1 Monday, 11 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: Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, our next witness is Bedri Hyseni.
8 WITNESS: BEDRI HYSENI
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Hyseni.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning to you, sir.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you now please make the solemn declaration by
13 reading aloud the document which will be placed before you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I will. I solemnly declare that
15 I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated. Mr. Hyseni, we
17 already have before us statements which you've given in the past, so we
18 know a great deal already about what you have to tell us. The purpose of
19 coming here is so that counsel for the parties, that is the Prosecution
20 and for the accused, can ask you questions to perhaps add to the
21 information you've given, to clarify things, or to challenge what you've
23 The important thing for us is to get as much information as
24 possible. We don't really want to hear again what you've already said.
25 We want to hear the answers to the particular questions that are asked.
1 So we would be extremely grateful if you would concentrate on the question
2 that each person puts to you and try to confine your answer to the
3 particular point that is raised with you in each question. If you do
4 that, then you will be doing everyone, including yourself, a great
6 Now, the first person to ask questions of you today will be for
7 the Prosecution, Mr. Hannis.
8 Mr. Hannis.
9 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, this witness's
10 evidence is presented pursuant to Rule 92 bis (B). His 92 bis (B) package
11 is Exhibit P2270, which we would tender into evidence. His evidence
12 relates to killings in and deportations from Urosevac, Ferizaj
13 municipality, and is pertinent to paragraph 72(h), 73, 75(h), and 77 of
14 the indictment.
15 Examination by Mr. Hannis:
16 Q. Good morning, Mr. Hyseni. As Judge Bonomy just said --
17 A. Good morning, sir.
18 Q. -- the Judges already have your evidence in the form of your
19 written statements, but I briefly want to introduce you to them and to
20 cover a few points, and then I'm sure Defence counsel will have some
21 questions for you.
22 First of all, sir, I want to confirm that you are a Kosovar
23 Albanian, born in 1960 in Ferizaj, Urosevac town, and since then you've
24 lived in the village of Biba in that municipality; is that correct?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. And I understand that you are married with three children and that
2 you worked as a carpenter, and that from 1991 to 1999 you worked for The
3 Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedom in Urosevac, Ferizaj
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, I have a couple of questions about your 2001
7 statement, and I'm going to page 4 of the English, the first two
8 paragraphs; in the B/C/S, I believe it's page 3, the fourth and fifth full
10 At that point, Mr. Hyseni, you talk about how before the NATO
11 bombing started there was a build-up of Serb forces in your municipality,
12 and you describe that this was done mainly with police reservist. Can you
13 tell us how you distinguish police reservist from the other police that
14 were already in place? Did they look different, act different, have
15 different uniforms? How did you distinguish them?
16 A. The reservist paramilitary forces were different in terms of age,
17 their behaviour, whereas the regular forces are younger and they look
18 different, if we are talking about the military forces. But this applies
19 also to the police forces as well. This is the difference.
20 Q. And in that portion your statement, you mention the military. Are
21 you referring to the VJ when you refer to military forces that started
22 arriving about a month before NATO?
23 A. Yes. I'm talking about the VJ, the Yugoslav army.
24 Q. In the next paragraph you say that:
25 "In cooperation with each other," referring to the MUP and the VJ,
1 "they armed the Serbian civilian population."
2 First of all, can you tell the Judges how you know that? How do
3 you know that they armed the Serb civilians?
4 A. I know this also because -- because of the mass media, but also
5 because of the fact that the Serbian population were all armed. Indeed,
6 they had even uniforms. And during the NATO airstrikes, they all wore
7 uniforms and were armed.
8 Q. Are you aware of how the distribution of arms was accomplished?
9 Did you see arms being delivered to individual Serbs or Serbs going to
10 some sort of distribution point, or do you know?
11 A. I didn't see that, but I heard it through the mass media that arms
12 were distributed. That happened even earlier. I didn't see the actual
13 fact, but I saw them armed.
14 Q. Did the Serbian authorities distribute any arms to Kosovar
15 Albanians for the purposes of fighting NATO?
16 A. No, they didn't distribute arms to the Albanians of Kosovo to
17 fight NATO. Even if they had, we would have refused.
18 Q. I want to go to the next paragraph in your statement. You mention
19 that about a year before NATO airstrikes began that there was a group
20 called the Black Hand in your municipality, and you say about them that
21 they were "armed and did not choose their victim. They killed whomever
22 they wanted, and they used this manner to start the ethnic cleansing of
24 Can you elaborate a little about that? First of all, can you tell
25 us when you first heard of this group, the Black Hand?
1 A. The Black Hand started to operate not one year before the NATO
2 airstrikes, not one year before but some months before. It started to
3 function at the end of 1998, when we Albanians heard of that formation.
4 This Black Hand group, which functioned in Ferizaj, killed two people from
5 the Staro Selo, or old village, as we call it; the name is Selami Nagoshi,
6 and another young man from Leskovc family. I don't seem to remember his
7 name at this moment.
8 Q. Now, is that the first time that you heard something about the
9 Black Hand, when those two young men were killed?
10 A. It was known among the people. But with the killing of Leskovc
11 who was found on the street dead, killed and massacred, his family said
12 that he was killed by the Black Hand.
13 Q. Do you recall who you first heard about the Black Hand -- who you
14 heard about them from first?
15 A. About the Black Hand, you're asking me? Nobody told me. It was
16 common knowledge because people were being killed, Albanians, in a
17 mysterious way, and they were terrified. And during those months, until
18 the NATO airstrikes began, we didn't dare leave the house after 6.00.
19 I remember once I saw a car, Golf car, without licence plates,
20 parked in front of my courtyard. I didn't identify who the people in it
22 Q. And what was being said about the Black Hand? Who were they
23 reportedly affiliated with or associated with?
24 A. I'm not clear about your question.
25 Q. Well, was this just a criminal gang or were they associated with
1 some organised unit or body? Do you know?
2 A. Yes. People knew that these groups were composed of Serb
3 civilians, and they were associated with people who used to work in the
5 Q. And why, in your statement, do you associate their activities with
6 the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo?
7 A. Because people were scared. They wanted to strike fear among the
8 population for them to leave.
9 Q. Thank you. In the next paragraph of your 2001 statement, you say:
10 "In relation to the KLA, the situation imposed the establishment
11 of the KLA."
12 I think I understand what you're saying there, but could you
13 explain to the Judges what you mean by "the situation imposed the
14 establishment of the KLA"?
15 A. Yes. Due to the systematic violence perpetrated against them
16 which led to the revocation of the political status, especially in the
17 last 10 years, this violence was demonstrated, as I said, with the
18 revocation of freedom, of our elementary freedom. So there was nothing
19 left for the Albanians to do but to defend their thresholds.
20 With the growing of the violence by the Serbian forces, the
21 Albanian youth, the most vital part of the population in Kosovo, had to
22 face up to this violence, which was expressed in all domains of life in
23 Kosovo. Therefore, the KLA was formed because there was no way out for
24 the Albanian people of Kosova.
25 Q. I want to move next to page 5, paragraph 2 of the English, page 4,
1 the fifth full paragraph of the B/C/S.
2 Mr. Hyseni, you talk about how the night the NATO bombings, a
3 couple of APCs fired on Biba village as they drove by. Then, in the next
4 two paragraphs, you say that after three days you moved to Sojevo, where
5 you tell us the VJ moved into the school.
6 How did you know about those two events, the village being fired
7 on by the APCs and the VJ moving into the school? Did you see that
8 yourself, or was that reported to you by someone else?
9 A. I saw it with my own eyes. On the 24th of March, the airstrikes
10 started sometime around 8.00 in the evening, and at about 11.00, from a
11 rather hilly place which is situated far from the main asphalt road that
12 leads to Gjilan, I mean 4 or 500 metres away, two APCs came from the town
13 up to the bridge that connects the road Skopje-Gjilan. One of them
14 stopped there; the other went to Sojevo village.
15 In Sojeve we didn't see it, but it started to shell continuously
16 at all the houses. It shelled also the new neighbourhood in Sojevo.
17 When it came to Bebe village, there was continuous fire and the
18 fire hit also my house. During that night I was not at home. In order
19 for my family to feel safer, I brought them to the centre of the village.
20 After three days I passed from Bebe to Sojeve to visit my uncle,
21 and I saw that the army had stationed itself at Sojeve village school, on
22 the 4th of April, and we saw them when they deployed themselves at the
24 The village is a rather semi-hilly village so you can see
25 different places in it. Therefore, as I said, on the 4th of April, a unit
1 of the VJ was stationed at the school in Sojeve.
2 On the 2nd of April - I don't want to forget it - three tanks and
3 two anti-aircraft artillery cannons were stationed near my uncle's house
4 in Sojeve. This unit stayed there until the 6th of April. They burnt a
5 house, and then they left, joining the unit that was stationed at Sojeve
7 Q. Okay. Now, let me take you to the 6th of April, and now I'm
8 referring to your 1999 statement because you have more details about that
9 event in your first statement. It's in the English at page 2, the last
10 two paragraphs, and the first one on page 3; in the B/C/S, it's the last
11 paragraph on page 2 and the following.
12 You mentioned that 18 Serb paramilitaries and two police came to
13 Sojevo and killed your uncle and his wife. And that's detailed in your
14 statement. You say that you later heard that the commander of this
15 paramilitary group was Novica Mijovic from the village of Nikodim. How
16 did you find out about that? Who told you that Mijovic was the commander
17 of the group that did this?
18 A. On the 6th of April, at around 8.00, this paramilitary group - I
19 describe it as a paramilitary, but there were also police in it, so it was
20 a combined group and we counted them to be around 18 - they entered the
21 Limanaj village of Sojeve village and they set fire on the entire
22 neighbourhood and killed two persons - Hamit Halimi, who was 30 years old,
23 and Qerim Ajvazi, who was around 58, 60. Probably Qerim was injured
24 first, but because there were no citizens to help him and because they
25 were -- they set fire to the houses, he died. I saw it with my own eyes
1 because we buried the bodies after two days.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hyseni, this is a good example of what I was
3 asking you to avoid doing. You were asked a very specific question, which
4 was this: "Who told you that Mijovic was the commander of the group that
5 did this?" Now, could you please answer that question.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I thought I'd give you a
7 broad description of it, but I'll answer your question.
8 Mijovic is a Serbian from Nikodim village who worked for the
9 Yugoslav army in Ferizaj. And in the neighbourhood I was staying, where
10 my uncle and his wife were killed, my uncle on my mother's side, the
11 population left, and we divided in two parts; one went to Lugu i Zenes and
12 the other part went to a meadow.
13 Mijovic and others seized that group, divided the men from the
14 women, stripped them of all jewels and money, and told them to go to
15 Ferizaj, because, "If you come back, we will kill you."
16 Mijovic was known by many citizens. He was known by Danush Nebiu,
17 who is my uncle on my mother's side. And he told me that Mijovic was
18 leading the group, because he was the one who did the talking. Danush
19 Nebiu told me as well as others.
20 Q. When did Danush Nebiu tell you about it?
21 A. I heard of it in Sojeve, too, but Danush told me when we were in
23 Q. Okay. And how did he know about it? Had he seen it himself, or
24 did someone else tell him about it?
25 A. He saw it himself, he and his brothers and all the people of that
1 neighbourhood. They all knew him. His uncle was killed. So the two
2 people, the man and the wife that I mentioned who were killed, are his
3 uncle and his wife.
4 Q. Okay. Now, was this crime, the killing of your uncle and his
5 wife, was that ever reported by you to the police or by anyone that you
6 know of? Was it reported?
7 A. Nazmi Nebiu and Haxhere Nebiu's killing and the two killings in
8 Limanaj neighbourhood, we reported those killings to no one.
9 Q. Do you know if Mijovic or any of the men with him on that day were
10 ever charged or punished for those killings?
11 A. I have no information about that.
12 Q. Do you know where Mijovic is now?
13 A. No, I don't.
14 Q. Now, in your statement, you go on to tell us how you and others
15 hid in the woods for a few days when you became aware of an order to go to
16 Urosevac. Who gave that order to the civilians to go to Urosevac,
18 A. We stayed in the forest for four days, and after those four days
19 we received the order to leave from the Yugoslav army that was stationed
20 at the schoolyard and in some houses. The neighbourhood of the mosque,
21 which is the biggest neighbourhood, were ordered to leave, and two persons
22 from that neighbourhood informed us to leave the village in two hours and
23 go towards Ferizaj and Skopje.
24 Q. Were there any instructions about what you were supposed to do
25 once you got to Ferizaj, Urosevac?
1 A. No.
2 Q. In your statement you tell us that on the 10th of April, I
3 believe, you arrived at the entrance to Urosevac but the police redirected
4 you to go to Gjilan. Did they tell you why you should go there instead?
5 A. When we went to the junction that links the road to Skopje,
6 Prishtine, Ferizaj, Gjilan, a police patrol road -- traffic police, it
7 was, returned the convoy to go to Gjilan, and the entire convoy returned
8 to go to Gjilan. Probably the purpose was clear. They wanted us to run
9 out of fuel, and it would be easier for them to maltreat us on the way.
10 Their purpose was to send us to Gjilan, then to Presheve and then
11 Macedonia. Had we followed that road, I'm sure that none of us would have
12 made it to Macedonia.
13 Q. Okay. I want to show you a map. This would be the Kosovo atlas,
14 Exhibit P615, and I think the particular page we need will be page 24.
15 And you tell us in your statement that you were low on fuel, so
16 you stopped in a village called Slatina; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And in a minute, you'll have on your screen a map, which I hope
19 will show the area that we've been talking about, your home village of
21 Now, if we could enlarge the left centre portion. Yes. One more,
22 perhaps. Okay.
23 Now, I don't know if you can see on that map, Mr. Hyseni, your
24 home village of Biba.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. As well as --
2 A. Yes, I can.
3 Q. Okay. Can you also see Sojevo and Slatina?
4 A. Yes. Yes. Slatina.
5 Q. There's a pen there that the usher will hand you, and with that
6 you can actually touch the screen and draw on the screen. And if you
7 would first draw a circle around Biba and put the number 1 there.
8 A. Number 1. [Marks].
9 Q. And then if you can located and draw a circle and put the number 2
10 inside it around the village of Sojevo.
11 A. [Marks].
12 Q. And then finally if -- I don't know. Is Slatina on this portion
13 of the map?
14 A. I can't see Slatine. The juncture is here. The road -- I see the
15 road, but I don't see the village.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. Just a second. I can't read it very well. Maybe it's Slatine.
18 It's here.
19 Q. Okay. If you can draw a circle around that and put the number 3.
20 A. [Marks]?
21 MR. HANNIS: And if we could take a screen shot of that and give
22 it the next IC number as an exhibit. We'd tender that at this time. I
23 think we're in the low 30s, but I'm not sure.
24 THE REGISTRAR: It will be number IC 000033.
25 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 MR. HANNIS:
3 Q. In your statement, Mr. Hyseni, you tell us you stayed in Slatina
4 for about 12 days. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And then on the 22nd of April you returned to Urosevac for about
7 five days.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And I believe in your statement you say that partly because your
10 father-in-law and brother-in-law were staying there and they had been
11 wounded. Is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you know when and how they had been wounded?
14 A. When I went from Slatina to Ferizaj, I actually went to my
15 in-laws', to her father and brother. On the second night of the bombing
16 of the military barracks, the house of my in-law, Ramadani, got hit, and
17 this is when my father-in-law got injured and my brother-in-law lightly
19 Through the media, I was informed about this event while I was in
20 Sojeve, but my wife didn't know and I didn't tell her, actually, before I
21 arrived myself in Ferizaj. My father-in-law's name is Ramush Ramadani and
22 my brother-in-law's name is Fatmir Ramadani.
23 Q. Now, you tell us after you'd been there for five days that a group
24 of people from -- is it Nerodimlje village came and you joined them and
25 went to the bus station. Have I pronounced the name of that village
2 A. Yes. The village of Nerodimlje, yes, it is correct. After the
3 military and police forces entered Nerodimlje, this village was expelled,
4 and part of the population, using some local roads, entered the
5 neighbourhood of my in-laws. This neighbourhood was actually empty.
6 There were only two families. So they spent the night there.
7 About 30 people from Kashtanjeva neighbourhood of Nerodimlje
8 village stayed in my father-in-law's house, and together with them, the
9 following day, I took with me my father-in-law and left for Stankovac. So
10 this happened on the 28th of April, when we arrived at Stankovac.
11 Q. And then in your statement you explained how you got on buses,
12 went to Kacanik and then eventually went to Macedonia. When did you
13 return to Kosovo?
14 A. I returned to Kosova after spending a year as a refugee in
15 Manchester, UK. So I returned to Kosova on the 19th of June, 2000.
16 Q. You returned to your village of Biba?
17 A. Yes, I returned to my village Biba and I rebuilt my house which
18 had been burnt. And I still live there.
19 Q. Okay. Before you left Kosovo in April of 1999, had there been any
20 NATO bombing in your village, in Biba village?
21 A. No. NATO bombing occurred in Ferizaj at the military barracks on
22 the first and second nights of the airstrikes. You can see the town of
23 Ferizaj very well from our village. We noticed when the military barracks
24 were hit. We saw fire also in a part of the town called Remonti i
25 Vjeter. There were Albanian shops in that neighbourhood, and these shops
1 were torched by Serbians. We thought in the beginning that it was caused
2 by NATO airstrikes, but they didn't. They only hit the military barracks.
3 Q. Let me ask you: What was the reason you and your family left
4 Kosovo in April, 1999?
5 A. The reason we left Kosova in April, 1999, was the violence
6 exercised by military, paramilitary, and police forces of Yugoslavia, the
7 so-called former Yugoslavia. There was no place that we could stay any
8 longer, because you could never know what tomorrow would bring. So my
9 village was moved out due to an ultimatum, and a part of my family also
10 came to Stankovac.
11 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions. Defence counsel will
12 have some questions for you, Mr. Hyseni.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan.
14 MR. O'SULLIVAN: We will follow this order: General Pavkovic,
15 General Ojdanic, Mr. Sainovic, Mr. Milutinovic, General Lazarevic, and
16 General Lukic.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 Mr. Ackerman.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank, Your Honour.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
21 Q. Good morning, Mr. Hyseni. I have very few questions for you this
22 morning, and I hope that you can answer them rather briefly and quickly
23 and we'll get through this as quickly as we can.
24 The first -- thank you.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. I first want to talk to you very briefly about the statements
2 you've given to the Office of the Prosecutor. You gave a statement on the
3 8th of May, 1999, in Skopje, Macedonia, where you were interviewed by Kari
4 Seppanen. Are you familiar with that statement?
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. And you will confirm, will you not, that that statement was read
7 back to you in your language after it had been prepared? You were given
8 an opportunity to make any connections you wanted to make. When you were
9 satisfied that it was accurate, you signed the statement, and you put your
10 initials on each page of the statement. Correct?
11 A. I gave my statement in Macedonia. I was interviewed by Mr. Kari.
12 I think he is from Finland. I was interviewed in not a favourable time
13 because I didn't know where my family was and where some other citizens
14 were. But I gave this statement and it is correct. And I also stated
15 then that in case I was called to testify there would be some changes. I
16 did sign that statement; that's correct.
17 Q. And you signed an acknowledgement at the end of it, saying that it
18 was true to the best of your knowledge and recollection, didn't you?
19 A. Yes, I did sign it.
20 Q. And you're not telling this Trial Chamber today, are you, that you
21 didn't take it seriously and you didn't try to tell the truth, are you?
22 A. No. I did tell the truth, as far as I knew.
23 Q. And, of course, at that time, that was in May of 1999, just
24 shortly after these events that you were describing had occurred, wasn't
1 A. Yes. My statement was taken on the 8th of May, 1999, if I'm not
2 mistaken. It was in May.
3 Q. Yes. Then you gave another statement to an interviewer for the
4 OTP named Annette Murtagh on the 27th of August and the 1st of September
5 in 2001 in your home village. Again, I just ask you to confirm that that
6 statement was read back to you in your language, that you were given an
7 opportunity to make any changes that you felt necessary, and when you were
8 satisfied that it was accurate, you signed it and put your initials on
9 each page. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes, it is correct. I signed it. I was interviewed by Annette
11 Murtagh, and I did not amend it by making corrections. I just amended it
12 with specific things. I just wanted to clarify things for the statement
13 to be clearer.
14 Q. And on that you also signed an acknowledgement that it was true to
15 the best of your knowledge and recollection, didn't you?
16 A. Yes. Yes. The statement was correct.
17 Q. In your first statement of 24 March 1999, that you've now told us
18 was correct, you told the interviewer this, and you confirmed that that
19 was correct by signing the document and putting your initials on this
20 page, on page 2, paragraph 6 in the English:
21 "I was at home with my family when NATO started bombing on 24
22 March 1999. Our house is in the outskirts of the village. Due to safety
23 reasons, I took my family on the other side of the hill, close to the
24 centre of the village."
25 That's what you said in your statement, isn't it? That first
2 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have hard copies of the Albanian
3 version if it would be helpful to the witness to have.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: It would be fine with me for him to have it, Your
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Which paragraph? Could you please
7 tell me the number?
8 MR. ACKERMAN:
9 Q. It's a paragraph that begins with the language -- it's probably
10 the sixth paragraph, if they did the same paragraphs in the Albanian.
11 MR. HANNIS: It is paragraph 6 on his copy.
12 MR. ACKERMAN:
13 Q. It's paragraph six, sir:
14 "I was at home with my family when NATO started bombing ..."
15 Do you see that?
16 A. When NATO started the airstrikes I wasn't at home, I was in my
17 uncle's house. And my entire family was sheltering there because my house
18 is very close on the main road going to Gjilan, and all other relatives
19 came in the central part of the village. And this is what I meant by
20 saying I was home, because we live like more members in one house and we
21 treat each other as family. Because at that time I was not in my actual
23 Q. So in that first statement when you said, "I was at home with my
24 family when NATO started becoming," that was not correct?
25 A. It must be a misunderstanding. And I don't know how my statement
1 was translated. But the fact is that when the NATO airstrikes began, I
2 was not with my family in my actual house. I moved my family to the
3 central part of the village for safety reasons.
4 Q. In paragraph 17 of that same statement -- excuse me just a minute.
5 In paragraph 17 of your second statement, the one of 2001, in this
6 one you change your view a little bit and you say that you moved to the
7 centre of the village because you were sure the NATO strikes would start,
8 and that everybody who lived close to the main road started to move back
9 to the centre of the village.
10 That's paragraph 16 and 17 of your second statement. Is that what
11 you said?
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I think, Mr. Ackerman, that's what he just said was
13 the situation when he explained the position in relation to the earlier
15 MR. ACKERMAN:
16 Q. Now, you then said that three days later you decided to move to
17 Sojevo, and I think it was in your first statement you said you did that
18 because, as a member of the Human Rights Council, you were afraid the
19 Serbs might catch you. What do you mean "the Serbs might catch you"?
20 That's paragraph 7 of your first statement.
21 A. Sir, after three days I moved to Sojeve because it's a mountainous
22 village and it's a little bit further. It is true that I was an activist
23 of the Human Rights Council, and all the members of this organisation were
24 imprisoned at that time. The Serbian regime imprisoned both activists of
25 the LDK and of the Human Rights Council. And what I've stated in the
1 statement is correct.
2 Q. So you were afraid the Serbs might catch you and put you in gaol
3 because of your work on that council? Is that what you're saying?
4 A. At that time they wouldn't just imprison you, they would just take
5 your life. That's why I left.
6 Q. Well, what members of that council were killed at that time? Give
7 us their names, will you, whose lives were taken at that time.
8 A. Almost all members of that council were in prison at that time.
9 On the 28th of June, 1998, almost all members of the council were
10 imprisoned. And in February, 1999, a collective sentence of 289 months of
11 imprisonment was determined. And I haven't heard of any such violence
12 exercised against activists of different organisations before.
13 I have brought as evidence photographs of a person, how he was
14 maltreated and released seven months after he had served his sentence as
15 innocent. I will explain to this Court, how the --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hyseni, I'll just stop you, please. You were
17 asked a specific question again and you're not answering the question you
18 were asked.
19 You said that the Serbs, if they caught you, would just kill you,
20 and you're being asked how many members of the Human Rights Council were
21 killed by Serbs, and to give their names. Now, could you deal with that
22 question, please.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Members of the Council for Human
24 Rights and Freedoms that were killed, you mean during the bombing or
25 before the airstrikes began?
1 MR. ACKERMAN:
2 Q. I mean during this time that you were leaving your village because
3 you were afraid of being caught by the Serbs. You said that during that
4 time they wouldn't just put you in prison, they would kill you. Now, how
5 many of your colleagues on that council during that time were caught and
6 killed? Just tell us who they are, where they were killed. Give us the
7 basis for that conclusion.
8 A. Because members of the council, who was a member of this council
9 in Prishtina, Bajram Kelmendi and his two sons, were executed by security
10 forces in Prishtina, and therefore every other member was scared.
11 Q. So you know of one person and his two sons. When did that happen?
12 A. It happened during the first or second night of the airstrikes.
13 Q. Now, you said in that first statement that we just referred to a
14 moment ago that you left your village because of this fear that you would
15 be caught by the Serbs. Then when you gave your second statement in
16 August and September of 2001, you said you decided to leave Biba because
17 it was overcrowded.
18 A. It was an option, too.
19 Q. And you went to Sojevo. Why was Sojevo a safe place? You said
20 you went there for safety reasons. Why was it safe?
21 A. It was safer for me because the houses of my uncles were deeper in
22 the village, not close to the main road used by the military and police
24 Q. Now, there came a time when you went to Urosevac, and you stayed
25 there for, I think, six days and then you decided to leave the country.
1 And what you said in your statement was you decided to leave the country
2 because your brother-in-law was wounded and needed treatment. Is that
4 MR. HANNIS: Could we have a reference to where that's the reason
5 for leaving the country?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, you can, Mr. Hannis. You can look at the
7 first statement, paragraph 17, and that just reads: "We stayed there for
8 six days but then decided to leave the country. My in-laws were the only
9 people living in that street. Every night we could hear gunshots being
10 fired. We were scared, but especially the children were scared. My
11 brother-in-law was wounded, and we wanted him to get treatment."
12 Q. Now, is the fact that your brother-in-law was wounded and unable
13 to get treatment there that caused you to leave the country to get
14 treatment for him. Wasn't it?
15 A. One of the reasons was for him to get treatment, yes. But another
16 reason was that the population in Nerodimlje was expelled and there was
17 nothing else that we could do anymore. We had to join them and go
18 together to Macedonia.
19 Q. Well, nobody came to that house and told you you had to leave, did
21 A. Nobody came there, but the continuous gunfire throughout the day
22 and throughout the night, there was no way you could stay there. People
23 had left. Nobody was there. There were houses that had been burnt. Only
24 my in-laws were there.
25 Q. You had been hearing gunfire for days and days and days and days,
1 hadn't you?
2 A. Usually during the nights.
3 Q. And all of a sudden, when it became necessary for medical
4 treatment for your brother-in-law, then fear caused you to leave. Is that
5 the testimony you want to give here?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In your second statement, paragraph 22, you talked about April
8 10th, 1999. You said you saw tanks and trenches in your father's yard and
9 also in your yard. Do you remember that?
10 A. Yes. Yes, I do. On 10th of April, after the ultimatum issued by
11 the regular army stationed at Sojeve school, and after the news was
12 conveyed to us by two members of the mosque neighbourhood, we were
13 expelled from Sojeve. There are two cooperatives there, an agricultural
14 one and one for bees. There were military forces in the yards of my
15 relative, all sorts of military equipment and vehicles, tanks,
16 anti-aircraft vehicles, and I have seen them with my own eyes. There were
17 over 100 of them in the yard of the Biba agricultural cooperative.
18 And I can tell you that these houses were completely burnt. Only
19 my family had 14 of its houses burnt. The damage was estimated to be
20 above 2.5 million euros.
21 Q. Yes. Your country was being attacked by NATO at the time, and it
22 was very clear to you that the Serb forces were setting up defences by
23 digging trenches and so forth in this village, wasn't it? They were
24 trying to defend your country from the NATO forces, weren't they?
25 A. No. The NATO forces didn't attack Kosova and the population
1 there. For us, NATO represented freedom-loving forces. And it wasn't
2 necessary to dig trenches in our courtyards. It wasn't necessary to
3 deploy a regular army into the Albanian houses, because the army had its
4 barracks, it had its place where it could be stationed, and not stationing
5 itself in our own houses and set them on fire and violate our properties.
6 And just to prove this to you and to their Honours, I brought with
7 me a document signed by one of your superiors, and here you can see names
8 of some soldiers who were there. I don't know if the Prosecutor's office
9 has that list.
10 Q. You also said in the next paragraph, on page 23, that there was
11 constant firing from anti-aircraft. This was also during the NATO
12 bombing. You said you didn't know what they were firing at, but isn't it
13 pretty clear that they were firing at NATO aircraft that were bombing the
14 area? That's what you do with anti-aircraft weapons, isn't it?
15 A. They fired, but the NATO planes never hit that territory. So
16 there was no need for them to fire at NATO planes. They just did that to
17 strike fear among the population, because NATO planes never flew, never
18 struck any time at my village during the time I was there.
19 Q. So is it your testimony here today that NATO never bombed any part
20 of Kosovo, never bombed any village in Kosovo, never bombed any barracks
21 in Kosovo, never took out any tanks or vehicles in Kosovo, never bombed
22 any Serb military forces in Kosovo? They just weren't there; is that your
24 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, that misquotes his testimony. He
25 already said NATO bombed the barracks --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I said they didn't strike --
2 NATO never struck my village. They struck at the places where Yugoslav
3 army forces were deployed in Kosova. They bombed the barracks in Ferizaj
4 and some tanks in Komogllave village from the road that goes from Fshati i
5 Vjeter to Postoni. I answered, sir, telling you that NATO didn't bomb my
6 village and Sojeve.
7 Q. And you just told us that the Serb forces didn't need to build any
8 defensive resources in your village and should have stayed in their
9 barracks. Now you tell us: "We're being bombed by NATO." That wouldn't
10 have been very smart, would it?
11 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, that's argumentative.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: I think it's not.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the witness should have the opportunity to
14 answer that question.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can you repeat the question, please,
16 sir. I'm not clear about your question, sir.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. Just a few moments ago you said the Serb forces had no business
19 setting up defensive positions in your village and digging trenches; they
20 had barracks they could be in. And then just a moment ago you told us
21 that NATO only bombed barracks. That wouldn't have been very smart for
22 these soldiers, the army, to stay in those barracks being bombed by NATO,
23 would it?
24 A. But it wasn't reasonable either for the Serbian forces to enter
25 Albanian homes and set fire to them and kill people.
1 Q. We were talking about setting up defensive positions and digging
2 trenches. If you're going to defend your country from an attack, that
3 makes sense, doesn't it?
4 A. The NATO airstrikes were committed to defend that territory and to
5 prevent the genocide perpetrated by Serbia.
6 Q. In paragraph 12 of your second statement - Mr. Hannis visited with
7 you a bit about this this morning - you said that the police forces in the
8 military, in cooperation with each other, armed the Serbian civilian
10 A. Can you repeat the question, please, sir?
11 Q. I haven't asked a question yet. In your statement you said the
12 police forces, in cooperation with the military, armed the Serbian
13 civilian population. Now, you never saw this happening, did you?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Don't -- please don't answer that question.
15 We had this clearly answered already, and you may wish to
16 challenge the answer given, but it doesn't help to ask that question
17 because it was clearly stated in his evidence in-chief that he didn't see
18 it happen. All he saw was the results of it.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: So if you're challenging that, let's move to that.
21 MR. ACKERMAN:
22 Q. Did you ever do any military service?
23 A. Yes, I did, in 1987 in Slovenia.
24 Q. And --
25 A. Postoni.
1 Q. And once you completed your active military service, then you were
2 automatically part of the reserves, weren't you?
3 A. No.
4 Q. So you were never part of the army reserve, once completing your
5 active military service?
6 A. I was not a member of the reserve forces, because I concluded my
7 service in 1987. Milosevic came to power in 1988; 1989, he revoked Kosova
8 of its autonomy and all the evil started. There was no way I could be a
9 reservist of that formation.
10 Q. You know, do you not, that when people completed their active duty
11 in the Yugoslav army that they then became part of the reserves and
12 actually maintained a uniform which they kept at home in case they were
13 called up. You know that, don't you?
14 A. I never kept any reserve uniform, and I never was a reservist.
15 Q. I didn't ask you if you did. You know that reservists kept their
16 uniforms in their homes, don't you?
17 A. I don't know that, because no one from my family was a reservist,
18 and no one had a uniform at home.
19 Q. So is it your testimony to this Chamber that there were all of
20 these Serb civilians who had uniforms and were armed, running around the
21 area creating havoc or whatever? In addition to the legal forces in the
22 area, there were these people?
23 A. The NATO forces didn't create us any problems. Don't mix up the
24 question. The Serbian military police and civilian forces, they did
25 create problems for us, but not the NATO forces. I didn't say that.
1 Q. That apparently was mistranslated. I didn't say anything about
2 NATO either. What I asked you was: These civilians that you talked about
3 this morning that had uniforms and were armed, what were they doing with
4 their uniforms and their arms?
5 A. You mean the Serbian civilians?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. The Serbian civilians wearing uniforms killed people. For
8 example, on the 6th of April, in Sojeve, four people were killed. Then
9 killings continued even after we left. After we were moved out 11 persons
10 got killed in Sojeve, until the end of the airstrikes. Or in the old
11 village, Staro Selo, which is divided only from a road by my village, nine
12 people got killed there. The paramilitary forces and the army forces were
13 stationed there.
14 Three persons are still missing, sir, in the old village to this
15 day; Emin Zeka and his two sons. Then four persons were found in a septic
16 hole after the NATO airstrikes ended; they were killed, two brothers and
17 their wives. Then two persons were burned in the old village, together,
18 two elderly people together with their homes. These were committed by
19 these formations.
20 Q. Now, these uniforms that Serbian civilians were wearing as they
21 went around killing people, did they look the same as the regular VJ
23 A. The uniforms of the Yugoslav army and the uniforms worn by some
24 civilians were the same.
25 Q. All right. In paragraph 12 of your second statement you talk
1 about paramilitaries, and you say that the heads of these paramilitaries
2 were in Serbia and they were connected with the Serbian government. What
3 evidence do you have to support that statement? On what do you base that?
4 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I'm not sure that question accurately
5 reflects what he said in his statement about which militaries, which
7 MR. ACKERMAN:
8 Q. Well, what it says in the statement is this:
9 "Heads of paramilitaries were in Serbia, and those paramilitaries
10 were connected with the Serbian government."
11 Just give us the evidence you have to support that sentence in
12 your statement.
13 A. Look here, I didn't see the paramilitaries in the old village, but
14 people said there was a group of paramilitaries and they said that they
15 were Seselj's group. The paramilitary groups and the military formations
16 had their leaders, and they were linked with the government, because the
17 so-called Yugoslav government, under Milosevic's leadership, with its
18 institutions or bodies, they had a hierarchy. If they called themselves
19 government officials of a state that wanted to place Kosova under its
20 umbrella, how is it possible, then, that paramilitary forces could
21 operate, along with other forces could operate, at will and kill only
22 Albanians? I don't know of a single case that a Serbian was killed by
23 them. This is why I said, because these powers were given to them by the
24 government, by the state bodies.
25 I remember a statement of General Ojdanic one night before the
1 NATO airstrike, saying that: "We will fight with NATO if it starts
2 strikes, even if we are going to inflict unforeseen victims."
3 We knew that those unforeseen victims wouldn't be Serbs, they
4 would be Albanians.
5 Q. Are you aware that a large number of Serbs were killed in the NATO
7 A. I don't know that.
8 Q. I want to go back to my question -- the answer, I think, to my
9 question about what evidence do you have for that sentence in your
10 statement about the paramilitaries being connected with the Serbian
11 government is that it's an assumption on your part. Is that true? You
12 don't know that, do you?
13 A. This is not an assumption, sir. The military groups belonged to
14 Arkan. He even had a party which was registered with the Serbian
15 government, and he had his own formations in Kosova. If not in my area,
16 he had them in some other places, and that was common knowledge to all the
17 people. That's why I'm saying that everything was done under the auspices
18 of the government, the so-called Yugoslav government.
19 Q. Now, have you had any conversations with anybody that was involved
20 inside the Ministry of Defence or Interior who could tell you exactly what
21 was going on in the Ministries of Defence and Interior during this time?
22 Who did you talk to that worked there that knew all these things?
24 A. I didn't talk to anyone, sir, but I know that the Ministry of
25 Defence, which is one of the bodies of the government, has these powers.
1 Q. Well, you said in your statement, it's the last part of paragraph
2 12 of your second statement:
3 "Everything was coordinated and under the direction of the
4 Ministry of the Defence and the Interior."
5 Now, how could you know that if you didn't know anybody that was
6 inside who was telling you that? You're just guessing, aren't you?
7 A. I'm not guessing. I'm just repeating it here: Every state which
8 calls itself a state has its institutions, and in this case this was the
9 Ministry of Defence that was responsible for those forces. This is what
10 I'm saying. In no state can there be paramilitary forces that are outside
11 the control of the government.
12 Q. All right. I have one last question for you. This morning,
13 during your testimony a few moments ago, page 10, line 17, you said that
14 the order for you to leave for Urosevac came from the Yugoslav army. Who
15 actually gave that order? Who, in the Yugoslav army, did that order come
17 A. Which date are you talking about? On the 10th, the 10th of
19 Q. I'm talking about when you were ordered to go to Urosevac,
21 A. The order was given by the Yugoslav army. That was a unit of that
22 army that was deployed at the Sojeve school, in the neighbourhood near the
24 Q. Who gave the order? Who told you? Who in the army told you to
1 A. They gave the order to the neighbourhood there. The neighbourhood
2 I was with, my people, about 100 people, we received this news from some
3 people of the other neighbourhood. They said: "You, too, should leave
4 together with us because otherwise they will do short work of anyone they
5 will find here." So it was the order by the army. It had its own
7 Q. You didn't receive it from the army, you received it from some
8 other Albanian in the neighbour who told you. An army never told you to
9 go to the Urosevac; right?
10 A. The army maybe didn't know that there were other people in the
11 hinterland of the village. Therefore, they told the neighbourhood of
12 Djeni [phoen], of the mosque, to leave the village in 30 minutes, and we
13 left the village thanking those two persons who brought us the news.
14 Q. You told this Chamber that the army of Yugoslavia ordered you to
15 leave. Now, tell them who in the army of Yugoslavia ordered you to
16 leave? Or tell them that's not true.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, he's answered that question. He's told you
18 how the order was relayed to him.
19 MR. ACKERMAN:
20 Q. Who was the person who told you that they had heard this? The
21 neighbour, who was it?
22 A. There were two persons from Sojeve; Ibri Emini, who has a house in
23 that neighbourhood, and one in the other neighbourhood, and he went to
24 visit his farm. When he saw what was happening, he came to tell us. In
25 the meantime, another person came to tell us to leave as soon as we
1 could. When Emin returned with his car, he told us to leave as soon as we
2 could because the army is -- being forced out by the army unit which was
3 an army unit from Nis.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: All right. That's all the questions I have, Your
5 Honour. Thank you.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sepenuk.
7 MR. SEPENUK: No questions, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
9 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I do have some questions.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Fila:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
12 A. Good afternoon.
13 Q. I have a few questions for you, but it will be law-related
14 questions since we're both lawyers, as you said you got your degree in
15 Pristina, in 1991, your degree from the law school of Pristina
16 University? Is that the state university in Pristina, the one that you
17 graduated from?
18 A. Yes. I finished the Prishtina University.
19 Q. Yes. You mean the state university?
20 A. The Prishtina University. I finished my school in the Prishtina
21 University of Kosova in 1991.
22 Q. That's right. That's the university where Albanians and Serbs and
23 everybody else studied; is that right? Is that the university?
24 A. Yes, yes. Everybody studied there.
25 Q. Well, that's what I was asking. You see, sir, there are some
1 things that you know, that I know, but that the Trial Chamber doesn't
2 know. We're from there; right? We know.
3 In your statement, you said that you only know the Albanian
4 language. It is impossible if you don't know some Serbian at least. If
5 you studied at university with Serbs as well, and if you served in the
6 Serb army, you must know a bit of Serbian.
7 A. I know some Serbian and some English, but my mother tongue is
8 Albanian. I know Serbian, too.
9 Q. Of course, yes. Again -- well, yeah. And you said that you had a
10 scholarship from the factory in Urosevac; right? From when until when did
11 you receive this scholarship from the pipes factory?
12 A. Yes. I got a scholarship from the pipes factory to study.
13 Q. Of course. I agree. I read it. But I'm just going to ask you
14 what is not contained in your statement. So in your statement, it doesn't
15 say from when until when you studied at university. We know when you
16 graduated, and we do not know for how long you received this scholarship
17 from the Urosevac factory.
18 A. I received the scholarship from 1983 to 1986, if I'm not mistaken,
19 because many years have passed since then.
20 Q. Right. But you graduated in 1991; right?
21 A. 1991, yes.
22 Q. So that means that you did not receive a scholarship for five
23 years; right? Because you were not a good student, I imagine. You were
24 not taking your exams on time.
25 A. No, I didn't take.
1 Q. You were 31 when you graduated; right?
2 A. You cannot call me a good student --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, I hope this is leading to something
4 relevant. I hope this is leading to something relevant.
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Oh, yes. My very next question.
6 Q. Is that perhaps the reason why you were not admitted to work when
7 you said it was their duty for them to admit you? Because you stopped
8 receiving this scholarship in 1986 and --
9 A. No.
10 Q. -- in 1991, why would they admit you, five years later? That's
11 the point.
12 A. Sir, Mr. Lawyer, what you are asking me is not the focus of the
13 topic for me being here. I think that this Tribunal has other issues to
14 deal with. But I will answer you. This is my personal affair, why I took
15 so long to conclude my studies. As whether I was a good or a bad student,
16 that's my personal affair. It is not correct on your part to put that to
18 But nevertheless I'm telling you that I was not accepted in that
19 pipe factory or in some other factory because -- you know the problem of
20 the status of Kosova. You know that Kosova had its political status, and
21 that was the problem for -- the starting point for everything; being
22 dismissed from work, poisoning of the students, dismissal of the doctors,
23 of the police officers, Albanian police officers. We had to establish our
24 own state.
25 Q. Oh, forget about this poisoning of students. Don't tell me you
1 believe that story. Nevermind.
2 Let's move on to 1991. The factory in Urosevac, they were not
3 giving you a scholarship for five years, and they were not giving you a
4 scholarship because you did not graduate on time. They did not have to
5 employ you; right? Am I not right?
6 Press that button, because you turned off your microphone.
7 A. No, no. I got the scholarship not from the first year but from
8 the third year of my studies. So I got a scholarship only during the
9 third and the fourth year.
10 Q. You said that in 1996 -- or, rather, 1986 you last received your
11 scholarship. You graduated in 1995. That is five years later. The
12 factory was not duty-bound to give you employment. Yes or no? Just give
13 me an answer. I mean, for five years you did not receive their
14 scholarship. Why would they have to employ you then?
15 A. I got the scholarship for two years of my studies. The contract
16 expired after 1985. Once you are graduated, according to the contract I
17 had, the factory was supposed to take me back to do the work I was given
18 the scholarship for. It was not that the factory didn't accept me. I
19 didn't ask to go back. But it fired other people. You know the situation
20 with the pipe factory. All the workers were sent -- were dismissed with
21 the police. You have seen that on television, sir.
22 Q. Thank you. So definitely you didn't want to have a job in
23 Urosevac. You didn't go and look for a job in Urosevac. Well, there you
24 are. So --
25 A. Not that I didn't look for a job. I would have looked for a job,
1 but that was a question of discrimination against the right to work by the
2 Milosevic government, and I was obliged to deal with other works. In my
3 statement, I stated I worked as a carpenter. I worked also as a merchant.
4 Q. Very well. I understand everything you're saying. Can we finally
5 agree on one thing, that you were not looking for a job in Urosevac?
6 Without going into the reasons why you were not looking for a job there.
7 So you were not looking for a job in Urosevac. I can conclude that;
8 right? In the pipes factory; right? Yes or no?
9 A. I didn't, because of the reasons that I mentioned, because of the
10 violence used.
11 Q. No need to proceed any further. Thank you. Fine. So then you
12 worked as a carpenter; right? That's what you said. Did you apply
13 anywhere else for a job as a lawyer, except for the Urosevac factory where
14 you did not work? Did you apply for a job anywhere else as a lawyer?
15 Yes or no? Did you apply to work in a court, in a prosecutor's office? I
16 don't know where else. I mean, if you didn't, you didn't. If you did,
17 you did. Nevermind.
18 A. Listen, sir, I'm not going to look for a job with a government
19 that revoked the autonomy of Kosova through use of force. How could I do
20 that, with a government that I did not elect? This is clear, sir. This
21 is not the focus of the trial. You are a lawyer yourself. You shouldn't
22 waste time here. We should deal with concrete issues. We are talking
23 about genocide and crimes perpetrated against humanity.
24 Q. Sir, if you give me shorter answers, we will proceed faster.
25 There is no genocide. It's something that you just invented.
1 Then, in 2002, you made another statement.
2 A. I'm telling the genocide -- we are dealing with genocide.
3 Q. You returned in Kosovo, then, and then in August, 2001 - and I see
4 that you were unemployed then - in August 2001, you were still
5 unemployed. Was it the Serbs again who made employment impossible for
6 you? Well, that's what it says here, that you weren't working.
7 A. No. At the time, I returned from England, sir, and it wasn't easy
8 to find jobs. I competed for two places, and I was accepted by one. Even
9 today I work as a professor, but no state can find employment for a whole
10 army of unemployed people. Things take time. And I'm working now, sir.
11 As I said, I am a professor of justice. I work as a professor of law.
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... 2007. I asked you about
14 A. I couldn't work in 2001.
15 Q. Let's move on.
16 A. Because I had to reconstruct my property which you destroyed. Not
17 you personally, but the Serbian government.
18 Q. I kindly ask you to give shorter answers. All right.
19 When you got your degree in law, among other things you took an
20 exam in constitutional law; right?
21 A. Did you pass your examine in constitutional law at university, at
22 law school? I mean when you were studying.
23 A. I passed it.
24 Q. For heaven's sake, yes or no? Did you pass your exam in
25 constitutional law? Fine.
1 If so, how can you claim that Kosovo was a federal unit? In what
2 constitutional law did you learn that? I claim to you that Kosovo was an
3 integral part of Serbia as an autonomous province, Kosova-Metohija.
4 That's what the constitution said.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
6 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Is that right or not right? Nevermind.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Don't answer that question.
9 Mr. Fila, the first two pages of the statement -- if a --
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] It's on page 1 -- on page 2, rather, in
11 Serbian. One, two, three, four, five, the fifth paragraph, it says --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Please listen to me for a moment. The first two
13 pages of that statement contain material that this Trial Chamber is not
14 going to give any weight to on the issues that arise in this trial. They
15 were not the subject of any discussion that Mr. Hannis led with the
16 witness. This is certainly not a witness who can give any opinion on the
17 constitutional position of the relationship between Kosovo and
18 Yugoslavia. So that question is not one for him to deal with. And if
19 you're intending to embark on further questions in relation to the first
20 two pages of this statement, I think you would be very unwise. All you
21 could do is improve the position for the Prosecution.
22 So we'll have a break now and we'll resume at five minutes to
24 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
2 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it seems this was a
3 favourable break for me since I have no further questions.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 Mr. O'Sullivan.
6 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No questions.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 Mr. Bakrac.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have one question and
10 one question only, and perhaps all I need is five minutes.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Hyseni, in both your statements and today
13 during the examination-in-chief you mentioned a person by the name of
14 Mijovic from Nerodimlje. You said on page 9, lines 6 and 7, that this
15 person worked for the army of Yugoslavia. Do you know what his work was
16 with the army of Yugoslavia?
17 A. Mr. Novica Mijovic, first of all, is not from Nerodimlje village
18 but from Nikodim village, but he lived in Ferizaj. He worked with the
19 army of Yugoslavia at the army hall in Ferizaj. I don't know whether he
20 was a procurement officer, but all I know is that he worked with the
21 army. This is how I know him. He worked for the army, and whoever works
22 for the army is a member of the army.
23 Q. I beg to disagree. When you say he worked for the army, did you
24 know that he was a civilian? And did you know that there were civilians
25 employed with the armed forces carrying out some specific tasks? Are you
1 familiar with that, being an attorney, a lawyer?
2 A. He worked in the army hall. In other words, he served in the army
3 regardless of the fact that he was civilian. And on the critical day when
4 four civilians were killed, he was with this paramilitary group.
5 Q. No, I wasn't asking you about the critical day.
6 This will be my last question: I hope you will agree with me, and
7 I will try to jog your memory, that this Mijovic person was an
8 electrician. Is that correct?
9 A. As I said, he worked in the army hall. He could have been an
10 electrician. Maybe. I don't know that. But this is how much I know
11 about him. And I already told you what I knew. Maybe he was an
13 Q. I understood. That is all right. Thank you.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 Mr. Ivetic.
18 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Hyseni. My name is Dan Ivetic and I am an
21 attorney from Chicago representing Mr. Sreten Lukic here today. I am
22 joined by my colleagues Branko Lukic and Ozren Ogrizovic.
23 We have just several questions to ask you today, so I would
24 request your indulgence and attention.
25 Now, my first question: I would like to find out a little bit
1 more about your work as an activist with the CDHRF, and specifically, as
2 part of your work with this organisation, did you document or investigate
3 abuses or violations of the law carried out by members of the so-called
5 A. If the KLA committed abusements, we would have known that, but we
6 have no knowledge of such activity carried out by the KLA.
7 Q. So it is your testimony here today that you do not know of a
8 single criminal act undertaken by the UCK/KLA within the entire
9 municipality of Urosevac?
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, Mr. Ivetic, the statement I have in
11 front of me says that his work there was between 1991 and 1994.
12 MR. IVETIC: That's been corrected to 1999, Your Honour, in the
13 information I received from the Prosecutor's office.
14 MR. HANNIS: That's correct, Your Honour. There was supplemental
15 information to that effect.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, that's interesting, because how would I be
17 aware of that, Mr. Hannis?
18 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I don't know whether it was sent to you
19 or not. I'm advised it wasn't.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you see, if you give us a statement and then
21 it's going to be corrected and we don't get the correction, then it won't
22 be part of the evidence.
23 MR. HANNIS: You're right, Your Honour, unless I lead it live, and
24 I did not.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
1 MR. IVETIC: Allow me to repeat my question, perhaps limiting it
2 in scope and time.
3 Q. Is it your testimony, sir, that in the years 1997, 1998, and 1999,
4 while you were working with the CDHRF, that it did not have knowledge of
5 any crimes committed by the UCK/KLA within the Urosevac municipality?
6 A. We didn't have any knowledge of any crimes committed by the KLA,
7 and I personally don't know of any crime committed by the KLA in Ferizaj
8 municipality. I don't have any reason to hide anything.
9 Q. Okay. Well, now, in your 1999 statement to the Prosecutor of this
10 Tribunal, you stated that neither you nor any members of your family were
11 members of the KLA. The question I want to ask you is: Were you or any
12 members of your family supporters or sympathisers of the UCK or so-called
14 A. It is true that we were not KLA soldiers, but the KLA was the army
15 of the people, an army that was forced to defend its thresholds. Of
16 course people supported the KLA, at least on a spiritual level. That was
17 the only force.
18 Q. And, in fact, in your 2001 statement to the Office of the
19 Prosecutor, I believe you acknowledged that there was support in your
20 village, the village of Biba, for the KLA. What form did this support
22 A. What form did this support take? Well, the population had high
23 hopes that they will manage to evade the worst, and thankful -- thanks to
24 the international alliance everything ended.
25 Q. Now, the question I asked you, sir, was: What support did your
1 village of Biba undertake for the KLA? Let me, perhaps, ask it a
2 different way.
3 Did you provide food and ammunition to the UCK/KLA, the village of
5 A. I have no knowledge about this. I don't know.
6 Q. What percentage of your home village of Biba supported the
8 A. The KLA was supported by everyone. What percentage would you like
9 me to state? Everyone supported it.
10 Q. Okay. That suffices.
11 Now, were you aware of any KLA presence, active presence, in your
12 village or in the nearby villages of the Urosevac municipality at any
13 point in time during 1998 and 1999?
14 A. As to where KLA was present, we knew. Not only me, but all of the
15 citizens. They were present in Jezerce village, in the Nerodimlje area,
16 whereas in the villages of my area and my own village, in Biba, Sojeve and
17 Nerodimlje, there was no KLA presence and nobody knew of such a presence.
18 And that's why the greatest number of victims occurred in these areas,
19 because wherever KLA was present the number of victims was smaller.
20 Q. You mentioned Jezerce. Is it correct that there was a KLA command
21 post in the village of Jezerce in the municipality of Urosevac?
22 A. Of course. I believe there was, but I don't know. I can only
23 speak about the municipality where I live. The Nerodimlje zone is well
24 known to the international community, not only to me.
25 Q. A few moments ago during questioning from my colleague you seemed
1 to indicate that even civilians working with or for the Yugoslav army
2 were, in your mind, considered to be members of the army. Let me ask you
3 about the civilians working with or for the KLA. Were there civilians
4 within the ranks of the KLA?
5 A. The question is not clear to me. Can you please repeat it and be
6 more specific?
7 Q. Okay. You said you had knowledge of where the KLA was in the
8 municipality and that it was supported by your village. Were there
9 civilian fighters within the KLA structure?
10 A. I don't know that there were civilian fighters within the KLA
11 structure. To my knowledge, they must have been all uniformed, because
12 for someone to be called a formation, a KLA, they have to carry the
13 insignia, and their insignia was known. I don't know of any civilian who
14 was a KLA soldier and wore civilian clothes.
15 Q. I believe in one of your statements you identify four individuals
16 from your village who joined the KLA. Did they walk around in uniform?
17 A. Who are you referring to? Which four persons?
18 Q. Were there people from your village who, at some time joined the
20 A. After the airstrikes, there were three or four persons who found
21 it easier to join, but I was not in the village when they joined. I heard
22 about it in Stankovac. Up to the airstrikes, there was nobody who joined.
23 Q. Okay. I'd like to then go through some more events to find out
24 exactly what it is you saw and what it is you heard about from other
1 Now, in your statement, you -- first of all, let's focus on the
2 1999 statement. You described the critical event that occurred on 6 April
3 1999, when some forces entered Sojevo and killed your aunt and uncle. And
4 in your 1999 statement - at the Albanian page 3, paragraph 4; B/C/S page
5 3, paragraph 2; English page 2, paragraph 9 - you stated that you were 100
6 to 120 metres from the front yard of your uncle's -- of your uncle's
7 residence when the shooting occurred. However, in your 2001 statement -
8 at the Albanian page 6, paragraph 5, going on to page 7, paragraph 1; the
9 B/C/S page 5, paragraph 1; the English page 5, paragraph 6 - in that
10 statement you said that as soon as you saw the forces come into the
11 village, you and your family went to the woods with 230 other people.
12 Now, how do you reconcile these two versions? Were you actually
13 in the woods or were you near your uncle's home when these forces entered
14 that home?
15 A. These forces killed two persons in Limanaj neighbourhood and
16 torched the entire neighbourhood. We evacuated one part of the
17 population. When we saw that all the houses in Limanaj neighbourhood were
18 on fire, we came back and evacuated the population. And these very same
19 forces entered the Shulaj neighbourhood, or the neighbourhood of Shukri
20 Begu, how we call it. I was at about 100 or 120 metres from the house
21 where my uncle from my mother's side was Nazmi and his wife Haxhere.
22 So I saw when two paramilitaries entered his courtyard. Haxhere
23 Nebiu was outside the house near the gate, and one of the paramilitaries
24 fired and I heard a terrifying cry produced by Haxhere. So I left in the
25 direction of some bushes and walked towards the direction where entire
1 population was.
2 Later on we came back and found Nazmi and Haxhere. Both of them
3 were killed. We counted 24 cartridges. And this is what I said.
4 Q. Okay. So I take it that you saw part of the occurrence but not
5 the actual killings themselves. Is that accurate?
6 A. If I had seen -- if I hadn't seen --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Correction:
8 A. If I had seen the killing, I wouldn't have been able to be here
9 and testify. I would have been killed as well.
10 Q. Okay. Now, you describe in your statement and in your direct
11 testimony that these 18 paramilitaries were accompanied by two persons
12 that you label as policemen. Now, with respect to these two persons that
13 you label as policemen, did you see them clearly, or could you see them
14 clearly from your vantage point?
15 A. We counted about 18 persons who, having torched 90 per cent of
16 that neighbourhood, they killed these two persons, and they used a local
17 road to leave this neighbourhood.
18 Q. Sir, I asked a very specific question, and the question was: With
19 respect to the two persons you label as policemen, could you see them
20 clearly from your vantage point?
21 A. When the killing occurred, you mean? That's what you mean?
22 Q. You identified them as policemen, and I'm trying to find out
23 whether you could clearly see these individuals and their uniforms from
24 your vantage point at any point in time during this event.
25 A. From the place where I was hiding when the killing occurred, as I
1 mentioned, two paramilitaries wearing military uniforms, camouflage, and
2 red berets, this is what I saw. And after the neighbourhood was torched,
3 they used this local road, and this is where we noticed them. We saw
4 them. We were very close.
5 Q. Sir --
6 A. So there were some policemen as well, and they acted together.
7 Q. Sir, I've been asking you about the persons that you described as
8 policemen in your statement and during your direct testimony and that
9 you've now just mentioned. I'm asking you: Did you actually see the
10 persons you label as policemen clearly from the vantage point where you
11 were located?
12 A. I did see them, sir.
13 Q. Okay. Now, the other questions I have for you are relative
14 specifically to these two people that you say were policemen, and I would
15 ask you just to limit your answers to them and we'll get through this a
16 lot quicker and easier.
17 With respect to these two individuals, could you see any badges on
18 their uniform; and, if so, where?
19 A. No. It is very difficult to distinguish badges or insignia when
20 you're not at an approximate distance, but you could tell that it was a
21 police uniform.
22 Q. I'm asking you right now about any metallic badges. Did you see
23 any metallic badges on the uniforms?
24 JUDGE BONOMY: That question's been answered.
25 Mr. Hyseni, how did you know that the uniforms they were wearing
1 were police uniforms?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You can distinguish the colour from
3 a distance. The army wears either a solid green colour uniform or a
4 camouflage one, while the police wears a blue uniform. And you can see
5 this from a distance.
6 As for the insignia, I'm sorry, but I couldn't see them because I
7 was far.
8 MR. IVETIC:
9 Q. Did these individuals have any belts of any specific colour as
10 part of their uniform? Again, I'm focusing just on the two persons you've
11 labelled as policemen.
12 Q. They must have had belts, but I don't know what colour they were.
13 As I said, I was at a considerable distance, and you cannot tell colours
14 from a distance.
15 Q. You mentioned that the uniform was a blue one. Was it a solid
16 colour or was there a pattern to it?
17 A. It was a blue camouflage one.
18 Q. Okay. Did you see these two individuals arrive in a vehicle; and,
19 if so, what type of vehicle was it?
20 A. These individual entered the neighbourhood where I was staying,
21 but it looks like they came in buses at the end of the village of Shijel
22 [phoen], the road to Gjilan. They said they came from that side. They
23 entered the Limanaj neighbourhood first and then came to Shukri Begu
24 neighbourhood. In the latter they entered this neighbourhood on first.
25 Q. When you say in this answer, "They said they came from that side,"
1 I take it you did not actually see them enter the village but are relying
2 on what other people told you. Is that accurate?
3 A. When they got off, it is about 1.5 kilometres, this location, and
4 I didn't see them. But when they were walking through this meadow, we
5 could see them.
6 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, you described an individual that you
7 identify as this Mijovic person. Did you see Mijovic with the forces that
8 were in your uncle's yard?
9 A. The distance was about 100 metres. Now, as to my uncle's
10 courtyard, I don't know if it was Mijovic or someone else, but he should
11 know because he was part of that group.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: We've had this question answered by being told that
13 the information was relayed to the witness when he was in Stankovac.
14 MR. IVETIC: I believe that was the information about Mijovic's
15 occupation. It wasn't clear to me that in fact this individual was not
16 with the group, particularly in light of the statements that he has given
17 that seem to indicate that Mijovic was with this group. So that's why I
18 was asking for clarification of that, Your Honour. I've got the
19 clarification --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: But that's not what your question was. Your
21 question was whether --
22 MR. IVETIC: Whether he actually saw him.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Saw him.
24 MR. IVETIC: Right.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: And I thought we'd already been told that he
1 didn't, but you obviously see it differently.
2 MR. IVETIC: That's correct, Your Honour. And I also have
3 documents that perhaps Your Honours have not seen, so that's why I was
4 trying to clear it up in my own mind before going into area of questioning
5 that would bear no fruit.
6 Q. Now, if we could move on to another topic. After this incident,
7 sir, you joined a convoy of people headed towards Urosevac, and you
8 described in your statement how Serbian traffic police turned you back.
9 Now, would it be accurate to state that the direction you were turned back
10 towards was the direction of your home villages?
11 A. No. They told us to go in the direction of Gjilan.
12 Q. Let me ask you this: Is it true that from Urosevac your home
13 village is in the direction of Gnjilane?
14 A. Yes, it is true that my village is in the direction of Gjilan.
15 Q. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in your statement you said that you
16 yourself did not have any communications with these two persons you
17 identify as traffic police. Is that correct?
18 A. I didn't [Realtime transcript read in error "did"] have
19 communication with them because I wasn't in the first vehicle. The first
20 vehicle was told to go in the direction of Gjilan, with the intention to
21 take the road to Presheve and Bujanovc.
22 Q. So you don't actually have knowledge of the intentions of the
23 traffic police or what they actually said the convoy should undertake. Am
24 I correct in that?
25 A. I didn't know and have any knowledge at that time, but when we
1 back we learned, because we communicated between each other. They blocked
2 the road and they wouldn't allow us to proceed in that direction. They
3 told us to go in the direction of Gjilan.
4 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, for purposes of the transcript, page
5 50, line 23, the answer is recorded as saying "I did have communication
6 with them." I heard the translation as saying "I did not ..."
7 JUDGE BONOMY: I agree with that.
8 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
9 Q. Now, sir, Presheve and Bujanovc, those are towns within the
10 Republic of Serbia; isn't that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. Now --
13 A. They are part of Presheve valley.
14 Q. Okay. Now, these traffic police that you mentioned, could you
15 describe their uniforms, what their uniforms looked like?
16 A. They had ordinary traffic police uniforms, those that you could
17 see on an everyday basis. One of them had these white sort of sleeves
18 that are usually worn by traffic police.
19 Q. Did you note any badges, insignia, or ribbons on these uniforms?
20 A. To tell you the truth, I didn't. They just gave this order for us
21 to go back and we did that.
22 Q. You said you could see this uniform on a daily basis. On regular
23 police did you often -- did you -- strike that.
24 In your daily experiences, isn't it a fact that the police
25 uniforms had badges, insignia, and markings on their uniforms?
1 A. They must have had, but I didn't notice it. I wasn't interested
2 in it. I cannot tell you now that they had badges, insignia, and other
3 markings when I didn't observe it. But what I can tell you is that we
4 could recognise what a traffic police was.
5 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, after this incident at the outskirts of
6 Urosevac, you and the others in the convoy with you went to Slatina. And
7 in your 2001 statement you describe how the police would drive through
8 Slatina but did nothing else. Was this on a daily basis, the entire time
9 that you were in Slatina, or how frequent was it?
10 A. No. The police passed two or three times nearby.
11 Q. And --
12 A. And during the 12 days I stayed there, I saw them only three
13 times. There was a large number of displaced people there coming from
14 many villages of Gjilan and Viti.
15 Q. On those three or so occasions when you saw the police in Slatina,
16 the village where you were located at that time, is it correct to state
17 that no one from these police ever ordered you to leave the village of
19 A. I left the village of Slatine after 12 days. Nobody ordered me.
20 But some of the displaced people left the place because we were so many in
21 number that there was no food for us. We ran out of short supplies, so we
22 had to leave.
23 However, at the end of May, my uncles who were there - some
24 remained there - were driven out of the village by the police and sent to
25 Macedonia. Some youths were sent to prison in Viti. This happened when I
1 wasn't there, but I heard it from others.
2 Q. Sir, I thought I asked you earlier - maybe I should repeat it -
3 I'm only interested in what you have direct knowledge of, what you saw,
4 and I believe, based on this answer, that you were not present when this
5 event occurred, so I will move on and clear up a few other points.
6 Now, after you and your family decided to go to the border, in
7 your statements you describe a man named Fishekovic, who you stated was
8 previously a member of the financial police. Now, I just wanted to clear
9 things up for people. This financial police that you describe, that was
10 not -- that entity was not a part of the Serbian MUP, was it?
11 A. The financial police, prior to the bombing, were civilians. That
12 day when I went to Macedonia, at the entrance to Kacanik there was a
13 police checkpoint and some soldiers who stopped the convoy of buses, along
14 with the bus I was in --
15 Q. We have all that, sir, in your statement. We have all that in
16 your statement. I just wanted to make clear for people who may not know
17 the structure of the MUP that the financial police was not a part of the
18 Serbian MUP. Could you please confirm that for me? Your answer --
19 A. I never said that the financial police is part of MUP or is not
20 part of MUP. But this person, whom I knew from before as a financial
21 inspector, that day was dressed in green uniform, carrying a rifle on his
22 shoulder and an insignia with two white eagles.
23 Q. Now, unfortunately -- I think it's clear from that that the
24 financial police were not a part of the MUP.
25 Now, I'd just like to touch on a few areas from your testimony
1 today. You mentioned at one point in time that there was, to you, a
2 suspicious vehicle, a Volkswagen Golf with no licence plates. You never,
3 in fact, verified the identity of the persons in that vehicle that was
4 near your home, did you?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And the members of the UCK/KLA, what type of vehicles did they
7 transport personnel in, to your knowledge?
8 A. I have no knowledge of that.
9 Q. Okay. Now, you discussed the wounding of your father-in-law and
10 brother-in-law, and as I was taking notes on this, there was some question
11 left in my mind: Were they wounded as a proximate result of NATO bombing
12 in Urosevac?
13 A. No. These people were wounded as a result of the fire shot off --
14 as a result of a shell thrown by the army forces which destroyed part of
15 the house and injured these two people from the Ferizaj barracks.
16 Q. Okay. Now, you talk about hearing of certain things from the mass
17 media. What type of mass media was available to the civilian population
18 of Urosevac in 1999?
19 A. The television, satellite television, that we could watch. So we
20 watched it on television.
21 Q. Okay. And --
22 A. There was also a newspaper.
23 Q. Okay. Were there newspapers and televisions available in the
24 Albanian language?
25 A. Yes. It was Bujku newspaper. First it was called Rilindja; then
1 it was changed into Bujku.
2 For your information, there was also information provided by
3 foreign stations. We constantly heard BBC, Voice of America, and Deutsche
5 Q. Okay. Now, you stated that -- in your testimony you stated that
6 you learned of your father-in-law and brother-in-law being wounded on the
7 television when the barracks were attacked by NATO forces. Is it your
8 testimony that the Serb forces were in the barracks at the time that NATO
9 struck the barracks and that is how a shell came into your father-in-law's
11 A. The shell came from the barracks. At that moment NATO was not
13 Q. I believe that's different from your testimony, but I will move on
14 to try and finish up your examination.
15 Now, with respect to -- you identified a member of your
16 organisation named Kelmendi. How did you find out about what happened to
17 Mr. Kelmendi? Was it also through some form of mass media?
18 A. We heard of Mr. Kelmendi's killing through the media. First he
19 was kidnapped by the Serb security.
20 Q. Now, with respect to hearing things through the media, isn't it a
21 fact that the Albanian language media also reported the killing of Mr.
22 Ibrahim Rugova in 1999, also by Serb forces?
23 A. This is not true, and I never heard that news.
24 Q. Okay. And, in fact, Mr. Rugova was not killed. Is that what
25 you're saying?
1 A. No, he was not killed.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you suggesting, Mr. Ivetic, that Kelmendi was
3 not killed?
4 MR. IVETIC: I do not have knowledge of that.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: You don't know about him, do you?
6 MR. IVETIC: I do know -- I'm just saying the things from the
7 media, the occurrences as reported in the media, may not be 100 per cent
8 accurate, is all that I'm trying to find out, and he answered that he
9 didn't know, so I'm done with that line of questioning. And I think I'm
10 actually done with the witness.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. All right. Thank you.
12 Mr. Hannis.
13 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I was considering whether I would
14 stipulate to the fact that the media doesn't always report things 100 per
15 cent accurately, but I have no further questions. Thank you.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hyseni, in the course of your evidence you
17 mentioned twice that you had brought documents with you; on one occasion
18 you mentioned photographs and on the other occasion you mentioned a
19 document that listed personnel, army personnel, who were present
20 somewhere. So that you leave here with no doubt about the Trial Chamber's
21 position, I should explain to you that the presentation of evidence here
22 is a matter for the -- principally for the parties involved, and it's for
23 the Prosecution to decide whether they present certain things to us.
24 Don't be concerned that because we do not ask you for these documents that
25 something is going wrong. We rely on the Prosecution, having investigated
1 the things that you would bring with you or that you have to tell them,
2 and we leave it to them to decide, generally speaking, what material to
4 So we have the full picture now. That completes your evidence.
5 Thank you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You're now free to
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, and all the
8 others. And I wish you good health and successes in your work for justice
9 to come to light.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hyseni.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
14 MR. STAMP: Good morning, Your Honours. The next witness is Hazbi
15 Loku. We intend, as indicated in the notification, to make an application
16 that his statement be received under Rule 89(F). However, with your
17 leave, there would be a couple of corrections and a couple of exhibits
18 which I think I should go through with him. I'm sure I will be able to do
19 that well within one hour.
20 The relevant paragraphs to which his evidence most directly
21 relates to --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: You've actually found a witness who has only given
23 one statement, have you?
24 MR. STAMP: One OTP statement.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry?
1 MR. STAMP: One OTP statement.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We can have Mr. Loku, please.
3 MR. STAMP: While he's coming in, the paragraphs are paragraph
4 72(k)(i), 75(k)(i) and Schedule K.
5 May I also announce that with us is Mr. Januz Zielinski, one of
6 our legal interns who has been of great assistance in preparing this and
7 other witnesses.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Loku.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you now please make the solemn declaration by
12 reading aloud the document which will be placed before you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
16 WITNESS: HAZBI LOKU
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
19 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
20 Examination by Mr. Stamp:
21 Q. Mr. Loku, good morning.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. I know you have already been told that the Judges have had a copy
24 of your statement, indeed all the parties have had a copy of your
25 statement, and therefore this morning I will be taking you through some
1 areas of the statement. So I want you to testify with that knowledge,
2 that we are already aware of most of what you have had to say on the
3 matters that you're here to testify about.
4 Firstly, could you just identify yourself by giving us your name
5 and spelling your last name?
6 A. Yes. My name is Hazbi Loku, L-o-k-u.
7 Q. And where do you live, sir?
8 A. I was born in Kotline, Kacanik municipality. For the moment,
9 after the war, I've been living in Ferizaj.
10 Q. The village of Kotlina, you told us in your statement, was a
11 wholly -- or was wholly populated by Albanian -- or Kosovo Albanian
12 people. Can you tell us what the entire population of the village was in,
13 say, February/March, 1999?
14 A. Kotline village was inhabited only by Albanian population. Never
15 was there any other ethnicity living there.
16 Q. And about how many people lived there in February or March, 1999?
17 A. The village had approximately 450 to 500 inhabitants.
18 Q. Now, you recall giving a statement to investigators of the OTP,
19 that's the Office of the Prosecution, on the 4th of June, 1999, about
20 events that occurred in your village in that year?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you signed that statement as being correct and true?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You have had an opportunity to have that statement read back to
25 you. And, for the record, do you still agree that the statement is
1 correct and true, to the best of your knowledge?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. STAMP: For the record, may I just indicate that that is
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
6 MR. STAMP:
7 Q. At page 2 of that statement, in the third paragraph you describe
8 events that occurred in your village on the 9th of March.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you said at one part that houses had been knocked down by
11 tanks being driven into them. Can you tell us if that is entirely
12 correct, or, if not, explain how were houses knocked down by the tanks?
13 A. Yes. On the 9th of March, 1999, in my village of Kotline --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic?
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would ask my learned
16 friend of the Prosecution to explain exactly which village this is when
17 he's talking about tanks and houses. Thank you.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I thought we were dealing with Kotlina, but is
19 there some other village in issue here?
20 MR. STAMP: Actually, I put the question to him as his village,
21 and when I said "his village," I meant Kotlina.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. Carry on, Mr. Stamp, please.
23 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I beg your part, but in that context,
24 as far as I understood the statement, a different village was referred to,
25 Ivaja in the actual statement, which is 4 kilometres to the north of
1 Kotlina, if we're talking about the 9th of March, 1999, that is. That was
2 my understanding of the witness's statement, that he came to Ivaja on the
3 11th and 12th of March.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, if you just look at the start of his
5 answer, at line 12 of page 60, you will see that we're dealing with
6 Kotlina. "On the 9th of March, in my village of Kotlina ..." And I think
7 we should let him carry on with that answer.
8 MR. STAMP: Very well. I will -- I think I understand the line
9 that my friend is taking, and the witness is here and the witness can
10 clarify what the situation is. May I?
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
12 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
14 Q. You said in your statement that houses at a particular place were
15 destroyed by tanks. How did the tank -- firstly, where were these houses,
16 in which village?
17 A. On the 9th, when I was talking about the 9th of March, it was the
18 Kotline village that was attacked. In fact, a neighbourhood called
19 Dreshec of this village. The village was burned. I'm talking about this
20 neighbourhood. The entire neighbourhood, all the houses were burned,
21 because the houses were at some distance away from each other. All of the
22 houses were looted.
23 And on the same day, on the 9th of March, there were two victims
24 from the village, that is, inhabitants of Kotline village.
25 Q. All right. Thank you. I just want to clarify one thing, though.
1 When you said, and I'll just read it in English, and I think you're
2 referring to the village of Ivaja, as was pointed out, "houses had been
3 knocked down by tanks being driven into them." Can you just explain how
4 the houses were knocked down?
5 A. In the case of Ivaja village, I may tell you that the event
6 happened on the 8th, not on the 9th of March. When I went to this
7 village, because it's nearby my village, I saw that most of the houses
8 were burned and they were still in smoke, and that they were destroyed.
9 In the same village, the mosque was also set fire to, and the minaret was
10 half destroyed.
11 As to how these houses were burnt and destroyed, this I cannot
12 tell you because I didn't see it.
13 Q. Very well. Let's move on, then, to the 24th of March. That day
14 you observed events which occurred in your village and its environs. You
15 said in your statement that you went to a place to the south of your
16 village and that you have marked it on a map which you provided with your
18 MR. STAMP: Could the witness be shown Exhibit P2296, the last
19 page of that.
20 Q. Do you see at the bottom --
21 MR. STAMP: Sorry, the next page, please.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: It comes after the declaration. It's a drawing
23 we're looking for.
24 MR. STAMP: The next page, please. I think you need to find the
25 English version of his statement. It's the last page there. Thank you.
1 Q. Do you see that hand-drawn map in front of you?
2 A. Yes. It's the map that I drew myself.
3 Q. And do you see your signature and the date on the bottom
4 right-hand corner of the map?
5 A. Yes. Yes, I see it.
6 Q. Could you just start by getting an orientation. Your area, your
7 district of Kacanik, is in a -- sorry, Kotlina in Kacanik, is in a hilly,
8 mountainous area; is that correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And the village is in a valley between elevated areas?
11 A. Yes, that's right. The houses are built in a semi-circular form.
12 On both sides of the road are the houses, as you can see in this drawing.
13 There are roads that go in or out of the village, and I have marked them.
14 One takes you to Ivaje. One links us with the asphalt road to Kacanik.
15 One goes to Gllobocica, a village in the border with Macedonia. And
16 another goes to Strasha village.
17 Q. Very well. I think it's very clear, but the semi-circular
18 parallel lines across the middle of the map with the small figures looking
19 like squares and sometimes triangles, that is the main road through the
20 village, and those figures are depictions of the houses around that road;
21 is that correct?
22 A. Yes, that is correct. The houses and the mosque. I have tried to
23 draw the minaret.
24 Q. All right. The minaret of that mosque is --
25 A. The school -- I have marked the place where three school
1 facilities were. Near them is the ambulance, the clinic, and then there
2 was part of a mountain. You can see it some tens of metres away from that
3 group of houses where the mountain starts in the southern part of the
4 village --
5 Q. Witness, we're going to take it step by step.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I certainly haven't found this too fast, Mr.
7 Stamp. It's pretty clear. I don't know what you think isn't clear.
8 MR. STAMP: Very well, Your Honour.
9 Q. Do you see at the top of the map a "V" and at the bottom of the
10 map a "J"? Can you tell us what those indicate?
11 A. Yes. These are the sides. "J" stands for south and "V", for
13 Q. Thank you. And I'd like you to indicate where you were on the
14 hill adjacent to your village. Is that marked on the map?
15 A. You can see on the map that the houses are in a semi-circle and
16 then there are some arable lands there on the southern part of the
17 village. It's an elevated part. It's an old Roman ruins of a castle.
18 Q. And where is it? Did you mark it on the map, or did you put any
19 writing to indicate where it is that you were?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Please tell us where it is that you were.
22 A. It is written Kalaja, which is the fortress, which is the southern
23 part of the village.
24 Q. Thank you. And you're saying you indicated on the map where there
25 are some schools. Where did you indicate that, and how did you indicate
2 A. There are three school buildings that I drew on this map, and I
3 have marked them with letters, with "S-H" standing for the first letter of
4 the word "school" in Albanian.
5 Q. And that is above the structure on the map that looks like a
7 A. Yes, there. And together with the clinic I have drawn a total of
8 four features.
9 Q. Okay. Thank you. We'll get back to the map, but I just want to
10 you something now about the events of the 24th. You said that the women,
11 children, old persons were gathered together by the Serb VJ and police
12 personnel. Well, firstly, where on the map were the people gathered? Can
13 you indicate that?
14 A. Yes. To the south of the houses in the centre of the village. I
15 can show it with my pencil if you want.
16 Q. Thank you. That would be very good. You can put a circle around
17 the area where the people are gathered.
18 A. The place where the population was gathered, some left out of fear
19 and most of them were expelled by the Serbian police and army. It is
20 here, this part.
21 Q. You could mark it with a circle directly on the screen, please,
23 A. Yes. [Marks].
24 Q. Thank you very much. This map is not fully to scale, so can I
25 just ask you: This group of people were about how far from your vantage
2 A. About 150 metres, I would say.
3 Q. Thank you. You said in your statement that the women and children
4 and old people were loaded into a lorry. When you say "loaded into a
5 lorry," what do you mean? Who loaded them into a lorry, and how did they
6 load them into the lorry?
7 A. Actually, after the event that had occurred in the village, two
8 green military trucks belonging to the Serbian army had come to take the
9 population, the women and children. I can draw a map how they made this
10 journey. Up to the exit of the village they went on foot, and there they
11 loaded them on the trucks, but not all of them, because there wasn't
12 enough space. Those that were not loaded, they walked on foot along the
13 asphalt road.
14 Q. Okay. Well, let me get straight to the point. When you say they
15 were loaded on the truck, and you said that also some walked on the
16 asphalt road, did the people go on the truck voluntarily and did they go
17 on the asphalt road voluntarily, or were they compelled by the Serb forces
18 to do that?
19 A. They didn't do this journey on a voluntary basis. They were
20 forced to. They were beaten, maltreated, and threatened throughout the
21 journey, up until they arrived in Kacanik.
22 Q. About how many people in total were in this group, both on the
23 truck and on foot, that went to Kacanik?
24 A. In total there were about 400 inhabitants on trucks. We, about
25 100 men from the village, were hiding. We were not with this group of
1 people. People were loaded on the trucks as if they were pieces of wood,
2 not human beings.
3 Q. Now --
4 A. And the others followed on foot, the trucks, and they were all at
5 gunpoint, threatened. And they were told that, "If you do not walk, we
6 will kill you here on the road."
7 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, you said they were taken to Kacanik. Do you
8 know if your co-villagers remained in Kacanik or did they go or were taken
9 anyplace else? Did they remain in Kosovo?
10 A. Yes, I know that, too. All these people remained in Kosova for
11 that particular time. Women and children got off the truck and were sent
12 to different houses belonging to Kacanik, people from Kacanik, and others
13 were sent to the police station in Ferizaj where they were maltreated for
14 two or three days, and after that they were released. These were men that
15 were sent to the police station in Ferizaj.
16 Q. Generally, did the population remain in Kacanik in Kosovo, or did
17 they leave Kosovo?
18 A. The population remained in Kacanik for some time, but since the
19 Serb forces were attacking Kacanik - and I made mention here of the Rakovc
20 massacre - after these events they had to set out for Macedonia. They
21 walked for several nights on mountain paths and finally arrived in Bllaca,
22 which is a place in Macedonia where many people from Kosova arrived.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. My family was part of this group that arrived at Bllaca.
25 Q. Now, in your statement you describe that a group of young men, in
1 excess of 20, had sought to flee to the north side of the village and were
3 A. Yes. The Serb forces, including the army and the police, had
4 encircled the village and we were under threat and danger. Therefore, we
5 decided to leave, and everybody chose the place where they would go to.
6 I, for example, positioned myself at the fortress; some others in other
7 parts of the village; those who had the houses near the mountain above the
8 village, they took to this mountain out of fear, and they sheltered there.
9 Q. And you described where the 20 or so young men were taken in
10 respect -- taken to a hole -- or may I just ask you to correct something.
11 In your statement you said, and this is at paragraph 5 of the statement,
12 the last -- I beg your pardon. It's page 5, the last paragraph. In that
13 statement you said that the men -- or you know that in the area where the
14 men were taken there was a large hole. Was it one hole or more than one
15 hole that was there?
16 A. If you allow me to elaborate this. These men who were hiding in
17 this part of the forest --
18 Q. Remember that I'm interested in this statement. I just wanted to
19 correct something first. Your statement refers to a hole. Was there one
20 hole or more than one hole on the hillside?
21 A. There were two holes close to each other. Maybe there were 5 to 6
22 metres between the two of them.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. I have written here "gropa", a hole in Albanian, which also has
25 the meaning for plural.
1 Q. And when you say you have written "gropa", you mean it is on the
2 map, the map which you drew for us to show us what happened in your
4 A. Yes. It is the northern part of the village, and I have written
5 there "Holes," and it's at the entrance to the village, near the entrance.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, about how far was that from where you were, these
8 A. From the place where I was hiding, as the crow flies, it was about
9 5 to 600 metres far. Not more than that.
10 Q. Thank you. I think this is pretty clear, but may I just go over
11 it again: You were on a hillside to the south, the village was in
12 between, and the hole where the men were taken was on a hillside to the
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. But the village was in a valley, so it did not impede your view of
16 what was happening across the valley. Is that correct?
17 A. No, it did not impede my view at all. You could see everything
19 Q. Can you tell us briefly what you saw happen to the captured men in
20 the vicinity of that hole or those holes?
21 A. Yes. These men that were captured, the majority of them were
22 young. They were youths of 16 years of age. They were taken from the
23 place in the mountain where they were captured, and they stopped and were
24 taken to the direction of the clinic. In the afternoon, after 2.00, they
25 set out in the direction of the holes. They didn't know, and we didn't
1 know either, what was going to happen to them.
2 The people who had their hands tied were taken there, and that's
3 where the maltreatment started, the beating. There were cries. And on
4 the basis of these cries that we could hear, they were thrown in these
5 holes. They were massacred. And in the end, in the evening, the --
6 Q. You said there were -- sorry. You said they were thrown into the
7 holes. After they were thrown into the holes, what happened in respect to
8 the holes?
9 A. After they were thrown into the holes, the holes were mined. An
10 explosion was heard and smoke was seen. And after that, the holes were
11 levelled at the location where the holes were.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, this is an appropriate time for us to
13 have a break. Is it an appropriate time to interrupt?
14 MR. STAMP: It is. It is convenient.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
16 We will adjourn just now and resume at ten minutes to 1.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
20 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour. I think the first thing I
21 should do is ask the Court if the marked copy, where he marked the
22 villages, would be given a number, an IC number.
23 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number IC34, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
1 Q. I was about to move on, but before I do, I noticed, Mr. Loku, that
2 you said after that, after you heard the explosion, the holes were
3 levelled. What do you mean when you say "the holes were levelled"?
4 A. The holes were flattened. The ground was flattened.
5 Q. Could I elaborate a little bit further. Did you see anybody
6 flatten the ground, or was the ground flattened as a result of the
7 explosion that you heard?
8 A. This occurred because of the explosion.
9 Q. I see. Thank you.
10 MR. STAMP: Could the witness be shown, Your Honours, Exhibit
12 Q. Can you identify what that picture is showing?
13 A. Yes. This is the photograph of the holes that were in the
14 mountain above the village.
15 Q. Do you know approximately when this photograph was taken?
16 A. It was taken in the autumn, after we returned in the village.
17 Q. Thank you. And that is what I'd like to get to now. You said in
18 your statement that you went to Macedonia where you stayed for some time,
19 and then -- and in Macedonia you discovered exactly the identities of the
20 men who were killed in your village on the 24th. Did you gather
21 photographs of those men and submit them to the OTP?
22 A. When I went to Macedonia, for these persons that were later found
23 later in the holes, I didn't know. They were missing persons, and we
24 didn't know whether all of them were in these holes or only some of them.
25 These holes were opened by others, by Austrian forensics who examined the
1 bodies, and in cooperation with family members, they carried out the
2 identification of 22 persons that were thrown in these holes and whom we
3 buried after they were recovered from the holes.
4 Q. When were these holes excavated by the Austrian forensics and the
5 bodies exhumed? Do you remember?
6 A. They were exhumed in autumn, after the inhabitants returned to the
7 village and after KFOR had entered Kosova. Many others came to
8 investigate, and we would direct them to these holes because we knew that
9 our family members were in them. But up until these bodies were exhumed,
10 we didn't know exactly who was in them. And as I said, after they were
11 identified, we buried them and pictures were taken.
12 Q. Thank you. Did you -- if I may return to another question. Did
13 you take and deliver to us, the OTP, 24 photographs of persons who were
14 killed in your village that day, including those whose bodies were exhumed
15 from those holes?
16 A. The photographs of the massacred persons were brought here by me
17 together with the photographs that were taken during the burial.
18 Q. Thank you. Well, let's go through these photographs one by one.
19 MR. STAMP: Could the witness be shown Exhibit P380.
20 Q. This is the first page, I think, on your screen. Is it there yet?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Exhibit 380. Can you identify the persons nine -- the nine
23 persons on that page?
24 A. Yes, I can identify all of them.
25 Q. Could you name them, please, from the top row left to right.
1 A. Yes. Adnan Loku, Ibush Loku, Mina Kuci, Bajram Loku, Zija Loku,
2 Ismet Loku, Sali Vasliu, Naser Loku, and Mahi Loku. Two of them are
3 brothers of Rexhep Loku. One of them was 17 years old.
4 Q. Could we move on to the next page of this exhibit. Can you
5 identify in the same way, from the top row, left to right.
6 A. Yes. Danush Idriz Kuci, he was attending secondary school, 16
7 years of age. Serif Kuci. Dzemal Muradem Kuci. And the last one is
8 Vesel Vlashi; he worked in the school.
9 Q. Can you move onto the next page, please.
10 JUDGE CHOWHAN: It is the same exhibit?
11 MR. STAMP: The same exhibit.
12 Q. From the top to the bottom.
13 A. May I continue?
14 Q. Yes, from top to bottom.
15 A. Yes. The first on top is Nexhad Ferid Kuci; the other one, Sabri
16 Hamed Loku; and the other one is Nasir Fadil Loku. They are relatives.
17 Q. Thank you very much.
18 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, there will be an exhibit led precisely
19 as to which ones were found in the hole, because, as the witness has
20 indicated, there was an Austrian forensic team there. So although there
21 are 24 photos here which, he says, depicts the persons who were killed,
22 there was only some of them - 22, I think - who were found there. But I
23 don't think we need to go into that now as there will be evidence where
24 those -- that subject is clearly identified, unless the Court thinks it's
25 necessary at this stage.
1 And may I just indicate Exhibit 3 -- P381.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it another exhibit of more photographs?
3 MR. STAMP: No, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, is that not only 16?
5 MR. STAMP: I'm sorry. Thank you, Your Honour. I stopped too
7 Q. Could we move on to the next page, please. I'm very grateful to
8 the Court. Please go on.
9 A. May I continue? These two photos are the photos of a son and his
10 brother -- sorry, his father, Sabit and Garep Loku. The son was a
12 Q. And could we move to the next page, please.
13 A. The first two are the brothers Agim and Ismajl Loku. The third is
14 Ismajl Kuci. Below is the 70-year-old man, Zimer Loku. In the middle
15 Milaim Loku. He was my brother. And the last is Neshad Rexha. He was a
16 nephew in the Loku family. On that tragic day he happened to be visiting
17 his uncles in Kotline.
18 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours. I think that is
19 the last page. And I also just wanted to indicate there is an Exhibit
20 P381 which really is a list of the names on Schedule K. I won't direct
21 the Court to that because he has called those names just now.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
23 MR. STAMP:
24 Q. You spoke about some photographs. Could you have a quick look at
25 P48. Sorry, P49. I'm so sorry. Thank you. Could it be enlarged so
2 While that is being done, Mr. Loku, can you tell us whether or not
3 you took this photograph? And what does it depict?
4 A. Yes, I took the photograph, and it depicts the people who are
5 carrying the coffins of the dead persons exhumated, who were reburied that
6 day. You can see the house of Baki Kuci which has been reduced to ruins.
7 You can see the coffins where the dead persons, massacred persons, are who
8 were reburied. Those in the photo are my co-villagers.
9 Q. You said the house of Mr. Kuci had been reduced to ruins. Do you
10 know how it was reduced to ruins?
11 A. This house was set fire to from inside. You can see that the top
12 is missing, the roof is missing. It used to be a two-storey house.
13 Q. Who set fire to it; do you know?
14 A. This was torched by the Serbian forces, the military and the
15 police together.
16 Q. Before I move on to the next photograph, there is -- in your
17 statement - and I refer to page 5, the second paragraph -- the last
18 paragraph on page 5 and the second paragraph on page 6 in the English
19 version, and I think it is the same in the B/C/S version - you said the
20 remaining Serbs started to prepare to burn the houses. You refer to the
21 people involved in the burning of the houses as Serbs. I take it from
22 your evidence just now that when you refer to Serbs, you mean the Serb
23 police and the Serb army started to burn the houses.
24 A. Yes. I mean the Serbian army and police.
25 Q. Now --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Lukic, please.
3 MR. LUKIC: I would kindly ask my learned friend not to lead the
4 witness in this stage.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
6 MR. STAMP: I will proceed without leading. I had thought it was
7 a matter of clarification, actually.
8 Q. Could we have a look quickly at Exhibit P3 -- I beg your pardon,
9 Exhibit P50, P5-0. Did you take this photograph, and is this -- or does
10 it depict --
11 A. I don't see any photos here on the screen.
12 Q. Did you take it, this photograph, and --
13 A. Yes, I did. It's the same house. You see the coffins, only taken
14 from another angle.
15 Q. Could we have a look at Exhibit P48.
16 A. Would you allow me to add something?
17 Q. [Microphone not activated].
18 A. In this photo that we have here --
19 Q. Very well. Go ahead.
20 A. Now I don't have it anymore on my screen.
21 Q. What is it you wanted to say about that photograph that you just
23 A. I wanted to say that you can see many other ruined and burned
24 houses, because in the first photo you could see only the house of Baki
25 Kuci. In the second you can see the ruins of many other houses.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, before you have another photograph, could this be
2 expanded a little bit, and could you tell us what is that photograph and
3 what does it depict?
4 A. Yes. I took this photo. This shows the school picture where I
5 used to work. You can see from it that it has been reduced to ruins. We
6 tried to clean up the rubble after we returned from Macedonia, and built a
7 new school on the foundations of the burnt one. And across it you can see
8 the burnt house of Garep Loku.
9 Q. Thank you. In respect to the events of the 24th of March, did you
10 see any person or any group resisting or -- when I say "resisting," firing
11 weapons at the Serbs forces that day?
12 A. Not on this day. There wasn't any holes and anyone firing at the
13 Serbian forces.
14 Q. There wasn't any? You said there wasn't any something. What is
15 that you said?
16 A. I said that no one fired at the Serbian forces from the
17 population, I mean.
18 Q. Now, the persons who were killed that day, some of whom -- most of
19 whom were excavated -- exhumed, I'm sorry, in autumn, do you know where
20 they were buried?
21 A. Down. Most of them were buried in the schoolyard.
22 Q. And where were the others --
23 A. To this day they are still there.
24 Q. And where were the others buried?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You said most of them were buried in the schoolyard. Where were
2 the others buried? Do you know?
3 A. The others were buried in another place, in the cemetery.
4 Q. What was that other place? Can you just describe it for me,
6 A. Yes, I can. Some of them were buried at Kacanik cemetery. Those
7 who are not buried at the schoolyard are buried at Kacanik cemetery.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, the Kacanik cemetery, was it associated or did it
9 belong to any organisation?
10 A. This I don't know.
11 Q. Did you hear anything about any organisation that the Kacanik
12 cemetery might have been associated with?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Okay. Do you know whether or not any of these persons who are
15 buried in a cemetery that is associated with the KLA?
16 MR. VISNJIC: Your Honour.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I think that my colleague went one
19 step further in terms of leading this witness. The witness gave two
20 answers to the same question, and now he is getting a leading question
21 this third time from my learned friend Mr. Stamp.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: It's a different type of leading question from the
23 one you would normally object to, Mr. Visnjic. This is a leading question
24 against his own interests, I suspect.
25 I know that there's a practice in this Tribunal of following an
1 American, English, and Australian practice, and it may be practiced
2 elsewhere, of having to set certain standards before you can view a
3 witness as hostile. There are areas in between, and indeed in my view all
4 areas -- if I had personal control over this, all areas would be open to
5 the same comment that a witness should be examined in a way that's
6 appropriate to the particular issues that arise.
7 Now, you're standing on this objection, are you? You don't want
8 him to ask this particular leading question?
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I'm standing on
10 it. Yes.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, what's your response to that?
12 MR. STAMP: I think the response is encapsulated in something Your
13 Honour said. It is an exception to the rules, if we're thinking of the
14 strict rules in respect of leading questions, because it would elicit, if
15 a positive answer was given, an answer which is ostensibly against the
16 interest of the asking party.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you. Let's consider that.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: We do not consider that allowing this question will
20 in any way be unfair to the accused. Where a problem arises and the
21 Prosecution consider that the -- or have the impression, at least, that a
22 full account is not being given by a witness that they have chosen to
23 lead, then, in general terms, it appears to us not unreasonable for them
24 to ask questions which might be viewed as more appropriate for
25 cross-examination, as long as asking these questions does not create any
1 obvious unfairness to the accused. We don't think that this question
2 falls into the category of being unfair and therefore we will allow it to
3 be asked and answered.
4 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
5 Q. Mr. Loku, the question was: Do you know whether or not any of the
6 persons who were buried in the cemetery in Kacanik were associated with
7 the KLA? And do you know or have you ever heard subsequently that that is
8 the case?
9 A. Yes. Other persons were buried in the heroes' cemetery in
11 Q. And just for clarity, when you say "other persons," you mean some
12 other persons who were killed in your village that day, "that day" being
13 the 24th of March?
14 A. I mean the persons killed on the 24th and on the 9th of March, on
15 both these dates.
16 Q. Of those persons, can you say about how many were buried in the
17 heroes' cemetery in Kacanik? You can approximate.
18 A. Less than half of them. Seven, eight persons. I can't give you
19 an accurate figure.
20 Q. And the --
21 A. Including the persons killed on the 9th of March.
22 Q. I see. And the heroes' cemetery in Kacanik, is that cemetery
23 associated with the KLA?
24 A. There is some -- it is associated. It belongs to the KLA
25 cemetery. But not all the persons killed. The description was made by
1 someone else.
2 Q. I'm going to ask you that. You said: "But not all the persons
3 killed. The description was made by someone else." Are you saying that
4 all the persons -- well, could you explain your last answer? I'll just
5 read it. You said that the cemetery belonged to the KLA. "But not all
6 the persons killed. The description was made by someone else." What do
7 you mean by that?
8 A. When I say this, I mean that after the examination of the corpses
9 exhumed from the holes, most of the dead persons found there were buried
10 in the schoolyard. There were two other cemeteries --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Graves, correction.
12 A. -- and some of those who were exhumed from the holes were buried
13 in the martyrs' cemetery in Kacanik. And you can find them to this day by
14 names and last names.
15 MR. STAMP:
16 Q. Thank you. While you were in Macedonia, were you interviewed by
17 persons from the OSCE, that is the Organisation for Security and
18 Cooperation in Europe, the KVM mission?
19 A. I know I was interviewed by the OSCE and by the Tribunal.
20 Q. And in the course of this interview, did you tell the OSCE about
21 the events you witnessed on the 24th of March, 1999, in Kotlina?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours. I have no further
24 questions in chief.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
1 Mr. Loku, are you still the principal teacher in the school?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have moved to Ferizaj, and I have
3 been living there for four years now. I work in another school.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: The school in Kotlina, you said, was rebuilt. Does
5 it function today as a school?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it functions as a school
7 today. It was rebuilt, reconstructed. Students were able to return to
8 school, and also teachers.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 Mr. O'Sullivan.
11 MR. STAMP: May I -- may I, before Mr. O'Sullivan proceeds, just
12 say one thing for the record. There is another exhibit listed on his
13 notice. That is Exhibit P26 -- sorry, Exhibit P358, and that is a map
14 taken from the Kosovo atlas which shows Kotlina, Ivaja, and the
15 neighbouring villages which he has described. They are marked there by
16 name, so I don't think I need to take him to that map. Thank you.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 Mr. O'Sullivan.
19 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, Your Honour. General Ojdanic, General
20 Pavkovic, General Lukic, Mr. Sainovic, Mr. Milutinovic, and General
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 Mr. Visnjic.
24 MR. VISNJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Visnjic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Loku, good afternoon. My name is Tomislav
2 Visnjic. I represent General Ojdanic, and, together with my colleague Mr.
3 Sepenuk, I have a few questions for you.
4 Mr. Loku, let us begin with the events concerning the presence of
5 the OSCE mission in your village. In your statement, on page 00813732,
6 you said that the OSCE mission left your village on the 23rd of March,
7 1999, in the afternoon. You also confirmed that during the Milosevic
8 trial, on page 2003.
9 I'm asking you this: Is it your testimony here today that the
10 OSCE mission left your village on the 23rd of March, 1999?
11 A. Yes. The OSCE left on the 23rd of March, 1999. We didn't know
12 that they were not going to come back, because they were present in the
13 village at all times between the 10th and the 23rd. But on the 23rd, they
14 left and never came back.
15 Q. Well, Mr. Loku, as regards the date of the 23rd, we have some
16 problems with that, because since the entire OSCE mission and its
17 personnel left the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the
18 20th of March, 1999, therefore they couldn't have been in your village on
19 the 21st, the 22nd, and the 23rd of March.
20 A. They were in the village. May I speak?
21 Q. Yes, certainly. Go ahead.
22 A. We live in the south of Kosova and may be the last to leave, but
23 they were in our area till the 23rd. Somebody from OSCE can verify if
24 this is true or not.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. While the OSCE was present in your
1 village, were they there around the clock or did they come to visit the
2 village every day?
3 A. In the beginning they would stay during the day and during the
4 night in the village, while in the last couple of days they would come
5 only in the evenings. Since the village was completely dark, there was no
6 electricity and the population and children were traumatised, they would
7 keep their lights of their vehicles on on both sides of the village so
8 that they would not feel that scared.
9 Q. Yes, Mr. Loku, this is in your statement. I wanted to ask you
10 this: Did you know that the OSCE, for every one of their visits to your
11 village, needed to gain permission by the Yugoslav authorities? Were you
12 familiar with that? As your village is in the border area.
13 A. I don't know that.
14 Q. Thank you. Mr. Loku, to go back to the events in your village
15 before the 23rd of March --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Before the 24th of
18 Q. -- before that date, did you notice whether any of the people in
19 your village carried any clothes of green or camouflage green colour? Any
20 jackets of that nature?
21 A. No. There weren't persons with that kind of uniform.
22 Q. Before that same date, the 24th of March, 1999, did you notice
23 whether anyone in your village wore camouflage pants or shirts?
24 A. No, I didn't notice that.
25 Q. Did you see anyone wearing a red beret perhaps?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Do you know whether anyone in your village had or used a Motorola
3 radio device?
4 A. No, I don't know.
5 Q. Did anyone in your village have or carry semi-automatic rifles of
6 Chinese make?
7 A. There was no weapon in our village. Even the hunting rifles that
8 some villagers had before were taken by the Serbian police.
9 Q. I suppose that if I asked you whether anyone in your village
10 carried or used an M-95 rifle or if they had any hand grenades, I presume
11 I would get the same answer from you. Am I correct?
12 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, I do apologise, but we haven't got
13 translation on B/C/S. Okay. Thank you.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: How far back, Mr. Cepic?
15 MR. CEPIC: Line --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 MR. CEPIC: Page --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Cepic, please.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: We need your microphone.
20 MR. CEPIC: I do apologise. One more time: Page 84, line 17,
21 from that line we haven't got translation on B/C/S.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the answer that's been recorded was that:
23 "There was no weapon in our village. Even the hunting rifles that some
24 villagers had before were taken by the Serbian police." And then the next
25 question, which has yet to be answered -- in fact, back to you, Mr.
1 Visnjic. Your question has not been answered, so you'd better ask it
2 again, please. And I take it you are getting translation now, are you?
3 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Loku, if I asked you whether anyone in your village used or
6 carried an M-95 rifle, called Steyr, or any hand grenades, you would
7 answer the same way you answered the previous question. Am I correct?
8 A. As I said, I didn't see a person with a weapon in the village, and
9 to my knowledge there weren't weapons in the village.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we prepare for the witness
11 3D74, please, while I'm asking the next question.
12 Q. Mr. Loku, therefore, you had no knowledge about whether there was
13 a storage with equipment in one of the houses of your village and, inter
14 alia, it contained nine sleeping bags, nine soldier backpacks,
15 strengthened soldier pants of green colour, vests, T-shirts, tents,
16 Motorolas, two hand grenades of Chinese make, eight semi-automatic rifles
17 with ten clips and ammunition, an M-95 Steyr rifle, and 30.000 -- excuse
18 me, 224 pieces of ammunition of 7.62-millimetre calibre with a
19 strengthened charge, as well as 2.347 pieces of ammunition of
20 7.62-millimetre calibre for rifles, automatic rifles. None of this rings
21 a bell; am I correct?
22 A. I already said that it's not that it doesn't ring a bell to me,
23 but there wasn't any of the things you mentioned in my village. There
24 were no weapons or equipment.
25 Q. Very well.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please show 3D74 to the
2 witness, page 3, please. I would kindly ask the usher, since I have a
3 better copy here, to give the hard copy to the witness.
4 Your Honour, as regards this exhibit and the quality of
5 photographs, I wanted to offer some further explanation. Let me just hand
6 this over to the usher. Could we please place it on the ELMO.
7 Q. Mr. Loku, do you recognise whether this is a house from your
9 Perhaps we could put page 3 on the ELMO. This is 3D74. It's the
10 third page.
11 Mr. Loku, do you recognise this as any of the houses in your
13 A. No. I don't think it is a house from my village.
14 Q. You can't recognise, or you're certain that this is not a house
15 from your village?
16 A. I'm certain.
17 Q. You are certain this is not a house from your village?
18 A. Yes, I am. On the basis of the photograph, I don't recognise this
19 house as a house from my village, based on the photograph in front of me.
20 Q. Very well, Mr. Loku. If you look at the other two pages, I
21 suppose you won't be able to recognise the interior of any of the houses
22 in your village. These are pages 4 and 5 of the same exhibit that is
23 before you now.
24 A. You can see from the photograph that there is something in the
25 rooms, but I haven't seen these clothes. And I don't think these are
1 rooms of the houses in my village.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Loku.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps this is a good
4 time for me to interrupt since I am about to move on to another set of
5 documents pertaining to the same issue. But I may leave that until
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
8 Well, Mr. Loku, we have to adjourn there until tomorrow. There's
9 another case occupying this court in the afternoon. So we have to break
10 off and we have to resume your evidence tomorrow. And tomorrow it will be
11 in the afternoon, at 2.15, so you need to be back here in time to start
12 giving evidence again at 2.15 tomorrow.
13 Meanwhile, it's extremely important that you should not discuss
14 your evidence or any of it with any person; that is either the evidence
15 you've given or the evidence you may yet give here. You can talk about
16 anything else with anyone you meet, but please do not discuss any part of
17 your evidence with anyone at all. We'll see you again tomorrow at 2.15.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 12th day of
20 September, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.