1 Thursday, 4 October 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
7 Judge Van den Wyngaert, unfortunately, is not well, and will be
8 unable, we expect to sit throughout the day, so other two Judges will sit
9 under the Rule.
10 Could I remind you of the affirmation again, Mr. Bushi, which
11 applies still.
12 Ms. Regue.
13 MS. REGUE: Good morning, Your Honours.
14 Could we please call Exhibit 1D236. It was former 65 ter 1D117.
15 And if we could go to the first page.
16 WITNESS: NAZIM BUSHI [Resumed]
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Re-examination by Ms. Regue: [Continued]
19 Q. Mr. Bushi, I'm going to show to you a document that was shown by
20 my colleague. It's an order, an executive order 13219 dated June 26, of
21 2001, issued by the president of the United States. The title is:
22 "Blocking property of persons who threaten international stabilisation
23 efforts in the Western Balkans."
24 Do you recall being shown this document, Mr. Bushi? It's,
25 unfortunately, only in English.
1 A. Yes, I recall it.
2 Q. I'm just going to read to you a couple of extracts to refresh your
4 I quote: "I, George W. Bush," this is in the second paragraph,
5 "president of the United States of America have determined that the
6 actions of persons engaged in or assisting, sponsoring or supporting
7 extremist violence in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and then
8 some restrictive measures with regards to property, with regards to assets
9 of individuals are indicated. And these individuals are the persons
10 listed in annex -- in the annex of this order, and persons designated by
11 the secretary of the treasury that have committed or to pose a significant
12 risk of committing acts of violence but have the purpose or effect of
13 threatening the peace in, or diminishing the stability of any area or
14 state in the western Balkan region."
15 If we go to page number 4 of this document we see the annex with
16 the list of persons.
17 MS. REGUE: To page number 4. Thanks.
18 If we could scroll up a little bit you see that there are two
19 columns. One with individuals, the name; and the second column reads
20 affiliations. The second name that you see is Ali Ahmeti and the
21 affiliations, NLA. Are you able to see that, Mr. Bushi?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. For instance the fourth name is Dalipi Tahir and the affiliations
24 is PCPMB. Do you see that, Mr. Bushi?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. If could you go to the next page, please. We see here more names,
2 and also different affiliations and then the second point is affiliations,
3 their organisations are listed with the full -- with the full characters.
4 Mr. Bushi, in this list, did you see all the names of all the
5 individuals who belong to the NLA?
6 A. No. There aren't all the names here. There are only some of
8 Q. Did you see names of individuals of persons belonging to other
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. At any time in the extracts that I read to you or next to
12 affiliation, have you heard or did you read that the NLA was defined as a
13 foreign terrorist organisation by the US government?
14 A. No, nowhere.
15 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, I will refer to this point, to the
16 testimony of Peter Bouckaert, pages 3179, 3227, and 3231.
17 If we could go to Exhibit 1D230, please. It's former 65 ter 1D54.
18 And if we can focus on the first paragraph.
19 Q. This, Mr. Bushi, is a document that also my learned colleagues
20 showed to you. It's a press release from the Security Council dated 7th
21 of March, 2001. As you see, the title reads Security Council in
22 presidential statement condemns violence by ethnic Albanian extremists in
23 former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
24 If we focus in the first paragraph the statements are related and
25 I'm quoting the last line of the first paragraph. "In particular, the
1 killing of three soldiers from that country in the Tanusevci area."
2 Now, did you see that, Mr. Bushi, that they are referring to this
3 particular event?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thanks.
6 MS. REGUE: If we could go do Exhibit 1D231, please. It's former
7 65 ter 1D818. I believe that there is no Macedonian translation either.
8 Q. Mr. Bushi, this is a document also shown by my colleagues dated
9 the 30 of April, 2001. If we could go to page number 6, please.
10 This briefing from the US State Department where the deputy
11 spokesperson, Mr. Reeker is asked several questions. In particular, if we
12 focus in the question that we see in the centre of the document a
13 journalist is asking Mr. Reeker: "Does the attack on the security forces
14 over the weekend and the NLA's claim of responsibility for it have an
15 impact on what kind of message you will be hoping to see from President
16 Trajkovski when he comes to visit tomorrow."
17 Mr. Bushi, do you see that this question refers to an attack
18 allegedly committed by the NLA against security forces of the Republic of
20 A. Yes.
21 MS. REGUE: If we could go to Exhibit 1D232, please, the first
22 page. It is former 65 ter 1D72.
23 Q. Mr. Bushi, this is again another document which has been shown to
24 you by my colleagues. It is a briefing from the Euro-Balkan Institute on
25 Macedonian crisis and it's dated the 9th of May, 2001. We see in the
1 first paragraph it reads, the first line: "In the Kumanovo village
2 yesterday the most intensive combat by the Macedonian soldiers and
3 policemen and Albanian terrorists took place."
4 Do you see, Mr. Bushi, that this briefing is referring to a combat
5 between the NLA and between Macedonian security forces, meaning soldiers,
6 army and policemen?
7 A. Yes.
8 MS. REGUE: If we go to Exhibit 1D227, please. Also the first
9 page. It is former 65 ter 1D688. It is an article entitled: "Will
10 Macedonia be next" from the Jane's Intelligence Digest and it is dated the
11 2nd of February, 2001. And if we can scroll down, please.
12 In the first paragraph we see how the article is referring and I
13 quote the second line: "In the space of a week, ethnic Albanian
14 terrorists have launched an attack on a Macedonian police station."
15 Mr. Bushi, do you see that this article is talking about an attack
16 by the NLA against a police station, Macedonian police station?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. If we could go to the second page of this document, please.
19 We can see in the third full paragraph it starts: "The low level
20 attacks against the Macedonian police which began last year are supposedly
21 the work of the so-called liberation army."
22 Mr. Bushi, do you see that this article is again referring to
23 attacks committed by the NLA against Macedonian police forces?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thanks. We can remove this document from the screen.
1 Mr. Bushi, do you recall yesterday that the pages 35 and 36 you
2 were asked by my colleague about two helicopters and I believe that tanks
3 and APCs which had been either shot down or destroyed by the NLA. Do you
4 recall being asked about that question?
5 A. Yes, I do. Yes.
6 Q. Mr. Bushi, would you agree that all the documents that I showed to
7 you are referring to clashes between the Macedonian security forces and
8 the NLA?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Mr. Bushi, in page 5783 you mention that you met with a British
11 captain who you believe was a NATO representative and you met him in
12 Nagustak village. Do you recall providing that evidence, Mr. Bushi?
13 A. Yes, it is true.
14 Q. When did you meet with him?
15 A. I met with him during the negotiations for the Ohrid Agreement and
16 the disarmament during the first, second, and third phase. I don't recall
17 the exact date, but I think it must have been in August.
18 Q. And which was the purpose of this meeting? You already mentioned
19 that it was the negotiations for the Ohrid Agreement and the disarmament.
20 Which was the exact purpose of the meeting?
21 A. The exact purpose of that meeting was they had been before in
22 Sipkovica at the General Staff, Gezim Ostreni and Ali Ahmeti had met with
23 them and they were sent to Nagustak village to meet me, the commander of
24 Brigade 114, to discuss the -- the first, second and third disarmament
1 Q. Thanks. Mr. Bushi, do you recall being asked yesterday also by my
2 colleague why you didn't mention in your statement, the statement that you
3 gave in 2004 and you signed in 2006, why you didn't mention that among the
4 security forces who arrested you there were Lions, members of the Lions
5 unit. Do you recall being asked that question, Mr. Bushi?
6 A. At this moment, maybe I don't.
7 Q. Okay. Well, it is in page 5895 of the transcript.
8 Mr. Bushi, when you were giving your statement in 2004 and when
9 you sign it in 2006, do you recall being asked when you had seen the Lions
10 unit for the first time in Macedonia, if you recall, Mr. Bushi.
11 A. The Lions I saw for the first time with my own eyes directly when
12 I was arrested.
13 Q. Yes, Mr. Bushi. You testified about that. But my question is, do
14 you recall whether in 2004 when you were giving your statement if you were
15 asked this question?
16 A. I don't recall it, to tell you the truth.
17 Q. Thanks. Do you recall if the Prosecution asked you at that time
18 whether among the security forces who arrested you were members -- which
19 were actually the security forces, the units who arrested you, do you
20 recall if the Prosecution asked you these questions in 2004? If you
22 A. I don't recall it, whether I was asked this question. But the
23 fact is that two persons were arrested in Karadak area. They were
24 hostages of the NLA but were released later.
25 Q. Thanks.
1 MS. REGUE: Could we please go to Exhibit 1D230. It is former,
2 again, 65 ter 1D54, and if we could go to page number 3.
3 Q. This is again, Mr. Bushi, it is the press release from the
4 Security Council dated, I believe, the 7th of March 2001.
5 If we could go to the bottom of this document. In this -- in this
6 press release there are statements from members of different states. In
7 this case we see James B. Cunningham from the United States who is making
8 a statement.
9 If we could go please to the next page. And we see in the top of
10 this document that Mr. Cunningham in the last two lines of the first
11 paragraph is defining it, is talking about the Macedonian Republic and I
12 quote what he says: "Macedonia is an example of democracy based on the
13 Rule of Law and Inter-ethnic Cooperation."
14 Mr. Bushi, would that description of the Macedonian government be
15 an accurate statement, accurate description before 2001, before the
17 A. No, not at all.
18 Q. Could we please go to 65 ter 1011.
19 MS. REGUE: Your Honours this is a book entitled, The war in
20 Macedonia in 2001, which has been written by three Macedonian members of
21 the -- Generals Mr. Arsovski, Kuzev and Damjanovski, and if we could go
22 first to the title, so we can see the title of this book.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
24 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, we don't want to interrupt but if my
25 colleague had a paper copy of the document that'd be helpful. We were not
1 warned that this would be -- and we're happy to go on with the book, but
2 if there is a paper copy we can seep through, we would be grateful.
3 MS. REGUE: Let me check. We don't have it right now, but we will
4 show to you on the screen.
5 Q. This is the title, Mr. Bushi.
6 And if we could to in the English version within the range
7 N006-3325, N006-334, to page 1. And within the Macedonian version it will
8 be page 404.
9 Your Honour, sorry for the interruption. I have just been
10 informed that this document will be used with the next witness so we can
11 provide you with a part of the binder that we have prepared for the next
13 MS. REGUE: Mr. Usher, it is the last tab of this binder.
14 Your Honours, we're going refer to a few pages of this document.
15 MR. METTRAUX: I'm grateful to the Prosecution.
16 MS. REGUE: We will provide to Your Honours the binders for
17 Mr. Viktor Bezruchenko's testimony.
18 If we could focus in item 2, we see that the paragraph starts:
19 "The main causes of the escalation of the crisis and the outbreak of the
20 war in Macedonia were the long-standing illusory peace; the conviction
21 that Macedonia was an oasis of peace and not a powder keg; the live
22 illusion that the ethnic tensions had relaxed or been resolved; the
23 conviction that democracy was progressing apace; the belief that all
24 citizens had been given all civil rights."
25 Mr. Bushi, the belief that this document is talking about that in
1 2001 there were not ethnic tensions and that all civil rights were fully
2 respected was as this text suggests, in fact, an illusion?
3 A. It is true.
4 Q. Thanks. Now if we focus in the same paragraph just four lines in
5 the bottom. Still also in the same page in the Macedonian version, we can
6 read in the centre of the paragraph: "All decisions in Macedonia were
7 made after prior agreement between the governing parties which most often
8 expressed the particular interests of their party, not those of the state
9 as a whole."
10 Mr. Bushi, is this an accurate description of the Macedonian
11 political scenario in 2001?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 MS. REGUE: If we could go to page 4 of the English version and it
14 will be page 408 of the Macedonian.
15 Q. Mr. Bushi, in the Macedonian version is actually the last four
16 lines of the paragraph, of the whole page and then we will have to move to
17 the next page. We're actually talking about item 9.
18 And if we could scroll up in the English version.
19 In the centre of this paragraph, we can read: "In view of the
20 fact that the state's security was disrupted on a larger scale, the
21 Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Interior," and I believe that in
22 the Macedonian we have to move to the next page.
23 "The Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of the Interior
24 objectively had a prominent rule before and during the war. The one thing
25 they had in common was that they operated separately with little or no
1 coordination. In fact, they hardly seemed to be bodies belonging to the
2 same state at all."
3 Mr. Bushi, is this an accurate description how the government was
4 working in 2001?
5 A. Yes, it is an accurate description, and I have mentioned this in
6 my statement.
7 MS. REGUE: If we could in the English version, please, scroll
8 down. And then in the Macedonian version we have to -- now we keep this
9 page and then we will move. If we focus also now in item 11. The fifth
10 line starting from the beginning reads: "But seeing that they brought
11 coalition government, involved parties with opposing interests, the two
12 powers of the Macedonian security forces remain under the command of
13 personalities with different political allegiances. The Macedonian army
14 and police, therefore, conducted separate armed operations, independently
15 of each other, without any joint plan for a specific and synchronised
16 armed operations."
17 Mr. Bushi, is this also an accurate reflection of how the
18 government was working in 2001?
19 A. Yes, it is an accurate and realistic description.
20 Q. Could we go to page 5 of the English translation and page 411 of
21 the Macedonian.
22 Mr. Bushi, do you recall being asked by my learned colleague about
23 the fact that the NLA was not involved in the negotiations in the signing
24 of the Ohrid Agreement, that was in pages 5827 or pages 5925, and you
25 answered that the Albanian parties came up or produce what was
1 orchestrated by Mr. Ali Ahmeti. I believe that those were your words. Do
2 you recall that evidence, Mr. Bushi?
3 A. Yes, this is what I said.
4 Q. Now, in item 13, we can read in the first line and I quote: "The
5 influence of the international community on the final outcome of the war
6 was significant."
7 And then if we move to the centre of the paragraph, five lines
8 below it reads: "Via its institutions and missionaries (facilitators) the
9 international exerted excerpted unprecedented pressure on Macedonia, thus
10 playing into the hands of the Albanian factor in the Balkans. The NLA,
11 through its well prepared political representatives, succeeded in foisting
12 its demands on the international community ..."
13 Now if we could go to page 6 of the English version and page 412
14 of the Macedonian version. It will be item 15.
15 The next page in the Macedonian version, I believe.
16 Q. The first five lines of this paragraph read: "The best thing to
17 come out of the war was the Ohrid Framework Agreement. It shows and
18 proves that the war was arranged and was meant to be waged for as long as
19 it took the Macedonian government to agree to negotiate the demands of the
20 NLA in the name of the Macedonian people."
21 Mr. Bushi, do these statements reflect the role that the NLA play
22 in the negotiation process of the Ohrid Agreement?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, if we focus in item 14 of the same page. If we can scroll up
25 the English version. The paragraph starts and I quote: "According to all
1 indications from the analysis of the war we can conclude that it was
2 planned, well organised and strictly controlled."
3 Now if we go three lines below we can read, and it is referring to
4 both parties of the conflict and I quote: "For this it had prepared
5 corresponding measures for strict control of the military activities of
6 both sides. Control was exercised and put into effect using a dosage of
7 forces, a strict channelling of military activities, losses planned in
8 advance, and military activities that took place in agreed operations."
9 Mr. Bushi, is this text an accurate reflection of the conflict of
10 Macedonia and the role played or the modus operandi of the NLA in the
12 A. I think no.
13 Q. How would you describe, then, the role play, or do you want me to
14 repeat the text?
15 A. The war was not planned and controlled by the two sides. It was
16 controlled by our side. We had a well established military hierarchy.
17 Q. Thanks, Mr. Bushi. I believe that you can speak for your side,
18 meaning the NLA, and my question was actually with regards to your side,
19 the NLA.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... This text reflect the NLA
22 role in the conflict, the modus operandi in the conflict, in general
24 A. Yes, as far as NLA is concerned, yes. It had control over the
25 war, and it had a hierarchy that it respected.
1 MS. REGUE: Thanks, Your Honours, I have nothing further.
2 Your Honours, I forgot I would like to MFI this document.
3 JUDGE PARKER: It will be marked.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will be P464, MFI.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bushi, you will be pleased to know that
7 concludes the questions for you. The Chamber would thank you for your --
8 the considerable time that you've been here in The Hague and the
9 assistance that you have been able to offer. And you may now, of course,
10 return to your ordinary activities.
11 Thank you again.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE PARKER: I see two faces. It's Mr. Saxon, is it.
15 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, at this time the Prosecution will call
16 Mr. Viktor Bezruchenko.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
18 Mr. Apostolski.
19 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
20 We have the military political expert present here, Mr.
21 Blagoja Markovski engaged by the Defence counsel of Mr. Johan Tarculovski.
22 He is a doctor in military political science and I would therefore ask the
23 Court that he be allowed to follow the examination of this witness in the
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, that will be permitted, Mr. Apostolski.
1 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
2 MR. SAXON: Your Honours.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.
4 MR. SAXON: I'm wondering if my learned colleague could simply
5 provide the name again of the expert witness so that it comes up clearly
6 in the transcript. Because it didn't come up clearly in the English
7 version. That's all.
8 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] His name is Dr.
9 Blagoja Markovski. This is the name of the military and political expert.
10 I would ask the court usher to lead this person in.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, Mr. Bezruchenko.
13 THE WITNESS: Good morning, sir.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please stand and read aloud the
15 affirmation that is shown to you.
16 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
17 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 WITNESS: VIKTOR BEZRUCHENKO.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
20 Mr. Saxon has some questions for you.
21 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour. And perhaps before we begin,
22 we have some binders for the Trial Chamber and I believe also two for the
24 Your Honours, because of the size of Mr. Bezruchenko's report, in
25 the interests of speed, I will probably not rely too much on the e-court
1 system in terms of moving from page to page. I believe everyone in the
2 courtroom should have their hard copies of the amended expert report and
3 the amended addendum with them. And we have also brought hard copies of
4 the Macedonian translation of the original version of the report, which is
5 quite similar to the amended version so that the accused are able to
6 follow along quickly in their own language.
7 The binders being given to you now just contain some documents
8 that I will review with the witness.
9 Examination by Mr. Saxon:
10 Q. Sir, your name is Viktor Bezruchenko. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, Your Honours, my name is Viktor Bezruchenko.
12 Q. Now, Mr. Bezruchenko, you tend to be a little bit soft-spoken. I
13 just want to remind you that today you need to speak in a loud and booming
14 voice so that everyone in the courtroom, including the interpreters can
15 hear you.
16 A. Thank you, sir. I will do my best.
17 Q. And also I should tell you that you and I speak and we understand
18 the English language, one of the many languages that you speak. We need
19 to be careful that we don't overlap our conversation, and that we pause a
20 moment between my questions and your responses, because if we don't do
21 that we will like life very difficult for the interpreters who are working
22 very hard behind us.
23 Is that all right?
24 A. That's perfectly all right, sir.
25 Q. You probably don't have to sit so close to the microphone, but it
1 is up to you.
2 You were born in 1953 in Moscow, Russia?
3 A. That's correct, sir.
4 Q. And you entered the military institute in Moscow in 1974, right?
5 A. That's right, Your Honours.
6 Q. And Your Honours, if you could turn, please, to tab 1 in the
7 binder in front of you. This is Rule 65 ter number 368. It is the
8 curriculum vitae of Mr. Bezruchenko. It has ERN number R062-9449 in
10 And, Mr. Bezruchenko, you graduated from the military institute in
11 Moscow in 1980.
12 A. That's right, Your Honours.
13 Q. And can you please describe briefly your main courses of study
15 A. My main courses of studies included operations, tactics, military
16 history, subjects related to military hardware, and English.
17 Q. And did you also study the field known as war studies?
18 A. Yes, basically this is what war studies encompass.
19 Q. All right. And did you -- have you also earned post-graduate
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. Can you describe those degrees?
23 A. I earned a Ph.D. in political studies from Moscow -- sorry, from
24 Kiev University and I also have a master's degree in political studies
25 from the University of Sarajevo.
1 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, when you joined the -- when you entered the
2 military institute in Moscow, at that point were you a member of the Armed
3 Forces of the Soviet Union?
4 A. Yes, that's right, sir. This was counted as active service in the
5 armed services of the Soviet Union.
6 Q. And when you graduated in 1980, did you graduate with a particular
8 A. Yes, sir. I graduated with the rank of second lieutenant.
9 Q. And during the years 1980 to 1983, you were a staff officer with
10 the Soviet General Staff in Moscow. Is that right.
11 A. That's right, sir.
12 Q. And among other things you helped plan combat training exercises?
13 A. Yes, that's right, sir.
14 Q. You also served as a staff officer and military translator in the
15 Kiev air force engineering academy in the mid-1980s. Is that right?
16 A. That's right, Your Honours.
17 Q. And did you also have experience during the 1980s as United
18 Nations military observer?
19 A. That's right, Your Honours. I was a member of the United Nations
20 Truce Supervision Mission in the Middle East. I served in Sinai, in Cairo
21 and in Syria.
22 Q. Between 1988 and 1990 you were a senior military instructor at
23 Kiev University. Is that correct?
24 A. That's correct, sir.
25 Q. Between 1990 and 1992 you were a senior officer and the director
1 of foreign relations now with the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of
2 Ukraine. Is that right?
3 A. That's right, Your Honours.
4 Q. Now during 1992 and 1993, did you serve for a time in Sarajevo?
5 A. Yes, I did. I served with the United Nations protection force in
6 the capacity of the Chief of Staff of Sector Sarajevo.
7 Q. What was your rank at that time?
8 A. Colonel, full colonel.
9 Q. And after that position ended, what did you do then?
10 A. I returned to Ukraine upon completion of the tour of my duty. I
11 was appointed the chief of the peace keeping operations department of the
12 General Staff of Ukraine in which I served for about seven months.
13 Q. And when you left that position as the chief of the peace keeping
14 operations department, where did you go from there?
15 A. I received a job offer from the United Nations mission in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I accepted this offer and I was assigned to a post
17 of a civil affairs/political officer in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 Q. So when you took that post -- and what year would that have been?
19 A. That would have been early 1994.
20 Q. Okay. And at that time, then, did you retire from the army of the
21 Republic of Ukraine?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. So at that point you were now working as a civilian?
24 A. Yes, that's right, sir.
25 Q. And then how many years did you spend in Bosnia-Herzegovina in
1 this position?
2 A. Well, I actually served in a number of positions in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina and, well, essentially this time span would be measured
4 between 1994 and 2002.
5 Q. And when did you -- at some point did you become the chief of the
6 policy and planning unit?
7 A. That's right, sir.
8 Q. Was that for UNPROFOR?
9 A. In fact, UNPROFOR ceased to exist following the Dayton Peace
10 Accords and the mission was transformed into the United Nations mission in
11 Bosnia, UNBiH. And at this point of time, I indeed was made the chief of
12 the policy and plans unit for this mission.
13 Q. Okay. And when did you come to work for the Office of the
15 A. In 2003, sir.
16 Q. And you continue to work for the Office of the Prosecutor until
17 the present day, right?
18 A. That's right, Your Honours.
19 Q. And what is it your title and position here working for the Office
20 of the Prosecutor?
21 A. My title and position at the Office of the Prosecutor is military
23 Q. And can you just briefly describe what that role entails. What
24 are your responsibilities?
25 A. Essentially, this role entails providing military dimension to
1 organisations, individuals and events related to an armed conflict or a
3 Q. What do you mean by providing military dimension. I don't
4 understand what that means.
5 A. Well, essentially that means that military -- I'm doing military
7 Q. All right.
8 A. Which covers or may cover such areas as structure and armament of
9 the armies or warring parties involved in the conflict. Their
10 organisations, factions, command and control issues, strategy tactics,
11 operations on the ground, and such functional issues as operations,
12 logistics, security, finance, training and so on.
13 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko --
14 JUDGE PARKER: Just before you continue, Mr. Saxon.
15 Mr. Mettraux.
16 MR. METTRAUX: I think Mr. Saxon was about to tell Mr. Bezruchenko
17 the same thing as I am which is Mr. Bezruchenko appears to be reading from
18 a document and I think he should be invited to close the binder.
19 MR. SAXON: I agree with my colleague would you please close that
20 binder in front of you, Mr. Bezruchenko.
21 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honours.
22 MR. SAXON: Your Honours --
23 Q. And you speak the following languages, Mr. Bezruchenko:
24 Ukrainian, Russian, English, French, what we refer to here as B/C/S,
25 Macedonian, and Amharic. Is that right?
1 A. That's right, Your Honours. Well, --
2 Q. I just need that a yes or no answer.
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. Okay.
5 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, at this time I would seek to tender this
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it is will be Exhibit P465.
9 MR. SAXON:
10 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, did there come a time when the Office of the
11 Prosecutor tasked you with researching and writing a report regarding the
12 events in Macedonia in 2001?
13 A. Yes, that's right, sir.
14 Q. And -- you might want to sit back a little bit from the
15 microphones, Mr. Bezruchenko.
16 And can you briefly describe what your task was, what were you
17 asked to do?
18 A. Well, essentially, I was tasked to cover the issues related to
19 conflict in Macedonia in 2001. And these issues would include
20 structure --
21 Q. Structure of what?
22 A. Of -- I would put it as warring parties.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. That is structure of the NLA, organisation of the NLA. Its
25 regulations. Its tactics and operations, its control of territory. I was
1 also tasked to cover similar issues for the government security forces, I
2 mean the government of the Republic of Macedonia, including the army, and
3 the Ministry of Interior or, rather, Ministry of Internal Affairs.
4 Q. Okay.
5 MR. SAXON: And, Your Honours, if you can turn please to tab 2 in
6 your binder -- well, actually, I believe Your Honours and my co-counsel
7 have hard copies of the amended expert report of Mr. Bezruchenko. Can we
8 provide a copy of our court binder to Mr. Bezruchenko or does he already
9 have one? Yes, please. And this document, if we can pull it up from
10 e-court. It's dated 13 September, 2007 and it has ERN number 5090
12 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, apart from the structure and organisation and
13 operations of the NLA and the security forces of the Macedonian
14 government, were you also tasked to research and write something about the
15 events in Ljuboten in August 2001?
16 A. That's right, sir. I was tasked to provide the essential summary
17 of events in and around Ljuboten, covering three days in August 2001.
18 Q. Okay. Mr. Bezruchenko, can you describe, please, the different
19 source materials that you reviewed to compile your report, your amended
20 expert report?
21 A. The source material which I reviewed while compiling my report can
22 be subdivided into several groups. Group one would make the Macedonian
23 government documents, including the documents of the Ministry of Defence
24 and the documents of the Ministry of Interior. These would include
25 various operational reports, orders, maps.
1 Speaking specifically of the Ministry of Interior, these documents
2 would also include the reports related to Operation Ramno.
3 The next group would be made up of the NLA documents. Yet another
4 group would make the documents of various international agencies and
5 organisations, including NATO and various NGOs. And the -- finally,
6 another group would also include various media reports, international
7 media and local media.
8 Q. All right. Mr. Bezruchenko, in your amended expert report you
9 used the phrase "armed conflict" from time to time and I just want to
10 clarify this with you. When you use this phrase "armed conflict," are you
11 referring to -- to the legal sense of this term or a military sense of
12 this term?
13 A. I'm referring to the military sense of this term, Your Honours.
14 Q. All right. From a military perspective, what do you mean when you
15 refer to the phrase or use the phrase "armed conflict?"
16 A. There are many definitions of an armed conflict. One which is, to
17 my mind, the best in terms of reflecting the reality is the one which is
18 provided by Jane publication GP 1-2 of the United States MOD and this
19 definition says that an armed conflict is in fact an armed struggle or a
20 clash between nations or groups within a nation. A conflict is normally
21 of protracted nature, it involves use of arms and weaponry and is normally
22 waged for attainment of certain military or political goals.
23 Q. Okay. And if we can, and do you have a copy of your amended
24 expert report with you? Perhaps in the other binder. No. The other
25 binder. Not in that binder, in the other binder that you brought?
1 A. Yes, I do, sir.
2 Q. All right.
3 MR. SAXON: If we could turn, Your Honours, to what is actually
4 the second page of Mr. Bezruchenko's amended expert report. And it's the
5 page where the table of contents begins.
6 Q. Are you there, Mr. Bezruchenko, are you with me?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I'd like to briefly review with you the structure of your report,
10 You started out, section 1, you provide an executive summary of
11 your research and analysis. Is that right?
12 A. That's right, Your Honours.
13 Q. Section 2 provides your research and analysis with respect to the
14 National Liberation Army, or the NLA. Is that fair?
15 A. That's right, Your Honours.
16 Q. Section 3 provides an analysis of the government security forces.
17 Is that right?
18 A. That's right, Your Honours.
19 Q. Including the army of the Republic of Macedonia and the Ministry
20 of Internal Affairs?
21 A. That's right, Your Honours.
22 Q. Section 4 is a summary of the events related to Ljuboten. Is that
24 A. That's right, Your Honours.
25 Q. And what is the fifth part of your report?
1 A. The fifth part of my report is the chronology of events in
2 Macedonia during the period of the conflict.
3 Q. Okay. And when you say "the chronology of events," are you
4 specifically relating to the events of the conflict?
5 A. That's right, Your Honours, the events of the conflict between
6 January and October, September/October 2001.
7 Q. Okay.
8 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, at this time I would seek to tender the
9 amended expert report.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
11 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, simply for -- as a matter of
12 clarification from the Office of the Prosecutor we understand the law of
13 the Tribunal to be that a party seeking to tender a particular expert
14 report or expert analysis by one of its witness would only be entitled to
15 seek to tender that part or those parts of the report which have been put
16 to the witness. And as an authority for that proposition I will just cite
17 the Milutinovic order on procedure and evidence of the 11th of July, 2006,
18 paragraph 7. The same is true of the documents from this authority which
19 makes the point that: "Sources or material upon which an expert witness
20 has been compiling his or her report cannot be admitted wholesale," I'm
21 quoting, "but only those parts or those documents which have been put to
22 the witness." And I would simply like to clarify or to, in any case, make
23 the record here that we understand that only those parts and those
24 documents which Mr. Saxon proposes to put to the witness in his
25 examination in chief will be tendered by the Prosecution.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.
2 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I do not believe that the authority that
3 my colleague cited from the Milutinovic case is the general practice of
4 this Tribunal or even the practice so far in this trial. I'm referring to
5 the expert reports previously admitted from Drs. Eichner and Stein.
6 Second of all, the -- with respect to documents, so the
7 Prosecution would certainly seek to have the entire report admitted rather
8 than go through what is nearly 200 pages of text with this witness.
9 With respect to documents, Your Honour, the position of the
10 Prosecution is it does not seek to tender all of the documents that are
11 reflected in the footnotes to the report of Mr. Bezruchenko because quite
12 frankly, Your Honour, that would obviously create an enormous amount of
13 additional exhibits, so we will not intend to do that.
14 I have selected certain documents that Mr. Bezruchenko uses in his
15 report and some other relevant documents which I will put to him today and
16 I will ask that those documents, approximately 30 of them, be admitted
17 into evidence.
18 For the convenience of the Chamber and the parties, the
19 Prosecution has created a DVD containing every single document that
20 Mr. Bezruchenko refers to in the footnotes of his amended expert report
21 and the amended addendum to his expert report. We do not propose to
22 tender this DVD into evidence, but we would like to provide it to the
23 Chamber, to provide it to the Defence so the parties will have this
24 material available in case they want to refer to anything cited to in
25 Mr. Bezruchenko's report.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Is the position able to be summarized, Mr. Saxon,
2 that you would invite the Chamber to receive the whole of the report as
3 such, as though you had referred the witness to each part of it, but that
4 you do not seek to tender any of the documents referred to in the report,
5 which have in various ways, perhaps, been relied upon by the witness, and
6 will tender those upon which you specifically rely separately.
7 MR. SAXON: That is correct, Your Honour. We will specifically
8 rely on a number of those documents during the direct examination and if I
9 can just simply, just for the sake of completeness, the same would be true
10 for the amended addendum to Mr. Bezruchenko's report.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
12 Mr. Mettraux.
13 MR. METTRAUX: I'm grateful to Your Honour.
14 The first thing I would wish to do which appears not to have been
15 picked up by the transcript, mention the date of the order in question
16 from the Milutinovic Chamber which is the 11th of July of 2006. And in
17 reply, Your Honour, I would wish to do no more than read the passage in
18 question which is very clear. The Chamber said this: "As a general rule,
19 the Trial Chamber will only admit those parts of the report and further
20 material that is put to the expert during his oral testimony. The sources
21 used by an expert witness in compiling his or her report will not be
22 admitted wholesale. Expert reports should, however, be fully referenced
23 in order to facilitate the Chamber's determination of their probative
24 value and, ultimately, the weight to be ascribed to them."
25 And I would respectfully submit, Your Honour, that the Prosecution
1 has not responded to this matter. This is the position of the Tribunal as
2 we understand it in relation to expert reports. And I believe contrary to
3 what Mr. Saxon has suggested in relation to Mr. Eichner and Stein, the
4 relevant passages of their report were, in fact, put to those witness.
5 And we understand that the same practice and the same course should be
6 followed in relation to this particular witness.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Are you, in fact, taking the position that
8 Mr. Saxon should spend the time of going through each paragraph of the
9 report with the witness.
10 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, we don't think this should be a
11 paragraph by paragraph exercise. We would spend way too much time doing
12 so. But we believe that each section and Mr. Bezruchenko has been careful
13 to subdivide the report in many different ways to the extent that the
14 Prosecution seek to rely on any particular sub-section of the report be
15 they in relation to the NLA or be they in relation to the Macedonian
16 forces or any other part of the expert's report. We believe that the
17 Prosecution should, as the Chamber suggested, put at least the content of
18 those finding, as well as the basis upon which the witness has relied upon
19 to come to his conclusion to the witness to permit, among other things,
20 the Defence to challenge these findings or the basis of it, if necessary.
21 MR. SAXON: Your Honours --
22 JUDGE PARKER: We have, Mr. Saxon, an issue of completing
23 practicalities. I do not believe it is founded in any Rule or legal
24 principle that binds us. It is the normal practice of the Tribunal to
25 resist unnecessary documentation and in particular to resist that when a
1 report is received in evidence from a witness that there comes with it,
2 included in it all the material relied upon by the expert, partly because
3 that would, in most cases, be unnecessary, and, secondly, because it would
4 be unfair to the Defence.
5 So with regard to the attachments or the documents referred to, we
6 will be clear, and your own motion has made it clear, that we are not
7 dealing with those.
8 The other issue concerns the report itself. And there the
9 question is, are there parts of it that you do not rely upon, and if so,
10 they can be identified and put to one side.
11 The other issue, then, is if you don't go through every part of
12 it, the Defence will need in their cross-examination, to go at least to
13 those parts with which they disagree, whether you have specifically
14 referred to them in your examination or not.
15 Now, from the point of view of this Chamber, we see little to be
16 practically gained by you rehearsing with the witness every paragraph on
17 which you rely simply to have the witness say yes, that is my opinion as
18 set out in that report. That is simply taking time. But it has got to be
19 clear to the Defence what it is that you really are relying on so that
20 they have an opportunity then to deal in cross-examination with the
21 material parts of the report.
22 Do you understand the competing interests?
23 MR. SAXON: I do, Your Honour. Let me give a very brief response.
24 It is -- the Prosecution seeks to rely on every part, if I can use
25 the term part, of Mr. Bezruchenko's report, and with leave of the Chamber,
1 then, I will briefly go through the major parts of the report with the
2 witness, if the Chamber deems that to be necessary at this time.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber is of the mind, Mr. Mettraux, and
5 Mr. Saxon, that it would not be necessary for Mr. Saxon to take the
6 witness to each part of the report in view of his expressed indication
7 that he relies upon the whole of it.
8 Mr. Saxon should and is free to, but not under compulsion to, go
9 with the witness to parts upon which either he sees as a particular
10 importance or which he feels need to be developed or explained in some
11 particular way.
12 But can it be very clear so that both yourself and Mr. Apostolski
13 are clear that we would be minded to receive the whole report on the basis
14 of the express indication that the whole of it is being relied upon, so
15 that if you dispute or challenge parts of it, you should feel that it is
16 necessary to go to those.
17 Now we're not doing what we have suggested in any way to
18 disadvantage you. We're doing it simply to save time because the report
19 speaks for itself and if it's not further developed by the witness, what
20 stands in the report clearly will stand in evidence so that you know
21 exactly what it is that have you to answer. And if you dispute therefore
22 some part of it, or wish to explore further some part of it, you should.
23 Is that clear enough?
24 MR. METTRAUX: I'm grateful for the indication, Your Honour.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE PARKER: You will, I'm reminded by Judge Thelin that it
2 would be helpful to point out as well that if -- even though the witness
3 does not turn or refer to and Mr. Saxon does not tender any particular
4 source, if in your view, that source is unreliable or does not support
5 something that is in the report, you of course are free to and it would be
6 appropriate for to you deal with that in cross-examination.
7 Now, Mr. Saxon, you move for the admission of the report without
8 anything else. The report and the addendum will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the report will be Exhibit P466; the
10 addendum will be Exhibit P4661.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
12 MR. SAXON: I'm grateful to Your Honours.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry, a little correction. The addendum will be
14 Exhibit P466.1.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 MR. SAXON:
17 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, if you could turn, please, to page 11 in the
18 English version of your amended expert report. This is -- we'll turn to
19 paragraph 44. And this is page 13 in the Macedonian version.
20 A. I'm with you, sir, paragraph 44.
21 Q. And again, we're in section 2 which is the section related to the
22 NLA. In paragraph 44, the first sentence reads: "NATO sources assessed
23 the NLA as a well armed, well disciplined and highly motivated
24 organisation that enjoyed the support of the ethnic Albanian population.
25 On a tactical level, the NLA was clearly disciplined, organised and
1 maintained a marked superior level of morale over the Macedonian security
3 Then in the last sentence of that paragraph you write: "Though NLA
4 capabilities were limited, it was assessed to be sufficient to face down
5 the ill-coordinated, badly executed efforts of the Macedonians." Do you
6 what I've written?
7 A. Yes, Your Honours, I see that.
8 Q. In a broad military sense, based on your training and experience,
9 how would you describe in general the fighting capabilities of the NLA
10 during the summer of 2001?
11 A. During the summer of 2001, the NLA had about six brigades on the
12 ground. These brigades were of varying strengths. And it had sufficient
13 weapons to arm these brigades. Its tactics included tactics of
14 asymmetrical warfare which include raids, ambushes, and attacks on the
15 soft targets.
16 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, I need to stop you there. What do you mean by
17 soft targets?
18 A. Well, I mean the targets which would be relatively easy to attack
19 at a low cost of casualties and inflict sufficient damage to the
21 Q. Okay. Were the NLA forces capable of carrying out certain
23 A. Yes, sir, that's right. As is evident from the chronology of my
24 report, they were indeed numerous operations of this kind which were
25 carried out by the NLA forces.
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly ask that the Prosecution
2 speak closer to the microphone, please.
3 MR. SAXON: I apologise. I will try to do that.
4 Q. If you can turn, please, Mr. Bezruchenko, to what is section --
5 part of section 3 of your report. It is page 106 in the English version
6 and page 95 in the Macedonian version.
7 And you see, Mr. Bezruchenko, are you with me on page 106?
8 A. That's right, sir, I am with you.
9 Q. And we see a subheading 3.3.3, called the Ministry of Internal
10 Affairs command and control system. And then we see paragraph 369, says
11 this: "The command and control relationship between the minister of the
12 interior and the ministry's employees, emanates from Article 6 of the
13 law," and you're referring to the Law on Internal Affairs, "which makes it
14 mandatory for all employees of the ministry to carry out orders of the
15 minister with the caveat for orders that would result in a criminal
17 Do you see that?
18 A. Yes, Your Honours, I see that.
19 Q. Help us, please. What does Article 6, then, of the Law on
20 Internal Affairs tell us about the minister's place in the chain of
21 command of the Ministry of Internal Affairs?
22 A. Well, this is very clear. As in any military or police
23 hierarchical organisation, well, according to the basic principles of
24 command and control there should be one person in charge of an institution
25 and this person is the minister. He is the one who is ultimately
1 responsible for all operations, actions of the ministry, as well as his
2 subordinate personnel.
3 Q. Okay.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
5 MR. METTRAUX: We wish to let the witness answer this question
6 before objecting but simply for the record we'll mark it that this
7 question and the answer goes beyond the expertise of the witness.
8 MR. SAXON: Do you --
9 JUDGE PARKER: Nothing is called for, Mr. Saxon.
10 MR. SAXON: Then I will continue, Your Honours. Thank you.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
12 MR. SAXON:
13 Q. If you could turn, please, Mr. Bezruchenko, to what is page 114 in
14 the English version. This is page 102 in the Macedonian version. In
15 middle of page 114 there's subtitle, 220.127.116.11. titled, The minister's
16 powers in a war or emergency situation. And paragraph 415, you speak
17 about the specific powers available to the minister in special situations,
18 such as war or emergencies, stipulated by Article 11 of the Law. Which
19 Law are you referring to here, please?
20 A. Here I'm referring to the Law of Internal Affairs.
21 Q. Okay. And you quote Article 11 of this Law here. And it
22 says: "In order to protect the security of the Republic of Macedonia under
23 conditions of war or emergency, or should the public order or tranquility
24 be violated on a larger scale, it says the minister may organise police
25 units in charge of performing specific tasks by policemen and candidate
1 policemen," et cetera.
2 And then below that, next paragraph: "Individuals as per
3 paragraph 1 of this article shall be considered authorised officials."
4 Do you see what you've written there?
5 A. Yes, Your Honours, I see that.
6 Q. How does this paragraph, paragraph 415, relate to -- actually, let
7 me step back a little bit. There's a term that -- I'd like to ask you if
8 you can define a term for me, please. The term is "operational control."
9 A. Well, according to the concept of operational control, a commander
10 who is responsible to carry out a certain mission must exercise his
11 authority to organise, deploy and direct his forces in operational sense.
12 That is, to make sure that this mission is accomplished.
13 Normally, operational control does not include such issues as
14 discipline, logistics -- and logistics.
15 Q. And when you say, "normally operational control does not include
16 such issues as discipline, logistics -- and logistics," for example, the
17 aspect of discipline, who would be expected, if not the commander, to
18 exercise operational control with respect to discipline?
19 A. That would be -- these powers would be granted to the next
20 superior of the commander who would have the operational control of his
21 troops on the ground.
22 Q. You said the next superior. Do you mean the superior below the
24 A. Well, not necessarily.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. Above the commander.
2 Q. All right. Very well.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters kindly ask that the Prosecutor use
4 the other microphone as well when speaking to the witness.
5 JUDGE PARKER: I wonder, in view of that interruption and the
6 time, whether this would be a convenient break.
7 MR. SAXON: It would, Your Honour. Thank you.
8 JUDGE PARKER: And we will resume in half an hour.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.29 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.
14 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, just before the break we were talking about
16 disciplinary responsibilities and I just want to make sure that the record
17 is clear.
18 Let me ask you this: In a normal military structure, do superiors
19 have disciplinary powers over their subordinates?
20 A. Yes, of course they have, sir.
21 Q. And so, for example, hypothetically, if a captain of a military
22 unit -- if a military operation was led by a captain and if disciplinary
23 matters arose during the course of that operation, then afterwards who
24 would be responsible for dealing with possible disciplinary problems?
25 A. Well, normally, this issue would be addressed by somebody in the
1 hierarchy up from this level.
2 Q. Okay. Mr. Bezruchenko, part 5 of your report titled the
3 chronology, does it refer to --
4 MR. SAXON: I see Mr. Mettraux is on his feet.
5 MR. METTRAUX: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt Mr. Saxon in
6 his question but I see he is moving on to a different section of the
7 report, Your Honour, and before my colleague does that I would be grateful
8 if he could indicate to the Defence in what part of the report of
9 Mr. Bezruchenko is the issue or the theory of operational control which
10 has been explored with the witness a moment ago before the break is being
11 substantiated. I mean by that where the reference to the material which
12 support this particular theory is to be found, I would be assisted.
13 MR. SAXON: Well, there is a section on operational control within
14 the Ministry of the Interior, and it is at 18.104.22.168, starting at page 107
15 in the English version.
16 MR. METTRAUX: I'm grateful to Mr. Saxon.
17 MR. SAXON:
18 Q. In the chronology section of your report, Mr. Bezruchenko, part 5,
19 do you refer to combat activities in which members of the Macedonian
20 Ministry of the Interior took part?
21 A. Yes, sir, I do.
22 Q. If we can turn, Your Honours and Mr. Bezruchenko, to what is at
23 tab 5 in the binder in front of you, please. And this is Exhibit number
25 Mr. Bezruchenko, this is -- actually, if we could turn first,
1 please, to what is at tab 4, Mr. Bezruchenko, and this is Exhibit 1D0012.
2 This is a document dated the 7th of March, 2001. It is signed by
3 the minister of internal affairs at that time Mr. Dosta Dimovska.
4 Do you see this Mr. Bezruchenko?
5 A. Yes, I do, Your Honours.
6 Q. And it's a decision to form the headquarters of operative action
7 Ramno. And it says: "In order to organise, manage, coordinate, and direct
8 the measures and activities in connection with the operative action Ramno,
9 headquarters are formed in the following composition." And then we see a
10 number of members of the Ministry of the Interior listed below.
11 Mr. Bezruchenko, what connection, if any, is there to this
12 document in the use of police in combat during 2001?
13 A. This document is dated 7 March 2001, and should be analysed in the
14 context of the developments in Macedonia at that time. The situation on
15 the border was pretty tense. There were armed clashes which started in
16 January, in fact, and by March it was becoming obvious that certain
17 commitment of forces would be necessary to stem the NLA. There is direct
18 connection between this document and what was happening on the ground, and
19 this document reflects the fact that a special headquarters was created in
20 the Ministry of Interior to deal with the issue of the NLA.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters --
22 A. Apparently, this headquarters was receiving all the information
23 from the police units on the ground which were involved in fighting.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters need to note that the sound
25 volume of Prosecutor's microphone is significantly lower than those of
1 other microphones and it creates difficulties for us, so we kindly ask
2 that something is done about it.
3 MR. SAXON: I will try to keep my voice higher then. Perhaps that
4 will assist.
5 Q. If we can turn Mr. Bezruchenko then to what is tab five in your
6 binder. And this is Exhibit P381. Exhibit P381 dated the 29th of May,
7 2001. It is also a decision to form the headquarters of operative action
8 Ramno. But this time it's signed by the then minister of the interior
9 Ljube Boskoski. Do you see that?
10 A. I see that, Your Honours.
11 Q. And, again, what would then the connection be between this
12 document and the use of police forces in combat?
13 A. This document is dated 29 May 2001. And the significance of this
14 document is practically the same as that of the previous one. Again, the
15 analysis of this document would demonstrate that the combat activities in
16 Macedonia continued, and essentially the same measures as undertaken
17 within Operation Ramno had to be carried on.
18 Q. All right. Can you turn, please, to what is tab 6 in your binder,
19 Mr. Bezruchenko, and this is a document -- this is 65 ter number 966.11.
20 It's a telegram signed by the Minister of the Interior. It's dated 11
21 June 2001, and it's sent to SOI Kocani, sector of finances and other
22 common matters and the sector for analytics and investigation.
23 First of all just in general, Mr. Bezruchenko, the town of Kocani,
24 what part of Macedonia is that located in?
25 A. I can't tell you exactly, sir, where it is located, but I don't
1 think it is located in northern Macedonia.
2 Q. Okay. Well, what part of Macedonia is it located in?
3 A. Kocani Well, I would imagine in -- I simply don't know, sir.
4 Q. Can -- can we show -- let me ask you the question in another way.
5 In June of 2001, to your knowledge was there any combat activity going on
6 around the town of Kocani?
7 A. I assume not, sir, not to my knowledge.
8 Q. All right. Then this document continue: "In order to undertake
9 security forces in the territory of the Republic of Macedonia and
10 replacement of the police forces, it is needed that on 12 June 2001,
11 Tuesday, the latest until -- until -- no later than 0700 hours, 50
12 policemen and Sapelovski Mitko, their senior officer in charge, be
13 transferred to the military barracks --" I apologise for my poor
14 Macedonian, "Hristian Todorovski Karpos in Kumanovo." And then it says:
15 "The police should be equipped with their own personal and formation
16 arms, a military set of information, camouflage uniforms, terrain boots, a
17 bullet-proof vest with a shield, a helmet," and later on it says, "a set
18 for personal hygiene for a period of at least 15 days out in the field."
19 Very briefly, if our court officer could pull up from e-court
20 please what is ERN N006-3997. And, Your Honours, this is simply the map
21 of Macedonia that is at page 2 of your Court binder. I'm grateful to
22 Ms. Alvarez for her assistance.
23 Can you see now on this map, Mr. Bezruchenko, where the town of
24 Kocani is?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. Can you see that it is located towards the eastern part of
2 Macedonia, going towards the border with Bulgaria?
3 A. Yes, that's right, sir.
4 Q. And, Your Honours, I discovered this morning that this very basic
5 map has not yet been tendered into evidence and I would ask that it be
6 admitted into evidence, please.
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will be Exhibit P467.
9 MR. SAXON: Thank you.
10 Q. If we can turn back now to what is tab 6 in your binder, 65 ter
11 number 966.11.
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. We see the date of this document, 11 of June, 2001, and we see
14 that the minister of the interior is directing that 50 policemen and their
15 senior officer be transferred from the Kocani area up to the Kumanovo
17 At that time, Mr. Bezruchenko, why were more security forces
18 needed at Kumanovo?
19 A. In June 2001, fighting was going on in the area of Kumanovo. In
20 fact, the area of Kumanovo was the second front, which was opened by NLA
21 sometime in May 2001. So I assume this document indicates that certain
22 reinforcements or replacement of police forces in this area would be
24 Q. What connection, if any, or relevance if any, do you see between
25 this order or instruction by Minister Boskoski and the question of
1 Mr. Boskoski's operational control over police forces?
2 A. As I mentioned previously, the operational control involves
3 matters related to organisation and deployment of the forces on the
4 ground. So this is the document which was issued as an exercise of the
5 operational powers by the minister of the interior.
6 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
8 MR. METTRAUX: We have no objection to the document being admitted
9 we object, however, to the evidence which is elicited from Mr. Bezruchenko
10 which is beyond the realm of his expertise.
11 JUDGE PARKER: The evidence is received.
12 MR. SAXON: May I continue, then, Your Honours?
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it is will be Exhibit P468.
15 MR. SAXON:
16 Q. If you could turn, please, to what is tab 7 in your binder,
17 Mr. Bezruchenko.
18 MR. SAXON: And, Your Honours, this is 65 ter number 966.10.
19 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, you'll see this is another telegramme signed by
20 the minister of interior, Mr. Boskoski. It's dated the 13th of June,
21 2001, and this telegramme is directed to SOI Bitola. And can you recall
22 just in general terms where, roughly, in what part of Macedonia the town
23 of Bitola is, north, south, east or west?
24 A. Bitola is more to the south of Macedonia.
25 Q. And in June 2001, was there any combat activity going on around
2 A. To the best of my knowledge, not, sir.
3 Q. This telegramme says: "In order to undertake security measures in
4 the territory of the Republic of Macedonia and replacement of the police
5 forces, it is needed that on the 14th of June," the next day "latest until
6 0730 hours, 20 policemen and their senior officers in charge be
7 transferred to the premises of the territorial fire-fighting unit Tetovo
8 driven in your vehicles."
9 Again, the policemen should be equipped with their own personal
10 and formation arms, military set of ammunition, camouflage uniforms, et
12 Mr. Bezruchenko, at this period in the middle of June in 2001,
13 what was going on around the Tetovo area, around the city of Tetovo?
14 A. The area of Tetovo, in fact, presented the first front which was
15 again opened by NLA sometime in March 2001. To be more precise, in fact
16 on the 14th of March, 2001. And it has remained a hot bed of fighting for
17 the entire period of the conflict. There was fighting going on there in
18 June 2001.
19 Q. All right. And if I were to ask you the question I asked you
20 earlier about the relationship of this document to the operational control
21 of the minister, would you give me the same response?
22 A. Yes, sir, I would give the same response. This document is
23 essentially of the same nature as the previous one.
24 Q. All right.
25 MR. SAXON: I would seek to tender this document, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will be Exhibit P469.
3 MR. SAXON:
4 Q. If you could turn, please, to what is tab 8 in your binder,
5 Mr. Bezruchenko.
6 MR. SAXON: And, Your Honours, this document is 65 ter number
8 Q. And you'll see, Mr. Bezruchenko, that this document is dated 23rd
9 June, 2001. Again, it's signed -- again, it is a telegramme from the
10 cabinet of the ministry of internal affairs, signed by Ljube Boskoski.
11 And it's directed to SOI Stip. And can you recall from your memory,
12 Mr. Bezruchenko, roughly where the town of Stip is in Macedonia, in what
14 A. As far as I recall, it is again more to the south of the country.
15 Q. All right. And to your knowledge, in June of 2001, were there any
16 combat activities going on in Stip?
17 A. Not to my knowledge, sir.
18 Q. And this directive says that: "In order to undertake security
19 measures in the territory of the Republic of Macedonia and replacement
20 placement of the police forces, it is needed that on 24 June 2001, the
21 latest 0730, 50 policemen and their senior officers in charge be
22 transferred to the military barracks in Tetovo, driven in your vehicles."
23 And the same instructions are given in the second paragraph
24 regarding the equipment that the policemen should bring. We also see a
25 third paragraph saying: "Senior officers, before the departure of the
1 units, are asked to conduct an inspection of the policemen's personal
2 appearance and equipment."
3 Mr. Bezruchenko, given the military context at the time, why was
4 it important to transfer police officers from Stip to Tetovo?
5 A. Again, since Tetovo has been a very active area militarily, I
6 would imagine that certain actions would have been required to reinforce
7 the security forces in the area or replace them.
8 Q. And, again, if I asked you the same question that I asked earlier
9 related to the connection between this telegramme and Minister Boskoski's
10 operational control, would you give me the same response?
11 A. Yes, Your Honours.
12 MR. SAXON: I would seek to tender this document, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, it will be Exhibit P470.
15 MR. SAXON:
16 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, I would ask you, please, to turn to what is tab 9
17 in your binder.
18 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, this would be 65 ter number 966.8.
19 A. Yes, sir, I am with you.
20 Q. I'm waiting for the document to come up on the -- the screen.
21 Mr. Bezruchenko, we see this is another telegramme signed by
22 Minister Boskoski. It's dated the 17th of July, 2001. And it's
23 directed to SOI Veles. Can you recall where the town of Veles is, or
24 Titov Veles?
25 A. I understand it more to south-east of Macedonia.
1 Q. All right. To the best of your knowledge, was there any combat
2 activities taking place around Titov Veles in the middle of July 2001?
3 A. Not to my knowledge, sir.
4 Q. And in this first paragraph we see that by 0730 hours on the 18th
5 of July, 40 policemen and their senior officers in charge were being
6 transferred to the premises of the territorial fire-fighting unit in
7 Tetovo. And again we see the same paragraph about the kind of material
8 and equipment that these police officers should take with them. And,
9 again, I don't mean to belabour the point, the relationship between this
10 document and the activities in Tetovo, Mr. Bezruchenko?
11 A. Well, this document is essentially of the same nature as the
12 previous one. And obviously, there was tense and difficult situation
13 militarily in July 2001 around Tetovo. I would imagine that it was really
14 necessary to reinforce or replace the forces of the Ministry of Interior
15 in the area, which was a normal thing to do. So there is a direct link
16 between the situation and this order.
17 Q. All right. And if I were to ask you the same question that I
18 asked you earlier about the connection between this document and the
19 operational control of the minister, would you give me the same response?
20 A. Yes, I would, Your Honours.
21 MR. SAXON: I would seek to tender this document, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P471.
24 MR. SAXON:
25 Q. If we can turn briefly back to your amended expert report,
1 Mr. Bezruchenko, because I believe there is one passage that I neglected
2 to review with you. If you could turn, please, to page 114.
3 Actually, no, I believe I have -- I have gone over this with you.
4 I will not go over it again. Thank you.
5 Mr. Bezruchenko, I'd like to turn to a slightly different topic.
6 If you could turn to what is tab 10 in your binder, please.
7 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, this is -- would be 65 ter 367.4. It is
8 not specifically referred to in Mr. Bezruchenko's report, but because of
9 the obvious relevance I would like to discuss this document with him.
10 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this is a document from the office of the
11 president of the Republic of Macedonia issued on the 28th of February,
12 2001. And you will see on the last page it is signed by the then
13 president Boris Trajkovski. This date, 28 February 2001, why was that a
14 significant date in Macedonia that year?
15 A. Well, I would say that, generally speaking, the month of February
16 was a difficult period in 2001. In fact several days earlier, if I recall
17 correctly, on or about 22nd of February, President Kostunica and the then
18 president of Macedonia Trajkovski, endorsed an agreement about border
19 delineation between Macedonia and Republic of Yugoslavia. In February, in
20 fact early February, the military activities at the border also stepped
21 up. There was some clashes between the security forces and the NLA. So
22 analysing this document in the context of this developments I can say that
23 this document in fact represents decision by the president of the country,
24 as the supreme commander to reinforce the border and to deploy certain
25 army units in the area.
1 Q. Let's talk about this a bit more slowly. The document reads:
2 "Based on the annual plan of operations and training manual for 2001 and
3 in order to conduct drills for the units of the army of the Republic of
4 Macedonia under winter conditions, the president orders, one, the General
5 Staff of the army of the Republic of Macedonia should prepare and conduct
6 training under winter conditions with a part of the commands and units
7 according to the following." And then there are several army units that
8 are listed below that.
9 Point 3 says: "The exercise activities should be conducted in the
10 direction Skopje (the army barracks) at Ilinden, Brodec, Ramno and then up
11 to Kodra Fura." Can you explain to the Judges in general terms where
12 Kodra Fura is?
13 A. Kodra Fura is the location north of Skopje right on the border
14 with Kosovo and the name Kodra Fura is normally used in various documents
15 of Macedonian government as the location indicating the border watch tower
16 located in the area and manned by the border brigade.
17 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, if you take a look at paragraph 5 it says: "In
18 case of attack upon the commands, units, positions and watch towers to act
19 according to the Book of Rules for combat use.
20 Do you see that?
21 A. Yes, I see that, sir.
22 Q. When you review this document given your expertise, how did you
23 interpret this document, Mr. Bezruchenko? What was being ordered here?
24 A. The document speaks about the exercise, winter training, but there
25 are certain points about this document which should be explained in more
2 First of all, the exercises are supposed to take place in the area
3 of Kodra Fura. It is not a coincidence this that specific area was
4 selected for the exercise. As I mentioned before, clashes took place in
5 the area and there were casualties inflicted on the Macedonian security
6 forces. It is normal in any army in fact, to deploy forces in an area
7 which is being threatened under cover of exercise, training activities,
8 whereas the real purpose would be to deploy the forces, to develop the
9 units, to familiarise with the terrain, to make the reconnaissance of the
10 area. This would be my assessment of this document.
11 Q. So in your assessment, the instructions given in this document
12 actually refer to the activities of the NLA close to the border. Is that
13 a fair statement?
14 A. Yes, sir. I would imagine that this was the main reason for this
15 document. And I would also like to specifically comment on point 5.
16 "In case of attack upon the commands, units, positions, and watch
17 towers to act according to the book of rules for combat use," which means
18 that essentially the unit commanders were given rights to start combat
19 actions, meaning to open fire.
20 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, why is it significant, if it is, that the
21 president signed this order?
22 A. The president was exercising his powers vested in the constitution
23 as the commander in chief of the Armed Forces.
24 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, I would seek to tender this document.
25 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will be Exhibit P472.
2 MR. SAXON:
3 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, could you please turn to what is tab 11 in your
4 binder, please.
5 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, this is 65 ter number 367.5.
6 Q. This document, Mr. Bezruchenko, is dated the 5th of March, 2001.
7 It says military secret, state secret at the top. It is entitled use of
8 the units of the army of the Republic of Macedonia, decision to be
9 submitted. Signed by the president, Boris Trajkovski. And paragraph 1
10 of this decision says: "To give an appropriate response with all
11 available information -- with all available formation armaments to the
12 armed attacks and provocations by the diversion-terrorist groups upon the
13 units of the army of the Republic of Macedonia." And then in paragraph 2
14 it says: "That the chief of the General Staff of the army ... Should
15 regulate with his command the use of forces."
16 Mr. Bezruchenko, why was this a significant document for you?
17 A. This is a significant document because this is direct order by the
18 president to the army as it is termed to respond with all available
19 formation armaments to the armed attacks and provocations. Basically, it
20 means that there were armed attacks and provocations on the part of the
21 NLA against the army of the Republic of Macedonia. That is, the fighting
22 was going on.
23 Secondly, the units of the army were given the right to respond
24 with all available formation armament. Formation armament in this sense
25 would mean all the weapons the unit would have, according to the table of
1 organisation and equipment of this specific unit. Which would also
2 include perhaps if such units were deployed and I believe they were
3 deployed, the artillery and mortars.
4 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, I would seek to tender this document,
6 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will be Exhibit P473.
8 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, I don't mean to be pedantic and overly
9 technical, would it assist the Trial Chamber as I'm discussing these
10 documents with Mr. Bezruchenko to also describe where -- which footnote in
11 Mr. Bezruchenko's report the document is referred to?
12 JUDGE PARKER: It would, and I'm sure it would assist other
14 MR. SAXON: Very well. The last document, Your Honour, that was
15 admitted is referred to at paragraphs -- excuse me, footnotes 330 and 476
16 of the amended expert report and at footnote 12 of the chronology.
17 Q. If you turn to what is tab 12, please, of your binder,
18 Mr. Bezruchenko.
19 MR. SAXON: And this is 65 ter number 367.6.
20 A. Yes, sir, I am with you.
21 Q. This is another decision signed by the president, Boris Trajkovski
22 it is also dated the 5th of March, 2001. It is entitled, Raising the
23 combat readiness of the army of the Republic of Macedonia, Decision to be
25 And paragraph 1 of the decision says: "To carry out additional
1 mobilisation of the 1st and 4th Guard Battalion, Guard Brigade. The
2 mobilisation to be carried out immediately. The mobilised units are to be
3 engaged to strengthen the system for security of the state border upon the
4 decision of the commander of the 1st Guard Brigade."
5 Do you see that?
6 A. Yes, I do, sir.
7 Q. Paragraphs 2 tell us: "To engage the artillery battalion of the
8 1st Infantry Brigade, to strengthen the system of the state border."
9 And then paragraph 3 says: "The entire peacetime composition of
10 commands and units of the army of the Republic of Macedonia to be put into
11 a full combat readiness and their engagement to be carried out according
12 to the development of the situation and upon the decision of the chief of
13 General Staff."
14 And before I ask you a question about this I should explain that
15 this document is referred to in footnotes 330, 344, 412, 466, 475 of the
16 amended expert report and also at footnote 11 in part 5 the chronology.
17 Mr. Bezruchenko, why was this document significant for you?
18 A. I believe this is a significant document because of a number of
19 reasons. First of all, this is significant because it authorises the full
20 combat readiness of the army, which presents an extraordinary development
21 which takes place only in a situation of a pronounced threat against
22 security of a country or any other major extraordinary situation.
23 It is also important because it apparently indicates that the
24 system of the security of the border was not strong enough and required
25 additional mobilisation. It also indicates that the 1st Guard Brigade as
1 printed, was not fully mobilised and additional mobilisation was required,
2 again for the purposes of strengthening the border. It is apparent that
3 the forces which were deployed in the area were apparently not sufficient
4 to ensure this task. The document also speaks about the artillery
5 battalion of this brigade to be deployed, which means that apparently the
6 intensity of armed clashes or fighting reached such a level that required
7 artillery to be deployed and used against the NLA.
8 Q. Okay.
9 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, I would seek to tender this document.
10 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will be Exhibit P474.
12 MR. SAXON:
13 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, will you turn, please, to what is tab 13 of your
15 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, this is Exhibit 1D00-079. And this
16 document is referred to in footnotes 330, 345, 477 of the amended expert
17 report, and footnote 27 of the chronology.
18 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this document is dated the 19th of March, 2001,
19 signed by the president of the republic, Boris Trajkovski. And it is
20 titled use of the army of the Republic of Macedonia to carry out an
21 operation. Marked urgent, and it then says, decision: "The army of the
22 Republic of Macedonia with all available units and means to carry out an
23 operation to destroy the terrorists in the area of Tetovo."
24 "The preparation of the units should start immediately, and the
25 operation to be carried out at the latest by 20 March 2001."
1 Why was this document significant for you, Mr. Bezruchenko?
2 A. This document has to be analysed in the context of the military
3 developments or military situation in Macedonia at that time. As I
4 mentioned previously, on 14th March, or on about 14th March, 2001, the NLA
5 opened a front above Tetovo. This document, in fact, represents an order
6 by the president of the country to carry out an operation in the area of
8 Two things need to be explained in this sense. First of all, the
9 document speaks of operation. Normally, according to classical military
10 doctrine an operation is an action which is a level above an ordinary
11 battle and will require involvement of units of a brigade size, or a
12 regiment size, which means that certain significant forces had to be
13 committed to carry out this operation.
14 Second point which is also obvious from this document to me, is
15 that the situation in the area of Tetovo was indeed pressing and urgent as
16 the deadline to carry this operation out was the 20th of March. That is,
17 the operation was supposed to be completed on the next day.
18 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document,
20 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
21 MR. SAXON: I apologise, it has already been received.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Hmm.
23 MR. SAXON: My mistake.
24 Q. If you can turn to what is tab 14 in your binder, please,
25 Mr. Bezruchenko.
1 MR. SAXON: And, Your Honours, this is 65 ter number 367.12.
2 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this is another decision issued by the president
3 of Macedonia at that time, Boris Trajkovski. It is dated the 20th of
4 March, 2001. It's titled addendum to the decision DT number 07-15 of 19
5 March 2001, for the use of the army of the Republic of Macedonia to carry
6 out an operation.
7 MR. SAXON: Before I go any further, Your Honours, this document
8 is referred to at footnotes 330 and 478 in Mr. Bezruchenko's amended
9 expert report and footnote 31 of the chronology section, which is part 5.
10 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this decision says in the middle of the first --
11 the top paragraph, above -- below the word urgent. It says: "In
12 conformity with the newly established situation and need for additional
13 reconnaissance and strengthening of the forces to break up and destroy the
14 terrorists as soon as possible, I hereby bring the following decision."
15 And paragraph 1 of the decision says: "The operation to break up
16 and destroy the terrorists in the region of Tetovo to continue until final
17 execution and establishing control over the territory."
18 What did you take from this document, Mr. Bezruchenko, that was
20 A. I believe this document is significant because a number of
21 reasons. First of all, the document speaks about newly established
22 situation which means that between the date the previous order had been
23 issued and 20th of March, some radical changes in the situation occurred.
24 Apparently, this situation did not really show any signs of improvement in
25 the area of Tetovo, because in point 1 of this decision the president said
1 that operation is to be continued until final execution, which means that
2 the order which was previous -- which was issued only a day before was not
3 carried out.
4 And, again, this document speaks of control over the territory,
5 which to me would serve as an indication that NLA was controlled at least
6 some territory in this area, in the area of Tetovo, I mean.
7 Q. Just so that the record is clear, Mr. Bezruchenko, you said that
8 this document indicates that the order which was issued only a day before
9 was not carried out. Are you suggesting that the order issued by the
10 president a day earlier was ignored?
11 A. No, I'm not suggesting that. I'm just suggesting that perhaps due
12 to the developments on the ground, the reality of the military situation,
13 the forces, the security forces which were deployed in the area simply
14 were not sufficient to carry out this operation and accomplish this
16 Q. All right.
17 MR. SAXON: I would seek to tender this document, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will be Exhibit P475.
20 MR. SAXON:
21 Q. Could you turn, Mr. Bezruchenko, to what is tab 15 in your binder,
23 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, this is Exhibit number 1D0080. And this
24 document is referred to in footnotes 330, 346 and 479 of the amended
25 expert report, and footnote 41 of the chronology chapter; it's part 5.
1 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this document is another decision issued by the
2 president Boris Trajkovski. He issued it on the 28th of March, 2001. It
3 is entitled use of the army of the Republic of Macedonia to carry out an
4 operation, decision to be submitted.
5 And again in the first paragraph below the word urgent there is a
6 reference to: "In conformity with the newly established situation and the
7 need to break up and destroy the terrorists as soon as possible." Then
8 there's the decision. And part 1 of the decision says this: "With all
9 available units and means, the army of the Republic of Macedonia to carry
10 out an operation to destroy the terrorists in the area of Kumanovo, the
11 village Sopot, Kucingdelski and Zeden.
12 And then it says: "The preparation of the units should start
13 immediately and execution of the operation should start on the 28th of
14 March, 2001."
15 What significance, if any, did you find in this document,
16 Mr. Bezruchenko?
17 A. I believe this document is significant because, actually, it
18 emphasises that the NLA was not really defeated in the previous operations
19 by the security forces; but, on the contrary, the NLA gradually was
20 spreading its territorial control to other areas of Macedonia.
21 This document speaks about the Kumanovo and village of Sopot which
22 is in the area of Kumanovo, which is quite a distance away from where the
23 first front was opened which is Tetovo. This document also mentions Zeden
24 which is a hill or, rather a ridge, mountain ridge, west of Skopje. My
25 interpretation of this document is that NLA was apparently becoming active
1 in this area -- in these areas as of the date of this document.
2 I probably also can infer from this document that the situation
3 was indeed pretty urgent as document speaks about an operation which is
4 supposed to begin on the very day that the document was issued. That is,
5 28th of March.
6 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, I would seek to tender -- excuse me, I
7 made the same mistake. This document is already an exhibit.
8 Q. If you could turn, please, to what is tab 16 in your binder,
9 Mr. Bezruchenko.
10 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, this is 65 ter number 367.23. It is
11 referred to in footnotes 330, 347, 480 of the amended expert report, and
12 footnote 57 of the chronology section.
13 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this document, again, signed by the president
14 Boris Trajkovski, dated now the 3rd of May, 2001. The use of the army of
15 the Republic of Macedonia to carry out an operation. We see that this is
16 urgent, same language about in conformity with the newly established
17 situation. Then we see paragraph 1 of the decision says this: "The army
18 of the Republic of Macedonia, in cooperation with the forces of the
19 Ministry of Internal Affairs, to carry out an operation to destroy the
20 terrorist forces in the wider region of the villages Vaksince and
21 Slupcane, and in the other areas within the zones of responsibility where
22 diversion terrorist groups appear."
23 What, if anything, did you find significant in this decision,
24 Mr. Bezruchenko?
25 A. Sorry, sir, this is tab 17, is it?
1 Q. No, this is tab 16.
2 A. I'm sorry. Just one second.
3 Q. Take your time.
4 A. Okay. Thank you.
5 Q. It's dated the 3rd of May, 2001.
6 A. Right, okay. The significance of this document is again based on
7 the new locations which are mentioned in connection with the combat
8 activities and these locations are villages of Vaksince and Slupcane,
9 which are somewhat to the south of Tetovo.
10 MR. SAXON: Can we show the witness what is ERN N006-3997.
11 A. Sorry, not Tetovo. Kumanovo. This is a mistake.
12 MR. SAXON: I still want to show this witness this map. It was
13 admitted a short time ago, but I apologise, I did not write down the
14 exhibit number.
15 JUDGE PARKER: 467 may be what you need, Mr. Saxon.
16 MR. SAXON: Thank you very much. That's exactly what I need.
17 Thank you.
18 Q. Do you need to put on your glasses, Mr. Bezruchenko?
19 A. I have a bit of a problem with my eyes.
20 Q. Do not be shy.
21 Can you see --
22 JUDGE PARKER: Would a hard copy assist?
23 THE WITNESS: Yes, it certainly would, sir.
24 MR. SAXON: I can give the witness my own. I'm grateful, Your
25 Honour, as I'm sure the witness is.
1 THE WITNESS: The village of Vaksince is actually to the north of
2 Kumanovo and close to the border.
3 MR. SAXON:
4 Q. All right.
5 A. I assume that the village of Slupcane is in more or less the same
6 area which would indicate to me that the area which was affected by
7 fighting and military activities was gradually spreading around Kumanovo.
8 Q. Okay. Thank you. Going back to the document in paragraph 1, this
9 document also -- mentioned the army of the Republic of Macedonia in
10 coordination with the forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. What
11 significance, if any, do you take from that?
12 A. Well, these points would mean to me that the forces of the army
13 alone would not be sufficient to carry out this kind of operation and
14 would require the involvement of the forces under control of the Ministry
15 of Interior.
16 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document,
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
19 MR. METTRAUX: I believe it is 1D50, Exhibit 1D50 already.
20 MR. SAXON: I'm grateful for that.
21 Q. If you could turn, Mr. Bezruchenko, to what is tab 17.
22 MR. SAXON: And, Your Honours, this is Exhibit 1D00-058. It is
23 referred to in Mr. Bezruchenko's amended expert report at footnotes 330,
24 348, 481, and at footnote 92 of part 5, the chronology section.
25 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this is another document, another decision issued
1 by the president of Republic of Macedonia, Boris Trajkovski. This
2 decision was issued on the 4th of June, 2001. Paragraph 1 of the decision
3 says this: "The army of the Republic of Macedonia and the units of the
4 ministry of internal affairs to prepare and carry out an attack operation
5 in the wider region of Skopska Crna Gora, village Vujance, village
6 Slupcane, village Opae, village Nikustak, village Matejce and village
7 Strima, in order to surround, block, break up, and destroy the forces of
8 diversion and terrorist groups with a simultaneous attack from several
9 directions and a vertical manoeuvre, as well as to create continues for
10 cleaning the terrain and to finally establish full control over the
11 mentioned territory and the functioning of the local authorities."
12 First of all, in general, what significance, if any, do you draw
13 from this document?
14 A. In general, the significance of the document would be as follows.
15 The document clearly speaks about a serious military operation in the area
16 of Skopska Crna Gora, and Skopska Crna Gora in fact a massive mountain
17 area right above the capital of Skopje, north of Skopje. Which would mean
18 to me that the fighting was gradually spreading from the area of Kumanovo
19 towards Skopska Crna Gora, and probably further down south.
20 The document speaks also about the missions that the Armed Forces
21 are supposed to undertake and these are to surround, block, break up, and
22 destroy the forces of the diversion and terrorist groups which means that
23 the army was given a decisive task to put an end to the forces of the
24 adversary, that is the NLA.
25 An important point that I would also infer from this document is
1 that deputy chief of General Staff of the army, Lieutenant-Colonel General
2 Pande Petrovski, as well as the commander of the 1st Army Corps
3 Major-General Georgi Karakutovski were apparently made personally
4 responsible for this operation.
5 I would also infer from this document that because of the
6 seriousness of the situation, the responsibility was squarely placed on
7 General Petrovski and General Karakutovski.
8 Another point that I would like to infer from this document is
9 that, apparently, this operation was supposed to involve the combat
10 helicopters as it speaks about vertical manoeuvre and probably an airborne
11 force was supposed to get involved.
12 Q. Thank you. Can you turn now to what is tab 18 in your binder,
13 please, Mr. Bezruchenko.
14 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, this is 65 ter 367.37. And this document
15 is not specifically cited to in Mr. Bezruchenko's report.
16 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this is another document signed by the president,
17 Boris Trajkovski, dated the 7th of June 2001. It is entitled
18 mobilisation of a part of the units of the army of the Republic of
19 Macedonia. And it says: "Orders." And in the middle of the page the
20 order says: "First to execute the mobilisation of, A, units of the 1st
21 command" and then below that "3rd to 1st, 23rd Light Infantry Brigade, on
22 the next day, 8 June, 2001, and then B, units of the 2nd army command,
23 below that 2nd/15th Infantry Brigade on the 8th of June, 2001, at 0100
24 hours," and then below that, "Howitzer division, 122-millimetre/15th
25 Infantry Brigade on the 8th of June, 2001 at 0100 hours."
1 Do you see what I've been reading, Mr. Bezruchenko?
2 A. Yes, sir, I have seen this document.
3 Q. Paragraph 2 of the order says that: "The units should be
4 completed up to full military formation with people and material-technical
5 means. In case there is a lack of people according to the staffing plan,
6 non-deployed military conscripts should also be summoned."
7 What, if anything, did you find significant in this document?
8 A. The document clearly speaks about mobilisation. The document is
9 also dated 7 June 2001, which means that there was a mobilisation process
10 going on in the country in June 2001.
11 The president authorised mobilisation of the, as far as I can see
12 3rd company of the 1st Battalion of the 23rd Light Infantry Brigade on the
13 next day, 8 June 2001, at 1.00 in the morning. That is, this mobilisation
14 was supposed to be completed within a very short period of time, within a
15 few hours, which would serve as an indication to me that a very rapid
16 build-up of forces was going on.
17 The same point applies to the units of the 2nd army command, by
18 the way, if I could make a comment. Apparently there is a slight problem
19 with the translation here. It should be probably 2nd army corps not army
21 The second point applies to units which again were supposed to be
22 mobilised on the same day at the same hour, and these would be the 2nd
23 Battalion of the 15th Infantry Brigade and Howitzer Battalion, not
24 division. I would say Howitzer Battalion of the 122-millimetres of the
25 15th Infantry Brigade. So just to summarize, this document speaks about a
1 few things. First of all, mobilisation process was going on where
2 additional units were being mobilised and apparently the mobilisation
3 process was not really proceeding very well, because point 2 of this
4 document speaks about in case there is a lack of people, which would
5 suggest to me that not all reservists were reporting on their calls for
7 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, what significance, if any, is there to the fact
8 that a Howitzer battalion was being mobilised? First of all, let's -- I
9 should start earlier, can you please explain to the Judges what is a
11 A. Howitzer is an artillery weapon with the range depending on the
12 model of up to 20 kilometres perhaps, which is specifically used for
13 destruction of hard targets, as well as for destruction of enemy manpower
14 in the field. This is pretty serious weapon and 120-millimetre calibre
15 would suggest that this is a pretty strong system.
16 Q. The fact that a Howitzer battalion is being put into place what,
17 if anything, would that suggest about the combat situation on the ground
18 facing the Macedonian security forces?
19 A. My interpretation of this fact would be that the Macedonian
20 security forces were facing pretty serious situation on the ground and
21 they really required artillery support.
22 Q. What significance, if any, do you see in the fact that such
23 mobilisation had to be carried out so quickly, as you put it, in a matter
24 of hours?
25 A. I would attribute it to the fact that there were certain
1 developments of adverse nature on the ground, which would require
2 mobilisation of these units. On the other hand, this could be also be
3 explained by the fact that the Macedonian military and the General Staff
4 were planning some kind of an operation which would require a certain
5 build-up of forces in advance.
6 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, I would seek to tender this document,
8 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will be Exhibit P476.
10 MR. SAXON:
11 Q. Could you turn, Mr. Bezruchenko, to what is tab 19 in your binder,
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, this is 65 ter number 367.38. It is not
15 specifically referred to in Mr. Bezruchenko's amended expert report.
16 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this is a -- an order issued by President Boris
17 Trajkovski on the 8th of June, 2001, so one day after the preceding
18 document. It is entitled mobilisation of a part of the units of the army
19 of the Republic of Macedonia and the order: "Part 1, to execute the
20 mobilisation of the 1st and 2nd parts of the 25th Light Infantry Brigade,
21 2, that mobilisation should start on the following day at 1.00 in the
22 morning; 3, the unit should be completed up to full military formation
23 with human resources and material technical means; and, again, in case of
24 a lack of human resources according to the staffing plan, non-deployed
25 military conscripts should also be summoned."
1 What, if anything, did you find in this document that was
3 A. This document clearly speaks about mobilisation continuing. The
4 document is dated 8 June 2001 which means that this date the mobilisation
5 of the 25th Light Infantry Brigade was going on. Again, mobilisation was
6 done in a very urgent manner which was probably dictated by the situation
7 on the ground. It also speaks about mobilisation of the part of the units
8 of the army of Republic of Macedonia which gives me reason to believe that
9 this mobilisation was partial, in effect. And I would also infer from
10 point 3 of the document that mobilisation was really facing difficulties
11 as it says about involvement of non-deployed military conscripts in case
12 there is a shortage of manpower.
13 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document,
15 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour it is will be Exhibit P477.
17 MR. SAXON:
18 Q. Could you turn, Mr. Bezruchenko, to what is tab 20 of your
20 MR. SAXON: And Your Honours, this is 65 ter number 367.39. It's
21 referred to in footnote 466 of Mr. Bezruchenko's amended expert report and
22 my colleague Ms. Motoike has kindly reminded me to clarify that where I
23 have provided references to specific footnotes for these documents, those
24 references may not be 100 per cent, there may actually be other references
25 located in the footnotes but we simply could not list all of them for each
2 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this is another order issued by
3 President Trajkovski. This is on the 9th of June, 2001. It says
4 mobilisation of a part of the units of the army of the Republic of
5 Macedonia. And the order says: "1, to execute the mobilisation of the
6 Artillery Division," perhaps it should be battalion, you may correct us in
7 a moment, "of multi-barrel rocket launchers 128-millimetres OGAN, flame,
8 of the 1st Motorized Artillery Regiment, 1st command."
9 "2, the mobilisation should start on 11 June 2001 at 0100 hours."
10 And we see the same language in three and four that we saw in the
11 prior two documents regarding the unit should be completed up to full
12 military formations but if there are -- if there is a lack of human
13 resources, non-deployed military conscripts should also be summoned.
14 What, if anything, of significance did you find in this document?
15 A. The general situation, Your Honour, would be the fact that
16 mobilisation campaign was continuing, that new units were being mobilised,
17 that more and more weapons would be mobilised as well. This is indeed an
18 artillery battalion. I don't think this is an artillery division. This
19 must be some kind of translation thing. And this particular battalion was
20 equipped with multi-barrel rocket launchers of OGAN model, which is a
21 Yugoslav model which was widely produced in former Yugoslavia. Its
22 calibre is 128 millimetres. This is essentially an aerial type of weapon.
23 Q. Did you say area or aerial?
24 A. Area.
25 Q. Area.
1 A. Yes. That is not a pinpoint weapon.
2 Q. What does that mean then?
3 A. This means that, in fact, this weapon is a vehicle with several
4 rocket tubes mounted on it, depends how many depending on the model. I
5 believe in the case of this one it could be about 12. And this is the
6 weapon which is used to mainly, according to classical doctrine again, to
7 destroy the enemy manpower exposed in an open ground, open terrain over a
8 big area. Well, in fact one [Indiscernible] of such a weapon would cover
9 several hectares of ground with deadly fire.
10 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document,
12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, it will be Exhibit P478.
14 MR. SAXON:
15 Q. Before we break, perhaps, I have one more question about this
16 document, Mr. Bezruchenko.
17 The fact that the Macedonian security forces felt compelled to
18 bring this kind of weapon into operation against the NLA, what, if
19 anything, does it suggest about the strength, the size of the NLA?
20 A. Well, this weapon is pretty effective in fact and this is also
21 good for moral effect. I would --
22 Q. Excuse me, did you say moral or morale?
23 A. Well, morale effect, yeah.
24 Q. Morale.
25 A. Of course. Which means that it would effect the morale of the
1 adversary forces. I think that the fact that this specific battalion was
2 being mobilised would indicate that these kind of weapons was counted upon
3 and was called for to carry on operations against NLA, which apparently
4 showed a strength to a degree that required deployment of such weapon.
5 Q. Strength of whom?
6 A. Strength of the NLA.
7 Q. Okay.
8 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, would this be a convenient time to take
9 the second break.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Saxon.
11 We resume in half an hour.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 1.04 p.m.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.
15 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, could you please turn to the document at tab 21
17 of your binder, please.
18 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, this is 65 ter number 367.40. It's
19 referenced in footnote 424 of Mr. Bezruchenko's amended expert report.
20 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this is another decision issued by the president
21 of Macedonia, Boris Trajkovski. It's dated the 11th of June, 2001. The
22 title is to form the defence command of the city of Skopje. And then
23 underneath the word decision in bold, point 1 says the: "The training
24 command should establish the defence command of the city (DCC) of Skopje."
25 Point 2 says: "To the composition of the DCC of Skopje should be
1 subordinated the 12th Infantry Brigade, the 16th Infantry Brigade, the 1st
2 Guard Brigade and the 8th Infantry Brigade."
3 And then point 3, it says: "The chief of the General Staff of the
4 army of the Republic of Macedonia will issue orders for engaging the units
5 for the defence of the city of Skopje."
6 Mr. Bezruchenko, what, if anything, did you find significant in
7 this decision of 11 June 2001?
8 A. This document has to be analysed in the context of the
9 developments and events at the front in June 2001. It should be recalled
10 that on or about 10 June 2001, the NLA entered the village of Aracinovo
11 which is essentially a suburb of Skopje. Thus, a significant threat, a
12 pronounced, significant threat developed for the capital. This document
13 apparently authorises the establishment of the defence command for the
14 city of Skopje, which means that, first, the city was under threat;
15 second, urgent measures were to be taken to counter this threat; and,
16 third, sufficient troops had to be mobilised to ensure the perimeter
17 defence of the city.
18 Q. We see here point 2 of the decision refers to four brigades: The
19 12th Infantry, the 16th Infantry, the 1st Guard Brigade, and the 8th
20 Infantry Brigade.
21 Can you explain to us, just in general terms, how much men and
22 materiel is that, men and women and materiel?
23 A. In fact, that depends on formation. But my assessment would be
24 that an infantry brigade composed of, say, three infantry battalions and
25 artillery battalion, the brigade command and some supporting units would
1 be perhaps between 2 and 3.000 men. This would be the formation.
2 Q. Is that for a brigade that meets so-called NATO standards?
3 A. Not necessarily. I understand at the time of conflict the army of
4 Macedonia was in fact in the process of being adjusted to the NATO
5 standards including the standards of the formations and units, and I'm not
6 sure if this process was completely over, if it was absolutely complete by
7 the time the war broke out.
8 Q. Okay. So, then, four infantry brigades would be somewhere
9 between 8.000 and 12.000 persons. Is that fair?
10 A. That would be a fair assessment, though I think in reality it
11 would be closer to 8.000.
12 Q. Okay.
13 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document,
15 JUDGE PARKER: It would -- Mr. Mettraux.
16 MR. METTRAUX: I apologise, Your Honour. I believe it is already
17 an exhibit, 1D99.
18 MR. SAXON: I stand corrected.
19 JUDGE PARKER: What was causing me a distraction at that moment
20 and I'll mention if you wish to explore it. Is the witness saying, then,
21 that far more troops were deployed than were necessary? The earlier
22 estimate of 2 to 3.000 men and then 8.000.
23 MR. SAXON: I'm sorry, Your Honour, my understanding of the
24 transcript and the witness's response is that the estimate of 2 to 3.000
25 men referred to a single brigade and my question referring to 8 to 12
1 would be multiplying that by four because this decision refers to four
3 JUDGE PARKER: That removes my confusion. Thank you.
4 MR. SAXON:
5 Q. Can we turn, please, Mr. Bezruchenko, to what is tab 22 in your
6 binder. Before we focus on tab 22, the previous document is referred to
7 at footnote 424 of Mr. Bezruchenko's report.
8 The document at tab 22, Your Honours, is 65 ter 367.41. It is
9 referred to at footnote 425 of Mr. Bezruchenko's amended expert report.
10 Mr. Bezruchenko, this document, it is another order issued by
11 president Boris Trajkovski. It is dated, again, the 11th of June, 2001.
12 The title says: Mobilisation of part of the units of the army of the
13 Republic of Macedonia. And the order says, point 1: "To carry out the
14 mobilisation of 12th Infantry Brigade, 16th Infantry Brigade, 1st Guard
15 Brigade and 8th Infantry Brigade."
16 I believe these are the same brigades referred to in the prior
17 document. It says that: "The mobilisation of the mentioned units should
18 be carried out on 12 June 2001, the next day at 0100 hours." The units --
19 this is point 3. "The units to be filled up to full combat formation with
20 people and material technical means. If there is a lack of people
21 according to the plan for filling up, the unassigned military conscripts
22 should be called in."
23 Point 4 says this: "The engagement of the mobilised units to be
24 regulated by the personal command of the chief of the General Staff of the
25 army of the Republic of Macedonia."
1 Mr. Bezruchenko -- excuse me, Your Honour.
2 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, my colleagues have just informed me that
3 this document has been admitted it is 1D00-100.
4 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, what significance, if any, did you find in this
6 A. This is in fact the document, this is a -- in fact, a follow-up
7 document in pursuit of an implementation of the decision by the president
8 dated 11 June about formation of the Skopje defence command. Obviously,
9 these brigades had to be mobilised to make for the defence of the city of
11 The next point I would infer from this document is that the
12 mobilisation process was hasty and urgent, as is obvious from point 2 of
13 the document it was supposed to be completed by 1.00 in the morning on the
14 next day.
15 The document then speaks about a potential of understrengths in
16 the process of mobilisation. It mentions in point 3 that a lack of
17 personnel, according to the plan, could be expected and in this case
18 unassigned military conscripts should be called in. And finally this
19 document, apparently, is pretty important because the responsibility, or
20 rather, the personal command of the units assigned to the city defence
21 command would be entrusted to the chief of General Staff.
22 Q. Why is that significant?
23 A. Because -- because the Chief of Staff was, in fact, exercising the
24 professional and direct command of the armed forces. He would be the
25 person who would know exactly how the situation on the ground developed
1 and he would be the person to take any appropriate measures, if required.
2 Q. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Bezruchenko.
3 Can we turn to what is tab 23 in your binder, Mr. Bezruchenko,
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 MR. SAXON: This document is 65 ter number 367.43. It is not
7 specifically referenced in Mr. Bezruchenko's report.
8 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this is another order marked urgent, issued by
9 the president of Macedonia, Boris Trajkovski. This one was issued on the
10 13th of June, 2001. It is entitled mobilisation of a part of the units of
11 the army of the Republic of Macedonia. And it says, the order says point
12 1: "To execute the mobilisation of 2nd reconnaissance company of the
13 2nd" -- it says 2nd army command. I wonder whether it should say 2nd army
14 corps. "City of Ohrid defence command and 2nd Howitzer Division," that
15 should probably be battalion, "122-millimetre from battalion infantry
16 brigade." Also, to mobilise the 7th Motor Brigade and a platoon. Below
17 that a 120-millimetre Infantry Brigade, another light infantry brigade and
18 a motorised division and below that a Howitzer division - that should
19 probably be battalion - 152-millimetre. "Mobilisation should commence"
20 this is point 2,"on the 14th of June, 2001 at 0100 hours." Point 3,
21 again, they want full combat formation but in the case of lack of
22 personnel, they should be called up from the non-deployed military
24 Point 4: "The chief of General Staff of the army of the Republic
25 of Macedonia shall regulate the engagement of the units with his orders,
1 in accordance with the developments of the situation."
2 Just briefly, Mr. Bezruchenko, roughly what part of Macedonia is
3 the city of Ohrid?
4 A. It's south of the country.
5 Q. Is it close to the Albanian border?
6 A. Yes, sir, that's close to Albanian border.
7 Q. And close to the border with Greece, is that true?
8 A. Yes, sir that's right.
9 Q. What, if anything, did you find significant in this order?
10 A. There is a number of points about there order which are
12 The order authorises formation of the city defence of the city of
13 Ohrid, which, to me would be an indication that a threat was developing in
14 the area on the part of the NLA, and measures had to be taken to ensure
15 the defence of this city.
16 The second point about this document is that a number of units
17 were continued to be mobilised and these included various units,
18 artillery, military police, infantry. The mobilisation of these units was
19 supposed to be carried out on the next day at 1.00 in the morning which is
20 again an indication of the urgency of the mobilisation and seriousness of
21 the situation.
22 Another point about this document is that mobilisation indeed was
23 facing some difficulties as apparently not all the reservists were
24 reporting according to the table of mobilisation and equipment and
25 formation of the units.
1 And, finally, the document authorises the chief of the General
2 Staff, in fact, to commit the units and deploy them, depending on the
3 development of the situation, which, to my mind, would indicate that
4 negative developments of the situation at the front were anticipated.
5 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document,
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this document will be Exhibit P479.
9 MR. SAXON:
10 Q. Can you turn, Mr. Bezruchenko, to what is tab 24 in your binder,
12 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, this document is 65 ter number 367.54.
13 It's referred to in footnotes 330, 349 and 482 of Mr. Bezruchenko's
14 amended expert report, and footnote 149 of part 5, the chronology.
15 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this document, the English version it's titled
16 resolution. It's signed by the president of the Republic of Macedonia,
17 Boris Trajkovski. It's dated the 5th of August, 2001. And the title
18 says: Use of the army of the Republic of Macedonia for completion of
19 operation. And then point 1 of the resolution says the following: "The
20 army of the Republic of Macedonia with necessary structure and force, is
21 to enter the town of Tetovo with the aim of preventing its fall into the
22 hands of the terrorist groups of the self-styled NLA and protecting the
23 lives, safety and property of the citizens of Tetovo."
24 Point 2 says: "The army of the Republic of Macedonia is to
25 position itself on the Tetovo-Jezince road with the aim of securing the
1 traffic and preventing the terrorist groups from penetrating from Sharda
2 [phoen] towards the villages in Polok. The protection of the road is to
3 be performed continually until further notice."
4 Mr. Bezruchenko, let's focus just first on point 1. What, if
5 anything, do you find significant in that paragraph?
6 A. I think this document is pretty dramatic in a sense that for the
7 first time mentions a possibility of the city of Tetovo falling into the
8 hands of NLA. It actually requires, as is obvious from point 1, for the
9 army of Macedonia to enter the city and protect it against the NLA.
10 Q. All right.
11 MR. SAXON: Can we turn to the second point, please, and
12 Ms. Alvarez, if you can help us by bringing up again what is Exhibit P467.
13 If you can take a look at the map of Macedonia. This is page 2 of the
14 court binders, Your Honours.
15 And I'm wondering perhaps whether we could focus in on -- shall we
16 say, the area of -- between Tetovo and Skopje and the border, the border
17 with Kosovo. If we can focus in on that area a little bit, please.
18 That's fine. That's fine. Okay.
19 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, just so that the record is clear and perhaps with
20 the assistance of the usher there is a pen there that's attached to that
21 computer terminal, and I'd like to ask you, first of all, just to point
22 with that pen on the screen there which road point 2 is talking about, the
23 Tetovo-Jezince road.
24 A. My understanding is that this is the road between Tetovo, which is
25 here, up north, Tearce, Radnica and up to the border, right up to the
1 border in fact, this is where Jezince is.
2 Q. And can the record, please reflect that the witness has drawn a
3 red line along a road going north-east from Tetovo towards the border with
5 MR. SAXON: And before I forget may this image be given an exhibit
6 number, Your Honour.
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document will be Exhibit P480.
9 MR. SAXON: Thank you.
10 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, what significance, if any, do you take from the
11 instructions provided in point 2?
12 A. I believe it was pretty important to ensure the control of this
13 road and prevent the NLA from using it. If the NLA established the full
14 control of the road and the adjacent area, the NLA could actually enhance
15 its capabilities as to supply across the border from Kosovo. The NLA
16 could bring in anything it really wanted along this road, just by trucks.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document,
20 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this document will be Exhibit P481.
22 MR. SAXON:
23 Q. If you could turn, Mr. Bezruchenko, to what is tab 25 in your
24 binder, please.
25 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, this document is Exhibit 2D00-040. It
1 is referred to in Mr. Bezruchenko's amended expert report, footnotes 265,
2 266, and 273.
3 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, I'd like to explore this document with you a bit,
4 please. It is dated the 9th of August, 2001. It's from the Republic of
5 Macedonia Ministry of Defence security and intelligence sector. The
6 Prosecution, Your Honours, received this document from the Macedonian
7 Ministry of Defence. And it's a daily report for the period of 8 to 9
8 August, 2001. And it is multi-page document, but at the end it is signed
9 by -- this is page 9 in the English version, head officer on duty,
10 Mr. Georgi Karakutovski.
11 In the first paragraph at the top of the page, we see that it is
12 explained that in the period from 8 to 9 August in the duty operational
13 centre of the Ministry of Defence the following operational data and
14 information have been received.
15 And then there are a series of paragraphs below that.
16 Paragraph 1 says that: "On the 8th of August, 2001, on the road,
17 Skopje to Tetovo, at 0930 hours at the location of Karpalak, Grupcin.
18 Convoy of the arm of the Republic of Macedonia was attacked by the
19 terrorists with Zoljas, mortar launchers and other automatic weapons.
20 According to information obtained, 10 people were killed and 3 members of
21 the security forces were seriously damaged. A Hermelin was destroyed and
22 several military vehicles were damaged. The attack took place around 1300
24 MR. SAXON: And, again, if Ms. Alvarez can assist us, if we can
25 see please, Exhibit 467, just the map at page 2 of the court binder.
1 And, again, if we could focus, perhaps, or zoom in a bit on the
2 area between Tetovo and the city of Skopje. That's it. That's fine.
3 Perhaps if we could zoom a bit to the left just so that we can see the
4 city of Tetovo. That's it. That is fine. Thank you.
5 Q. First of all, Mr. Bezruchenko, could you take up that electronic
6 pen again and on the computer screen, could you draw another red line on
7 the road that's being discussed in point 1 between -- Tetovo to Grupcin?
8 A. Yes, sir. This road actually connects Skopje and Tetovo and this
9 is the road I mean. Grupcin is here as you can see, and goes on to
11 Q. Again, for the record that the witness has drawn a -- a red line
12 along the road.
13 Could you place the number 1, Mr. Bezruchenko, above the word
15 A. Yes, sir. This is it.
16 Q. Okay. Mr. Bezruchenko, what significance, if anything, did you
17 take from the information that's provided in paragraph 1 of this report?
18 A. There is a number of issues which I would like to explain in
19 connection with paragraph 1 of this report.
20 Well, first of all, this attack resulted in ten personnel killed
21 and three seriously wounded which was a pretty high level of casualties
22 for this kind of attack.
23 The other issue which I would like to explain that this probably
24 happened because the commander of the unit did not really take appropriate
25 measures to ensure the safety and security of his men.
1 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, we need to be careful here. Which unit are you
2 referring to?
3 A. I'm referring to the unit of the ARM which was the target of this
5 Q. So when you say that the commander of the unit did not really take
6 appropriate measures you're referring to the commander of the Macedonian
7 army unit that suffered this attack?
8 A. That's right, sir, yes.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. The other issue that I would like to explain is that this attack
11 was apparently aimed to cut the communication between Skopje and Tetovo
12 and deny the Macedonian army a possibility of bringing in reinforcements
13 and supplies from east to west. That is, from Skopje to Tetovo.
14 And perhaps the last point about this attack is that it took
15 place, it occurred around 1.00 in broad daylight, which is difficult to
17 Q. I don't know what you mean by that, Mr. Bezruchenko. What is the
18 significance that this attack occurred at 1.00 in the afternoon in broad
19 daylight, from a military perspective?
20 A. From the military perspective, the commander of the unit, which
21 was supposed to move along this road should have taken certain measures to
22 ensure the security of his men, which would, at the bear minimum, include
23 an advance party and patrolling along the routes, as well as probably
24 observation points at some of the prominent features. Had this been
25 undertaken, perhaps the attack would have been prevented, but I may be
2 Q. Okay. Can you turn, please -- let's move to point 3.
3 By the way, can you recall whether from your research whether this
4 particular attack and the casualties had any additional consequences for
5 the commanders of the army of Macedonia?
6 A. Yes. As I can recall, this attack was the immediate reason for
7 the resignation of the chief of General Staff.
8 Q. If we turn to point 3 from the first page of the operational
9 information, we see that on the same day, 8 August 2001, at about 1200
10 hours, a group of members of the so-called NLA, 50 strong, armed with
11 automatic rifles and Zoljas on the stretch from the agricultural school in
12 Tetovo towards Motli [phoen] mosque began to set up control check-points.
13 And then point 4, on, again, the same day, the 8th of August, according to
14 operational information, 3 to 4 groups of uniformed and armed terrorists
15 began an action in Tetovo with the aim to occupy noticeable facilities and
16 buildings and some of them entered apartments, houses and shops. And those
17 terrorists were looting and destroying households and furniture.
18 What significance, if anything, do you take from points 3 and 4?
19 A. My reading of these paragraphs was, in fact, the situation around
20 Tetovo deteriorated to the point that NLA was operating in the city. The
21 NLA started setting up check-points, they -- I mean, the NLA fighters
22 began occupying facilities and buildings, perhaps placing their snipers,
23 which would indicate to me that a significant threat for the city was
24 developing. The city was on the verge of being taken over.
25 Q. Can we turn, please, to the third page of the English version of
1 this document. This is page 2 of the Macedonian version.
2 MR. SAXON: I see that I have neglected to tender the last image
3 that is on the screen. If that could be given an exhibit number, please.
4 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document will be Exhibit P482.
6 MR. SAXON: And, again, if we can turn to page 3 of the English
7 version, page 2 of the Macedonian version, paragraph 8, which is at the
8 bottom of page 3 in the English. Says, again, referring to the 8th of
9 August, 2001, in relation to an attack against an army convoy which took
10 place same day at 9.45 hours. It says: "Villages of Gurgurnica,
11 Sedlarevo, Merovo, Raovik, Semeniste, Cajlane, Bukovik, Panicari,
12 Laskarci, Novo Selo, Larce, and Kopacin -- Kopacin Dol were under the
13 terrorist control. In that region, most possibly operates the 115th
14 Brigade of the so-called NLA and one special unit of the military police."
15 And then below that there's some reference to established check-points and
16 the arms used by the members of the NLA.
17 What significance do you take from this paragraph and the
18 reference to the NLA's 115th Brigade?
19 A. This would indicate to me a pretty dramatic development as well.
20 In fact, these villages are in the area of Zedan [phoen] feature, and
21 along the road between Skopje and Tetovo, and the NLA taking over these
22 villages would indicate to me that NLA was really consolidating their
23 control of the road between Skopje and Tetovo. The 115th Brigade was
24 indeed operating in this area, and as of the date of the report,
25 apparently was holding the feature of Zedan.
1 Q. The feature of what?
2 A. Zedan. This is a hill, prominent hill in this area.
3 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document,
4 please. It is already an exhibit. I do not need to do that.
5 And, perhaps, Your Honour, this would be a good time to stop for
6 the day.
7 JUDGE PARKER: The transcript should record the exhibit number.
8 MR. SAXON: 2D00-040.
9 Your Honour, before the witness leaves the room and we adjourn,
10 may I raise one issue?
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
12 MR. SAXON: It is simply this the normal rule and practice is that
13 after a witness begins his or her testimony, he or she will not
14 communicate with the members of the Office of the Prosecutor. Now
15 Mr. Bezruchenko will have to come back and finish his testimony after
16 Mr. Franz-Josef Hutsch finishes his testimony in two weeks. I simply
17 wanted to note for the record, obviously, Mr. Bezruchenko works on the
18 premises of the Office of the Prosecutor. There may be simply some
19 unavoidable minimal contact in the hallways but there will certainly be no
20 discussion with the witness about his testimony.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Well, we must now adjourn until Monday
22 week at 2.15 in the afternoon. And the witness, I'm afraid we must ask to
23 return, I expect, late that week.
24 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Monday, the 15th day of
2 October, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.