1 Friday, 13 October 2006
2 [Closed session]
11 Pages 4791-4792 redacted. Closed session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I will have objections with regard to
22 this witness when you're prepared to hear them.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the witness to whom you're referring, I
24 assume, is John Sweeney. Can I take it, Ms. Moeller, that that is the
25 next witness?
1 MS. MOELLER: Indeed, Your Honour, he is.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, before Mr. Sweeney is brought in, let me hear
3 what Mr. Ackerman has to say in objection.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, Mr. Sepenuk has a preliminary matter
5 and then I have some others.
6 MR. SEPENUK: Yes, I also had an objection, Your Honour, to
7 certain portions of the statement, but I believe we've resolved it. I had
8 objected to the first four paragraphs on page 10 of the statement. I
9 spoke to Ms. Moeller about this before the session, and she has agreed to
10 delete those four paragraphs.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Moeller.
12 MS. MOELLER: That's correct, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. So we can take our pens through these
14 four paragraphs. Thank you.
15 Now, Mr. Ackerman.
16 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the first objection I have regards
18 page 9 of the statement, starting with the paragraph: "Their statements
19 cross-corroborated ..." and every remaining paragraph of that page
20 basically involves the opinions of this witness. I think it's
21 inappropriate to have a witness come talk about the truthfulness of what
22 people have told him. He talks about -- that it's his opinion that there
23 had to be a plan for what he saw happen, happen, just a number of
24 opinions. He's not brought here as an expert witness, he's not qualified
25 as an expert witness, and has no business giving these kinds of opinions
1 to this Court. I would therefore ask that those paragraphs all be
2 excluded from his statement because they are opinion testimony, pretty
3 much all of it.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we're on -- this is all on page 9, is it,
5 Mr. Ackerman?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, it's page 9, from "Their statements
7 cross-corroborated..." to the bottom, and then the first four of the next
8 page have already been eliminated.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, there are factual statements included in
10 these paragraphs as well.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm aware of that, Your Honour. I found it very
12 difficult to try to separate them out from the opinion, however, and I
13 thought perhaps we could eliminate the whole thing; and if they're
14 important enough to be dealt with, they can be dealt with live.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, that's one way of doing it, Mr. Ackerman.
16 Thank you.
17 Ms. Moeller.
18 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, I disagree with my learned colleague,
19 respectfully. As Your Honour's already noted, there are several points of
20 factual statements in there, and I don't see a need to take out the few
21 parts that may not be factual, because I think this is not a jury trial,
22 it's a trial, led by professional judges who are fully in a position to
23 distinguish, having the full statement, between these elements that are
24 fact elements and that can be given some evidentiary weight and others
25 that may just be ignored when you finally come to your opinion about this
2 Maybe, if I may add in particular, in some paragraphs, in this
3 part of the statement that Mr. Ackerman wants to delete, are two aspects
4 in there that I actually intend to address with the witness, factual
5 aspects of mass destruction which he saw himself and the displacement of
6 Kosovo Albanian refugee which will be part of his testimony today.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: In the parts that he's referred to, there is
8 reference to the witness "being left in no doubt as to the truthfulness of
9 the statements that had made to me." You would submit that's an
10 appropriate piece of evidence for him to give?
11 MS. MOELLER: I think it is his impression of the accounts he
12 received from the persons he spoke to in Mala Krusa very -- and actually
13 already in Albania, very close to the events. And I think it is fair for
14 the witness to make up his mind about whether he would believe these
15 people or not.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, speaking for myself, one paragraph that would
17 concern me would be the third-last paragraph on the page. First of all,
18 it would appear to be a form of expert evidence from someone who's not an
19 expert; secondly, there's no factual basis set out for it and it would
20 probably require weeks of evidence to set the factual basis for that
21 particular conclusion, whereas the witnesses would undoubtedly be able to
22 state the facts as he experienced them in relation to the events that this
23 statement is mainly dealing with, and there are then conclusions that you
24 can, no doubt, invite the Trial Chamber to draw about whether or not there
25 was an organisation or a plan behind this. So we shall consider the
1 position briefly.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE BONOMY: The only paragraph that we are prepared to exclude
4 from admission at this stage is the one beginning, "At this time I have
5 known Yugoslavia for eight years ..."
6 We take the view that the very first paragraph to which Mr.
7 Ackerman drew attention is problematic, but the issue of the weight to be
8 given to any individual witness's assessment of the reliability of
9 evidence given to him which he then relays to the Court is a matter that
10 can only be addressed at the end of the day in this case when we come to
11 assess all the evidence. And it's a matter on which submissions will
12 undoubtedly be made by the parties at the end of the day, including
13 submissions about the propriety of taking account of this sort of view.
14 But it's not a view that we are prepared to exclude from admission at this
15 stage; it's one to be taken into account, if appropriate, at the end of
16 the day.
17 So far as the rest of this page is concerned, the rest that
18 attention has been drawn to, we consider that it would be wise of the
19 Prosecutor to spend some time in live evidence with the witness so that,
20 if there are any more particular objections that you wish to take, they
21 can be taken at that stage. And if the Prosecutor fails to do so, then we
22 are alert to the possibility of further submissions once you have
23 cross-examined the witness.
24 So we don't say for a moment, Mr. Ackerman, that there isn't some
25 force in the point you make so far as what weight might be given to these
1 sort of comments, and, indeed, do recognise you may make even stronger
2 comments than simply to attack the weight that might be given to them.
3 But we think that over the piece, these are issues for determination at
4 the end of the case. We shall now hear from --
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, that's not the end of my
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, I'm sorry.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: I said I had several, and I do.
9 Your Honour, I appreciate what Ms. Moeller said about you all
10 being professional Judges and I totally accept that; but the other side of
11 that is we are in a court of law and there must be standards regarding the
12 admission of evidence. I totally -- you know, I'm totally comfortable
13 with you all reading what I'm trying to exclude here because I know, if
14 you will exclude it, you will exclude it from your minds completely. But
15 it should be excluded if you're going to do that.
16 I want to go now to a bunch of video-clips that the Prosecution
17 seeks to play to you today. These are all clips from -- I think from
18 documentaries that were created by John Sweeney, who is, among other
19 things, a documentary film-maker, with a certain view that he wanted to
20 propagate to the world that doesn't necessarily, in all cases, fit with
22 The thing that I find inadmissible or maybe bizarre about the
23 proposal to play these video-clips - and I assume Your Honours have the
24 transcript of these clips there with you - it seems to me it makes no
25 sense for the Prosecution to play, while John Sweeney is sitting on the
1 witness-stand, John Sweeney making pronouncements on video. If they are
2 things that he should be saying, then he should be saying them live here
3 rather than on video. And many of the things he says on video are things
4 that you'd never permit him to say here as a live witness; for
5 instance, "Little Krusa is empty, abandoned, yet full of ghosts," and
6 things like that.
7 That goes all the way through this video. And mostly what they're
8 going to play is John Sweeney talking. Occasionally somebody he's
9 interviewing gets to say something, and in all cases these are people who
10 have not been here and who won't be here and are people we'll never have
11 an opportunity to cross-examine.
12 I understand Your Honours can make your own evaluations regarding
13 that, but it just seems to me that this is inappropriate. If John Sweeney
14 is brought here to tell us what he saw when he visited Mala Krusa, then
15 let him tell us what he saw when he visited Mala Krusa and not give us his
16 opinions of what all he saw means. It just makes no sense to me that we
17 would have to sit here and watch him pronounce on television what he might
18 be able to say, if properly asked, during his live testimony.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, this objection, I take it, relates to the
20 material referred to also on page 10.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, I think they have selected
22 certain clips that they call clip 1, clip 2, clip 3, clip 10, clip 4, 5,
23 6, 7, 8, and 9, ten clips from his video material. I don't think they
24 intend to offer any additional video material; if they do, I have the same
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 Ms. Moeller.
3 MS. MOELLER: First of all, to clarify, we do seek to tender the
4 full video documentaries, not only the clips; however, it's correct we
5 selected a number of clips which are visual evidence. It is true that
6 Mr. Sweeney speaks over the visual effect, but it is more the visual
7 impact that Mr. Sweeney cannot describe as well as it is shown on the
8 tape. For instance, when he walks through Mala Krusa, you see the state
9 the houses were in, and this was the very week when UNMIK first entered
10 Kosovo after the war. This was about a month before any exhumation team
11 from this Tribunal ever came to this village. So it is very
12 contemporaneous evidence, it is the best evidence that you could have, and
13 I don't see that an oral description by Mr. Sweeney would replace such
14 kind of evidence fully.
15 The same relates to further clips we selected. The site where the
16 hay-barn was standing, again, Mr. Sweeney was there a month before the
17 exhumation team ever got there. He looked, in proofing, at the photos of
18 the exhumation team and noted immediately that this was much later than
19 when he was there, and the video does prove that it looked differently.
20 The next video-clip we selected because Mr. Sweeney provides for
21 the provenance of some documents that we wish to tender through him, which
22 are mentioned in his statement; as well, the lists of Serbian names. And
23 you can actually see in the video-clip how he physically seizes the
24 material, and he explains what the material is. So there is a connection
25 to tender this evidence.
1 Then the next clip relates to pictures of the perpetrators he
2 found, identifying the perpetrators who are appearing in these lists and
3 duty rotas.
4 The sixth video is a short scene showing forensic work in Mala
5 Krusa, again contemporaneous evidence depicting some attempts made to
6 exhume whatever was there still left to be found, and we have the
7 exhumation report relating to this examination that we will seek to
9 Then we have two clips relating to the Drini River. One of the
10 clips, again, Mr. Sweeney discovered a lorry which was half dumped into
11 the Drini River and he got to this lorry, very closely, and made some
12 discoveries that nobody else did. The exhumation team did not see or
13 examine this lorry, but Mr. Sweeney saw it at this very early time.
14 And the very last clip I selected is showing the victims who were
15 killed in this incident, because we do not have any antemortem photos of
16 these victims. And I would wish to tender this under the aspects of
17 victim impact and also the aspects that some of these victims who have
18 disappeared forever would be given a face. And that's what these clips
19 are about. And I think it would be admissible to play them for the
20 purposes that I have just outlined.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: May I respond very briefly, Your Honour?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I agree with Ms. Moeller that, if there are videos
24 which will give you a better understanding of what Mala Krusa looked like
25 when he went there, those are probably admissible, and I'd have no
1 objection to those being shown in court without sound and he can describe
2 them live. But we don't need the drama of his video presentation, his
3 drama documentary, where he was taking a particular tack regarding this
4 matter. I think that's for the Court to make the decision about. But he
5 can describe what he saw, and I have no problem with that being shown in
6 court that way. But his on-camera descriptions are a little strange, Your
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Ackerman, it's very difficult to simply
9 exclude all the commentary because there will, no doubt, be parts of which
10 are helpful in setting the factual position clear. When we heard a little
11 part, I think, of the first of these videos yesterday, I think I detected
12 on it rather somber and dramatic music that overlays some of the videos
13 and films you see about Yugoslavia. I can assure you that, if anything,
14 that simply alerts me to be very cautious about just how tendentious the
15 presentation may, in fact, be rather than activating a button that becomes
16 oversympathetic. So I think you need not worry about the Bench reacting
17 inappropriately to comments that happen to be there, if, over the piece,
18 the film is setting out the facts at a particularly relevant time and some
19 of the commentary is of assistance in clarifying the facts.
20 The one other matter that you may help us with, though,
21 Ms. Moeller, is this: I am not, for one, prepared to spend time on 80
22 files of Mr. Sweeney's newspaper and broadcast comments without being
23 directed to the particular relevance of the parts that you wish me to
24 concentrate on. So you will not have from me a sympathetic ear to the
25 reception of the two floppy disks that are referred to in the statement or
1 the 40 VHS tapes. I'm assuming that you have selected for presentation to
2 us in the clips the bits that you wish the Trial Chamber to consider and
3 that the rest is simply the source material to which, if matters arise
4 later, you would direct our attention to specific parts.
5 MS. MOELLER: Absolutely, Your Honours. I never intended to
6 tender the two floppy disks or the 40 tapes of raw material. From this
7 raw material I have selected one very short clip which relates to the
8 lorry in the river, which is not in the documentation but which I think is
9 very important first-hand evidence, and this is in this presentation. It
10 has been given an exhibit number. But for the rest, none of this material
11 is tendered.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. And that takes us, then, back to the two
13 video broadcasts. Can we not take it that you've selected from them what
14 is relevant and that it's not for us, then, on our own to explore these
15 but simply to confine our attention to the parts that you play in court?
16 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, we would respectfully seek to tender
17 the full two documentaries because it contains a lot more useful and
18 reliable, we submit, explanatory evidence. For instance, it also contains
19 clips where two of the witnesses who have testified here as court
20 witnesses, Mr. Ramadani and Mr. Krasniqi, appear in this tape and
21 demonstrate on this tape how the incident happened. This may be useful
22 corroborative evidence to their statements. And there is other material
23 showing the village, the surroundings, and other things that we would
24 submit is helpful to paint a full picture of the location and the events.
25 We will not ask, Your Honours, however, of course, to rely on any
1 conclusions drawn by Mr. Sweeney in this documentary or on any opinions he
2 puts forward. And I think that may alleviate some of the concerns of my
3 learned colleague Mr. Ackerman or the Court, hopefully.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: We will admit the video-clips. We will reserve our
7 position on whether to admit the two videos in their entirety until the
8 end of the examination-in-chief. We'll now hear from -- sorry,
9 Mr. Ivetic.
10 MR. IVETIC: Sorry, Your Honour, I thought we might finish this
11 witness a bit quicker if I take care of all matters before we have the
12 statement submitted.
13 Your Honour, I would seek the Court's guidance as to a part of the
14 transcript that I have an objection to. It's on page 6 and deals with a
15 very lengthy recitation of what Mr. Sweeney purports that an individual
17 page 7. Unlike the other persons that Mr. Sweeney talks about, this
18 individual is not one who is coming before this Trial Chamber as an OTP
19 witness and therefore is not available for cross-examination.
20 The recitation of what Mr. Sweeney purports this witness stated or
21 this person stated is not sworn, not under oath, but is being presented --
22 and I believe is the only source for these allegations. I think that that
23 would go towards a violation of Rule 92 bis insofar as it's being
24 submitted in written form, and it clearly is styled as if it were a
1 word and there doesn't appear to be anything in that section that Mr.
2 Sweeney himself observed or heard from other people or confirmed through
3 any independent or objective analysis. And insofar as it goes towards
4 someone who, it might be argued, would be a subordinate of the accused,
5 therefore I think it does constitute a violation of Rule 92 bis and what
6 may be introduced in that regard.
7 Again, this is the section that starts with: (redacted)
9 The remaining paragraphs on page 7 -- the next paragraph on page 7, I
10 think, can come in because we did have another witness who talked about
11 that paragraph. But I think that the -- I see now that they've redacted a
12 large portion of that in the newest version of the statement that we just
13 received this morning. But I think that the remaining portions also ought
14 to be taken out insofar as --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: I think you may have advantage over me. Are you
16 saying that there is another version of this produced today?
17 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honour. I have just been made aware that
18 the redacted version that has --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: And what's been redacted?
20 MR. IVETIC: Obviously the name of a certain witness was redacted.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, yes.
22 MR. IVETIC: Then there is also -- it looks like the last entire
23 two paragraphs of page 6 have been redacted.
1 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, we should probably go into private
2 session as well.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me hear from Ms. Moeller first of all,
4 Mr. Ivetic, please.
5 MS. MOELLER: We redacted that part of the statement for security
6 reasons of another witness, and if I need to explain it further, we would
7 need, indeed, to go into private session for a second. We did not redact
8 it in order to take it out. We are not suggesting that this should not be
9 part of the statement. And if you will --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. So as far as we are concerned, the statement
11 remains as it was, and the redaction is simply to ensure that there is no
12 prejudice to security.
13 MS. MOELLER: That's correct, Your Honours. On your remark
14 yesterday that we should --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
16 MS. MOELLER: -- attempt to have a speedy, unredacted version ready
17 of statements we tender under seal, we had this prepared for this witness
18 today already, and this is what Mr. Ivetic just referred to.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Now, Mr. Ivetic, going on to page 7, what are you saying about the
21 top two paragraphs?
22 MR. IVETIC: Well, they are a continuation of the statement of the
23 individual. I think we are going to need to redact something that Your
24 Honour and I mentioned previously.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. What, this morning or --
1 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: -- this afternoon?
3 MR. IVETIC: This afternoon, Your Honour. I just realised
4 something and that's why I wanted to go into private session to direct as
5 to what needs to be redacted from our discussion.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's go to private session for that purpose.
7 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 Now, Mr. Ivetic, I thought you were saying that the first two
22 paragraphs on page 7 fell into a different category. Are you saying that
23 they also --
24 MR. IVETIC: They're just a continuation of the same portion and
25 so I think that they fall under the same objection.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. Thank you.
2 Now, Ms. Moeller, what's your response to that?
3 MS. MOELLER: My response to that would be that this is first-hand
4 hearsay evidence and, under the Rules of this Tribunal, admissible, and
5 that this is no reason to exclude this kind of evidence. We have a range
6 of jurisprudence on hearsay evidence in the Tribunal and -- for instance,
7 the Appeals Chamber in the Aleksovski decision --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I put a particular question. What you say may
9 apply to the first paragraph that we're looking at. But what's the
10 position when the evidence that's hearsay contradicts the evidence of an
11 eye-witness who has given evidence here in court? Should that be
13 MS. MOELLER: As far as I'm familiar with the jurisprudence, it
14 does not exclude the admissibility but it goes to the weight of the
15 evidence. And there is jurisprudence saying that usually live evidence
16 will have a greater weight than hearsay evidence, and I think that's also
17 a rule that applies, more or less, universally in legal systems. But
18 according to the jurisprudence here, I don't think it would be a reason to
19 exclude the evidence from the beginning.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, in admitting the statement, we will admit
23 these various paragraphs, but we draw attention to the jurisprudence of
24 the Tribunal which essentially would normally prefer the evidence of a
25 witness who has come here to be cross-examined to that of a witness whose
1 evidence is expressed by another hearsay where cross-examination of the
2 true source of the evidence is not possible. So we are particularly alert
3 to the difficulty of accepting hearsay evidence as against that of a
4 witness who's given evidence live in court.
5 Now, are there any other objections? Very well. We can now hear
6 from Mr. Sweeney, I think.
7 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, before the witness comes in, may I
8 address you on one -- actually, respond to one inquiry you made yesterday
9 about some IC pictures that were taken about where the Sejdi Batusha house
10 was on Exhibit P99, the aerial view of the village Mala Krusa. I would
11 have the reference for you now. It is IC64 and IC65, and it is referred
12 to by Mr. Ramadani in the transcript of 28 September, transcript page 4289
13 to 4290.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I don't think Mr. Sweeney will need these
17 just for the moment. We can rig them up in due course, I think.
18 Good afternoon, Mr. Sweeney.
19 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you please make the solemn declaration to
21 tell the truth by reading aloud the document which is now being placed
22 before you.
23 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
24 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, it's probably as well you get fitted up with
3 the earphones for later in the evidence.
4 Ms. Moeller.
5 MS. MOELLER: Thank you, Your Honours.
6 WITNESS: JOHN SWEENEY
7 Examination by Ms. Moeller:
8 Q. Good afternoon, sir. Could you state your name for the transcript
9 once more, please.
10 A. Yes. It's John Sweeney.
11 Q. And where are you from, Mr. Sweeney?
12 A. I'm from London. I work for the BBC now.
13 Q. And before I go any further, I may remind you what I was reminded
14 of by the interpreters before the session, that we need to pause a little
15 bit between question and answer for the purpose of translation into
16 Serbian and other languages.
17 Mr. Sweeney, you already stated your profession. How long have
18 you been working in this position?
19 A. I have been a reporter since 1977, too long, and in that time I've
20 worked for a number of newspapers; the Observer newspaper for 12 years.
21 And then towards the end of that time I was also doing films for Channel
22 4, dispatches, which is why I am here today. And since 2001, I have been
23 working for the BBC.
24 Q. And how would you describe your -- what kind of journalist -- as
25 what kind of journalist would you describe yourself?
1 A. Well, in the sense --
2 Q. In terms of -- maybe I can lead a little bit. Would it be fair to
3 say you're an investigative journalist?
4 A. Some people think I'm a terrible journalist, but others -- I'm an
5 investigative journalist. I have won a number of awards when I was on the
6 Observer, the UK Journalist of the Year. I've won prizes from Amnesty
7 International for an investigation into torture in Chechnya. I've won
8 television prizes for a massacre in Kosovo, for my reporting of that, and
9 also for an investigation into miscarriages of justice in Britain. So
10 I've won a series of awards. I'm currently the Paul Foot prize winner
11 which is a prize in honour of an investigative journalist. So I am an
12 investigative journalist and I have some track record.
13 Q. And you said already you won an award for a documentary regarding
14 crimes committed in Kosovo?
15 A. Yes. Obviously, this Court isn't about the quality of one's
16 journalism, but I did -- in the spring and summer of 1999, I did two
17 television documentaries along -- at the same time, I was writing articles
18 for the Observer newspaper. And essentially it was the story of the
19 massacre in little Krusa, in Albanian Krusha e Vogel, in Serbian Mala
21 Q. Mr. Sweeney, did you give a statement to this Tribunal on the
22 22nd, 23rd, and 24th January, 2001?
23 A. I did, yes.
24 Q. And did you review this statement when you came here this week?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And do you attest that the statement accurately reflects your
2 evidence and what you would say if examined today?
3 A. Yes.
4 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, I would like to tender at this point
5 Exhibit P2363 under seal, this is the unredacted version; and the redacted
6 version, which is P2383.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 MS. MOELLER:
9 Q. You already told us a little bit about your experience. How many
10 years did you work on issues related to the Balkans before you did the
11 documentary about Mala Krusa?
12 A. I first went to what was Yugoslavia in 1991, after President
13 Milosevic, as was, sent the tanks in against the students. That's around
14 the spring -- certainly in the spring of 1991. I covered the sieges of
15 Vukovar, Vinkovci, Osijek, Dubrovnik, the battle for Zagreb, the movements
16 of people, refugees, killings of policemen initially and then refugees.
17 In 1992, I covered the Balkan war from the summer onwards, and I made
18 trips back in 1994, I believe, as well.
19 I came back to the -- the region -- it's fair to say that I've
20 covered the region from 1989, the revolution in Romania. I wrote a book
21 about Ceaucescu. So, in all, I've been in the region for quite a while,
22 and in Yugoslavia -- former Yugoslavia, in particular, from 1991.
23 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to talk to you about these two
24 documentaries that you did about the events in Krusha e Vogel. The names
25 of these documentaries are "Witness to Murder" and "Prime Suspect." Is
1 that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. How did you first hear about Krusha e Vogel at all?
4 A. What happened was that the whole world knew that there was --
5 there was great trouble brewing. There had been a series of killings in
6 Kosovo, and most journalists, like myself, find it extremely difficult to
7 get visas into Yugoslavia, into Serbia, and into Kosovo in particular. So
8 I had come to Albania and was in -- my base was Tirana. I was trying to
9 essentially get as close to what was going on. We heard very quickly NATO
10 had dropped bombs on Belgrade, and we knew that there would be a reaction
11 to this by the Serb authorities. There was. There was a river of
12 refugees running from Kosovo into Albania, and so as soon as I practically
13 could, myself and a couple of newspaper colleagues went to the border --
14 to as close as we could to the border to interview people. Basically what
15 we were trying to do was to find out the most recent, the most fresh
17 I wasn't working for Channel 4, the television company, at this
18 time; I was just working for the Observer. And what happens is, as we're
19 driving towards the border, essentially we're going sort of east back from
20 Tirana to the border between Kosovo and Albania. We're driving the car
21 and we see a group of, I would say, I don't know, five, six, seven men who
22 were clearly exhausted, who got themselves by the side of the road, and
23 they lay there and they looked shattered. We stopped the car, put the car
24 in reverse, and we talked to them. They were, I believe -- I think they
25 were the (redacted). But they were the men who had lived in little Krusa,
1 but on the other side of the road from where most of the men and boys were
2 killed, and they had managed to escape.
3 Now, they said that some of their relatives had been killed and
4 there had been a massacre in the village. How many? More than a hundred,
5 they said. And I wrote it down in my notebook, little Krusa, Mala Krusa.
6 And --
7 Q. Okay --
8 A. -- it stuck in my mind to see if I could get to the bottom of this
9 one. What happened subsequently was we got to the front line and we saw
10 the general, sort of, scenes of chaos. But I thought now I'm going to try
11 and find out about this massacre, about what happened there.
12 Q. Can I stop you here?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. We have to move on. After you found out generally about this
15 massacre, so-called massacre, had happened according to these people, did
16 you then start to try to find some of the survivors in refugee camps in
17 Albania, did you?
18 A. Yes. Well --
19 Q. Yes. Let me --
20 A. Sure thing.
21 Q. We have only limited time.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I'm sorry to cut you short a little bit.
24 A. It's okay.
25 Q. To how many of these refugee camps did you go, if you remember?
1 A. We trawled in Albania. We went to Elbasan, Fier, again and again
2 and again. We'd heard -- by this time, I'd heard a story that there was a
3 man who'd survived the massacre who'd run away, and he had burnt hands.
4 Q. Yes. Thank you.
5 MS. MOELLER: Can we play a short video-clip showing the situation
6 in the camps in Albania.
7 [Videotape played]
8 "JOHN SWEENEY: But there are so many claims of massacre. What's
9 needed is hard evidence. We set out to uncover what really happened in
10 just one small place. We set out to find someone who didn't just hear of
11 the killing but saw it with their own eyes. We set out to name the
12 killers. Albania, Europe's poorest country, has had to cope with an
13 avalanche of humanity. Finding anyone from little Krusa, just a thousand
14 souls in the chaos of half a million refugees, was not going to be easy.
15 We are looking for people from Krusha e Vogel. We are looking for people
16 from Krusha e Vogel. Yes, from Krusha e Vogel."
17 "UNKNOWN MAN: We go there because they are telling us there are
18 people ..."
19 "JOHN SWEENEY: To help me I call up an old friend, the writer
20 Agim Neza who knows his way around."
21 [Technical difficulty]
22 "JOHN SWEENEY: But there are so many claims of massacre. What's
23 needed is hard evidence. We set out to find out what really happened in
24 just one small place. We set out to find someone who didn't just hear of
25 the killing but saw it with their own ..."
1 MS. MOELLER: I'm sorry, Your Honour, there has -- seems to have
2 been a technical mistake. I think we're -- it was actually supposed to go
3 on into the camp. I think we will move on.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sweeney, where was that camp?
5 THE WITNESS: Some of -- it's difficult to tell precisely. We
6 started off in Tirana, and we went to a good number around -- we found a
7 woman who knew somebody from a neighbouring village, and we managed to
8 pursue a family member to Elbasan, who was able to tell us more.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I think you're misunderstanding my question.
10 THE WITNESS: Yes.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm looking at the broader picture and trying to
12 identify which particular camp this was.
13 THE WITNESS: This is a camp, a refugee camp, on the outskirts of
14 Tirana; that's where we started.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So the buildings we see in the film are part of
17 THE WITNESS: Yes.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: That's helpful to know.
19 THE WITNESS: Sure thing. We started from there and we sort of
20 trawled through a number of refugee camps.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Moeller.
22 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, I would like to try to replay it from
23 the sequence where it suddenly jumped back because that shows the actual
24 camp, with your leave.
25 [Videotape played]
1 "UNKNOWN MAN: We go there because they are telling us there
2 are ..."
3 "JOHN SWEENEY: To help me I call up an old friend, the writer Agim
4 Neza, who knows his way around. Cruelty cannot be measured by numbers
5 alone. Everyone here - doctors, peasants, teachers, labourers, and poets
6 - has their own story of agony. It's hard to take in all this pain. But
7 if we understood the horror of one war crime, it would help to understand
8 the horror that is Kosovo. No one from little Krusa here."
9 MS. MOELLER:
10 Q. Mr. Sweeney, the other camps that you went to and tried to find
11 survivors of the killing, was the situation for the refugees similar to
12 the one we just saw in this clip?
13 A. Yes, yes. People were scattered, literally, across Albania, and
14 the -- the story was the same. They had been chased out of their homes at
15 gunpoint. They were afraid. There were some stories -- in a sense, we
16 were focussing on Krusha e Vogel, but there was just a mountain of misery
17 these people had run.
18 Q. Okay. Approximately which time was it that you went to these
19 refugee camps?
20 A. Well, immediately after the NATO bombing, so it's in, essentially,
21 the week we're talking about.
22 Q. So April of 1999.
23 A. Yes, it's April 1999 -- well, it's late March and -- very late
24 March and early April.
25 Q. Mm-hmm. And for the first documentary, "Witness to Murder," you
1 actually never got to go into Kosovo before this documentary was aired,
2 was it?
3 A. No. We succeeded in finding, I think at the end, three
4 witnesses - certainly we put, I think, three on film - who had been in the
5 massacre, they said, and they had managed to run away and survive. We'd
6 also spoken to a good number of the women folk who had witnessed the
7 scenes running -- essentially the selection, what happened to the village
8 before and after, and we used that evidence. We didn't say -- we didn't
9 say we'd gone back to the village because that would have been wholly
10 untrue. We were accurate and fair in saying that these are the stories
11 that we hear from them.
12 Q. And you say that you talked to a number of people. Could you
13 describe to the Court how you would interview the people you talked to
14 about these events.
15 A. Well, what we tried to do, bearing in mind the chaos of this mass
16 refugee -- with the chaos, the number of people that were running, what we
17 tried to do was interview individual people on their own, as much as
18 possible. There is an awful lot of, sort of, white noise of chaos. And I
19 wanted to say to people: "No. Did you see with it your own eyes?" And I
20 wanted to interview them, where best, person to person, so there's just
21 myself, the translator, and the camera, and I wanted to find out who did
22 it, who did they see -- in particular, the women, who did they see coming
23 towards -- and, as far as possible, we tried to do that. Sometimes we
24 failed; some of the time we succeeded.
25 But we managed by focussing on this one particular thing, we
1 managed to build up a clear picture of who we were looking for and who the
2 key personalities in it were, and who had been killed.
3 Q. This first documentary, "Witness to Murder," was aired in Great
4 Britain in May 1999 already?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And only after that point you then got to actually enter Kosovo,
7 where you then made the second documentary, "Prime Suspects." Is that
9 A. Yes. Bear in mind, for a journalist like myself at this time, it
10 was impossible for me to get a visa into Serbia because of the way Serbia,
11 then Yugoslavia, was controlled, so that I wanted to go there but I
12 couldn't. And it was only when NATO went in that we were -- had the
13 occasion, from the 12th of June onwards, I went in, as it happens, on a
14 British tank, hitched a lift. And a couple of days later, we drove down
15 from Pristina down to the south-west corner --
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. -- and that's when I got to little Krusa.
18 Q. So you entered basically the day when UNMIK entered.
19 A. I entered the day that NATO -- well, whatever the name of the
20 army, on the 12th of June, yes, that very first day, but I went to
21 Pristina with the British army. A couple of journalists, German
22 journalists, were killed, I think, that day or the next day.
23 Q. Thank you. I'm sorry, Mr. Sweeney, we cannot hear all the details
25 A. Sure thing.
1 Q. You already mentioned you went from Pristina down to Krusha e
2 Vogel. What did you notice on your way there? How was the state of the
3 villages you came by?
4 A. There was an astonishing, obvious discrepancy. Albanian homes had
5 been burnt; Serb homes were untouched. There had been NATO bombing, and
6 when I saw a couple of the big TV -- I think a TV mast in Pristina had got
7 hit, but the hits by NATO were very, very precise. The rest of the
8 countryside, you could go through a Serbian village and the routes were
9 untouched. Now, that changed later when there was some Albanian payback
10 on the Serbs, but at the time I was first there, it was self-evident. You
11 knew you were in a village with Albanian homes because they'd been burnt
12 down, the route had gone, the people had fled, and you'd see animals,
13 cows, dogs, running around. And this general -- without their owners.
14 And this general picture was certainly the case in Krusa -- in little
16 Q. And which villages or cities did you come by while you were in
17 Kosovo where you noticed the kind of destruction that you just described,
18 if you can recall?
19 A. It was -- the destruction got worse the closer you went west, the
20 more -- in a sense, I think there was an attempt by the Serb military and
21 police to close down the possibility of any support for the people they
22 would see as the guerillas, the UCK, from Albania --
23 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you again, but --
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm going to object to the witness
25 giving his thoughts about an attempt by Serb military and police to do
1 things he doesn't know about. He doesn't know that.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I think, Mr. Sweeney, you should confine yourself
3 to answering the particular questions that are asked of you --?
4 THE WITNESS: Okay.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: -- because there are contentious issues that we know
6 about which may not be the uppermost in your mind but which the court has
7 to be alert to. That is why counsel are themselves trying to control the
8 questions they ask you.
9 THE WITNESS: Right. It's fair to say that there was much more
10 damage done to homes in the west of the country --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: We've had that answer --
12 THE WITNESS: Yes.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: -- so let's move on to the next question, please,
14 Ms. Moeller.
15 THE WITNESS: Okay. Sorry.
16 MS. MOELLER:
17 Q. On which day did you enter Krusha e Vogel, if you remember? Just
18 the date.
19 A. I think it was the 14th of June.
20 MS. MOELLER: Can we play the next video which shows the village
21 at that time.
22 THE WITNESS: By all means.
23 [Videotape played]
24 "JOHN SWEENEY: It's mid-June. The war is over. Powers of the
25 NATO rolls into Kosovo. I'm close on their heels. The Serb forces are
1 retreating, but liberation comes too late for 10.000 murdered Albanians.
2 Krusha e Vogel? Krusha e Vogel? Our murder inquiry starts at the scene
3 of the crime. This is little Krusa, a ruin of a village in a ruin of a
4 country. You can't get to the bottom of 10.000 murders; you can try with
5 a hundred. Little Krusa is empty, abandoned, yet full of ghosts. This is
6 the aftermath of ethnic cleansing."
7 MS. MOELLER:
8 Q. How many of the houses in Krusha e Vogel looked like the ones
9 depicted in the documentary?
10 A. Most of them, most of them, the majority -- a certain number of
11 the village, most of them had been gutted. The ones which weren't, we
12 found, were the ones who'd belonged to the Serbs who fled. By the time we
13 got back, most of the Albanians -- the Kosovars who were in the refugee
14 camps hadn't returned, so we, in fact, got there before they did.
15 Q. And close to your arrival in Krusha e Vogel, you also tried to
16 find the Batusha hay-barn or cow-shed in which the killing had allegedly
17 taken place.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. All right.
20 A. It was unrecognisable. Your Honour, bear in mind that all our
21 descriptions had come from the refugees, and they were -- they were
22 talking about the time -- they were advising us about the time. They
23 didn't know that their homes had been burnt. I think they'd seen smoke in
24 the distance, but they weren't sure. We were looking for a hay-barn and
25 couldn't find it at first. Then one of the villagers showed us. When we
1 arrived it was a hole in the ground.
2 Q. And we are going to play the next clip which will show this
4 [Videotape played]
5 "JOHN SWEENEY: The trail of evidence begins with a hay-barn, but
6 where is it? The village is full of gutted hay barns. One of the first
7 refugees to return is someone who'd actually survived the
8 machine-gunning. Everything he owned is ashes, and that is not the worst
9 of it. Shamil Shehu lost 40 members of his family. He knows exactly
10 where the hay-barn is. The last time Shamil had taken this path, he had
11 been forced at gunpoint along with 111 men of his village. The hay-barn
12 isn't here anymore; instead, just a crater. No bullets. No blood. No
13 bodies. The Serbs had blown it up."
14 "SHAMIL SHEHU: I still find it hard to believe that I'm alive. I
15 wish that they'd killed me rather than my sons. Here I lost two of my
16 sons, three brothers, and five nephews. Altogether, 40 of my family were
17 killed. Now I have to look after what's left of my family."
18 "JOHN SWEENEY: This man, Rasim Batusha, is the owner of the
19 hay-barn. He's alive because he was away working on a building site in
20 Germany. Now everything is gone. Twenty-two of Rasim's relatives were
21 murdered here, among them, his three brothers and his eldest son."
22 "RASIM BATUSHA: I found this over there in the middle of that
23 pit. It can't be anything else but a human bone."
24 MS. MOELLER:
25 Q. So just for us to understand, in June 1999, when you first came to
1 the site where the hay-barn had been, was one of the holes actually not
2 yet filled with water?
3 A. Yes. Those pictures are taken from the very earliest time, I
4 think, so if there's no water in it, there was no water at the time.
5 Let's remember, if it rains a lot, it's going to fill up and go. We were
6 there quite a while, but I think those were some of the very first
7 pictures we took.
8 Q. And the bone was found in the ditch that was filled with water or
9 in the other one, if you recall?
10 A. I can't recall where it was found. I didn't find it. I don't
11 know whether that's a human bone or not. In a sense, we're reporting
12 their suspicions. What they're trying to do is find their relatives.
13 They're trying to find bones; they're trying to find bodies. They think
14 they're dead and they couldn't find them.
15 Q. And the next step in your investigation in this matter was that
16 you started searching in some of the abandoned Serbian houses in the
17 village, did you?
18 A. Yes. We were worried lest they be booby-trapped, but it struck
19 me -- we'd got a series of names from the Albanians, the people -- that
20 the women had eye-witnessed basically back in -- a couple of months before
21 that. They had seen their neighbours; they identified them. Dmitri
22 Nikolic was one name; Savo Nikolic was another.
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. And I went to their homes to look for them.
25 MS. MOELLER: Can we play the next clip, please, that shows this.
1 [Videotape played].
2 "JOHN SWEENEY: Our third break. The Serbs were outnumbered ten
3 to one in Kosovo. They were the ones with the fire power. Nearly every
4 Serb man and boy in the village was armed and mobilised in the local
5 militia. The Serb militia were careless. They left this behind. It
6 looks like a scruffy exercise book, but it's material evidence. In it are
7 a series of names of soldiers who were on guard in little Krusa after the
8 massacre. Amongst the names are two that are becoming all too familiar -
9 Sveta Tasic and Sava Nikolic. And there is another find - a duty rota,
10 another item of material evidence. It's astonishing they've left this
11 behind. This list identifies 24 names, making up three militia platoons
12 in little Krusa. Some we know have form. The document places all 24 men
13 on militia duty in the village. All of these men know something about the
14 clean-up operation. Some of them know something about the murders. All
15 are suspects now."
16 MS. MOELLER:
17 Q. The notebook and the list of names that were just shown in this
18 clip, did you find both items yourself?
19 A. No, I didn't. I didn't find the notebook, which is the first
20 document. That was handed to me by one of the Albanian women. The second
21 document I believe I found myself. It's hard to remember this far back,
22 but I was talking to my colleague, the producer, and he said, "No, John,
23 you found nearly everything in there," because it almost became a mission
24 of mine to find the evidence, anything we could. I was also looking for
25 photographs so we could put images to names. So I found the second piece
1 of paper, I believe, but the notebook was handed to me.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sweeney, where are these documents?
3 THE WITNESS: I think they are with you.
4 MS. MOELLER: Yes. They're now in the possession of the Office of
5 the Prosecutor, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: And are they exhibits in the case?
7 MS. MOELLER: They are, indeed.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
9 MS. MOELLER:
10 Q. You just referred to having found photographs as well. Once you
11 had these photographs, did you meet up with some of the survivors who had
12 at that point returned to the village to identify the persons on the
14 A. Yes, we did.
15 Q. And how did you do this procedure?
16 A. Well, what we wanted to do was to be absolutely sure -- let's
17 remember that this is -- there isn't a more serious allegation you can
18 make against someone that they've taken part in a massacre. So we wanted
19 to be absolutely sure that we had a correct match between the photo and
20 the name. So I think we did this process several times, but we also -- we
21 filmed -- we filmed it with two of our key Albanian witnesses from the
22 village. Let's bear in mind, by the way, that this village had been --
23 was half and half, Albanian and Serb, so everybody knew everybody else.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MS. MOELLER: Can we play the next clip which depicts this
1 identification procedure.
2 [Videotape played]
3 "JOHN SWEENEY: I'd taken a pile of photographs from the Serbs'
4 houses. I began with a list of four suspects. Now I've got 24. But are
5 any of these mug shots of the men I am looking for? The next step is to
6 get Mehmet and Shamil together to identify the line-up."
7 "SHAMIL SHEHU: He was the first to shoot at us. As our families
8 were heading for the mountains, Sava shot at us from his house."
9 "JOHN SWEENEY: Now we can put faces to names: Sava Nikolic; his
10 comrade in arms, Sveta Tasic; their friend and neighbour, Momcilo Nikolic,
11 and his uncle Dmitri Nikolic. Now we know what the men on our wanted list
12 look like. We can start to track them down."
13 MS. MOELLER:
14 Q. Now, would it be fair to say that you had already been in the
15 village for some time before the exhumation team for the ICTY ever arrived
17 A. Yes. They -- I'm not sure when they turned up, but we'd been
18 there for a -- for about a month, I think, but certainly two or three
19 weeks before they turned up. They had other work to do, so it's not as if
20 they were being lazy. It was just that -- but this place was our
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sweeney, who was the person who referred to
23 being shot at in the last clip?
24 THE WITNESS: That man is -- is that Mehmet Shehu? No, that's
25 Shamil; that's his first name. What he's referring to, Your Honour, is
1 that there was a day when the Serb forces first arrived, the Serb forces
2 and their neighbours, chased the villagers -- or the villagers ran off
3 into the hills, and I believe that Sava Nikolic shot at them -- or his
4 testimony is referring to that man, or what he's saying is referring to
5 that moment. And they came back the next day.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Please bear in mind my question again. It was just
7 simply the identification of the person I was after. It's important you
8 confine yourself to answering the questions that are asked because of the
9 time constraints that are on us. It gets very boring referring to these,
10 but they are important.
11 THE WITNESS: Fine.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: You've answered it.
13 Ms. Moeller.
14 THE WITNESS: Shamil Shehu, I believe.
15 MS. MOELLER:
16 Q. Yes. And the second person you've already mentioned, Mehmet, the
17 second person that was sitting there with you.
18 A. That's Mehmet Krasniqi, who, in my deposition -- you can answer
19 that point, I think.
20 Q. Yes, thank you. I think the Court is familiar with this name.
21 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, I see we are approaching the time for
22 a break.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: How long is your examination going to be,
24 Ms. Moeller?
25 MS. MOELLER: I have -- I have three more clips that I would like
1 to play and ask some questions --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, all right.
3 MS. MOELLER: -- so maybe another 10 to 12 minutes.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We'll resume at ten minutes past 4.00.
5 Mr. Sweeney, the usher will show you where to wait while we have
6 our break. If you can just leave the courtroom just now, please.
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
11 [The witness takes the stand]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before we continue, Mr. Sweeney, you said that
13 this was a village where the population was about 50/50, Serb/Albanian.
14 We've had evidence already from eye-witnesses to this incident, including
15 Mehmet, now Krasniqi, but you may have known him as Avdyli, who said that
16 it had a minority Serb population. There were only about a quarter of the
17 number of houses -- sorry, in fact, he said there were only about 23 Serb
18 houses, yes, and about a hundred Albanian houses. You had a different
20 THE WITNESS: No, I'm wrong. It's his village. Geographically
21 there was a kind of -- a small part of the village where the massacre took
22 place where --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't need to know any more than that --
24 THE WITNESS: Right.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: -- If you accept that he's more likely to be
2 THE WITNESS: He lives there; I don't.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Second question I would like to ask you: We saw
4 these two documents, the book and the document. To what organisation did
5 they relate?
6 THE WITNESS: I don't know. My guess -- my educated guess was
7 that it was some kind of a duty rota.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that, but anyway, you don't know the
9 answer to what organisation they relate.
10 And my third question is: What happened to the uniform that you
11 showed on the video-clip?
12 THE WITNESS: We -- that would have been left there. Essentially
13 we went into these places, filmed them, and then left. The exception --
14 the things that I took from the places, the Serb homes, were passbooks and
16 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
17 Ms. Moeller.
18 MS. MOELLER:
19 Q. And just picking up on the uniform issue, was that the only
20 uniform you saw in this house, or did you find uniforms in several houses
21 or in any other house?
22 A. I believe I found -- there were sort of militia uniforms or police
23 or army uniform in a number of houses. It's difficult to remember at this
24 distance, but yes -- it wasn't a surprise. It was just -- it was a nice
25 shot of one uniform. I'm sure I saw others.
1 Q. Do you recall how the others you saw looked like?
2 A. I would hesitate --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Not surprisingly --
4 THE WITNESS: Yes --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: -- because you don't remember, as far as I can tell
6 from this end.
7 THE WITNESS: Yes. That's it.
8 MS. MOELLER:
9 Q. Yes. Okay. We left off before the break talking about the
10 exhumation team arriving in Krusha e Vogel, and I would like to play the
11 next short clip, which is two short consecutive clips. Your team actually
12 filmed part of this procedure, did it?
13 A. Yes.
14 [Videotape played]
15 "JOHN SWEENEY: Two months after the end of the war, forensic
16 experts from Scotland Yard arrive in little Krusa. They are working for
17 the war crimes tribunal at The Hague, but they've been busy. There are
18 10.000 murders to solve in Kosovo. Their task is to find out who was
19 killed and how. There is precious little for them to do at the hay-barn,
20 so they are probing what's left of this second murder site in the
22 [Videotape played]
23 "JOHN SWEENEY: This is all that remains of six men. Shot in the
24 back and burned in yet another war crime. The relatives of the 106 men
25 murdered in the hay-barn haven't got even this grim consolation.
1 Unidentified bones and other debris have been found by the river Drin.
2 All the clues point to this as the place where the victims of the hay-barn
3 murder were dumped."
4 MS. MOELLER:
5 Q. This lorry that we just saw on the River Drin, did you investigate
6 that any further?
7 A. Yes. I went for a swim.
8 Q. And you had a closer look at that one, did you?
9 A. Yes, I swam down to it. It was in a difficult position to get the
10 camera around. But I swam around and saw what I believed to be
12 MS. MOELLER: Can we play the next two short clips on this,
14 [Videotape played]
15 "JOHN SWEENEY: So, there's a tarpaulin lorry. It's empty, but
16 this looks like lots and lots of blood on the lorry."
17 [Videotape played]
18 "JOHN SWEENEY: Okay, so, um ..."
19 "CAMERAMAN: Is there anything?"
20 "UNKNOWN WOMAN: Are there still bloodstains over there?"
21 "JOHN SWEENEY: Sorry?"
22 "UNKNOWN WOMAN: Bloodstains."
23 "JOHN SWEENEY: Yeah, there's -- there's -- it's absolutely soaked
24 in blood."
25 MS. MOELLER:
1 Q. Do you know whether the exhumation team ever had a look at this
3 A. I don't believe they did. I can remember trying at the time to
4 get NATO to fish it out, but they were -- I believe they were very busy.
5 But I don't believe anybody has got, sort of, images of that. The camera
6 angle -- essentially, the bloodstains were on the river side, so we
7 couldn't get our camera at it. We didn't use that clip in our film, for
8 whatever reason, but I -- it's bringing it back to me and I can remember
9 there was what looked to me like a lot of bloodstains.
10 MS. MOELLER: Your Honour, this exhibit has its own number because
11 it's a small excerpt from the raw material that we do not seek to tender.
12 It's Exhibit Number P2364.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I object to it. It shows nothing but
14 Mr. Sweeney going for a swim.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the practice we follow here, Mr. Ackerman, is
16 that these exhibits that are used in court are there to illustrate what
17 was shown, and the only way we can know that's all it shows is to have it
18 in the process. So it is admitted under our practice, but that doesn't
19 carry with it any other implication than that it will be evaluated for
20 what it shows.
21 So, carry on, please, Ms. Moeller.
22 MS. MOELLER:
23 Q. Now I would like to ask you some more questions in relation to
24 your statement. You speak about having seen -- in June 1999, having seen
25 mass destruction of Albanian homes and shops inside Kosovo. Do you
1 remember any villages or cities where you saw that? And only give us the
2 name, if you can.
3 A. The damage -- the serious damage, the kind of -- where almost not
4 a home was missed, would be on the west side; towns like Gjakova, all the
5 villages down from Gjakova to Krusha e Vogel. And there was a strange --
6 it stopped around Prizren. So, for whatever reason, there wasn't
7 violence, there wasn't evidence of arson of Albanian homes, roofless,
8 gutted, burnt down around there; but going north up that road, there was.
9 So virtually all the villages -- certainly the village greater Krusa was
10 damaged. I believe that 20 people killed there. And on to Gjakova.
11 Those are the places I can be absolutely certain of. But we're talking
12 about the destruction of almost every single Albanian home. And then
13 you'd pass through a Serbian area and the homes would be untouched at that
15 Q. And how would you know at that time which area was Albanian and
16 which was Serbian?
17 A. Well, almost -- almost because you could -- whether they -- they
18 had a roof on their homes or not. This is what people told us. But
19 essentially the stories became -- it became obvious that it was true. And
20 certainly my experience of both little and greater Krusa, which I knew in
21 some detail, it was clear that all of the Albanian homes had been -- or
22 nearly all of them had been burnt -- burnt and destroyed. And the
23 wreckage was devastating.
24 Q. And another point I wish to clarify in your statement. It's on
25 page 9, the second-last paragraph. Therein you say that from March 1999
1 you saw hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees displaced from
2 their homes at gunpoint. I wish to clarify what you meant to say by that,
3 because you weren't in Kosovo at that time, I understood.
4 A. Yes. No, it's poor use of English. They told me that they had --
5 that they had fled. What I saw was a stream of refugees, hundreds of
6 thousands of them - myself and many other people, journalists, aid
7 workers, people from the UN, and so forth - a constant river of humanity,
8 trucks -- a few trucks, mainly tractors, on foot, mothers, old people,
9 screaming -- all saying the same story, that they'd been pursued by the
10 Serbs, they'd been told to go, to fuck off to Albania.
11 Q. Now, you were also given a home video by the Batusha family, if I
12 understand correctly, showing men and boys that were killed in the killing
13 in the Batusha barn, when they were still alive at a wedding. Is that
15 A. Yes. It's a simple thing lots of families would have everywhere
16 in the world. It's a video of their wedding party.
17 MS. MOELLER: Could we play this clip, please.
18 [Videotape played]
19 "JOHN SWEENEY: Rasim, granny Batusha's eldest son, is the only
20 man left in the family. He has given up his job in Germany and come to
21 look after the wives and children of his dead brothers. He brought the
22 only record left of the men of little Krusa - the video of the wedding
23 party of his murdered son Agi."
24 MS. MOELLER:
25 Q. The women and children that you see in this clip, who were they?
1 A. They're members of the Batusha family. I first met them in
2 Albania, in April, and essentially by this time they were -- they'd
3 realised that their men had been killed. They knew that pretty much.
4 They didn't see their men being killed. They were very much part of the
5 selection; they were the people who were put to one side. Then their men
6 trooped off - this is what they told me - and then they heard the
7 machine-gun fire.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, that would complete my questions.
10 Would you like me to tender the exhibits now or at a later stage?
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we know what exhibits you've actually used,
12 but I need to find out from Mr. Sweeney a little more about the two video
13 films that were broadcast in 1999.
14 What, on these, have we not seen that will help us to determine
15 what happened and who was responsible?
16 THE WITNESS: Well, it's hard to -- hard for me to give a short
17 answer to that, but basically we tried quite hard to be as correct and as
18 dispassionate about the evidence that we got. The survivors of the
19 massacre in the film -- or the survivors, in particular the women,
20 identify the people who were at the selection. And then we have the men
21 who climbed from underneath the dead bodies and ran away. There is one
22 particular image which sticks in my mind which made me understand what
23 took place and -- well, it's -- in fact, some of the survival testimony.
24 The man with burnt hands, Mehmet Krasniqi, he's holding his hands behind
25 his back, and there's a moment where he ducks before the machine-gun
1 fire. And that's why he got to the ground. And then he was covered with
2 the people who had been mortally wounded.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: You have to --
4 THE WITNESS: Yes.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: It's helpful for you to tell us that, but bear in
6 mind we've seen him.
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, you've seen him. You've seen him in a
8 courtroom some years after the event. We filmed him at the -- well,
9 within a month or two of it happening. But I wouldn't want to, in any
10 way -- to tell you to watch this film. You're Judges; you're wholly
11 capable of making up your own mind about the evidence. All I can say is
12 that there are a number of scenes in the film which we found compelling.
13 Now, we may have got little bits and pieces wrong, but we found the
14 picture we told compelling of the hundred-plus men and boys taken to the
15 hay-barn, a tiny number of survivors. The women are witnesses to it, and
16 they know at least some of the people who did that, because they recognise
17 their neighbours, bearing in mind they also said that the army and the
18 police were there, too.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Moeller, what do you maintain that viewing the
22 rest of these films would add factually to our knowledge and enable us to
23 determine what happened and who was responsible?
24 MS. MOELLER: I think it would -- as I already said, it contains a
25 lot of -- which would be hearsay evidence, of course, of other persons
1 talking about the events, the females who were concerned by these events.
2 It also contains extensive footage showing the two witnesses who testified
3 here and who talked about the same event in a contemporaneous manner, very
4 close after the events occurred, which would corroborate their testimony
5 they gave here and the exact nature. It would also --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: One person giving an account on two occasions can't
7 be corroboration; it's the same source of evidence, the same person.
8 MS. MOELLER: Yes, but what I tried to say is it would demonstrate
9 that the recollection of the witnesses when testifying here was still very
10 clear and vivid, as the accounts are so identical that were given on both
11 occasions. It does also show some more visual documentary evidence
12 about -- the second video, which was filmed in Kosovo, gives some more
13 visual evidence about the situation in around Mala Krusa at the time, in
14 June 1999, as it was.
15 THE WITNESS: Sir, I --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Please, this is not a matter for you now,
17 Mr. Sweeney.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. We have decided that we will admit
20 these two video films in their entirety but are particularly conscious of
21 the fact that anything said by an apparent eye-witness to these events
22 will be regarded as hearsay which has not been subject to
24 Mr. O'Sullivan.
25 Sorry. Judge Chowhan has a question before we ...
1 JUDGE CHOWHAN: [Microphone not activated]
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I apologise to the counsel for this.
4 Well, I just want to understand your personality, because it's
5 essential that we know about a witness. Now, for that, I had two names
6 before me of journalists, to find out which one of them you go along
7 with: Is it Walter Lippman or is it Phillip Simpson -- John Simpson?
8 Just to understand how you persevere. Or do you go for men like Domenico
9 Lapar [phoen] or things like that? They're all historical. Yes, some
10 more like that.
11 THE WITNESS: I would -- I would go for a different set of names,
12 and the key name is the man whose name escapes me right now, who is the
13 American reporter Murrow, Ed Murrow, who fought against McCarthy-ism. I
14 admire all of the people you've named. I think some of the people I'm not
15 sure about. I would seek to have done my best.
16 One of the things I think I'm quite proud of, as a programme team,
17 was that after we'd been in the village about two months, the Albanians
18 burnt down the Serb homes. Remember, the Serbs had done. But we show
19 that in the documentary. So the point is -- I'd like to make, is that
20 this isn't -- we didn't set out to make propaganda; we set out to try and
21 find out what had happened. And so when the Albanians burnt down the
22 homes of their Serb neighbours, albeit that the Serb neighbours had gone,
23 we showed that, too.
24 So I think it's very important for a journalist, when they come
25 across inconvenient truths, to report those, too. Those are the kinds of
1 journalists I admire.
2 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I thank you.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan.
4 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, Your Honour. The order will be: General
5 Pavkovic, General Ojdanic, General Lazarevic, Mr. Milutinovic,
6 Mr. Sainovic, and General Lukic.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
10 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Sweeney.
11 A. Good afternoon, sir.
12 Q. Right at the beginning of your testimony, you said there were some
13 people who think you're a terrible journalist. Why would someone think
14 you're a terrible journalist?
15 A. It was a joke.
16 Q. Oh, it was?
17 A. Yeah.
18 Q. Oh, okay. We were provided with a bunch of documents that you
19 apparently gave to the Prosecution, which they then gave to us, a number
20 of things that you have written, and I wanted to talk to you just a little
21 bit about some of those things.
22 Before I do that, I want to ask you something else, though.
23 You're now working with BBC?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And is there any particular project you're working on now?
1 A. No -- well, I've just finished a film which aired concerns about
2 David Mills, his relationship with Silvio Berlusconi, and his wife or
3 estranged wife's business/personal conduct as well. She is the Secretary
4 of State for Culture. That was a BBC panorama piece that was aired on
5 Sunday. I am now waiting for the next thing I'm supposed to be doing.
6 Q. Have you been doing anything with regard to, for instance, Iraq or
7 Lebanon or any of the more recent conflicts?
8 A. I have to say that the cameraman, James Miller, who shot the
9 second film was killed by an Israeli soldier in 2003, and almost as a
10 direct result of that death, I have pretty much ceased to go to war
11 zones. I did spend -- I was actually in Iraq when I heard about James'
12 death; I spent a month in 2003 in Iraq. But since then I haven't been
13 anywhere that people would consider a war zone.
14 Q. All right. Now, let's go back to these documents. The first one
15 I want to talk about is a letter -- it looks like a letter; it may not
16 be. It may be a message of some kind. It says: "From John Sweeney to
17 Paul Vickers, 8 July 1999," and it was something you were writing to him.
18 And what you said in that was: "The war in Kosovo has changed the way the
19 democracies will fight battles forever. The tyrant of Belgrade was
20 humiliated and not a single soldier or airman was lost in the battle, even
21 though NATO, despite the bluster, only hit 13 tanks."
22 You mention the bluster of NATO. What do you mean when you speak
23 of the bluster of NATO?
24 A. Well, there was a -- well, first of all, I'm not quite sure,
25 unless I see it, what that was. Paul Vickers is a friend of mine. Was
1 this something that I had written for a newspaper or for the BBC, or am I
2 e-mailing a friend? That's my first point.
3 Second point: NATO, for many of us on the ground, we saw, had
4 been aware of a stream of violence coming out of Belgrade from 1991
5 onwards, to do -- driven by Slobodan Milosevic, and there was -- certainly
6 as far as most of my fellow journalists were concerned, there was an
7 annoyance that NATO sort of said, We'll have air cover, air support. It
8 didn't actually stop the wars happening in Bosnia and in Kosovo. So
9 that's what I meant by "bluster."
10 Q. All right. And then you talk about NATO only hitting 13 tanks.
11 To your knowledge, today, the knowledge you have today, is that an
12 accurate figure?
13 A. At this distance, I wouldn't want to stand by it. Certainly I've
14 been to Belgrade since then, I think sometime in 1999 or 2000, and
15 obviously -- no, the 13 tanks was a story at the time, so I think it was
16 roughly accurate. That's what people were saying at the time. If we know
17 better now, then fine.
18 Q. Now, you know, don't you, that NATO had Predator
19 drone-surveillance kinds of aircraft operating over Kosovo; they had other
20 kinds of surveillance aircraft; they had A-10 warthog tank-killer
21 aircraft. You know about all that, don't you?
22 A. The people who were running the predators weren't advertising that
23 in 1999. Certainly, if this was written on the 8th of July, 1999, I
24 wouldn't have known all that detail. I was aware of the stuff -- one was
25 aware of it. I didn't see any predator drones. So your question is --
1 well, I don't quite see what you're getting at.
2 Q. Well, what I'm getting at is, if this figure is correct, this 13
3 tanks, with all of the air power and capability that NATO had at the time,
4 would you agree that only 13 tanks were hit because the tanks must have
5 been kept very well hidden from NATO air cover?
6 A. Well, what you're asking me to defend is -- if I understand it
7 correctly, it's an e-mail to a friend --
8 Q. I'm really not asking you to defend anything. I'm asking you for
9 what knowledge you might have.
10 A. Right.
11 Q. I know you went to a lot of NATO briefings, so I know you were
12 familiar with what NATO was doing.
13 A. I think I went to -- because I was on the ground, you couldn't --
14 and I think I only went to one -- I did one trip to NATO Brussels
15 headquarters, where I was very sceptical of what NATO was saying because I
16 had seen the performance on the ground. I believe that they must have hit
17 more than 13 tanks, because subsequently we learnt more about what they
18 did. There was -- NATO said publicly, "We do not want to hit civilians,"
19 and there were a number of atrocities which were blamed on NATO, and I
20 investigated two of them. These were strikes against tractors. Obviously
21 this is more than 13 tanks. Those very stories -- that one had real
22 doubts about what really had happened. I can go on, if you want me to.
23 Q. No, I think that's good enough. What I do want to tell you is, if
24 I mention any document that you would like to look at before you answer,
25 if you let me know, I can get it brought over to you, because I have them
1 all here.
2 A. For example, if we're going to talk about this some more, then you
3 should show me a copy of this, whatever it was, e-mail, to my friend Paul
4 Vickers. But I would say that I'm not the NATO high commander. Basically
5 I'm a reporter who spent a lot of time in little Krusa, from June 1999
6 onwards. I mean, not a huge amount of time, but I spent every day there
7 for about four weeks, spread over six weeks, having been informed by the
8 survivors of the massacre in late April -- late March/early April of what
9 had happened.
10 Q. In the same e-mail - and, again, I'll show it to you if you want
11 to see it - in the same e-mail, you speak of a journalist by the name of
12 John Pilger. Is that the way you pronounce his name?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you say that he denounced your reporting from his gilded south
15 London salon.
16 A. Yes. I'd stick by that.
17 Q. So you know John Pilger well, do you?
18 A. I know of him. He was a man I used to admire. But the problem is
19 that he was denouncing my journalism about what had happened and he hadn't
20 been to Kosovo. He hadn't been before or he hadn't been after. And there
21 is a certain point to which, if you're a reporter, you report what you see
22 on the ground. And if somebody in London says, "This is rubbish, this is
23 not true," then you -- one reacts quite -- it's annoying, because how does
24 he know, if he's in London, what's going on in, say, little Krusa?
25 Q. You started your testimony today by -- I guess what you were
1 trying to do was tell the Chamber that you were an accomplished and
2 believable journalist by telling us the awards that you had won. John
3 Pilger was, according to a document I have here, Descriptive Writer of the
4 Year, 1966; Reporter of the Year, 1967 --
5 A. I was at school then.
6 Q. -- Journalist of the Year, 1967; International Reporter of the
7 Year, 1970; New Reporter of the Year, 1974; Campaigning Journalist of the
8 Year, 1977; Journalist of the Year, 1979; United Nations Media Peace
9 Prize, Australia, 1979 and 1980; United Nations Media Peace Prize, Gold
10 Medal, Australia, 1980, 1981 --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, this is not a place for determining
12 the relative worths of journalists. If there are material pieces of
13 evidence that this witness has given that you want to challenge, then it
14 would be helpful to have our attention drawn to that.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: This is just a round-about way of getting there.
16 But if you don't want me to get there, you tell me. I mean, you're the
17 Judge, and if you don't want me to get there this way, then I won't.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but it follows on from a statement that the
19 witness made about another journalist. And if you're going to put
20 something that Pilger has said that you think is relevant, fine; but if
21 you're not going to do that by going through the history of his biography,
22 it's not really going to enlighten us.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I agree. It would be silly to be doing this if I
24 wasn't going somewhere with it. I'm not just trying to make Pilger look
25 good for the world. I'm going somewhere with it and I have something that
1 he said that I want to use with this witness. Advise me what you'd like
2 me to do, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I'd like you to ask the question that you want to
4 ask, rather than go through a catalogue of his biography.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, then, can I come back to his biography, so
6 you will understand that we're dealing with a very reputable journalist?
7 JUDGE BONOMY: If it turns out to be relevant. But just because
8 he's a reputable -- I suspect you will get the witness to agree that's
9 he's regarded as a reputable journalist, but perhaps not by him now.
10 THE WITNESS: I have his books on my bookshelf. He wrote about me
11 once in an admiring way and that was great. I never saw him in
12 Yugoslavia, not once.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Now he's answering a question I didn't even ask.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's get to the question, Mr. Ackerman.
15 THE WITNESS: The point is --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: No, please, Mr. Sweeney, let's just get to the
18 THE WITNESS: Right. I'm trying to guess it.
19 MR. ACKERMAN:
20 Q. I'm going back to your letter to John Sweeney or your e-mail --
21 A. I'm John Sweeney.
22 Q. I'm sorry, to Paul Vickers. You say to Paul Vickers: "Under the
23 immense pressure to get access, any access to the war, I would argue
24 rigorous journalism collapsed."
25 Does that mean that there was a great deal of unreliable
1 journalism coming out of the war in Kosovo? Is that what you're trying to
3 A. There was a lot of pressure to work out what was going on, and it
4 was very, very difficult. Everything's difficult in a war.
5 Q. You told us today - and it's also in your statement - that one of
6 the things that makes you comfortable about the conclusions you drew about
7 what happened in Mala Krusa was the similarity of the statements that you
8 heard from people that had been there at the time.
9 A. I don't think I used the word "comfortable."
10 Q. You probably didn't. That's my word. Are you uncomfortable about
12 A. No.
13 Q. That was something that was decisive in letting you draw the
14 conclusions that you drew, isn't it?
15 A. Yeah.
16 Q. Now, I have another document here that was written by you, and I
17 don't know how to identify it to you. At the very top it just has: "John
18 Sweeney, Skopije."
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You speak of a person by the name of Audrey Gillen, and I'll show
21 it to you if you want to see it. Let me tell you what you said there, and
22 then if you want to check that, you can.
23 You said with regard to Audrey Gillen's challenge: "What's the
24 story? She is right to be uneasy of the near uniformity of the refugees'
25 claims. She is right to be uneasy about the power of hysteria and the
1 power of propaganda by the Kosovo Liberation Army."
2 A. I'd stick with that.
3 Q. All right. What do you mean when you talk there about the power
4 of hysteria?
5 A. People -- this isn't the first massacre story that I've done, so
6 I've been to a number of places where terrible things have happened:
7 Chechnya, Iraq, Burundi, Algeria. And there is a fear of speaking openly;
8 there is a fear of evidence-gathering, often because there is malevolent,
9 secret police, there is no proper free media. That's the kind of
10 environment we're dealing with, and so you have to sift evidence. And I
11 believe Audrey Gillen was a journalist for The Guardian and she wrote a
12 piece, sort of saying: There is a problem with the refugees; they're all
13 saying the same thing. But the problem is we couldn't go, certainly I
14 couldn't go, into Yugoslavia and see for myself because of the nature of
15 the regime there - police controls, police checks. And basically, if you
16 weren't a sympathetic journalist, you couldn't get inside Yugoslavia at
17 the time.
18 So we've got a problem with the people telling us the story; we
19 can't go and check it out. That's why I was very keen to get to little
20 Krusa as fast as possible and check out this story and see for myself.
21 Q. Yes, but I asked you about the word "hysteria." You used the
22 words "the power of hysteria" and I want to know what you meant by that.
23 I know you couldn't go check out the story right then.
24 A. Right, but it means that people who are afraid are sometimes not
25 careful, not precise, about what's happened to them. They just say, for
1 example, the Serbs have killed all our men. Now, for example, in little
2 Krusa, that's not literally true but it's a quick, brief shouted remark on
3 a hillside in Albania. It's not miles away from the truth. A hundred
4 men, they said, men and boys, were killed. What's the exact number? We
5 don't know. And I believe the latest number is something like 103. It's
6 not far off.
7 But there is a difference. There is a general point that I made
8 -- was seeking to make there, that yes, there is hysteria in war and then
9 there is a specific piece of evidence or bits of evidence that you find on
10 the ground. So, in the general environment, where, as we know, in war,
11 truth is the first casualty, that's the environment I'm looking at.
12 That's, in a sense, what I'm used to dealing with. That doesn't mean that
13 everything you hear from people is untrue.
14 Q. Tell the Chamber what it is you know about the power of propaganda
15 by the Kosovo Liberation Army.
16 A. Well, I believe that the KLA was -- it was the army fighting for
17 the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, capable of murdering innocent people, of
18 burning down Serb houses; that it was pretty ruthless. It didn't have
19 much of a visible presence in little Krusa. In fact, one of the sad
20 ironies of that village was that Serbs and Albanians had lived peacefully
21 together for a long, long time. My understanding - I may be wrong about
22 that - but that's what I was told. In other -- so when somebody in a KLA
23 uniform would say something to me, I'd be skeptical. I'm a reporter; it's
24 my job to be skeptical.
25 Q. Okay. I want to go to another document now. This one is -- at
1 the top it says: "John Sweeney," and then in bold it says: "NATO HQ."
2 A. This would -- I think, to set the scene for the Court, these are a
3 series of articles I would have written for The Observer newspaper while,
4 at the same time, I was making these two films.
5 Q. Okay. In this document you talk about the mistaken bombing by
6 NATO of KLA army barracks where seven KLA were killed and 20 were
7 wounded. You seem to indicate that this could not have been a mistake,
8 since these barracks were the most well-publicised KLA position in the
9 region, visited by several western journalists, including Euan Ferguson of
10 The Observer. Is that your position?
11 A. Well, that's my article. I'm sure -- I would hope it was as
12 correct as I could make it. It's clear from the article that I wasn't
13 there. What I'm -- as we say, I'm sourcing it, I'm sourcing it to people
14 who were there. I remember the story vaguely. I'm not an expert on this,
15 but if I reported that, I'll stand by that report as being correct, as I
16 knew it at the time.
17 Q. Well, this shows your skepticism that you just talked about, I
18 think, doesn't it? What you're saying is: I'm really skeptical about
19 this being a mistake because this was a well-known KLA barracks.
20 A. Yes. I'm here, I believe, to give evidence about little Krusa, so
21 I'm not quite sure where we're going. My point would be that, on little
22 Krusa, I would consider myself to be something of an expert; on this, I
23 don't know. I wasn't there. But I reported it at the time. What's the
24 date of the article?
25 Q. It doesn't have a date.
1 A. It would have had a date. The question is, if this was the time
2 period before NATO got in, some kind of free speech and free inquiry was
3 possible after June 12th. Before that time, it was very difficult to find
4 out what was going on. But if Euan Ferguson, who was a friend of mine and
5 a colleague on The Observer, had been there, then I would have been
6 reflecting his reports.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sweeney.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Excuse me. Now that you're here --
10 THE WITNESS: Yes.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: -- it's open to counsel to ask you questions about
12 anything on which they think you can give answers relevant to the issues
13 in this case.
14 THE WITNESS: Sure.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Your evidence is not confined to Mala Krusa.
16 THE WITNESS: Yes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: So Mr. Ackerman.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 The transcript just died for all of us, I think.
20 THE WITNESS: Not for me.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: I see one, two, three, four, five. But I have it
23 Q. In that same piece, if that's what it is, you have written
24 this: "NATO has kept the KLA at arm's length throughout the conflict, but
25 killing seven of its troops is probably taking that diplomatic nicety too
2 What does that mean?
3 A. Again, I haven't seen this article for a long, long time, so it
4 would be useful if I could see it. I think I could work out the date of
5 it, if you could --
6 Q. If the usher could come get it and take it to you.
7 A. Thanks very much. Basically it means -- it slightly means what it
8 says, that NATO was -- as I understand it, was keen to not be fighting the
9 KLA's war for it; that NATO had its own agenda, which was that of Western
10 government, the Western public, the Western world, that they didn't like
11 mass killing taking place in parts of Europe, and they didn't want to be
12 alongside the KLA. However, I'm sure there was some information exchange;
13 espionage, intelligence, whatever, what have you. I was aware of some of
14 this going on. Killing seven members of the KLA in a well-known KLA
15 position would have been a clear mistake.
16 Q. Well, the impression I get from that sentence is that what you're
17 saying is, NATO deliberately killed some KLA just to squelch any concerns
18 that they might be working with them.
19 A. No, I think that's a little -- no, I think that's taking it too
20 far. The sense of the -- by the way, this -- I'm looking at here four or
21 five paragraphs from an article with headline "NATO HQ." With no date on
22 it, it's difficult for me to figure out whether it's a short article or
23 whether it's part of a long article. I don't know.
24 To answer your question, what was I was saying was I was making
25 the following points, I believe: One, NATO has kept the KLA at arm's
1 length throughout the conflict; true. "Killing seven troops is probably
2 taking that diplomatic nicety too far" is making the point that, having
3 made this mistake, it's embarrassing. It is true to say, obviously, that
4 if NATO was fighting the Yugoslav army and Yugoslav police and the KLA are
5 fighting it, then the two sides have got a degree of common interest.
6 Q. Well, if you look at the last paragraph there that I read to you,
7 because you got it and I can't read it now --
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. -- any reader that concluded, like I did, that what you're saying
10 is that NATO deliberately killed KLA just to squelch concerns that they
11 might working with them, any reader that would conclude that would be
12 justified in drawing that conclusion, I think, don't you? Even though
13 that may not have been what you meant.
14 A. If I read the article, then it's up to me -- I proclaim my right
15 to defend what I meant by the article, not what you take to mean by the
17 Q. That's just not true.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, I'm afraid this is not enlightening
19 us one little bit.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: I'll leave it alone.
21 If I can have my document back.
22 THE WITNESS: Yeah, sure thing.
23 MR. ACKERMAN:
24 Q. Do you remember writing an article, along with Jens Holst and Ed
25 Vulliamy, dated Sunday, October 17th, 1999, regarding the NATO bombing of
1 the Chinese embassy in Belgrade?
2 A. I do.
3 Q. Do you have any memory today how many people were killed in the
4 bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade or in the attack on the
6 A. It was a small number of people. From memory -- I haven't read
7 that article for ages. I believe the Chinese -- it was about two or three
8 Chinese and one or two locals. But the significance of the story was that
9 I was skeptical -- all three of us were skeptical of NATO's official line
10 that it was a mistake. I can explain more.
11 Q. Both NATO and the United States authorities explained that it was
12 a mistake because of an outdated map, didn't they?
13 A. Yes. We found that -- well, what we got hold of, people inside
14 the intelligence community, a serving soldier -- I don't want to blow my
15 sources, but a serving soldier who is a signals bloke and somebody else
16 who knows about how British intelligence works, and two separate sources
17 said, "That's nonsense. They hit the embassy."
18 Now, I went to the embassy --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Just hold on there, please, Mr. Sweeney.
20 Relevance of this, Mr. Ackerman?
21 MR. ACKERMAN: It's relevant to future testimony we're going to
22 have from representatives of NATO regarding the precision of their bombing
23 and the -- and it just goes to the credibility of the reports that we're
24 going to get about what NATO was doing.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we really need to know more about the source
1 of this witness's knowledge of this before it could have any real bearing
2 on your assessment of --
3 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm going there.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: -- that particular issue.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm going there.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
7 MR. ACKERMAN:
8 Q. What you -- and you can see this article again, if you'd like to
9 see it. What you wrote here is: "NATO deliberately bombed the Chinese
10 embassy in Belgrade during the war in Kosovo after discovering that it was
11 being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications."
12 And then you say: "According to sources in Europe and the US, the
13 Chinese embassy was removed from a prohibited targets list after NATO
14 electronic intelligence detected it sending army signals to Milosevic's
16 You apparently spoke to a Chinese embassy spokesman in London who
17 said: "We don't believe that the embassy was bombed because of a mistake
18 with an out-of-date map."
19 Now, my question to you: Was this a totally reckless article on
20 your part, or did you have a basis for this article?
21 A. We had a basis for this article.
22 Q. And that was?
23 A. As I said, I don't want to give away my sources, but we heard from
24 credible people -- remember, that there are three names, so we went to
25 some length to check it out, that they hadn't -- that the idea that they'd
1 used a street map to identify the Chinese embassy was incredible. And my
2 sources -- our sources told us - our sources told us - that they had an
3 exact knowledge of where the Chinese embassy was.
4 Now, the American government denied this story. The British
5 foreign secretary -- I put it to him at a drinks party much, much later,
6 and he didn't make a strong denial of the story, which always struck me as
7 very interesting. I'm talking about the late Robin Cook. Until China
8 opens up, we'll never know what really happened. But we had strong
9 sources for this story.
10 Q. Thank you. On May 18th, 1999, you talk about John Pilger. You
11 say, in a writing that has basically your letterhead, I think, on it:
12 "When John Pilger condemns British journalists for lickspittle
13 reporting of the NATO war machine, one pauses for thought. Pilger
14 attacked the Western media for failing to report NATO's savagery. He
15 didn't quote a single Kosovar refugee. Pilger said: 'There is no sense
16 of the revulsions felt throughout most of the world for this wholly
17 illegal action for the punishment --"
18 THE INTERPRETER: Slow down when reading, please. Please read
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. "-- for the punishment of Milosevic's crime with the greater
23 Was he criticising you for lickspittle reporting at that point?
24 Were you specifically criticised?
25 A. I'm not sure that I was.
1 Q. All right. Now, one of the things you have attempted to do - and
2 I don't know what the status of it is - with regard to the investigation
3 you did in Mala Krusa was to make a book out of it and sell that book.
4 Have you had any success in selling your book?
5 A. No. I'm a journalist. Every now and then one wants to write a
6 book about something you know about. I believe that most Western
7 publishers weren't -- publishers in Britain weren't interested in the
8 story. Too much grief from the Balkans. I think -- I'd forgotten I
9 intended to write a book. But it's happened before; it will happen again.
10 Q. Well, you submitted it to, apparently, more than one publisher,
11 submitted not the book but a proposal for a book, and one of the things
12 we've been given is a -- I don't know what you call it. It has a big
13 headline: "The Machine-Gunner was Running Late," by John Sweeney, and in
14 it you describe the book you wanted to have published and the things you
15 found in Mala Krusa that you thought were significant and sensational
16 enough to justify the publication of a book. Is that true?
17 A. I wouldn't have used the word "sensational."
18 Q. Well, I guess you'll agree with me that the more sensational you
19 could make the story, the more likely it was that you would be able to
20 make a book out of it. Is that true?
21 A. I repeat my earlier answer.
22 Q. Well, you know, on page 4 of this -- of this thing you are trying
23 to promote, this book you're trying to promote, you speak of Sava Nikolic
24 and you say this: "Sava's passport shows him to be a man who could easily
25 be thought of as handsome, but he has a rapist's eyes."
1 Now, what on earth are a rapist's eyes?
2 A. So what we're talking about here is a proposal for a book that was
3 never used, that was never written --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you answer the question, please, Mr. Sweeney?
5 We don't have all day, I'm afraid. We have to concentrate on your
7 THE WITNESS: Fine. I'll answer. There was something cold and
8 chilling about his eyes, and I found -- I can remember feeling discomfort
9 about that point. I believe -- but what I'm being asked about here is a
10 proposal for a book which was never written, so that I'm -- and I feel --
11 asked about it now, I feel uncomfortable about the phrase. How do I know
12 what's going inside that man's head? So, for example -- well, it's
13 certainly no part whatsoever of the documentary. Put to me now, I regret
14 the phrase. I don't know. It's not a good phrase. I shouldn't have used
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. Well, you just denied any sensationalism and that kind of leans
18 that way, doesn't it?
19 A. I said I wouldn't have used that word. It's not a word I like
20 using. I don't like using the word "comfortable" either. But being
21 reminded of it, "a rapist's eyes" strikes me as being a bad phrase,
22 because it means -- it implies I've got some knowledge of what's inside
23 this man's mind, and I don't. And no good reporter should ever say, "Ooh,
24 he was thinking this," because how do I know?
25 Q. All right.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I have just one more little area to go
2 into and then I'll be finished, and to do that I think we need to go into
3 private session, for reasons that we went into private session earlier
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And these relate to the security of individuals?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: It does, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 We shall go into private session, then.
9 [Private session]
11 Page 4861 redacted. Private session.
17 [Open session]
18 MR. SEPENUK:
19 Q. In any event, we all appreciate that Edward R. Murrow was known
20 for his fairness and objectivity; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Of trying to go down the middle, for being fair to both sides if
23 he could.
24 A. Well, fairness and objective, but he was also willing to strike
25 what he thought was cant. You can't watch -- being given some of his old
1 documentaries to watch, and when he struck out against Senator McCarthy,
2 that was brave and passionate reporting and he was taking a position there
3 as well, on evidence, but he was taking a stand.
4 Q. I totally agree with that. Just as you've taken a stand on little
5 Krusa. That has been something that you're an expert on and something
6 you've written about, something you're deeply passionate about. Is that
8 A. I would -- I wouldn't want to say that. Well, it certainly feels
9 to me, for example, by some of the other things I've been asked about, I'm
10 much less of an expert. I did my best to report what happened in little
11 Krusa as fairly and accurately as I could do, yes.
12 Q. So you condemned what happened in little Krusa?
13 A. Well, a hundred -- as I believe our films -- my reporting to be
14 correct, a hundred people were killed in cold blood, men and boys. Yes, I
15 condemn that.
16 Q. Certainly, sir. We all do. And I want to ask you about the KLA.
17 You said you were skeptical about the KLA.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. And you also recognise the power of propaganda, as you put
20 it, of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And I take it you also recognise, since you're an experienced
23 reporter in Kosovo, that the KLA used ruthless and brutal tactics on many
24 occasions against both Serb security forces and Serbian civilians.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you know of situations, for example, where the KLA kidnapped
2 and shot Serb security forces and sometimes just ordinary Serbs.
3 A. I believe that happened, yes. And I've reported on it a couple of
4 times, too.
5 Q. And then the KLA would sometimes just leave the police to pick up
6 the bodies.
7 A. The nature of -- yes, that would happen.
8 Q. Okay. And specifically - and I'll do just one example - in little
9 Hoxha, about 10 miles from little Krusa, two Serb brothers were kidnapped
10 and mutilated by KLA forces.
11 A. Yes. When did that happen?
12 Q. I don't know the precise date. Maybe you can enlighten us.
13 A. I can't remember -- I don't know when -- I think that happened
14 after NATO invaded, entered the country. That's my memory of it.
15 Q. Thank you, sir. And, given the brutality of the Kosovo Liberation
16 Army forces, I take it that, if you had a chance to do it, you would have
17 done a documentary about those atrocities, too. Isn't that a fair
19 A. No, because the numbers don't match. We're talking about two dead
20 in that particular example and a hundred dead in little Krusa. So there
21 is no parity in the number of people who were murdered.
22 Q. So whether you do a documentary, then, depends upon numbers and
23 not to show a pattern of brutality. Is that correct? You only want to
24 show numbers; you don't want to show a pattern of brutal conduct, as you
25 well could have, with the Kosovo Liberation Army? You can answer that yes
1 or no, and I ask you to do that, sir.
2 A. Can you formulate the question so I can say yes or no?
3 Q. Yes. What appears to be important to you is numbers, so that even
4 though, as you've testified, there's a pattern of conduct by the Kosovo
5 Liberation Army showing ruthless and brutal tactics against both Serb
6 security forces and Serb civilians, including kidnapping and murder, just
7 because it was a smaller number, for example, than a hundred, you wouldn't
8 be interested in doing a documentary concerning that conduct. Is that a
9 fair statement?
10 A. May I answer in this way: That if I'd seen evidence of 800.000
11 Serbs fleeing the mountainside and them saying that they had been victims
12 of many, many massacres, then I would have done a documentary on that
13 because that's the evidence. Here, there was no doubt in my mind so many
14 people, hundreds of thousands of people, fled what they said was Serb
15 persecution. The massacre numbers --
16 Q. You interviewed hundreds of thousands of people, did you?
17 A. No, of course I didn't, but I was --
18 Q. All right.
19 A. Hold on a second. But I was on a hill-side, where you would wake
20 up in the morning, or whatever, and then you'd see thousands of people
21 walk by you during the day; you would see the television news, other
22 reporters who you trust telling you the same story; and then the next
23 morning, the same. Endless track -- I do not think it was a fiction.
24 But I take the -- I'll answer the point. If I saw a parity of
25 violence, I would have reported that. But what was so striking was that
1 it was unequal. Small numbers of Serbs dead; big numbers of Albanians
3 Q. And, of course, you're also aware of the fact that there were
4 many, tens of thousands of Serbs who left during the NATO bombing. You're
5 aware of that, sir, are you not?
6 A. Indeed, I am, yes.
7 Q. Thank you, sir.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence of General
10 Lazarevic has no questions for this witness.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan.
12 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No questions.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
14 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I would have just one question, Your
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Fila:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Do you believe, Mr. Sweeney, that it is a little
18 bit speculative to say that, if you had seen 700.000 Serbs fleeing from
19 Kosovo, you would have done a documentary. If there had never been
20 700.000 Serbs -- there were only 10 per cent of Serbs in the population,
21 because as the numbers stand, if 700.000 Serbs had been there, then it
22 would have taken 7 million Albanians to flee. If you look at the numbers
23 proportionately, how many -- in proportion, how many Serbs fled from the
24 NATO air-strikes and how many Albanians fled? That's one question.
25 Second, you said a moment ago that you had been following the
1 situation in Yugoslavia. Did you maybe film a documentary about the Serbs
2 fleeing from Operation Storm and Flash, or were you filming only things
3 that were convenient to Britain and the NATO alliance? That's my
5 A. Thank you. The first question: I believe that I accurately and
6 fairly reported what I saw on the ground, which is a huge number, hundreds
7 of thousands of Albanians fleeing what they said was Serb persecution and
9 Second question: I started in 1991, and one of the things I
10 reported was the murder of Serb civilians by Croat death squads, led by a
11 Hungarian Croat fascist called Eduard Flores. Now, a friend of mine
12 called Paul Janks investigated this story of how this group of lunatics in
13 Osijek went around killing people, most of whom were innocent Serbs. And
14 I did a documentary about it. Paul Janks himself was killed, I believe,
15 by one of the Croat fascists.
16 So I'm wholly familiar with what happened in Croatia: Violence
17 upon violence; different communities killing each other. And I'm wholly
18 aware, in my view, that all of the communities were guilty of barbarism
19 from time to time.
20 But, as I said, what happened -- what I saw in Kosovo and in
21 little Krusa in 1999 was what I was told was Serb oppression, and as far
22 as I can tell, as fairly and accurately as I told the story, that more
23 than a hundred men and boys, Albanian men and boys, were murdered by their
24 Serb neighbours and the Serb police and the Serb army.
25 Q. I understood that part.
1 A. But as to your --
2 Q. My question was this: You noted yourself that later Albanians
3 came and looted Serb houses, that's what you said; that Albanians took out
4 of those houses what they needed before you came. And then Albanians came
5 back after NATO came in and did what they did, what you called payback.
6 But are there any Serbs left now in Mala Krusa, where Serbs and Albanians
7 lived half/half? Why didn't you film a documentary on that if you are
8 involved in objective journalism? I personally think you are not. That's
9 the point, if you agree with me.
10 A. My answer to your question is that, after the massacre, the
11 Albanians would not live with the Serbs and that's why they burned down
12 their houses.
13 Q. I'm sorry that I had sat down.
14 A. Okay. Nema problema.
15 The answer to the question is that, after the massacre, the
16 Albanians wouldn't want to live with the Serbs. Today there are no Serbs
17 living in that village. That's a great tragedy. But at the same time,
18 the people who precipitated that tragedy, who made it happen, were the
19 people who carried out the massacre. So that the Albanians burned down
20 the houses was wrong and stupid; it was foolish. They were biting off --
21 whatever they did was wrong. But as a moral wrong, it's nowhere near as
22 bad as killing a hundred of your neighbours. And I believe that is what
23 happened in that village.
24 Now, you said earlier -- sorry, just to finish a point. You said
25 there's a problem of "you doing NATO propaganda." Your colleague sort of
1 did raise the story I did about how NATO had been lying when it said it
2 hit the Chinese embassy in Belgrade by mistake. So I would say that there
3 aren't that many British journalists who are willing to say -- for
4 example, to take the line of the Chinese government against the line of
5 the British government on a story as big and as important as that, which
6 means that when I say that I believe this was a massacre -- now -- carried
7 out by the Serbs against the Albanians, I believe that to be the case.
8 Remember that I'm very skeptical of people in KLA uniform, but
9 most of the stories I got was from the mothers and the daughters of the
10 dead men and the six survivors that we managed to find.
11 Q. I don't hold it against you that you condemn the massacre in
12 Krusa; I condemn it, too. It shouldn't have happened; we shouldn't be
13 talking about this. There's no one in this room who wouldn't say that it
14 wasn't wrong.
15 But the point I was trying to make is that something else happened
16 after the Albanians' departure. We were bombed in Belgrade and the
17 building of the television was hit, and I didn't see you protest against
18 that. And your colleague journalists were killed in their work-places.
19 Your source in the NATO alliance was the lawyer of -- if your source had
20 been the lawyer of the families, he would have told you that it was
21 against Milosevic, but you didn't write about that. And your colleagues
22 were hit by bombs very far away from Krusa, very far away from Krusa.
23 Thank you. Thank you. I have no further questions.
24 A. To be fair to me, I believe I did criticise and condemn the
25 bombing of the journalists and the TV station, as only journalists would.
1 I don't believe that anybody should bomb journalists.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 Mr. Ivetic, do you have questions?
4 MR. IVETIC: Yes, I do, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Will you be lengthy?
6 MR. IVETIC: No. I have approximately maybe about 20 minutes'
7 worth, so I should be able to complete most of it in the ten minutes we
8 have left and then shortly after the break, if I'm counting the time
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. Well, carry on.
11 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
13 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Sweeney. My name is Dan Ivetic and I would
14 have some questions for you. Since our time is limited, I would ask you
15 to pay close attention to my questions and try to give the most accurate
16 and truthful and concise answer possible.
17 Now, first of all, sir, when looking at the Mala Krusa tragedy,
18 one of the matters that you testified about, and it's contained in your
19 statement, is this list that you found of the local militia members that
20 you said had been involved in this event, and I want to ask you a question
21 about this.
22 Am I correct that you went over this list with the persons that
23 you interviewed and the individuals from the village, and they confirmed
24 that all these people on this list were local Serbs from the Mala Krusa
25 village? Is that correct?
1 A. I'm not sure that I asked them, every single last one, but there
2 were a key number of names who had been identified by the women, and it
3 was those that we were at most pains to identify.
4 Q. Okay. And I believe you had said that you did not know what
5 organisations they were a part of, but you did know for certain persons --
6 for instance, you did know that Dimitri Nikolic worked in a rakija factory
7 before the war, didn't you?
8 A. Yeah.
9 Q. And, in fact, he ran a cafe in town. Isn't that correct?
10 A. I didn't -- I didn't know that he ran a cafe in town.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. By the way, on the organisation point --
13 Q. I'll ask you the questions, sir.
14 A. Okay.
15 Q. We've got time restraints we've got to deal with.
16 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, at this time I would like to tender in
17 part, I think in similar fashion to what the Prosecution did previously
18 with this exhibit from the bar table, Exhibit P2335, to the extent that
19 some of the individuals that this witness has identified in his statement,
20 there are names of -- there are these names on this list, and that would
21 be page 2 of the exhibit, the response to ICTY request number 1098. And
22 for the record, the following individuals appear on the list that the
23 witness has provided and also appear on this exhibit as being individuals
24 for whom the MUP has no information about. They are -- and these are the
25 numbers from the exhibit: Number 6, Rasko Nikolic; number 7, Miladin
1 Nikolic; number 8, Danilo Nikolic; number 11, Sveta Tasic; number 14,
2 Golub Cvetkovic; number 15, Stanko Cvetkovic; number 16, Stanislav
3 Stankovic; number 17, Pera Stankovic; number 18, Trajce Stankovic; number
4 21, Steva Petkovic; number 22, Golub Petkovic; number 26, Aleksandar
5 Petkovic; and number 27, Darko Tasic.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Moeller, any comment on that?
7 MS. MOELLER: I have no objection, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We will admit that document to the
9 extent that it deals with these various individuals.
10 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Now, to talk about certain
11 other individuals for matters of witness security, I need to go into
12 private session for about five questions.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Private session.
14 [Private session]
11 Pages 4873-4874 redacted. Private session.
8 [Open session]
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask the interpreters if it's necessary to
10 break at this stage? It may be. Yes, the information is it is, so we'll
11 break for 20 minutes, since we had half an hour at the last break.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 --- Recess taken at 5.50 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 6.12 p.m.
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
17 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Mr. Sweeney, in your statement you describe your return -- your
19 visit to Mala Krusa. Am I correct that this took place approximately two
20 and a half months after the events that transpired when persons were said
21 to be killed at the hay-barn and two and a half months after the witnesses
22 you spoke with in Albania had left their home village?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And am I also correct that during the intervening
25 two-and-a-half-month period, you have no objective personal knowledge of
1 how the condition of the village might have changed during that time?
2 A. No objective reporter could have done.
3 Q. Okay. Am I also correct that when you first arrived in Mala
4 Krusa, you immediately ran into a young lad named Fadil, 14 years old, who
5 was from the village and was a relative of someone whom you -- or you
6 believe was a relative of someone who had perished in the Batusha barn?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And when you met this young lad, he was carrying a Kalashnikov
9 assault rifle and a knife, according to your statement at least. Do you
10 recall if he was dressed in civilian clothes or a uniform at the time?
11 A. He has a makeshift uniform on, I think a military hat of some
12 kind, a beret.
13 Q. Okay. And --
14 A. His pistol was a toy.
15 Q. The Kalashnikov was real though?
16 A. Yeah.
17 Q. Okay. And the knife was real?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And now do you know whether he -- whether there were other persons
20 walking around with arms in Mala Krusa or the surrounding area at that
21 point in time when you returned to the village on or about June, I think
22 it, the 14th -- you said was probably the date you returned?
23 A. Yes. It was not a huge number of KLA/UCK, but there was some
25 Q. You say these were KLA/UCK. Did all of them have on uniforms, or
1 were some of them dressed in civilian a garb?
2 A. Not that many. We would have filmed them because there weren't
3 that many people around at that time. So I can't remember seeing any KLA
4 soldiers in uniform in little Krusa because I think we would have filmed
5 them, because we were alert to the possibility of what were they up to
6 now. There were certainly a small number of -- of men with guns around.
7 That's all I can help you with I think.
8 Q. That's fair enough. Fair enough.
9 Now, you go on to describe in your statement that you entered the
10 homes of some of the local Serb villagers who were believed to be
11 perpetrators of the killing, and you describe that these homes had been
12 abandoned and "already been looted by the Albanians." Am I correct that
13 by the time you arrived in Mala Krusa on about June 14th, 1999, almost all
14 of the Serb households in that village had been looted by Albanians prior
15 to your arrival?
16 A. I think that's too sweeping. The -- it was -- I could go into
17 these homes and find clothes -- I think some of the clothes had been taken
18 out of wardrobes and so forth but not all, and I certainly wouldn't be
19 able to say that of every home. People -- so, for example, I'm thinking
20 about some of the homes I went into. I was the first person to take some
21 of the documents, some of the photographs, because they had remained
22 undisturbed. But remember, I was looking for that kind of evidence rather
23 than to sort of steal a bicycle or whatever might be -- might be left.
24 Q. Or valuables?
25 A. Yeah. So I was looking for particular things.
1 Q. Now, of the homes that were -- that had been looted by Albanians,
2 were there a large number of homes that had been looted, at least in part,
3 by Albanians prior to your arrival in Mala Krusa in June of --
4 A. They weren't -- well, the significant moment for us - and I was
5 away on holiday when it happened - was when the Serb houses, which had
6 been pretty much extant, were burnt and their roofs came off in the fire.
7 Q. I'm asking about the time-period before you arrived.
8 A. Yes. I'm -- what we're talking about -- for example, I can
9 remember there was -- in one house there was a cow which was -- had been
10 cut with a scythe and it was dying but not yet dead, but the homes were --
11 were on the whole empty-ish. I -- yes. It seems as though there had been
12 some evidence of some of -- obviously or presumably the Albanians going
13 into these homes and looking for valuables.
14 Q. And you would agree with me, sir, that you have no way of
15 confirming that in fact the same persons who looted the Serb homes are not
16 the same persons that looted the other homes in the village, objectively
18 A. Well, I'm afraid I have to answer that in the context of
19 everything else that I was aware of, and I would find it surprising -- in
20 fact, very surprising --
21 Q. That's fair enough.
22 A. -- to draw that inference. Basically you're looking at the whole
23 context, and you can see why the Albanians would have thought: Why can't
24 I go and steal from my old Serb neighbours, given what had happened? But
25 I wasn't there.
1 Q. Okay. Now, were you there and did your film crew film any funeral
2 or memorial service in Mala Krusa?
3 A. Yes, I wasn't there; the film crew was. I think I was on
4 holiday. I had spent about a month on the trot there. Then I went away
5 on home, and there was somebody else or another part of the team stayed on
6 and filmed the funeral rites and there were lots of KLA soldiers there at
7 the time. And I can remember James Miller talking about it and saying
8 that -- you know, where had these buggers come from? We hadn't seen them
9 before in -- in any numbers before.
10 Q. And these KLA soldiers that were present, they did a memorial gun
11 salute to the persons -- victims that were buried?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay.
14 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I have no more questions for this
16 THE WITNESS: There's something I'd like to say, Your Honours --
17 MR. IVETIC:
18 Q. Thank you, sir.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
20 About what, Mr. Sweeney?
21 THE WITNESS: It's actually about a matter which I believe ought
22 to be heard in secret session about one of the other witnesses who were
23 under some kind of protection.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
25 We'll go into private session for that reason.
1 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Now, Ms. Moeller, I don't think I gave you an adequate opportunity
21 to deal with the exhibits, now that I look at the state of the numbering.
22 There must be numbers to be attached to certain exhibits. So could you
23 please do the exercise of identifying what we should be considering in the
24 way of exhibits.
25 MS. MOELLER: Yes, most certainly, Your Honours.
1 The first documentary Witness to Murder is Exhibit P114; the
2 second documentary Prime Suspects is Exhibit Number P115; then the clip
3 from the raw footage that we also seek to tender is Exhibit P2364. In the
4 meantime, we have also provided an exhibit P number for the sequence of
5 the ten video-clips that were shown in court today, and we could make
6 available a CD-ROM with these clips to the Bench, and this would be
7 Exhibit Number P2384 just so that it is clear on the transcript then to
8 which specific clips the testimony related. And in addition to these
9 exhibits, I would also seek to tender Exhibit Number P2328 and 2327, which
10 are the notebook and the list of names that appear in the documentary and
11 that were addressed today with the witness in his testimony.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: And do you have some re-examination?
13 MS. MOELLER: No, Your Honour, I don't think so.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, these various exhibits are admitted. Thank
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: It's always possible for witnesses who come here,
18 Mr. Sweeney, to leave with the impression that they've been rushed.
19 Inevitably, we're covering a very large area and very large number of
20 events; this is a significant one, and therefore your contribution is
21 important. But you have to bear in mind also that we've heard from some
22 eye-witnesses directly ourselves. There is other material relating to
23 these events, so we have to put your evidence into context. We're
24 extremely grateful to you for coming to give that evidence, and you're now
25 free to leave.
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 MS. MOELLER: Your Honour --
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Moeller.
6 MS. MOELLER: Your Honour, before we break for the day, I would
7 also wish to tender from the bar some exhumation reports in relation to
8 the site Krusha e Vogel because we completed leading evidence on this site
9 at this point, and I think the fact that bones were fact near the
10 Drin River was referred to by several witnesses and we have corresponding
11 exhumation material that I would seek to tender.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: So what are the reports that you seek to tender,
14 MS. MOELLER: These are reports from the Metropolitan Police, the
15 anti-terrorist branch from the United Kingdom, and it's a series of
16 individual reports of exhumation activities undertaken in Krusha e Vogel
17 at different locations.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: What are the numbers of these?
19 MS. MOELLER: The numbers are Exhibit P100, 102, 103, 104, 105,
20 106, 107, 110, 111, and 112. These are reports and photos, and I cannot
21 really tell Your Honours why they all have separate P numbers, but they
22 all pertain to the same site and the same exhumation operation.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Do any of these identify any victims?
24 MS. MOELLER: They identify -- no, they do not identify any of the
25 victims from the barn. They only speak about bone fragments having been
1 found and some other material, shoes, et cetera, at different locations
2 along and in the close vicinity of the Drin River. But they do not --
3 there is no identification of these men.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 Mr. Ivetic.
6 MR. IVETIC: Well, first of all, Your Honour, without -- and I
7 thought that the persons -- the forensic persons were going to testify
8 with respect to these documents; without that, I don't know what probative
9 value they have. Secondly, I do not know -- these particular exhibits
10 were not referenced with respect to this witness, so I did not take the
11 time to go through them one by one. I'd like to know from the other side
12 whether these are all of the Mala Krusa exhumation reports, since when I
13 did review them previously, as I recall there were a fair number of them
14 that dealt with bones and bone fragments that turned out not to be human
15 bones. So I don't know whether this is the -- whether these exhibit
16 numbers that have been listed are the entire set of forensic documents,
17 which include verification that some of the remains found were non-human,
18 or if this is just a selective view of them. If they are going to come
19 in - and I would still think that there should be an objection to that -
20 but if the Court were to overrule that objection, I think that it's either
21 all or nothing should come in.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what we'll do is give you an opportunity to
23 review this material, and we'll postpone a decision on it until sometime
24 next week. We'll give you time to discuss it with the Prosecution, and I
25 leave it to you to alert us again sometime before -- before Thursday -- on
1 or before Thursday of next week of your respective positions in relation
2 to this, and we'll make a decision at that time.
3 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 MS. MOELLER: May I --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
6 MS. MOELLER: -- just respond to one inquiry directly. These are
7 all the reports that are on our exhibit list in relation to Krusha e
8 Vogel. So it's a complete set of what we intended to tender from the
10 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
11 Well, that brings us to the end of this week, and we'll resume at
12 9.00 on Monday.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.29 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Monday, the 16th day of
15 October, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.