1 Wednesday, 27 February 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE: Just to pick up where we left off yesterday, there are
7 available for the Chamber a copy or copies of binders of the type we
8 discussed yesterday. Because the binders were prepared to reflect the
9 indictments, either a binder dealing with deportations or binders dealing
10 with what are described as killing sites individually - and the sample I
11 have before me and which is available to the Chamber relates to the
12 killing site of Bela Crkva - the document --
13 JUDGE MAY: We haven't got it.
14 MR. NICE: Yes. It's down there, coming up. There are two copies
15 coming up, Bela Crkva.
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, you can introduce this document now, but we
17 don't want to waste too much time. We'll need to read it.
18 MR. NICE: No. I think it's pretty nearly self-explanatory. It
19 comes, in this particular site, in two volumes. There's an index at the
20 beginning of the first volume. And the only way in which this differs
21 from the binders served on the accused and the amici is that this does not
22 contain the statements it was proposed to tender under 92 bis, whereas
23 their binders did.
24 You'll find within it, as I explained yesterday, a passage from
25 the indictment, an investigator's summary statement, various photographs,
1 maps, and so on, the report of the forensic exhumation team, and
2 associated photographs that connect to that.
3 So that's probably as much as I need say by way of introduction,
4 and if I can invite the Chamber to look at them in due course and return
5 to them when it's convenient. And here's a third copy so that the Chamber
6 can have one each.
7 The second thing, if that's convenient to move on, the second
8 issue that I touched on yesterday and said I'd like leave to return to
9 today relates to the possible amendment of the order in relation to the
10 service of lists of exhibits and witnesses and a pre-trial brief in the
11 Croatia/Bosnia part of the indictment of the trial.
12 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. Just one moment. It may save some
13 time if we confer.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE MAY: You can have until the 31st or, rather, the 30th of
16 April, if need be, but no further extensions after that. The Rule will be
17 applied in the usual way, which is that all the material which the Rule
18 requires will have to be provided then. If there are applications to
19 provide further material, of course we would consider them.
20 MR. NICE: I'm grateful to the Chamber for that, and of course,
21 this is one of those cases where a little more time will enable us to
22 reduce this list, we hope substantially, by then.
23 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
24 MR. NICE: And the third point that is outstanding, if I may,
25 because I think it may ultimately save time and be useful, just take a
1 moment or so with it, is the documents that I am proposing to prepare in
2 any event but that I think may be susceptible to a measure of joint
3 preparation or cooperation.
4 There's already before you -- it can be called various things. It
5 can be called a tracking document or a fill-box document, but nevertheless
6 its composition is pretty obvious. This is the fatter document, and it's
7 entirely empty at the moment, but you'll see what it is. It simply takes
8 the indictment and breaks it down, at the moment literally word-for-word.
9 In the vernacular of computer workings, it's cut and paste so that the
10 left-hand column simply takes a part of the indictment, breaks it down,
11 puts it in a box, and then the remaining columns to the right of that
12 allow for the possibility of witness testimony in summary form with
13 transcript page references to fill those boxes. And it becomes
14 particularly important, once we move beyond the introductory paragraphs to
15 the particular identified counts.
16 I'm afraid the pages haven't been page numbered, but that's
17 because the document is at the moment too large to be a single document,
18 but if you go to the third section of the stapled sections, you'll find
19 something that's headed "Forcible Transfer." And so here's the
20 allegations under count 2: Forces of the FRY and Serbia in a deliberate
21 and systematic way did this and that. Witnesses can then be
22 identified in summary form, along with exhibits, and slowly the document
23 will fill up.
24 Now, can I then take you, please, to the sample document that's
25 been very helpfully provided by Mr. Higgins for me, a sample document said
1 to be for display only, which gives an example of how this document may
2 ultimately be valuable to the Trial Chamber. This picks up from paragraph
3 63(A) of the indictment, Orahovac/Rahovec, sets out on the left-hand side
4 the allegation. On the document, it seems that two witnesses, John and
5 Jane Doe, have given evidence. The summary of their evidence is set out
6 there, the exhibit that they will have produced, and then at the moment in
7 the Comments column it says simply, "No comment."
8 Now, this document, if we prepare it and if it's, for example,
9 subject to corrections by the amici and were the Chamber in a position,
10 through its officers, to suggest any other corrections, could become a
11 document that could be common to all parties as the trial developments.
12 And at the end, that column on the right-hand side, Comments, could of
13 course, become two or three columns and at the closing brief stage, all
14 parties could make their comments and so that the Chamber could see in a
15 snapshot what each party was saying about any particular allegation.
16 This document is, of course, particularly valuable at the end of
17 the Prosecution's case, because at that stage any box that has no entry in
18 it is a box for which there is no evidence and one can then simply
19 immediately concede that that count has not been established.
20 The same material that can be contained on this sort of tracking
21 document, if we look at, say, the witness John Doe, if you now turn to the
22 single sheet, can be set out on another document which simply deals with
23 the same material - that is, a summary of the witness's evidence - at this
24 time witness by witness rather than allegation by allegation. So on the
25 sample page you now have, you see the date is set out. That is the date
1 when the witness gave evidence. The witness's name is set out and the
2 importance of having it in that format is that computer technology would
3 always enable these documents to be resorted so that the witnesses are
4 either dealt with alphabetically or chronologically according to when they
5 were called. There's then the summary of the witness's evidence, matching
6 of course, what would appear on the other document, and then there are
7 various boxes for comments. It's not suggested that these comments should
8 be filled in as the trial is going on. They could, of course, be kept
9 blank until the end of the case. But in the same way as the first
10 document will be susceptible to comments from all relevant parties,
11 providing the Chamber with a snapshot view of the competing arguments
12 about events, you could be provided by this document with a snapshot view
13 of arguments about particular witnesses.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, what exactly is the purpose of this
15 document? Is it to assist the parties or is it ultimately to be of
16 assistance to the Chamber in its work?
17 MR. NICE: It's both. Its principal focus is to assist the
18 Chamber in its work, because my experience is that these documents are --
19 or something similar are necessary for the parties to prepare in order to
20 make their arguments and likely to be helpful to the Chamber.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: So the Prosecution comments would be prepared by
22 the Prosecution, no doubt.
23 MR. NICE: Yes.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: And the Defence comments by the Defence.
25 MR. NICE: Yes.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: And the comments by the amici by the amici, and
2 this would reflect their assessment of the evidence.
3 MR. NICE: Yes.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, quite frankly, I would not find it
5 appropriate, speaking for myself, because I believe that ultimately it is
6 for the Chamber to assess the evidence, and the Chamber should not be
7 assisted in this way, in my view, by -- by counsel. We will have, at the
8 end of the case, addresses by counsel, and in those addresses, we will
9 their assessment of the evidence. But I personally would find this a
10 little intrusive on my work as a Judge in the Chamber. I prefer to have
11 my own assessment of the evidence.
12 For example, even the summary, who would prepare the summary of
13 the evidence?
14 MR. NICE: Well, can I deal with those comments in reverse order?
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
16 MR. NICE: I'm surprised Your Honour would find it unhelpful to
17 have comments by the parties on the witnesses because, of course,
18 typically at the end of any trial, the parties do provide those comments.
19 One of the problems with cases of this scale is that closing arguments
20 simply cannot deal with every witness and it's never been the case that
21 counsel have been in a position to attempt to do so.
22 In the last case that I appeared in before Your Honour, in a
23 three-hour closing -- a four-hour closing which was permitted to the
24 Prosecution, it was obviously not gong to be possible to provide comments
25 on witnesses one by one. That would have been wholly unrealistic and,
1 indeed, in a 100-page closing brief, it would have been a waste of
2 resources, a waste of available pages to attempt to deal with witnesses
3 individually; and indeed in that case, as the Chamber I think will recall,
4 one of the documents we did provide was a document that provided the sort
5 of comments on witnesses that we hoped would be valuable if the Chamber
6 decided it needed to consider the credibility or so on of any particular
7 witness, typically Defence witnesses in that case.
8 So I'm afraid I stand entirely by the potential utility of this
9 document. It is essential that parties to a criminal trial are in a
10 position to make their submissions about witnesses or about evidence
11 available to the Chamber, but in trials of this scale, it is necessary to
12 take imaginative steps to enable that to happen without seeking wholly
13 excessive periods of time in oral argument to present the material.
14 Further, there can be no unfairness -- Your Honour asked me was
15 this to help the Chamber or to help the parties. There can be no
16 unfairness because one of the particular purposes of this document is to
17 enable the accused, who is unrepresented, to have a way of marshalling his
18 comments, if he wishes so to do, and present them to the Chamber in a way
19 that could be readily accessible.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let me give you an example of what I mean. John
21 Doe, 2nd of May. There is a summary. The summary is presumably prepared
22 by -- by whom?
23 MR. NICE: I was coming to that. That would be prepared by us,
24 but as I've already said, it could be the subject of discussion with the
25 amici, it could be the subject, if the Chamber so decided, with those who
1 prepare such documents for the Chamber.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: I really believe that would be highly
3 questionable. I mean, as a document for the parties themselves, yes, but,
4 for example, Prosecution comments on John Doe, "Doe was a credible
5 witness." That's what I would expect the Prosecution to say. It is
6 still a matter for the Chamber ultimately to decide on the credibility of
7 the witness. So that wouldn't take us very far. The Chamber would still
8 have to read that witness's evidence and assess the credibility of the
10 So I don't see how a statement from the Prosecution that Doe was a
11 credible witness who could provide first-hand testimony would be very
12 helpful because that is a matter which the Chamber itself would have to
13 determine after reading the evidence in its entirety.
14 MR. NICE: Your Honour, of course, and the particular comments
15 here may not be typical of the comments you would receive. The comments
16 you might receive, for example, following Mr. Ryneveld's careful
17 examination of the witness yesterday might include such things as:
18 Witness omitted passages X, Y and Z, drawn to the Chamber's attention.
19 Notwithstanding that, Chamber invited to approach witness on this basis.
20 Precisely the comments that, in this type of trial, are made by counsel to
21 the Judge, or to a jury, to the Judge at the end of the process.
22 This is designed to be helpful. It's designed to enable, in a
23 manageable way, the duties of counsel, prosecuting and appearing for the
24 amici, to be performed in a setting where the accused will not be
25 disadvantaged by his being unrepresented.
1 Now, as to the summary, of course the summary, which will attempt
2 to be neutral and fair, will come from one of the parties. Somebody's got
3 to take the initiative. And I'm quite content to stop at any
4 negotiations, as it were, with the amici themselves and to present the
5 document in that form. What I am concerned about, and let me be quite
6 blunt about this, what I am concerned about is that in a case -- in cases
7 of this sort, it may inevitably be that a Chamber will proceed in due
8 course in part on summaries. It is infinitely preferable, in our
9 respectful submission, that wherever possible, the summary or a summary
10 upon which the Chamber may proceed can be a transparent document, looked
11 at and considered by all parties, and in particular by the Defence. So
12 that our proposal remains, if I may say so, one that we invite you to
13 consider helpful, constructive, and positive, a proposal that we should
14 prepare a document in broadly these forms or this form --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, the comment you just made goes to the
16 very heart of the matter, which is that the -- in your view, in your
17 respectful submission, the Chamber should, wherever possible, proceed on a
18 summary which is a transparent document.
19 The Chamber proceeds on the basis of the evidence given in court.
20 That is what the Chamber proceeds on, not on the basis of any summary.
21 And if the Chamber has a summary, it must be the Chamber's own summary.
22 It can't be a summary which -- in which the parties have participated in
23 the preparation of, in my view. And we'll hear your submissions, but
24 ultimately, it is for the Chamber, on an assessment of the evidence, to
25 determine the credibility of the witness, the trustworthiness of each
2 I'm not inflexible on this, and we'll take the document and we'll
3 consider it, but those are the views I have at this moment on it.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, I think we've heard -- we have your points.
5 This is essentially a closing brief for the Prosecution. Now, it may well
6 be extremely useful as a document to put before us if there's a submission
7 at half-time. It may be extremely useful as a document instead of a
8 closing brief or attached to a closing brief in which you set out your
9 summary, your list of evidence on a particular point, your comments about
10 the witnesses. All that we accept. But I think we are agreed that, as a
11 working document, it is not going to be of assistance to us. In fact, the
12 Chamber must do its own work and its own assessment, as it will. It will
13 be assisted by the Chamber -- by the parties where necessary. In
14 particular, it's not an appropriate course, it seems to me, in a case in
15 which the accused is in person. It would be different, perhaps, if he was
16 represented, but there again, that's open to argument. But since he's in
17 person, it isn't.
18 If the amicus, on reflection, wish to add something to the
19 schedule and are prepared to do that, then of course, that might be
20 helpful, but it would be a matter for them.
21 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, I'm grateful for the expression
22 of views and I take no more time than, if I may, just two points.
23 One, of course, in answer to His Honour Judge Robinson's point, I
24 wasn't saying that it was inevitable and desirable that you would proceed
25 on a summary. Obviously, and we know this from the judgements that we
1 receive, the Chamber must go back to the transcript but it gets to the
2 transcript via a document and this may be a document that would be
3 helpful. So that's the first point.
4 And the second point is that this is not in answer to His Honour
5 Judge May's characterisation. Although this would become part of the
6 Prosecution brief, as it has done in other cases, its purpose and the
7 reason I raise it now includes that it can help the accused, who has
8 chosen to be unrepresented, to present his comments in an orderly way that
9 might assist you, because otherwise, you may not have his comments
10 available in that form.
11 What I'll do is I'll carry on preparing this document, I'll
12 negotiate with the amici and see if they wish to receive it from time to
13 time. If they do, then the document will have that perhaps additional
14 value at the time we come to present it, as we will, as part of our
16 Thank you for the time in relation to that.
17 JUDGE MAY: Hence we will return the documents, if we may.
18 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. That leaves 92 bis and the scope
19 of cross-examination I think now for next week.
20 Ms. Romano will call the next witness.
21 JUDGE MAY: There may be some matters the amicus wants to raise
22 and also the accused who was told he would have that opportunity.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, very briefly, I
24 must admit that I did not quite understand the idea that was presented by
25 Mr. Geoffrey Nice, because I think that evidence has to be produced here
1 before you. It has to be fully presented here. And then while it is
2 presented, objections may be raised. And I certainly cannot understand
3 that Mr. Nice speaks of imagination when evidence is concerned. That is
4 my main objection.
5 And I think that when evidence is produced, we are going to react
6 to evidence that is on the table right then, and that is the only way I
7 think we can proceed in this case.
8 In view of your ruling that has to do with us, the amici curiae,
9 that you addressed to us on the 11th of January, 2002, where you said
10 quite clearly that we should assist the Trial Chamber in every possible
11 way that we deem appropriate at that moment. Yesterday I discussed this
12 only very briefly with Mr. Kay during the proceedings.
13 You have heard Slobodan Milosevic already twice here before you
14 and once on that day when the hearing was held before the Appeals Chamber.
15 He asked for his own release but not release for the sake of freedom as
16 such but primarily freedom that would make it possible for him to be on a
17 footing of equality with the opposing party.
18 You are fully aware of the fact that this is the first case in
19 which a person is defending himself on his own completely. The Court is
20 indeed in a delicate situation. You know that Rule 45 envisages the
21 possibility that Milosevic opted for, but at this moment, I would like to
22 focus the attention of the Trial Chamber on the Statute, the Statute of
23 the Tribunal that says that every accused must be provided a minimum
24 guarantee of having adequate time and resources to prepare his defence.
25 This is the Serbian version, and I don't think the translation is
1 proper. I'm going to read from the French version now.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tapuskovic, would you just pause a minute. If
3 you're going to make an application for provisional release, as you seem
4 to be, I'm not sure that this is the right time to be doing it. It may be
5 appropriate -- when we have got witnesses waiting. It may be appropriate
6 later. But let me consult.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I will be very brief, Judge May,
8 very brief. That is not my point right now, although we have to think
9 about that as well, and perhaps the Trial Chamber should give due
10 consideration to this as well at some point.
11 What I wish to say now is that we have to find the ways and means
12 of enabling Slobodan Milosevic to be prepared for every day in court when
13 evidence is being produced. I don't know what kind of proposal I should
14 submit to you at this point in time. I don't know whether these should be
15 counsellors that he would select, that he would be in a position to
16 contact every day and whether these consultations can take place at the
17 detention unit.
18 However, the point of this is that what Slobodan Milosevic said
19 yesterday, that he does not even have access to the telephone and that he
20 needs to deal with what has been dealt with in Court. So I'm not
21 insisting on provisional release right now and the equality of arms, so to
22 speak, but the Trial Chamber should simply find ways and means of enabling
23 Slobodan Milosevic, since he is unrepresented anyway, to prepare properly
24 for every day in court. That is the point I wish to make now.
25 JUDGE MAY: If you have a concrete proposal, we'll hear it in due
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] May I say something straightaway?
3 In January, you allowed free discussions between Slobodan Milosevic and
4 counsellors he did not accept. However, if he has advisors that he does
5 accept, then he should simply be in a position to talk to them, to discuss
6 things with them, and to see how he is going to act in certain situations
7 since he is defending himself anyway.
8 We do not have any contact with Slobodan Milosevic. You know that
9 we are not avoiding this contact and we can have this contact on the basis
10 of your ruling, but we deem that this would be necessary one way or the
11 other, and that is the point I wish to make to you right now.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, in the light of what you just
14 said, are you saying that there is anything now that stands in the way of
15 Mr. Milosevic having contact with his associates and other people to
16 provide him assistance? If that is so, I would consider that a very
17 serious matter which would require very urgent attention by the Chamber.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge Robinson, first
19 and foremost, that is a problem that he indicated to you yesterday, that
20 he does not even have telephone links to anyone any longer. But I think
21 that --
22 JUDGE MAY: That is not so. He does have telephone links.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well. However, telephone is
24 insufficient for this kind of thing. I think that a solution can be
25 found. The Trial Chamber can certainly find a solution for this. If
1 Slobodan Milosevic wishes to say free contacts, unhindered contacts with
2 his advisors, there should be no problem in this regard. He should be put
3 in this position, to have this minimum guarantee for preparing properly
4 for the proceedings here.
5 I don't think that there should be a problem in this regard within
6 the boundaries and the limits in the prison, of course.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues]... it will
8 certainly have my full support, because as you say, that's a right which
9 he has not only under the Statute, but under customary international law
10 to have adequate facilities for the preparation of his defence. But let
11 us know concretely what it is that you have in mind. The telephone
12 matter, as far as I am aware, as far as the Chamber is aware, has been
13 addressed. If there is still a problem with the telephone, then let us
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't want to keep you any
16 longer. I shall try, together with my colleagues, to perhaps write some
17 submissions to this effect, but this seems to be a problem to me -- a
18 problem that, to my mind, requires a solution.
19 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you.
20 Yes, Mr. Milosevic. You were told you would have an opportunity
21 to raise any matters. You can do so now.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would -- I would like to continue
24 along identical lines, perhaps not altogether identical, regarding this
25 subject that has been raised by one of the amici curiae.
1 You know full well that the fundamental right that is guaranteed
2 by the international covenant on international political and civil rights,
3 and there is a European, an African, an American declaration to this
4 effect, a basic right is the right to defence.
5 I have fully been denied this right through this isolation, and it
6 is quite clear that no mention can be made of a fair trial here or
7 equality of arms. I have no conditions whatsoever for defending myself
9 On the other hand, all of you know full well that I am not going
10 to run away from this place of force and injustice, where my people and
11 where my country are being defended, because these are the gravest
12 possible accusations.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we are not impressed by your political
14 points. You have made them a great many times. They do not improve with
15 repetition. Now, if you have a serious application to make to this Trial
16 Chamber, will you make it? Tell us what it is you're asking for, and we
17 will consider it.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very seriously, there is not a more
19 serious question that I am raising, more serious than that one, and that
20 is for you to release me, and you know full well that I'm not going to
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will consider that.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please do. Furthermore, I wish to
24 make a comment. I assume that you have given me that right as well. I
25 would like to comment on these proposals that we've heard from the
1 Prosecution, and also I would like to make a comment on the comment made
2 by one of the amici.
3 I think that I quite understand what the other side wants, the one
4 that submitted this false indictment. That side wants to organise the
5 work of both sides, both parties. They even want to organise the work of
6 the Trial Chamber with this idea of some kind of a document that is
7 supposed to serve the interests of all three sides and that one side will
8 hold and manage and in this way it is already in a position to hold an
9 entire machinery in their own hands as opposed to the other side what has
10 been denied its right to defend itself. So they even want to improve upon
11 their already advantageous position.
12 We have heard yesterday, from the explanations provided by the
13 Prosecutor, that I practically bother them here by everything I've been
14 doing and saying here. Now I see that they're bothered by the existence
15 of the Trial Chamber as well, because they want to give instructions to
16 the Trial Chamber as to how they are going to judge the authenticity of
17 what they have been presenting. In this way, they wish to compensate for
18 the fact that their evidence is totally amiss. These are false witnesses.
19 Even Judge Robinson, as far as I have understood things, made a comment to
20 the effect that the Prosecutor went too far by making such a submission.
21 I should say that this is putting it very mildly when commenting upon what
22 the Prosecutor has done.
23 It is quite clear that, with this idea, the Prosecutor wants the
24 Prosecution to take over for both parties; that is to say, to take over my
25 function as well, and perhaps even yours, that of the Trial Chamber.
1 Perhaps the best thing would be is if all would refrain from their
2 activities whatsoever and that the Prosecution pronounce their ruling,
3 their decision on the basis of all these verbal resources that are being
4 used to deny material facts.
5 In order to make a comparison to what they have been doing, Osama
6 bin Laden could bring you as many witnesses, also from Kosovo and
7 Metohija, who could swear that they saw with their own eyes, George Bush
8 throwing grenades and bombs on the Pentagon and the White House. Verbal
9 resources cannot be used to altogether annul something that has been seen
10 by the entire world. This cannot annul the activities of the KLA or the
11 NATO aggression, especially not in this way in which the Prosecutor has
12 been working with his ambition.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, I'm -- Mr. Milosevic, I'm going to stop
14 you now. You've made your point. In fact, we had already ruled that we
15 are not going to look at that document. What we've said is this: The
16 Prosecution can produce the document at the end of the proceedings when it
17 will be part of their submissions to the Trial Chamber. That is all it
18 will be. And the fears you've expressed, you need have no trouble about.
19 The Trial Chamber are not going to look at it.
20 Thank you very much. Let's hear the witnesses now. Sorry, there
21 is one matter Judge Robinson wants to raise.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you remember yesterday I commended
23 Mr. Tapuskovic for the role that he played in cross-examining a witness on
24 the witness statement. I commended him because he was endeavouring to
25 pinpoint in the witness statement information or evidence which tended to
1 contradict what the witness said in court. Now, he did that because you
2 have taken the position not to read the witness statement, and that is --
3 that's your right. But I want to suggest to you that your interests would
4 be better served by reading the witness statements which are, in fact, not
5 very long, for this reason: The witness statements will quite often
6 contain information and evidence which might contradict what is said in
7 court, and you would be in a better position to make better use of that
8 contradiction than the amicus curiae, for the very simple reason that you
9 have more information about the matters than the amicus.
10 So I want to leave it to you for your consideration that in the
11 interests of your defence, you would be well advised to read the witness
12 statements in putting forward your case before us.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll call the witness.
14 MS. ROMANO: The Prosecution calls Besnik Sokoli.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the declaration.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
18 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you'd like to take a seat.
20 WITNESS: BESNIK SOKOLI
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Examined by Ms. Romano:
23 Q. Mr. Sokoli, would you please state your full name to the Court.
24 A. My name is Besnik Sokoli.
25 Q. Sir, you were born on the 2nd of September, 1977, in Peja;
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What's your current profession?
4 A. I'm a professional translator.
5 Q. Where do you work?
6 A. At the moment, I'm working for the UNMIK police.
7 Q. Where did you work before?
8 A. During 1998, I worked for the US KDOM observer, then for the OSCE,
9 and after the war, I worked for the ICTY.
10 Q. What was your work for the ICTY?
11 A. I worked as a field interpreter for the ICTY.
12 Q. Mr. Sokoli, can you briefly describe to the Court where Peja is
14 A. Peja is in the west of Kosova and borders on Montenegro. The
15 nearest villages are Raushiq and Vitromirica.
16 Q. What was the ethnic composition of Peja before March 1999?
17 A. I believe that about 90 per cent were Albanians.
18 Q. Mr. Sokoli, how would you describe the situation in Peja or near
19 Peja during the summer 1998 and to March 1999?
20 A. It was very tense, especially after certain incidents that
21 happened. And as a staff member for the OSCE, I suffered some
22 mistreatment, and the Serbs who lived in Peja attacked OSCE cars.
23 Q. I will stop you for a minute, Mr. Sokoli. Let's go back to when
24 you started saying that it was tense because certain incidents. Can you
25 describe what kind of incidents?
1 A. I don't remember the exact dates, but I think it was December, and
2 there was an incident when six Serbs were killed in a cafe.
3 Q. Do you know who killed the Serbs?
4 A. No, I don't know. But according to rumours that I've heard, there
5 was a certain -- there was a certain argument among the Serbs themselves.
6 Q. And what was the argument?
7 A. No.
8 Q. I don't -- I think you didn't understand my question, Mr. Sokoli.
9 Do you know what was the argument that they were exchanging among
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. So what happened after this incident?
13 A. Until that incident, we went to work more freely - I'm talking of
14 myself - but after this incident, we were the -- the observers had to come
15 and fetch us from our homes, and we were shut up in our homes.
16 Q. At that time, you were working for the KVM mission?
17 A. The OSCE.
18 Q. At that time, was the Serb army present in Peja, during 1998 and
19 before March 1999?
20 A. Yes. There was the police together with the army.
21 Q. And were they -- what was the police and army doing together?
22 A. I don't know how to reply. They were there, as I said. There was
23 some mistreatment of the Albanian population by Serbian civilians, and
24 there were also excesses in which the police and the army mistreated
25 Albanian citizens.
1 Q. Do you remember or can you tell the Court an example of any
3 A. For example, the day after the incident I described earlier, in
4 the centre of Peja, a lot of Albanians were beaten by Serbian civilians,
5 and the police were present but didn't intervene in any way at all.
6 Q. Mr. Sokoli, were you or any members of your family associated to
7 the KLA at any time?
8 A. No.
9 Q. And was the KLA present in your town?
10 A. I wasn't aware that the KLA was in the city of Peja, and the only
11 information I have about the KLA I obtained from the media and the
12 television. They were mostly deployed among the hills and the villages.
13 Q. Do you remember seeing them coming to -- to the town? I mean to
15 A. No, not before the war.
16 Q. And after the war?
17 A. Yes. I saw them -- I saw members of the KLA after the war.
18 Q. Do you know about fights between the Serb forces and the KLA
19 between -- during 1998?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Have you witnessed any of these fights?
22 A. No.
23 Q. So how did you become aware of the fights?
24 A. Through the media.
25 Q. What kind of media?
1 A. I think news such as the BBC and EuroNews and so forth.
2 Q. Mr. Sokoli, I will turn right now to the 24 of March, when the
3 NATO bombing started in Kosovo. Where were you at that time?
4 A. At this time I was at home.
5 Q. In Peja?
6 A. Yes, in Peja.
7 Q. And was Peja hit or bombed that day?
8 A. Not to my knowledge.
9 Q. Where were you on the next day of NATO bombing, on the 25th of
11 A. I was still at home on that day.
12 Q. Were you alone at home?
13 A. No. I was with my family and also with the Bobi family, my
15 Q. How many people total in your house?
16 A. Ten.
17 Q. Did you leave your house?
18 A. I left my home on 28th of March, Sunday.
19 Q. So while you were at your home on the 25th of March, what did you
20 see or hear?
21 A. On the 24th and 25th, it was relatively calm, but on the evening
22 of the 25th and on the 26th and 27th, there was shelling in a
23 neighbourhood near my neighbourhood called Zatra, and I saw several houses
25 Q. You could see this from your house?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you see the shelling?
3 A. I saw flames and the glow from the shelling.
4 Q. Did at any time you leave, you leave your house?
5 A. On the 27th of March, my father went to the gate of the house and
6 saw the police who were there with an APC, as he told me. And on the next
7 day, in the morning, I, on the 28th, I went to the gate and I didn't see
8 anybody, not even my neighbours, and we decided to leave.
9 Q. What was the reason why your neighbours went away? What was the
10 situation at that time?
11 A. I don't know why they left, but at that time, I was very scared,
12 and I was frightened to remain there with my family.
13 Q. So you remained in your house for two days, and you said that on
14 the 28th of March, you left. So can you describe what happened on the
15 28th of March.
16 A. On the 28th of March, Sunday, we went together, my family and the
17 Bobi family, went to my aunt's house in another part of the city, in a
18 neighbourhood called Gjemajl Kada. We went through the lanes so that the
19 police and army we wouldn't see us.
20 Q. And while you were heading to this place, what did you see or
22 A. I noticed a large police presence; burned houses; looted, broken
23 shops; and all their property stolen.
24 Q. Mr. Sokoli, let's go back to what you said about the large police
25 presence. How many policemen did you see at that time?
1 A. I can't give a number because they were always moving, but I would
2 say more than 50.
3 Q. And how were they dressed? Did they have uniforms?
4 A. Yes. They were in uniforms.
5 Q. Can you describe the uniform?
6 A. It was a blue camouflage uniform.
7 Q. Did they have any insignia or patch?
8 A. On the left arm, they had "Milicija" written.
9 MS. ROMANO: Could I please have the witness shown Exhibit number
11 Q. Mr. Sokoli, I will ask you to look at this series of photos and
12 indicate to the Court if you -- if you find any uniforms similar to the
13 ones you saw that day.
14 A. It was this one, number 6.
15 Q. Thank you. That's fine. Were they armed?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you describe the weapons?
18 A. Roughly, yes.
19 MS. ROMANO: Can I again have the witness shown Exhibit 21 this
20 time. Sorry.
21 Q. Mr. Sokoli, please, if you can, take a look in this series of
22 photos and indicate if you can identify any of the weapons that you saw
23 them carrying at that time.
24 A. [Indicates]
25 Q. Which number is that?
1 A. Number 3 is similar to that, but I'm unable to define it more
3 Q. That's fine, Mr. Sokoli. So it's number 3 from sheet B?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. Mr. Sokoli, can you describe, what did you see the
6 police doing at that time?
7 A. It was very difficult, and I was trying not to be seen. They were
8 always in movement.
9 Q. Did you hear shooting or did you see fire?
10 A. I saw flames from the houses, and I also heard shots which seemed
11 to me to be further away.
12 Q. You said that your neighbourhood was deserted. Were there people
13 in the streets as well at the same time that you were leaving?
14 A. No. Besides the police, I didn't see anybody.
15 Q. So from your house, where did you go?
16 A. I went to my aunt, as I said, in the Gjemajl Kada neighbourhood.
17 Q. How far was your aunt's house from your house?
18 A. About 40 minutes on foot.
19 Q. So during all these 40 minutes was the time when you saw the
20 police moving around?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And did you -- did you speak with anybody else while you were in
23 the street; with any other villagers?
24 A. No, because I didn't see anybody. I was with my family and with
25 the Bobi family.
1 Q. After you arrived in your aunt's house, were you able to see what
2 was happening from your aunt's house?
3 A. Besides smoke from the houses, nothing else.
4 Q. Did there come a time when you left your aunt's house?
5 A. After an hour, I heard people on foot outside the house, in great
6 panic. I went out and asked what was happening, and they told me that the
7 police and the army were come and were killing and were burning houses,
8 looting and so forth.
9 Q. So that was the reason why you decided to leave again?
10 A. Yes, because it was terrible even to look at it.
11 Q. So where did you go?
12 A. Then my family and the Bobi family decided to walk to the first
13 town in Montenegro, to Rozaje.
14 Q. So what did you see or hear while you were walking?
15 A. Again, I saw a large police presence in several places. They
16 didn't stop me and didn't stop me until the reached the crossroads for the
17 road to Montenegro.
18 Q. Did you reach the border to Montenegro?
19 A. No.
20 Q. What happened?
21 A. The police stopped me at this crossroads. There were five or six
22 of them in the same uniform, and they told me that I couldn't continue on
23 this road.
24 Q. Did they tell you why?
25 A. No. They didn't give me a real answer, but I insisted, and I lied
1 to them, saying that their colleagues had told me to go in this direction.
2 Q. And what did they do?
3 A. [In English] They were very -- [Interpretation] They were very
4 aggressive and told me that I had to go back to the centre of Peja, where
5 they had organised buses and trucks to leave the city.
6 Q. So did you go back to Peja?
7 A. Yes. I went back to the centre of Peja.
8 Q. Did you walk back to Peja?
9 A. I walked for a bit and then a car stopped which took me and my
10 parents, and to the -- even today, I still don't know who this person was.
11 Q. So when you arrived in Peja, where did you go?
12 A. When we arrived in Peja near the Metohija Hotel, we stayed there.
13 Q. How many people were there?
14 A. There was a great crowd of Albanian civilians; about 30.000.
15 Q. So why were you gathered in the centre of the town?
16 A. All the citizenry had been told the same, to gather in the centre
17 where buses and trucks would take them from the city.
18 Q. What kind of buses and trucks?
19 A. They were civilian buses and trucks. They belonged to various
20 Albanian private travel agencies.
21 Q. Mr. Sokoli, who told the citizens that the buses and the trucks
22 were coming?
23 A. The police.
24 Q. And do you know -- do you know where the buses and the trucks came
25 from, if they belonged to any company?
1 A. The two companies I remember, one was TRY Turs and the other was
2 Flamengo Turs.
3 Q. Who was driving the buses and the trucks?
4 A. The police themselves.
5 Q. Do you remember approximately how many buses and trucks?
6 A. I think about eight.
7 Q. And at that time, were the police present?
8 A. Yes. There was a large number of policemen there.
9 Q. And what were they doing there?
10 A. They were there and were directing the people who would go into
11 buses and so forth.
12 Q. Were they telling the people where the buses were going to?
13 A. I didn't hear this, nor did I hear anything like this, except in
14 one of the trucks, there was a piece of paper marked Rozaje, which is a
15 town in Montenegro.
16 Q. Do you remember seeing any police or military vehicles?
17 A. Yes. There were policemen moving with civilian cars and also with
18 armoured vehicles and police cars. But I also saw two large tanks of the
19 army. I think they were the army's because they were green.
20 MS. ROMANO: Can I please have the witness shown Exhibit 17.
21 Q. Sir, can you please examine the -- this series of photos and again
22 indicate if you can identify any of the vehicles that you were referring
24 A. The tank was about of this size.
25 Q. You're showing number 6.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. How many tanks did you see?
3 A. I saw two arriving at the same time.
4 Q. And did you see any military -- any - sorry - police vehicles?
5 A. Yes. I saw blue armoured vehicles.
6 Q. Can you see any similar photo in this series of photos that you
7 have before you?
8 A. They were approximately of this kind, but they were blue.
9 MS. ROMANO: The witness indicated number 10.
10 Q. Thank you. Can you recognise any other vehicles that you saw
11 present in the centre of the town?
12 A. I saw a red Mercedes which was driving by.
13 Q. Mr. Sokoli, can you describe what the citizens were doing at that
14 time in the town, what was happening? They were going into the buses?
15 A. There was a great panic, fear. My mother was standing close to
16 me. She wanted to protect me from the police staring at me or looking at
18 Q. And did you see other citizens getting into the buses and being
19 driven away?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. And were the buses coming back to get more people?
22 A. Yes. About two hours and a half or three hours, the same buses
23 and trucks returned to get other citizens.
24 Q. What happened to you, Mr. Sokoli, at that time?
25 A. At about 3.00, six policemen came and they took me to a hotel
1 called Metohija then.
2 Q. What happened in the hotel?
3 A. They maltreated me physically and psychologically.
4 Q. Did they beat you?
5 A. Yes, they did beat me.
6 Q. Where did they beat you?
7 A. Mostly on the back.
8 Q. Do you know why they were beating you?
9 A. I don't know why.
10 Q. Were they saying anything to you?
11 A. Yes. They were asking me, "Where is KLA?" "Where is NATO now?"
12 And they kept asking me questions like, "If we give you an insignia
13 against NATO, a slogan against NATO, would you dare go in front of the
14 citizens and hold it up in the air?"
15 Q. What happened to you next?
16 A. This lasted for about five or six hours. Then the buses and
17 trucks came again and something happened outside, I didn't know what, some
18 panic amongst the people. And the six policemen left the room and left me
19 alone. In a minute or so, another policeman came, and he seized me by the
20 arm and dragged me to the truck.
21 Q. Did you recognise this man?
22 A. I saw him in the past, or earlier. He was carrying a bag with the
23 Red Cross sign on it. He was not armed. He impressed me because he spoke
24 with children who were there in the crowd.
25 Q. Where did he take you to?
1 A. He took me out of the hotel and asked me to get inside one of the
3 Q. At that time, did you know where your family was?
4 A. My family was in the same truck, vehicle with me.
5 Q. How many people were in the truck?
6 A. About 60 people.
7 Q. And where did they take you?
8 A. I saw a sign put on this truck, "Rozaje," but they took us to
10 Q. Do you remember who was driving the bus?
11 A. At that moment, I didn't see who, but when we arrived in Prizren,
12 I saw that he was a policeman.
13 Q. When you arrived in Prizren, what did you see?
14 A. When we approached the entrance to Prizren and on the way to
15 Albania, I saw a large police presence and civilians, Albanians.
16 Q. Mr. Sokoli, when you say "police," can you identify the uniforms?
17 Can you describe the uniforms, if they were wearing one?
18 A. Yes. They were dressed in the same uniform I described earlier,
19 that is, blue camouflage uniforms.
20 Q. And what happened?
21 A. At that moment, some of the citizens began to walk in the
22 direction of Albania. Meanwhile, one of the policemen shouted, telling
23 them to stop. And he told us that some other buses are going to take us
24 closer to the border with Albania.
25 Q. Do you remember how many people were with you in Prizren?
1 A. I'm not sure. About 600 or 700.
2 Q. And did more trucks or buses arrive?
3 A. No. Until we were there, no, I didn't see.
4 Q. So from Prizren, where did you go?
5 A. From Prizren, some other buses arrived there, and they took us to
6 a village. I don't remember the name. It was somewhat five kilometres
7 away from Prizren.
8 Q. And were the buses the same or different buses?
9 A. They were other buses.
10 Q. And did you see who was driving those buses as well?
11 A. Yes. They were policemen.
12 Q. And do you remember approximately how many buses?
13 A. About five or six, I think.
14 Q. Did the police who were guiding you to go into the buses, you and
15 the other citizens?
16 A. The police were there, telling us to go into the buses.
17 Q. So after you got in one of the buses, where did you go?
18 A. After we got on the bus, we were driven up to the village I said
19 earlier. Then we walked on foot up to the border.
20 Q. Mr. Sokoli, before crossing the border, did you have to show or
21 did you have to give any of your documents?
22 A. Yes. The policemen were there, and they asked the people to give
23 them their IDs and passports they had on them, or any other identification
24 documents they had, and I saw that they pulled off the licence plates from
25 the cars.
1 Q. Mr. Sokoli, when you say "policemen," can you again describe their
3 A. Yes. The same uniforms; blue camouflage.
4 Q. How many policemen did you see at the border?
5 A. About 15.
6 Q. Did they tell the people why they have to have hand over their
8 A. No, they didn't.
9 Q. And did they also tell why they were taking out the plates from
10 the vehicles?
11 A. I didn't hear anything.
12 Q. When did you arrive in Albania?
13 A. I arrived in Albania - in Kukes, to be more precise - on the 29th
14 of March.
15 Q. When did you return to Kosovo?
16 A. I came alone - I don't remember, it was 16th or 17th - to see what
17 was left of our own house or my job -- my property. Sorry.
18 Q. And how did you find your house?
19 JUDGE MAY: 16th or 17th of which month?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of June.
21 MS. ROMANO:
22 Q. How did you find your house?
23 A. The top was burned and everything was looted and raided from my
25 Q. Last question, Mr. Sokoli: Why did you leave Kosovo and went to
2 A. I was obliged to leave Kosova out of fear, because I used to work
3 for the OSCE, and we were the target of the police and military. I was
4 afraid that something bad might happen to my family and to myself.
5 Q. You said you worked with the OSCE. What was the role of the OSCE
6 at that time?
7 A. The OSCE played the role of observer to ensure a security, a safe
9 Q. And why do you think you was -- you were a target by working with
10 the OSCE?
11 A. Because when I was in the OSCE car, which had orange colour, we
12 often were thrown stones at by Serbian civilians.
13 Q. Mr. Sokoli, did you leave because of the NATO bombing?
14 A. No, I did not leave because of NATO bombing, because I didn't have
15 any reason to be afraid of them. My house was not situated close to the
16 police stations or police barracks.
17 MS. ROMANO: No further questions, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sokoli, we're going to adjourn now for half an
19 hour. Would you be back, please, at 11.30 for further examination. Would
20 you remember in this break and other others there may be in your evidence
21 not to speak to anybody about it until it's over, and that does include
22 members of the Prosecution team.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MAY: Half past eleven.
25 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Prior to the beginning of your work with the KVM,
5 have you always lived in Pec?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And have you spent some time in Switzerland and Germany prior to
9 A. In Germany, I was in 1992 for a short visit.
10 Q. And the rest of the time you spent in the country?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. From 1992 until 1998, without any interruption, meaning you didn't
13 go abroad, did you?
14 A. No, I haven't been abroad.
15 Q. You said that 90 -- the population of Pec was 90 per cent
17 A. That's what I think.
18 Q. But based on the existing figures, 76 per cent of the population
19 of Pec was Albanian.
20 A. I said approximately, but I do not know exactly the figure.
21 Q. Very well. In that case, let us go back to the events that you've
22 described. I will start with the most recent events you described at the
24 You described the events from the 24th until the 29th of March,
25 when you crossed into Albania. Was Pec a war zone during those days?
1 A. I don't understand the question.
2 Q. The NATO aggression started on the 24th, and for a number of
3 months prior to that, there were clashes with the KLA formations. During
4 those days, as you were leaving Pec, was Pec already a war zone?
5 A. As I've said earlier, there were no KLA forces in Peja town, but I
6 do not know of any other war.
7 Q. All right. We'll go back to the KLA forces at a later stage.
8 The entire border zone during those days was a war zone, in fact.
9 You described refugees that were leaving the war zone, therefore, would it
10 be true to conclude that soldiers and policemen helped you and other
11 civilians to leave the war zone?
12 A. I don't think so, because -- because I was beaten up and
13 mistreated and so were other citizens. And I did not leave Kosova for any
14 other reason other than being frightened of something happening to me from
15 the Serb police and army.
16 Q. I am asking you only about the facts. They asked you whether you
17 wanted to carry an anti-NATO slogan. That's what you said, didn't you?
18 A. Yes, I did say that.
19 Q. And what did you reply to them?
20 A. I answered yes, because if I were to have said no, I couldn't have
21 imagined the consequences, what would have happened to me.
22 Q. At any rate, you wanted to go from your town towards Rozaje,
23 meaning to Montenegro?
24 A. No. I did not want to go anywhere, but the circumstances forced
25 me to take a decision during that period.
1 Q. You said that you started with your parents in the direction of
2 Rozaje and that at the crossroads you were turned back by the police in
3 order to board the buses rather than walk. That's the explanation you
4 gave us here, therefore, you were walking in the direction of Rozaje.
5 A. We decided to go to Rozaje because it was close by, and we thought
6 it would be safer if we went there and take shelter for some time.
7 Q. The territory of Montenegro was less bombed than the entire
8 territory of Serbia, and even less than the territory of Kosovo. Are you
9 aware of that?
10 A. I'm thinking about the NATO bombing in Serbia and Montenegro. All
11 of that, I've followed these events through the media.
12 Q. But this fact pertaining to your departure to Rozaje has something
13 to do with the bombing as well, and the question I have for you is as
14 follows: Do you know that on the 25th of March the area of Rozaje was
15 bombed? I have a fact here concerning a young man, a Muslim young man,
16 Senat Dacic, a 16-year-old who was killed, and I also have information
17 about a large number of wounded persons. Therefore, this is why you were
18 turned back from that road that wasn't safe, because on that occasion,
19 cluster bombs were used. Do you know about this?
20 A. No, I don't know anything about that.
21 Q. Therefore, on the road that you wanted to use to go from Pec to
22 Rozaje, cluster bombs were used. This is why that road was not considered
23 to be safe for refugees.
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, he said he doesn't know about that.
25 Perhaps -- perhaps the witness can help us with this: When the police
1 turned you back, did they say anything about bombing?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. They didn't tell us anything of
3 that sort or of bombing.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Very well. In that case, do your answers suggest that the
6 authorities did not allow Albanians to go to Montenegro?
7 A. I can't talk about their intentions.
8 Q. Very well. And do you know that several tens of thousands of
9 refugees from Kosovo and Metohija went to Montenegro, using that very
10 road, but later on, when there were no cluster bombs on that road? Do you
11 know that several tens of thousands of citizens went, using that same
12 road, to Montenegro?
13 A. I also don't know when they left Kosova, but I learned through the
14 media that several thousand refugees took shelter in Montenegro.
15 Q. Well, because -- since you worked in the Verification Mission, you
16 should know that there are figures of the UNHCR concerning the number of
17 refugees. Are you aware of that? Yes or no.
18 A. I can't answer yes or no but simply, through the media, I know
19 that there were figures about different numbers of refugees who had taken
20 refuge in different cities.
21 Q. Very well. You said at the beginning that the tensions in Pec
22 were caused by what you called an incident in the Panda cafe in Pec.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, he said that. What's the question?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. That incident took place on the 14th of December, 1998. Do you
2 remember that?
3 A. I said before I remember the month but not the exact day.
4 Q. But you remember that it was in December of 1998; is that right?
5 A. Yes, I remember that it was December.
6 Q. And you believe that, prior to that, there were no incidents that
7 would lead to increased tension?
8 A. I don't know of any in the city of Peja.
9 Q. Well, that's a relative thing. Do you know that from May until
10 November of 1998, meaning from May until November of 1998, that the police
11 had clashes with the KLA in a large number of villages around Pec? For
12 example, the village of Lodza is two kilometres from Pec, Lubeniq also
13 two, Rausic five kilometres, Streoc 10 kilometres, Breznik and so on. Six
14 members from MUP were killed. So do you have knowledge of these attacks
15 of the KLA on the police and civilians in general from May until November
16 of 1998? All these events took place in the area of Pec.
17 A. In the connection with the KLA, I said before that they were in
18 the hills and woods or in villages, and I believe that they were opposed
19 by Serbian forces. And all these things that I'm saying now are things
20 that I've heard from the media. They were in the forests, and they were
21 helping the populous who had been expelled from their villages.
22 JUDGE MAY: You were asked specifically about incidents in the
23 villages around Pec during which, as I understand it, it's alleged that
24 six members of the MUP were killed. Do you have any knowledge of any such
25 incidents? If you don't, say so.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't know about these
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. And do you know, for example, about an incident in the Karagaq
5 Hotel Park in Pec - this is an area of Pec - when the representatives of
6 the OSCE mission came to verify the rumours as to what was going on in
7 that hotel, and they talked to the deputy commander of the KLA brigade,
8 who happened to be there?
9 A. No, I don't know.
10 Q. You said that you used to work at the Verification Mission.
11 Therefore, I suppose that you, as an employee of the Verification Mission,
12 had more information available to you than the rest of the population.
13 Did you have any information regarding this or not?
14 A. I didn't have information regarding this incident. And as for the
15 Verification Mission in Kosovo, I worked as a supervisor of the guards.
16 Q. You said that there were no incidents in Pec. And in order to
17 save the time, I will ask you just about the Albanians.
18 Do you know that on the 26th of May, 1998, in the town itself, in
19 Pec, so on the 26th of May, 1998, Komanica Dela was killed? Do you know
20 about that?
21 A. No, I don't know.
22 Q. Do you know that on the 2nd of June, another Albanian was killed
23 in Pec, therefore in the downtown as well, and his name is Thaci Uka?
24 A. No, I don't know, I don't remember.
25 Q. And do you know that on the 3rd of June, another Albanian was
1 killed, Zyber Berisha, near the Pec patriarchy?
2 A. No, I don't know.
3 Q. Do you know that on the 24th of June, Adem Gjuka and Baki Gjuka
4 were killed?
5 A. Yes, I know.
6 Q. You know only about that incident. And do you know about the
7 event that took place on August 1st, when Zenun Gashi was killed?
8 A. No, I don't know.
9 Q. Veton Kelmendi was killed on the 2nd of January.
10 A. No, I don't know.
11 Q. Do you know that Rrustem Sadriu was killed on the 11th of January?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Emin Basha was killed on the 31st of January. Have you heard
14 about this murder?
15 A. No, I haven't heard of it.
16 Q. And on the 10th of February, Qerim Suka was killed. You haven't
17 heard about that either, have you?
18 A. No.
19 Q. You used to work at the Verification Mission. Do you know that in
20 the Verification Mission's report - this is the OSCE mission - pertaining
21 to the period between 10th and 11th of March, 1999 -- from 9th until 12th
22 of March, 1998, it says that pursuant to the KLA command structure's
23 order, more Albanians who were loyal to Serbia were killed. Do you know
24 about this report and do you know that this is what the report says? This
25 was the report of the Verification Mission where you used to work.
1 A. No. I have not seen such reports nor heard anything of this
3 Q. Very well. You said that you were not afraid of the bombing
4 because you didn't live near the barracks or the police station. And do
5 you know that, during the aggression, there were not troops in Pec because
6 they all left towards the area near the water? Do you know about that?
7 A. No, I don't know.
8 Q. Do you know that, in those days, there were 18 funerals of
9 policemen from Pec who were killed by the KLA? This is something that
10 people usually take note of, the funerals. Do you know about this?
11 A. No. I have no knowledge of these things.
12 Q. Do you know that a large number of Albanians and a huge majority
13 of Muslims and Romany remained in Pec during the aggression, as did a
14 large number of Serbs?
15 A. When I came back after the war and after the entry of the NATO
16 forces in Kosova, I found no Albanians, Romanies, or Muslims in Peja.
17 Q. Therefore, when you came back, Pec was empty. Is that what you're
19 A. Yes. I only met a few soldiers of Italian KFOR.
20 Q. Since, according to you, you were in Pec at that time, did you see
21 that 90 per cent of the Serb houses in Pec were burned down at precisely
22 the time when you came back to Pec?
23 A. When I returned, I only saw my own neighbourhood and several
24 neighbourhoods that I know, and a lot of Albanian houses were burned. I
25 didn't notice anything about Serbian houses.
1 Q. Therefore, you don't know that 90 per cent of the Serb houses in
2 Pec were burned down?
3 A. No, I don't know about this.
4 Q. Do you know that all Serb villages in the Pec environs were burnt
5 down? For example, Crni Vrh, Ljuljosa, Brestovik, Vitanica, and so on?
6 Do you know that all Serb villages in the environs of Pec were burnt down?
7 A. After I returned to Peja, there was -- there was a very small
8 number of Serbian houses that were burned, and as for the vacated and
9 burned villages, I don't know about these.
10 Q. But later, the remaining Serb houses were burned down. I assume
11 that you should know about that. Do you know about that or do you not
12 know about that?
13 A. No, they weren't burned.
14 Q. Very well. So you started out with the explanation that tensions
15 in Pec were caused by the incident, as you called it, at the Cafe Panda,
16 and that all these events and all these killed people from May until
17 December, because this event occurred on the 14th of December, are
18 something that you are not aware of, and they did not create any tension
20 JUDGE MAY: Well, that's a comment, really, on the witness's
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm just asking. He started out by
23 the tensions caused by that incident, as he had called it.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, that's his evidence.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. You claim, in respect of this truly horrible crime that all of
3 Yugoslavia's aware of, that it was as a result of a quarrel amongst Serbs.
4 A. I don't understand the question.
5 JUDGE MAY: Your evidence was that, as you understood it, there
6 was a quarrel between Serbs which led to this incident in which six people
7 were killed. Is that right?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I said were rumours that I
9 heard from citizens in Peja.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. And do you know that this was a terrorist attack against a cafe in
12 which there were young people and that, from the door, a group of
13 terrorists gunned down the entire group that was in that cafe and that
14 there was this group of six young men there? Do you know about that,
15 apart from the rumours that you heard of?
16 A. No, I don't know.
17 Q. And do you know that these young men who remained on the floor,
18 dead, when the whole cafe was bullet-riddled, they were between the ages
19 of 13 and 22?
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we'll wait for the interpretation to
21 finish. The witness says he doesn't know about it, so there's no point
22 asking him further.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I am putting a question
24 because that was one of the dirtiest terrorist attacks against children,
25 and the witness said that this is due to the fact that the Serbs
1 quarrelled among themselves in the cafe.
2 JUDGE MAY: We heard -- we heard his explanation. We've heard his
3 evidence. We'll have to consider it in due course. You can put your
4 evidence in front of us. But there's no point asking him questions when
5 he says he doesn't know. Now, can we go on to another topic?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Does the witness know then, if I may ask him this by your leave,
9 that there is a report of the Kosovo Verification Mission about this
10 terrorist attack?
11 A. The personnel of the mission advised us to be more cautious and
12 careful, and this was the reason why they came to fetch us from our homes
13 to work and take us back to our homes at the end of work.
14 JUDGE MAY: What you were asked was: Do you know about a report
15 by the Verification Mission about this attack?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I have no knowledge of such a
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Gentlemen, the witness knows nothing
19 about NATO attacks or attacks in Pec or attacks by the KLA or the
20 terrorist attack that occurred and about which there is a report of the
21 KVM. Yesterday we heard that the army attacked itself, and in the
22 indictment, they say that Yugoslavia attacked itself. I think there is no
23 point in examining this witness any longer about things that the entire
24 Yugoslav public knows about and he says he knows nothing about this. I
25 imagine it is pointless for me to question him any further because he said
1 himself that he is a staff member of this Tribunal.
2 So I have no further questions of him.
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tapuskovic?
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Very
6 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Sokoli, a few minutes ago, you said that at
8 one moment a policeman, as you had put it, dragged you to a truck.
9 A. Yes. That's what happened.
10 Q. However, as regards this event, I have to caution you that you
11 spoke about this on the 14th of June to the investigators that you talked
12 to on that day, that is to say, very soon after you had experienced what
13 you had experienced. And then you said that this policeman helped you.
14 You say, "He escorted me to the truck. I did not have the strength
15 to board the truck, so this policeman helped me." Isn't that right?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. Yes. And one more thing. Is it correct that a bit later you saw
18 that policeman again, and you even said he was a very kind man. "He gave
19 children chocolate, and he was telling people to be patient. He did not
20 carry any weapons. He had a bag with the Red Cross on it. Some people
21 asked him where he was from, and he said from Belgrade."
22 A. The policeman that I -- that I was observing, that I saw, it was
23 before the six policemen took me to the hotel, and I noticed that he
24 wasn't armed. He was carrying the sign of the Red Cross, and I saw him
25 among the people, and I saw him giving things out to the children.
1 Q. Albanian children?
2 A. Yes, Albanian children.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you
4 Questioned by the Court:
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sokoli, so we can understand the point, the
6 evidence you've just given about the policeman helping you to the truck,
7 this was after the incident in the hotel when you were beaten; is that
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Sokoli, when you explained the reason why you
12 left Kosovo to the Prosecution, you told that it was because you were
13 frightened, and that's because you had worked for OSCE, the Verification
14 Mission, and because you were beaten by the policemen. But in other -- in
15 the case of other Albanians who had not worked for the Verification
16 Mission or any other international institution or who had not been beaten
17 by the policemen, why did they leave? Could you explain this?
18 A. I will try to explain. I don't know how clear that will be. In
19 January 1999, I started to work for the OSCE, where they had a field
20 office, as the supervisor for the guards, and I had frequent contacts with
21 the population who came to complain, to file their complaints about
22 mistreatment from the police. There have also been cases of other
23 incidents when the people were scared from the -- from the military, from
24 the Yugoslav army troops. I don't know how to explain that.
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
1 JUDGE MAY: Any re-examination?
2 MS. ROMANO: No, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Mr. Sokoli, that concludes your evidence.
4 Thank you for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are
5 free to go.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 MR. NICE: The next witness is Halit Barani. A summary has been
9 distributed but only recently. In the course of this witness's evidence,
10 reference will be made to lists. As to one of those lists, it may not
11 have been provided yet, an English translation of part of a document that
12 is not a list. That is being dealt with now and I hope will not impede
13 the progress of the evidence.
14 Another list, the witness has brought with him himself. When we
15 come to that, I'll seek leave to put that in.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have a small
18 objection. Until now, I have not put forth this objection. Although I
19 would get the summaries on the very same day, just before the witnesses
20 would come in, I would get them in English, and I actually read French.
21 Until now, I did not object to this, because in the meantime, through my
22 assistant, I would manage to familiarise myself with the summary.
23 However, in my opinion, the witness who is due to come in just now is a
24 very important, a substantial witness, and indeed the statement contains
25 ten pages. I will be in a position to follow the witness's statement
1 because I have interpretation into Serbian. However, this summary that is
2 very important for all of us, we should all have it at the moment when the
3 witness is being questioned, but I really believe that I should be getting
4 these summaries on time in the French language, especially when we have
5 such extensive material. As an amicus curiae, I will not be in a position
6 to follow the proceedings properly, especially in an examination of this
8 I think that the Trial Chamber should caution the Prosecution in
9 this regard, that they should allow the amici to receive information in a
10 language that they know. Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tapuskovic, this practice of having these
12 summaries is one that the Trial Chamber has developed. It is not a
13 practice throughout the Tribunal at all, and it's not in the Rules. It's
14 really for the convenience, of course, of the Trial Chamber, to know what
15 the witness is going to say specifically about this case.
16 You should have the statements of the witness. I imagine you have
17 those in front of you and they've been served on you. This is merely a
18 summary. We will ask the Prosecution to see what they can do in this
19 regard, but there may not be very much because of the shortness of time
20 required to prepare them. This is not a summary that's prepared in
21 advance; it's prepared, as I understand it, when the witness gets to The
22 Hague. But we'll see what we can do.
23 Meanwhile, we'll have the evidence called.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I do accept your explanation.
25 However, these summaries considerably differ, considerably differ to a
1 large extent from what the witness statements contain. But of course, I
2 shall abide by what you have said, but I just felt duty-bound to make you
3 aware of this.
4 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes.
5 MR. NICE: Was that yes to the witness, I think? Yes.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
11 WITNESS: HALIT BARANI
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examined by Mr. Nice:
14 Q. Is your name Halit Barani?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Are you a resident of Mitrovica in northern Kosovo?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You are married with seven children?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And are you currently the Mitrovica regional chairman of the
21 Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were you educated in Mitrovica, thereafter attending Pristina
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you do compulsory military service between 1970 -- 1974 and
2 1975 as a medical technician?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. When did you first become politically active?
5 A. In 1989.
6 Q. For which political party?
7 A. With the Democratic League of Kosovo.
8 Q. Did you serve a chairman of the sub-branch of that party in the
9 Ilirida neighbourhood for some years?
10 A. No. I was the chairman of a sub-branch for Mitrovica.
11 Q. Very well. Until when?
12 A. Up until 1992.
13 Q. To what post were you elected in 1992?
14 A. Member of the chairmanship of the Democratic League of Kosova, for
16 Q. Between 1989 and 1997, were you ever arrested by the police? If
17 so, on how many occasions?
18 A. Seventy-six times.
19 Q. What were these arrests said to relate to?
20 A. The arrests were on the pretext that I was an activist of the
21 Democratic League of Kosova and of the defence -- Council for the Defence
22 of Human Rights and Freedoms.
23 Q. When arrested, what was the maximum period of time for which you
24 were ever detained?
25 A. The maximum was 24 hours.
1 Q. Was your home ever searched or raided by police?
2 A. Many times.
3 Q. For what stated reason?
4 A. During all the searches of my house, they took various documents
5 and the bulletins that were published by the Council for the Defence of
6 Human Rights and Freedoms which have evidence of cases of violence and
7 mention by name the people who used violence against the Albanian
9 Q. During your detentions by the police, how were you treated? Were
10 you questioned?
11 A. They always interrogated me, and seven times I was seriously
12 physically mistreated.
13 Q. During this general period, that will take us to the late 1990s,
14 was the office for the Council of the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms
15 ever searched by police?
16 A. I'm sorry, not in the 1980s but in 1990 and 1991.
17 Q. When searched -- when searched, what was the reason given for the
19 A. Once, the council office was -- the council office was searched,
20 as well as the LDK offices in the same building, and a video camera and a
21 camera and many photographs and other documents belonging to the Council
22 for the Defence of Human Rights were confiscated.
23 Q. Were there demonstrations of the public kind during the period
24 1989 to 1990?
25 A. Yes, there were.
1 Q. Did you see and/or take part in those demonstrations?
2 A. Yes, I saw them.
3 Q. Were any people injured or killed in the course of those
5 A. On 27th of March, 1989, near the bus station in Mitrovica, five
6 Albanians were killed and 24 were wounded and many were arrested by the
7 Serbian police.
8 Q. Those who were killed, by whom or by what were they killed?
9 A. They were killed by the Serbian police, by gunfire.
10 MR. NICE: I turn to the second page of the summary. And this is
11 one other document I didn't mention earlier. There's a document referred
12 to in the second paragraph. If it's not available in translation, I would
13 prefer to come back to it later when it is available. In fact, it's
14 available now.
15 Q. In 1991, what work were you doing?
16 A. In 1991, I was chairman for the Council for the Defence of Human
17 Rights and Freedoms in Mitrovica.
18 Q. Yes. But before that, did you have other work, ordinary work, at
19 some stage?
20 A. I was a worker.
21 Q. At what job?
22 A. I was a sales assistant.
23 Q. How did that work come to an end? Why did it end?
24 A. In 1990, 1991, the Serbian regime dismissed all the Albanians from
25 their jobs forcibly, and they were forced to sign a statement in which
1 Albanians had to declare that they recognised Serbia as their republic.
2 Q. Were you given an opportunity to sign such a form?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Well, then, can you explain to us why it was you lost your job as
5 a salesperson?
6 A. In order not to be forced to sign the declaration, I left my job
7 of my own free will.
8 Q. Have you come to the Tribunal with a copy of the declaration that
9 people were being asked to sign at the time?
10 A. Yes. I have a declaration of this kind which was offered to the
11 doctors of the Mitrovica General Hospital for them to sign, and the
12 Dr. Adem Nuraj, who is also a member of the presidency of the Council for
13 the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms, brought this declaration to the
14 council, unsigned, and I have it with me.
15 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I seek to produce that as an exhibit. The
16 original is here, but I have got copies and English translations, draft
17 translations, as they are. And the original - which is, I think, on green
18 paper - I don't know where it is at the moment but it's available for
19 inspection if anybody wants to see it.
20 So that those looking at the screens can see it in its original
21 language and then put the English translation on after that, I would be
23 Might we be provided with the exhibit number?
24 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 24.
25 MR. NICE: In we could first of all, Usher, please, just lay on
1 the overhead projector the original Cyrillic language version, please.
2 That's the English. Could you put the Cyrillic language version on first,
3 just for a few seconds. And then if we could put the English version on,
4 and if you could place the Cyrillic version before the witness.
5 Q. Mr. Barani, you have a version there in Cyrillic. We have an
6 English draft translation. If you follow, please, in the Cyrillic, does
7 the document say words roughly to this effect -- and if this hasn't
8 reached the interpretation booths, I'm very sorry, in which case it should
9 do. My oversight entirely. I think perhaps the better course would be if
10 the usher would now replace the Cyrillic version onto the ELMO, on the
11 overhead projector. And if I read the draft translation, I'll ask the
12 witness to follow it on the screen.
13 Does the document read roughly to the following effect: "By
14 signing this declaration, I declare that I fully accept and will adhere to
15 the decision on taking interim measures for the protection of
16 self-government rights and public property in regards to employer of 30
17 Juli Medical Centre, basic organisation of associated labour, hospital
18 service, basic organisation of associated labour, primary care work unit,
19 joint service in Kosovska Mitrovica, reached at the People's Assembly of
20 the Republic of Serbia at the session held on 24 October, 1991. I will
21 also adhere to decisions taken by interim measures in all things.
22 "I also declare that I accept that I will adhere to the
23 provisions of the legal system of Republic of Serbia, and especially the
24 law on employment under special circumstances, law on territorial
25 organisation, law on the use of language and alphabet, and the other laws
1 with regards to established territorial integrity and sovereignty of my
2 Republic of Serbia where I live and work."
3 Is that passage then followed by the note: "Unjustified failure
4 to sign this statement implies liability pursuant to the provision of
5 Article 8, paragraph 1, section 4 of the law on employment under special
7 Does what I've read in English broadly match what you were able to
8 read in the original Cyrillic?
9 A. Yes. Yes, it's in order.
10 Q. Thank you. Can I move you on, please, to 1993. You are now
11 already and continuing in your role as chairman of the Council for Defence
12 of Human Rights.
13 A. On the 15th of August, 1993, more than 250 Serbian policemen went
14 to the only Albanian village in Leposavic municipality, to the village of
15 Qaber in Zubin Potok municipality, where they surrounded the village.
16 Q. Let me interrupt you. It's always important for the Judges to
17 know whether what you're about to tell them is firsthand, coming from your
18 own knowledge, or coming from other people. In relation to the incident
19 that you're about to speak of, did you see this yourself or did you learn
20 of it from others?
21 A. The Albanians -- I saw the police themselves after their
22 withdrawal from the village, when they had arrested seven Albanians, and I
23 have video recordings and photographs taken with a camera.
24 Q. Taken by --
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, unless it's going to assist us, I think we
1 ought to approach a bit more closely to the matters we're dealing with
2 rather than have a great deal of detail. I have in mind, of course,
3 criticism of the cross-examination of the accused about peripheral
5 MR. NICE: Yes. The conduct of the parties in the period of
6 1990s, leading up to 1999, is material and relied on, but I'll move in
7 this particular village to what happened later in 1999.
8 Q. Because the same village, was that the subject of activity in
9 March of 1999?
10 A. In March 1999, the same village was surrounded by Serbian
11 policemen and civilians. The civilians were from the surrounding
12 villages, because this village is surrounded by Serbian villages, and all
13 the inhabitants of this village were forcibly expelled. Fourteen of them
14 were shot, and four are still considered missing. The houses were
15 entirely burned, and after a time, they were flattened. All the houses
16 were flattened with bulldozers, and I have evidence with photographs and
17 video recordings of these things.
18 Q. Going back, having dealt with that village comprehensively, going
19 back one year to -- the dates are inconsistent, and I think it's the
20 second date we'll check, to 1998. Were there some deaths occurring in
21 villages in Mitrovica of which you can tell us? If yes, what was the
23 A. I don't have -- the question is not clear to me. I'm sorry.
24 Q. Very well. In 1998, were there some deaths of Albanians in
25 villages in Mitrovica?
1 A. On the 15th, 16th, and 17th of September, 1998, the Serbian police
2 and army undertook an offensive in the villages of Shala near Mitrovica,
3 when they killed 16 Albanians of both sexes and expelled many from their
4 homes and partly burned 12 villages?
5 MR. NICE: Can we just have a look, please, at the appropriate
6 maps of this. One will be map 5 of Exhibit 4, and then there's the
7 Mitrovica town map itself, which is Exhibit 8. So those can go before the
8 witness. Can the witness see, please, map 5 of Exhibit 4.
9 Q. And can you point out, if you can see it on the map, pointing to
10 the overhead projector on your left, the village of Shala to which you've
12 A. I'm sorry, it's not a village called Shala but the villages of
13 Shala. Shala is a kind of area, including several villages.
14 Q. Can you, with a pointer that the usher will give you, point out
15 where it is on the map, if we can see it.
16 A. [Indicates]
17 MR. NICE: The witness is indicating the area to the northeast of
18 the town of Mitrovica.
19 Q. Thank you very much.
20 A. Precisely at this place in Stanterk, four Albanians were killed.
21 And in these other villages; six in Kacandoll, and single murders in other
22 villages. Kacandoll is up here.
23 Q. Thank you very much. If you'd like to take your seat again,
25 Coming then to March of 1999.
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts. Pages 1180 to 1188.
1 MR. NICE: The Court will find there is one passage on the very
2 last page of the summary. It is out of order but I'll deal with it so I
3 can deal with matters chronologically.
4 Q. On the 5th to 7th of March, was there an incident involving the
5 Jashari family in the municipality of Skenderaj?
6 A. I'm sorry, it's not the Jashari family, it's the Jashari family
7 from Prekaz i Poshtem in the municipality of Skenderaj.
8 Q. Tell us about that, please.
9 A. From 5th to 7th March, 1999, in the village of Prekaz i Poshtem in
10 Skenderaj municipality, the Serbian police and army killed 58 Albanians
11 from this village, 20 of them the members of the family of Shaban Jashari.
12 At the same time, they burnt all the houses, and in the end, took away all
13 the bodies to Pristina, returning them to Skenderaj after the 10th.
14 Q. What did you see of this directly yourself?
15 A. I myself saw smoke. I saw tanks moving from the munitions factory
16 towards the house of Shaban Murat Jashari and in the opposite direction.
17 I also heard explosions and shots from various kinds of weapons.
18 Q. Of the vehicles that you saw, was there one that you think you may
19 be able to identify from a photograph?
20 A. Of course, yes.
21 MR. NICE: May the witness, please, see court Exhibit 17. Both
23 Q. Take your time and look at the photographs before you and tell us
24 which, if any, vehicles you saw engaged on this occasion, and then we'll
25 place it on the overhead projector.
1 A. It was vehicle in photograph number 6. That was what I saw.
2 Q. Could that be --
3 A. That is similar.
4 MR. NICE: Could that be placed on the overhead projector. Photo
5 6; identifies the top, right-hand photograph.
6 Q. Was your view of these events by unaided eyes or were you using
7 some kind of equipment?
8 A. I saw it with my own eyes and through binoculars.
9 Q. How far away were you from the events that you describe?
10 A. I was about two to three kilometres away, but I was on a hill, and
11 as the crow flies, it was closer.
12 Q. I move on to the middle of March and the marketplace in Mitrovica.
13 Tell us, please, about an event there; the date and what happened.
14 A. Yes. On 13th March, at 2.30 in the afternoon, at the Mitrovica
15 market, it was also Saturday, which is market day, the army or the police,
16 we don't know which, threw three bombs in the middle of the market.
17 MR. NICE: May the witness have before him on the overhead
18 projector the Mitrovica town map, Exhibit 8, please.
19 Q. Can you point out on the overhead projector, from your seated
20 position, where the marketplace is.
21 A. Yes. [Indicates]
22 Q. Thank you very much. Almost dead centre of the plan.
23 A. Exactly here at this crossroads on the right, that is where the
24 Mitrovica vegetable market is.
25 Q. What was the result of the bombs that you referred to?
1 A. On this occasion, seven people died and more than 90 were wounded,
2 and it's possible that there were more, but I didn't have evidence about
3 them all, but these I have their first and last names. And six of the
4 wounded have remained either without both legs or without one legs -- or
5 without one leg and are permanently disabled.
6 Q. Moving on, please. Latif Berisha, what position did he hold in
7 the early part of 1999?
8 A. In 1999, Latif Berisha was the chairman of the Democratic League
9 of Kosova, its Mitrovica branch, and a Professor of the University of
11 Q. What happened to him?
12 A. On 24th of March, after 11.30 at night, while he was sleeping at
13 home in bed, Serb -- masked Serbs entered his home and took him out of his
14 room and put him in front of his front door, where they shot him.
15 Q. We turn next to the President of the Assembly of Kosovo
16 independent trade unions. Who was that at the time?
17 A. This was Agim Hajrizi, who on the same night of 24th of March,
18 masked -- Serbian masked men entered and shot him in his own home, as well
19 as his mother and his 11-year-old son.
20 Q. Following events that start or developed at the part of March
21 1999, did you stay in Kosovo or decide to do so?
22 A. Yes. I stayed in Mitrovica.
23 Q. Was it possible for you to stay in Mitrovica openly or did you
24 have to take care to hide your presence from others?
25 A. Not openly. It was impossible to stay openly, but I went from
1 house to house, hiding and keeping track of what was happening to the
2 population of Mitrovica.
3 Q. Did you do this in part because of your commitment to your
4 position in the human rights organisation of which you are an officer?
5 A. Yes, of course.
6 Q. Meanwhile, your family, your extended family, where were they?
7 A. On the 27th of March, in the evening, I caused -- I called a
8 cousin of mine and he took my children, and he took them by tractor to a
9 place near Mitrovica called the stream of Sokoli, and they stayed there
10 until 20th of June, 1999.
11 Q. Did you visit them there yourself from time to time?
12 A. From time to time, when the roads were open, I visited them.
13 Q. Can we now move, then, to the village of Bair, or the
14 neighbourhood of Bair in Mitrovica, and can we look at the same exhibit,
15 8. Perhaps you can point out where in fact that is shown on the map,
16 where it is on the map. If we can just see it.
17 A. Excuse me, it's not an area, it's a neighbourhood of Mitrovica.
18 Q. And we can see it, in fact. If you just look at the map on your
19 left-hand side, we can see it marked, assuming it's correctly marked,
20 towards the bottom of the map and just above the main road running west to
21 east and to the east of the main road running north-south. Thank you.
22 A. [Indicates]
23 Q. What happened in this area on the 25th of March?
24 A. On the 25th of March, Serbian army, who have also their barracks
25 there in this neighbourhood, and depots, which are connected to Frasher
1 village, entered many houses of this neighbourhood, firing through the
2 windows and the doors of the houses. They partially expelled Albanians
3 from their homes and recommended to them to leave for Albania.
4 Q. The interpretation says, "they partially expelled Albanians from
5 their homes." Did you intend to say "partially expelled," and if so, what
6 did you mean by it? Alternatively, explain whether the expulsion was
7 partial or complete.
8 A. This neighbourhood has over 8.000 inhabitants, and on that day,
9 not all of them were ousted from their homes. But now and again and up to
10 the 27th, that is, in a time span of three days, everyone was expelled.
11 That's why I said partially on the first day, on the 25th, when the army
12 started to evict them from their homes and houses.
13 Q. During this first eviction, where were you initially, in Bair or
14 elsewhere in Mitrovica?
15 A. Most of the time I spent in Ilirida neighbourhood of Mitrovica.
16 Q. Did you go to Bair yourself?
17 A. On the 25th, in the afternoon, the displaced people and my
18 collaborators came and informed me in my office, which used to be situated
19 in the Qandra neighbourhood, and then I went to see if I could record or
20 shoot some of the cases of the expulsions, but it was impossible because
21 it was very dangerous, fire shots everywhere. I saw the army forcibly
22 evicting the Albanians from their homes, and returned to my office and
23 wrote a report, which I have it here with me, the original copy of that
24 report that I submitted to the information outlets.
25 Q. And --
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, when you come to a convenient moment,
3 MR. NICE: Just to conclude this passage, two questions. Could
4 the witness look, please, at Exhibit 18, the photograph of uniforms.
5 Q. Are you able to give us some assistance with the uniforms being
6 worn by those who were doing these expulsions? If so, look at the chart,
7 give us the number, and we'll place it on the overhead projector.
8 A. The photograph number 5.
9 Q. Place that on the overhead projector.
10 A. Even though it's not very clear, but this is the uniform I saw,
11 similar to this that I saw that day.
12 Q. Thank you very much. The second and last question, then, before
13 the break: You say that you -- you say of your report that it was
14 submitted to the information outlets. Was that a newspaper or something
15 different from a newspaper?
16 A. All my daily information related to the Human Rights Council of
17 Mitrovica, I presented them to Pristina and then to Deutsche Welle, VOA,
18 and others.
19 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now and sit again at 1.00 -- until, I
20 should, say half past two.
21 Mr. Barani, we're going to adjourn now until half past two. Would
22 you be back then to continue your evidence. Would you remember during
23 this break and any others there may be in your evidence not to speak to
24 anybody about it, and that does include members of the Prosecution team.
25 Don't speak to anybody about it until it's over.
1 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.05 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.31 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
3 MR. NICE: We're halfway through paragraph 5.
4 Q. And Mr. Barani, you've dealt with what happened in Bair
5 neighbourhood of Mitrovica on the 25th of March. On the following day,
6 were there some deaths you can tell us about?
7 A. On the next day, on the 26th of March, 1999, in the afternoon,
8 there were four murders of three men and one woman, all elderly.
9 Q. These killings occurred where; in the streets, or in people's
10 homes, or in businesses, or where?
11 A. In homes. One woman was bedridden, paralysed.
12 Q. Between the 25th and 27th of March, can you give us a figure for
13 approximately how many people were forced out of the Bair neighbourhood?
14 A. Within those two days, approximately 8.000 people were expelled
15 from this neighbourhood.
16 Q. The following day, the 27th of March, in the area known as
17 Ilirida, which is part of Mitrovica, did you see some deaths?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Just a minute.
20 MR. NICE: May the witness have the Mitrovica town plan again,
21 Exhibit 8.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Nice, please.
23 MR. NICE: I'm so sorry. Mitrovica town plan, Exhibit 8.
24 Q. Ilirida, is it shown on this map? If so, please point out where
25 it is.
1 A. [Indicates]
2 Q. Between the main road and what is marked as Tavnik.
3 A. This is Ilirida, formerly known as Tavnik.
4 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, about the deaths that you yourself
6 A. On the 27th of March, at 8.30, near the bus station in Mitrovica,
7 in the Ilirida neighbourhood, three policemen, one of them known as --
8 called Tofil Voinovic, killed two Albanians; Hajdin Xhani, 72, and Rahim
9 Voca, 52 years old. The first a resident of Tavnik and the second a
10 resident of Bair.
11 Q. Later, or I think it was later at the mosque, what did you see?
12 A. On the same day, at ten past three in the afternoon, near the
13 Haxhi Veselis mosque, the Serbian police killed -- and two Serbian
14 security inspectors killed two Albanians. One of them I don't know, and
15 his identity is still unknown, and the other was Eset Behrami Hajrizi, age
16 52, a resident of the Ilirida neighbourhood.
17 Q. Do you know the names of any of the police involved in that, or
18 the security inspectors involved in that?
19 A. Yes, some of them. There was the policeman Ratko Antonievic, and
20 the policeman Dejan, and also the security service inspectors Dragan
21 Djuric and Zarko Kosovac. And there were other policemen but I didn't
22 know them.
23 Q. Later again, in the area of the primary school, please.
24 A. And at 1555, near the Avdulla Shabani primary school, the police
25 in a jeep fired on some people in the street and killed Haki Kursumliu.
1 Q. Do you know the names of any of the perpetrators of that shooting?
2 A. I know the names of the two in the jeep, but I don't know which of
3 them fired. One of them was Ratko Antonievic, Nenad Pavicevic, and Boban
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, it would be helpful to know this; you put at
6 the beginning that these were deaths which the witness observed. It would
7 helpful to have that clarified.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. In respect of these deaths, did you see them yourself with your
10 own eyes or were you depending on the reporting of other people?
11 A. All these, I saw with my own eyes, and another one later.
12 Q. Were you publicly on the streets at the time you saw them or were
13 you seeing these killings from hidden --
14 A. No.
15 Q. Typically what sort of position were you in when you were able to
16 see these killings?
17 A. When the first two were killed, I was about 50 metres behind them,
18 behind the corner of a house and an electricity pole which was in front of
19 me. And after the murder and after the police withdrew, I went and saw a
20 woman crying, and I said to her, "What is it?" And she said that her
21 husband had been killed. And I went and took away Rahim Voca's body and
22 gave it to the family, and I rinsed the blood on the pavement, and I
23 looked after the children and gave them water, and I washed the pavement
24 so that they wouldn't know where I had taken the body, because the police
25 were taking bodies away and obliterating the traces.
1 Q. And that's as to the first two. As to the second killing, Eset
2 Behrami, where were you when you saw that?
3 A. In the case of Eset Behrami, I was about 70 to 100 metres away,
4 also hiding behind a house, and from there I saw the entire incident until
5 Eset Behrami fell to the ground. Eset Behrami Hajrizi.
6 Q. And then your vantage point pertaining to Haki Kursumliu?
7 A. While the police killed Haki Kursumliu, I was in a two-storey
8 house of Musa Behrami, an uncompleted house. I was on the second floor.
9 Q. And finally, before we move on to the next killing, you've given
10 the names of perpetrators. Are these people you knew and recognised at
11 the time or were you dependent on others for the names you provided?
12 A. All these cases and the names I have mentioned, I saw these cases
13 myself, and it was myself who told other people what had happened on these
15 Q. So the perpetrators were people you knew by sight and name; is
16 that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Let's move to the time a little later when you were in company
19 with Haradin Hasani. Please tell us about what happened then.
20 A. At 4.30 in the afternoon, about 300 metres from my home, at a
21 crossroads, I was talking to my fellow citizens about what was happening,
22 and at those moments I was talking to the 23-year-old Haradin Hasani from
23 Prekaz i Eperm. He had taken shelter in Mitrovica in 1998 when the
24 Serbian offensive was. He moved to Mitrovica, and the jeep driven by
25 Ratko Antonievic came and stopped about 200 metres away from us at another
1 crossroads and I shouted to the people who were with me to flee, and I
2 went and leaned against a wall, and they only shot once from a jeep - I
3 don't know who shot - but they hit Haradin Hasani in the back and the jeep
4 continued its journey and all the people who were with me ran away and I
5 took Haradin Hasani, and then Ganimete Isufi, a nurse, came running from a
6 house and we took him to the doctor Mensur Voca, who has a surgery in his
7 own home about 500 metres from the scene of the incident.
8 The doctor tried to save his life, but after two hours, Haradin
9 died. And then at 10.00 in the evening, he was buried in the cemetery of
10 the village of Zhabar i Poshtem near Mitrovica.
11 Q. I turn to the restaurants and houses belonging to Jahaj Skender
12 and Bajram. What did you see of that?
13 A. At about 16 -- at about 1830, a jeep, a Zastava 101 full of
14 policemen and a truck full of policemen with a -- there were four
15 plainclothesmen in the Zastava 101, and then they went past the bus
16 station and burnt the house of Skender and Bajram Jahaj, and the Malsorja
17 restaurant which belonged to Bajram. And then after burning these,
18 they went on and stopped in the Ura e Gjakut neighbourhood.
19 Q. And what did they do there?
20 A. And they burnt the house of Bislim Jashari and two other houses.
21 Q. How near to or far from these events were you at the time you saw
22 people doing what you've described?
23 A. In the first case, I was about 100 to 200 metres away, but in the
24 second case of Bislim Jashari, I only saw the smoke, and I don't know who
25 entered the house and burnt it. I merely saw the first house that had
1 been burnt, the house and the restaurant. And the same team had gone off
2 on the road and, at that moment, smoke emerged from Bislim Jashari's
4 Q. Moving on now, on the same topic of killings, to the 28th of
5 March. The Alushi family, please. What can you tell us about them? And
6 perhaps you can tell the Judges straightaway whether you saw it yourself,
7 whether you learned it from other people, and if so, from whom.
8 A. In this case, on the 28th of March, in the afternoon, I myself did
9 not see it, but four Serbs entered the yard of the house of the -- of
10 Alushi, where they killed his two sons, his brother, and his nephew, who
11 were fixing a car and a tractor. This happened in the village of Sohidoll
12 i Poshtem, near Mitrovica. About half an hour later, the people who had
13 fled from this village informed me that this murder had happened in the
14 yard of Alushi. I didn't see this myself, but the next day, I attended
15 the funeral of these four victims.
16 Q. Just answer this question yes or no without giving a name: Were
17 you provided - just yes or no - with the name of one of the policemen said
18 to have been involved?
19 A. Yes. Not a policeman but a civilian.
20 Q. I turn to the topic of the burning of houses and shops generally.
21 Was there destruction of houses and shops for a period of time in the late
22 spring or early summer of 1999?
23 A. Looting and burning of houses and shops started on the 27th and
24 went on until the end of May.
25 Q. Was there a general pattern to the way shops were looted and/or
2 A. I don't know about a pattern, but we know that, beforehand, they
3 would loot the shops and then set fire to them.
4 Q. Are these things that you saw yourself from hidden vantage points
5 or were you told about them by other people, or is it a combination of
6 both seeing things and being told about them?
7 A. Some I saw myself with my own eyes, and I told details to other
8 people, but also in other cases, other people told me about them.
9 Q. When you saw things yourself, what did you see of the
10 perpetrators? To what groups or forces did they belong?
11 A. They were policemen, paramilitaries, and Serbian civilians, but on
12 one case, on the 29th of March, they -- there were two VJ trucks involved
13 in looting.
14 Q. You speak of paramilitaries. Describe for us how people appeared
15 that you describe as paramilitaries.
16 A. We considered to be paramilitaries people wearing blue uniforms,
17 many of them with black hats or masks.
18 Q. From your own observations, are you able to name any of the
19 perpetrators you saw involved in burning of shops and houses in this
20 period of time?
21 A. Besides the first cases that I mentioned of -- on the 27th and the
22 house of Bislim -- Bajram Jahaj, I don't know any names of people
24 Q. Having returned from the generality of destruction of property in
25 that period of time to the 28th of March, paragraph 8, can you help us,
1 please, with what happened at Sohidoll i Eperm and Sohidoll i Poshtem?
2 MR. NICE: Can he have the map of Mitrovica again on the overhead
4 A. I'm sorry. It's -- it's not -- it's not Sohidoll i Eperm and
5 Sohidoll i Poshtem because there were seven murders and --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me. The interpreter asks the witness to
7 repeat the answer to that question.
8 JUDGE MAY: Would you repeat what was just said, for the
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a case of 28th of March of
11 Sohidoll i Poshtem and not Sohidoll i Eperm where, in the house of Alush
12 Alushi four members of his family were killed while later, in the 7th of
13 September neighbourhood, three friends of Alushi who had fled after the
14 murder were, in their turn, killed.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. Let's deal with it in stages. First of all, can you point to the
17 area on the Mitrovica town plan, if it's shown, where the killings, or the
18 first killings occurred.
19 A. Yes. It's not on this map.
20 Q. Can you give us an indication of where it is in relation to this
21 map - east, west, north, or south - and name the place where it happened
23 A. Sohidoll i Poshtem is -- is to the north of Mitrovica, as is the
24 7th of September neighbourhood, in the north of Mitrovica. The 7th of
25 September neighbourhood and the village of Sohidoll i Poshtem are
1 separated merely by a road.
2 Q. Now tell us, please, about the killing and, indeed, tell us how
3 you learnt about it.
4 A. As I mentioned, the first murder took place in the yard of Alushi,
5 where the two sons, a brother and nephew were killed.
6 Q. How did you learn about that?
7 JUDGE MAY: He said he attended the funeral.
8 MR. NICE: Thank you.
9 Q. And the second killing?
10 A. The second murder took place a few minutes later in the 7th of
11 September neighbourhood when three friends of Alushi were killed who had
12 been with Alushi at the time but had fled in their car when the members of
13 the Alushi family were killed.
14 Q. So far as those villages of Sohidoll i Eperm and Sohidoll i
15 Poshtem are concerned, did you learn about the process of expulsion that
16 was happening from those villages? Just yes or no.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. From whom did you learn about it?
19 A. The people who were -- who had fled from the villages told me
20 about it.
21 Q. What did you learn about what was being done?
22 A. I found out that Serbian civilians and paramilitaries were
23 expelling them with -- forcibly. It's not a matter of Sohidoll i Eperm,
24 excuse me.
25 Q. Do you know what was being said to them when they were leaving,
1 when they were forced to leave?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What was said?
4 A. To take the road to Albania.
5 Q. We move on now to the month of April of 1999, the villages of
6 Gushavc and Vinarc.
7 MR. NICE: May the witness have Exhibit 4, please. Sorry, map 5
8 of Exhibit 4. My mistake.
9 Q. Can you help us with the location of these two villages?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Is that map 5 of Exhibit 4? Well --
12 A. Excuse me, but this is not a map of Mitrovica.
13 Q. It's not shown precisely. Can you give us the general area,
15 A. [Indicates]
16 Q. Thank you.
17 JUDGE MAY: Which are we looking for again?
18 MR. NICE: We're looking for Gushavc and Vinarc, and I'm afraid --
19 JUDGE MAY: If you look at Kosovica, if you look at the centre of
20 the town, and if you look at about 5.00.
21 THE WITNESS: Here it is.
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. It's north-west of the city.
25 Q. Very well. If anything turns on it, we can come back to the
1 detail later. Please take your seat again.
2 What, if anything, did you see of activity in the area of those
3 villages on the 19th of April?
4 A. On the 19th of April, in the hours of the afternoon, from the
5 village of Vinarc and Gushavc, I have seen a convoy, a large convoy with
6 the villagers, the inhabitants of those villages coming with various means
7 of transport and on foot. They were forced by the police and paramilitary
8 to leave their homes.
9 I've seen these with my own eyes, and I followed them until the
10 last person left the village. I'm talking about the last inhabitant.
11 Q. From what vantage point and at what distance were you able to
12 observe these events?
13 A. About 200, 300 metres away. I was in the mountain called Germove,
14 which is separated from the village -- from the two villages by the river
16 Q. We move now to the village of Koshtove, please. Did you observe
17 events there or learn of events there in April and May of 1999?
18 A. Also from Koshtove, in April and May, and from May to March [as
19 interpreted], all the population was forcibly expelled from their houses,
20 their homes, on which case 13 Albanians were killed and eight are
21 considered as missing. The inhabitants of the village, the driver of
22 Kosova Trans, named Dusko Velickovic, obtained from the passengers a
23 hundred Deutschmarks and drove them to Ulqin.
24 Q. Are these events that you saw yourself or did you learn about them
25 from others?
1 A. I was told about these things by the people who were on board the
2 bus and told me about the driver who had to -- who asked them the same
3 amount of money to take them back to where he took them from.
4 Q. We'll come back to -- no, I'll stop there.
5 Did you, in due course - just yes or no - find a document which
6 said something or may have said something about the Serbian personnel
7 involved? Just yes or no.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Where had the personnel involved in this been based during and
10 immediately after the expulsion of the villagers of Koshtove?
11 A. The police and many other Serbs were stationed in three houses of
12 Albanians in the neighbourhood called Seferaj and Markaj and in the
13 elementary schools of the village.
14 Q. Now, the document that you found, where did you find it and when?
15 A. The document was found in this, so to speak, checkpoint where the
16 police was stationed, in the neighbourhood Markaj and in the house where
17 they stayed up until June 1999, that is, where the police was stationed.
18 Q. When did you find that document?
19 A. I found the document on the 20th of June, 1999, after the
20 withdrawal of the police and after the entry of the peacekeeping forces in
22 Q. Was this a document that, at the time you found it, was in one
23 piece or was it already in pieces and needed reconstruction?
24 A. The documents were all in pieces. I collected them all. I
25 collated them together, and I have produced the whole document as it is.
1 Q. Finally, before we turn to the document, if we may, you say you
2 found it at a checkpoint or something. Where precisely did you find it?
3 A. In the Markaj neighbourhood. The name of the owner of the house I
4 can't remember. It's, of course, in the Koshtove village.
5 Q. Was the document on the ground, in a house, or where?
6 A. The document was outside the house, on the ground, and I collected
7 all the pieces and collated them together as it is now.
8 Q. Did you make a photograph of where you found the document or not?
9 A. No. At that time, I did not have a camera, on the 20th of June.
10 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the document in its original form, as
11 reconstructed by the witness, is available, and I just hold it up to show
12 the sort of paper it is. It's available for inspection. In its
13 reconstituted form, may it become the next exhibit, with the English
14 translation associated with it.
15 JUDGE MAY: Have you got -- you've got the original.
16 MR. NICE: I have the original here. I'll just hold that up.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
18 MR. NICE: Which has, as the witness described, has been
19 reconstructed by sticking together and celotaping over.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
21 MR. NICE: That has then been photocopied so that what we'll see
22 in the original is not as found but as reconstructed, and I have a
23 translation of that.
24 JUDGE MAY: We should have both exhibited, including the original.
25 MR. NICE: The original, photocopies of the original, and
1 translations. Thank you very much. Draft translations, I think. Thank
2 you very much.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 25 for the original and 26
4 for the reproduction.
5 MR. NICE: May the witness have a copy of these documents before
6 him. He has. Good.
7 Q. If you'd like, please, to go to the photocopy of the original.
8 MR. NICE: Can you give me the original for one minute because
9 there's a page I want to identify. If we turn in our photocopies of the
10 original to the document that effectively begins with a list that reads
11 08 -- 06-08. I want to find that page here. It's actually the last page
12 of the document, so it's slightly out of order in the way it's been
13 presented. If the witness could look at this.
14 Q. This page, just look at this page, please, which begins 06-08.
15 Was that on the document as originally found or is that something that's
16 been added to the document since it was in your possession?
17 A. I have put them together. All the document was in pieces.
18 Q. Yes. But this particular passage of writing, 06-08 Laza, 08-10
19 Dimitric was that part of the document or was that writing that was
20 subsequently placed on the document after you came into possession of it?
21 I just want to know, to check something.
22 A. This is another part, and it was found in the village of Zhabar
23 where the Serbian police was based.
24 Q. Thank you very much. Well, let's go to the next page of the
1 MR. NICE: And if the Chamber and others reading might be good
2 enough to turn to the translation, the draft translation, we see a list of
3 names going on the first sheet to 7 but thereafter going to 18, beginning
4 with Miletic and underneath the heading "5th Platoon."
5 Q. If you're having trouble finding it, I can always find it for you,
6 but you see the beginning of the list which says, 5th platoon, number 1,
7 Miletic Milovan Dejan.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And there are 18 names, either with villages or village locations
10 of the 5th platoon. Were any of those names familiar to you or not?
11 A. No.
12 Q. The list continues with the 2nd platoon, starting at Matkovic
13 Dragan of the village of Vuca and then going on to number 17,
14 Milisavljevic Dragoljub, with a telephone number and an address Kralj
15 Petar. Are any of those names familiar to you or not?
16 A. No.
17 Q. We then have part of a list that is headed, "Command of the 1st
18 Company," seven names, starting with Radovic and ending with Stanic. Any
19 names familiar?
20 A. No, none.
21 Q. And then, finally, the 3rd Platoon, list of soldiers and
22 addresses. We can certainly see, of these 17 names, some come from
23 Mitrovica; number 5, number 7, number 10, as examples, number 14. But
24 even so, any of these names familiar to you or not?
25 A. No, none of them.
1 Q. By the surnames, can you tell us anything about the ethnicity of
2 the people concerned?
3 A. No, for no one of them.
4 Q. And then we -- we come back to that first document or that first
5 sheet which you looked out which is out of place slightly in our copied
6 form, which starts with 06-08 and ends with 05-06 and is said to be Isa
7 Dibrani, submitted to the council. Does that make any particular sense to
8 you? Can you interpret that for us or not?
9 A. No. This was found by Isa Dibrani in the location where the
10 Serbian soldiers were staying, and it showed the times during which each
11 of the persons was on duty. Other than that, no.
12 Q. The words, "submitted to the council," do they refer to your
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. To that extent, those words have been added to the document by the
16 person submitting the document to you?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Back to the summary, still on paragraph 9. We're dealing with the
19 period of April and May of 1999. What happened overall to the population
20 of the municipality of Mitrovica in that period of time, please? On the
21 14th of April, 1999, in the Qandra neighbourhood and in the neighbouring
22 neighbourhood Bair and in some other neighbourhoods like Ibri or the
23 Bosnian quarter, the Qandra quarter and the 2nd of July quarter, all of
24 the Albanian inhabitants were forcibly expelled from their homes by -- by
25 military policemen and paramilitary Serbs, and they were recommended --
1 they were told to immediately leave for Albania.
2 They then came to the Tavnik neighbourhood, now known as Ilirida,
3 and informed me about what had happened.
4 At about 11.00, the army and the police separated 30 males from
5 the Qandra neighbourhood and Bair neighbourhood, and they were all later
6 shot. And after they were shot, their bodies were dragged.
7 And up until September 1999, they were considered as missing.
8 Q. September 1999, what discovery was made?
9 A. In September 1999, a policeman who had earlier deserted from
10 duty - he was a Muslim, and now he's in France, named Emin Ceshku - he
11 informed the Albanians there that on the 14th 31 Albanians were killed and
12 buried in a field between the villages of Vidimric and Sohidoll i Poshtem.
13 Then we informed the OSCE and the Council for Human Rights, and
14 after work, investigations, the French pathologists, together with myself
15 -- together with them was also the investigator from ICTY known as
16 Brigitte, the exhumation of 31 bodies took place of which five are still
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I just pause to say that the witness has
20 come with a number of documents and photographs which I don't seek to
21 produce. It would be a very large exercise to add everything, but he has
22 photographs of, amongst other matters, these should anybody wish to see
23 them or challenge the events he's describing. That's photographs of the
25 Q. In all, how many people, on your estimation, were displaced in
1 Mitrovica over this period of time, please?
2 A. Between the 14th and 17th of April, 1999, about 80.000 Albanians
3 were expelled from Mitrovica, and all of them were told to go to Albania
4 and escorted there by the Serbian army and police.
5 On the 16th of April, at 10.30, in the Ura e Gjakut neighbourhood,
6 nine young Albanians were taken out of the convoy, and they were taken
7 out, identified by name, Momcilo Kokoric known as Mosa, and were handed
8 over to the policemen who were there, and there was Ratko Antonievic and
9 Dejan Savic, and the so-called local policeman Lulzim Ademi, and they
10 pointed guns at them and put them in the yard of the house of Musa. I
11 don't remember his surname at the moment.
12 Q. Excuse my interrupting. How near to or far from these events were
14 A. Between 50 to 70 metres away, in the burnt house of Shaban Shaqiri
15 from the village of Lubavac.
16 JUDGE KWON: Excuse me, Mr. Nice. Just for clarification. How
17 many Albanians were expelled between the period of the 14th and the 17th?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] About 80.000.
19 JUDGE KWON: Eighty thousand. Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And then eight of these young
21 Albanians were killed, and the ninth was wounded and managed to escape but
22 was later arrested and nothing is known of his fate.
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. The --
25 A. Excuse me. The house belonged to Musa Maliqi. Now I remember.
1 Q. And in what uniforms, if any uniforms, were the perpetrators of
2 these events dressed?
3 A. They wore two kinds of uniform; a camouflage uniform and a plain
4 blue uniform.
5 Q. Indicating to you membership of what group?
6 A. We called those who -- those with blue uniforms paramilitaries,
7 and those with camouflage uniforms, we called police.
8 Q. Can you tell us, if you haven't already, and I don't think you
9 have, the names of those responsible for this, if you know them?
10 A. They were taken out of the convoy by Momcilo Kokoric. And also
11 present was Oliver Ivanovic as a paramilitary, and Lulzim Ademi, Ratko
12 Antonievic, and Dejan Savic, and many other policemen, some of whom were
13 masked, but I did not know them.
14 When they put them in the yard of the house I mentioned, volleys
15 of gunfire were heard, but I didn't see which of them did the shooting.
16 MR. NICE: May the witness have Exhibit 18, the uniform chart,
17 again, please.
18 Q. Which, if any, of these uniforms is similar to the uniforms that
19 you saw on the perpetrators of these events?
20 A. It's uniform number 6 and uniform number 4.
21 Q. To conclude this incident, who was involved in the burial of the
23 A. The burial?
24 Q. Uh-huh.
25 A. Four or five days later, some members of the KLA took the bodies
1 and buried them in the cemetery of the village of Vaganic, near Mitrovica.
2 Q. Before we move on, there are two matters that I must tidy up.
3 Dealing with His Honour's question or clarification about the number of
4 people displaced, and you've given us the figure of 80.000. At the
5 beginning of this period of time, were there already displaced persons in
6 Mitrovica, having come from other locations?
7 A. There were many people who had taken refuge in Mitrovica from
8 Drenica, and especially from the municipality of Gllogoc, from Skenderaj.
9 There were people from Klina, and all the inhabitants of the villages of
11 Q. Are you in a position to estimate the number of already displaced
12 persons in Mitrovica at the time?
13 A. On the last day, which was 17th of April, when the last of them
14 were expelled, the total number reached about 80.000.
15 Q. If that's the number who were ultimately expelled at the beginning
16 of the period, how many already displaced persons were there in Mitrovica?
17 Can you estimate that number?
18 A. It may have been above 10.000 who had taken refuge in Mitrovica
19 from other municipalities.
20 Q. The second matter with which I must deal is this: Was there an
21 event in the yard of the house of somebody called Kutllovski?
22 A. I'm sorry. The name is Kutllovski. In the yard of Avdi
23 Kutllovski, which is opposite the bus station, I was told that at the end
24 of April, by three citizens who had remained behind in this neighbourhood,
25 that 24 bodies were in this yard. I went there fast, before night fell,
1 and I counted them and to see what age they were and what sex, and I left
2 quickly. I left the scene of the incident quickly.
3 Q. And by age and sex, how were they composed?
4 A. They were mainly elderly and of both sexes.
5 Q. Do you know anything, did you learn anything about the manner of
6 their death?
7 A. No. I didn't find out how they died. And then in May, I sent two
8 people to see whether the bodies were still there, and they weren't, and
9 nothing is known of what happened to them.
10 Q. Yes. Now, we may or may not trouble the Chamber with another
11 exhibit, but -- I don't think we will.
12 Let's move on to the villages of Frasher i Madh and Frasher e
13 Vogel. Can you tell us about those, please.
14 A. Yes. In Frasher i Madh and Frasher e Vogel - these are adjacent
15 villages - police and soldiers, Serbian police and soldiers were stationed
16 in the church of the village, and from these two villages, all the
17 Albanians were expelled and some of their houses were burned.
18 And here, too, in June 1999, after the war and after the entry of
19 the peacekeeping forces into Kosova and Mitrovica, I found a list of 64
20 names written in Cyrillic. I -- written by themselves in the place where
21 these troops that I had mentioned had been staying.
22 Q. Whereabouts did you find this list exactly?
23 A. I found it inside the checkpoint. It was covered by a lot of
24 different things, and it was inside, under planks.
25 MR. NICE: May this become an exhibit, please?
1 Would Your Honour just give me one minute, please.
2 Q. This is the list of reservists that you found; is that correct?
3 A. That's what it says at the top of the list.
4 Q. Sorry. I may have to come back to that one later then. I'll try
5 to return to that later.
6 Did you get any other lists in relation to this event while you
7 were there? Of the 68 names written in Cyrillic of reservists, did you
8 get any other lists from anybody else in relation to these events of
9 burning houses?
10 A. There is also a list from the village of Sohidoll i Poshtem, which
11 was brought by Ibis Ibisi to the council by the chairman of the village.
12 And there is another list from the neighbourhood of Kroni i Vitakut with
13 33 names of Serbs who committed different crimes in houses against
14 Albanians, and with those 33 -- for these 33 names, there are 48 Albanian
15 witnesses to these names who have given their names.
16 Q. I'm going to ask you to avoid confusion and look first at this
17 document. Perhaps on this occasion before you could be asked to look at
18 that document. Just look at this document first before distribution.
19 Now, the list before you, what is that list?
20 A. It's from the village of Sohidoll, handed over by Ibis Ibisi.
21 Q. Thank you. And it relates to?
22 A. To arson, forced expulsion of Albanians from their homes, and
23 other crimes in the villages of Sohidoll i Poshtem and Sohidoll i Eperm,
24 Vinarc, and partly in the 7th of September neighbourhood.
25 Q. This is not an original document that you suggest was left behind
1 by soldiers. This was the document provided by others relating what they
2 had seen.
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, I'm not sure that's going to be very
4 helpful. If you'd like to take it back.
5 MR. NICE: We'll withdraw that one. Thank you very much.
6 Q. Can I move on, paragraph 11, to the events of the 19th of April in
7 something called the mountains of somewhere, called the mountains of
8 Dreth; is that right?
9 A. Dreth. On the 19th of April, 1999, at the mountain called Dreth
10 in Zubin Potok municipality, the Serbian army arrested 23 Albanians of a
11 group of 25, and even today nothing is known of what happened to them.
12 Q. Those males, were they identified or connected in some way, have
13 some common characteristic?
14 A. They included my brother and my brother-in-law, and almost all of
15 them, apart from four of them, were intellectuals from Mitrovica and
16 Skenderaj municipality.
17 Q. And is it known what they were doing together in the place where
18 you say they were dealt with, from which they were taken, never to be seen
20 A. They had set out to save their lives, save themselves from certain
21 death at the hands of Serbian delinquents and had set off for Montenegro.
22 Q. The survivor, or one of the survivors, was that your source of
23 information for this?
24 A. Yes. As I said before, there were 25 of them and two survived.
25 And at the moment when they were ambushed, and it was their fate that they
1 managed to hide in bushes and stayed all day there until night fell, and
2 then they managed to make their escape, and after three days, they reached
3 the village of Kotorr, where other people tell me the group that set off
4 for Montenegro, their names are listed, were arrested by the Serbian
6 Then I received statements from a man who survived this incident,
7 Xhafer Behrami from Kotorr in Skenderaj municipality, and he explained in
8 detail what happened from the time when they left to the time when the
9 entire group was ambushed.
10 Q. Now, you've listed the names of the men lost, in your statement.
11 MR. NICE: For those with the statement, it's at pages 15 and 16.
12 Your Honours, I might produce the list if I have it in the proper format.
13 Q. But I want to return to the statement now. Did you receive a list
14 from Ramadan Kelmendi?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Who was or is he, and when did you receive this list?
17 A. Ramadan Kelmendi was deputy chairman of the Democratic League of
18 Kosova, the Mitrovica branch. And I received this document from him
19 towards the end of June, after the war, and he said that he found it in
20 the Mitrovica municipal building. And this includes the names of 66
21 people who, according to the Serbs, were to be shot.
22 Q. Yes.
23 MR. NICE: Can we now produce this. And it's produced in the
24 usual form, but I also have what is the witness's original document for
25 inspection. I don't know if the Court wishes to see that or not, but I
1 have it for inspection and it's available, if they want it.
2 Can we distribute those first, please.
3 Can you lay the original Cyrillic on the ELMO, please.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 27.
5 MR. NICE: Can we lay the original Cyrillic on the ELMO, please,
6 so that we can all see it in its original form. Focus on the heading, if
7 the booth would be good enough.
8 Now if we could put the English version on the ELMO, please, and
9 let the witness have the Cyrillic version.
10 Q. Does this document have, at the top, reference to SP, expansion -
11 can enlarge on - and then go on to say, "For the special unit." On the
12 left-hand side, is there a reference to 12/2/99, Kosovska Mitrovica? Is
13 that correct?
14 A. Yes. Yes.
15 Q. Is the heading of the list "List of Siptars in Kosovska Mitrovica
16 who need to be summarily liquidated"?
17 A. Yes. Yes.
18 Q. Is there then a list of 66 names, including, at 21, your own?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, we see the list is dated February 1999, but in fact is there
21 included on this list the name of any person or persons who was already
22 dead by that date, who died earlier?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Which number or numbers?
25 A. Number 44, Enver Haljid from Lubovic village, Skenderaj
1 municipality, who from 22nd to 29th was killed in Vushtrri commune,
2 municipality. He was a teacher of Albanian language and literature in
4 Q. He died -- sorry, what date do you say he died?
5 A. From the 17th to 29th when attack was organised in Cicavica
6 mountain in September 1998.
7 Q. We see that on the document we're looking at, there's a pen or
8 pencil circle around 44. Do you know who put that circle round it?
9 A. I did it. Also the number 1 and number 2.
10 Q. And the significance of your circling numbers 1 and 2? Any
11 significance in that?
12 A. Because they were already killed on 24th of March, 1999.
13 Q. So 44 killed before the date -- the apparent date of the document,
14 and the numbers 1 and 2 killed afterwards.
15 If we look at the foot of the document in the original version and
16 over to the second page of the draft translation, the translation, I beg
17 your pardon, we see that the document ends: "Implementation," then Dejan
18 Zone 1, Ratko Zone 2, Kasalovic Zone 4, and Ajeti Zone 5, special unit
19 Commander Colonel Markovic," with, in the original, a signature following
20 it, and then a reference to, "Other and additional details available from
21 Commander M. M.," and indeed we can see on the original an official stamp
22 at the bottom of the document.
23 Are you able to recognise that official stamp or not?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Of what is it the stamp?
1 A. This is the stamp of a Serbian organisation. I can't tell which
3 Q. Thank you very much.
4 MR. NICE: I think I am now in a position to make good the deficit
5 presentation that occurred when we were looking for the list left behind
6 in relation to the burnt villages. Sixty-eight names referred to at the
7 foot of, or in paragraph 10, but just to check on that, I'll ask the
8 witness. Please just one of these to the witness first so I can make sure
9 we're on the same lines.
10 Q. Just tell us, before we embark on any distribution of this
11 document, what this document is, please.
12 A. This is a document with the names and last names, birth dates, and
13 the place of birth, the place where he worked for every one of the persons
14 listed here. It was found in the police checkpoint of Frasher i Madh,
15 Mitrovica municipality.
16 MR. NICE: Perhaps I can now distribute that. If we can -- sorry.
17 You can lay the Cyrillic original on the overhead projector with its
18 title, briefly, so that those looking at the television screen may see the
19 original, the format of the document. Then if we can hand that document
20 to the witness and place the English translation onto the overhead
22 Q. This document is headed, "RPO, Reserve Police Station," with a
23 reference number "Ke-NV-06", then it has, one to two, names starting Mirko
24 Mihajlovic with the date of birth and the unit in which he was, or the
25 title of the unit in which he was employed. It runs down through several
1 other lists of the 2nd Platoon on the second page and the 2nd Platoon
2 again on the third page. And apart from names and dates of birth, we also
3 see such employment locations as the tobacco depot, the post office,
4 hospital, public accounting service, and matters of that sort.
5 This document, you say, was left behind in the place where the
6 destruction of property had occurred that you told us about.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 28.
8 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nice, do you have the original copy of this?
10 MR. NICE: I'm not sure that we have the original of this document
11 immediately to hand, but if it's in the building, we'll get it for you by
12 tomorrow certainly.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. Can you help us now, please, with issues of demography generally.
16 How many villages comprise the Mitrovica municipality?
17 A. Mitrovica municipality is comprised of 52 villages.
18 Q. Based on a census, what was your understanding of the total
19 population of the municipality at the time with which we are immediately
20 concerned, and before expulsions, of course?
21 A. I'm not clear about the question. Sorry.
22 Q. What was the total population of the municipality before people
23 had been expelled?
24 A. About 100 to 20.000 [as interpreted] inhabitants. I couldn't give
25 you a precise figure. This is something like that. Eighty-five per cent
1 of them were Albanians, while 15 per cent, the remainder, others.
2 Q. And of that you estimate 15 per cent remaining -- remainder. What
3 part were the Serbs as opposed to other groupings?
4 A. Serbs were around 5.000. This is a proximate figure. I can't
5 give you accurate figures.
6 Q. Thank you. Of those expelled from the Mitrovica area, in which
7 direction did -- in which directions did they go?
8 A. The forcibly displaced Albanians from the Mitrovica municipality
9 were told by the Serbian police, paramilitary, and civilians who escorted
10 them on the way to Albania to Montenegro and Macedonia.
11 Q. How did people travel; on foot or in vehicles?
12 A. The bulk of them travelled on foot, but there were also some who
13 used their cars or other vehicles.
14 Q. That's the route to Albania. Were there routes to any other
16 A. I said earlier that the direction to Albania -- they were given
17 orders to go to Albania, Macedonia, and Montenegro.
18 Q. How did they get to Macedonia or to Montenegro?
19 A. In Macedonia and Montenegro, they went by buses and various other
20 means of transportation.
21 Q. And you've already told us about the charging for the bus.
22 From your position, were you able to assess the total number of
23 Albanians killed in the Mitrovica municipality between the 13th of March
24 of 1999 and the 17th of June of 1999?
25 A. As of 13 March 1999, up to 17th of June, 1999, in the Mitrovica
1 municipality were killed 650 Albanians of both genders and of all ages.
2 Q. You've already told us of the total estimated number of 80.000 who
3 were expelled. Numbers of injured and missing, please.
4 A. Four hundred twenty-nine were injured by firearms. Two hundred
5 seventy-nine are considered disappeared.
6 Five thousand eight hundred forty-two were arrested and detained
7 in the prison of Smrkonica in Vushtrri municipality, in the technical
8 school of Mitrovica. Then they were forced to leave from there and go to
9 Albania. When they were released from the above-mentioned prisons all
10 documentation they had was burned, like IDs, passports driving licences,
11 and other IDs they had on them.
12 Three hundred of the arrested were imprisoned in Serbia from one
13 year to 20 years' of imprisonment. Then when the amnesty was declared,
14 the overwhelming majority of them was released.
15 Q. And finally on statistics, can you help us with the number of
16 premises, houses or shops or other premises of Kosovo Albanians that were
17 burned or destroyed?
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I'd like to find out from the witness
19 where does he get all this information, the data. Perhaps you're coming
20 to that.
21 MR. NICE: We've covered it in part, and I'll come to it in just a
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
24 MR. NICE:
25 Q. Can you help me first before we turn to His Honour Judge
1 Robinson's questions with the statistics for houses and shops and so on
3 A. The numbers of houses, shops, and other facilities was 9.540 of
5 Q. Now let's turn to the method of your collecting this information.
6 You've told us that you stayed in the area, it being your duty to do so,
7 and you've explained how you were hiding from Serbs on the street. What
8 were your sources of information that enable you to provide the figures of
9 dead, injured, wounded, and destroyed property?
10 A. The Council for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms in
11 Mitrovica had its collaborators in every neighbourhood, in every village,
12 and other activists who informed it of any cases of use of violence this
13 office in Mitrovica.
14 Also, during the wartime, the overwhelming majority of cases were
15 identified by me in person, but other cases have been referred to me and
16 informed to me by -- either orally or in writing by other activists and
17 Albanians who were not activists but who witnessed with their own eyes
18 what I said earlier.
19 Regarding the prisoners, after the war, all of them came to the
20 office of the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms in Mitrovica and
21 issued statements on the time of their arrest until they returned to their
22 own lands on what had happened to each and every one of them.
23 Q. And have you collated the various sources of information in order
24 to be able to provide the statistics that you have?
25 A. Yes. I collated them even before the war, but during the war not
1 with the purpose of coming here to this distinguished Chamber because we
2 didn't know that, but because we wanted to have general statistics about
3 what happened to the Albanians of our municipality. About most of the
4 cases that occurred in the Mitrovica municipality, I have the original
5 information which were referred to me either on that day or on the next
6 day which I got from various information media outlets.
7 MR. NICE: I'm coming to the other two short topics that are dealt
8 with on the summary.
9 JUDGE MAY: That would be a convenient moment.
10 Mr. Barani, we're going to adjourn now for the evening. Would you
11 be back, please, to conclude your evidence tomorrow morning at half past
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.08 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 28th day of
16 February, 2002, at 9.30 a.m.