to be able to return to their houses as well. This is my opinion,
23 and I stick to it.
24 Q. When you were talking in the Milosevic case about the pieces of
25 white cloth that the Serbs put on their -- now you say their gates, you
1 said this: "These white cloths resembled a fascist genocide."
2 What does that mean? What do you mean they resembled a fascist
4 A. The hatred and to divide one nation from another and exterminate
5 the other nation by using weapons, how else can you define this but as a
6 fascist genocide, the killings, the fire that was carried out in the
7 village by Serb paramilitary forces and army?
8 Q. So would you characterise the KLA, who were killing Serb police
9 and killing Albanian civilians in the same way, that they were engaged in
10 a fascist genocide?
11 A. No. The KLA did not kill Serb policemen just like that. It
12 fought in front lines. They were waging a liberation war. As I said,
13 there were no KLA in Zhegra, but in those areas of Kosova where the KLA
14 was present, they were fighting for Kosova's liberation from the Serb
15 forces and police as well as the paramilitary forces that were at that
16 time in Kosova. And with the help of NATO as well.
17 Q. I want to ask you about something you said regarding the KLA in
18 Milosevic. It's page 1578. You were asked about your views regarding the
19 KLA and you said this: "In my view, the KLA is not a terrorist
20 organisation but an organisation that stood up in defence of the people
21 and fought the Serb terror and atrocities perpetrated against the Albanian
22 population of Kosovo."
23 Mr. Milosevic then asked you this: "If they fought against Serb
24 terror, why then did they kill so many Albanians?"
25 And you said this: "If they've killed Albanians who've been
1 involved and cooperated with the Serb forces, that is, traitors to the
2 nation, they may have done such a thing."
3 Traitors to what nation would these people be? What nation would
4 they be traitors to?
5 A. Well, an Albanian who collaborating with Serbian forces; this is
6 what I mean, who was a collaborator and who was detected in these
7 activities by the KLA, he was liquidated.
8 Q. What nation was that person being a traitor to? What nation was
9 it for him to be a traitor to, to commit treason against? Certainly not
11 A. Well, when I say "a traitor to a nation," I mean the Albanian
12 nation, a person who served the Serbian police and army, who aided and
13 abetted them in carrying out these massacres of the Albanian people.
14 Q. So he was a traitor of the country of Albania, which is next to
15 Serbia? Is that what you're saying?
16 A. No. Traitor to the Albanian interest of the Albanians in Kosova.
17 Q. But that was not a nation, was it? That was part of Serbia. So
18 he was supporting the Serbian forces trying to put down a rebellion --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: This is unproductive now, Mr. Ackerman. You've
20 dealt long enough with this subject. And we have the transcript as well
21 which goes into it in some detail.
22 MR. ACKERMAN:
23 Q. Let me ask you this: You told us about a person when you were
24 crossing the border into Macedonia, an Albanian person, who you said was
25 working with the Serb forces and taking money from you. Would you
1 consider that person a traitor who probably should have been killed?
2 A. What do you mean?
3 Q. Exactly what I asked you. Would you consider that person a
4 traitor? If he was collaborating with Serb forces when he took you cross
5 the border. Is he a traitor who should have been killed by the KLA?
6 A. I'm not saying that he should have been killed by the KLA, but if
7 he is of that kind and is a citizen of Kosova, if he cooperated and
8 collaborated with Serbian forces and harmed the Albanians of Kosova, he
9 should be held responsible for these deeds through courts. This is my
11 Q. And would that also be your opinion if someone from your village
12 would come here and testify in front of this Trial Chamber that some of
13 the things you've told us today were not true, would you consider that
14 person a traitor also?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: That's -- that's a question that is not appropriate
16 for the witness. It's -- in fact, it's argumentative, Mr. Ackerman, and
17 we've had enough of that in this cross-examination.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm finished, Your Honour. I have no further
19 questions. Thank you.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sepenuk.
21 MR. SEPENUK: No questions, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac -- Mr. Cepic.
23 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Shabani. My name is Djuro
1 Cepic, one of the counsel for General Vladimir Lazarevic.
2 I have in my hand a map of the area, including the village of
3 Zegra. When I look at it, I conclude that Zegra is but a few kilometres
4 away from the border with Macedonia. Is that correct? I'm talking about
5 the distance as the crow flies, being the shortest distance.
6 A. I already told the Court that I did not measure the distance. We
7 are speaking of the place where I come from. If you're speaking about the
8 location where I was, near the border, then it's a shorter distance. But
9 Zhegra is further. I don't understand your question. I don't understand
10 the purpose of your question.
11 Q. It is not for you to assess the purpose of my question, but rather
12 to answer it. And I believe my answer [as interpreted] was a clear one.
13 As the crow flies, can we say that Zegra, the village of Zegra, is not far
14 from the state border with Macedonia, taking the shortest distance?
15 A. Well, as the crow flies or the actual distance, it's not very far.
16 As I said, it's about 30 kilometres. But again, I'm telling you I didn't
17 measure the distance and I cannot give you the exact estimate.
18 Q. Mr. Shabani, I didn't ask you about any roads. I asked you about
19 the distance as the crow flies. You have been asked about the roads by
20 Mr. Ackerman. I have this map in front of me, so I put it to you that it
21 is as I stated.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Why don't you put the distance that you say it is
23 and get an answer to that? You should have prepared the cross-examination
24 so you know the distance. So you should be able to put that to him.
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Approximately four to five kilometres as the crow flies, being the
2 shortest distance to reach the Macedonian border.
3 A. No, it's not true. It can't be true, four or five kilometres.
4 It's definitely further, even as the crow flies.
5 Q. Thank you. Did you know that along the Macedonian border in that
6 area, being to the south of the village of Zegra, there were post --
7 border posts by the Army of Yugoslavia?
8 A. To the south of the village of Zhegra, well, the road that --
9 along the road from Zhegra to the Macedonian border, there were Serbian
10 check-points and trenches used by the police --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Correction.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Used by the army.
13 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Shabani, could you please provide specific answers to what I
15 believe are specific questions. I asked you about the border posts of the
16 Army of Yugoslavia south of Zegra on the border with Macedonia. I didn't
17 ask you about any check-points.
18 A. We are not speaking of the police, but about the Serbian army and
19 other paramilitaries that were along the road.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, is it accurate to say that the police
21 controlled -- that the army controlled the border crossings? Is that
23 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] It controlled the state boundary. I
24 had in mind the control of the state boundary. I didn't have in mind the
25 state crossing -- the border crossings; I had in mind the posts, the
1 blockhouses, towerhouses, on the border.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, do you know about these, Mr. Shabani?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I learned from some villagers that
4 certain villages that were on the border between Serbia and Macedonia, the
5 inhabitants of these border villages were expelled and moved to Zhegra --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not the question you're being asked. Now, I
7 have to wonder what you're trying to do when you give an answer like that.
8 The question is whether you know about army posts located on the
9 Macedonian border.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've only seen trenches along the
11 road. I don't know of any other guard posts.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Shabani, I didn't ask you about the route you travelled; I
15 asked you about something else, but let us move on.
16 Did you know that there were illegal crossings of the border
17 before NATO bombing began and that the Army of Yugoslavia would having
18 caught those people who tried to cross the border illegally without
19 papers, they turned them over to the investigative bodies of the state,
20 and this was all verified by the OSCE mission that was in the field at the
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, there's no way the witness will know the
23 answer to that question. What is the relevance of this line of
24 cross-examination to this witness's evidence?
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, having in mind the
1 answers I received, I was about to move on.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it seems to me it's been an utter waste of
3 time so far, but let's move on.
4 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Q. Mr. Shabani, did you know that members of the Ministry of the
6 Interior in the village of -- from the village of Gnjilane, having come to
7 the village of Zegra on the 27th of January, 1999, detained Mustafaj
8 Bekim, who was born in 1975, and his brother Lulzim. They detained these
9 two Albanians because of an attack they allegedly carried out against
10 another Albanian, Ibrahim Salihu?
11 A. No, I don't know anything about this case. And I don't even know
12 the names of the persons you mentioned. No, I don't know about this.
13 Q. Did you know that on the 16th of February, 1999, in the same
14 village of Zegra, members of the police seized two pieces of weapons from
15 a local Albanian by the name of Agushi Muhamed?
16 A. No, I don't know about this either.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Shabani. A few minutes ago you stated that you
18 wanted to say something about what you were asked to recognise yesterday.
19 Yesterday you were put clear questions to which you provided clear
20 answers. How come you now wish to change what you have stated yesterday?
21 A. I have given a statement earlier. Yesterday I wasn't feeling very
22 well and my intention to clarify things today was just to actually clarify
23 them, for things to be understood better. This is the aim, nothing else,
24 because that part is not explained in details.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Unless you're challenging it, Mr. Cepic, it doesn't
1 seem to me it's a reasonable area for inquiry. But if you wish to
2 challenge what was said yesterday, I would understand you doing that.
3 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I agree, Your Honour. I was just
4 surprised by his wish to change, having in mind the examination that went
5 on yesterday.
6 Thank you, I have no further questions.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Shabani, my name is Branko Lukic. Together
12 with Mr. Boris Zorko and Mr. Ogrizovic, I appear on behalf of General
14 I would like to start with the beginning of your testimony today
15 when you said that you amended your statements. You said that on page 3,
16 line 11 of today's transcript. You said you did that because another
17 witness who testified together with you was not invited to testify in this
18 proceeding. How did you learn of this fact, from whom?
19 A. When I was asked by members of the Tribunal, we were told that the
20 village will be divided into two based on the river that runs through the
21 village. So this was a point I wanted to make about certain incidents
22 that occurred on the other side of the village. I was not allowed to
23 speak of those incidents. I thought that another person would speak of
24 those incidents, about the movements of the population in the other part
25 of the -- Zhegra, which moved not in the same direction that we took in
1 the direction of Presheva --
2 Q. Excuse me, my question must have been imprecise. I asked you from
3 whom did you learn that this other person was not going to testify before
4 this Tribunal? Could you please answer my question.
5 A. I know that that person was also a witness for this Tribunal, but
6 he was not called to testify. And if he was called, he would testify to
7 those incidents that happened there, in that part of the village.
8 Q. Again, my question must have been imprecise. Please bear with me
9 and maybe now I will finally succeed to pose the question right.
10 Who did you learn from that that witness was not going to testify
11 before this Tribunal? Please focus and try to answer my question.
12 A. The person himself from Zhegra told me this, that he was not
13 called to testify.
14 Q. Thank you. So you talked to other witnesses about this, as to
15 whether you were going to testify here and what you were going to testify
16 about, right?
17 A. No. I did not talk to the other person. I just asked: Are you
18 going to testify or not? That's it. I didn't speak of anything else.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: How did you know --
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Thank you.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: How did you know what he was going to testify
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because he was of the other part of
25 the village, and I assumed that he was going to be called to testify for
1 the incidents that occurred in his part of the village. This is the
2 reason. And whatever he would have said here, it would have only made the
3 picture more complete about the events that happened in Zhegra.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Shabani. So it is your assertion now that you had
6 assumed that. Yet another one of your assumptions, right? That is not
7 something that the man said to you actually.
8 A. He didn't tell me anything, and I didn't even ask him about what
9 he was going to testify. I only asked him: Why haven't you been invited?
10 I don't know was his answer. That's it.
11 Q. We were asked today to clarify matters with regard to uniforms and
12 recognition. His Honour Judge Bonomy asked us to clarify the matter with
13 you today if any one of us could deal with that. So I would like to
14 embark on that now.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we see P1326 now, please, with
16 the assistance of the usher.
17 Q. We're waiting for it to appear on our screens.
18 Yesterday my learned friend Mr. Stamp, on page 2.689, line 19,
19 asked you -- I'll read it in English so that you will get the right
20 translation so I'll read the original. [In English] "You said that you
21 saw soldiers in the vicinity of your village. Did you see any of the
22 uniforms that they wore while they were there in that -- in that
24 [Interpretation] And the photograph that my learned friend showed
25 you was precisely this one. On that photograph, there are uniforms worn
1 by soldiers in your village, and you recognised 4, 6, and 9 as being
2 photographs of that. What is it that you would like to explain to us?
3 A. I want to explain that uniform number 10, as well number 1 and
4 number 5, were worn by the regular army, Serbian forces in general.
5 Q. So can we conclude now in your opinion the uniforms that were worn
6 by the army in your village are under numbers 1, 4, 5, 6, and 10, right?
7 A. 4 and 10.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... I think 4, 5,
9 6, 9 we had also yesterday.
10 MR. LUKIC: Yes. So now it includes 1, 4, 5, 6 --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, 9 too.
12 MR. LUKIC: And 9 too. Yes.
13 Q. [Interpretation] In the Milosevic case on page 1.520, line 5, you
14 said when Exhibit 18 was shown to you, which is actually identical to the
15 one that we're viewing right now, you were asked: [In English] "Do you
16 see any uniforms -- to what they were wearing in any of these paragraphs?"
17 [Interpretation] You said: "Number 1."
18 Then the Prosecutor asked you as follows: [In English] "Can you
19 look and see whether you see any other uniforms before we put it on the
21 [Interpretation] And then you recognised a uniform, the one under
22 number 2, actually, and number 9. What about today, do you recognise the
23 uniform under number 2 as the uniform worn by the army?
24 A. I can't discern it very clearly because the picture is rather dark
25 in my opinion. Yes, now this uniform I have also seen. Yes.
1 Q. Let us now go back to picture number 10. In picture number 10, if
2 you take a closer look, you will see a KLA uniform. So in your village
3 you saw these uniforms too, right?
4 A. I thought that this uniform belonged to Serbian paramilitaries.
5 This is what I meant, not to demonstrate that it was KLA uniform. Because
6 at that moment I didn't see the insignia "KLA" on the arm. Had I seen it,
7 I wouldn't have identified it as the Serb uniform.
8 Q. You do not see the left sleeve of this man where it
9 says "KLA" -- "UCK" rather?
10 A. I didn't see it. That's why I'm saying that I thought that this
11 uniform belonged to the Serb paramilitaries because I didn't see the
13 Q. Mr. Shabani, out of ten uniforms that were offered to you for
14 recognition in terms of whether you saw them in your village or not, so
15 far you've recognised seven as having been seen in your village, out of
16 which one was a KLA uniform. Would you agree with me that you're not a
17 reliable witness who can testify about what uniforms were in the critical
18 period --
19 MR. STAMP: [Previous translation continues] ...
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. What uniforms appeared in your village in the critical period?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic, that's not an appropriate way in which
23 to formulate that question.
24 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: You may ask him if he's prepared to accept that his
1 identification may not be reliable, but ...
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Would you accept, as put by His Honour Judge Bonomy, that
4 identification of uniforms from the board here, the uniforms offered here,
5 that your identification was not reliable?
6 A. No, I do not accept it. When I said that this is a Serb uniform,
7 I didn't see the insignia. That's what I'm saying.
8 Q. But you recognise not only insignia. You were recognising the
9 pattern. Because on other uniforms, except for photographs 3 and 4, you
10 did not identify or recognise any insignia, only the pattern. Would you
11 agree, either -- either that this exhibit is not clear or is there another
12 reason maybe for the fact that you did not properly identify the uniforms
13 of the Serb forces in your village?
14 A. I believe I was able to identify the Serb uniforms I've seen in my
15 village, but as to this photo that we are discussing now, this reminds me
16 of a Serb paramilitary who together with his captain were wearing the same
17 uniform. That's why I said -- similar --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Correction.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Uniforms.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Shabani, all of these camouflage uniforms are similar. You
22 were asked to identify exactly what uniforms were worn by the Serb forces
23 in your village.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I have to say that that's not how I heard the
25 question yesterday nor how I understood the approach, because that would
1 be pretty ridiculous, would it not?
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour. Very well. I
3 shall conclude on this note.
4 Actually, I would just like to put a question.
5 MR. STAMP: [Previous translation continues] ...
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, Mr. Stamp.
7 MR. STAMP: I thought my friend was about to move on. I just
8 wanted to indicate for the record that when he spoke just now about
9 uniforms 10 and 2, the photograph was expanded to cover the full screen,
10 just for the record.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Carry on, Mr. Lukic, please.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. I'd just like to ask you something. Do you recall that at the
14 trial of the late Slobodan Milosevic you identified uniforms under
15 numbers 4, 6, and 9?
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you asked a question earlier saying that he
17 identified 1, 2, and 9.
18 MR. LUKIC: Sorry. That's right.
19 Q. [Interpretation] 1, 2, and 9. Sorry.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you can understand the man's confusion now,
22 can you?
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon. I shall repeat my
24 question. My mistake.
25 Q. Is it correct that at the trial of the late Slobodan Milosevic you
1 identified only uniforms under numbers 1, 2, and 9?
2 A. Yes. Maybe at that time it was as you are saying. But now that I
3 look at these pictures I can recognise Serb forces uniforms, 3, 6, and the
4 ones I already stated.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Very well. Now we are getting yet another number. Now we have
8 number 3 as well. So right now from this photograph you recognised eight
9 uniforms that appeared in your village in the critical period, although at
10 the trial of the late Slobodan Milosevic you were asked: [In
11 English] "Can you look and see whether you see any other uniform?" "Any
12 other uniforms ..."
13 [Interpretation] At that moment you did not recognise any other
14 uniform except for the uniforms under numbers 1, 2, and 9 respectively.
15 Today you identified yet another five uniforms. Is that the explanation
16 that you sought from this Trial Chamber? Is that for what you asked
17 permission to explain?
18 A. Yes. My purpose was to stress -- to point out also the uniforms
19 worn by the paramilitaries; that was my intention.
20 Q. So, to conclude, in the Milosevic case you recognised the uniforms
21 that were worn by soldiers under numbers 1, 2, and 9, and today as you
22 uniforms worn by the paramilitaries you marked numbers 3, 4, 5, 6, and 10.
23 Is that your evidence today?
24 A. Now I'm not very certain of number 10. I think this is a
25 uniform -- now I see it's uniform worn by the KLA soldiers. But similar
1 to it I saw Serb paramilitaries wearing the similar uniforms without the
2 insignia, KLA.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Shabani. We have dealt with this topic. If
4 further clarification is required, the Prosecutor can deal with it during
5 his re-direct perhaps.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like to ask the registrar
7 to place on the screens Exhibits -- Defence Exhibits D -- sorry, 6D69.
8 [In English] And since this document is in B/C/S, we provided
9 partial, unofficial translation for Your Honours, the Prosecutor, and
10 these partial translations have already been delivered to the booths.
11 I was just reminded that we have to make one correction,
12 housekeeping matter, because yesterday we said that that statement of
13 Mr. Dren Caka should have been 6D69, but now it would be 6D71, because of
14 this document.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: 71?
16 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, because we have 70 as well after
17 this one.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: So 6D69 from yesterday's cross-examination is 6D71?
19 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And this one, like any other which is untranslated
21 into English --
22 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: -- will be marked for identification.
24 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: As a -- so far as it's an exhibit in the trial.
1 And it's for you to produce the official translation of what's relevant
2 when the position will be reviewed by the Chamber.
3 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Shabani, my learned friend Mr. Ackerman asked
5 you whether you knew about certain criminal proceedings that had been
6 initiated against certain persons for the killings that were committed in
7 the village of Zegra. You have before you -- at least we hope that soon
8 it will be before you.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this anything to do with the proceedings that
10 Mr. Ackerman asked about?
11 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: But the witness has denied any knowledge of these.
13 MR. LUKIC: I just want to confirm the names of killed persons in
14 this document, so later on we can be sure that the document is dealing
15 with the same killings as we have in his statement. I'm not asking him
16 about the proceedings.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: The ones Mr. Ackerman put he told us were not in
18 his statement, I think. You're putting something that you say is covered
19 in the statement.
20 MR. LUKIC: Actually, no. It's a new one.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry?
22 MR. LUKIC: The new statement is not in the evidence, right, the
23 latest one from the 2006?
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, it is in the evidence. You say it's the names
25 referred to in it?
1 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, the new one.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, where are the translations that you say are
3 available for -- oh, sorry, I have got it now.
4 MR. LUKIC: The new statement given by this witness in -- on 27th
5 of August, 2006, is the evidence, then we can find names from this
6 document -- actually from this case in paragraph 7, paragraph 11 and 12.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, paragraph -- this is in the new statement,
8 paragraphs --
9 MR. LUKIC: 7 --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: 7, 11, and 12?
11 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: What's your question, Mr. Lukic?
15 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. On the page 6 of this
16 document and on the page of the translation.
17 Q. [Interpretation] The following names are being mentioned, the
18 names of the persons who were killed, and seven persons were charged for
19 that crime, as you can see from this document.
20 [In English] On the first paragraph, on the page 7 says: "During
21 the time-period from 29th of March until 31st of March, 1991 [sic], in
22 village of Zhegra, in Gjilan municipality, the following persons have been
23 murdered by fire-arms and knife."
24 And then we have those names which I would like this witness to
25 confirm that correspond to the names from his statement. And the names
1 are: "Ukshin Ukshini and his wife Ukshin Xhevahire. Haziri Qazim and his
2 wife Haziri Qamile, Idrizi Milazim, and Tahiri Shyqri."
3 A. Milazim Idrizi and Shyqri Tahiri.
4 Q. It's the first paragraph on top of this page. And it's exactly
5 the first paragraph, and we have three last lines are lines with the
6 names, although it's in Cyrillic so I don't know how this witness is
7 familiar with Cyrillic. But ...
8 A. Yes, I know how to read, but it's not clear, the handwriting is
9 not clear.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we not -- I don't know why we need this
11 document. Why can't you simply ask him to confirm the names of people he
12 knows were killed and then you can relate the document to his statement
13 later. But why do we need to have them all out here and try to work
14 through paper and make the thing complicated when it could be simplified?
15 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Shaqiri [sic], did you mention in your
17 statement as having been killed the following persons: Ukshini Ukshin,
18 was he killed?
19 A. Yes, yes. I have mentioned that.
20 Q. His wife Ukshini Xhevahire?
21 A. Her name is not Xhevahire. I think it's different.
22 Q. Do you know the name of Haziri Qazim? Did you mention him as
23 being killed?
24 A. Qazim Haziri, yes, I know him. He's a friend.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Idrizi Milazim?
3 A. Yes, he's the brother of Qazim Haziri.
4 Q. And Tahiri Shyqri?
5 A. Shyqri Tahiri, yes.
6 Q. Thank you. Mr. Shabani, yesterday before we got your amended
7 statement, I had not had any questions for you; regrettably, now that we
8 have a new statement, we will have to go through some of its parts that
9 I'm interested in as well.
10 In your statement dated the 13th of June, 2001, in six different
11 places you mention paramilitary forces. If you wish, we can move
12 paragraph by paragraph. For example, page 2, paragraph 5; Albanian
13 page 2, paragraph 5; B/C/S paragraph 2 -- paragraph 5, rather, on page 2.
14 Whenever you mention paramilitary forces, in this statement from 2001 you
15 never said that the police forces were with them or anyone from the police
16 for that matter. Do you want us to deal with this paragraph by paragraph
17 or will you accept that not anywhere in your paragraph [as interpreted] of
18 2001 did you mention the police in the presence of the paramilitary
20 A. In my statement I said military and paramilitary forces. By
21 military forces I mean the regular army and the regular police and the
22 reservist police and the reservist army forces. By paramilitary forces, I
23 mean those forces who have another image in our eyes, who have other
24 identification marks or signs. For me, these are the paramilitary
25 forces. Every time I have used "paramilitaries," I've also said "military
2 Q. Precisely so. When you talk about paramilitaries [as
3 interpreted], all you mention is soldiers, not policemen. And you say
4 those were members of the regular forces of the VJ. When you say these
5 were regular VJ forces, do you include the police in that as well?
6 A. Everything that was commanded by higher ranks and worked in a
7 hierarchy I called military forces. So their hierarchy is vertical, from
8 above below, and this implies both the police and the army.
9 Q. Does that include the border-line as well? For example, in
10 paragraph in English page 5, paragraph 4; in Albanian, paragraph 2,
11 page 5; in B/C/S, page 5, paragraph 2. Were the police there as well as
12 the soldiers and paramilitaries and reserve army forces and reserve
14 A. There were police reservists, army reservists, that is soldiers,
15 older in age but dressed in military uniforms.
16 Q. Therefore, on the border, in your view and as you put it today,
17 there were reserve policemen?
18 A. Also they could have been soldiers, both regular and reservists.
19 Q. Therefore, you don't make any distinction between the two?
20 A. The distinction I make is on the basis of the uniforms they wore
21 on the way how they appeared in the village.
22 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, just one correction, as I can see,
23 page 58, line 18, my question was: "When you talk about military, all you
24 mention is soldiers, not policemen." And in the transcript I can see that
25 it says: "When you talk about paramilitaries," but I didn't ask.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we note that, but in any event the answer is
2 contained earlier, isn't it? And that question really was a repetition.
3 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. May I continue?
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
6 Q. [Interpretation] In your village there was a police station. Is
7 that correct?
8 A. Yes, there was.
9 Q. How many policemen served in that police station, if you know?
10 A. I don't know the exact number of policemen who served there. This
11 police station covered a wider region, more villages, not only Zhegra.
12 And to tell you the truth, I don't know how many were there. And it was
13 not something that I showed interest in learning. They moved a lot. They
14 changed their residence a lot, and that's why I don't know the exact
15 number. However, during the war, their number multiplied.
16 Q. Can you still give us an approximation of how many people there
17 were in your police station in your village?
18 A. Well, I don't know. Maybe 10 to 20 regular policemen, even 30.
19 Really, I can't tell you the exact number because I don't know.
20 Q. Thank you. When you talk about those people you indeed
21 say "policemen." And based on your previous answer, one would think that
22 you cannot distinguish between a policeman, a soldier, and a paramilitary?
23 MR. STAMP: I object to this statement. It is not a question. I
24 think the evidence should just be elicited by questions.
25 MR. LUKIC: I will rephrase, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. When you talk about policemen in your statement from your village,
4 the policemen from your village, does that mean that you were able to
5 recognise or distinguish their -- between their uniforms?
6 A. Yes, they were different. They wore different uniforms from
8 Q. So when you talk about other forces with them or close to them,
9 there were no people wearing the same type of clothing as was worn by the
10 policemen of your village?
11 A. Who are you referring to? I don't understand your question. If
12 you could rephrase it, please.
13 Q. Certainly. Is it correct that when you talk about policemen and
14 their movements, you described them as such in your statement since you
15 were able to recognise their uniforms?
16 A. I have mentioned policemen in my statement as well as
17 distinguished by me as such, not only as part of Serb forces but as
18 policemen specifically. And I've mentioned this on two or three places in
19 my statement.
20 Q. Precisely so. Thank you, Mr. Shabani. In your village you said
21 there was also the TO; you mentioned that in paragraph 5 of your latest
22 statement. What about their uniform? Is it one of the eight uniforms you
23 recognised today or do they have something else?
24 MR. STAMP: Could we get the paragraph where he refers to the TO?
25 MR. LUKIC: Number 5, paragraph number 5, "the commander of
1 Territorial Defence in Zegra, Mikan, son of Slobodan."
2 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
3 MR. LUKIC: You're welcome.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not Mikan. It's Stavre.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. We can certainly make that correction, but this is what we
7 received from the Prosecutor, at least that's how this paragraph reads.
8 A. As for Mikan, he was part of the reservist police.
9 Q. Since you mentioned a reserve policeman, do you know of Cvetko
10 Petrovic, have you heard of such a name? He was supposed to have been
11 from your village.
12 A. I have heard this name. Before the war I have seen this person,
13 but not later.
14 Q. Did you know that Cvetko Petrovic on the 7th of May, 1999, was
15 arrested because of theft and arson in the village of Zegra?
16 A. No, I don't know this detail. You know better than me about the
17 works of the police and the army. Personally, I don't know about this.
18 Q. I don't know why you think I'm a military or police expert, but
19 thank you in any case.
20 A. No, not you in person, but your clients, those that you represent,
21 those that are being tried here before this Court.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Shabani.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If I may have a moment, please.
24 Q. I would like to go back again, and this will perhaps conclude my
25 examination, to go back to uniforms. Today, out of ten uniforms you
1 recognised eight. In the Milosevic trial, you said that you could
2 recognise paramilitaries only by wearing Balaclavas --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Bandannas.
6 MR. STAMP: Can we, with your permission, have the transcript
7 reference for that where he said only by wearing --
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] On the page 1556 in Milosevic trial
9 when asked: "What you mean by 'paramilitary'?" And on line 23: "How can
10 you differentiate between the paramilitary and the army?"
11 The witness said: "I can differentiate between them in the way
12 they were dressed. The paramilitary wear -- used some handkerchiefs."
13 Q. This is the only difference in your view between the army and the
14 paramilitary. Is that correct or do you believe that there are some
15 other differences as well? And then we may go into those differences in
16 terms of uniform. [Realtime transcript read in error: "A" omitted].
17 A. Not only the bandannas, masks, cockades with the four S's. So
18 these are the paramilitary forces. They were also wearing camouflage
19 uniforms, but their uniforms differed from the uniforms of the military
21 Q. How many types of uniform were there in your village, if you can
23 A. The uniform of the regular police, the uniform of the regular
24 army --
25 Q. I may have been insufficiently clear. You described the
1 paramilitaries by having said that some had cockades, masks, bandannas.
2 How many different types of paramilitary uniform were there in your
4 A. Two or three types, those that I've already mentioned, not more
5 than that.
6 Q. Plus the eight you recognise gives us a sum total of over 11 types
7 of uniform in your village alone. Is that correct?
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I thought we had established that three of the
9 eight were paramilitaries.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You said that the uniform in the picture number 10 belonged to the
12 paramilitary. Is this what the other uniforms looked like?
13 JUDGE BONOMY: In fact, just for the avoidance of this, that's my
14 mistake. There actually were four plus number 10 that were
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not understand your question,
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. We've dealt with the problem of paramilitaries with the assistance
20 of His Honour Lord Bonomy. He reminded me that you mentioned that among
21 the eight you recognised.
22 What about the TO, did they have their own uniform?
23 A. They had almost the same uniform as the regular army, only that
24 they were older in age.
25 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, just one housekeeping matter again. It's
1 page 63, line 6, the answer starts with: "Not only" and should -- this
2 way it looks like it's part of the question. From the fourth line, "not
3 only" is the answer.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. That's noted. Thank you.
5 Now, is that you complete, Mr. Lukic, or have you more?
6 MR. LUKIC: [Microphone not activated]
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. LUKIC: We don't have any more questions, Your Honour. Thank
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Shabani, for having answered my questions.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
14 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will have one question
15 to clarify something.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll have that question after our break.
17 Do you have questions, Mr. -- is there much re-examination?
18 MR. STAMP: [Microphone not activated].
19 Sorry. No, not much.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we'll resume, in fact, in 20 minutes, just
21 after 25 to 1.00, and as I did indicate we'll finish early. We may even
22 finish around quarter past, somewhere between quarter past and half past,
23 the outside, but preferably nearer quarter past 1.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.38 p.m.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
2 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, actually, I'd like to
3 clarify a particular matter so we will move very fast.
4 It has to do with the witness statement related to the military
5 man, Dusan. First the witness said that he saw him, and then in the
6 corrected version, paragraph 6 that we got from the Prosecution, he said
7 that he heard about that from yet another person. So my question is as
8 follows: Did he hear about it from the person who had actually seen it or
9 did that person hear about it from yet another person? It pertains to the
10 incident that is referred to in the witness statement as the witness
11 having seen it personally. Would that policeman Dragan, that they saw a
12 man killed, and then later on he corrected that. In the interview on the
13 27th of August, that is.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: And you say that's in paragraph 6?
15 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Yes, paragraph 6, paragraph 6. Was it
16 paragraph 6? Paragraph 6, yes, of the additional statement. And it's
17 paragraph 4 of the first statement.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I certainly am clearly of the view that he
19 heard of this from someone else, and that applies to the whole incident.
20 If that helps --
21 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] That's what I thought, too. But then
22 this other person that he heard it from, did that person see it with his
23 very own eyes or did he hear about it from yet another person? That's my
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you understand that question, Mr. Shabani? You
1 were telling us about the killing of Avni, and you told us that you heard
2 about that two days before the air-strikes ended, and you told us that you
3 had heard about it from -- sorry, it happened two days before the
4 air-strikes ended and you heard about this after you returned. Did the
5 person who told you actually see it happen himself or had he heard it from
6 someone else?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This person witnessed it because
8 they were together with Avni up until the village, then they parted their
9 ways. Each went home. And at that moment when he heard shots, that Avni
10 was killed, this is how he told me the entire event. Hisen Hiseni.
11 Because as I said from Rimnik they travelled together with Avni to Zhegra.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: What we're trying to find out is how much the
13 person who told you actually saw. Now, he obviously, from what you've
14 said, did not see the killing taking place. Is that correct?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He only heard the shot. He heard
16 that Avni was killed --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: What did he do after he heard the shot?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was nothing he could do. He
19 went back to Rimnik where he was staying before he came to Zhegra, the
20 person who recounted me this story I mean.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: So that means he didn't even see the body?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He couldn't see the body because the
23 Serbs were firing. He saw it from the distance of his house because the
24 Serbs were on a hill. Avni was walking towards his home. And when they
25 shot at Avni, he, this person, saw him falling down on the ground. And he
1 immediately left. He went back to -- to that village, Rimnik.
2 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Thank you very much --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you have anything else you wish to ask him,
5 please ask the witness.
6 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] No. Thank you very much.
7 Q. I'd just like to apologise to the witness. I haven't introduced
8 myself. My name is Toma Fila, I'm an attorney-at-law, and I'm Defence
9 counsel for Nikola Sainovic.
10 Thank you no further questions
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 And we know that Mr. O'Sullivan has no questions.
13 Mr. Ackerman.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I don't know whether this is a
15 confusion or what, but when Your Honour was talking about what he had said
16 today about how he learned this, you mentioned that he learned about it
17 after he returned and what he says in his most recent statement is he
18 learned about it in Macedonia, before he returned.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
20 As you could hear, I was not clear in my mind when I was asking
22 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm not sure --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I entirely accept that there are these two versions
24 in the two statements.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm just not sure it was clear earlier, and I
1 wanted to make sure that that was cleared up.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
3 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
4 Re-examination by Mr. Stamp:
5 Q. You said that you were told by Serbian forces that you should go
6 to Presevo, which is in Serbia, but you did not go there. You deviated
7 and went to Macedonia. Why did you not go to Presevo?
8 A. Because there were other Serbian forces deployed there, and we
9 were scared of them. We were afraid we would suffer in their hands.
10 Because we knew that they wouldn't have helped us because they had never
11 helped any of the groups that went in that direction. That's why we went
12 in the direction of Macedonia.
13 Q. You say that they had never helped any of the groups that went in
14 that direction. How did you become aware of this? How did you become
15 aware of the groups that went in that direction were treated?
16 A. Because the group that came after us and to -- travelled almost
17 the same route that we did, the son of my brother was with that group and
18 they told us their hands were tied behind their backs, all the males. And
19 they were beaten and subjected to all forms of mistreatment. And then
20 they were put on some trucks after that, closed trucks, and were sent to
21 Blace, from Gjilan to Blace. And I saw my nephew come there after four or
22 five days to Macedonia. That's why I'm saying that. People were
23 mistreated, seriously mistreated, and that's why we didn't go there. The
24 same fate --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: The trouble with that explanation is that you
1 learned from your cousin -- your nephew after you got to Macedonia, and I
2 think that Mr. Stamp wanted to know about events that you were aware of
3 before you went to Macedonia.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When we went to Macedonia, we
5 learned of what the other groups had gone through --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: You're not understanding my question. What -- what
7 Mr. Stamp --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I understand it.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what Mr. Stamp wants to know is what you knew
10 about things that had happened to other groups before you yourselves went
11 to Macedonia.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We heard of this mistreatment. We
13 heard that groups that went to Macedonia -- on the route to Macedonia were
14 caught by the Serbian forces and maltreated. We heard of these events
15 when we were there. That's why we were afraid.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: When you were where?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were still in Stublla without
18 setting out for Macedonia.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
20 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honour. No further
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Shabani, that completes your evidence.
24 Thank you for coming again to the Tribunal to give it. You are now free
25 to leave.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, who has the next witness?
5 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, the next witness we intend to call is
6 Abdylhaqim Shaqiri from Gjilan, or Gnjilane. He will testify about
7 deportations, and his testimony relates to 72(i) and 73 of the indictment.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Is he a via any form of statement or is he a --
9 MR. HANNIS: He is a viva voce witness, Your Honour. We had
10 estimated his direct testimony at two to two and a half hours.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, we won't get very far with the evidence,
12 Mr. Hannis, but we can have him sworn and you can start, if that's what
13 you wish to do.
14 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have no particular preference. In
15 some ways, it might be advantageous to me to not start with him since we
16 are not resuming again until Tuesday. If there's some detail I want to
17 talk to him about before then, I could do it if he's not sworn.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I don't see anybody leaping to their feet to
19 oppose that suggestion. This time the time lost will be held against the
20 Trial Chamber.
21 MR. HANNIS: All right, Your Honour. Fair enough.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I think in the circumstances you're probably right,
23 that the best decision is to hear the witness on Tuesday, but I raised it
24 with you because if you were anxious to give him the opportunity to be in
25 court and see the start of the proceedings, then you would have been free
1 to do that.
2 MR. HANNIS: Okay. Thank you. I appreciate that.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: So we will sit again on Tuesday at 2.15.
4 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
5 JUDGE BONOMY: So we sit Tuesday to Thursday next week in the
6 morning -- in the afternoon and sit on Friday morning again. We're doing
7 quite well on the Friday mornings so far. I think the week after that
8 will also be a Friday morning.
9 So we'll now adjourn until Tuesday.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.54 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 5th day of
12 September, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.