Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 7759

1 Wednesday, 14 November 2007

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.12 a.m.

6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.

7 I'm sorry that I was responsible for the circumstances that have

8 led to a late start this morning.

9 Your affirmation still applies, sir.

10 Mr. Apostolski.


12 [Witness answered through interpreter]

13 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Good

14 morning, Your Honours.

15 Cross-examination by Mr. Apostolski: [Continued]

16 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness Ostreni.

17 A. Good morning.

18 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown

19 the map, P515, page 3, admitted into evidence.

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I, once again, be

21 asked about the participation of the NLA from -- members from Albania,

22 because I don't think I heard the question well and I don't think I gave

23 the right answer.

24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski, if you'll excuse me.

25 May I ask you, again, sir, about the participation of the Albanian

Page 7760

1 representatives in the NLA?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There were members. But the

3 way I understood your question was whether I knew them or not, and that's

4 why I answer in that way.

5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski, you may want to follow that up.

6 That's a matter for you.

7 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Witness Ostreni, is it correct that there were NLA members who

9 were Albanian nationals?

10 A. Yes, that's correct. There were some.

11 Q. As far as I remember, you replied that you knew at least one of

12 them.

13 A. Yes, because I thought whether you asked me whether I knew one of

14 them, and I'm still repeating that I used to know one of them who was

15 killed on the 12th [as interpreted]. This is the reason why I asked the

16 -- His Honour to ask me the question again, to answer to his question.

17 Q. Could you please tell me which month it was, the 12th of which

18 month, to be precise, for the transcript to be precise?

19 A. I didn't -- I didn't use the term "12th." I said that there were

20 Albanian citizens, nationals, in the NLA ranks.

21 Q. You stated that - that is in line 14: "I knew one of them who was

22 killed on the 12th."

23 A. I meant Brigade 112th, to make it clear for you.

24 Q. Very well. Thank you.

25 Do you see the map in front of you? You have it also in hard

Page 7761

1 copy.

2 A. Yes, I do. It's a map of Brigade 113.

3 Q. You stated that you have marked it.

4 A. [No interpretation]

5 Q. This is the territory under the control of the NLA in 2001?

6 A. Yes, this is what I said.

7 Q. This is the area around the city of Kumanovo.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. More specifically, it is the area to the west of Kumanovo. Is

10 that correct?

11 A. Yes. You can see that from the map.

12 Q. Considering that the map does not end with a blue line on the left

13 side, could you explain if this is the end or the border of the territory

14 that was under the control of the 112th Brigade; or, to be clearer, the

15 territory under the control of the 113th Brigade, did it extend beyond

16 this map, beyond where this map ends, or is interrupted?

17 A. You are saying on the left. Do you mean the western part of the

18 map? I didn't mark it. I marked only the eastern part which was engaged

19 in daily fighting with the army and the police forces. That must have

20 been marked by the General Staff of the army.

21 That's why NATO was happy with this line. Within this line, in

22 the west, there is the -- there is Brigade 113 and the newly established

23 112th Brigade. But for NATO, it was important to have the -- to have

24 marked the line where the monitors could observe the observance of

25 cease-fire.

Page 7762

1 Q. Do you see where the map ends on the left-hand side? It ends in

2 the left-hand side without any marking. Does it mean that also the

3 territory that cannot be seen in this map was under the control of the

4 NLA?

5 A. It can be seen in the operational plan, that I have submitted to

6 the Court, the location of the units and so on. But in this case, the aim

7 was to highlight the front line of the brigade and to set two borders:

8 The state border in the north and the south-western border of the brigade

9 as the zone of its responsibility.

10 Q. When you're talking about another map, that would be the map that

11 we had seen, together with the instructions, the one marked in yellow

12 where the territory under the NLA control was marked in yellow. Were you

13 referring to that one?

14 A. Yes. And I believe you know that in the north-western part, there

15 were units of the army of the Republic of Macedonia, units from the 1st

16 Brigade, which -- and also units from the police battalion in the

17 north-western part, which operated in the direction of Slupcane and

18 Orizare and these villages, during MX-1 and MX-2 and later operation

19 called Vaksince, trying to break up the defence line and get together.

20 But they failed to realise that during the fighting, so I have

21 marked the part or the area where our forces were deployed. The army must

22 have marked its own location in the north-western part and outside this

23 border. For me, it was important to mark the battery that was here, above

24 Alasec. I didn't mark the location of other forces because they were not

25 undertaking operations before the attack started from Kumanovo direction.

Page 7763

1 They always acted in cooperation with the operational tactical

2 group number 2. They were part of a tactical group number 1, but that is

3 a question of the use of forces. In this map, you see the outline of the

4 territory, the first part, and the lining of our units.

5 At the time NATO didn't ask us to give it details, because they

6 wanted this information to know about the cease-fire. They weren't

7 interested in further details related to the units, but only the area

8 under our responsibility. So NATO was content with the information

9 provided it with.

10 Q. Do you see in the lowest part of the map, in the lowest part on

11 the left-hand side, that the -- there is a marking with an interrupted

12 black and blue line? The black line consists of semi-circles.

13 A. That is done based on the rules, on the content of the maps.

14 May I answer the question, because sometimes I may hurry up

15 because I understand the language that the question is being put to me.

16 May I continue, Your Honour? I know very well the Macedonian

17 language, Your Honour, and sometimes I maybe hurry up in answering and

18 don't wait for the translation. I apologise for that.

19 The line that you are asking me is done in conformity with the

20 then rules on the drawing of the maps and represents the border of the

21 area of responsibility on the right side of the brigades that were

22 deployed there, 113 and 114.

23 Q. Does this line end here; or, if the map would continue, would the

24 line also continue following the same direction?

25 A. It's a question about which I make suppositions. You're asking me

Page 7764

1 whether the map would continue. The map doesn't continue, so that's the

2 information I've provided.

3 Q. I'm asking you whether the line, the line that I asked you about

4 previously, the one marked with intermittent black semi-circular and blue

5 lines, continues beyond this section of the map.

6 A. It would continue, depending on where the area of responsibility

7 of the brigade would be. It would normally continue on that line or in

8 that direction, but it would be a mere supposition. So I'm saying and

9 answering about things I have done in real terms, what I draw from the

10 general map, in consultation with the commander of Brigade 113.

11 Q. Do you have any other map where it is marked where this line would

12 continue?

13 A. Only on the map of operations, if it's there; but, otherwise, I'm

14 not sure.

15 Q. Do you have a map that you have marked, a map that you would have

16 had provided to NATO about the borders, the lines of delineation, in the

17 areas of Ljubanci and Ljuboten, since in this map here, we can see Matejce

18 that was under the control of the 113th Brigade and 114th Brigade.

19 A. I don't recall to have submitted any other map to NATO, other than

20 the current one. I don't remember.

21 I think I don't have given anything else; but to tell you the

22 truth, I don't remember. I know that I didn't work with many maps, also

23 because for -- for reasons of maintaining the secret of my duty.

24 Q. Do you see the city of Kumanovo in the map?

25 A. Yes, I do.

Page 7765

1 Q. Is it correct that the NLA was never waging a war to -- to conquer

2 Kumanovo?

3 A. It is correct that the NLA has been -- came so far to the line

4 that you see here until the cease-fire, and didn't undertake any operation

5 outside this line in the direction of Kumanovo.

6 Q. So the NLA never carried out combats to conquer the city of

7 Kumanovo?

8 A. Yes. Because for four months, the NLA reached as far as this

9 level, until it reached the cease-fire of the 6th of July, and it

10 respected the cease-fire and stopped at these positions.

11 Q. And is it true that the NLA never penetrated to the east [as

12 interpreted] of Kumanovo?

13 A. It is true --

14 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] I apologise the transcript is

15 incorrect. It should be to the "south-east" of Kumanovo.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can you please repeat the question

17 again?

18 I apologise for asking you to repeat it, but I want to understand

19 it properly in order to give you a right answer.

20 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Is it correct, as well, that the NLA never penetrated to the

22 south-east of Kumanovo.

23 A. I don't understand the word "penetrate" in Albanian.

24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: He is asking the

25 interpreter to interpret it again.

Page 7766

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The NLA penetrated until the

2 positions marked here, with the exception of Haracin from where the

3 battalion withdrew; but it didn't penetrate or didn't attack the other

4 parts.

5 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]

6 Q. So, the NLA had never under its control territory to the

7 south-east of Kumanovo?

8 A. No, not in the south-east of Kumanovo.

9 Q. Thank you.

10 A. [No interpretation]

11 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown

12 P515, page 2.

13 Q. Do you see the map in front of you?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. You stated that the intermittent line marks the area that was

16 potentially under the NLA Brigade 116th, and the uninterrupted line marks

17 the area that was under the control of the 116th Brigade of the NLA. Do

18 you recall that?

19 A. Yes, I recall that, this is what I said. The intermittent line

20 shows the possible area of responsibility because there were weapons

21 stations a little bit far for security reasons, and then -- and then there

22 is the area where the brigade was concentrated.

23 Q. Do you see the village of Dobri Dol in the map. It is in the

24 upper right-hand corner.

25 A. In the north-east, yes, Dobri Dol; if we are speaking of the same

Page 7767

1 place.

2 Q. Yes. We're speaking about the same place.

3 A. Near Pozaran [phoen], yes.

4 Q. Is it correct that Dobri Dol was not under the NLA control in

5 2001?

6 A. Everything that is situated outside the marking were not under NLA

7 control. Dobri Dol, too - I think it is part of Gostivar commune - that,

8 too, was not part.

9 I have to look at the other maps. I don't know maybe it is

10 included in the or maps; but seemingly, it wasn't.

11 Q. And it is correct that in the areas marked as the potential and as

12 the actual area under the control of the 116th Brigade, there is no city.

13 A. Yes, you can see it. You can see it on the map.

14 Q. Is it correct -- could you tell me -- I apologise. I will reframe

15 my question.

16 Is it correct that the area in Skopska Crna Gora mountain, to the

17 north of Skopje, was not comprised in the maps that you provided to the

18 ICTY investigators as areas under the NLA control?

19 A. I have submitted the maps that are now in front of me. These are

20 the only ones I have submitted. Karadak, Montenegro, Skopje are notions,

21 describing or representing a broader territory. I concentrated my answer

22 on the fact that I gave these maps, and that the territory marked on them

23 show where the NLA, its respective brigades or parts thereof or

24 battalions, had their control. That was the summary of the answer to your

25 question.

Page 7768

1 Q. Did the ICTY investigators ask you to mark in the map the area

2 around Ljubanci and Ljuboten that was under the NLA control?

3 A. No, sir. I think you are pushing me to make some mistakes. When

4 I was asked from the Tribunal, I gave them these maps, the same ones that

5 we gave to NATO, and this is the territory that was under our control.

6 If you are -- if you are pushing me towards making some errors,

7 and including Ljuboten, Ljubanci, and I don't know what, I don't think

8 that's the right way to put questions to me, because I think your aim is

9 to make me go into the wrong alley.

10 I kindly ask you to ask the questions in a clearer form, so that I

11 can give you the right answers to them.

12 Q. I apologise if you're thinking that I'm trying to mislead you, but

13 I think that I asked you -- that I'm asking you straightforward questions

14 and I expect that you can answer to, and that you are the person who knows

15 those answers best.

16 Is it correct, as well, that the NATO forces, when you were

17 disarming, did not ask you to mark in the map what was the territory

18 around Skopje that was under the NLA control?

19 A. They didn't asked us to mark anything else other than the

20 territory where the brigades were stationed, in their positions. NATO and

21 others, who were part of the monitoring group, allowed -- were happy with

22 this map because that enabled them to follow up whether the cease-fire was

23 respected, to identify the places that might have been violated.

24 At this time, I gave them the maps after I was consulted with the

25 brigade commanders, and then the same maps I gave also to these

Page 7769

1 commanders, for them to know to abide by the cease-fire because that was

2 the main issue at the time for the NLA, because we had to -- talks had to

3 start on the political agreement on the interruption of fighting and

4 establishment of peace in the Republic of Macedonia.

5 That was the reason why NATO asked us to give it these maps which

6 we tried to be as precise as possible in representing the territory under

7 the command of the brigades, then the front line, and on the right side or

8 the south-west, the area of operation, the border of its area of operation

9 in the case of 113 and 114 Brigade.

10 Q. So you mean to say that the NATO forces were interested in the

11 entire area, in the territory in Macedonia under the NLA control, apart

12 from the area around the capital, Skopje. Is that your evidence?

13 A. No, that is not. What I'm saying is that they wanted us to

14 provide them with a map with the markings that would identify the

15 territory in which the brigades of the NLA had established their

16 authority. They did not mention Skopje. They asked for the above.

17 That's why, in these pieces of maps, I marked the positions where the NLA,

18 at the time, was stationed.

19 I will repeat myself again. This was in line with the

20 preparations for the cease-fire, and that's why we didn't put all the

21 details on these maps because we didn't know, at the time, whether the

22 cease-fire would result in a political agreement, and that's why there was

23 a need to safeguard the notes that would depict in more details the

24 positions of the NLA.

25 Q. Did -- was the village of Tanusevci under the control of the NLA?

Page 7770

1 A. As I said, the 1st ARM Brigade was operating in that area.

2 Q. Could you please answer shortly with "yes" or "no."

3 A. This is a very delicate issue. I cannot answer to it either with

4 "yes" or "no."

5 I will repeat myself again that, in that area, the first special

6 brigade, the Skorpians, was operating there of the ARM, and there was a

7 special platoon of the border units and perhaps some units of the military

8 police. This is what I'm telling, that on that part that you're

9 mentioning here, these were the forces operating.

10 Q. But did you not answer to my question: Was the village of

11 Tanusevci under the control of the NLA?

12 A. I think that at the time, no.

13 Q. In 2001, was the village of Tanusevci under the control of the

14 NLA?

15 A. The beginning of the uprising is there, then the ARM forces

16 intervened and Tanuse remained, to my recollection, under the control of

17 the ARM forces.

18 Q. In what time was the village of -- or from which month was the

19 village of Tanusevci under the control of the ARM?

20 A. It was the 12th, the day, but I don't remember the month. I will

21 tell you of the case. It was when the ARM forces undertook --

22 Q. May I remind you, may I refresh your memory. Was this perhaps the

23 month of February?

24 A. On the 16th of February, they intervened; but then, again, they

25 went out to the border, met with the KFOR forces. I don't remember the

Page 7771

1 month. I know that the day is 12th. So maybe it is 12th of April, but

2 I'm not sure. The forces of this brigade then remained on that part;

3 while on the 16th of February, there were clashes in Tanuse. However, I

4 was not there at the time. This was reported through the media as an

5 event that marked the beginning of the armed clashes.

6 Q. And you, as the Chief of the General Staff, you can't tell me when

7 you held the village from which your uprising began under control and when

8 the Macedonian security forces held this village under control?

9 A. All I'm saying to you, sir, is that when the MX-1 operation

10 commenced, from that time, these forces began to act on the back of 112th

11 Brigade. I enumerated the forces that were stationed there.

12 As for the exact date when these forces entered Tanuse, that I

13 don't remember.

14 Q. Is it correct that, to the investigators of the OTP, you did not

15 give the map for the area under the control of the NLA in the area of

16 Skopje, because the village of Ljuboten is marked as a village under the

17 control of the NLA?

18 A. You are again trying to mislead me, sir. This is not true. The

19 NLA units were never in Ljuboten.

20 Q. Is it correct that no map has marked the area of -- under the

21 control of the 111th Brigade, because such a brigade did not exist?

22 A. Physically as such, as an operative brigade, it did not function

23 that way. The people were known. Their leader was known, but they were

24 in their own houses because the cease-fire came into force. Our aim was

25 not to create tension. Our aim was for everything to end in a political

Page 7772

1 agreement and to put an end to the war.

2 Q. Members of the 111th Brigade lived in their houses. This is your

3 evidence?

4 A. Yes. But they had their persons in charge.

5 Q. Did they keep their weapons in their homes?

6 A. I don't know what they had in their homes. I and the General

7 Staff made efforts to secure anti-tank weapons because that part, the

8 Kercove part, was a part where there was constant movement of armoured

9 vehicles, but we didn't manage to cross them over. These would have been

10 the weapons that we would provide them with.

11 However, the cease-fire came into force, things improved, the

12 Ohrid Agreement was signed, and there was no need to activate that

13 brigade.

14 Q. Where were the warehouses for the weapons of the 111th Brigade?

15 A. The 111th Brigade would have looked for support from 116 Brigade

16 in the beginning; and, of course, later on, procurement would have taken

17 place. As I said already, I didn't manage to provide them weapons. I

18 don't know for each and every member of them, I only knew the -- their

19 leaders.

20 Q. Did each member of the NLA have personal weaponry, a personal

21 weapon?

22 A. Which persons are you referring to? Those that were in their

23 homes or those at positions? I want to be chore on your question.

24 Q. I'm asking you about all members of the NLA of the 111th, 112th,

25 113th, 114th, 115th, and 116th Brigade?

Page 7773

1 A. As for 111th, that I can not say, because they were not

2 activated. They were in their homes.

3 As for the other brigades that I provided the positions of 112th

4 to 116th, they had weapons, but we did not manage to provide each and

5 every member with a weapon. So a selection took place; for example, the

6 cooks remained without weapons. For example, for an 82-millimetre mortar,

7 you need eight persons. These persons were not provided with personal

8 weapons because they were positioned in the rear, and they were defended

9 and protected by the forces on the first front line.

10 Again, part of the soldiers in the training centres, they were not

11 provided with weapons because, first, they had to undergo training, to get

12 the uniforms, to start their military education. So they used one, two,

13 three, or four weapons, to the extent they could, to do the shooting

14 training; and, then, as the procurement occurred, that's how they were

15 furnished with weapons.

16 Then, the doctors, the health department, the nurses, they also

17 were not provided with personal weapons due to the lack of them.

18 Q. Did the other brigades also have inactive members, the 112th,

19 113th, 114th, 115th, 116th?

20 A. I do not receive a good interpretation. Could you please repeat

21 the question? I know the Macedonian language, and this is in contrary to

22 what is said because the NLA did not have reservists. It had volunteers,

23 and we had no idea how many volunteers will come to join in each and every

24 brigade.

25 So the logistic department also dealt with the personnel issue of

Page 7774

1 the brigades and looked after avoiding too many volunteers joining at the

2 same time because providing them with weapons would occur as a problem.

3 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown

4 P487, received in evidence. Can we please zoom in on the map, upper

5 middle part. Yes, this part.

6 Can we zoom in further, please, the area around Skopje. It's in

7 the middle of the map. Can we zoom in on this, please. A little bit

8 further up. No. Can we just have the whole map up a little.

9 Could we zoom in the central area which is marked with yellow.

10 Yes, this is it. Thank you.

11 Q. Your evidence before this Chamber was that the areas marked with

12 yellow were under the control of the NLA. Do you recall this?

13 A. Yes, on the north-western part.

14 Q. I see here the road, the highway Skopje-Velice marked in yellow.

15 Was the highway under your control?

16 A. No, no. The yellow colour here is of the map itself. You can see

17 the same yellow in other areas.

18 Q. Was the area north of Skopje, marked here, was under the control

19 of the NLA?

20 A. No. It is the way it is marked. It's very small, but it was up

21 to Haracin; then after the withdrawal of Haracin, the line moves to

22 Mojance; and then from Mojance, you can see the border, the right-hand

23 side border of the brigade, that goes up north.

24 In fact, this is what I gave NATO, and it can be better seen in

25 these conditions. Haracin is not depicted here because with -- we

Page 7775

1 withdrew from Haracin. So you're allowed to mark with an "X" those

2 locations that you lost or you withdraw from. So this map that we

3 provided NATO with had to be accurate, because otherwise the monitors

4 would find themselves in an awkward position.

5 Q. You told us that NATO was not interested in the areas around

6 Skopje, and they did not ask you to mark a map about NLA control around

7 Skopje.

8 A. No, sir. Maybe this is the way you understood my questions [as

9 interpreted].

10 What I said was NATO asked us to mark on the map the territory

11 where the NLA had established its authority. Based on this request,

12 launched by Peter Feith and addressed to Ali Ahmeti, I worked on these

13 maps. I marked them, NATO collected them.

14 And, of course, when they compared them with the maps they were

15 provided with by the ARM, there were no remarks on part of NATO, with the

16 exception of the units that were inside the territory. As I already

17 mentioned, on the north-west, there were forces of the army; then in

18 Popova Shapka, there were also ARM units.

19 So this was sufficient for the monitors to be able to carry out

20 their duties. So whenever there was a movement away from this line, as it

21 happened on the 25th and 26th of July, Mr. Ali Ahmeti gave an order for

22 the NLA forces to withdraw from their intervention in Tetovo-Jezince road.

23 So these maps were the basis for safeguarding the cease-fire.

24 So the requests of the monitors to both parties was to respect

25 this border-line. There were problems also on part of the police and the

Page 7776

1 ARM, but we are talking of the territories that are marked on this map.

2 Q. Is it correct that Ljuboten is also marked in yellow as being

3 under the control of the NLA on this map?

4 A. I cannot see that. What I know is that Ljuboten was never under

5 the control of National Liberation Army.

6 Last time, I called on these maps, too, because these maps are

7 exact maps. So the same positions should be both on the operational map

8 and on these maps. But on the operational one there are other colours,

9 and it is quite possible for this colours to be mixed up.

10 But it is how it was in reality in the map that I provided in the

11 end.

12 Q. Is it correct that, according to this map, Tanusevci also is

13 marked as territory under the control of the NLA?

14 A. This is how I depicted Kodra i Diellit, or Popova Shapka, 112th

15 Brigade.

16 Q. I'm asking you about Tanusevci.

17 A. This is how it is depicted on that map because I was getting ready

18 to go to the east of Kumanovo, not to the west, because we were expecting

19 risk. Those forces there would have remained isolated if the forces went

20 towards the east of Skopje, towards Mali i Thate. So we had to prepare

21 for the future. Our aim was not to fight against those forces because

22 that would have caused a blood bath.

23 Q. Can you respond to my question, whether it is correct that on this

24 map, Tanusevci is marked as a territory under the control of the NLA?

25 A. I already said that the entire area, as I've depicted it in

Page 7777

1 yellow, at that time I was not thinking that we will come here to The

2 Hague and discuss each village individually. So the idea of this map was

3 to show where the NLA was holding ground and which direction it should

4 take. Had I known at the time that I would come here to testify, I would

5 have included more details.

6 But now after six years, we're talking for several days on these

7 issues. There are many dates, many issues mentioned. So you should also

8 consider the fact that I'm a human, too, and it is difficult for me, too,

9 to remember every date and every detail that are maybe required today here

10 in this courtroom.

11 Q. This map then is not truthful. Is this correct?

12 A. How can it not be truthful? When you have a map, you have an

13 operation planned, you have the task written on it, it has a stamp, a

14 signature, and this map would be followed. But myself and everyone in the

15 NLA were happy that this plan was not implemented and that things ended in

16 a political agreement with the signing of the Ohrid Agreement.

17 Q. Are -- is -- are the information on this map incorrect?

18 A. To me, these markings of -- on the map were enough to prepare this

19 operation. I prepared it for the level of the NLA, for our abilities,

20 mental and physical. This is how it was. Of course, the forces of the

21 Tactical Group 1 on the north are not marked in the 112th Brigade because,

22 at the time, I didn't deem them important.

23 Q. Is it correct that the information regarding the areas marked in

24 yellow were under -- as being under the control of the NLA is incorrect?

25 A. In order to be precise, I gave NATO these other maps so that the

Page 7778

1 full picture was there, that everything was clear which was this

2 territory. So the map was aimed at organising an operation. At the time,

3 I didn't give this map to NATO. I only gave them the maps that were --

4 that had on them marked the current positions, and I gave them these maps

5 on the 5th of July.

6 Q. Very well. Thank you for your answer regarding the maps.

7 Oftentimes, in your evidence, you called upon the book of

8 Petrovski, and you assess it as giving a reliable assessment of the

9 situation in Macedonia in 2001. Do you recall this?

10 A. Yes, I recall that. I have mentioned him several times.

11 Q. Have you read also the book, "War in Macedonia" by Mitre Arsovksi

12 and Damjanovski?

13 A. Not only that I read it, but I published a book as a critical

14 review of that book. In my book, I have laid out my views and criticism

15 on this collective book, "The War in Macedonia 2001." In other words, I'm

16 well familiar with this book.

17 Q. You critique this book as having a lot of untruthfulness in it.

18 Is this correct?

19 A. The way I have written it, it embodied my belief.

20 Q. But are your beliefs such that this book contains a lot of

21 untruth, a lot of untruthful things?

22 A. The book contains political views and stance which were not put

23 forward in a scientific manner as they should have been. One of the

24 reasons for that is that the outcomes of what was happening in Macedonia

25 are described by those gentlemen as causes that caused the damage to

Page 7779

1 democracy in Macedonia; that is, the protest of Albanians, the demands of

2 Albanians, everything they did from a long time ago, the demands for

3 university in Albanian language, their demands for respect for their

4 national symbols.

5 All these things are decked out there as causes that -- that

6 destroyed the state of Macedonia. In fact, they are not causes. They are

7 outcomes which came about as a result of the violation of human rights and

8 freedoms of Albanians in Macedonia, beginning with their expulsion or

9 being -- beginning with their being left out of the constitution of 1991;

10 being described as non-constituent elements; and, in continuum, using the

11 police against them in Bit Pazar, for example; or their refusal to have a

12 pedagogical --

13 Q. I apologise, may I interrupt you?

14 A. You asked me, and I am supposed to answer your question.

15 Q. I think I asked a straightforward question so I expect a brief

16 answer.

17 A. You can repeat your question. I'm very well familiar with the

18 book. Ask me the question in that way so that it requires a short answer

19 from me.

20 Q. Are there many things in that book that are untrue, in your

21 opinion, yes or no?

22 A. I can't say "yes" or "no" to your question, but I might have

23 divided it in this way.

24 The political part of the book is full of untruths when it comes

25 to the part that speaks about the possibilities for mobilisation where the

Page 7780

1 authors refer to the diary of the General Staff of the RA and all these

2 things, than they refer to facts. I cannot -- army can say anything

3 against that part [as interpreted].

4 Q. And when they described the NLA as a gang of criminals and

5 terrorists, is that correct? Is that part correct, that part of the

6 book?

7 A. Oh, no. It cannot be correct and true. They not only describe

8 the NLA as a gang, as you are saying, but this is a description they apply

9 to the entire Albanian population in Macedonia as a backward hostile

10 population that doesn't like the Republic of Macedonia, then they say this

11 is the fault of the government that has allowed the emergence of Albanian

12 political parties and allowed them to act in this way and so on.

13 For a book which has about 300 pages --

14 Q. [No interpretation] ?

15 A. Allow me to finish my question [as interpretation], please.

16 JUDGE PARKER: I just intervene, sir. You are making what is

17 essentially now a very extensive political speech, rather than answering a

18 fairly confined question. The question can be answered shortly, giving

19 the essence of what you're saying, without having to give the full detail,

20 and I think it would help our timing and help the progress of the

21 questioning if you were able to do that.

22 Now, that will not deny you the opportunity of giving the essence

23 of your view about a matter, but it will mean that you need not go into

24 any full and expansive development whenever you're asked a relatively

25 straightforward question, which is what is happening at the moment.

Page 7781

1 So, please, Mr. Apostolski.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. I'll try

3 to do as you are instructing me.

4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

5 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]

6 Q. I would go back to the issues related to the NLA disarmament and

7 its stash of weapons.

8 Is it correct that all NLA members were disarmed in the Operation

9 Harvest organised by NATO?

10 A. I think, yes, even though the conditions were difficult.

11 Q. And when you say "disarmament," you refer to the weapons that the

12 NLA members surrendered.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Did the NLA members surrender also their uniforms?

15 A. No, they did not. The Essential Harvest aimed only at collecting

16 weapons, not uniforms; and, if they did so, they ought to be left without

17 anything on.

18 Q. Very well. Thank you.

19 Your organisation, the NLA, was not the signatory to the Ohrid

20 political agreement. The signatories were the Macedonian and Albanian

21 politicians. Is that correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Imer Imeri from the PDP and Arben Xhaferi from the DPA were the

24 signatories to the Ohrid Framework Agreement as representatives of the

25 Albanian parties?

Page 7782

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. But they were not representing the organisation, NLA. Is that

3 correct?

4 A. Based on the Prizren agreement, they represented also the NLA and

5 its opinion. They kept constant contact with its political leader.

6 Q. Is it correct that Arben Xhaferi was the president of the DPA in

7 2001, while Menduh Thaci was the vice-president of DPA?

8 A. Arben Xhaferi, I remember him as the chairman of Democratic Party

9 of Albanians, and I don't know who the deputy chairman was.

10 Q. You stated that you had meetings with the representatives of the

11 Albanian parties, and they fully supported your organisation, the NLA. Is

12 that your evidence?

13 A. They signed the Ohrid Framework Agreement, and I'm testifying,

14 based on this agreement, because they supported the NLA demands.

15 Q. They supported you also in terms of the means by which you wanted

16 to achieve your goals, greater rights for the Albanian in Macedonia. Is

17 that correct?

18 A. Which means are you talking about? I am not clear.

19 Q. They supported you also in the way -- regarding the way in which

20 you wanted to achieve your goals, greater rights for the Albanian in

21 Macedonia, through an uprising?

22 A. When meetings started, the uprising was ongoing, and the NLA - at

23 least the way I know it - was fighting on the ground. Based on the

24 contacts I had with it, we came up to the Prizren agreement. They didn't

25 deny our demands but signed the Prizren agreement, which embodied a common

Page 7783

1 stand on the political actions of these parties and of the NLA in the

2 future.

3 Q. Did they support your uprising?

4 A. Since they signed an agreement with us, of course they did,

5 because it was supported by the entire population.

6 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown

7 65 ter 2D415.

8 Q. This is a statement by Menduh Thaci, vice-president of the DPA, in

9 2001; published in the Dnevnik daily newspaper on the 30th of January

10 2007. The English translation is a draft translation organised by the

11 Defence.

12 And it states: "I learned informally that the anonymous Kosovar,

13 in the meeting between Xhaferi, Dzindzik, Georgievski, was Hasim Taci.

14 But, of course, he is not mentioning his name because this could have

15 lasting consequences on Ahmeti. The partition of Macedonia is promised in

16 the first -- five communiques of NLA, whose commander was Ahmeti. In the

17 conversation, we had myself, Arben Xhaferi Musa Xhaferi, and Ali Ahmeti.

18 He insisted that we that the Albanians should organise a little bit more,

19 and they should take the wheat barn, Pelagonija; and then we should

20 separate from Macedonia and destroy the state.

21 "'He will have seriously prepare to be held responsible for the

22 court for slander,' Thaci said. Regarding Thaci's accusation that

23 VRMO-DPMNE and DPA are advocating the division of Macedonia, the deputy

24 president of the DPA says: 'Ahmeti is threatening with another war. If he

25 wishes to try yet another adventure of that kind, he will face a fierce

Page 7784

1 response of the Albanians in Macedonia, Kosovo, and Albania.'

2 "'The culprit for the victims we suffered is Ali Ahmeti,' accused

3 Thaci."

4 A. You didn't tell me where you were reading from, so that I could

5 trade for myself because I know Macedonian. The interpreter didn't read

6 everything because you were reading very fast. So can you please indicate

7 to me where you were reading from, so that I can read it for myself.

8 Q. It starts with: "I understood informally." [Macedonian spoken].

9 It is in on the lower part of the page.

10 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we zoom in on the lower

11 part of the page, and now towards the middle of the page.

12 A. Can you zoom it in, please.

13 Q. Have you read the text?

14 A. Which year is it?

15 Q. This is 30th of January, 2007, and it speaks about the events in

16 2001.

17 MS. REGUE: Your Honour.

18 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Regue.

19 MS. REGUE: From my understanding of the reading that my learned

20 colleague has just put forward, with regards to the meeting that Ali

21 Ahmeti had, I don't think that it's quite clear whether the meeting took

22 place in 2001 or in 2007, at least from the reading that I have.

23 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could you allow me -- if you

24 would allow me to continue asking my questions, it will become clearer,

25 since my next question would show the witness the upper part of the

Page 7785

1 document, which starts with: "The adventure of the private gang of Ali

2 Ahmeti of 2001."

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What is your question? What are you

4 asking me about? Can you please ask the question?

5 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] I'm not receiving the

6 translation.

7 Q. Is it clear from this that the DPA was not supporting you and the

8 political parties were not supporting you in 2001, in your so-called

9 uprising, which is the opposite of what you gave as your evidence?

10 A. This is something that is done for political ends. This is a race

11 between political parties. What this gentleman mentions here is, on one

12 hand, he says what he says here; on the other hand, they work for the

13 solution during the campaign and now for submitting a war on -- a law on

14 the war veterans, the families of the martyrs.

15 There is a disagreement between what he says and what he actually

16 does. I don't know what to say with respect to this are you putting me.

17 Ali Ahmeti is no longer the leader of the NLA. He is a chairman of a

18 political party in the Republic of Macedonia, and the political fight

19 among parties goes on.

20 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, would this be the

21 convenient time for the break?

22 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.

23 We resume at five past 11.00.

24 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.

25 --- On resuming at 11.08 a.m.

Page 7786

1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.

2 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I was

3 afraid something was happening behind me. I was wondering what was going

4 on.

5 Can the witness please be shown 65 ter 2945 --

6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 2D415.

7 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Witness Ostreni, regarding the events in 2001, Mr. Menduh Thaci

9 says that...

10 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] If you can focus on the upper

11 part.

12 Q. ... that: "This was an adventure of the private company of Ali

13 Ahmeti in 2001, which resulted in the document for Kosovo." Now the word

14 "independence" does not appear.

15 "... Accused yesterday, Menduh Thaci, deputy president of the

16 DPA. He announced that the leader of the DPA, Arben Xhaferi, will sue

17 Ahmeti for defamation published in the interview in Dnevnik daily. That

18 Xhaferi, Ljubco Georgievski, Zoran Djindjic, and the representative from

19 Kosovo discussed the partition of the region in 2001. Thaci yesterday

20 stated that Ahmeti is the one who wanted to partition Macedonia."

21 Is it correct, Witness Ostreni, that your organisation, the NLA,

22 did not have the support of the Albanian political party DPA in 2001 and

23 from other Albanians as well?

24 A. It is not true. I don't agree with this.

25 Q. Is it also correct that the goal of your organisation, led by

Page 7787

1 Ahmeti, wanted to partition Macedonia?

2 A. It is not true.

3 Q. Your evidence is that you staged an uprising for rights and for

4 changing the constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.

5 A. I never said that I staged this uprising. I only said that I

6 joined it in order to contribute to the realisation of the rights and

7 freedoms of the Albanians in Macedonia.

8 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I seek to tender

9 document 65 ter 2D415 into evidence.

10 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Regue.

11 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, I will object on the basis that this

12 witness has not -- has no knowledge and, actually, didn't confirm the

13 veracity and accuracy what is written in this document. Basically, that

14 the Albanian political parties didn't support the NLA, and also that the

15 aim of the NLA was the partition of Macedonia. He cannot testify on the

16 accuracy and veracity of these statements.

17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.

18 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness stated

19 that his organisation, the NLA, had the support from the Albanian

20 political parties in 2001, and the text here shows that this is contrary

21 to the statement.

22 [Trial Chamber confers]

23 JUDGE PARKER: The document will not be received, Mr. Apostolski.

24 If you want to show what the views of critical people or organisations

25 were in 2001, you may need to call those, rather than some press

Page 7788

1 announcement in 2007 in a very political context.

2 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Very well.

3 Q. Witness Ostreni, on page 47605 [as interpreted] of this transcript

4 of 12th November, 2007, you stated that the ambassador of the United

5 Kingdom supported you, and he said that he would feel insulted if he were

6 an Albanian living in Macedonia. Do you recall this?

7 A. I didn't say in 2007; I said in 2001. That statement is published

8 in the Fakti newspaper, and it can carries also a photo of the

9 distinguished ambassador.

10 Q. The ambassador of the United Kingdom, in the Republic of

11 Macedonia, in 2001, was Mark Dickinson. Is this correct?

12 A. I don't remember his name. I only know that it was published in

13 Fakti along with his photo, and you can check it out with that newspaper.

14 I have it in my computer, but I am here in the quality of a witness and

15 have to resort to my memory.

16 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] If the witness can please be

17 shown 2D71, Exhibit 2D71. It's a video-clip.

18 This is an interview with Mr. Mark Dickinson, Ambassador of the

19 United Kingdom to the Republic of Macedonia, in 2001.

20 Can we please play it from the beginning. This interview is led

21 in the English language, and it has subtitles in Macedonian.

22 [Videotape played]

23 JUDGE PARKER: We seem to have no sound.

24 [Videotape played]

25 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Can we please go to the

Page 7789

1 beginning.

2 [Videotape played]

3 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] The interview is given at the

4 beginning of May 2001, after the killing of eight members of the

5 Macedonian security forces in Vejce.

6 Q. Is it correct that, in effect, your organisation, the NLA, did not

7 have the support of the ambassador of the United Kingdom, which is

8 contrary to your evidence?

9 A. If what is published in the Fakti newspaper is wrong, then I'm

10 wrong, too. I have the newspaper, and you can check it out with it.

11 Q. But from this statement, it is clearly evident that the ambassador

12 points to the fact that the NLA does not have the support of the Albanian

13 population. Is this correct?

14 A. I do not deny what Mr. Ambassador is saying. I mean, this is what

15 he said.

16 Q. Very well. Thank you.

17 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have another

18 question for this witness. It would be more of a general nature.

19 Q. Witness, according to you, if a given country, a people, do not

20 believe that they're not entitled to rights, they do not have certain

21 rights, an uprising would achieve the goal of gaining these rights and

22 changing the constitution.

23 A. I didn't say that it would achieve its right, but the uprising is

24 a fact, and we have to analyse the causes that led to it. It ended with

25 the signing of the Ohrid Framework Agreement.

Page 7790

1 Q. Would it be -- since you know the situation in Kosovo, would it be

2 in good order if the rights of the Serbs were not respected, that they

3 should stage an uprising. Would you justify this?

4 A. You're asking me a question and ask me to comment on it. I don't

5 know if I should do that, Your Honours.

6 I think that all the citizens of Kosova should be guaranteed equal

7 rights and not be given any cause for an uprising by anyone.

8 Q. But you justify the force as a means for gaining a certain right.

9 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Regue.

10 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, I believe that my colleague is putting

11 some words in the mouth of this witness that he didn't testify about it.

12 JUDGE PARKER: Once again, that may well be true, Ms. Regue, but I

13 doubt very much whether words could be put into the mouth of this witness

14 by anyone. He knows well how to express his view.

15 Carry on, Mr. Apostolski, but you may, in fact, have been

16 suggesting answers.

17 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Can you respond to my previous question?

19 A. Can you please repeat it? I'm afraid I don't remember it very

20 well.

21 Q. Do you justify the use of force as a means for realisation of

22 rights?

23 A. No. I do not justify it, and I think that attainment of rights

24 should be done in a democratic way. I believe that every state should do

25 its duty to abide by international norms and by Euro-Atlantic standards,

Page 7791

1 so that things do not come to that serious state.

2 Q. Since you know well the constitution of the Republic of Macedonia,

3 is it correct that in order to change the constitution of the Republic of

4 Macedonia, it is sufficient that initiative of that kind be submitted by

5 150.000 citizens, that this is a lawful procedure by which they can

6 initiate a change in the constitution?

7 A. Firstly, I want to say that I'm not very well familiar with the

8 constitution of Macedonia, because I'm not a lawyer by profession.

9 Secondly, I can't to say that when the Republic of Macedonia

10 constitution was submitted to parliament for approval, the Albanian

11 members didn't vote in favour it - it was in 1991 - because it was

12 discriminating the Albanians.

13 And whenever issues were put forward for solutions to

14 democraticise the life and guarantee freedoms and rights of the Albanians,

15 the Albanian deputies in parliament were outvoted by the Macedonian

16 members. Therefore, the process developed as it was.

17 Q. Were you a member of parliament from 2002 to 2006? Is this

18 correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And you said that there was a proposal for passing a law on

21 pension for NLA fighters. Do you recall this?

22 A. It was not at that time. The proposal was made recently. I don't

23 recall that a proposal was actually made. There were attempts made, but

24 not an actual proposal.

25 Only now a proposal has been put in place, and it has been seen

Page 7792

1 also by the European Union -- or it was seen in context of European Union

2 standards, and it is expected to be discussed further.

3 Q. Although, for four years, your party was in power together with

4 the SDSM political party, you did not initiate this question and you did

5 not pass this law, by which, as you also said, would serve as yet another

6 confirmation that this was a regular and proper army?

7 A. I do not agree with the word you put to me, "your army," and as a

8 "regular" army, because they are former members or soldiers of the NLA

9 which was disarmed and demobilised, and that efforts are being made to

10 employ these people in the Republic of Macedonia.

11 At that time that we were in power, the Democratic Union for

12 Integrity, we tried to table important draft laws in conformity with Ohrid

13 Agreement and the constitution. Actually, we tabled a large number of

14 proposals, but this law -- this draft was not submitted.

15 Q. Thank you, Witness Ostreni, for your comprehensive answers to my

16 questions. I have no further questions for you.

17 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps I did not

18 keep my promise that I would finish with this witness by the end of the

19 first session, but I believe I'm only a little bit in delay.

20 Thank you very much.

21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Apostolski.

22 Ms. Regue.

23 MS. REGUE: I believe that my colleague from the Defence wanted to

24 tender the documents, or we can do it at the end, as Your Honour wish.

25 JUDGE PARKER: You remind me. Thank you for that matter.

Page 7793

1 Yes, Mr. Mettraux.

2 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour, and thank you to Ms. Regue.

3 Your Honour, there is approximately ten or 11 documents which we

4 would seek to tender.

5 The first such documents was Rule 65 ter 1D1044. This is a

6 document which was received from an embassy here in The Hague, and it

7 comes from the department of defence of that particular country. The date

8 of the document, then, is the 27th of June of 2001, and it talks in

9 particular of two issues which we put to the witness. The first one was a

10 statement contained in this document that the NLA group hid out in

11 predominantly Albanian villages surrounding Skopje. The other aspect of

12 this document which was put to the witness was the structure,

13 organisation, and operational aspects of the organisation.

14 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Regue.

15 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, we will object to this proposal, first

16 because the witness didn't corroborate the content of the document. He

17 cannot testify to the accuracy and the veracity.

18 And, Your Honour, if we read actually the first paragraph of this

19 document, it says: "Warning: This is an information report, not finally

20 evaluated intelligence." That also brings some question about the

21 reliability of the information contained in this document.

22 MR. METTRAUX: Perhaps, briefly, Your Honour, if I may. I think

23 the second issue is a fair one, if I may say so, by the Prosecution that

24 it may indeed be an issue of weight since the author of that document has

25 not been called, but that would be the case, Your Honour, with respect of

Page 7794

1 any such document, including many tendered by the Prosecution.

2 Considering -- concerning, I apologise, the first point, the

3 absence of corroboration by the witness, this is the very point of

4 tendering this document, Your Honour. This document, which was provided

5 to us, shows what we believe was the reality of the situation at the time

6 within the NLA, and one which we say is contrary to the evidence given by

7 this witness.

8 JUDGE PARKER: Can I ask: Are you seeking to tender this document

9 as proof of the truth of its content, or merely because it was a document

10 that you put to the witness?

11 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, perhaps the answer is twofold. We've

12 indicated some difficulties at the beginning of the evidence of this

13 witness, in particular in regard to obtaining information as pertain to

14 the internal functioning of the organisation. We believe this document to

15 be reliable because of the origin of that document.

16 We also believe, having put other documents to the witness,

17 including a Jane's article, including through Mr. Bezruchenko a report of

18 ICJ and similar report, that this -- the information which is contained in

19 that document is reliable, perhaps not on its own, but that it is

20 corroborated and is corroborative of other information that has been led

21 in this trial.

22 So to answer your question, we would, in fact, seek to tender this

23 document both in regard to the truth of its content as regard the

24 organisation of the organisation, and in relation to the credibility, or

25 otherwise, of the evidence given by the witness on that point.

Page 7795

1 [Trial Chamber confers]

2 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber has had some discussion about this

3 matter, Mr. Mettraux, because there are some fairly fundamental lines of

4 principle that have to be considered, and it may be that we have not been

5 entirely consistent throughout the trial in respect to some of these,

6 because the issues are sometimes presented quite differently with quite

7 different degrees of reaction by the witness to the content of the

8 document.

9 But in a case such as the present, the Chamber is persuaded that

10 the proper course to follow is not to receive this document. It is a

11 document, although coming from the records of a government which was

12 actively involved in the region, where the creator of the document and the

13 sources used by the creator are entirely unknown. So to use the document

14 itself of proof of facts, in the Chamber's view, is getting beyond a

15 matter of mere weight. It's getting to the point where this is just no

16 demonstrative basis for reliability sufficient to justify its admission.

17 Insofar as its content as being the subject to a specific comment

18 in evidence by the witness, that is entirely and fully produced in the

19 transcript record of that questioning, so that the document itself does

20 not take the matter further.

21 So, in those circumstances, and for the reasons briefly indicated,

22 we would not receive this document.

23 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour.

24 The next document which we will seek to tender is Rule 65 ter

25 1D116. Your Honour will recall this is a statement made by the President

Page 7796

1 of the United States, George W. Bush, on the 14th of August of 2001, and

2 it followed a telephone conversation which President Bush had with

3 President Trajkovski.

4 The document was put to the witness in relation to two particular

5 matter. One was the evidence given by the witness about the significance,

6 in particular, of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. A proposition was put to

7 him that, contrary to the suggestion of putting an end to a conflict, the

8 Ohrid Framework Agreement was actually one to avert a war, which is the

9 content of this document.

10 The other matter to which we say this document is or may be

11 relevant is insofar as it is another indication of state practice, insofar

12 as the circumstances of what was happening in the Republic of Macedonia is

13 concerned, in particular, as regard the fact that this document, as many

14 others, indicate the view that the NLA was never regarded as being a party

15 to an armed conflict or that the situation in the area was, in fact, an

16 armed conflict, but instead contains evidence of condemnation of the

17 activities and crimes and tactics by the president of the United States.

18 We would tender it, in -- for those reasons, and Your Honour it

19 was obtained, we believe, from the official web site of the American

20 Presidency.

21 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Regue.

22 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, again, we will object on the basis that

23 my colleague has mentioned it was put to the witness, the issue of the --

24 of the civil war, but the witness cannot actually testify and cannot

25 corroborate the veracity of this document, as he actually testified on the

Page 7797

1 contrary.

2 JUDGE PARKER: So you dispute that this is a record of a statement

3 made by the president. Is that the position?

4 MS. REGUE: No, Your Honour. I dispute that the witness cannot --

5 the witness basically didn't testify -- didn't -- on the content or the

6 accuracy of the statement, which is within in the record.

7 [Trial Chamber confers]

8 JUDGE PARKER: In this case, the Chamber will receive this

9 document, Mr. Mettraux. The circumstances of this case make it relevant

10 to at least some degree what views were held by nations of the world at

11 the relevant time, and this is one apparent source for such view,

12 concerning one nation. There is a sufficient apparent authenticity about

13 the nature and source of the document to justify its admission.

14 It will be received.

15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D265, Your Honours.

16 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, the next document which the Defence

17 would seek to tender is Rule 65 ter 1D705.

18 This is the record of a meeting of the General Assembly of the

19 United Nations, in the month of November of 2001. It is entitled, "Press

20 release, GA," for General Assembly,"9962." The record of this meeting was

21 put to the witness, more specifically the statement given to the general

22 assembly by the then Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of

23 Macedonia, and the document was put to the witness in at least two respect

24 or in relation to two particular issues.

25 One was the view taken by the Macedonian government through its

Page 7798

1 representative, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, about the status of the

2 NLA, and you will recall that the activities of the NLA was characterised

3 as terrorist attacks.

4 The other matter to which the document was used was in relation,

5 again, to the Ohrid Framework Agreement, where the minister, contrary, we

6 submit, to the evidence given by the witness, made it clear that the Ohrid

7 Framework Agreement had, in fact, been an accord reached by political

8 parties with a view to isolate the NLA and not in any way to give any

9 legitimacy to their activities. There are several reference again to the

10 NLA being a terrorist group or its activities being characterised as

11 terrorist activities, which in itself might be relevant, we submit, to the

12 issue of the armed conflict.

13 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Regue.

14 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, this is it a document of 11 pages, and

15 actually two paragraphs were only put to the witness, which, indeed, are

16 the two paragraphs which are in the record and deal with the statement of

17 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia.

18 Again, the witness -- the witness, again, with cannot testify,

19 cannot corroborate the veracity of this statement.

20 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honours, perhaps, a very, very brief reply in

21 relation to this.

22 I believe the first page was also put to the witness, and it may

23 be important, Your Honours, since it contains, if you wish, the summary of

24 the entire debate; and then I turned to the part, as my colleague

25 indicated, which is the statement of the minister.

Page 7799

1 [Trial Chamber confers]

2 JUDGE PARKER: This document will be received. The essential

3 reasoning is that indicated in respect of the previous.

4 THE REGISTRAR: It will become Exhibit 1D266, Your Honours.

5 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour.

6 The next document is Rule 65 ter 1D956.

7 This document, Your Honour, is a press statement which comes from

8 the official web site of the US Department of State. It is dated 28th of

9 April of 2001, and it refers to -- I will read the title: "US condemns

10 attack on eight Macedonian soldiers by armed ethnic Albanian extremists."

11 This document, Your Honour, you will recall, refers to an incident

12 in or near the village of Vejce on the 28th of April of 2001, in which

13 eight Macedonian members of the Armed Forces were killed.

14 In our submission, Your Honour, this matter may be or is, in fact,

15 of relevance to these proceedings. It has been discussed by

16 Mr. Bezruchenko and also by the present witness, and is being

17 characterised in terms of criminal acts and not in terms of legitimate

18 military action.

19 There are other documents which I have put to this witness and

20 others which have already been admitted, which confirm the same view, and

21 this, again, Your Honour, may be relevant or, in our submission, is

22 relevant to the relevance, if any, that may be given to the incident in

23 Vejce, as a matter pertaining to the alleged armed conflict.

24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

25 [Trial Chamber confers]

Page 7800

1 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber will not receive this document,

2 Mr. Mettraux, essentially, so far as it may have some relevance, it

3 appears, in its material respects, adequately in the transcript, and the

4 witness has commented in respect of those passages.

5 MR. METTRAUX: I am grateful to Your Honour.

6 The next document will be Rule 65 ter 1D887. Your Honour, this is

7 a document which, again, comes from the US Department of State. Its title

8 is: "Europe overview pattern of global terrorism, 2000," and the date of

9 that document is the 30th of April of 2001.

10 Your Honour may recall that a similar document, although a much

11 larger in scope, was put to a previous witness, and it was the same

12 document, if you wish, but for 2002, which covered the rest of the year

13 2001. The passage which was put to this witness, in the course of his

14 evidence, concern the suggestion by the State Department that the NLA had

15 fired indiscriminately upon civilian centres.

16 The reason for putting this document, this particular information

17 to the witness was twofold: One, to establish the state of his knowledge,

18 if any, about the activities within his organisation; and, secondly, the

19 fact that orders, which the witness said were given to -- not hurt

20 civilians in compliance with humanitarian law, were, in fact, being

21 disregarded.

22 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Regue.

23 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, this is also a document which deals with

24 issues related to different countries, and, indeed, it was put to the

25 witness one single paragraph, and he had the opportunity to actually

Page 7801

1 answer to that. He didn't corroborate the information which is in it.

2 But my point is mainly that we are talking about one paragraph

3 which was already put.

4 [Trial Chamber confers]

5 JUDGE PARKER: We will not receive this document, Mr. Mettraux.

6 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour.

7 The next document would be -- I apologise.

8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

9 MR. METTRAUX: I apologise.

10 The next document would be Rule 65 ter 1D1042.

11 Your Honour, this is, again, a document such as the first one

12 which was sought to be tendered, and which comes from the same

13 governmental authorities and has the same sort of department of defence of

14 that particular country. It is dated the 10th of July of 2001, and the

15 material which was put to the witness in relation to that document is at

16 the second page of this document.

17 There are essentially three different types of facts or matters

18 which are contained in that second page and which were put to the witness.

19 The first one relates to the indiscriminate pre-cease-fire mortar attacks

20 by the NLA on Tetovo. The second one is a list of crimes allegedly

21 committed by the NLA which are listed in this document, in particular in

22 the area in or around Tetovo. The third part of the paragraph in question

23 concern the fact that -- concerns are expressed in that document that Ali

24 Ahmeti may not be firmly in control of this renegade cell or cells and

25 continued cease-fires violations from this group can be expected.

Page 7802

1 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Regue.

2 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, fist, I will also mention that the same

3 warning which is in the previous document is there. Therefore, we will

4 also challenge the reliability of the document in this point and the

5 veracity of the information contained in it. And, again, Your Honour, the

6 source of the information is not established neither in this document.

7 JUDGE PARKER: This document will not be received as indicated for

8 the first document sought to be tendered.

9 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour.

10 The next document would be Rule 65 ter 1D1025, and this is a

11 so-called "spot report" by the OSCE. It's dated the 25th of July of

12 2001. It records the fact that the ethnic Albanian armed group is

13 threatening people in both Jegunovce and Vratnica, and also the fact that

14 villagers are being told to leave or risk being shot. It comes from the

15 OSCE, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Regue.

17 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, I believe that the witness had no

18 knowledge about -- about these facts as he testified; and, therefore, the

19 veracity of the information was not established.

20 [Trial Chamber confers]

21 JUDGE PARKER: The evidence that has been given, although it seem

22 as long time ago now in this trial, concerning the manner of preparation

23 of OSCE reports of this nature and the degree of cross-references and

24 confirmation given to them, provides, in the Chamber's present assessment,

25 a basis upon which a report of this nature may be accepted as possibly and

Page 7803

1 apparently more reliable than a document such as the intelligence reports

2 which have been offered to us.

3 Now, that being so, there is a justification which brings this

4 document into the category of sufficiently reliable to justify admission.

5 That having been said, we wish to make it clear that we are not, by

6 admitting the document, indicating that we would, in the end, attach to

7 it, in respect of any disputed content, an accepted reliability in our own

8 assessment. But we are simply trying to determine whether there is a

9 sufficient reliability of the document to be admitted.

10 In view of the specific evidence about reports of that nature, we

11 will receive it.

12 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D267, Your Honours.

13 MR. METTRAUX: I'm grateful, Your Honour.

14 The next document is Rule 65 ter 1D1282. This is, again, a

15 document from the OSCE, this one dated 29 August 2001, and this is a

16 so-called OSCE "spillover monitor mission" to Skopje. It comes, I

17 believe, from the secretariat. The document -- or the part of the

18 document which was put to the witness concerned and related to the issue

19 of the use of religious facilities as military emplacement and the

20 destruction of such properties.

21 The number -- I apologise, Your Honour, the 65 ter number would be

22 1D828.

23 [Trial Chamber confers]

24 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D268, Your Honours.

Page 7804

1 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, the next document is offered for the

2 same basis and for the same reason as the document of the American

3 Presidency. This one is a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry,

4 through its official spokesman of the 26th June 2001. This is Rule 65 ter

5 1D438. It is dated, as I mentioned, the 26 June 2001, and it refers to

6 the activities of the NLA at that time, and also records the view of the

7 Russian authorities about the status of the NLA as a terrorist group.

8 JUDGE PARKER: This document will be received.

9 Can it be clear, in view of something you have just said,

10 Mr. Mettraux, that this, like Exhibit 1D265, is received not as evidence

11 of the truth of its contents, but as evidence that the government of a

12 nation of the world expressed a view about it.

13 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, we understand this, and this is also

14 the main purpose behind the tendering of the document. It is to show

15 that, as far as the state concerns, expressed their view in various

16 documents. Those views may be reflect in the document that we are now

17 seeking to tender.

18 THE REGISTRAR: The document will become Exhibit 1D269, Your

19 Honours.

20 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, the same -- I believe the same

21 submission and the same caveat would apply to the next document, which is

22 Rule 65 ter 1D715, which is a statement by the press secretary of the

23 White House. It is dated the 27th of June of 2001.

24 Your Honour will recall that a number of issues were addressed

25 through this document, in particular, the withdrawal of the NLA from

Page 7805

1 Aracinovo, the fact that the activities of the NLA were again

2 characterised as terrorist violence, and also reference was made to

3 certain restrictive measures that were applied on to the NLA and members

4 of that organisation.

5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D270, Your Honours.

7 MR. METTRAUX: The next document, Your Honour, and perhaps with

8 the same introduction, is again is Rule 65 ter 1D889. This is a so-called

9 "joint statement of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the south-east

10 European Cooperation Process," and it is dated the 16th of May of 2001 in

11 Tirana. It's part of the stability pact for south-eastern Europe.

12 The passage which was read out to the witness, contained in this

13 statement, pertains to the view expressed by the foreign ministers of the

14 countries of the south-eastern part of the Balkans, that the activities of

15 the NLA were to be regarded as terrorist activities and the NLA itself as

16 an Albanian extremist group.

17 There was also a call being made for the release of hostages,

18 which is another issue that touched upon with this witness, and a

19 reference to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the republic.

20 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

21 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D2771, Your Honours.

22 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you. The next document, Your Honour - and I

23 think there is an agreement with the Prosecution on this particular

24 document - this was Rule 65 ter 317 from the Prosecution Rule 65 ter

25 list. This is an order signed by the then Chief of Staff of the army,

Page 7806

1 General Pande Petrovski, dated the 5th of July of 2001, in which he

2 ordered a cease-fire.

3 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

4 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D272, Your Honours.

5 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you.

6 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Regue.

7 MR. METTRAUX: And Your Honour, perhaps as a matter of

8 clarification, you will recall that at the end of the cross-examination,

9 questions were asked about the origin of a particular document, and we had

10 indicated that it came from the EUMM. It appears to be correct, and my

11 colleague had asked about the date of that particular document.

12 The document was actually listed on the Rule 65 ter list of the

13 Prosecution, and it appears as an undated document and we have not been

14 otherwise to establish the date of that document.

15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

16 MS. REGUE: Thank you, Your Honours.

17 Re-examination by Ms. Regue:

18 Q. General Ostreni, good afternoon.

19 A. Good afternoon.

20 Q. General, you were asked about the fact that you were given the

21 rank of general upon joining the NLA.

22 I'd like to ask you on which basis were the ranks awarded to the

23 different NLA members. Which facts, if any, were taken into consideration

24 when awarding the ranks.

25 A. In the NLA, the personnel establishment determines the ranks. It

Page 7807

1 was normal at that time, in determining their rank, to include their

2 abilities, their experience with wars, and the way they carried out their

3 duties and, of course, the post that they held.

4 Q. When you refer to "experience with wars," could you be please be a

5 bit more clearer on that point?

6 A. In the NLA, there were members who had participated in the Kosova

7 war, and were -- had joined the uprising from the very beginning, the

8 uprising that turned into National Liberation Army, and the post that they

9 were gradually promoted to during carrying out their tasks and, of course,

10 their capacities and abilities in their personal lives.

11 Q. What do you mean "with their capacities and abilities in their

12 personal life."

13 A. Their education that they had completed.

14 Q. General, you were also asked about the appointment of Ali Ahmeti,

15 and who appointed Ali Ahmeti as supreme commander of the NLA.

16 General, do you know who appointed, who elected Fidel Castro in as

17 the leader of the uprising movement in Cuba in 1959, who defeated Batista?

18 A. I don't know about Cuba, but the comrades that he cooperated with

19 accepted him as their leader; and when I joined the NLA, I accepted Ali

20 Ahmeti as my leader, and I accepted to follow his orders as of the time

21 that I was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the NLA.

22 Q. General, you were also asked, yesterday I believe, and I

23 quote: "Whether, when you joined the NLA, you had the impression that this

24 organisation existed earlier."

25 You were required a yes or no answer. Your answer was, and I

Page 7808

1 quote again: "No. My impression was that there was a ongoing uprising,

2 and that I should give my contribution to the Albanians to whom I belong

3 in the Republic of Macedonia."

4 General, who was leading this uprising prior to March 2001, if you

5 know?

6 A. That I don't know. When I arrived, I met Mr. Ali Ahmeti, and we

7 talked. He explained that there was an on going uprising. He proposed

8 what I already stated, and, consequently, I accepted the post. But, as I

9 stated earlier, I was ready to join ranks of the NLA as an ordinary

10 soldier, because I wanted to contribute to what was going on to my people

11 in my own country.

12 Q. Therefore, General, in March, when you met with Ali Ahmeti, who

13 was leading the uprising at that time?

14 A. I don't know. My impression was that Ali Ahmeti was aware of what

15 was going on. He was familiar with the people around him, and that was

16 enough information for me at the time.

17 MS. REGUE: If the registry could please call Exhibit 1D00227?

18 Q. General, this is a --

19 MS. REGUE: And if we could focus to the first part in the bottom

20 of the document, just below the title: "Will Macedonia be next?"

21 Q. General, This was a document which was shown to you.

22 MS. REGUE: The first paragraph below this. Yeah, perfect, here.

23 Thanks a lot.

24 Q. General, I'm afraid that it's in English, this document, so I will

25 read it to you. This is a document produced by the Jane's Intelligence

Page 7809

1 Digest in the 2nd of February 2001.

2 In the first paragraph, it reads, and I quote: "In the space of a

3 week, ethnic Albanian terrorists have launched an attack on a Macedonian

4 police station."

5 MS. REGUE: And if we could please go to the second page and focus

6 on the third full paragraph, which start with "The low level attacks."

7 Q. General, this document reads that: "The low level attacks against

8 the Macedonian police, which began last year," meaning 2000 "are

9 supposedly the work of the so-called Liberation Army, four of whom have

10 been arrested."

11 General, according to this document, did the NLA start operating

12 against police forces as early as 2000?

13 A. This I don't know. At the time, I was the Chief of General Staff

14 of KPC in Kosovo, and I carried those duties with full responsibility. I

15 don't know if you mentioned the date of this document, but this document

16 refers to a period of time when I was not there, when I was in the United

17 States, and was not following closely the situation.

18 Q. Thanks, General. The date was the 2nd of February, 2001, and it

19 was referring to events occurring in January of 2001 and also 2000.

20 MS. REGUE: If we could please call Exhibit P45, which is

21 the "White Book," and if we could go to page 111th, in the English version

22 and 57 in the Macedonian.

23 Q. General, you will see on the right side of the screen the

24 Macedonian version. Just wait a second.

25 MS. REGUE: Maybe we can focus a little bit the Macedonian so it's

Page 7810

1 clear.

2 Q. General, this document bears the title: "Terrorist attacks and

3 provocations carried out by the so-called NLA."

4 The first events is recorded on the 11th of January of 2000, and

5 it reads: "At the entry of the village of Aracinovo, during the armed

6 attack against the police patrol of the Ministry of Interior, three police

7 officers were killed.

8 "By a communique presented on January 30th, 2000, the

9 responsibility for this terrorist attack was claimed by the so-called

10 NLA."

11 Then the second event recorded in this page refers to the 19th of

12 January of 2000: "The police station, Oslomej-Kicevo, was attacked by a

13 mortar grenade launcher."

14 The third event refers to the 22nd of January 2001: "The police

15 station, Tearce, Tetovo, was attacked by a hand-grenade mortar and an

16 automatic weapon and was hit with two projectiles. A police officer was

17 killed." And then the document reads: "By a communique number 4,

18 presented on January 23, 2001, NLA took the responsibility for this

19 attack."

20 The next event recorded in this page, General, it's the 2nd of

21 February and it should read 2001, I believe, because the events are

22 recorded in chronological order: "The building of the department of

23 internal affairs Kumanovo was attacked with a hand bomb."

24 The last event recorded, it is dated 16th of February, 2001, and,

25 indeed, you referred to this event in your evidence, General, and I quote:

Page 7811

1 "In the vicinity of the village of Tanusevci, Skopje, a journalist team

2 of the A1 television from Skopje was captured by armed members of the

3 NLA."

4 MS. REGUE: If we could turn to the next page, please.

5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.

6 MR. METTRAUX: It is not an objection, just a clarification. It

7 would appear that the year 2nd February is 2000 in the Macedonia only;

8 not 2001 as indicated.

9 MS. REGUE: I was aware of that. Thanks a lot, Mr. Mettraux. But

10 as the events are recorded in a chronological order, I assumed, wrongly or

11 not, that there was a mistake in the original version.

12 Q. General, this second page, and I won't go over these events, refer

13 to some NLA operations/actions carried out already in March 2001.

14 General, would you agree that, according to the Ministry of

15 Interior who actually produced this document, actions carried out by the

16 NLA already took place as early as 2000?

17 A. The persons that worked on the Law on Amnesty have not made the

18 beginning date of the persons that would be amnestied, and they have put

19 an end date, which is after the demobilisation. But since these events

20 are listed here, maybe they happened in reality.

21 Again, I would like to mention that until March 2000, I was in the

22 area of Dukagjini; and on 1st of March -- or 3rd, 4th March, I accepted

23 the post of the Chief of Staff of the KPC in Kosovo, and then I went on

24 holiday. So I wasn't closely following the developments on the ground

25 before I joined the NLA.

Page 7812

1 After the 14th, that is, on the 19th and 20th of March, I was in

2 Vejce. That's when I started to tour the terrain. As for other dates, I

3 cannot ascertain their accuracy. I know that there is this "White Book."

4 I don't know how things developed. This is how events are listed in the

5 book. But who made the entries and on basis of what information, that I

6 don't know.

7 MS. REGUE: If we could please go to pages 341 of the "White Book"

8 in English and 167 in Macedonian.

9 Q. Again, General, we are going to look at another several pages from

10 the "White Book," in particular, this chapter which bears the

11 title: "Selected communique by the so-called NLA."

12 MS. REGUE: The Macedonian should be page 167. Now it will be --

13 the corresponding Macedonian page would be 168, if we could go.

14 Thanks a lot.

15 Q. General, you will be able to see the Macedonian text on the right

16 side of your screen.

17 General, this is a communique issued by the NLA on January 30,

18 2000, and I'm just going to read to you the first paragraph: "We informed

19 the public that we have committed the military attacks in January near

20 Skopje, when Macedonian policemen were killed, and in Oslomej near Kicevo,

21 when the police station was damaged."

22 General, would you agree that based on this document, the NLA was

23 claiming that that had already committed actions, perpetrated actions as

24 early as January 2000?

25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.

Page 7813

1 MR. METTRAUX: Perhaps the witness could be asked first whether he

2 know this is document, or whether he has seen it before.

3 MS. REGUE: I believe that, in cross-examination, the witness

4 already answered that he had not seen any communique prior to him joining.

5 But, if Your Honour wish, I can ask him whether he has seen this document

6 before.

7 JUDGE PARKER: Now Mr. Apostolski.

8 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. As far

9 as I recall, the witness gave evidence to the effect that he does not know

10 the content of the first communiques, and that the first one he was aware

11 of was communique number 6 of the month of March 2001.

12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.


14 Q. General, my question was: If, based on the document that you have

15 in front of you, you can see, you can read that the NLA, as early as

16 January 30, 2000, already claimed that the organisation had perpetrated

17 actions in Macedonia.

18 A. This is what the document says. Maybe someone drafted this

19 document, but personally I did not take part in this work, and I didn't

20 know of the communiques prior to communique number 6.

21 As of this communique and the following ones, those I can

22 recognise and I can testify to them.

23 Q. Thanks a lot. I'm just going to show you another communique.

24 MS. REGUE: If we could please turn to the next page.

25 Q. This was a communique mentioned by my colleague, Mr. Mettraux, in

Page 7814

1 his cross-examination.

2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.

3 MR. METTRAUX: Simply to indicate for the transcript, Your Honour,

4 that we asked questions, general questions about the communique number 4,

5 and that the witness indicated he had not seen it and didn't know of its

6 content, and the matter was left at that in view of his evidence.

7 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Ms. Regue.

8 MS. REGUE: Thanks, Your Honour.

9 Q. General, this communique is it dated the 23rd of January, 2001,

10 and reads: "Communique number 4: Yesterday, January 22, 2001, in Tearce

11 near Tetovo, a special unit of the National Liberation Army, supported by

12 a group of monitors, attack the Macedonian police station using automatic

13 rifles and hand-grenade launchers."

14 General, is this document stating that in the -- in January 22nd,

15 2001, an action was already perpetrated by the NLA in Tearce near Tetovo?

16 A. Could you please enlarge the document? Are we talking about

17 communique number 4 here.

18 Q. Yes, General. I believe it is the one that you have.

19 MR. REGUE: Thanks a lot, to the registry.

20 Q. I was reading the first three lines of the document, General.

21 A. Of communique number 4?

22 Q. Yes, General.

23 A. The first two lines are of the body that drafted the book, if

24 we're talking of the same document, with number 4.

25 Q. Sorry, General. Maybe I will rephrase my question because I

Page 7815

1 didn't quite understand your answer.

2 I was simply asking that, based on this document which was

3 included within the "White Book," the NLA already claim, as of January

4 22nd, 2001, the commission, the perpetration of some actions in Tearce

5 near Tetovo. That was my only question, General.

6 A. I have communique number 4 before me, but not all of it, so that

7 can I read it fully and give you my views on it.

8 In the screen before me, there's only part of the document.

9 JUDGE PARKER: Before you do that, Mr. Ostreni, can I point out

10 that, on the screen, there is both an English version and a Macedonian

11 version with a heading "Communique number 4," but their content and date

12 appears quite different.

13 Perhaps it is that the witness is being asked to comment on a

14 document which is different from the one you were reading in English.

15 MS. REGUE: Yes, Your Honour. We should, in the Macedonian

16 version, we should move to the -- to the left, because we are -- that was

17 my mistake. Thanks, Your Honour.

18 If we could enlarge the upper part of the document.

19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

20 MS. REGUE: Thanks.

21 Q. General, I was referring to the communique number 4, dated 23rd of

22 January, 2001, which you have in the upper part of the page.

23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.

24 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise for

25 interfering my colleague with the re-direct, but I believe that the

Page 7816

1 witness was confused as well, because I speak the Macedonian language.

2 The communique number 4, shown before, was related to a completely

3 different event, and now the witness is, again, shown a communique number

4 4 dealing with yet another event, at least in the Macedonian version.

5 MS. REGUE: Well, I don't speak Macedonian, but I believe that the

6 first line reads, "22nd of January."

7 JUDGE PARKER: I think we now may have the correct communique.

8 It could be useful if this was looked at over the break,

9 Ms. Regue, and make sure that the witness has the right document when we

10 resume after the break.

11 MS. REGUE: Thank you.

12 JUDGE PARKER: All right?

13 We'll resume at five minutes past.

14 --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m

15 --- On resuming at 1.06 p.m.

16 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Regue.


18 Q. General, if could you please look, again, to the upper -- at the

19 right side of your screen, the text which is in the upper part of the

20 document.

21 This communique, which bears the number 4, and is dated the 23rd

22 of January, 2001, reads: "Yesterday, January 22, 2001, in Tearce near

23 Tetovo, special unit of the NLA, supported by group of monitors, attacked

24 the Macedonian police station using automatic rifles and hand-grenade

25 launchers."

Page 7817

1 My question was, General, if, based on this document, actions were

2 already undertaken by the NLA as of January 22nd, 2001 in Tearce near

3 Tetovo?

4 A. I wasn't present at that time, and I don't know. This is what it

5 says here, and maybe it was so.

6 Q. Thanks, General.

7 MS. REGUE: If we could please remove the document from the

8 screen. Thanks.

9 Q. General, did the NLA rules and regulations provide with

10 disciplinary measures to be undertaken by the brigades?

11 A. The internal rules says, in one part, that in cases of breaches of

12 discipline, people may be detained. That's the only one. That's the only

13 one that is -- Article that is included there.

14 Q. Why was important to have these measures in the regulations?

15 A. Because the brigade commanders should have the power to detain a

16 soldier, in case of a breach of discipline in the NLA, because if there

17 was no rules, he might ask the soldier to surrender the weapon and send

18 him home.

19 We couldn't do more than that because we didn't have a law to

20 regulate the entire activity of the NLA.

21 Q. General, it was put to you that the Ohrid Agreement averted a

22 civil war, and you didn't agree with such a statement and testified that

23 the Ohrid Agreement put an end to the war and was used to build a

24 democratic Macedonia.

25 General, about the structure, the organisation of the NLA by

Page 7818

1 August 2001, I'd like to ask you some questions.

2 Had the brigades established their authority over territories in

3 Macedonia at that time?

4 A. The brigades were stationed in the way I have indicated in the

5 map.

6 Q. Thanks, General.

7 A. They did not -- may you ask the question more directly for me to

8 give a more focussed answer?

9 Q. I will ask you, please, to answer briefly; and if it is necessary,

10 to provide also a brief explanation, General.

11 A. I will give a brief explanation.

12 At the time, the brigades were located in the places that we have

13 marked in on the map we have submitted to NATO. Within these places,

14 where there communes, they functioned. The NLA did not hinder in any way

15 the operating, the functioning of such communes, and there are some

16 statements to this effect issued by the chairman of the commune.

17 Q. But just to wrap it up, by August 2001, had the brigades

18 established their authorities over the territories in this map that you

19 exhibit to this Trial Chamber? It's a "yes" or "no" answer, General.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Had the brigades been assigned zones of responsibility?

22 A. Yes. The maps show, in a way, the areas of responsibilities of

23 brigades at the time when the cease-fire took effect, and this remained so

24 until the signing of the Ohrid Agreement; in fact, until the disarmament

25 of the NLA, its demilitarisation.

Page 7819

1 Q. Had the General Staff and different brigades headquarters?

2 A. They had their commands, and they have marked also in the map,

3 depending on their size. You have the sign for the Brigade 113 command;

4 then that of 112 in Sipkovica and so on; the 1st Battalion of Brigade 115

5 in Radusa; and the one in open air of Brigade 116; Brigade 114 at that

6 time was in Kustak, but this is not shown here.

7 Q. Thanks, General. Were you Ali Ahmeti and yourself issuing

8 military orders and recommendations to the brigade commanders? Again,

9 General, if you could answer with a "yes" or "no."

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Were the brigade commanders issuing orders to the units

12 subordinated to them?

13 MS. REGUE: I see my colleague is standing, Your Honour.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly, yes.

15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.

16 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour. I would simply wish to

17 indicate that, at this stage, we seem to be undertaking a new

18 examination-in-chief, on which we will have no right to cross-examine. I

19 think the those questions are quite important. And to the extent they are

20 important to the Prosection as well, we believe they should have been

21 asked in examination-in-chief.

22 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, I believe that, in examination-in-chief,

23 these issues were already dealt with; and, in cross-examination, the issue

24 of armed conflict was largely challenged by my colleagues, and I was

25 trying to build up that point again.

Page 7820

1 JUDGE PARKER: Continue, Ms. Regue.

2 MS. REGUE: Thanks, Your Honour.

3 Q. General, I see you answered the last question.

4 Were the brigade commanders reporting to you on daily basis?

5 A. Yes. They were obliged to report in the morning and in the

6 evening, and in cases of some states of unusual events.

7 Q. Were the brigades following the NLA regulations, as well as the

8 orders and instructions issued by the General Staff?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Was the NLA able to supply to its brigades, battalions, basically

11 to the different units, with weaponry and equipment?

12 A. With difficulty, but yes.

13 Q. Was the NLA by August 2001 --

14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.

15 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, I apologise to my colleague, but we

16 really wish to make it, once again, clear for the transcript that those

17 questions, to the extent that they would have been relevant to the

18 Prosecution case, and to the extent that they were not explored in

19 examination-in-chief, should have been done at that stage. Those

20 questions, if relevant, had to be asked, in particular as regard the last

21 questions about logistics.

22 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, if --

23 JUDGE PARKER: If it be made clear also, Mr. Mettraux, that, in

24 the view of the Chamber, the re-examination is being conducted properly,

25 dealing, in a direct manner, with issues that were raised very extensively

Page 7821

1 in particular, but not solely, by your own cross-examination.

2 Carry on, please, Ms. Regue.


4 Q. General, was the NLA recruiting new members by August 2001,

5 meaning new members were joining the NLA by August 2001?

6 A. Our attempt was not to expand it from the signing on the

7 cease-fire. The reason was not to keep -- it was not reasonable to keep a

8 large number of people, to feed them three times a day, to equip them with

9 uniforms, and so on. We didn't want to expand, but I can't rule out that

10 some volunteers joined the brigades, but not in August.

11 Q. General, about -- you testified about problems after the

12 cease-fire with regards to both sides of the conflict. You also testified

13 that there were provocations from the Macedonian security forces before

14 the signing of the agreement.

15 MS. REGUE: Could we please call Exhibit P481, please.

16 Q. General, you will see in your screen, on the right side in

17 Macedonian, a resolution issued by the president, Boris Trajkovski, on the

18 5th of August, 2001.

19 If I may read the first paragraph, it says, and I quote: "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 General, were you aware of these measures undertaken by President

25 Trajkovski in August 2001?

Page 7822

1 A. Yes. A similar order was published also in the media on the 5th

2 of August, something which greatly worried all of us in the NLA.

3 Q. Which consequences, if any, had for the NLA these measures

4 undertaken by the president?

5 A. If the head of the state, or the supreme commander, decides to

6 undertake an operation at the time of the cease-fire, eight days prior to

7 the signing of the Ohrid Agreement and this is published in the media, it

8 is understandable that this causes concern, because we are afraid that the

9 political agreement wouldn't be respected -- wouldn't be signed and that

10 the question arose as to the conflict continuing.

11 MS. REGUE: Could we please -- could we please call 65 ter 284,

12 and if we could go to the page 8, please.

13 Q. And, General, in the meantime that we wait for this new document,

14 were you aware of fighting going on in Tetovo that August 2001?

15 A. No, I was not.

16 Q. Okay. I will move on to the next issue.

17 MS. REGUE: If he could please remove this document from the

18 screen, I would be grateful.

19 Q. General, it was put to that you the NLA did not have a centralised

20 command system and a General Staff was militarily irrelevant. You

21 testified that Ali Ahmeti, as well as NATO and European Union

22 representatives, negotiated and agree the withdrawal on the 24th of June,

23 2001.

24 Which brigade was in Aracinovo at that time?

25 A. On the 24th of June, there was part of Brigade 113 in Haracin.

Page 7823

1 There was a battalion that was withdrawn from there on the order of Ali

2 Ahmeti.

3 Q. So, General, if I can follow up on your answer, once Ali Ahmeti

4 reached the agreement with the international representatives, to whom did

5 he issue, to whom did he communicate the order to withdraw within the

6 structure of the NLA?

7 A. He gave the order to Brigade 113, after consulting with me as

8 well, because at the time I was in Prizren, while Mr. Ali Ahmeti was in

9 Shipkovice.

10 Q. Was this order followed by the Brigade 113?

11 A. Yes. The battalion and its units withdrew from Haracin, I think

12 on the 25th.

13 Q. General, once the brigade commander received the order to

14 withdraw, to whom did he communicate the order within the 113th Brigade?

15 A. To the commander who was in Haracin. However, I cannot rule out

16 the possibility of Mr. Ali Ahmeti talking with the leader who was in

17 Haracin, but I have no information. I only know that this was discussed

18 with the brigade. I, too, discussed this with the brigade commander, but

19 not -- I didn't discuss the withdrawal. I discussed prior and during the

20 talks. I also discussed with Mr. Ali Ahmeti.

21 Q. You answered: "To the commander who was in Aracinovo."

22 Did you mean the commander of the 113th Brigade or the commander

23 of the battalion who was in Aracinovo?

24 A. I mean the brigade commander, Brigade 113.

25 Q. And did the commander of the Brigade 113 issue any order to his

Page 7824

1 units with regards to this matter?

2 A. Yes. He issued an order, and then the withdrawal took place with

3 the presence or contribution of the internationals.

4 MS. REGUE: If we could please call Exhibit P498, and go to page

5 31, please.

6 P498, page 31. I believe this is not Exhibit P498, which are the

7 "Rules of Service of the NLA." It's former 65 ter 778.4, if we could go

8 to page 31, please.

9 Yes, this is the right page in English.

10 Q. General, chapter 5 of the Rules of Service reads: "The tasks of

11 persons in positions of authority," and it starts with the commander of

12 the unit, the commander of (detachment). To which commander this Article

13 is referring to?

14 A. It's referring to the brigade, in this case, commander.

15 Q. Thanks.

16 A. I think so, yes.

17 Q. In item 1, it reads: "A unit (detachment) commander is in command

18 ever all unit (detachment) troops under his direction and is the immediate

19 commander of servicemen directly subordinated to him. He shall carry out

20 his tasks pursuant to laws and by-laws of the orders issued by the NLA

21 commander ..."

22 General, in the case of Aracinovo, did the commander of the 113th

23 Brigade proceed to withdraw following the order of the commander, Ali

24 Ahmeti?

25 A. Yes.

Page 7825

1 Q. Thanks.

2 MS. REGUE: If we could remove the document from the screen.

3 Q. General, you also testified that Ali Ahmeti and NATO

4 representatives reached agreement with regard to the so-called operation

5 or plan Harvest.

6 MS. REGUE: Could we please show Exhibit P517.

7 Q. General, in the meantime that we wait for the document, was the

8 militarisation of the NLA carried out according to the operation to the

9 operation, to the plan Harvest?

10 A. Yes, fully, in compliance with the plan. It even exceeded what

11 was foreseen in the plan in terms of the number of weapons collected.

12 Q. General, you testified that this document, it was an instruction

13 or recommendation to the brigades to prepare for the surrender of the

14 weapons. To your knowledge, did they follow your instruction?

15 A. I don't see here the document. They did follow my instructions,

16 and the handing in of weapons was concluded successfully.

17 Q. Thanks.

18 MS. REGUE: Could we please show on the screen Exhibit 2D56.

19 Q. General, do you know these people, or at least some of the people,

20 which appear in this photograph?

21 A. Yes, I do know some of them: Number 5, Ali Ahmeti --

22 Q. Please wait one moment, General, for my learned colleague.

23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.

24 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that

25 Defence did not use this photograph in the cross-examination, so I see no

Page 7826

1 reason why the Prosecution would use it.

2 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Regue.

3 MS. REGUE: Thanks, Your Honour.

4 I'm dealing with an issue which was raised within

5 cross-examination, despite that this photo was not shown, if I can

6 procedure.

7 JUDGE PARKER: The nature of the issue.

8 MS. REGUE: Clothing, uniforms.

9 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on.

10 MS. REGUE: Thanks.

11 Q. General, you mentioned that you know some of these people, but I

12 would like to ask you, first of all: What are these people wearing? What

13 sort of clothing are they wearing?

14 A. Various uniforms; camouflage uniforms; a T-shirt which is part of

15 the uniform; one is in black clothes; one is in black vest.

16 Q. The green T-shirt, was it part of the uniform of the NLA, General?

17 A. Yes. When we had it, we always handed it out to the soldiers as

18 part of the uniform.

19 Q. Was it required to wear uniform in military operations, General?

20 A. Yes, certainly. But in this photo, I see people just to take a

21 photo with their commander, not that they are in any operation.

22 Q. Why was it necessary, mandatory, to wear uniforms in military

23 operations, General?

24 A. Because that is part of an army. The uniform is suitable to use

25 for work, part of which part of the work of a soldier is taking part in

Page 7827

1 military operations. That distinguishes him from a civilian. After

2 someone has taken a weapon, then the uniform is proof of showing that that

3 person is a part of an organisation.

4 Q. Thanks.

5 MS. REGUE: Could we please show Exhibit 2D57.

6 Q. General, to your knowledge, if you do, in which context was this

7 photo taken?

8 A. As I see it, and judging from the terrain, it must be in the

9 training centre of Brodec during the visit that Ali Ahmeti made there.

10 You can see that some of the volunteers are not in uniforms.

11 Q. When the uniforms will be given to these new members, General?

12 A. When we could get hold of the uniforms; and, at that moment they

13 were also issued a weapon. You can see in the photo that they don't have

14 weapons either.

15 Q. General, was the training mandatory, required, before start

16 operating in the NLA?

17 A. Yes. Training was mandatory. It was a period during which the

18 new -- newly conscripted soldiers, let say, didn't go immediately to the

19 front, but get used. Even the formation of the brigades followed this

20 rule. From the 13th was formed the 14th and so on; from the 15th, the

21 16th.

22 The commander and myself took care to send to the front officers

23 and soldiers who had already taken part in some fighting, and then

24 other -- gradually other soldiers. That was the priority we followed. We

25 didn't want someone who had not any experience of war be sent to the front

Page 7828

1 line, because he would loose his life more easily.

2 Q. Thanks, General.

3 MS. REGUE: We can remove the photo from the screen.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.


6 Q. General, it was also put to you that an example of the military

7 relevance of the NLA was the fact that you did not provide to the OTP any

8 written combat order, with the exception that the map and plan that we

9 discussed earlier on.

10 How were the combat orders issued to the brigade commander,

11 General?

12 A. We had satellite communication with all brigades and we also used

13 mobile phones, but usually we used satellite phones to protect ourselves

14 from being bugged. The commanders and the members of the brigade commands

15 passed to -- passed by the General Staff and contacted directly with us.

16 I have to stress this because, by the end, the NLA brigades

17 extended from the border -- the northern border of the Republic of

18 Macedonia to the vicinity of Debar. Therefore, it was indispensable for

19 us to communicate through telephone, and also for them to contact us

20 directly, to give us reports, to describe the situation in more details,

21 and to get new tasks.

22 Q. General, it was also put to you that you were not appointed as

23 Chief of Staff before the 13th of May, 2001.

24 MS. REGUE: Could we please see Exhibit P493, page 34.

25 If we could please enlarge the paragraph where the name of the

Page 7829

1 witness appears, which is the third one starting -- the one in the middle.

2 Q. General, I believe we have only an English version; therefore, I'm

3 going to read to you what this document stated. This is a book with the

4 title -- it's a book from NATO relating to the NLA, and it is dated the

5 25th of June 2005.

6 This document reads General, that you became TMK, Chief of Staff,

7 before suddenly departing and resurfacing with the NLA in April 2001.

8 General, when did you join the NLA? In March, April, or May?

9 A. I joined the National Liberation Army in the month of March upon

10 my return from the United States of America. I went back for a brief

11 period to my work, and then I joined the NLA.

12 Q. When you were appointed Chief of Staff of the NLA, did you hold

13 any public press conference to announce your appointment?

14 A. No. I signed a communique regarding the MX operation that was

15 carried out in Tetovo on the 25th of March. After this operation, I went

16 out public through this communique signed by me, explaining what happened

17 there, and I believe you have this communique in the documents.

18 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, would that be a convenient time, because

19 I'm moving to a new topic and it may take some time.

20 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.

21 We adjourn and resume tomorrow at 9.00.

22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.,

23 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 15th day of

24 November, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.