1 Monday, 11 March 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
10 WITNESS: SAKIR TAC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
13 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honours. Good morning.
14 Examined by Mr. Saxon:
15 Q. Sir, would you --
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. Would you state your full name, please.
18 A. Sakir Tac.
19 Q. Mr. Tac, what is your ethnicity?
20 A. Turkish.
21 Q. And is your first language Turkish?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. But are you able to understand the Albanian language?
24 A. I understand it a bit.
25 Q. So today we'll be speaking using the Albanian language, but if
1 there is any moment when you don't understand something that you hear from
2 one of the interpreters, would you please tell us so --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. -- that we can make sure your testimony is clear.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you do that?
7 A. I agree. Okay.
8 Q. And are you also able to understand the Serbian language?
9 A. I understand it a bit.
10 Q. Mr. Tac, where was your place of birth?
11 A. I was born in Mamusha.
12 Q. And is Mamusa in Kosovo?
13 A. Mamusha, yes, it's in Kosova.
14 Q. And your date of birth, Mr. Tac, when was that?
15 A. 5th of March, 1954.
16 Q. What is your occupation?
17 A. Farmer.
18 Q. When you were a younger man, did you perform your military service
19 in what was then the JNA?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What did you do in the army?
22 A. I was in the infantry.
23 Q. Where do you live today?
24 A. In the village of Mamusha.
25 Q. Did you live in Mamusa in 1999, Mr. Tac?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Today, are most of the residents of Mamusa of Turkish ethnicity,
3 like you?
4 A. Yes. Yes. Ninety per cent Turkish and 10 per cent Albanian.
5 Q. And in 1999, were most of the residents of Mamusa also Turkish,
6 with a minority of Albanians?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. Did any Serbs live in Mamusa in 1999?
9 A. There have never been Serbs in Mamusha.
10 Q. 1999, approximately what was the normal population of Mamusa?
11 A. In the village of Mamusha alone?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. About 5.500 to 6.000.
14 Q. All right. Mr. Tac, I'd like to show you a map, please.
15 MR. SAXON: And I'm going to ask the usher for some assistance
16 now. We have a map which will need a number, if Madam Registrar could
17 also assist us.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 MR. SAXON: And if copies of this map could be distributed to the
20 Judges, to the accused, to the amici, and one to the Registry --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right.
22 MR. SAXON: -- and if a copy could be placed on the ELMO, please.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 51.
24 MR. SAXON: If I could ask that map could be projected on our
25 screens so that everyone can see it.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 MR. SAXON:
3 Q. Mr. Tac, I'd like you to take a look at that map, and hopefully
4 you'll be able to --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. -- identify some areas on it. Where -- in what municipality,
7 first of all, is the village of Mamusa?
8 A. In Prizren municipality.
9 Q. All right. Could you take up the pointer that's on the desk in
10 front of you and point on the map that's on that projector and point out
11 where Prizren --
12 A. Here. Prizren is here.
13 Q. All right. And let's go a little bit more slowly, please. And
14 where is the village of Mamusa?
15 A. [Indicates]
16 Q. All right. Mr. Tac, if you could, could you pick up a pen - and
17 hopefully there's a pen on the table in front of you - and draw a circle
18 where your village is.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. Thank you. And if you could, Mr. Tac, could you write your
21 initials, ST, next to that circle, please.
22 A. [Marks]
23 Q. Thank you. Mr. Tac, apart from Mamusa, were there any other towns
24 or villages -- are there any other towns or villages in that area of
25 Kosovo where the population is mostly of Turkish ethnicity?
1 A. Apart from Mamusha, there were Turks in Prizren, in Prishtina, and
2 in other towns a few, but really only in Mamusha there were Turks.
3 MR. SAXON: All right. That exhibit could be removed from the
4 ELMO now. Thank you.
5 Q. Mr. Tac, I'd like to ask you, please, to turn your mind to the
6 events of March 1999, if you will. In March of 1999, was there any KLA
7 presence --
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. -- in Mamusa?
10 A. There wasn't.
11 Q. At the same time, around March of 1999, did the Serb police patrol
12 in Mamusa from time to time?
13 A. They often came to watch the village.
14 Q. And Mr. Tac, do you recall when NATO forces began bombing in parts
15 of Kosovo on the 24th of March, 1999? Do you recall that?
16 A. Yes, I remember.
17 Q. Was there ever any NATO bombing in Mamusa?
18 A. No, there wasn't.
19 Q. Did the NATO bombing in Kosovo make you afraid?
20 A. No, they didn't. We were on their side.
21 Q. Could you be a little bit more specific as to what -- when you say
22 they didn't make you afraid --
23 A. No, we weren't afraid. We were all there in the village.
24 Q. Did you and your family remain in Mamusa throughout the war in
1 A. Yes. We were all in Mamusha.
2 Q. What happened, Mr. Tac, in Mamusa on the evening of the 25th of
3 March, 1999? Do you recall?
4 A. On the 25th of March, in Mamusha, at about 10.00 at night, a whole
5 group of refugees came, about 1.000.
6 Q. And if you know, Mr. Tac, where did these refugees come from?
7 A. They came from the surrounding villages. They all came from the
8 villages round about to Mamusha.
9 Q. What was the ethnicity of the refugees who came to Mamusa that
11 A. They were Albanians.
12 Q. Did you speak to any of them?
13 A. The whole village was absolutely crammed full of them.
14 Q. Did any of these refugees stay in your house that night?
15 A. Yes, they did.
16 Q. And did they tell you -- did any of them tell you why they came to
18 A. Yes. They said because it was quiet. To save their lives, that
19 was why they came to us.
20 Q. So why would they come to Mamusa, why would these refugees come to
21 Mamusa to save their lives? What was special about Mamusa?
22 A. Mamusha was very quiet at this time. There had been no
23 conflicts. They had come to save their lives.
24 Q. And approximately how many people of Albanian ethnicity sought
25 shelter in Mamusa beginning on the 25th of March?
1 A. On the 25th of March, they came about 10.00 at night. We didn't
2 see them, so we couldn't tell how many there were.
3 Q. By the next day, could you give an estimate as to how many people
4 were there?
5 JUDGE MAY: He has said a thousand.
6 MR. SAXON: He did say a thousand on that night, Your Honour.
7 A. No. No. On that day, we didn't see, but when we came out after
8 two days later, there were about 30.000.
9 MR. SAXON:
10 Q. Mr. Tac, let's move forward to the events of 27 March 1999. Were
11 you in Mamusa on that day?
12 A. Yes, in Mamusha.
13 Q. What happened on the 27th of March, 1999 in Mamusa?
14 A. On the 27th of March, 1999, at about 10.00 or 11.00, the army
15 came, with tanks, and entered Mamusha.
16 Q. And at this time I'd like to show you an exhibit, Mr. Tac.
17 MR. SAXON: And if the usher could assist me again to show Exhibit
18 17 to the witness.
19 Q. Mr. Tac, I'd like to ask you to take a look at the photograph that
20 has been placed on the projector next to you. A minute ago, you said the
21 army came in tanks, and I'm wondering if you could look at the
22 photographs --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. -- if you could look at the photographs on those pages on the
25 projector and see if you can identify a photograph containing a tank as
1 you know it, the kind of tank that came on the 27th of March. Can you
2 take a look on the projector next --
3 A. There are none of them here.
4 MR. SAXON: Mr. Usher, can you put another page on, please.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There. They had -- they had long
7 MR. SAXON:
8 Q. And what number? Which photo, which number of photo are you
9 pointing to, Mr. Tac?
10 A. Number 6.
11 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
12 MR. SAXON: If those photographs could be removed now, please.
13 And if we could have Exhibit 18 placed on the ELMO as well.
14 Q. Mr. Tac, I'd like to ask you to take a look at the photographs
15 that are on the exhibit that's to your left and see if you can identify
16 the -- a photograph or photographs containing the uniform resembling the
17 uniforms worn by the soldiers that came to Mamusa on the 27th of March, if
18 it's there in that exhibit.
19 A. Number 5. They were camouflage uniforms.
20 Q. All right. Are there any other photos that also resemble the
21 uniforms that you saw?
22 A. The soldiers in green like that.
23 Q. And which number are you pointing to now?
24 A. Number 5.
25 Q. All right. Thank you very much. That can be removed now.
1 Mr. Tac, when the Serb army first arrived in Mamusa on the 27th of
2 March, where were the residents and the refugees that day?
3 A. In among the houses.
4 Q. What was the atmosphere like?
5 A. They came to the middle of the village -- into the middle of the
6 village with tanks, and the refugees were among the houses, and they told
7 us all to come out into the centre of the village.
8 Q. And at some point did the residents and the refugees leave their
9 houses and come to the centre?
10 A. We all went out with all the refugees and all the villagers of
11 Mamusha into the centre of the village.
12 Q. Mr. Tac, is there a road that runs through the centre of Mamusa?
13 A. Yes, there is. There is a road. It is a long one, and all the
14 road was full of people.
15 Q. Did anyone give any instructions to the people gathered in the
16 centre at that time?
17 A. The soldiers came in among them. I don't know who they were, but
18 they came in, in around the people.
19 Q. Were any instructions given to the people at that time?
20 A. Everybody was ordered to go out into the middle of the village,
21 the residents and the refugees alike.
22 Q. And what happened when all the people had gathered in the middle
23 of the village?
24 A. Yes. We went out of the houses and left the houses empty, and we
25 went out into the middle of the village and they said to us, "You of
1 Mamusha go on one side, and you refugees on another side."
2 Q. And when you say on one side or the other side, are you referring
3 to the road that runs through the centre of Mamusa?
4 A. No. No. The population of Mamusha at one side and then the
5 Albanian refugees separately.
6 Q. All right. What language did the soldiers speak?
7 A. Serbian.
8 Q. Were you able to understand what they said?
9 A. Yes, we understood. They said, "Separate yourselves. Refugees on
10 one side."
11 Q. And did the people -- did the people gathered there follow the
12 soldiers' instructions and divide into two groups, separate themselves?
13 A. We separated into two groups.
14 Q. Mr. Tac, why did the people follow the army's instructions on that
16 A. We -- we were afraid. What else could we do?
17 Q. And when the people were divided into two groups that day, what
18 did the soldiers or their commander, if there was one, say to the people?
19 A. They said, "You people of Mamusha bring out your carts, buses,
20 trucks, everything you've got, and fill them with refugees and take them
21 away from here."
22 Q. How did you feel at that time?
23 A. He told me to get trucks and fill them with refugees, and all our
24 friends came out on the street with these vehicles and parked them there
25 and started to fill them up with people, all the buses and trucks.
1 Q. Did any of the displaced persons, the refugees who were in Mamusa
2 on that day, have their own vehicles?
3 A. Yes, there were some, but those carts were left in the yards.
4 Q. Did the soldiers -- or what, if anything, did the soldiers tell
5 the refugees to do with their vehicles?
6 A. We filled those carts and cars that had come out, and then they
7 asked, "How did all these people get to Mamusha?"
8 Q. And what was the response?
9 A. We told them that they had come with tractors and horses and carts
10 and anything that they had.
11 Q. And then what, if anything, did the soldiers say to do with those
12 tractors and trailers and carts belonging to the refugees?
13 A. All our vehicles were filled up, and they said, "All right. Don't
14 you use your carts, but let them go out with all their own carts and let
15 them all go out in the streets with what they have."
16 Q. And at that time, did any of the refugees bring their own
18 A. Yes. Those who had their carts went back and fetched them,
19 whatever they had, and they got on board, and then they set out.
20 Q. Let's go a little bit more slowly, Mr. Tac. Were the soldiers in
21 Mamusa carrying weapons that day?
22 A. Yes. They were all armed.
23 Q. Did you feel that the people had any choice as to whether to obey
24 the soldiers or not that day?
25 A. The people had no choice. We had to obey their orders. There was
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 nothing we could do about it.
2 Q. Did any of the displaced Albanians that you saw, any of the
3 refugees that you saw in Mamusa that day, have any weapons?
4 A. You mean the Albanians? No, the Albanians didn't have any
5 weapons. If they did, they would have killed us. They were simply
6 refugees: children, women, elderly people.
7 Q. Were any of the refugees that you saw, the Albanians, wearing a
8 uniform that day in Mamusa?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you notice any planes bombing in the area that day?
11 A. No, I didn't.
12 Q. Did you see a battle going on or hear the sounds of a battle
13 taking place on that day?
14 A. No. In Mamusha village, there was never any fighting, not only
15 that day, but never; never in the past did we have any fighting there.
16 Q. At some point was a convoy made of the vehicles owned by the
17 refugees in Mamusa?
18 A. Yes. There was a convoy of refugees. We, the inhabitants of
19 Mamusha, were sitting aside.
20 Q. Do you own a truck, Mr. Tac?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Did you use your truck on that day or did you remain in Mamusa?
23 A. That day, I did not use my truck. Other friends of mine did. I,
24 no; I didn't.
25 Q. Did you watch the convoy of vehicles when it left Mamusa?
1 A. Yes. We all saw them leave for Prizren or I don't know where they
2 were taking them.
3 Q. On that day, did the Albanian residents of Mamusa remain in Mamusa
4 or did they also join the convoy?
5 A. They were in Mamusha together. We were all together there.
6 Q. So just so that the record is clear, the Albanians who lived in
7 Mamusa stayed there on that day; is that correct?
8 A. Yes. They stayed together with us, the Albanians of Mamusha.
9 Q. Mr. Tac, after the convoy and the refugees left, did the commander
10 of the soldiers say anything to the people who remained behind in Mamusa?
11 A. Yes. There was a commander. I don't know who he was. He told us
12 that all women, elderly, and children should go back to their homes.
13 Q. And what happened after all the elderly and women and children
14 went back to their homes?
15 A. We remained there. Then they gathered us together in the middle
16 of the village, all of us villagers of Mamusha.
17 Q. And what was said to the villagers of Mamusa at that time by the
19 A. One of them got on a ladder and then he said to us, "Look here,
20 you villagers of Mamusha. If you do something against us, we are going to
21 burn your homes and to kill you." And we said, "No, we are not going to
22 do anything to you."
23 Q. Just so that the record is clear, the translation that I heard
24 says that one of them got on a ladder. Would it be more accurate to say
25 that one of them got on a staircase?
1 A. Yes. Yes. It was a small staircase, and he got on top of it. In
2 front of a shop, it was. And he told us, "If you fire at us, if you do
3 something against us, we are going to kill you, to burn your homes." We
4 said, "No, we aren't going to do anything against you," and we never did,
5 in fact.
6 Q. And in fact, at any time, Mr. Tac, during the day of the 27th of
7 March, or that evening, did anyone from Mamusa shoot at the soldiers?
8 A. No. We went back to our homes, all of us.
9 Q. Now, you mentioned before that some of your friends from Mamusa
10 were driving vehicles in the convoy that left that day towards Prizren.
11 Approximately what time did your --
12 A. Yes. They left. First there were the buses, trucks from Mamusha
13 that left to Prizren, then the refugees got on their own cars and, as I
14 said, we were left behind.
15 Q. Mr. Tac, I understand that, so I'd like you just to listen to my
16 question. My question is: Approximately what time did your friends who
17 drove vehicles in that convoy return to Mamusa?
18 A. I don't know. We didn't see them that night. We saw them on the
19 next day but not that night.
20 Q. All right. On the following day, did you have an opportunity to
21 speak to any of your friends who had driven a vehicle in that convoy?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did they tell you where they had taken the refugees?
24 A. Yes. They told us that they had taken the refugees to the border
25 with Albania.
1 Q. Let's talk now, Mr. Tac, about the evening of 27 March, 1999. On
2 that evening, where were you?
3 A. I was at home. All of us were at home.
4 Q. And what happened in Mamusa that evening?
5 A. That night - it was about 6.00 in the afternoon - we saw that the
6 houses of the village started to go in flames.
7 Q. Was it dark?
8 A. Yes, it was dark. About 6.00.
9 Q. And how were you able to see what was happening?
10 A. We were in our own homes and then we saw flames coming out of some
11 houses. We were inside. It was from a distance. We could see the smoke
12 and the flames. We were -- we went to our cellars to hide there.
13 Q. About how many houses were burned in Mamusa that night?
14 A. About 30, I think.
15 Q. Did anyone in those houses die as a result of the fires that
17 A. That night, we didn't know what was happening, I mean in terms of
18 people who got killed or injured. On the next day, we found out that
19 seven people had been killed.
20 Q. What was the ethnicity of the persons who perished that night in
22 A. Three Turks, four Albanians.
23 Q. At some point during that evening, the 27th of March, did a tank
24 come near the village of Mamusa?
25 A. Yes. A tank was coming in the direction of Mamusha. When it came
1 in the village, we went to a brook nearby. No. I'm sorry. The tank had
2 an accident and rolled over.
3 Q. Who did the tank belong to, if you know?
4 A. It belonged to the army, the Serb army.
5 Q. When you say that the tank rolled over, where did this tank roll
7 A. It rolled over about 200, 300 metres above the village it was.
8 Q. After this tank rolled over, were more homes set on fire in
10 A. We didn't know what was happening, but we found out that this
11 burning stopped.
12 Q. All right. Did you actually see the tank where it was lying when
13 it rolled over?
14 A. I didn't see the tank that night, but on the next day when they
15 came to pull it over with a crane, we saw the army troops passing by in
16 the middle of the village to go to the place where the tank had the
18 Q. Were you able to see who started the fires in Mamusa on the
19 evening of 27 March?
20 A. I didn't see who set the fire, but people there know.
21 Q. The following day, on the 28th of March, did you discuss the fires
22 with any of the people who fled the burning homes?
23 A. They left, and then the army came and they set fire to the houses,
24 and they drove us away from our homes. It was the Serb Yugoslav army that
25 did that.
1 Q. Mr. Tac, did anyone tell you that it was the Serb army who set
2 fire to those homes?
3 A. Yes, they did. The Serb army has burned the homes, and they drove
4 us away from our homes, and they killed seven people.
5 Q. Mr. Tac, my question is: Who told you that? Do you recall who
6 told you that?
7 A. Our villagers who left their homes, they told us.
8 Q. And on the 28th of March, was there a funeral in Mamusa?
9 A. Yes, there was a funeral. We buried the people who were killed.
10 Q. Let's move forward now to the events of the 2nd of April, 1999.
11 Mr. Tac, on that day, were you at home in Mamusa?
12 A. Yes, I was in Mamusha.
13 Q. At about noon on April 2nd, what happened in Mamusa?
14 A. On the 2nd of April - it was in the afternoon at about 12.00 or
15 1.00 - the police came to the centre of the village.
16 Q. Approximately how many police came to Mamusa that day?
17 A. Five or six, I think.
18 Q. And what, if anything, did the police tell the people in the
19 centre of the village to do?
20 A. They -- they told us to give us [as interpreted] our trucks.
21 Q. I'm not quite sure --
22 A. To give them our trucks. They needed our trucks. This is what
23 they told us.
24 Q. Did the police want the villagers to bring their trucks
1 A. They wanted us to bring out our trucks to the road.
2 Q. Mr. Tac, did you hear the police give this order or did someone
3 tell you about it?
4 A. I was at home, and someone told the villagers who went to the
5 middle of the village. He said, "All of you bring out your trucks to the
7 Q. And how were you informed about this order?
8 A. Some of the trucks were about to leave, and a neighbour of mine
9 came up to me and said, "You, too, should come out with your truck."
10 Q. And so what did you do?
11 A. I took my truck and I drove to the road.
12 Q. When you reached the road, what did you do?
13 A. When we reached the road, we parked beside the road and we were
14 waiting for them to tell us what they wanted us to do.
15 Q. When you were parked in a line along that road, did you see the
16 policemen there on the road?
17 A. Yes. The police were coming around the cars and trucks.
18 Q. Were the police armed that day?
19 A. Yes, they were armed.
20 Q. Mr. Tac, did you come to learn the identity of any of the police
21 at that time?
22 A. Serb police.
23 Q. My question really was: Did you learn the identity of any of the
24 individual policemen who were in Mamusa on that afternoon?
25 A. I didn't know any one of them, but some of my friends said that
1 this policeman is called Sipka.
2 MR. SAXON: If I could, I'd like to ask the usher's assistance one
3 more time, and if we could show Exhibit 18, have that placed on the
4 projector, please, once again.
5 Q. Mr. Tac, I'd like to ask you to please look at the photographs
6 that have been placed to your left, and if you can, if you could point out
7 a photograph that shows the uniforms or uniform worn by the policemen on
8 that day.
9 A. This blue uniform.
10 Q. Which number -- which photograph number were you pointing to? Is
11 that 4?
12 A. This one here. The blue, number 4.
13 Q. All right. Thank you.
14 MR. SAXON: That exhibit can be removed now.
15 Q. Mr. Tac, while you were parked in your truck on the road, did any
16 of the other drivers from Mamusa arrive late or even without their truck?
17 A. A friend came and said, "My truck has broken down."
18 Q. And what, if anything, did the man known as Sipka, known to you as
19 Sipka, say to this friend whose truck had broken down?
20 A. He said, "Come out with your truck in five minutes, otherwise I'll
21 burn your house."
22 Q. What language did Sipka speak?
23 A. Serbian.
24 Q. Were you close enough to hear him?
25 A. Yes. I was just there by my vehicle and he was forced to bring
1 his vehicle and come.
2 Q. Eventually, Mr. Tac, about how many trucks were lined up along
3 that road?
4 A. There were 12 of us.
5 Q. And when all the trucks were lined up, what, if anything, did the
6 policeman known as Sipka do?
7 A. He walked along the trucks and told us to start them up, get
9 Q. And then what happened?
10 A. We started the trucks up and got into the vehicles, and he was in
11 front and we were behind him.
12 Q. And did you and the other drivers follow Mr. Sipka in your trucks?
13 A. Yes. We all went after him.
14 Q. Why? Why did you follow him?
15 A. Well, he told us to come out in our trucks and set off after him.
16 We were forced to set off after him.
17 Q. And when the trucks left the village of Mamusa on that day, where
18 did they go?
19 A. To Medred, Xerxe, and then to Pirana.
20 Q. Is there a road junction in Pirane, an intersection?
21 A. There's a crossroads to Rahovec and to Prizren.
22 Q. And did Mr. Sipka stop anywhere?
23 A. He stopped at Pirana and told us -- and indicated to us with his
24 hand: Go up there towards Rahovec.
25 Q. And did you and the other drivers continue driving towards
2 A. We went on towards Rahovec, and when we arrived in Xerxe, the
3 police stopped us.
4 Q. And what did the police who stopped you in Zrze tell you to do?
5 A. In Xerxe, they pointed us towards Rahovec.
6 Q. And eventually did you pass through Rahovec?
7 A. We were directed to Rahovec, and the police in Rahovec stopped us
9 Q. And what did the police who stopped you in Rahovec tell you to do?
10 A. They told us to go to Malisheva.
11 Q. And Mr. Tac, eventually did you arrive in the centre of Malisheva?
12 A. Yes. We went to Malisheva.
13 Q. And what did you see when you arrived in the centre of Malisheva?
14 A. There were a lot of refugees in Malisheva, and Serbian police and
15 soldiers surrounding the refugees there.
16 Q. When you say "a lot," could you describe what you mean by "a
18 A. There were -- I can't give you a number, but there was an
19 unimaginable number of refugees there.
20 Q. To your knowledge, Mr. Tac, what was the ethnicity of these
21 refugees in Malisevo that day?
22 A. Albanians.
23 Q. When you arrived in Malisevo that day, did you see any planes
24 dropping bombs?
25 A. No. We didn't see anything like that.
1 Q. Did you hear the sounds of shooting or of a battle taking place?
2 A. No. I didn't hear anything like that. I only saw refugees,
3 policemen, and soldiers.
4 Q. When you parked in the centre of Malisevo, what, if anything, did
5 the police do?
6 A. The police told us to get down and to open down the gates of the
7 trucks. So we opened up the trucks.
8 Q. And what happened then?
9 A. Then they told the refugees, "Go on. Get into the trucks."
10 Q. And did the refugees there in Malisevo get into the trucks?
11 A. They did, and the trucks were filled up and we closed them.
12 Q. Mr. Tac, how did you know that the people there in Malisevo were
14 A. They were refugees. Malisheva was absolutely full. All the
15 area -- the entire area of Malisheva had gathered there.
16 Q. My question is: How did you know that these people were -- that
17 these people were refugees who had gathered in Malisevo? Did you speak to
18 any of them?
19 A. We spoke to them and said, "Here you go. Go on, get into our
21 Q. I'll move on. After the trucks from Mamusa were filled with
22 people, what, if anything, did the police tell you to do?
23 A. I didn't understand the question. I was in the truck.
24 Q. All right. After the refugees, as you called them, got into the
25 trucks, what, if anything, did the police tell you to do?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. They said, "You set off for Prizren." They said, "Go on. When
2 they're full up, off you go."
3 Q. Well, how did you and the other drivers know where to go?
4 A. They said -- beforehand they said, "Fill up the trucks and then go
5 to Albania." They told us.
6 Q. All right. And did you then begin to drive towards the Albanian
8 A. We set off from Malisheva to Rahovec, Xerxe, Pirana, Prizren.
9 Q. Along the route, were you stopped along the way?
10 A. Yes, they stopped us at Ostrozub. The Serbian army stopped us at
11 Ostrozub, about ten kilometres from Malisheva.
12 Q. And what did these soldiers do when they stopped you?
13 A. They stopped us and asked for money from us.
14 Q. What language did these men speak?
15 A. Serbian.
16 Q. Did you give them any money?
17 A. They forced us to give them some. I had about 500 marks, and I
18 was forced to give them to them.
19 Q. After you gave these men some money, did you continue to drive
20 towards the Albanian border?
21 A. They held us up about 20 minutes and then we set off.
22 Q. And did you continue to drive towards the Albanian border?
23 A. Yes. We continued on toward the Albanian border.
24 Q. Along the way, did you see any planes dropping any bombs?
25 A. No. Rain was falling. We didn't see anything.
1 Q. Along the way, did you see any battles taking place or hear the
2 sounds of a battle?
3 A. No. I didn't see anything like that.
4 Q. Mr. Tac, were you able to drive as far as the Albanian border that
6 A. We couldn't get to the border that night. We went as far as
8 Q. Now, is Zhur a village close to the border of Albania?
9 A. It's about six kilometres away. I don't know exactly, but six or
11 Q. All right. Why did you stop --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Saxon, while they were driving to the
13 Albanian border, was there any Serb police or army with them?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. They -- they weren't with us
15 along the road.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Proceed.
17 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. If there were no Serb forces driving with you along the road, why
19 did you continue to drive towards the Albanian border?
20 A. There wasn't, but they told us to take these people straight to
21 Albania. So we were forced to take them. There was nothing else we could
23 Q. Mr. Tac, why did you stop in the village of Zhur?
24 A. When we came to Zhur, the road was closed.
25 Q. When you say the road was closed, do you mean that the road was --
1 was full or jammed, or what do you mean by "closed"?
2 A. It was full of trucks and buses. You couldn't -- you couldn't
3 continue. It was just absolutely full. And we came up against this truck
4 and had to stop ourselves.
5 Q. So the road between Zhur and the boarder was full. So you
6 couldn't go any further; is that right?
7 A. We couldn't go any further, uh-huh, so they had to walk.
8 Q. When you stopped in Zhur, did you say anything to the Albanians in
9 your truck?
10 A. Yes. We told them, "Okay, friends, we have reached Zhur. We
11 can't go any further. We'll have to wait for two days. Can you get off
12 and go on by foot towards Albania?"
13 Q. And how did the people in your truck respond to that?
14 A. They said, "Where are we?" "We're in Zhur." "Is the border
15 far?" And I said, "It's six or seven kilometres, no further than that."
16 Q. And then did the people in your truck leave the truck?
17 A. "All right," they said, "Thank you for taking us this far." And
18 they got off and got out of the truck.
19 Q. Was there any discussion then?
20 A. No. "Thank you for bringing us this far. You brought us as if by
21 plane." And we said goodbye and we said, "Safe journey," and we went one
22 direction, they went in another. And we said, "God willing, you'll be all
23 right," and we went back.
24 Q. When you say, "We went back," what did you and the other drivers
1 A. We were 12 trucks and we returned to Prizren again.
2 Q. Were you stopped along the road before you got to Prizren?
3 A. Yes. The police stopped us in between Zhur and Prizren, along the
5 Q. When the police stopped you at that time, did they ask you
7 A. They asked us, "Where are you going?"
8 Q. And how did you respond?
9 A. We told them that we are those people whom you ordered to take the
10 people to the border, so we are going back home now.
11 Q. And what response, if any, did the police make to you?
12 A. The police told us, "Go to Prizren and let everybody know that you
13 are there."
14 Q. Where specifically in Prizren did you have to go?
15 A. We went -- at the entrance to Prizren, all of us went and reported
16 that we were back.
17 Q. When you say "we reported," who did you report to?
18 A. The police.
19 Q. All right. Then at that time, when you reported to the police in
20 Prizren, what, if anything, did the police in Prizren tell you and the
21 other drivers to do?
22 A. After we reported there, they said, "You should go back to
23 Malisheva and get another wave of refugees."
24 Q. And did you then drive back to Malisevo to pick up more people?
25 A. No, we did not go. We said to them, "We don't have fuel, so we
1 can't go." They held us up there for about two hours.
2 Q. And after about two hours, where did you --
3 A. After two hours, they let us go, and we set out for our own homes.
4 Q. And did you and the other drivers return to Mamusa at that time?
5 A. Yes, we returned to Mamusha, all of us.
6 MR. SAXON: I'd like to ask the assistance of Mr. Usher again. If
7 we can place the first map that was shown to Mr. Tac a few minutes ago, if
8 we could place that map back on the ELMO, Exhibit 51.
9 Q. Mr. Tac, you see I've put the same map on the projector next to
10 you, and if you would, I'd like to ask you to help us out, please, to
11 explain the route that you took from Malisevo to the village of Zur that
12 evening. Could you pick up the green marker that's on the desk in front
13 of you and could you draw a line to show the route that you took from
14 Malisevo, going towards the border with Albania, to the village of Zur on
15 the 2nd of April.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. All right. Thank you for that.
18 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, at this time I would tender Exhibit 51
19 for admission --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Saxon, could he give us an estimate of that
22 MR. SAXON:
23 Q. Approximately how many kilometres would it be to drive from
24 Malisevo to Zur, Mr. Tac, if you know?
25 A. I can't give you an accurate figure, in fact.
1 Q. About how long did the drive take you on the evening of 2nd April?
2 A. We didn't have -- we were not in a state of mind to see, to watch
3 the time. Maybe it took us about two hours, I would say.
4 Q. Very well.
5 MR. SAXON: At this time, if there's no objection, I would tender
6 Exhibit 51. May I have the Court's indulgence, please.
7 [Prosecution counsel confer]
8 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, at this time I have no further
9 questions. Thank you.
10 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
11 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Let's start from the end, the end of what Mr. Tac
14 has just been saying. Malisevo was full of refugees, you said; is that
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. In your opinion, were those refugees able to be put up somewhere
18 there in Malisevo?
19 A. They were outside. When I saw them, they were gathered in the
20 middle of Malisheva. There was no place they could go to.
21 Q. That means it was logical that somebody should take them away from
22 that place, where they had nowhere to go, nowhere to be put up, to be
23 evacuated somewhere, to be taken away to safety somewhere; is that right?
24 A. I didn't understand that.
25 Q. They wanted to take refuge somewhere from that place. They didn't
1 have anywhere to go to be put up there, did they?
2 A. They didn't tell us that we are going somewhere. The police told
3 us to go and pick them up and take them to Albania. The refugees didn't
4 say anything to us themselves.
5 Q. And what did the refugees say to you?
6 A. Nothing. They just got on our trucks, and we drove them in the
7 direction of Albania.
8 Q. A moment ago you said that they didn't have anywhere to take
9 refuge and to be put up in Malisevo. That's what you said a moment ago.
10 A. Yes. I said what I did. I mean, I spoke about the people I took
11 to the place. I don't know what happened to the others. The others were
12 left behind.
13 Q. All right. You helped them leave Malisevo, take them away. And
14 you said that they weren't able to take shelter anywhere or be put up
15 anywhere in Malisevo because there were so many of them. So do you
16 consider that you helped those people?
17 A. Of course I helped those that I took in my truck, but I don't know
18 what happened to the others that were left behind.
19 Q. I'm talking about the ones that you took with you. You helped
20 them. You helped them --
21 JUDGE MAY: He's agreed to that. He's agreed to that.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Second, you said that you weren't escorted by either the army or
24 the police en route while you were taking away the refugees you helped.
25 A. Yes. We were not escorted, I said, up to Pirana. The police
1 escorted us up to Pirana. After Pirana, we were alone. Then in
2 Malisheva, the police appeared again and then we left for the border.
3 Q. Where did you say the police appeared again? Where was that?
4 A. Xerxe, Rahovec, again in Malisheva. The police and the army were
6 Q. Yes, but you left Malisevo and took the refugees that you helped.
7 You took them off. And the police stayed in Malisevo, according to your
8 own explanation. Yes or no.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And when you arrived after, as you yourself said, two hours
11 journey to Zur, was it raining all the time?
12 A. Yes, it was raining.
13 Q. Did you stop off anywhere along the road for somebody to get out
14 for any of their needs, requirements, to get some water or things like
16 A. We stopped only in Ostrozub where the army stopped us. After
17 that, after Ostrozub, we didn't stop anywhere else.
18 Q. Didn't the refugees ask you to stop for them to be able to see to
19 some of their needs?
20 A. No. No. Who saw to their needs then? We had just to move in the
21 direction of the border, and we stopped nowhere along the route.
22 Q. Were the refugees hurrying to get there as soon as possible or was
23 it only you who was in a hurry because of your truck?
24 A. They were sleeping while we were driving. They didn't know where
25 we were driving them. They had no idea.
1 Q. Didn't they hear what you heard yourself because they were right
2 next to you? So if they told you to drive them off towards Zur or
3 Albania, how come the Albanians didn't hear that? How do you explain
5 A. I didn't understand. Sorry.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can you tell him to repeat, please?
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. In Malisevo, you were told to take them off towards the border, to
9 drive them towards the border; is that right? Yes or no.
10 A. In Malisheva, the police and the army told us, "Drive straight to
11 the border. Take these people there." And this is what we did.
12 Q. What about the people you were driving? Did they hear that? Did
13 they hear the same thing you heard, what they told you, or were they far
14 away from you? Were you told that in secret or were the people present
16 A. I was in my cabin. I was driving. They were behind. I don't
17 know if they heard this or not. They told us driver to do that -- drivers
18 to do that.
19 Q. All right. But a moment ago you said that the others didn't know
20 about it, didn't know where they were going. Now you say you don't know
21 if they heard or not where they were being taken. So did they hear or did
22 they not hear? Which of the two is it?
23 JUDGE MAY: He can't -- he can't answer -- wait a moment. Wait a
24 moment. Wait a moment. He can't answer for them. Now, it appears not
25 very much turns on this.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
2 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
3 Mr. Tac, you said earlier that when you took the refugees to Zur,
4 they said to you -- they asked you, "Is the border far?" And you said,
5 "It's no more than six or seven kilometres." And the people said to you,
6 "Thank you for taking us this far." And you --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They thanked us for having brought
8 them so far.
9 JUDGE KWON: Doesn't it mean that they knew already that they were
10 heading to the Albanian border?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know if they knew or not.
12 We just told them that, "This is Zhur, and from here, the border is about
13 six, seven kilometres," and I don't know what happened to them after
15 JUDGE KWON: Okay. Go on, Mr. Milosevic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. That's where I was going to
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. You said you stopped off after Zur because the road was closed; is
20 that right?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. It was closed because there were many other vehicles that were on
23 the road which were standing there in front of you; is that right?
24 A. Yes. Yes, because of the other vehicles, buses, trucks. We had
25 to stop there too.
1 Q. So you stopped at the end of this column?
2 A. Yes, we stopped at the end of the column.
3 Q. Why didn't you wait for the column to move forward?
4 A. We didn't know when the column would start to move forward. We
5 didn't have time to wait there for two days. If we -- if -- we told the
6 refugees, "If you don't want to walk, we can drive you," but they said,
7 "Okay, we will walk."
8 Q. All right. So you didn't have time to wait for the column to
9 start moving forward.
10 A. Maybe we had time, but this is what we told them. "Can you
11 walk?" And they said, "Yes," and they left.
12 Q. All right. Did you or did you not have time? You said you didn't
13 have time to wait, so that you told your passengers, the people on the
14 trucks, that they should go on, on foot.
15 A. We had time, but they said we would have to wait a long time here,
16 so they set off on foot.
17 Q. Who decided that they should set off on foot? Did you decide that
18 or did they decide that? Did you decide to tell them to get off and go
19 and continue their journey on foot or did they think it would be better
20 for them to continue on foot? Which of the two is it?
21 A. We ourselves, all we drivers gathered together, and we said,
22 "Okay. Can you get off and continue on foot?" And they said, "Okay,"
23 and they continued on foot.
24 Q. And then they thanked you for bringing them thus far; is that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes. Yes.
2 Q. You said a moment ago while you were testifying, "We told the
3 refugees that they couldn't go any further and that they should get off
4 the trucks and continue their journey on foot." That's what you told
5 them, according to your own testimony. Is that right?
6 A. We told them, "You would have to wait a long time here, and you
7 could set off on foot," and they did.
8 Q. All right. So that means they set off on foot because they
9 accepted your proposal to do so; is that it?
10 A. Yes, on foot. It's true; they set off on foot.
11 Q. At your suggestion?
12 JUDGE MAY: No. We've been over this.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. If we've come to that
14 observation, I don't mind. I can go on. But let me go back to the
15 beginning now. I wanted to clear up this matter first, what we've just
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Tac, were you ever in hospital up until now?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. How long did you spend in hospital?
21 A. Twelve days.
22 Q. When did you leave hospital?
23 A. This was in 1994.
24 Q. I'm asking you about these recent weeks. Were you in a hospital
25 recently, in the past few weeks?
1 A. No, I haven't been.
2 Q. So since 1994, you haven't been to hospital; is that it?
3 A. No, I haven't been since then.
4 Q. All right. According to information that I have here, throughout
5 the war, in the village of Mamusa, it was completely quiet. Is that
6 right? Is that correct?
7 A. Mamusha, during those days, between 24th of March and 2nd April,
8 it was quiet, and then we stayed in the village there. It was not quiet
9 then, but then later on it was.
10 Q. There were two checkpoints set up by the police on both sides of
11 the village, and life was quiet in the village; is that true? Is that
13 JUDGE MAY: He said that, apart from the times which he's
14 described in his evidence.
15 THE WITNESS: There was no checkpoint at Mamusha.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Not in Mamusa. I said near Mamusa, not in Mamusa. There weren't
18 any in Mamusa.
19 A. I didn't go anywhere after 2nd of April. I didn't see any
20 checkpoints. I was at home.
21 Q. Do you remember that the locals, during the war, kept an
22 unexploded rocket, air rocket? Did you see that air rocket? They kept it
23 in Mamusa. Missile, sorry. Missile.
24 A. No, I didn't see this. No bombs fell on Mamusha, and I didn't see
1 Q. You live in the northern part of Mamusa and you have your own
2 private shop in the house in which you live; is that correct?
3 A. No, we don't.
4 Q. Apart from farming, are you a truck driver?
5 A. Yes. Yes. I drive my own truck.
6 Q. You said that the village, up until the war, was inhabited 90 per
7 cent by Turks and 10 per cent by Albanians and that that's how it remained
8 after the war as well, that the population structure is 90 per cent Turks,
9 10 per cent Albanians. Is that right?
10 A. Yes, that's right. The same. That's right. The same after the
11 war too.
12 Q. So that means that nothing has changed compared to before the war,
13 nothing has changed in the village of Mamusa since before the war?
14 A. No, nothing has changed. It's the same. Nothing has changed.
15 Q. According to my information and the figures, up until the war, the
16 whole village of Mamusa lived in a normal way, as loyal citizens to
17 Serbia, and I also have information that you would go out to all the
18 elections that took place from 1990 to 1997. Is that correct?
19 A. For myself, I didn't go to the polls. I don't know what the rest
21 Q. Do you know that the locals from Mamusa went to the polls
22 regularly, regardless of the fact that you say that you yourself didn't?
23 Are you aware of that fact?
24 JUDGE MAY: He says he doesn't know.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. All right. In the village, there is a primary school, and the
2 director of that primary school was Abdul Tac, a Turk; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, Abdul Tac. That's right, a Turk.
4 Q. Are you cousins or related in any way?
5 A. No, we're not. We're fellow villagers.
6 Q. The director of the clinic in the village is also a Turk; is that
8 A. Yes, a Turk.
9 Q. And the director of the post office too, also a Turk; right?
10 A. Yes, he's a Turk.
11 Q. Director of the chicken farm, Refki Mazik [phoen], also a Turk;
13 A. He died. Refki died a long time ago. And the farm doesn't work;
14 it doesn't exist.
15 JUDGE MAY: It's 11.00. We're going to adjourn now.
16 Mr. Milosevic, no doubt you will explain the relevance of those
17 last few questions after the adjournment.
18 Mr. Tac, we're going to adjourn, as I said, for half an hour.
19 During the adjournment, don't speak to anybody about your evidence and
20 don't let anybody speak to you about it, including members of the
21 Prosecution team.
22 Let me add this before we adjourn: We will sit this afternoon
23 until a convenient time for a break, about a quarter to 4.00 or so, and
24 thereafter we'll hear the submissions on the written statements before
25 adjourning at half past 4.00.
1 Half past.
2 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. You asked what the relevancy of my question was. The thing is
7 that in normal life with normal interrelations and an indubitable display
8 and exercise of human and political rights that was enjoyed by Turks in
9 Kosovo and Metohija.
10 Do you remember that, just before the aggression, that Prizren was
11 twice visited by representatives of the Turkish embassy, who talked to
12 Turkish political parties both from Prizren and Mamusa and that at that
13 time mutual satisfaction was expressed between -- with the relations
14 between the authorities and the members of the Turkish minority? Do you
15 remember that?
16 A. Tell me the question again. I don't know. I'm not a politician.
17 I'm a villager. I'm a peasant. I don't know about these things.
18 JUDGE MAY: Do you know about a visit to Prizren by
19 representatives of the Turkish embassy just before the war?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I don't know anything about
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And do you remember certain members of the KLA from Mala Krusa,
24 Pirana, Samodreza, and Studencane who hid for a while at your place?
25 A. I don't know about this. I had no connection with the KLA. I
1 don't know anything about this.
2 Q. Are you asserting that not a single time before the war were there
3 any members of the KLA who found shelter at your house, from the villages
4 I mentioned?
5 A. No, there wasn't. There weren't. Not at my place, and I haven't
6 seen any in the village.
7 Q. And do you remember the time when just after those members of the
8 KLA were there, the police made a search of a part of your village? Do
9 you remember that?
10 A. You mean the KLA was in the village and the police searched? No.
11 I never saw anything like that. The police often came, and I am a
12 peasant, and I was in the fields and at home, and I never saw things of
13 this kind.
14 Q. And who were those Albanians whom you mentioned as being killed,
15 those four Albanians? Do you know their names?
16 A. They are from the village of Mamusha. Three Albanians and four
17 Turks. The villages of Mamusha.
18 Q. And do you remember that on the 11th of April, and that was a
19 Sunday, the 11th of April, when you were in Mamusa, according to your own
20 words, do you remember that that day the members of the Turkish ethnic
21 community from the village of Mamusa and from Prizren organised in Prizren
22 a rally to convict -- condemn the aggression of NATO, and it was attended
23 by 15.000 citizens?
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
25 MR. SAXON: I apologise for the interruption, Your Honour. Just
1 so that the record is clear and that the witness is not confused, he was
2 never asked about the events of the 11th of April during --
3 JUDGE MAY: No. So it's something else.
4 Mr. Tac, you're being asked about the 11th of April, and it's said
5 that there was a --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE MAY: -- a meeting there or a rally. Can you help us with
8 that? What happened?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no rally in Mamusha, but
10 the police forced us to hold a rally. They forced us. They sent us to
11 Prizren. And if we wouldn't go, they would burn our houses. We couldn't
12 do anything else. What else could we do?
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Tac, 15.000 people were at that rally. Are you claiming that
15 all of them were forced to go there? And they were mainly Turks.
16 A. There were not 15.000 in Mamusha. Those from -- in Mamusha, there
17 were 5.000, 6.000. We were forced and sent by force to the rally, and
18 otherwise we would have had our houses burnt.
19 Q. I said from Mamusa and Prizren. And the rally was held in
20 Prizren, and almost the entire Mamusa attended. Are you claiming that
21 that was not so?
22 A. We were all there. We were all there but by force. By force we
23 were sent. We had either to go or they would burn our houses. What else
24 could we do? We had to go. I didn't want to go, but they made me go.
25 Q. So you participated in that rally against NATO on the 11th of
1 April because you were forced.
2 A. Yes. Of course we were forced. There's nothing else I could do.
3 I had no other way out.
4 Q. And how many people were there at that rally, in your opinion,
5 because you attended?
6 A. I don't know. There were a lot, but I saw -- I saw --
7 Q. Nothing can be done by force.
8 A. Nothing can be done by force.
9 Q. Do you remember that Adem Koc addressed the rally, among others?
10 He was president of the local commune in your village and also a
11 representative of the Turkish Democratic Party, a Member of Parliament in
12 the Municipal Assembly of Prizren?
13 A. I didn't know that he was a representative of Mamusha. Perhaps he
14 spoke. I was at a distance. I never saw him.
15 Q. And you had never seen him. You're saying you'd never seen him?
16 A. Yes. He lives in Mamusha, but I had no idea he was the chairman
17 of the local village. I don't know.
18 Q. And do you know that, at the same rally, Sadik Tanjoll also
19 addressed the rally? He was president of the Turkish Democratic Party of
20 Yugoslavia, an attorney-at-law.
21 A. I don't know who spoke. We were a long way away. We were at the
22 edge. What they said, what they did, I don't know who they were.
23 Q. And do you know who Zenel Abedil Kures is? Have you ever heard of
24 him? He's also a Turk.
25 A. I know that he's a Turk, but I don't know what he said. I'm not
1 interested in this. I'm not a politician. I'm a peasant. I mind my own
3 Q. You must know that he was -- that Mustafa Bakir was headmaster of
4 the primary school Zenel Abedil Kures.
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. Do you remember that he addressed the rally?
7 A. Perhaps I spoke. All sorts of people spoke. But I'm not
8 interested in who spoke, and I don't know.
9 Q. And do you remember that Sokol Kushe [phoen], an Albanian, made a
10 speech there? He's a director of a cultural institution in Prizren.
11 A. I don't know who he is. I don't know. I don't know him at all.
12 I don't know.
13 Q. Do you know Franjo Prenglusha, also an Albanian, also a deputy of
14 the Municipal Assembly?
15 A. I don't know any of these people.
16 JUDGE MAY: I think this topic is exhausted. The witness says he
17 doesn't know who spoke.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. All right. I won't ask him any more about the Turks who addressed
20 the rally, but I do wish to ask him, in this connection, if he remembers
21 that the transport from Mamusa to Prizren was organised by private
22 hauliers from the village of Mamusa, namely, Mamusha Tours and Birlik.
23 Does he remember that?
24 A. What was organised? To go where?
25 Q. Transport to Prizren, to the rally. The hauliers were your own
1 from Mamusa. The Birlik enterprise and Mamusha Tours. Do you remember
3 A. We were with our own vehicles. I don't know. I was with my own
4 truck. All the people, everybody was with their own vehicles.
5 Q. So you went in your own vehicle to the rally, where you went under
7 A. Yes, by force.
8 Q. And do you remember, sometime in mid-May, or more precisely, on
9 the 13th of May, when the president and members of the Executive Board of
10 Kosovo and Metohija came to Mamusa with a trailer truck of humanitarian
11 aid containing food and other essential products, both for Mamusa and
12 other villages with the Turkish ethnic minority, sometime in mid-May?
13 A. [Previous translation continues]... that.
14 Q. That was a big event. Your entire government visited.
15 A. I've never seen that. I never left my home. I don't know what
17 Q. All right. Do you know anything at all about the 30th of May;
18 that is, after that, the KLA kidnapped the president of the local commune
19 and a deputy to the Assembly of Prizren, this Adem Koc person I already
20 mentioned, and Morina Mahmet, who were held for questioning for several
21 days in a basement in the village of Celina. Do you remember that?
22 A. No, I don't know that. I don't know that.
23 Q. But you know those people and you know they were kidnapped? Yes
24 or no.
25 A. No, I don't. I don't know. I've never heard of that.
1 Q. And do you remember that one of the most wealthy people had all
2 his trucks confiscated?
3 A. [Previous translation continues]... that. I don't know. What
4 time? At what time was that?
5 Q. Before the aggression. Do you remember that?
6 A. Before the aggression, I was in Turkey. I don't know about that.
7 Q. When did you come back from Turkey to Mamusa?
8 A. I came back in January 1999.
9 Q. But that happened precisely at that time. How come you don't know
10 about it?
11 A. When I returned home, I never heard of that.
12 Q. And are you aware that even before the aggression, and even now,
13 the KLA took money to finance its terrorist organisation from the citizens
14 of the village of Mamusa, that it racketeered the people of Mamusa?
15 A. I don't know. They never took any money away from me. I haven't
16 heard about that.
17 Q. And are you aware that during the war the work organisation Liria,
18 from Prizren, opened a shop in Mamusa to supply the locals with essential
19 products? Do you remember that?
20 A. We had our shops in Mamusa, and we still have the same shops.
21 Q. I'm saying that during the war, Mamusa was supplied in the way I
22 described. Do you remember that? Yes or no.
23 A. That I don't know. I don't remember that.
24 Q. And do you remember the wounding of a Turkish woman, Suzana
25 Taskra, during the bombing?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. You mean in Mamusha village?
2 Q. No. In Prizren.
3 A. No, that I don't know. I know nothing about any other place.
4 Q. She worked at the TV station, broadcasting in Turkish.
5 JUDGE MAY: He says he doesn't know about that.
6 A. I don't know.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. And do you remember that in the Turkish language, Radio Pristina,
9 Radio Prizren, Radio Mitrovica, Radio Gnjilane broadcast in the Turkish
10 language? Do you remember that?
11 A. We didn't have electricity, and we heard nothing during the war.
12 Q. You never listened to the radio and you never watched TV?
13 A. No. I said we didn't have power.
14 Q. All right. If you didn't watch television or listen to the radio,
15 do you remember that there were newspapers in Turkish, such as Tan,
16 Cergetush [phoen], Bai Cevrin, Esin, and Sofra?
17 A. I don't know. I don't read papers. I am a farmer. Those who
18 read know.
19 Q. Do you remember the Sofra newspaper, published in Mamusa in the
20 Turkish language?
21 A. I knew that it came out, that paper was published, but I don't
22 read. I said, I don't read.
23 Q. You know that they were published, but you didn't read them; is
24 that what you're saying?
25 A. I don't read newspapers, but I know that such a newspaper was, and
1 still is.
2 Q. And do you remember that the Turkish Democratic Party had its own
3 offices in the centre of Prizren? Were you a member of any party?
4 A. I have never been a member of any party, so I know nothing about
5 this party. I am a farmer. I mind my own business. I work. I don't
6 care about parties.
7 Q. And have you heard of the death of an entire Turkish family on the
8 7th of April, the Gash family; mother, father, and four daughters? They
9 were Turks. They were not killed in Mamusa. They were killed during the
10 bombardment somewhere in town. Have you heard of that family?
11 A. Where were they killed? I don't know that. I never heard of
13 Q. Have you perhaps heard that the Turkish journalist Sarife Turgut,
14 a correspondent of the ATV television, a Turkish television, described the
15 rescuing of a 2-year-old girl who was saved by Dr. Andric from Pristina?
16 Do you remember that event? There was a special programme on Turkish
17 television about that.
18 A. I'm not aware of that.
19 Q. You know nothing about it?
20 A. Nothing. Nothing at all.
21 Q. And do you know anything about, after the arrival of NATO troops
22 in Kosovo, the 7-year-old daughter of Orana Kasma, from Prizren, was
23 kidnapped and a very large ransom was demanded?
24 A. That I don't know.
25 Q. You know nothing about it? And do you know about the rape and
1 killing of a married Turkish woman, Ajsa Altiparmak, again after the
2 arrival of NATO troops, and that was done by KLA terrorists?
3 A. No. I have never heard of that.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you've put these matters very fully.
5 He says he doesn't know. There seems little point going on putting
6 incidents about which he is not aware. So perhaps you'd move on to
7 another topic.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, you are probably right. As
9 you see, the witness doesn't know anything about what had been going on at
10 the time.
11 JUDGE MAY: Have you got any more questions about his evidence?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Of course I do.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Is it true that in the village of Mamusa itself -- please listen
15 carefully. In the village of Mamusa itself, on the critical day which you
16 discussed a moment ago, that a large group of armed KLA terrorists from
17 the villages of Studencane, Mala Krusa, and Pirane opened fire on the
18 patrol of the MUP of Serbia, harming even innocent passersby?
19 A. Where was that event you are talking about? I don't know. What
20 place was that? I don't know. In Mamusha, we have never had such an
21 event. We have never had a clash between the KLA and the police. I don't
22 know what you are talking about here.
23 Q. I am talking about what you have just mentioned, that several
24 people were killed in Mamusa.
25 A. The Serb army killed them. Nobody else did.
1 Q. You said a moment ago that you don't know who had killed them,
2 that you didn't see that, you just heard of it. So how do you know that
3 Serbs killed them?
4 A. You said -- you said these people were killed, but they were not
5 killed in the roads, in the streets somewhere. They were killed in their
6 very homes.
7 Q. And how were they killed?
8 A. That night we were at home. On the next morning, they were
9 found. Their bodies were found in their own homes. And we buried them on
10 the 28th of March, on the Bajram day.
11 Q. How did they die? How were they killed? Were they killed by a
12 bomb, a bullet, a stone?
13 A. By the bullet, not by the bombs. We didn't have bombs in
14 Mamusha. By arm -- by gunfire.
15 Q. You are now saying that they were killed from firearms, and a
16 moment ago you said that you had never heard any shooting in Mamusa,
17 whatsoever. So how could they have been killed by firearms?
18 JUDGE MAY: Now, just a moment. The time that he was talking
19 about was before the -- before there was trouble in the village. What he
20 said was there was no bombing on that day or fighting.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let me note that he first said that
22 he had never heard any shooting whatsoever, and a moment ago he said that
23 people were killed during a shoot-out.
24 JUDGE MAY: It's not my --
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So both cannot be true.
1 JUDGE MAY: It's not my recollection that he said
2 he heard no firing on the night of the 27th of March, which is the night
3 we are dealing with.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's the critical day that I'm
5 talking about.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And I'm saying -- I claim that they
8 were hidden in his house. Part of the KLA members were in his house, in
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let the witness deal with that.
11 Mr. Tac, what he said is that members of the KLA were in your
12 house. Is there any truth in that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, there isn't any truth in that.
14 If they were in my home, we would have all been killed. But we didn't
15 have any KLA members in my home.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Does he know that the Albanian terrorists burnt the Serb village
18 of Novak, only four kilometres away from Mamusa, with 80 Serb houses? Do
19 you know about that?
20 A. I don't know. I wasn't in Novak. Perhaps they were burnt, but I
21 was not there. I never went there.
22 Q. All right. Did you go to Prizren?
23 A. Yes, I did. I went to Prizren.
24 Q. Did you see that a tombstone of Nari Rexhalebia [phoen] was
25 demolished in Prizren? Did you see that?
1 A. It wasn't destroyed. It's still there.
2 Q. It wasn't damaged at all, not even damaged?
3 A. No, it wasn't destroyed. It's still there.
4 Q. Did you see the Turkish fountains in the yard of the mosque in the
5 Tahban settlement destroyed?
6 A. No, I didn't see it. I wasn't in that area. I don't know about
8 Q. Do you know that the Osman Efendi mosque in Novo Brdo was
9 completely destroyed? Did you hear about that from anyone, for example?
10 A. Where is that? Isn't that a church? I have never been to Novo
11 Brdo. I don't know where it is. I don't know where Novo Brdo is.
12 Q. All right. Did you hear about the fact that, in Prizren, people
13 were sacked? Now, I'm talking about now, after KFOR, that Turks were
14 sacked from their jobs, and their name was Xhala Jash [phoen], Fikrija
15 Nush [phoen], Mehi Bekazaz [phoen], Nurik Malta [phoen], Jaku Plav,
16 Mustafa -- from the Mustafa Bakija primary school, as well as Jakusha
17 Mamushe [phoen]. Do you know about all of them or any one of them who
18 were fired from their jobs?
19 A. No, I don't know. I don't deal with schools. I am a farmer. I
20 don't know anything about this.
21 Q. Did your children go to school?
22 A. Yes, in Mamusha.
23 Q. Which language was tuition? Was it in Albanian when they went to
25 A. It was in Turkish. They didn't go on to studies. They went on to
1 be farmers and went to school in Turkish.
2 Q. So you had a school in the Turkish language. Do you know that
3 there were in fact six schools in the town and in the village of Mamusha
4 itself with tuition in Turkish? Are you aware of that?
5 A. There were not six schools. There was only one.
6 Q. In Mamusa?
7 A. There is one school in Mamusha. There were no -- aren't six
8 schools. It's not a town. It's a village.
9 Q. Yes. I said one in Mamusa and the rest were in Prizren. Do you
10 know about four secondary schools in your municipality where pupils were
11 taught in the Turkish language as well?
12 A. I don't know, but my children didn't go. I don't know what goes
13 on there. I just don't know.
14 Q. All right. And do you know about doctors, Turkish doctors, Bulent
15 Krilje, Dr. Isak, Muxhada Kovic [phoen], Resmije Shata, Dr. Valkan [phoen]
16 and others, all of them Turks, all of them working and offering treatment
17 to patients? Have you heard of them?
18 A. I don't know these doctors. Perhaps they work in this way,
19 perhaps they don't. I don't know.
20 Q. Do you know about Judges, Sas Kofiki [phoen], and Skender Musbeg,
21 those two Judges? Have you heard of them? They are also Turks.
22 A. No, I don't know. This is the first time I've ever been in a
23 court. This is the first time I've ever testified. And I don't know
24 these people.
25 Q. What about Abdul Tac? Was he the headmaster of the primary school
1 in the village of Mamusa?
2 JUDGE MAY: We've been through this once already. I don't think
3 we're getting anywhere. Now, let's move on to another topic.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Do you know that in Prizren two Turkish drama theatre companies
6 were functioning, with performances all over Yugoslavia and in Turkey and
7 in Germany too? Have you heard of those?
8 A. No. I don't know. I -- I've never had any chance to go and see
9 these theatres. I've never been there. I don't know whether they've been
10 in Yugoslavia and in other countries. I don't know.
11 Q. Do you at least know about the village of Mamusa and the cultural
12 and arts society Askferki that functioned there in your own village? Do
13 you know about that? In Turkish, the Turkish Cultural and Arts Society.
14 Have you heard of that one?
15 A. Yes, it is there and it's still there today, and it's working
17 Q. Do you know of any Turks who were members of the government of
18 Kosovo and Metohija, members of the Executive Council, as it was called,
19 of Kosovo and Metohija?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. One of them, a man, Zenel Abedil Kures --
22 JUDGE MAY: He doesn't.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm asking him whether he's heard of
24 Zenel Abedil Kures. He was a minister there and a Turk. He must have
25 heard of him.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Have you heard of him, Witness? No?
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. Have you heard about a lady, also a Turkish lady, Bude Hasaru?
5 JUDGE MAY: This is -- this pointless. This is a pointless
6 cross-examination. You have really put your case on this topic very
7 fully. Now, have you got any other matters you want to ask him about his
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, all this has to do with his
10 evidence, but he doesn't seem to know anything about anything that went on
11 except the fact that he helped a group of Albanian refugees to get out of
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Do you know about Adem Koc, Sadik Tanjoll, Zenel Abedil, Muhammed
15 Ustaibar [phoen], Ilija Micamil [phoen], Hasan Merdan? Do you know of any
16 of those individuals? They're all Turks.
17 A. Adem Koc is from the village of Mamusha, but for the others, I've
18 never heard of them. And what they say, I don't know.
19 Q. And do you know about Mahmet Morina and Haim Shala, those two
20 names? Also two Turkish gentlemen kidnapped by the KLA.
21 A. I don't know about this. I imagine that they're somewhere in
22 Serbian prisons. I don't know who kidnapped them.
23 Q. Why do you think they would be in prison in Serbia? They were
24 loyal citizens of Serbia and didn't come into conflict with the
25 authorities at all.
1 A. This is what they say in their families, that sometime they'll
2 emerge alive from Serbia.
3 Q. A Turk appeared who was in prison in Serbia. Is that what you're
4 saying? What was the name of this one Turk?
5 JUDGE MAY: We're now getting a very long way from the indictment
6 in this case. Mr. Milosevic, speaking for myself, unless you have some
7 relevant questions to do with this witness's evidence, I shall suggest to
8 my colleagues that we bring your cross-examination to a close.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Do you know that refugees, the refugees that you speak about in
11 Mamusa, asked the authorities to assist them to leave the area in which
12 they were in jeopardy? And you took part in that assistance.
13 A. I don't know about this. We opened our doors to them at night,
14 and they had come to save their lives and that's how it was.
15 Q. When did you give your first statement with respect to your
16 testimony, and who did you give that statement to?
17 A. I didn't know these people. It was one year ago.
18 Q. And who did you give the statement to?
19 A. They came to the village of Mamusha and they asked who took the
20 people to Malisheva, and we spoke up and we gave our testimony. There
21 were eight of us.
22 Q. Who came?
23 A. I don't know. I didn't know them. I don't know who they were.
24 They were from UNMIK or somebody.
25 Q. Were they Turks or Albanians or did they belong to some other
1 ethnic group?
2 A. They were from UNMIK. They weren't Turks. They spoke English or
4 Q. You wrote in your statement that they asked you whether you knew
5 anything about the bodies of dead people who were transported in trucks.
6 Who asked you that?
7 A. I don't know about the bodies. I transported people who were
8 alive. I don't know about this other case.
9 Q. Yes, but who asked you about that, about those dead bodies? Who
10 asked you about that?
11 A. These UNMIK people, or I don't know who they were.
12 Q. What did they in fact ask you?
13 A. "How did you go to Malisheva to carry all these people?"
14 Q. Yes, but with respect to the dead bodies, they asked you something
15 about that.
16 A. I don't know anything about dead bodies. I don't know anything
17 about this business.
18 JUDGE MAY: Let's move on to the next point.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Well, you said, in response to the question whether you knew
21 anything about dead bodies: "I said that I was not mixed up in anything
22 like that and have no information about that." That's why I'm asking
23 you: Who asked you that particular question?
24 JUDGE MAY: He said the people from UNMIK. Now, let's move on.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no more questions.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you for
2 giving me the floor. I don't have many questions, but Mr. Slobodan
3 Milosevic insisted upon one point, and that is to be found in the last
4 sentence of the statement which Mr. Sakir gave on the 10th of June, 2001.
5 And I should like -- I haven't got much, but I would like to have that
6 sentence presented to you, Your Honours, and the statement, because I have
7 several questions in that regard.
8 JUDGE MAY: Can we have copies?
9 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Sakir, first of all, let me start off by
11 asking you the following, something you talked about at the beginning of
12 your testimony. You said that your village was quiet, that there were
13 never any conflicts there - you used the word "conflict," I believe - and
14 that these people came to your village to take refuge.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you hear from them or anybody else that in other places, in
17 other villages, there were conflicts?
18 A. If they didn't have any conflicts, they wouldn't have run away
19 from their homes and come over to us.
20 Q. So conflicts between the KLA and the army; is that it?
21 A. That I don't know, but there were problems there. There were
22 conflicts. They came to us.
23 Q. Thank you. Did members of the KLA ever come to your village?
24 A. No. I've never seen them. I don't know.
25 Q. But you said previously, in paragraph 3 of your statement that Mr.
1 Sakir gave on the 10th of June, 2001, in that third paragraph, it states
2 the following:
3 The KLA did not have a stronghold here, but they did come from
4 time to time. There was no stronghold here, but they did visit from time
5 to time.
6 That is what you say in your statement, that they came from time
7 to time, in your statement of June 2001. Is that what you said or not?
8 A. [Previous translation continues]... say that. No, I didn't say
9 that they have come to our village, no. I haven't seen them.
10 Q. Can you explain, then, how come this sentence exists in your
11 statement, the statement you made at that time?
12 A. That I don't know. I never said that KLA came to Mamusha village.
13 Q. All right. Thank you.
14 On the 27th, the event took place which you have described to us
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. On that day, the army or the police - it doesn't matter - searched
18 houses; is that right?
19 A. We left our homes, we went outside, they searched, then we went
20 back home.
21 Q. And all the houses were searched. Nothing was stolen from your
22 house, but it had been ransacked; is that right?
23 A. Yes, it was ransacked, but they hadn't taken anything away.
24 Q. Does that mean -- you know that they said that they were looking
25 for weapons, just weapons, and as they found no weapons, did they take
1 anything else from the house or not?
2 A. I don't know what they searched for. We never had any weapons,
3 nor do we have today. But I know that they searched. That is all I know.
4 Q. Thank you. You said that there were casualties and that you
5 buried them the next day. Do you know the names of any of those people
6 from your village who were buried on that particular day?
7 A. I don't know the names of all of them. I know the names of the
8 Turks, but I don't know the other four. I don't know the names.
9 Q. You also spoke today about the fact that you know, but you didn't
10 see it, that a Serb tank was overturned there. You heard about that but
11 didn't see it. That's what you told us today.
12 A. I didn't see it with my own eyes at that moment. On the next day,
13 on the 28th of March, at about 10.00, when the forces came to pull that
14 over with a crane, we saw it. We saw them passing by.
15 Q. Do you know why the tank overturned? Was it hit perhaps? Did
16 anything hit it or was it overturned for some other reason?
17 A. Nothing was there. The street was very narrow, but nothing
18 happened. It was because of the very narrow street, and the tank was too
19 large for that street.
20 Q. On the day that you drove the truck for two hours and were not
21 accompanied by the police, you arrived at Zur, you came across the column
22 of vehicles that had been stopped, that was stationary?
23 A. I am not clear about this question. What do you want me to say?
24 Q. I'm just repeating what you yourself said, that you arrived at the
25 column that was standing still and that you couldn't go forward, and this
1 was after two hours of driving. Is that right?
2 A. Yes. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. And you then suggested that they continue their journey on foot,
4 and that's what they in fact did; is that right?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. There was no army or police anywhere en route from that point
7 where they started out on foot; is that right?
8 A. They were the Ostrozub army troops.
9 Q. Yes, I understood that. That's why I didn't ask you. But you
10 drove for two hours, arrived at the point you stopped at, from which you
11 couldn't continue further, and that was the spot where you made your
12 suggestion to them. What I'm asking you now is: At that particular spot,
13 there were no police or army, were there?
14 A. I didn't see any police or army troops.
15 Q. Thank you. You went back to your village and stayed there. Did
16 you ever hear that in Kosovo a bomb had dropped of any kind, which was not
17 from -- which did not come from a weapon owned by the Serb army?
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm coming to an end, Your
20 A. I don't know where that place was. I have no idea.
21 Q. Yes, but what I'm asking you is: Was there any NATO bombing or
23 A. In my village, no. I don't know about other villages.
24 Q. Did you hear about other places, whether it happened in other
1 A. Maybe there has been in other places, but I don't know who did the
3 Q. You said a moment ago that you had no electricity in the village;
4 is that right?
5 A. Yes, that's right. We didn't have electricity.
6 Q. Do you know why, why you didn't have any electricity?
7 A. That I don't know. How could I know?
8 Q. Do you know that many powerplants had been hit and they were the
9 supplies and source of your electricity? Everybody knew that, that they
10 had been hit.
11 A. The powerplant in Kosova was not destroyed. I don't know what you
12 are saying here.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your
15 Re-examined by Mr. Saxon:
16 Q. Mr. Tac, I'd like to ask you to help us clarify a few points that
17 were raised during the cross-examination.
18 You were asked a few questions about the statement that you gave
19 in the year 2001, particularly regarding a paragraph early in your
20 statement, the third paragraph, and I'm going to read to you what the
21 statement says and then I'm going to ask you a question about it. The
22 third paragraph says the following:
23 "Until March 1999, there had not been too much trouble in the
24 village. Serbs would come and search, looking for people, maybe KLA.
25 There was no stronghold here, but they did visit from time to time."
1 Now, Mr. Tac, my question for you concerns the word "they" that
2 you used -- that is used in your statement in the last sentence that I
3 read to you. When you said, "but they did visit from time to time," by
4 "they," were you referring --
5 JUDGE MAY: No. Who was he referring to?
6 MR. SAXON:
7 Q. Who were you referring to?
8 A. I have never seen any KLA members. I meant the police and the
9 army, who often came to the village. But I never saw any KLA members.
10 Q. You also --
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] That sentence reads precisely as
13 follows: "The KLA did not have a stronghold here, but they came
14 occasionally." So the KLA is mentioned in this sentence as not having --
15 JUDGE MAY: It's not what the English says. No doubt we can have
16 it looked out in due course. But the point has been made.
17 Anything else, Mr. Saxon?
18 MR. SAXON: Yes, Your Honour.
19 Q. The accused asked you whether you knew whether the refugees
20 staying in Mamusa had asked the authorities to assist them, to use his
21 expression. The refugees in Mamusa, or at least some of them, came to
22 Mamusa in their own vehicles; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could those refugees who arrived in Mamusa with their own vehicles
25 have used their vehicles to go to the border if they had chosen to?
1 A. First of all, they told them to go with your [sic] cars.
2 Q. I appreciate that, but that wasn't really what I was asking you
3 about. My question was very simple: Could the refugees have simply
4 gotten into their vehicles and gone to the border had they chosen to?
5 A. No, because they were sent in our cars. But then the commander
6 who -- it came to the mind of the commander, and he said, "How did these
7 people get here in the first place?" And we told him they had come with
8 tractors and cars and horses and carts. And they said to us, "Okay. Now
9 they can go and get their own cars."
10 Q. Before members of the Serb army arrived in Mamusa on the 27th of
11 March, could the refugees staying in your home and in other homes in the
12 village, could they have left the village and gone to the border if they
13 had wanted to?
14 A. No. They were inside the village. I don't know what was in their
15 minds. They came to us, to our houses, and there they were.
16 Q. Let's move forward to the 2nd of April, when the police came to
17 Mamusa and you left Mamusa that day, in a line with other trucks, escorted
18 by the police in the beginning. Did you know what you were going to do
19 that day?
20 A. No, we didn't flee from -- we didn't leave -- flee the village.
21 They forced us to go out onto the road to go to Malisheva.
22 Q. And when you went out onto the road and began to drive, did you
23 know what you were going to do that day?
24 A. We were driving. You mean where we were driving to?
25 Q. Did you know why you and your neighbours had been ordered to get
1 their trucks and to drive along the road to Malisevo? Did you know why
2 you were told to do that?
3 A. Yes. To go and fetch refugees from Malisheva.
4 Q. And did you know where you were going to bring those refugees?
5 A. To the -- to Pirana and then -- then Shipka told us to go on to
6 Rahovec and in that direction, so we set off in that direction.
7 Q. Before you got to Malisevo, did you know what you were going to do
8 with the refugees who you were going to pick up there?
9 A. Yes. We knew that we were going to fetch them and take them to
11 Q. Mr. Tac, how did you know that?
12 A. The police told us. "You've got to go and fetch refugees and take
13 them to Albania."
14 Q. When you got to Malisevo and you saw this large crowd of refugees
15 there, did any of the refugees there tell you what had happened to them?
16 A. No, they didn't. The refugees told us nothing.
17 Q. When the refugees boarded your truck in Malisevo, did you ask any
18 of them whether they wanted to go to Albania?
19 A. They got in, but we didn't talk to them. They -- we just closed
20 the trucks and they told us, "Set off for the border."
21 Q. Why didn't you ask any of the refugees if they wanted to go to
22 Albania or not?
23 A. We were afraid for our own sakes as well, quite apart from them.
24 Q. Can you describe how the refugees looked who boarded your truck?
25 Were they happy, laughing?
1 A. No. They were weeping. They were -- they were very, very upset.
2 Q. When you arrived at the village of Zur and you stopped the truck
3 and you asked the refugees in your truck whether they could walk to the
4 border and the refugees got down from the truck, were the refugees -- how
5 could you describe the refugees at that time?
6 A. They were all weeping. And then we embraced them and we said,
7 "Safe journey. God help you." And there was nothing else we could do,
8 and then we went back.
9 Q. Just one last question. You remarked that your village was quiet
10 between the 24th of March and the 2nd of April. By the word "quiet," do
11 you mean no conflict, no armed conflict?
12 A. There was no armed conflict apart from on the 27th, but we didn't
13 have any conflicts of any kind.
14 Q. On the night of the 27th, you described how houses were burning.
15 Do you recall that?
16 A. Yes, I remember.
17 Q. A few minutes ago, you said that the persons who died that evening
18 died from gunfire. Do you know -- do you have personal knowledge whether
19 those persons died from the flames in their homes or from gunfire or both,
20 if you know?
21 A. They weren't burned. They died from bullets.
22 MR. SAXON: I have no further questions. Thank you.
23 Questioned by the Court:
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tac, have you ever said to the investigator or
25 the Prosecution that you cried as you saw the refugee people getting on
1 your trucks?
2 A. Yes. Yes. I cried too.
3 JUDGE KWON: Why did you cry?
4 A. Because I felt sorry for these brothers of mine. Where were they
5 going? What would happen to them? It pained me.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tac, you have told us that the journey from
8 Malisevo to Zur took about two hours.
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: For most of that time, you and the refugees were
11 entirely on your own. There was no police escort, no army escort. Did it
12 not occur to you that you might have been able to escape, you might have
13 deviated, you might have directed from the course and not go straight on
14 to Zur and ultimately to Albania?
15 A. No. I never thought of anything of that kind.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why not?
17 A. Well, they told us to send them to the border. That's what the
18 police said. There was nowhere else we could take them.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Thank you.
20 JUDGE KWON: But the refugees themselves said to you to set off to
21 the border; is that right?
22 A. The refugees didn't say this. The police said this.
23 JUDGE KWON: Let me try the transcript. Just awhile ago you said
24 that the refugees, "They got in but we didn't talk to them. They -- we
25 just closed the trucks and they told us, `Set off for the border,'" while
1 Mr. Saxon asked you questions.
2 A. That's right.
3 JUDGE KWON: Who are "they" --
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 JUDGE KWON: So the refugees said to you to set off for the
7 A. No. The refugees didn't say this. It was the police and the army
8 who told us to take these people straight to the border.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Thank you.
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tac, that concludes your evidence. Thank you for
11 coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE MAY: The statement will be exhibited.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 52.
16 JUDGE MAY: And I shall ask the legal officer to have the
17 translation clarified of the third paragraph in the statement, which is
18 not clear and is obviously important; it should be.
19 MR. RYNEVELD: If it please the Court, I propose to call the next
20 witness, Mr. Hazbi Loku.
21 While we're waiting for the witness to come in, I will be
22 proposing to show the witness a bundle of documents. In order to save
23 time, I wonder whether we can have those distributed in advance so that I
24 can ask the usher to present them to the witness in order. The summary
25 should give an indication as to about when I propose to do that.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE MAY: Would the registrar please assist.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
5 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Take a seat.
7 WITNESS: HAZBI LOKU
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
10 Q. Mr. Loku, I understand, sir, that you are 41 years old and that
11 your ethnicity is Albanian, a Kosovo Albanian, and you are from the
12 village of Kotlina in the municipality of Kacanik. Is that correct?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. Do I also understand correctly, sir, that you are presently
15 married and with four children?
16 A. Yes, that's true.
17 Q. And by way of background, very briefly, you attended the Skopje
18 Teaching Academy in Macedonia while you were teaching, and you became a
19 teacher in 1981; is that right?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. And then, sir, I understand you became the primary school
22 principal of the village of Kotlina in 1994.
23 A. Yes, at the end of 1994.
24 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes. Mr. Usher, could I ask you to show the
25 witness what has been entered in these proceedings as Exhibit 3, map 12.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Would the witness draw closer to the microphone,
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Loku, could you come closer to the microphone so
4 the interpreters can hear.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 MR. RYNEVELD: Now, Mr. Usher, if you could show that to the
7 witness first, and then once he's had a look at it, we can put it on the
9 Q. Do you see the map there, sir?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. All right. Now it's going on the overhead projector. I'm going
12 to ask you to take the pointer, if there is one in front of you -- there
13 you go. And could you point out where, approximately, your village of
14 Kotlina would be on this map if you see it there.
15 A. The village is not marked on this map, but I think I can show you
16 where it is because I grew up there. There it is, about there.
17 Q. All right. You're pointing now, just for the record, to what
18 appears to be a pink sort of mark underneath the "A" of "Ivaja" and above
19 the "O" of -- the second "O" of "Globocica"; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And how far would you say that is from Ivaja, sir?
22 A. Our village is a neighbouring village to Ivaja. About four
23 kilometres away. We're a next-door village, centre-to-centre about four
25 Q. All right.
1 MR. RYNEVELD: Might be the witness now be shown, please, a new
2 map. That's part of the package that I've just provided.
3 I might say, Your Honours, this will be the first of a series of
4 maps from the second portion of the indictment. You will note that we
5 have been talking about deportation sites and you have a bundle of maps
6 for that. This will be one of a bundle of maps which we anticipate
7 presenting under the killing sites, and I'm in Your Honours' hands as to
8 how we want to deal with them. Do we want to deal with them separately
9 like this or would you eventually like us to have, as we did with
10 Exhibit 3, have the exhibit with maps numbered? Because we can do that.
11 JUDGE MAY: The latter course is more convenient --
12 MR. RYNEVELD: I thought it may be.
13 JUDGE MAY: -- if they're kept together, yes.
14 MR. RYNEVELD: The trouble is, of course, with the previous bundle
15 I was able to put them in through Mr. Spargo, but we didn't get these maps
16 put in as a bundle through Mr. Curtis. So we'll find another way to do
17 that, if we may.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. They'll need some sort of number meanwhile.
19 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes. I propose that we simply call this then
20 Exhibit 53, map 1, and we'll sort it out from there.
21 Am I right about that, Madam Clerk?
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 53, map 1.
23 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. Might the witness be shown this map.
24 That can go straight on the ELMO. Thank you.
25 Q. Just have a look at it, Witness. Do you see your village of
1 Kotlina marked on this particular map?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Could you use that pointer, please, and tell the Court where that
5 A. The village is here, my village.
6 Q. Okay. Yes. And that's sort of a star where it's marked
7 "Kotlina," and there's two --
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. And do you see Ivaja to the north of that?
10 A. Yes, in the north. In the west is Gllobocica. The west [sic],
12 Q. All right, sir. Now, sir, is it also correct that you did your
13 normal Serb compulsory military service in the JNA when you were 21 years
14 old, in 1980?
15 A. Yes, that's correct. During 1980, 1981 I did my military service.
16 Q. And what -- was there a particular unit that you were attached to
17 at that time?
18 A. You think during my military service?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. Yes. I was doing my military police service in the former
21 Yugoslav army.
22 Q. Okay. Now, sir, I'd like you to turn your mind to the month, the
23 early part of the month of March 1999. We're skipping right to there.
24 You've been asked and you've pointed out the village of Ivaja on the map,
25 and you've indicated that that was a neighbouring village. Did something
1 happen in respect to the neighbouring villages, including Ivaja, on or
2 about the 8th of March that you can recall and tell us about today?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What happened?
5 A. In the morning of 8th of March of 1999, in the vicinity around my
6 village and the adjacent villages, we could feel the shells dropping by
7 and explosions. We could see that something was going on there. The
8 population were anxious to see what was going on.
9 Q. Did they?
10 A. Yes. The firing never stopped during all the day. After the
11 shelling, there were other shots coming from different arms. This lasted
12 for three days. We heard the noise in the village. We were afraid, and
13 we took shelter in a place at the end of village, even though there too we
14 didn't feel very safe. But out of fear, we couldn't stay at home. So we
15 felt safer there than at home. And we wanted to see what we should do
16 under the circumstances. There was panic prevailing all over.
17 Q. Just stop there, if you would, please, sir. I want to back up a
18 little bit. You're jumping ahead of us.
19 You've talked about the 8th of March first, and you've told us
20 that you could hear shelling. Did you at some point --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- go to the neighbouring village of Ivaja to find out for
23 yourself what had happened?
24 A. I went to the neighbouring village of Ivaja at a later phase, two
25 or three days after the 8th of March. I think it was 11th or 12th of
2 Q. And when you got there, what, if anything, did you see?
3 A. You think [as interpreted] in Ivaja?
4 Q. Absolutely. You've just told us you went there. Now I'm asking:
5 When you went there, i.e. Ivaja, what did you see?
6 A. When I arrived in Ivaja, I saw houses destroyed, burned. Some of
7 them were still in flames and smoke. Some were ruined because of the
8 tanks that had passed through the village streets. I saw the village
9 mosque also destroyed and ruined. I saw cattle dead, lying on the
10 streets. I saw that half the school building was ruined and burned. This
11 is what I remember.
12 Q. Do you know whether or not -- what you noted about the mosque,
13 what of the mosque was destroyed?
14 A. The mosque was destroyed and burned, the building and the roof,
15 the minaret. The minaret was also destroyed. It was half destroyed. It
16 had capsized.
17 Q. Now, sir, before we leave the village of Ivaja in our description
18 of events, I'm going to ask you what, if anything, you knew of why it was
19 that the village of Ivaja may have been the subject of this shelling.
20 A. Around the village of Ivaja, there were the KLA troops, those who
21 tried to protect the population from the worse that might befall them, and
22 I think that the residents of that village managed to escape the worst.
23 Q. Now, sir, you've told us that you went back a few days later, but
24 I'm going to now try to deal with the time period in between. You've told
25 us about hearing the shelling on the 8th, you've told us about seeing the
1 results of that shelling on the 11th or 12th. I now want to direct your
2 mind to the 9th of March, that is, the following day after having heard
3 the shelling. What, if anything, happened to your village?
4 A. The same thing happened, also in the morning. We heard shells
5 dropping in my village. Shells were coming from a distance. We could see
6 the Serb positions from which the grenades -- the shells came, in a place
7 called Kashan, and from that place our village was very visible, most of
8 it, at least. So the shells came from that direction as well as from the
9 east, the north. The same anxiety prevailed. People didn't know what to
10 do. They didn't know if they were attacked from one side or if something
11 worse was going to happen to them, if the troops were coming to the
12 village. So some younger people who were braver than the others, they
13 went out to see what was happening. There are two roads, one leading to
14 Kacanik, the other to Globocica, and the population wanted to run away.
15 Q. Why did they want to run away? What were they afraid of?
16 A. They were afraid of the Serb military forces, because some months
17 ago we were seeing what was happening all over Kosova, and in those places
18 where the population was defenceless, everybody knew what they fared.
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Ryneveld, it's 1.00. Is that a convenient
21 MR. RYNEVELD: Absolutely.
22 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now.
23 Mr. Loku, would you remember in this adjournment and any other
24 there may be while you're giving evidence not to speak to anybody about it
25 until it's over, and that includes members of the Prosecution team. Could
1 you be back, please, at half past 2.00.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
3 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Ryneveld.
3 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Loku, just before the lunch break, I had directed your mind to
5 the incidents in your village on the 9th of March, and I believe you had
6 just told us that -- words to the effect that people of your village were
7 deciding that they were going to leave. Can you pick it up from there,
8 please, and tell us -- you told us, I think, that younger men went to go
9 and scout out to find out what was happening. Did they come back and
11 A. Yes. Some of them returned to the village, those who had been on
12 the road to Kacanik. They returned and reported that Serbian forces were
13 coming from that direction and the road was blocked. They said that they
14 had been shot at by the Serbian army.
15 Q. As a result of that information, what, if anything, did you and/or
16 the rest of the villagers decide to do?
17 A. The entire population, we were all on the village street, and
18 seeing that it was blocked on that side, we decided to set off in the
19 direction of the border towards the village of Gllobocica, and that's what
20 we did.
21 Q. So -- I think you told us earlier there were two roads. One road
22 was blocked and the other road that was open was the one to the border; is
23 that right?
24 A. Yes. At that moment that road was open, so the population headed
25 towards Gllobocica.
1 Q. What happened next?
2 A. The population, including women, children, and the elderly, headed
3 for the border. And we knew that the entrance to Gllobocica was being
4 patrolled by Serbian forces, so we younger people, that is men from 17 to
5 50, were scared because we were sure that they would divide us from our
6 families. So we thought it would be safer for us if we went into hiding
7 round the village. So we separately - and we didn't go with them - the
8 women, children, and the elderly went on, and elderly people, women, and
9 children carried the ill.
10 Q. Did you find out whether or not they were able to go all the way
11 or did something stop them from going all the way?
12 A. Those of us who had scattered or, rather, had hidden in the
13 vicinity of the village - and we thought that we had found a safer place -
14 still kept watch of the road towards Gllobocica to see whether our women
15 and families would be able to pass. And I saw with my own eyes from the
16 place where I was hiding that the women, as they approached a
17 neighbourhood called Dreshec, which they had to pass through to get to the
18 border, were shot at by a hail of bullets from Serbian forces which were
19 in Gllobocica. You could see this neighbourhood.
20 Q. I'm sorry. Just finish your sentence. You could see the
21 neighbourhood, yes. You could see this neighbourhood from your hiding
22 place; is that right?
23 A. Yes. Yes. You could see that neighbourhood. I could see it.
24 Q. All right, sir. Now, you've told us --
25 A. I would see the people being stopped.
1 Q. All right. You told us -- you used the expression "Serb forces."
2 When you say that, what kinds of Serb forces did you see?
3 A. I saw tanks, Serbian tanks. I saw the Serbian army and the
4 Serbian police. These were the Serbian forces.
5 Q. Were they separate or were they together or were they all in this
6 neighbourhood of Dreshec, or what can you tell us about that?
7 A. The Serbian forces, after stopping the population and not allowing
8 them to proceed to Gllobocica, the populous no doubt knew that they were
9 drawing near, and so they went off and hid in the neighbourhood. And half
10 an hour later, tanks made their presence felt in that neighbourhood and
11 could be seen from a distance. And we saw police and soldiers starting to
12 raid that neighbourhood. Although it was empty and didn't have anybody
13 living in it, they started to loot and to burn that neighbourhood as a
15 Q. Can I ask you to stop there, sir. You're just slightly ahead of
16 where I wanted to be. You've told us about the women and the children and
17 the elderly being stopped by Serb forces. You went on to explain that
18 that was tanks, the army and police. I'm going to ask you, if you would,
19 please: When you say "army" and "police," I'm going to ask you to look at
20 Exhibit 18 and tell us whether any of the uniforms of the army and police
21 you saw are depicted in Exhibit 18, and if so, which photographs? Again,
22 use the pointer, if you would, please.
23 MR. RYNEVELD: Could we show this on the ELMO now. Thank you.
24 Q. First of all, the soldiers. Did you see what uniforms, if any,
25 they were wearing, and if so, what is the closest on Exhibit 18?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. The soldiers were wearing uniforms of this colour, more or less
2 green, with lines on.
3 Q. And for the record, you're now pointing at Exhibit 18, photograph
4 number 9; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you see any other uniforms there, sir?
7 A. Yes. There were also police uniforms, dark blue with stripes,
8 mainly blue, number 6.
9 Q. All right. Number 6. Thank you very much. Thank you.
10 Sir, I interrupted you at a point when you said that you also saw
11 tanks and you saw looting and houses being damaged. Could you pick it up
12 from there and tell us: Was that still the same day, the 9th of March,
13 that you saw this?
14 A. Yes, it was on the same day.
15 Q. Tell us what you saw.
16 A. In this neighbourhood, the police and the army started to act
17 together and went among the houses, and shortly afterwards, smoke rose.
18 They were looting, taking things that they fancied. This was only a
19 neighbourhood of the village of Kotlina. And then the same forces headed
20 for the centre of the village.
21 Q. I'm going to stop you there. Just so that we're very clear, this
22 neighbourhood that you're now talking about, was that the same
23 neighbourhood of Dreshec that you mentioned earlier or a different
25 A. It's the same neighbourhood of Dreshec. That was completely
2 JUDGE MAY: So we can follow, this is all Kotlina, not Globocica;
3 is that right?
4 MR. RYNEVELD: Well, I'll ask the witness that, but that's my
5 understanding, yes. It's a neighbourhood of Kotlina on the way to
6 Globocica, is my understanding.
7 Q. Have I got that right, Witness, that Dreshec is a neighbourhood of
8 your village of Kotlina, and that's the direction that you would take
9 leaving Kotlina to go towards Globocica?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I see. Thank you. Now, once you saw what happened in Dreshec,
12 the neighbourhood of Kotlina, you said they went towards the centre of
13 town. What town are we talking about? Is that Kotlina?
14 A. Yes. They went on to the centre of the village, to the main part
15 of the village where the school is and the shops. In the village centre,
16 other forces had arrived from the direction of Ivaja, and they had been
17 looting everything.
18 Q. When you say "other forces," do you know what kind of forces we're
19 talking about?
20 A. Forces that had entered the centre of the village. I was unable
21 to see them, but I could see them moving towards the village, because I
22 was in hiding and could only see the neighbourhood being looted and
24 Q. Do you know -- well, all right. Just continue on. What happened
1 A. Throughout the day, there were incessant gunshots, so before dusk
2 they stopped and we gradually went back towards the village to see what
3 had been happening. We went back to the village and, at the same time,
4 our families, women and children, followed us and we saw everything
5 destroyed: Doors burned, windows broken. There was a shop near the road
6 which had been run down by tanks as they went through the village. There
7 was no electricity. And indeed, even before the offensive, we had had no
8 electricity. It was terrible. Everybody was looking for their nearest
9 and dearest. We waited all night for people to come back, people who had
11 Q. Were there any missing? I'm sorry to have asked you that,
12 Witness, but I have to ask it.
13 A. Yes, people were missing.
14 The next morning, the OSCE came to the village with -- this was on
15 the 10th of March in the morning. That was when they came. We -- we all
16 realised that they had been there. And Milaim Loku, my brother, was one
17 of the missing. And another villager called Emrlah Kuqi. They didn't
18 come back. And we asked the OSCE to find out whether the Serbian forces
19 had captured them or taken them with them or something like that. But
20 nevertheless, a few days later, they didn't know anything about them and
21 they hadn't been taken prisoner. So I and others started to search round
22 the village, thinking that we might find them. Maybe they had been
23 killed, because they just didn't turn up.
24 Q. Did you in fact find them?
25 A. Yes. In the course of our search, after six days, I found my own
1 brother. He had been killed. He was in the village stream.
2 MR. RYNEVELD: Can the witness be given a Kleenex, please.
3 Q. Would you like a glass of water, Witness?
4 JUDGE MAY: Can you go on, Mr. Loku, or would you like a break?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
6 JUDGE MAY: We will adjourn for five minutes.
7 --- Break taken at 2.46 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 2.55 p.m.
9 JUDGE MAY: Are you all right now, Mr. Loku? Are you able to go
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will try.
12 MR. RYNEVELD:
13 Q. Well, sir, let's move on to another topic then. I think you told
14 us that on the 10th of March, the OSCE arrived. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And how long did they stay?
17 A. They stayed in the village until the 23rd, if I'm not mistaken.
18 The 23rd of March. Yes, it was the 23rd.
19 Q. And during that period of time, sir, what generally were the
20 conditions in your village?
21 A. During this period, we all felt safe. We stayed in the village.
22 We slept better. Even though there was no electricity, they came with
23 their cars to the village at night and kept their headlights on so that
24 there was light in the village so that we could sleep in peace with our
1 Q. And to your recollection, they left on the 23rd of March; is that
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did something happen the next day, the 24th of March, to your
6 A. Yes, something did happen.
7 Q. Tell us about that, if you would, please.
8 A. On the morning of that day, the village was subjected to
9 shelling. There was panic again among the population. Most of the
10 villagers thought that the OSCE would come back. They didn't realise that
11 they had gone, not to come back. We realised that shooting had started.
12 Q. When you say "shooting started," where was the shooting coming
13 from and what kind of shooting are you talking about? Are you talking
14 about gunfire or shelling from some other source?
15 A. The village is situated in a deep valley. It's a mountain
16 village, and about 150 metres above the village, above the school, a tank
17 appeared. We saw the tank drawing near to the village. And after it,
18 soldiers and policemen were coming.
19 Q. How long did the shelling go on?
20 A. The shelling didn't last long. From dawn, at about 6.00 until
21 7.00, they didn't fall on the village but around the village. And then
22 the shelling stopped, and they started firing from the tank. Not from the
23 barrel of the tank but from weapons that were positioned on top of the
24 tank and other forms of gunfire.
25 Q. And where were those shots being directed at?
1 A. These shots were directed at the direction of the houses of the
2 village, that is, they hit above the houses. There is a great stone in
3 the village, and they shot at this stone, around the village in order to
4 strike terror in the people.
5 Then when we had lost hopes in the return of the OSCE monitors and
6 we could hear the approaching tanks, all the young people who were scared
7 to stay on had left the village because they wanted to escape to a better
8 and safer place. Whoever managed to leave, left.
9 A cousin of mine and myself, we were separated from our families
10 and went to the southern part of the village. Most of the people had left
11 from that way. It was a deep stream running by. We stopped at that
12 stream. There was a hill and a mountain there. We stopped there to see
13 what was happening. It was very late.
14 Q. I'm going to stop you there for a moment. We'll get back to that
16 When the shelling on your village happened, did you see any return
17 gunfire come from the village back towards the people that were
18 attacking? In other words, did the villagers shoot back?
19 A. No, the villagers didn't shoot back. Not a single shot was fired
20 by the villagers. We all knew that the villagers didn't have any weapons.
21 Q. All right. I'll take you back, then, to the point where you and a
22 cousin went into hiding, I think you said on the south part of the
23 village; is that right, or did I get that wrong?
24 A. Yes. We went to the southern part of the village. There is a
25 raised hill there from where you can see most of the village.
1 Q. And from that vantage point, sir, what did you see? Tell the
2 Court what you saw.
3 A. From that vantage point, we saw the police and the military forces
4 that had surrounded the village, mostly from the northern part. They not
5 only fired from the tank, but they had spread out in the village and were
6 approaching while they were firing all the time. So some of the houses
7 that were on a higher place near the mountain, I saw in those houses some
8 young people who, because of the fear of the fire spreading up, they were
9 approaching these houses. They were about 50 metres away from these
10 houses, but they didn't make it to the houses because they were captured
11 by the Serbian forces. They were gathered in a meadow near the house, and
12 there they were kept, surrounded. They were mistreated and they were told
13 to tie their hands behind their heads.
14 Q. Did you see any elderly men or women or children?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What, from your vantage point, did you see them doing?
17 A. The Serb police and army together, they acted together, in
18 concert. So they entered every house and ransacked them, driving the
19 inhabitants out, although in the meantime most of the inhabitants had
20 already left their houses and had gathered in the centre of the village.
21 The police and the soldiers who were there, they separated the elderly
22 people from the wives and the children. They told them to lie on the
23 ground with their face down, and the women and children were separate.
24 They searched the women and the children and took away whatever valuable
25 possessions they had on them. They went in and out of every house. Even
1 those people who had not yet left their houses, they asked them to leave.
2 And so this went on.
3 Q. All right, sir. I'm going to stop you there to get a couple of
4 details, if I can. We'll continue with the narrative in a moment. You've
5 told us that you had seen a tank.
6 MR. RYNEVELD: Mr. Usher, could you show the witness Exhibit 17.
7 Q. Exhibit 17, sir, are four pages of what appear to be vehicles.
8 Would you quickly look through all four pages and tell us whether or not
9 any of the vehicles that you saw that you call tanks are depicted in any
10 of the photographs comprising Exhibit 17. Just look at them all first and
11 then tell us if there are any.
12 A. Yes. The tank is here. This is what I saw that day, number 6.
13 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
14 A. The tanks were of this type that I see here, number 6.
15 Q. Thank you. How many tanks did you see from your hiding place?
16 A. From my hiding place, I saw one of the tanks stopping above the
17 village, the others continuing their way towards the village. The village
18 was -- the road was curved. Two or three, I think, continued their way
19 towards the village and entered the school yard. Apart from the tanks --
20 Q. Go ahead.
21 A. -- there were also armoured cars. I don't know what their name
22 is. Pinzgauers, I think.
23 Q. Did you see any vehicles in the selection of photographs
24 comprising Exhibit 17 - that's four separate pages - that you would call
1 A. Yes. This type here, number 7.
2 Q. And how many of those did you see?
3 A. Number 7. This kind. There were two or three. There was also
4 another type.
5 Q. All right. Shuffle through the photographs and tell us if you see
6 the other type you want to tell us about.
7 A. Yes. Of this here, number 1, this type. They were large like
8 tanks, almost the same, but they didn't have long barrels.
9 Q. And these were all together, the tanks and the Pinzgauers and
10 these vehicles that look like photograph 1 of Exhibit 17, they were all
11 together on the 24th of March, near your village?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Let's move on, sir. You were then about to tell us, or you did
14 start telling us about the men and the women and the children being
15 separated and the men being told to put their hands behind their necks.
16 The people that were telling them to do that, did you see what they were
17 dressed like, in other words, the Serb forces? What kinds of Serb forces
18 did you see?
19 MR. RYNEVELD: And perhaps Exhibit 18 may be of some assistance.
20 Q. First of all, tell us what you can recall, sir. Were there
22 A. There were police and army forces together.
23 Q. How did you know there were police there? Was there any insignia
24 telling you that they were police?
25 A. The army forces had green uniforms with some stripes. The police
1 had blue uniforms with some stripes but with blue predominating. And on
2 the back they had "militia" written.
3 Q. Now, did you see some elderly men at any point from your
5 A. Yes. From my vantage point, I could see the women and the
6 children staying in the middle. They were closer to the place I was
7 hiding, and I could see better. There weren't many men. About 20 of
8 them, I think. Elderly men who had remained with the women. I saw all of
9 them were lying down face down. They were surrounded by the police.
10 Q. Did you know any of these elderly men by name?
11 A. Yes. I knew each and every one of them. They took Idriz Kuqi.
12 He was about 55 years of age. He was wearing a white fez hat. And then
13 they headed him towards the mosque of the village, and he never returned
14 any more to the group of people.
15 Q. I hesitate to ask this but I'm going to anyway, sir: Did you
16 subsequently see Idriz Kuqi later, after this incident?
17 A. Yes, I saw him later.
18 Q. Where and under what circumstances?
19 A. After the occupation, Serb forces left. Idriz Kuqi's body was
20 found in the yard of the house of Liman Loku. He was shot dead in his
21 yard near the toilet. He was shot in the head.
22 Q. Now, just before I leave this area, sir, and move on, from your
23 hiding place --
24 JUDGE MAY: Just see -- did you see that body yourself, Mr. Loku?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't see it myself.
1 MR. RYNEVELD:
2 Q. Did somebody tell you about seeing his body or did you personally
3 see the body?
4 A. Idriz Kuqi's body, I saw it with my own eyes. And not only his
5 body, but also I saw other bodies, dead bodies.
6 Q. All right. Now, just backing up for a moment, when you were
7 watching what was happening to the villagers from your hiding place, you
8 were able to see that with your naked eye, were you?
9 A. Yes. Yes. All the time I saw it with my naked eye.
10 Q. Did you have anything else with you that enabled you to see
12 A. My cousin and I who were there, we had binoculars that we used for
13 shooting, for hunting, and they helped us to see better what was going
14 on. The vantage point wasn't that far, so it enabled us to see what was
16 Q. Now, sir, I've asked you about the men, the elderly men, and you
17 said that Idriz Kuqi was taken away. What, if anything, did you see
18 happening to the women and children?
19 A. The women and children, as I said, they were surrounded by the
20 Serb forces. Then at -- about two or three, I think. Two trucks came
21 from the direction of Lac, a lower direction, and they boarded the women
22 and the children on these two trucks. The others who couldn't get on
23 because there was no more room, they asked them to follow the trucks on
24 foot, threatening them always with their arms butts.
25 Q. When you say "with their arms," you don't mean the arms sticking
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 out of their bodies, you mean weapons when you say "arms" or --?
2 A. No. I mean the police who were keeping the crowd of women and
3 children at gunpoint and following them.
4 Q. I see. That's what you mean by "arms." All right. How many
5 women and children would you say were gathered of whom two lorry loads
6 were able to be taken away? How many were there?
7 A. I would say approximately 400 of them, because ours is a small
8 village. We are about 500 people. One hundred were males. The others
9 were women and children. Three hundred fifty, I would say, 400.
10 Q. All right. Now, these two lorries full of people followed by the
11 rest of them on foot, which direction did they go?
12 A. They went in the direction of Lac village, Kashan, in the
13 direction of Kacanik. This is where that road leads to.
14 Q. All right. And do you know if villagers were driving those
15 military trucks or was someone else driving those trucks? Are you able to
17 A. Repeat the question, please.
18 Q. I'm sorry. Do you know who were driving the trucks? Was it the
20 A. The trucks belonged to the Serb army.
21 Q. All right. Now, after those trucks left, what, if anything,
22 happened to the men that had been captured and not taken with the other
24 A. Those who were taken earlier in the forest nearby after the
25 population left, these people, with their hands behind their necks, in a
1 line, were taken to the mountain overlooking the village. They were taken
2 to the mountain. They brought them near two big holes. They had dug two
3 big holes, because the villagers some years ago had dug for water there,
4 and they were still there, dry but very deep.
5 Q. I realise this is a very painful matter for you to have to
6 recount, sir, but I'm going to ask you to do your best, please.
7 A. There were about 20 people that were being led towards this
8 forest. Most of them were young. They brought them to these holes.
9 Certainly they didn't know what was going to happen to them. The first
10 who came to the holes, they threw them into it, three or four, I think.
11 Then everything happened. It was a nightmare.
12 Q. I understand.
13 A. I could hear the shrieks.
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Loku, just try and tell us, if you can, what
15 happened. You saw all this, did you?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I saw everything with my naked
17 eye. I could hear their voices, screaming.
18 JUDGE MAY: And what happened to them?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were maltreated in various
20 forms and ways. Some of them were begging, hoping that they would let
21 them go. After half an hour, every one of them was thrown in the holes.
22 MR. RYNEVELD:
23 Q. Did something happen shortly after they were all thrown into these
25 A. After that, the police returned to the village. At the same time,
1 I saw the houses going on fire.
2 Q. Yes. Just before you saw that happen, sir, we've got these boys
3 or men being thrown into the holes. Did you see anything else in relation
4 to the holes after the men were thrown into it? Did something happen
5 shortly thereafter?
6 A. Yes, it did, but a little while later.
7 Q. I see. All right.
8 A. I was all the time seeing the houses in flames, and then
9 afterwards I heard a very powerful explosion, and from these holes I saw
10 smoke coming up, which then I understood that nothing was left of them.
11 Q. All right. Now, I'm just going to show you a couple of
12 photographs at this point, sir.
13 MR. RYNEVELD: Might the witness be shown what has been marked, I
14 believe, as reference number K1040A. Show it to the witness, please,
15 before you put it.
16 All right. Now that you've seen the photograph, sir, could we put
17 that on the overhead projector.
18 Q. Now, sir, you've told us that the village of Kotlina, that there
19 was a mountainside with two holes. Looking at this photograph, what can
20 you tell us? Is that the village of Kotlina we're looking at in this
22 A. Yes, that's the village itself.
23 Q. There appears to be a mountain in the background, and there is
24 superimposed a red arrow pointing to what appears to be a -- well, a hole
25 in the trees there. What can you tell us about that? Are those the
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. RYNEVELD: Can the witness be shown a photograph of K --
5 JUDGE MAY: Exhibit number.
6 MR. RYNEVELD: Oh, yes. Are we at 54?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 54.
8 MR. RYNEVELD: The next will be this photograph, Your Honours, and
9 the reference number is K2271.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit --
11 MR. RYNEVELD: 55?
12 Q. Sir --
13 JUDGE MAY: They look to be, on the photograph, they look like
14 caves, in fact, but is that wrong? Am I looking at it the wrong way?
15 MR. RYNEVELD: The witness can explain what these are, Your
16 Honour. They were, as I understand it, well holes that had been dug.
17 Then we have an explosion, which enlarged them. This would be after the
18 explosion, of course. This is a photograph the witness brought with him,
19 so we'll have him explain it.
20 Q. Would you look at this photograph, please, sir, Exhibit 55. Did
21 you bring a smaller copy of that photograph with you from your village of
22 Kotlina when you came to testify?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Is this an enlargement of the photograph you personally brought?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. His Honour asked whether or not these are caves, or what can you
2 tell us about these holes? I believe you told us earlier they were dug by
3 someone; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's right. They were dug to find water, because they're
5 above the level of the village and they were to carry water to the
6 houses. But the villager was unable to find water and they were just left
7 as they were.
8 Q. Is it your evidence that these young men, about 20 of them or so,
9 were thrown into these holes?
10 A. Yes. I saw it with my own eyes. They were all thrown in these
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can he say how deep these holes were?
13 MR. RYNEVELD:
14 Q. Sir, have you seen these holes after the explosion?
15 A. No, I didn't myself go to the holes.
16 Q. Do you know how deep those holes were before the young men were
17 thrown in? Had you ever looked at those holes before to see how deep they
19 A. No. No, I don't know. I never saw them either before or
20 afterwards. I know that they were there.
21 MR. RYNEVELD: I propose to move on and then return to the final
22 issue, if I may.
23 Q. Now, sir, these young men that you saw being thrown into these
24 holes, were any of them KLA members, to your knowledge, or any of them
25 combatants, or were they civilians? Are you able to tell us?
1 A. They were all civilians from the village. Among them there were
2 three high school pupils. They were caught as they were escaping from
3 their houses to save their lives.
4 Q. Now, sir, I'll get back to those people in a moment. You told us
5 that at about the same time as you saw these bodies being thrown into the
6 holes, you saw houses being burned in the village. Now, did the Serb
7 troops and police eventually leave the village of Kotlina that day?
8 A. Yes. Late in the evening when darkness had fallen, they withdrew,
9 leaving the village in flames. All the houses were on fire, all the cow
10 sheds; everything.
11 Q. And did you and some of the other villagers who had gone into
12 hiding try to do something in relation to the animals?
13 A. Yes. After the Serbian army and police withdrew, my cousin and I
14 went straight back to the houses because you could hear the screams of
15 animals being burned alive. And others also went back to look for the
16 members of their families among the houses. They didn't find anything,
17 but they freed some animals. And so we gathered in the village.
18 Q. In the course of trying to free animals that were trapped in
19 buildings, did you find any other villagers who had not survived?
20 A. Yes. When I was -- I was in the yard looking at the body of Idriz
21 Kuqi in the house of Liman Loku, it was a two-story house on fire. One
22 other villager found the lifeless body of Vesel Vlashi, also an elderly
23 man. He had been a cleaner at the school. He had been a member of my
24 staff. He -- he was dead and his body was starting to burn. And they
25 pulled him out into the yard and left the two of them together.
1 MR. RYNEVELD: I might direct Your Honours' attention at this
2 point to Schedule L. The first name and last name in Schedule L have just
3 been referred to.
4 Q. Was there a third person who was found and who later died, sir?
5 A. Yes, there was. There was elderly man, 70 years old. His name
6 was Zymer Loku. He was found seriously wounded with his right leg cut off
7 and bullets in his body. It was in vain to give him help, and he died
8 shortly after midnight.
9 Q. Pause there.
10 MR. RYNEVELD: Schedule L, fourth name from the bottom of that
12 Q. Moving on if, I may, because I'd like to finish in ten minutes if
13 I can, sir. I understand that after seeing all this happening, later that
14 evening you left Kotlina; is that right?
15 A. Yes, that's right. After all that horror, all that burning, I
16 didn't know where my family was, whether they had been killed or what had
17 happened to them. We didn't know what to do. We others decided to leave
18 the village, and we walked all night and crossed the border into
20 Q. How many of you had remained behind and how many of you left that
21 night for Macedonia?
22 A. There were about 50 of us who had gathered there.
23 Q. And you in fact did get to the Macedonia border by walking all
24 night, the next morning. Where did you cross the border?
25 A. We passed the border during the night of the 24th, 25th of March,
1 towards 6.00 in the morning when we entered the village of Jazhinca, which
2 is on the border.
3 MR. RYNEVELD: Very quickly, Mr. Usher, if we could show the
4 witness Exhibit 3, map 12 again. And while that's coming out, I'm going
5 to ask a couple more questions.
6 Q. Sir, while you were in Macedonia, did you meet up with other
7 villagers from Kotlina?
8 A. Yes. We were all in Skopje or Tetovo.
9 Q. And did you find out what happened to those men who had been
10 thrown into the holes, apart from what you saw?
11 A. On that night when we set off to cross the border, three elderly
12 people remained in the village. Rexhep Loku had three missing sons.
13 Zymer Loku, who was also missing a son. And Damir Kuqi, who also was
14 handicapped and couldn't walk. They remained behind.
15 Q. Now, look at the map, if you would, please. You've looked at this
16 map before. For the record, Exhibit 3, map 12. Is the route you took
17 walking out from Kotlina, is that on this map? There are some blue lines
18 with arrows. Is your route depicted in this map?
19 A. The blue path from Kotlina to Gllobocica is the route whereby the
20 population, the women and the children, tried to go. And the road by
21 which I and others passed -- crossed the border, got through Goranca, and
22 we came out a different place.
23 Q. And the route that the women and children took, is that shown on
24 this map?
25 A. Yes, it is shown.
1 Q. Did you -- I'm sorry. Maybe I misunderstood what you said. Could
2 you, with your pointer, show the Court which route that the women and
3 children took when they were driven away in those two lorries?
4 A. The children -- no. Now I'm talking about 9th of March when the
5 women tried to go to Gllobocica. But on the 24th, they went on the road
6 through Lac and up to Kacanik. Here on the right is the road they
7 followed on the 24th of March.
8 Q. And the route you personally took on the evening of the -- I guess
9 it was the 24th of March and the early morning of the 25th of March, was
10 that directly to the Macedonian border? Is that shown? You may have
11 answered this, and I may not have understood you correctly.
12 A. We, rather, went through the mountains, not on the roads. We
13 crossed the border illegally, in some danger. And we don't know how we
14 got through, but we went through the mountains.
15 Q. All right. Just a couple more quick questions, sir. To your
16 knowledge, was your village ever bombed by NATO?
17 A. No. No, never.
18 Q. Did you ever hear that your village was bombed by NATO?
19 A. No. After we reached Jazhinca - it was the morning of the 25th of
20 March - they told us that NATO had intervened in Kosova, and we were so
21 pleased. And we thought if they had intervened earlier, perhaps these
22 people would have been saved. We were pleased that NATO had intervened,
23 because we knew that many other people were in danger.
24 Q. Sir, eventually you left Macedonia and you returned to your
25 village; is that right?
1 A. Yes. I returned to the village --
2 Q. And when you got there --
3 A. -- towards the middle of August.
4 Q. Thank you. When you got there, what can you tell us about the
5 condition of the village you returned to? What did it look like to you?
6 And I have some photographs you brought with you to show you.
7 A. When we returned to the village, the village was destroyed, just
8 as we had left it that night. Everything was devastated and burned.
9 Q. All right. Now, you brought some photographs with you to The
10 Hague; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And --
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Ryneveld, I'm going to interrupt. We have to have
14 this argument tonight. We can't sit beyond half past 4.00. Would it be
15 convenient to deal with the photographs in the morning?
16 MR. RYNEVELD: Certainly. We could do that, because I have some
17 other photographs to deal with as well.
18 JUDGE MAY: [Microphone not activated]
19 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes. I probably would take another five to ten
20 minutes to complete this, and this might be the best time to break.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We're going to adjourn now.
22 Mr. Loku, would you be back, please, tomorrow morning, to conclude
23 your evidence, at half past 9.00. We'll adjourn for five minutes.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 --- Break taken at 3.43 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 3.52 p.m.
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we've just been handed, as we came in, an
4 additional document, an additional response. I should say that we've read
5 all the pleadings on this issue to date and, having had them in writing,
6 we must ask everybody to be brief in oral submissions, at least you and
7 the amicus. With that in mind, you've each got ten minutes.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honour, thank you. The latest document, which is
9 filed today and for which courtesy copies have been provided, explains one
10 or two substitutions of names for names and in its schedule brings the
11 earlier schedule up to date.
12 If I can invite the Chamber to look at the schedule briefly, it
13 will see what has been set out there is the following: In the left-hand
14 box -- I'm sorry. These have not found their way yet to the interpreters'
15 booths. If there are some further copies, may they be provided straight
16 away. And until they come, I'll speak even more slowly than I always do.
17 The left-hand box contains facts that may be described as the
18 highest common factor of the statements viva voce or proposed via 92 bis
19 and listed on the right-hand side. And so what is true for what is set
20 out in Orahovac or Rahovec is also true for Prizren, and so on. Your
21 Honour, with that pattern in mind, I need deal no further with the
22 document beyond saying this: As the Chamber may know, I think a second
23 mission to complete the attestations required for 92 bis statements is
24 under way at the moment, and of course further statements will become
25 available should they be admitted in due course and will have to be
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 subject to further applications pending the outcome of this hearing today.
2 The Chamber is, I hope, assisted by not only the amici's brief but
3 our now two documents, and I don't desire to repeat anything said there,
4 but simply to make the following general and, I hope, helpful observations
5 to guide the Chamber in what we venture to suggest will be a difficult
6 task for this Chamber to perform.
7 There is a hierarchy in the form of evidence that comes before
8 this Chamber, each of which form of evidence may attract different weight
9 and take different amounts of time to be given.
10 At the top of the hierarchy, of course, is evidence given by full
11 examination-in-chief, followed by the fullest of cross-examination.
12 Second, if it should ever become necessary to consider it, is
13 evidence where the evidence in chief can be given by adoption of a signed
14 summary in order to save time, followed by full cross-examination. It's
15 not something I think that's been tried very much or at all here, but
16 given the tension between proper length of trial and proper examination of
17 evidence, it's something that we might all want to have in mind as a
18 reserve possibility.
19 Third in the hierarchy, if we allow for that second alternative,
20 is the 92 bis proposal, and of course 92 bis statements, even if read or
21 summarised to the Court, save an enormous amount of court time.
22 Finally, there may be before the Chamber in one form or another
23 statements read or summarised by others, for example, in the OSCE reports
24 of the kind that the accused has been cross-examining on, human rights
25 reports, and others. And indeed, the Chamber knows it was the
1 Prosecution's proposal to summarise evidence by its own investigators'
2 reports, a matter to which we would have invited the Chamber in due course
3 to return.
4 The timetable for this trial was fixed by the Trial Chamber
5 without particular input or discussion from the Prosecution but with
6 regard, no doubt, to the estimates of time that the Prosecution gave to
7 the evidence it would lead. Those estimates, however, were made on the
8 basis of expected non- or low participation by the accused, and it may be
9 inevitable that the present timetable may have to yield to change given,
10 one, that the estimates were based effectively on no cross-examination,
11 which at least doubles the time each witness takes; and two, that the very
12 proper involvement of the accused in the trial is resulting in the raising
13 of issues which may both extend evidence to be given viva voce or indeed
14 add to the evidence which must be led to deal with the matters the accused
16 I have to make it plain that this Prosecution is willing to have
17 as much evidence led as -- live as is possible, and indeed I must inform
18 the Chamber that witnesses generally are anxious to give evidence live and
19 typically unhappy to learn that their evidence may be given simply in the
20 form of any written statement.
21 But with all that background in mind, it is our duty to provide
22 the Chamber with every means possible expediting the trial. We take the
23 view that the Trial Chamber could properly adopt an inclusive approach and
24 to decide the issues about 92 bis statements with an inclusive approach in
25 mind. And I refer back not only to the various hierarchies of evidence
1 but in particular to the possibility that in due course, particularly when
2 it's heard OSCE witnesses or indeed when it's considered Dr. Ball's report
3 tomorrow, it may conclude that some attention to the analysis of witnesses
4 by others is desirable and appropriate, both because those reports of
5 others have weight in themselves, enable a Trial Chamber to check its
6 tentative conclusions against other material, and also because that other
7 material will assist the Chamber to decide where and when it needs to look
8 further for evidence.
9 And so those are the background matters and the approach we invite
10 the Chamber to take. And with all those matters in mind and because I'm
11 not going to repeat what is set out in our briefs or in the schedule to
12 the brief, we invite the Chamber to say that all these statements that
13 have been listed, whatever it is, 31 so far but with more to come,
14 properly fall within the present 92 bis Rule which permits admission in
15 whole or in part the evidence of a witness which goes to proof of a matter
16 other than the acts of the accused as charged in the indictment, and that
17 by doing so, this will assist in the fair determination of issues without
18 in any sense diminishing the fairness of the trial.
19 We repeat that we are entirely content to call any or all of these
20 witnesses if the Chamber, in the difficult decision and discretion it has
21 to make and exercise decides that that should be the case, but we would
22 say that should such other witnesses be called live, that should in no way
23 be at the expense of any of the time otherwise available for other parts
24 of our evidence which still require the time originally contemplated for
25 them and indeed may, for the reasons I've already given, require more
2 So, Your Honours, in summary, those are our submissions on 92 bis
3 and I don't know if I can help you further certainly at this stage.
4 JUDGE MAY: No. Thank you.
5 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Your Honours, the Trial Chamber noticed that the
6 amici filed a brief in order to seek guidance on the issue to assist the
7 accused to make up his mind on the issue itself.
8 Now, let me start to say that we perfectly well understand the
9 idea of the Prosecution to seek the filing of the statements. It has been
10 said a minute ago again. If such filing is necessary, it will certainly
11 speed up things. And having said this, it seems to the amici that the
12 first test here is the necessity of the offer of the Prosecution to file
13 statements instead of live evidence in court.
14 The criterion of necessity raises an issue with the positive
15 factor (a) listed in paragraph (i) of section (a) of Rule 92 bis. The
16 Rules at least consider (i) to be a positive factor when the written
17 statement is of a cumulative nature in that other witnesses have given
18 live testimony of similar facts. This, of course, could or would conflict
19 with the criterion of necessity.
20 A sensible approach seems this: If live evidence is capable to
21 prove the issue at hand, the question raises whether further evidence is
22 necessary. If the Trial Chamber is satisfied with the oral evidence so
23 far, the test of necessity is not met.
24 The second issue is the concern of the amici about parts of
25 hearsay evidence in the written statements. Here we reiterate that the
1 written statements were not given under judicial supervision and that the
2 reliability is not tested. The role of the Presiding Officer does not
3 cover this matter.
4 The use of written statements is not unique. In other
5 jurisdictions, like in civil law systems, it's daily practice. But in
6 those systems, Judges make a distinction between statements taken by
7 investigators and those taken under judicial control, that is, in most
8 cases by an investigating Judge. When the Trial Chamber, being
9 professional Judges, does not see an obstacle here and therefore accepts
10 the filing of written statements, the amici respectfully suggests to the
11 Trial Chamber not to consider those parts of the statement that passes
12 hearsay evidence.
13 The third issue is the right of the accused, under paragraph (e)
14 of section 4 of Article 21, the right to examine the witnesses against
15 him. This indeed, Your Honours, is a crucial basic right of an accused.
16 The Statute does say -- does not say anything about limitation and
17 circumstances, so the question is whether this right is absolute.
18 In the Aleksovski case, the Trial Chamber held that the exercise
19 of the defendant's fair trial rights may, depending on the circumstances,
20 be tempered by other concerns such as the need for equality between the
22 It seems not necessary to examine all the ins and outs of all the
23 fair trial rights. Here we are dealing with the right of the accused to
24 examine witnesses against him for the very reason that the accused should,
25 in this respect, be equal to the Prosecution. This is a one-way equality
1 and not, as the Prosecution seems to interpret in their brief, a vice
2 versa equality. The fair trial rights in the Statute are meant to provide
3 the accused and no one else a fair trial. Leaving aside the general
4 assertion of the Prosecution that they are entitled to fair trial rights
5 as well, we believe that this is not the issue here from the perspective
6 of the Prosecution. Their rights to cross-examine witnesses are not at
8 Whatever is the case, it is unlikely that the Rules of Procedure
9 and Evidence can simply override the basic rights of this basic right of
10 the Statute. This understanding of Article 21 of the Statute in relation
11 to the Rules is, in my opinion, one of the leading principles of the
12 decision of your Trial Chamber, though in a slightly different
13 composition, in the Sikirica case, as cited in our brief.
14 So the reasoning of Rule 92 bis may derive from a perspective that
15 does not conflict with the rights of the accused under the Statute. The
16 factors as listed under paragraph (i) under section (A) of Rule 92 bis may
17 be such a perspective.
18 Now, what if such factors conflict to each other? This seems to
19 be the case in the present case since the accused objected to the use of
20 written statements. This objection is a negative factor as listed under
21 (b) of paragraph (ii) of section (A) of Rule 92 bis. The applicability of
22 this negative factor, however, may depend on a proper showing or
23 demonstration on the part of the accused that either the nature or source
24 of his statements are unreliable or that its prejudicial effect outweighs
25 its probative nature.
1 The amici, Your Honours, are not in the position to argue this
2 factor simply because we are not in any way instructed. The accused,
3 however, did so far not specifically -- did not specifically give any
4 thought to the issue. I can only say that on one hand there seems not to
5 be a prima facie case for one of these arguments as raised in the Rule
6 itself, but on the other hand, we have heard the challenges of the accused
7 to the evidence given by live witnesses on the issues covered in the
8 written -- in the written statements.
9 Balancing these interests, the amici suggests for the reasons of
10 consistency that in that case of conflict, the negative factors override
11 the positive ones, and this would result in not accepting the filing of
12 the written statements.
13 That brings me to the fourth issue, whether the substantive nature
14 of the information contained in the written statement would potentially
15 constitute proof of a critical element of the Prosecution's case. The
16 Prosecution is right when it argues that proof of the crime base does not
17 go to the acts and conduct of the accused himself, but --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Wladimiroff is kindly requested to slow
19 down. Thank you.
20 JUDGE MAY: You're being asked to slow down.
21 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Excuse me, Your Honour.
22 But those facts presented in the written statements, however, do
23 indirectly go to the matters that are linked in the indictment to acts and
24 conduct of the accused. That is a matter for your Trial Chamber to
1 Different to the Prosecution arguing a broad interpretation of the
2 term "critical element," the amici believe that such interpretation would
3 be inconsistent with the fair trial rights of the Statute. It would turn
4 the right of the accused to cross-examination of witnesses against him
5 into a meaningless feature. Matters that are related to the heart of the
6 matter as described in the indictment should not be excluded from
7 cross-examination, and that's another issue for your Trial Chamber to
9 Finally this: The consideration of the Prosecution as set out in
10 the paragraph 18 of their brief, namely, that a short but inadequate trial
11 would deny both the Prosecution and the international community the right
12 to a fair trial seems not to be valid to the amici. I already dealt with
13 the relation between the Prosecution and the fair right -- fair trial
14 rights guaranteed to the accused. It's obvious that non-parties in the
15 proceedings, like the international community, do not have a right to a
16 fair trial as guaranteed under the Statute.
17 Let me conclude with this: The timetable is an important matter
18 under the consideration of the Trial Chamber, but a timetable should not
19 override the ins and outs of the fairness of a trial. These are our
21 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. One solution, Mr. Wladimiroff, may be
22 this: to admit the statements under the Rule because they don't relate to
23 the acts and conduct of the accused, but to require the witnesses to
24 appear for cross-examination, in that way ensuring that where there are
25 important issues, the accused has the ability to test the evidence.
1 MR. WLADIMIROFF: That seems a very fair way to get out of the
2 problem indeed, yes.
3 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
4 Mr. Milosevic, the issue which we're addressing is this, as you
5 know, whether -- there are at the moment 23, I think, witness statements
6 which we have seen. Some more have been since served. We're not
7 concerned with those at the moment. We are concerned with the 23 witness
8 statements. They all relate to the evidence which is being given or to
9 events in the evidence which is being given, and the Prosecution are
10 asking us to admit those statements as evidence without
12 The Rule provides that they can be admitted but that the -- that
13 one of the matters which has to be considered is whether there are other
14 factors which make it appropriate for a witness to attend for
15 cross-examination, and we have to consider whether, when the issues are
16 contested about which the witnesses give evidence, it's right that the
17 witnesses should appear for cross-examination.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I will, within the ten-minute
20 time limit that you have given me, present my views too.
21 First of all, there are no undisputed facts which the opposite
22 side wishes to point to, because the whole indictment is questionable, or
23 rather, false. So I do not accept anybody's testimony unless the witness
24 appears here, although we cannot speak of the equality of arms of the two
25 sides here at all, because a few days ago you yourself explained to me
1 that you refused to enable me to be set free, and I think that that
2 decision by the Trial Chamber is against the law and I think that your
3 friends are duty-bound to complain in that regard.
4 With respect to Prosecution witnesses, I should like to remind you
5 that the international covenant on political, human, and other rights,
6 Article 14, guarantees the right to cross-examination of the witness, and
7 that exists in the American Convention, the European Convention, the
8 African Convention, and it is also guaranteed by your own Rules and
9 Regulations of this illegal Tribunal. So it is public interest which
10 demands that witnesses appear. Written statements are completely
11 unreliable, especially because of their sources, the sources from which
12 the written statements come, because all these written statements come
13 from environments in which all the witnesses are in the hands of the same
14 killers who disseminated bloodshed for several years in Kosovo and
16 Secondly, I wish to draw your attention to the following, and that
17 is that the five conventions guarantee a right to a public trial.
18 Therefore, you cannot have a public character of a trial unless you enable
19 witnesses to appear here in Court and to be subjected to
20 cross-examination. You have the Universal Declaration, Article 10 of that
21 declaration, Article 14 of the International Pact, then you have Article 6
22 of the European Convention and Article 8.5 of the American Convention,
23 Article 5 of the American Declaration, and so on and so forth. So
24 exceptions from public debate is only when it comes to law and order in
25 the courtroom and public morals and law and order.
1 Therefore, I insist upon the fact that we clarify this point
2 fully, and we cannot accept anybody's written statement. And what we have
3 just heard from the witnesses that have gone by so far, we see how much
4 contradiction, how much false facts they operate with, how much mounted
5 and rigged explanations they have, what a lot of manipulation there is
6 between them and this false indictment. Therefore, if there is anything
7 that must not be allowed, at any cost, is that some invisible witnesses
8 appear here on the basis of whose statements - and we don't know who wrote
9 the statements or what stands behind those statements - be allowed to go
10 forward and to try a case on that basis.
11 I am being accused here of the most horrific crimes that anybody
12 can be accused of, and now what they want to do is to do this on the basis
13 of some sort of secret witnesses and written statements. I think that
14 this is - how shall I put it? - an absurdity. This is an absurd demand
15 which cannot be accepted in any way, especially not with the explanation
16 given here that they take up too much time. Because if one would follow
17 that logic, and according to this false indictment, the only thing that
18 stops all this rigged-up trial here is my presence here and the
19 examination of witnesses and what I'm saying here. So that when we're
20 talking about cross-examination, I have the right to cross-examine the
21 witnesses, to test their credibility, to test the circumstances of the
22 evidence in chief, and a series of other matters.
23 Let us go back to the first question, and that is to stop me
24 exercising my right, the right that you yourselves have prescribed through
25 your Rules and Regulations. So this is not a concession on your part; it
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 is a right that has been written down, the right of a person to be able to
2 defend himself. I don't want to enter into the illegality of your
3 Tribunal here, but even as an illegal Tribunal in Court yourself, you have
4 prescribed that very right yourselves; and on the other hand, you make it
5 impossible physically for the accused standing before you to avail himself
6 of that right, because there is no possibility whatsoever for me to
7 communicate with the witnesses, to examine the witnesses, to talk to my
8 associates, to consult people and amass facts and information which would
9 topple all your rigged evidence which the witnesses are putting forward in
10 conformity with the false indictment.
11 Do you know that thousands of citizens contact my associates to
12 challenge what they are hearing here? How can you imagine that under
13 conditions of this kind, where I'm working from 7.00 in the morning until
14 6.00 in the afternoon, 6.00 p.m., losing so much time, sitting here -- I
15 am flooded with material. I have just received this Patrick Ball
16 material, who I hear from the Prosecutor is to be called tomorrow. The
17 lady has provided me with this list just a moment ago, and it contains a
18 hundred pages for me to read. How can you imagine that it is possible for
19 me to exercise my right, the right that you have prescribed yourselves,
20 the right physically -- I am being physically stopped from exercising my
21 right, and then you claim that this is a fair trial and that there is
22 equality of arms between the two parties.
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you wouldn't have been in this position
24 if you had read the material before. I don't know when Patrick Ball's
25 report was disclosed to you, but I have no doubt it was some time ago. So
1 if you had read it before, you wouldn't be in this position.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That again is not true. You, as an
3 institution here, dealing with what you deal with, you have trials that go
4 on for several years for a concrete event linked, for example, to one
5 locality - who knows where - whereas you here are presenting a false
6 indictment which charges me, accuses me and my state and my nation for
7 three wars in thousands of localities, presenting tragic events from that
8 war individually, so as to mask an answer to the main question: Why war,
9 why terrorism, why the crime against Yugoslavia, and why the NATO
10 aggression? And then what you're doing now, in the thousands of different
11 localities, over three wars, you are shortening in comparison to the other
12 cases that you're dealing with here and trying here. And then you want to
13 show that all this is just. Why didn't you get through all those other
14 cases in one day? But you've been keeping people here for years. Why
15 don't you let all those Serbs and Croats and Muslims, why don't you set
16 them free, if you have proclaimed from the other side of the well that it
17 is I who am responsible? Why don't you let all these other people go
18 home, then, because you now have been given the opportunity of proving
19 everything you wish to prove here with me here --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues]... to be clear
21 as to your position on these statements. There are two possibilities:
22 Firstly, the statements will not be admitted at all; secondly, the
23 statements may be admitted but with the right to cross-examine. You have
24 stressed your right to cross-examine, and it is in that regard that I'm
25 seeking the clarification. If the statements were to be admitted but you
1 would have the right to cross-examine, would you have a problem with
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There can be no compromise. A
4 witness who has something to say must come here and say it, testify here
5 in Court, and then be subjected to cross-examination, and not to have
6 somebody write a statement for him and then I am going to examine a
7 phantom statement here in Court of some individual who is prepared and who
8 has rigged all this and serves the function of this false indictment.
9 So my stand is categorically clear: Until the witness comes here
10 into the Court and fulfills the right and guarantee to a complete
11 cross-examination, we are not able to accept his testimony as any evidence
12 or proof, and that is the case in every normal court. Of course, I don't
13 know what it is like for your particular Court. But I think that my
14 position there is quite clear and quite categorical. Witnesses who appear
15 in Court --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's quite clear to me.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Milosevic.
18 Mr. Nice, one minute.
19 MR. NICE: Four minutes, I think. Mr. Tapuskovic is on his feet.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I should like to
22 draw your attention to one point, and it is an important one. What
23 Slobodan Milosevic said a moment ago with respect to Patrick Ball, that he
24 received the document only today, it was not until today that this
25 document was served. It was not translated into Serbian until today. The
1 document was not translated into Serbian, nor did the Trial Chamber make a
2 decision in that regard.
3 JUDGE MAY: It was produced, I have no doubt, in English, so at
4 least two of the amici would have been able to read it.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] But it should have been
6 translated, and we did not receive a translated copy, and I think the
7 decision was made that disclosure should follow these lines. You were not
8 asked -- all vital documents should be disclosed and submitted in both
10 JUDGE MAY: The languages of the Tribunal.
11 Yes, Mr. Nice. Can you help us about that?
12 MR. NICE: Certainly. The original version of Dr. Ball's report
13 was provided months ago in English. It was resupplied last week, in
14 answer to the accused's request following a question of mine to the
15 Chamber, in English. It was first provided in B/C/S, in Serbian, as soon
16 as it was available. It's a long document and it took a long time to be
17 translated, given the other priorities that the CLSS have and that they
18 determine, not us. It's been made available for translation at the
19 earliest possible moment, but of course it doesn't fall for the priority
20 that documents that have to be translated enjoy. So he's had it for
21 months in English and last week in English as well.
22 Can I, in a couple of minutes, make just a few other points,
23 because I was very short in opening.
24 JUDGE MAY: Two minutes.
25 MR. NICE: Certainly. Thank you.
1 The observations are entirely inappropriate and unacceptable of
2 the accused about how witness statements are taken, will have to be
3 subject to evidence and methodology, in our respectful submission, in due
4 course. The amici's observations about the sufficiency of live evidence
5 should nevertheless take account of the reality that if one were to call
6 80 live witnesses, where 800.000, it is said, have been transported or
7 moved or whatever, then one is calling something on the basis of 1 in
8 10.000. We are aware and the Chamber is no doubt aware of the obvious
9 need to have as many witnesses as possible where a sampling is of those
10 sort of fractions. Hearsay is specifically covered in the Rules of the
11 Tribunal and doesn't in itself exclude 92 bis. The right of
12 cross-examination has been specifically dealt with in the provision of the
13 ruling that allowed for 92 bis when the Chamber in Plenary Session allowed
14 for it, and likewise taken into account were all the conventions to which
15 the accused has referred. Therefore, they don't in themselves
16 automatically allow him to have these witnesses before the Chamber.
17 I very respectfully would observe that if this particular
18 accused's mere opposition leads to a finding that then the evidence has to
19 be in some form before this Chamber, although we personally have no
20 objections at all, the Chamber has, of course, to have in mind the effect
22 JUDGE MAY: No, but there's been -- it's not a question of mere
23 opposition. There has been detailed cross-examination on the points,
24 which have been put into issue.
25 MR. NICE: Well, I'm making the point with other cases in mind.
1 Were the course to be adopted of the witnesses coming to be
2 cross-examined, we would press the Chamber to say that certainly a summary
3 of what the statements contain should be made available first, as a matter
4 of record, or alternatively, the statements should be read out in full, if
5 that wouldn't take too long.
6 So, Your Honour, those, I think, are all the matters that I desire
7 to raise by way of reply. And certainly we invite you to consider not
8 just the two alternatives that His Honour Judge Robinson referred to but
9 the three alternatives that remain for consideration, because it's our
10 duty, in the interests the brevity of the case, to do that. Our position
11 remains as it always has been.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.
13 We'll consider these matters and give our ruling in due course.
14 We'll adjourn now until half past 9.00 tomorrow.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.29 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 12th day of March,
17 2002, at 9.30 a.m.