1 Monday, 6 July 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. Apologies of the Chamber for our
6 late start. More than one matter delayed us. We are shortly to hear a
7 witness in respect of whom there has been an application for protective
8 measures, which was over the weekend, the application was supplemented
9 with additional material.
10 Good afternoon, Mr. Djordjevic. Do you wish to be heard in
11 respect of this application for protective measures?
12 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the reason that
13 the Defence considers that this witness does not -- that his testimony
14 does not warrant any protective measures is the fact that he had already
15 testified before this Tribunal to the facts that he is going to testify
16 about today as well. And if indeed there were threats directed at this
17 witness, and I don't know from whom or where, and I assume that this
18 would be something to discuss in closed session, we are, as a matter of
19 course, against protective measures for this witness.
20 Of course, that might change depending on the situation. As we
21 proceed and if we hear any arguments that may sound sound enough for this
22 witness to be questioned as a protected witness, the Defence might agree
23 to that subsequently. For now, it is our position that it is
24 unnecessary; and based on what I read from the application submitted by
25 the Prosecution, the witness himself said that he was not willing to
1 testify either by pseudonym or face and voice distortion. Regardless of
2 any of those protective measures, everyone would be able to actually
3 guess who the protected witness is, and therefore, for now I believe that
4 there is no reason for any protective measures to be issued in respect of
5 this witness.
6 Of course, I assume that the witness will wish to hear -- that
7 the Trial Chamber will wish to hear the witness as well and to hear his
8 reasons for why he is seeking protective measures, and based on that,
9 maybe then we will be able to make a qualified decision.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much for your submissions and their
11 succinctness, Mr. Djordjevic. The Chamber, at the moment, is not minded
12 to hear additional evidence, but understands clearly from your submission
13 that you are opposed taking the position that there is not demonstrated a
14 sufficient justification.
15 Is there anything further, Mr. Stamp, that you would want to put
16 in respect of this matter?
17 MR. STAMP: No, Your Honour, I have nothing to add.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber is of the view that while the
21 application is on the dividing line between sufficiently justified and
22 not, the totality of the circumstances is sufficient to persuade the
23 Chamber that there is, in the mind of the accused at least, a real threat
24 and a serious threat, which is likely to be activated if he should repeat
25 the evidence or something like the evidence which he previously gave and
1 which led to an earlier threat to him.
2 In these circumstances, the Chamber is persuaded that it should
3 order protective measures. It recognizes, in view of the particular,
4 even specific aspects of his evidence, that it would be quite readily
5 possible to identify him simply by hearing the evidence, and in those
6 circumstances, the Chamber is of the view that the appropriate protective
7 measure should be for the evidence to be given in closed session. That
8 will be the decision of the Chamber.
9 Mr. Djordjevic.
10 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I will be very brief because it
11 is not up to me to comment the decision of the Trial Chamber. I just
12 wanted to intervene regarding the transcript. It says in the transcript
13 whereas in the mind of the accused and the accused could be the witness
14 or my own defendant here. So if you look at line 23 on page 2 it says
15 "in the mind of the accused at least" so we need to direct this because
16 what should stand there in fact is in the mind of the witness at least.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Djordjevic, for
18 identifying my error. I had intended to refer not to this present
19 accused, but to the person who for -- to avoid confusion is better
20 described as the intended witness. And it was intended by those comments
21 to indicate that there is in his mind the Chamber accepts this concern
22 which is genuine and that it therefore influences him in a way which
23 satisfies the Chamber, according to the appropriate test that protective
24 measures are justified.
25 If the witness could be brought in. While that is occurring, I
1 would mention that --
2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
3 JUDGE PARKER: If the witness could be brought in.
4 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] While we wait, Your Honour,
5 would you allow me to address the Trial Chamber in a few words.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Could you allow me first to deliver another oral
7 decision, Mr. Djordjevic. Pending admission marked for identification
8 are two documents tendered by the Prosecution. They are P97 and P102.
9 Each of those are marked pending translation. Translations have now been
10 received. They may be uplifted, the translations into the document in
11 e-court, and will become exhibits rather than marked for identification.
12 Now, Mr. Djordjevic, while you are speaking we will move into
13 closed session.
14 [Closed session]
11 Pages 6885-6926 redacted. Closed session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. You suggest now we have the second
25 break, is that it, Mr. Stamp?
1 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Will half an hour be timely for the witness to be
4 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
6 Did I see you on your feet, Mr. Djordjevic?
7 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. As the lead
8 counsel in these proceedings, I will like to request that the next
9 witness be questioned by attorney Marie O'Leary in the cross-examination
10 phase, and I hope that you will approve this. Thank you.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic. We've had not only
12 written advice from you in respect of Mr. Popovic, which we granted, but
13 we've had a similarly framed advice in respect of Ms. O'Leary. And the
14 Chamber is similarly prepared to grant that request. So we now have the
15 benefit of hearing four counsel for the accused.
16 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. This
17 is our desire and wish to allow our junior colleagues to join us and to
18 become even better Defence counsel than they already have been so far.
19 They both have a lot of experience, but this will certainly be helpful in
20 their further work. Thank you.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will adjourn now. We will resume
22 at I think at 5.40 just to be sure that the witness is available.
23 --- Recess taken at 5.04 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 5.43 p.m.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. O'Leary.
1 MS. O'LEARY: Thank you, Your Honour. Before we begin, we had a
2 quick preliminary matter about the statement of this witness. In our
3 motion opposing 92 ter as a mode of testimony for Mr. Fuat Haxhibeqiri.
4 We had made an argument that part of the reasoning to keep out his
5 statement was that it is somewhat confused in that he makes some
6 conclusions and statements of others that's intermixed with his own
7 eye-witness testimony. Additionally, he gives some opinions that are
8 more appropriate, we feel, to an expert witness and not a fact witness.
9 While we appreciate and do respect the Trial Chamber's decision
10 in his mode of testimony, in doing further preparations for the
11 cross-examine we would seek to have this 92 ter statement redacted to not
12 include the summaries and the opinions, as they're not appropriate to the
13 testimony of a fact witness in our opinion.
14 In particular, we take opposition to pages 6 through 9 in the
15 English pages of the statement which is 65 ter 2235, and specifically on
16 page 6 of the English version when he starts with "From my investigation
17 I have witnesses that say ..." until the dotted line. And also on
18 page 7, then, of the English version when he says "In my position with
19 the CDHRF, I have interviewed ..." which is just under the dotted line,
20 which goes on until "... in 1998." On page 8.
21 Furthermore, we take opposition to the last paragraph of the
22 statement on page 9 in the English version that starts with "As a result
23 of interviewing ..."
24 These passages list -- were told to him, but they're lacking in
25 detail sufficient for us to do any real cross-examine to get more details
1 as we don't feel he has the information with him as it is not personal
2 information to him. As we can't properly challenge the details of these
3 events and primarily seek out the perpetrators that he is accusing in
4 these statement passages, we would ask that these portions be stricken
5 from the record as he has no personal knowledge.
6 We understand that the Chamber may want to wait until his
7 testimony is finished and analyse whether that is appropriate, but we
8 would make the motion at this time, with hope to renew afterwards, if his
9 testimony goes as we anticipate. Thank you.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Ms. O'Leary.
11 Ms. Kravetz.
12 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, it is our position that the Chamber
13 has already ruled on this matter. This is an issue that the Defence
14 should have raised in their motion -- in their response to our motion to
15 call this witness pursuant to 92 bis. And the Chamber's decision of
16 1st July, the Chamber stated that it decided to admit Mr. Haxhibeqiri's
17 written statement, and we consider that this matter has already been
18 ruled upon.
19 It is also our view that the issues that my learned colleague is
20 raising can be adequately examined when she questions the witness during
21 her opportunity to cross-examine.
22 So I do not believe that this is a matter that cannot be explored
23 in cross-examination. The witness is being made available exactly for
24 that purpose.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. O'Leary, the Chamber is not of the view that
2 it should take up this motion at this time. It has decided to receive
3 the statement, recognising that aspects of it are perhaps not in the
4 usual form.
5 It will be apparent, though, to all that the persuasive force of
6 some of the statement is less than would be the case were the witness
7 speaking of his own personal observation and knowledge, and especially I
8 speak there because of the generality of some of the things in parts of
9 the statement.
10 The Chamber will, in assessing what weight is appropriate to be
11 given to different parts of the statement, take into account the matters
12 I've just mentioned and will take into account the cross-examination of
13 any that may be directed in respect of them.
14 I think that is a sufficient indication of our position.
15 If the witness could now be brought in.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, sir.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Could you please read aloud the affirmation that
20 is shown to you now.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: FUAT HAXHIBEQIRI
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down. Ms. Kravetz has some
1 questions for you.
2 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Examination by Ms. Kravetz:
4 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. Could you please state your full name
5 for the record.
6 A. Good afternoon. I'm Fuat Haxhibeqiri.
7 Q. When and when were you born, Mr. Haxhibeqiri?
8 A. I was born in Gjakove on the 24th of March, 1956.
9 Q. And in 1999, where were you living?
10 A. In Gjakove.
11 Q. Where were you employed at the time in 1999?
12 A. I was working for the private company Agimi.
13 Q. And in addition to working for that company, did you conduct any
14 other sort of activity? And I'm speaking specifically of the period of
16 A. Yes. I was an activist within the Council for the
17 Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms in Gjakove.
18 Q. And what sort of work did you carry out for the Council for the
19 Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms in Gjakove?
20 A. We would collect information from the ground, information
21 pertaining to cases of violations of human rights in our municipality
22 committed by the Serb forces. In other words, we would go out on the
23 ground, document the cases, and also collect information pertaining to
24 such cases from people who would report them to our office.
25 Q. And just very briefly, could you tell us how it was that you
1 collected this information? What would you do to collect information to
2 pertain to such cases?
3 A. People would come to our office, tell us what had happened to him
4 or her, show us photographs in case they had photographs that documented
5 tortures committed by the police or army, and then we would forward this
6 information to the head office in Prishtina by fax initially, and later
7 on via telephone and other communication means.
8 We would also go out on the ground to document such cases, and we
9 would support this documentation with photographs in case there were
11 Q. Sir, in August of 2001 did you provide a statement to the
12 Office of the Prosecution in this Tribunal in relation to events you
13 witnessed in your municipality and that you personally investigated?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Before coming to court today, did you have the opportunity to go
16 over your statement?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And having reviewed your statement, are you satisfied that the
19 information contained within the statement is true and accurate to the
20 best of your knowledge and belief?
21 A. Yes.
22 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this statement, the
23 65 ter 02235, and I ask that that be received.
24 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1068, Your Honours.
1 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I will now proceed to read the
2 in-court summary for this witness.
3 The witness is a resident of Hadum neighbourhood of Djakovica
4 town. He was working for the Council for the Defence of
5 Human Rights and Freedoms in Djakovica in 1999. He describes the
6 military buildup within the town from 1998 onwards and the positions of
7 heavy weapons and barracks.
8 On 23rd March, 1999
9 Blloku i Ri neighbourhood of the town after the offices of the witness's
10 organisation were searched by police and staff arrested. In the early
11 hours of 25th March, Serb forces arrived in the neighbourhood of
12 Carshia e Madhe in the old town of Djakovica
13 property subsequently burning.
14 On 26th March, 1999
15 neighbourhood where he was hiding. He named six persons killed that
16 night. On 2nd April, 1999
17 where the witness was hiding. At that time, he took refuge in a drain in
18 the back garden where he escaped detection. He remained there for four
19 days. Having returned to his home address, he then witnessed a daily
20 cycle of burning of Kosovo Albanian property by Serb forces.
21 The witness quotes municipality figures for deaths, missing and
22 displaced persons, and property destruction for 1998 and 1999. He
23 details results of the investigations of his organisation into several
24 deaths and expulsions within Djakovica town.
25 That's the end of the in-court summary, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
2 MS. KRAVETZ:
3 Q. Mr. Haxhibeqiri, I would like to ask you some questions in
4 relation to your statement, and I would like to ask you to try to be as
5 brief as possible in your answers so we can proceed efficiently today
6 through my questions.
7 I want to start by asking you questions about events that took
8 place in March 1999 which you describe in your statement. In your
9 statement, you say that on 23rd March, 1999
10 organisation were searched and that staff was arrested.
11 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is, for reference, at the bottom of page 5
12 of the English, and in the B/C/S version is page 6 on the top. I believe
13 it's the second paragraph.
14 Q. Now, you say that after this happened, this search that went on
15 in the organisation, you took shelter in the Blloku i Ri neighbourhood.
16 Could you tell us exactly where you went in this neighbourhood to
17 take shelter?
18 A. Yes, Midjeni [phoen] Street. Gani Efendiu was the owner of the
19 house where I took shelter. He was a doctor by profession.
20 Q. And was there anyone else in that house other than yourself, when
21 you went to take shelter there?
22 A. Yes. The owner himself, that is the doctor; his wife; and his
23 two sons, students; and another neighbour with her two daughters who were
24 also students. I was there with the eight members of my family.
25 Q. You say that you were there with the eight members of your
1 family. Are these eight members of your family other persons than the
2 persons you've mentioned, or are you saying that the doctor and his wife
3 and his family were related to you?
4 A. The doctor's family is a relative of my mother. They are related
5 to my mother's family.
6 Q. And why is it that you decided to go to that house for shelter?
7 Why did you go to that house and that neighbourhood for shelter?
8 A. When I heard that the office was surrounded, searched, and the
9 personnel arrested, I decided to hide, to seek shelter in this house. A
10 house of a relative of my mother.
11 Q. In your statement --
12 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is at page 6 in the English on the top,
13 and it's also on page 6 of the B/C/S towards the middle of the page.
14 Q. -- you say that some days later, on the 26th of March, you saw
15 six houses burning in the Blloku i Ri neighbourhood from where you were
16 hiding and that these houses belonged to political activists.
17 Can you tell us, when you say that you saw these houses burning
18 from where you were hiding, exactly where were you at the time when you
19 saw these houses burning?
20 A. I was in the doctor's house, and from the second floor we could
21 see the houses burning.
22 Q. And would it have been houses located in the proximity or around
23 the same area of where the doctor's house was, or were there --
24 A. Yes, they were at about 60 to 100 or 200 metres away.
25 Q. Now, you say in your statement that these houses belonged to
1 political activists. Do you know what was the ethnicity of the persons
2 to whom these houses belonged to?
3 A. All of them were Albanians.
4 Q. Now, in your statement -- and this is moving forward in time to
5 the beginning of April 1999, you tell us that on 2nd April, two policemen
6 in a blue vehicle came to the house where you were sheltering.
7 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is, again, on page 6 of the English at the
8 bottom, and in the B/C/S it's page 7, I believe it's the fourth
10 Q. And this -- you say it's in the house in Blloku i Ri where you
11 were sheltering. And in your statement you indicate that these policemen
12 ordered the persons to leave the house.
13 Now, you've told us who all was in the house with you. After
14 these policemen arrived, did the persons who were in the house with you
15 leave the house?
16 A. As they were threatened, they had to leave. I heard myself, when
17 the police ordered them to leave the house, to go to the church and there
18 there would be a bus waiting for them to send them to Albania. They
19 ordered them to leave the car keys in the house, and made them walk in
20 the direction I already mentioned.
21 Q. Now, do you know whether policemen went into the houses of any of
22 the neighbours of the doctor at whose house you were staying, or did they
23 only come to the house where you were staying?
24 A. They went to each and every house and threatened the owners of
25 the house to throw grenades into their houses in case they refused to
2 Q. And what did the neighbours do after these persons went to their
3 houses, do you know?
4 A. All of them, all the residence of Blloku i Ri neighbourhood, had
5 to leave in a short time. About 20.000 to 30.000 people from the town
6 were ordered to leave.
7 Q. Now, you told us that all of the residence of Blloku i Ri had to
8 leave in a short time. How do you know that? Is this something you
9 observed yourself or that you hear from others? How do you know that?
10 A. I didn't see anyone during the days I remained there. I was
11 hiding in a drain behind the doctor's house. I stayed there for four
12 days, and I didn't see a single Albanian during those four days. I only
13 saw policemen and their respective wives who would come in the evenings,
14 loot the houses, load the cars and other vehicles with everything they
15 could find in the abandoned houses.
16 Q. You just told us earlier that about 20-, or 30.000 people had
17 left or were ordered to leave the house and you explained that all the
18 residence of the Blloku i Ri had left. How do you know that, that they
19 had left? Did you see them leave, did someone tell you they left? How
20 did you know they had left?
21 A. Well, it wouldn't take one to do much thinking when one hears
22 such a threat, a threat that could blow up your house. Nobody would
23 choose to remain in the house once they threatened to throw a
24 hand-grenade into the house.
25 Q. So if I understand correctly, on 2nd April, you are saying that
1 all of the residences left because you believe that they would have --
2 they would have been -- would have obeyed the threat that was made to
3 them; is that what you are saying? It's not --
4 A. Yes. Yes. There was a threat. We were not able to sleep. We
5 were dressed at all times. We were at all times anticipating their
6 arrival into our houses. We were expecting the worst to happen as it
7 happened in many other cases in our municipality.
8 Q. Why was it that you were expecting the arrival of these
9 policemen? What sort of information did you have that made you believe
10 that they would be arriving to your -- to the house where you were
12 A. Three days earlier, more than 100 people were killed. We had
13 heard that these many people were killed in this neighbourhood, 20 here,
14 30 there, 30 in that village, and so forth. At that time, the land-line
15 was still working and we were able to collect information from other
16 neighbourhoods as to the number of people who had been killed and the
17 number of houses that had been burned down.
18 Q. And just to go back to the 2nd of April, you've told us that
19 these two policemen arrived to your house. Did you see any other
20 policemen in the neighbourhood that day when these two policemen arrived
21 to your house? The house where you were staying, I mean.
22 A. One of them was a local policeman, an Albanian by ethnicity.
23 Q. And other than this Albanian that you saw, did you see any other
24 policemen or any other persons in uniform on the 2nd of April?
25 A. No, I didn't.
1 Q. Now, you've told us that you remain in hiding for some days and
2 that when you went out there were policemen everywhere. Where was it
3 that you saw these policemen?
4 A. On the streets.
5 Q. Can I ask you to be a bit more precise. Do you mean the streets
6 in the neighbourhood where this house was or somewhere else in another
7 neighbourhood? Where exactly was it that you saw these policemen?
8 A. When I arrived in my house, that is after three or four days of
9 stay in my hiding place, around the 5th of April I went back to my house,
10 and there I could see policemen and paramilitaries passing by my gate.
11 Q. And when you say you arrived in your house, in which
12 neighbourhood was this house when you arrived on the 5th of April?
13 A. My house is in the Hadum neighbourhood in the old part of the
15 Q. Now, when you left the doctor's house where you were staying,
16 your relatives house in the Blloku i Ri neighbourhood, and went to your
17 house in the Hadum neighbourhood, was the area where the doctor's house
18 was located still inhabited by the neighbours? Were they still there in
19 their houses, if you know?
20 A. Everybody had already left that neighbourhood. I saw some people
21 on the way, and I told them that I had to leave that neighbourhood
22 because I no longer felt safe there, that I had to go to my own house.
23 Q. And who were these people that you met on the way that you spoke
25 A. Citizens of Gjakove. Albanians.
1 Q. Now, you've told us that on the 5th of April you returned to your
2 house in the Hadum neighbourhood. And earlier you had told us how you
3 had seen -- while you were still at the doctor's house you had seen some
4 houses burning belonging to some political activists. When you went from
5 the Blloku i Ri neighbourhood to the Hadum neighbourhood, did you see any
6 other houses that had been damaged by fire?
7 A. Yes. There I also saw houses that were damaged by fire. About
8 200 of them including some small businesses. These houses were set on
9 fire on the 24th and the 25th of March.
10 Q. And when you say that about 200 houses had been set on fire
11 including --
12 A. Yes, 200.
13 Q. Which neighbourhood are you speaking about were these houses and
14 small businesses were located?
15 A. Hadum neighbourhood. Carshia e Vjeter also called. In other
16 words, around my house, more than 15 shops were burned. My uncle's
17 house, who is in the same courtyard with mine, was also burnt down; it
18 was a new house. And at about 500 metres from my house, there were many
19 other houses and small shops burned down, and I could see all of them
20 with my own eyes.
21 Q. Is the Hadum neighbourhood in the old town of Djakovica
22 known as the old town?
23 A. Yes. It is part of the old town. It is known as the old town.
24 It is -- it has oriental architecture. It is a protected area.
25 Q. Is there a mosque located in the old town of Djakovica,
1 Mr. Haxhibeqiri?
2 A. Yes, the mosque itself is called the Hadum mosque. It was built
3 about 400 years ago.
4 Q. And do you know -- were you able to pass by the mosque and see in
5 what condition it was on the 5th of April?
6 A. Yes. I passed by the mosque, and I could see it from my house
7 because it is at 50 metres' aerial distance from my house. The auxiliary
8 buildings of the mosque were also burnt down. And the mosque itself, the
9 inside part was damaged.
10 Q. And were you able to obtain any information while you were there
11 as to what had happened to the mosque, how it had been burnt down?
12 A. No, there was no one I could ask at the time because people had
13 already been expelled from the old town; they were made to go to Albania
14 As I said, there was no one there. There were only policemen. There was
15 no witness as to the burning of the mosque. That same night, six persons
16 were killed. They were killing people, expelling people, and burning
17 buildings at the same time in the old neighbourhood. They were made to
18 leave under threat. So the first killings occurred on the 24th of March.
19 That is to say, on the 25th of March at 1.00 a.m. these activities began,
20 the houses were being burnt by them.
21 Q. I just want to clarify some of your answers, and we'll take it
22 step by step. First of all, when I was asking you about whether you had
23 you had seen any damage to houses. You spoke about 200 of them and --
24 including small businesses, and you said these houses were set on fire on
25 the 24th and 25th of March. How do you know that? From where did you
1 obtain this information?
2 A. From my brothers. They had informed me by phone. They told me
3 that the shop where I was working was also burnt down including other
4 shops in that area.
5 Q. And can you tell us something about who these shops belonged to,
6 and I'm speaking about this --
7 A. They belonged to Albanians. All of them.
8 Q. What about the houses that you say were set on fire?
9 A. They belonged to Albanians, all of them.
10 Q. And you said you obtained this information from your brother,
11 your brothers. Where were they that they were able to know about this?
12 A. They were at home when the houses were being set on fire. Once
13 they saw that, they fled their homes and went to other safer
15 Q. And you have also spoken about killings and you said that the
16 killings began on the 23rd of March and then continued from then. How do
17 you know this? Who told you that there were killings going on in
18 Djakovica town?
19 A. The killings began on the 24th of March immediately after the
20 NATO bombing began at midnight
21 planned and organised killing, organised by the Serbs --
22 Q. Mr. Haxhibeqiri, I'm sorry to interrupt you. What I'm asking is
23 who told you about this? How did you obtain this information? Was it
24 something you saw yourself? Did somebody speak to you about this?
25 A. I was informed via telephone and also by the residents from that
1 neighbourhood. That's how I learned about this.
2 Q. And when you say that you were informed by the residence from
3 that neighbourhood, which neighbourhood are you speaking about?
4 A. The residence of Hadum neighbourhood.
5 Q. And what did the residence of Hadum tell you was happening in
6 that neighbourhood?
7 A. Three of them were friends of mine, and they lived just
8 30 to 50 metres away from my home, and three others. I heard down the
9 phone line from people. They told me the names of the people who were
11 Q. And did they tell you how they obtained this information as to
12 who had been killed in that neighbourhood?
13 A. Of course, when your brother tells you the names of the people
14 who were killed, I knew that it was from a safe source. It was all
16 Q. Now, I understand from your statement that you stayed in your
17 house until the end of the war; is that correct?
18 A. Ten days I stayed with my uncle in a different neighbourhood,
19 Hanke [phoen] it's called. I stayed there for ten days because I ran out
20 of food, so I went there.
21 Q. And after those ten days, did you return to your house in the
22 Hadum neighbourhood?
23 A. Yes. I stayed there almost all the time.
24 Q. Now, you have told us that you, when you returned to the Hadum
25 neighbourhood, you observed some damage that had been done to the mosque.
1 During the time that you were there until from the end of the war, was
2 any additional damage done to the Hadum mosque that you were able to
3 observe or witness?
4 A. Yes. On the 7th or on the 8th, I'm not sure, I was in the
5 courtyard of my house when the minaret of the mosque, because of what I
6 believed was an internal explosion, collapsed. At that moment, I went up
7 on the second floor and from the roof I was following the developments;
8 and within five a minutes the minaret collapsed, and I saw no one there.
9 Whereas the mosque itself was damaged, half of it.
10 Q. And were you able to obtain any information as to how -- who had
11 caused this damage to the minaret of the mosque?
12 A. No, because that was on the 7th of May when there was fighting in
13 the Cabrat hill which is on the west side of the town. There was
14 fighting between the KLA and the Serb forces. And as a consequence of
15 the fighting, more than 100 people were killed. About 100 houses were
16 burned down. And more than 300 people were arrested.
17 Q. Is the Cabrat hill located in the proximity of the mosque, or is
18 it in a different area of the town?
19 A. It's not far. From my house it's as the crow flies about
20 300 metres away.
21 Q. And how did you know that these persons were killed in this
23 A. Three of those killed and two of those arrested were sons of my
24 uncle; I'm talking about those three killed. And two of those arrested
25 include my brother, and the son of my uncle was also arrested on the
1 street. They were expelled from the houses where they were staying. And
2 those who were not separated from the column of the people, obviously the
3 elderly, they continued in the direction of Albania. But the younger
4 people were arrested in front of the municipality assembly hall. And
5 there were more than 300 people who were taken to the suburbs of the
6 city. They were inside a carpenter's shop, and they were held there for
7 about 6 days.
8 155 of the 300 ended up in the prison of Peja. For six days,
9 they were given no food, or they were given insufficient food. It is
10 just two slices of bread for 36 hours, and they gave no water to them or
11 gave them very little water, which was not enough. And when they were
12 weakened after those 6 days, they were taken to Peja prison.
13 MS. KRAVETZ: I would like to have Exhibit P823 up on the screen.
14 And this is a map --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to continue with what
16 I was saying for another 30 seconds, if I may. Just to complete the
18 And from the prison of Peja, they were moved to the prison of
19 Dubrava. 26 of the 155 who were detained, they were killed, they were
20 shot, with the exception of two who died because of the bombing. The
21 rest were executed by the personnel of the Dubrava prison by the Serb
22 prison wardens.
23 Q. Mr. Haxhibeqiri, I'm going to stop you there just because we have
24 very limited time. I know you have a lot of information to give the
25 court, but your statement is already before the Chamber and unfortunately
1 we can't explore each one of these instances.
2 MS. KRAVETZ: If we could have P823 up on the screen, and I want
3 page 29. This is a map of Djakovica town.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't got the map up yet on my
6 MS. KRAVETZ: And I would like to stay in the bottom half of the
7 map, if we can.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's fine.
9 MS. KRAVETZ: I would ask the usher to please assist the witness
10 in making markings on the map.
11 Q. Mr. Haxhibeqiri, I want you to make a couple of markings on this
12 map. We see at the bottom of the map -- do you have the map before you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. We see at the bottom the map a Roman numeral VII, and it's marked
15 Blloku i Ri. Is this the area where you say you were hiding?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. Can you just -- I know the map is not very detailed, but could
18 you mark, approximately, the area where it is that you were staying
19 during the events that you've described with an X. If you can draw --
20 MS. KRAVETZ: If the usher could kindly assist the witness to --
21 A. Midjeni Street is this one.
22 Q. You can draw on the screen.
23 A. Right here.
24 Q. Now, you've told us that you saw six houses that were burned that
25 belonged to political activists. Could you just draw a circle to
1 indicate the area where it is that these houses were burning.
2 MS. KRAVETZ: Just for the sake of the record, the witness has
3 marked an X where the house -- the doctor's house was.
4 For the sake of the record, the witness has drawn a larger dot to
5 the top right of where the X was to indicate the area where the houses
6 were burning.
7 Q. Now, you've told us that you returned to the Hadum neighbourhood
8 on the 5th of April. Do we see that up on the screen here? If you can
9 just draw a circle around where that neighbour is located.
10 A. Right here.
11 Q. Could you just draw a bigger circle so we know which area we are
12 talking about.
13 A. That's it.
14 Q. Now, you've told us that you saw shops that were burned down and
15 houses that were burned. Where exactly in this area were the shops and
16 the houses that you saw had been burned? If you are able to tell on this
18 A. If this is the mosque, my house should be somewhere here.
19 Q. Could you draw a number 1 there where your house is located.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. And you mentioned the mosque. Can you draw a number 2 to
22 indicate where the mosque was located.
23 A. If it's this one, I'm not sure.
24 Q. Now, the shops and businesses that you spoke -- the houses and
25 shops that you spoke about, where are they located in relation to your
2 A. If the road is this one, then all those were along this road. It
3 continues up to here.
4 Q. We can't see anything unless you mark it on the map, sir. So if
5 you could just draw a line to indicate the road.
6 A. The road is in red actually, but I'll do it. It continues
7 further down from the mosque.
8 Q. So you're saying that the shops and houses you saw were along
9 this road that you've marked in red?
10 A. Yes, on both sides of the road.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MS. KRAVETZ: The witness has drawn a line across the area that
13 he has circled as being the Hadum neighbourhood to indicate the road
14 along which he saw shops and business -- and houses burned down.
15 Your Honours, I wonder if we could have this map admitted.
16 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1069, Your Honours.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The road is named after
19 Ishmajl Qamali [phoen], so it's Ishmajl Qamali road.
20 Q. Thank you for that.
21 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, at this stage I have no further
22 questions for the witness.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
24 Ms. O'Leary.
25 MS. O'LEARY: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Cross-examination by Ms. O'Leary
2 Q. Good evening, Mr. Haxhibeqiri. My name is Marie O'Leary, I'm
3 representing the Defence of Mr. Vlastimir Djordjevic this evening. With
4 me is our lead counsel Mr. Dragoljub Djordjevic and
5 Mr. Aleksandar Popovic.
6 Now, I've been over your statement, so I have a couple of
7 questions to just clarify some matters. First of all, I want to learn a
8 little bit more about the Council for Defence of Human Rights and
9 Freedoms in Gjakove. I tried to visit the site, but it appeared to be
10 under construction at the moment. But it still is a functioning
11 organisation; correct?
12 A. No.
13 Q. No. When --
14 A. Please. Time after time when there are projects, projects to be
15 involved with, we do get involved; but the nature of the work that we
16 were involved in has dropped down and the interest has decreased
18 Q. So you are now --
19 A. The nature of the work has changed, so it's not as it used to be.
20 Q. So you are now engaged on a more sporadic basis, as needed?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. And when was -- I'm going to refer to it as the CDHRF. When was
23 that founded?
24 A. If I'm not mistaken, in 1991.
25 Q. Were you a part of founding this organisation?
1 A. No. I started sometime during the end of 1995.
2 Q. And you were involved with the organisation primarily from
3 1995 to 2001; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you were chairman of the CDHRF for three years, 1998 to 2001?
6 A. To start with, I wasn't; but after the war, yes, I was.
7 Q. How did you come about this position? Is there an election of
8 the members, or is it volunteer?
9 A. It was an election. I was elected.
10 Q. And how many members were there at approximately that time?
11 A. 38.
12 Q. Thank you. And are you still active with the CDHRF when needed?
13 A. The central headquarters in Pristina, when they get a project,
14 for example, the general election, so we are engaged for the duration of
15 the two months into and up to the election.
16 In that case, I would call on the staff, and, of course, this is
17 on specific projects. Because otherwise, I'm involved with my own
18 things. Now, we mainly are engaged when there are elections. At a
19 national level.
20 Q. Who determines what projects you will be involved in, what you'll
21 take on?
22 A. It's the Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms in
23 Prishtina. We are a sub-council.
24 Q. Thank you. And if we could have your statement up on our screen
25 so you can see --
1 MS. O'LEARY: Which is now P1068. Going to page 2 in the English
2 version, I believe it's also 2 in the Albanian version; 5 in e-court in
3 the English version.
4 Q. I want to talk a little bit about the goals that you've talked
5 about of the organisation, particularly in 1998 and 1999. And if I'm
6 reading in the English while we wait for a second the Albanian should pop
7 up on the left, but you're saying in paragraph 3 of the English:
8 "Part of the aims of the organisation is to collect evidence,
9 data, and information of abuses of human rights." Is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And is that -- and you'll have it on your screen on the left
12 there if it's a little bit easier to refer to. But was that abuses at
13 that time of Albanian citizens or it is all ethnicities?
14 A. Only Albanian.
15 Q. If that was part of the goal of the organisation, you said part
16 of the aims, what were the other aims beyond collecting evidence, data,
17 and information of abuses? What else did you engage in in 1998 and 1999?
18 A. The main activity was collecting the correct information about
19 the violation of human rights that was taking place in our municipality.
20 Q. And just to clarify, from your prior statement, just a few lines
21 before, that would be just the abuses against the human rights of the
22 Albanian citizens; correct?
23 A. Yes. Only the human rights of the Albanians because it was only
24 the Albanians who reported these violations. We didn't receive reports
25 of violations from other ethnicities. Partly from the Roma, although it
1 was a minor proportion.
2 Q. Then I want to talk a little bit more about the interviews and
3 how they were conducted. First of all, these were done in conjunction
4 with the ICG; correct? The statements that were taken?
5 A. No, this statement was taken from the international Tribunal here
6 at the Hague
7 Q. Correct. Sorry if I jumped ahead a little bit there, but in this
8 statement here actually --
9 MS. MARIE O'LEARY: At page 7 of the English, if we could go to
10 that, and again at page 9; but if we could look at page 7 of the English.
11 Q. You state that as a result of interviewing over 1.000 people in
12 Gjakove, you had done some interviews, I believe, with the
13 International Crisis Group, I think it is, your organisation had, and you
14 had participated personally; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. And in stating that you interviewed over 1.000 people in Gjakove,
17 you actually only personally interviewed about 100 people; correct?
18 A. That's correct. There were about 10 or 11 of us who were
19 interviewing people, and each one of us interviewed people in our
20 respective areas, covering villages or neighbourhoods.
21 Q. When you say "respective areas" do you mean geographically or
23 A. Geographically.
24 Q. And this was done all over Kosovo or just in the Djakovica
1 A. It relates only to Gjakove.
2 Q. So in this 1.000 interviews that were taken in the Gjakove
3 municipality, you said at some point you had read through them or you
4 were familiar with the information contained in the other 900 statements?
5 A. Almost all of them.
6 Q. Were you reviewing them for anything specific, or was it just to
7 compile further reports for your organisation that you went over the
8 other 900?
9 A. To have information about what was going on across the
10 municipality. To get all the statistics, the numbers of those killed,
11 those arrested, and detained, because the crimes were not evidenced.
12 Some of them still are unknown and remain a mystery. Because there were
13 people -- corpses being brought from Batajnica, and to this day we still
14 have people who are missing and we don't know their whereabouts.
15 Q. When you say - and to go back a couple of lines here - you say
16 "those arrested, and detained," are you speaking about Albanians who were
17 arrested and detained, or are you speaking of Serbs who were arrested and
19 A. We are talking about Albanians only, because if you were
20 Albanian, you were persecuted, you were beaten up, you were killed, and
21 everything -- the worst happened to you because you were Albanian.
22 Q. Did you do any research or interviewing about those arrested and
23 detained Serbs who may have been perpetrators?
24 A. I've recorded all the evidence given by people who came to my
25 office, and there were no Serbs who reported to my office.
1 Q. Now, it seems -- and reporting to your office, it seems that
2 there were two ways that you garnered information. One was that people
3 would come through your door to your office, and the second was that you
4 actually went out on the ground, I believe, you said today in the
5 transcript. When you went out on the ground -- well, is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that's correct. When we went on the ground and when we came
7 across cases of Serbs being injured, we were not allowed by the Serb
8 police and military to get any close to that case because they did not
9 recognise our council.
10 Q. When you were on the ground and going out to interview people,
11 how did you select the interviewees?
12 A. There was a representative of the ICG with us when we went out on
13 the ground. And he was guiding us. And it was them who provided us with
14 a form and the questions and the questionnaire. And on the basis of what
15 was included in the questionnaire, we carried out the interviews. We
16 identified the villages, and they helped us out in conducting these
18 In the villages where we went, there were very few people
19 remaining because the villages were burned down. But the people we met
20 during those visits, we asked them and they told their story. The
21 majority of the population of those villages were expelled from their own
22 homes. They were sent to Albania
23 villages because they had no home to stay.
24 Q. So the ICG was directing whom would be interviewed; is that
25 correct? You are nodding yes?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And did you have specific names on a list when you went into a
3 village, or did you randomly encounter the people who were still there?
4 A. No. It was just people who we came across. And they were very
5 few. And they felt they had been victimised, they were tortured, and
6 their houses were burned down. Of the 84 villages in our municipality,
7 more than 60 were burned, up to 90 per cent of them. So up to
8 90 per cent of the 60 villages were burned.
9 Q. I assume you are getting the statistics that you are giving now
10 at this time from your organisation?
11 A. No, it was the municipality that provided me with the details.
12 We also got some statistics from Mother Teresa Association.
13 Q. And did the ICG give you any sort of training, or did anyone
14 engage in any training before you went out and did these interviews?
15 A. Yes. Days before we went out, yes.
16 Q. What did that training involve?
17 A. Yes, they were lawyers and they instructed us on the way -- how
18 to conduct the interviews. Although, from our side, five or six were
19 professionally lawyers.
20 Q. Were you instructed to look for specific things?
21 A. But the basis was the questionnaire, we were instructed to stick
22 to the questionnaire.
23 Q. Okay. And this questionnaire, when you were filling in the
24 questionnaire, which is what you did when you spoke with them; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were you filling it out verbatim or were you paraphrasing what
2 the person was telling you?
3 A. There were cases that we were literally writing what they were
4 saying. Most of the things that we would put down was authentic. We
5 would literally put down what they said; it was verbatim.
6 Q. And you said that you were --
7 A. So we would note down the words of the witness as they said them.
8 Q. On -- these were on handwritten forms; correct?
9 A. Yes. It was handwritten.
10 Q. Do you recall on these forms, having done so many of them, what
11 were the questions that were asked?
12 A. Yes. There were included all the crime categories. We mainly
13 asked, Was your house burned down; have you been beaten up; have you been
14 insulted; has any of your relatives been killed; anyone detained; anyone
15 raped; have you been evicted from your home?
16 Q. Was the first question on the form "Are you ready to testify at
17 The Hague Tribunal, yes or no?"
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And then they went on, as you said, to specify different crimes
20 that they could discuss that they had been victims or witnesses of;
22 A. Yes, has your house been burned down; who evicted you, was it the
23 police, was it the paramilitary, or the army. If it was the police, who
24 were the police officers.
25 So this is roughly what questions we put to them because so much
1 time has passed and I cannot exactly remember.
2 Q. That's completely understandable. When it asked for the author
3 of the crime, did it say, for example, the VJ, the police, the
4 paramilitary, or civilian?
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. Were there any other options listed for perpetrators of the
8 A. Let me think. We asked, When did you leave your village; when
9 were you expelled; were your documents torn. Because most of the people
10 who were sent to Albania
11 away from them and burned.
12 Q. Mr. Haxhibeqiri --
13 A. So the document was burned in the eyes of all the people who were
14 being sent across the border to Albania
15 Q. It's okay. We have a lot to cover that's in your statement,
16 obviously, so I just wanted to go step by step. And I was simply
17 wondering if there were any other options other than those four listed as
18 perpetrators of the crime, that you can recall?
19 A. Yes, you said earlier, civilians.
20 Q. Yes. So I take it that means that those four were the categories
21 that could be checked in for that?
22 A. I can't remember. But you have the questionnaire in front of
23 you, so you may tell us.
24 Q. I don't actually have the questionnaire in front of me, that's
25 the problem. That's why I'm asking you. I am --
1 A. Can bring it in tomorrow if you want.
2 Q. That would be --
3 A. Of course I can do that.
4 Q. I'm actually going from your testimony in the Milutinovic trial
5 where you discussed the form, Mr. Haxhibeqiri.
6 MS. MARIE O'LEARY: At page 1242, if anyone wanted the reference
7 on that.
8 Q. And I was just going through it in that manner since I didn't
9 have the form with me. But if you have it with you, you can bring it
10 tomorrow and perhaps we can discuss that then.
11 One more question then as far as in this vein right now: Do you
12 know who drafted this form that you were using?
13 A. I said it earlier, it's the ICG.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MS. O'LEARY: Your Honour, I was about to move on to a new topic.
16 JUDGE PARKER: It seems a very convenient time.
17 MS. O'LEARY: Thank you.
18 JUDGE PARKER: We must adjourn for the night now,
19 Mr. Haxhibeqiri, and we continue tomorrow, I believe, at 2.15; and we
20 will therefore adjourn overnight. A Court Officer will assist you with
21 further details, and we will look forward to the balance of your evidence
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.
24 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 7th day of
25 July, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.