Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 3368

1 Thursday, 18 April 2002

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.

6 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the next witness, I've asked to be found.

7 I couldn't find him this morning. I don't know which room he's in at the

8 moment. He's going to testify in open session and won't require any

9 pseudonym.

10 While he's being brought in, can I make use of the time to mention

11 two points about witnesses. I hope to conclude this witness, that is,

12 Veton Surroi, today and tomorrow, leaving enough time tomorrow for at

13 least one 92 bis witness. I hope it may be more, but at least one.

14 And I'm going to have to take a 92 bis witness out of order.

15 Number 3 of that list, Latifi Rahim or Rahim Latifi has I think final

16 Ph.D. exams or something similar. I'm not quite sure what it is. I beg

17 your pardon, Number 4, Zhafer Beqiraj and he has final Ph.D. exams for

18 Monday. He's made every effort, I understand, to have the examiners to

19 adjust their timetable but it hasn't been possible for them to do so and

20 therefore, he simply has to go home on Saturday. Sorry. Not number 3,

21 number 4, Xhafer Beqiraj.

22 The second witness timetable issue relates to Ambassador

23 Vollebaek, who is serving ambassador to the United States, of Norway. He

24 was originally scheduled to come here and came here during the period of

25 time when the accused was unwell. He then reorganised his diary to come

Page 3369

1 next Tuesday and, of course, next Tuesday was then identified as a day

2 when the Court could not be sitting. He's looked at his diary again. He

3 can come on the 8th and 9th of July but on no other day, and given his

4 position and the accommodations he's already made for us, I hope that

5 Monday and Tuesday will be days when his evidence may be given.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Towards, one hopes, the very end of your case on

7 this part of the indictment.

8 [The witness entered court]

9 MR. NICE: Indeed.

10 JUDGE MAY: As for the other witness, clearly his evidence must be

11 heard tomorrow. We should make every effort to hear this witness's

12 evidence today and tomorrow. Of course it will partly depend on you,

13 Mr. Nice, and how quickly you can get through it.

14 MR. NICE: I intend to deal with the summary wherever possible

15 by yes/no answers wherever possible and to deal with it if I possibly can

16 in two sessions which will therefore leave the accused two sessions, if he

17 requires them, for cross-examination.

18 JUDGE MAY: And there seems to be evidence about earlier events.

19 I think those are matters which you can probably leave out unless they're

20 really essential.

21 Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

23 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


25 [Witness answered through interpreter]

Page 3370

1 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. If you'd like to take a seat.

2 MR. NICE: Following on from Your Honours' last observation, I

3 shall be dealing with background matters and in particular, although I

4 understand the Court's made some observation about education, with

5 education, but from a particular point of view, because they are relevant,

6 but I will deal with them all, wherever possible, in summary and Mr.

7 Surroi will, I think, understand that.

8 I should also lead unless -- on matters that are non-contentious,

9 to save time.

10 Examined by Mr. Nice:

11 Q. But first can you give us, yourself, your full name.

12 A. My name is Veton Surroi.

13 Q. You are a Kosovo Albanian, the son of a diplomat, having lived in

14 Bolivia and Mexico, also briefly in London, an educated man, speaking

15 several languages, and by occupation a journalist and publisher; correct?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Your first work as a journalist was with the newspaper Rilindja?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Between 1982 and 1990. As a result of something you published

20 there, were you -- or did you lose that job?

21 A. That's correct. They stopped me from writing for a year in my own

22 newspaper.

23 Q. This, I think, was following the publication of an article or an

24 interview, indeed, with a Croat intellectual, Branko Horvat, who observed

25 that Kosovo should be a republic within Yugoslavia; is that correct?

Page 3371

1 A. Yes, that's correct.

2 JUDGE MAY: There is a problem with the transcript.

3 MR. NICE: That I haven't checked.

4 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please speak up and into the

5 microphone the interpreter requests.

6 JUDGE MAY: It's working. Yes.


8 Q. Mr. Surroi, you've been asked by the interpreters over the

9 headphones, which you do not need to use, to speak up and into the

10 microphone.

11 I think that that same newspaper was, on a date in 1990, closed

12 and reopened under a management board of Serbs; correct?

13 A. Yes. With the establishment of emergency measures in Kosova at

14 large, when not only Rilindja but the Prishtina radio and television were

15 also closed down and the Assembly was suspended and all the other

16 institutions of the Kosovar Albanian autonomy.

17 Q. Did you start a weekly news magazine in September 1990, being its

18 publisher and editor-in-chief, and if so, can you give us its name so we

19 can pronounce it correctly?

20 A. Yes. Its name was Koha, and it was the first Albanian weekly,

21 independent Albanian weekly.

22 Q. Thank you. In 1991, was there a period of shutdown of the

23 newspaper?

24 A. The Koha newspaper had been registered in Croatia, which was one

25 of the two Yugoslav republics where private newspapers could be

Page 3372

1 registered. The beginning of the war between Serbia and Croatia made it

2 impossible for the publication and distribution of the Koha newspaper.

3 Q. And it restarted publishing in what year?

4 A. First of all, following an impediment towards its registration by

5 Serbia, which lasted for about six months, it re-emerged in 1995.

6 Q. Thank you. Was it then shut down again later on, and if so, in

7 what year and, in a sentence, in what circumstances?

8 A. After publishing a photo montage called Anschluss 1989, which

9 showed the accused, the security, the state security organs encircled the

10 publishing house and stopped the distribution of the newspaper in the

11 month of April 1996.

12 Q. What happened to the staff and the building?

13 A. The state security personnel, the Serbian state security personnel

14 questioned some of the members of the staff, inquiring about the

15 methodology of the operation of its staff, the eventual responsibility of

16 the people who contributed to the newspaper was the printing press was

17 closed down and sealed up with a state security -- with a state security

18 seal.

19 Q. Did this event draw any international attention? Just yes or no.

20 A. I think that subsequent to a series of protests at the state --

21 state security organs in Serbia and organisations of the free speech in

22 particular, this case fell into oblivion and the newspaper was allowed to

23 operate.

24 Q. Paragraph 6. Did Koha become a daily paper as the Koha Ditore in

25 April 1997? I beg your pardon. There became a daily newspaper and then

Page 3373

1 you had a magazine and a daily newspaper.

2 A. Yes. That very same year, a daily appeared.

3 Q. You were the proprietor of both?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. The editorial policy of your titles being what? Paragraph 7.

6 A. We always attempted to have an independent or a policy that would

7 be critical and also professional and open to all sources of information.

8 Q. What, if any, identifiable attitude did you take to the party of

9 Ibrahim Rugova?

10 A. I've been critical, especially towards the manner of the reality

11 being represented, which would represent almost half of the truth. But

12 I've also tried to represent the attitudes and political stance of the

13 party and Mr. Rugova in person.

14 Q. In particular, did Mr. Rugova and his party hold and express views

15 about the future of Kosovo and its independence?

16 A. Yes. Mr. Rugova personally, and his information apparatus, gave

17 the impression that the question of the independence of Kosova was a

18 matter of days, and that the entire international community was dealing on

19 a daily basis with the question of Kosova. Over a critical period, for

20 instance, prior to the Dayton talks, the Democratic League of Kosovo

21 apparatus was basically going about saying the question of Kosova would be

22 solved, resolved at Dayton.

23 Q. Was that an attitude that your newspapers espoused as realistic or

24 were you critical of it?

25 A. We clearly pointed out, based on several sources, that this was an

Page 3374












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Page 3375

1 aberration of reality, this was. And it was our own professional duty to

2 inform Kosova's citizens as to where Kosova lay, the occupied Kosova lay,

3 Kosova that was occupied by the Serbian forces.

4 Q. Finally, so that on these general matters we can see how this

5 affected your standing and the way you were viewed, were you regarded, as

6 a result of the attitude of your paper, as being particularly anti-Serbian

7 or not?

8 A. We've clearly been against the Serbian regime, power regime, and

9 fascist ideology, whilst at the same time being open to the views of

10 Serbian citizens who enunciated liberal opposition attitudes. At the same

11 time, we were the only newspaper to break the taboo, the only Albanian

12 newspaper to break the taboo by beginning to refer to the independent news

13 agency Beta, as a result of which, extremist circles, on several

14 occasions, accused us of representing Belgrade's platform and Belgrade's

15 information.

16 Q. We'll come to other events concerning the newspapers a little

17 later, but now travel quickly over the same period of time, just touching

18 on your own political activities. For one way and another, you've been

19 involved in political activities or politics all your life. Would that be

20 correct?

21 A. Yes, I do see myself as an activist of civil society.

22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, I'm sure you'll bear in mind that we must

23 keep the politics to the relevant.

24 MR. NICE: Certainly.

25 JUDGE MAY: The danger is if there is too much politics discussed,

Page 3376

1 the trial gets sidetracked.

2 MR. NICE: I'm indeed aware of that, and I was going to touch on

3 this witness's background just for context and arguably for reasons of

4 credibility should any aspect of his evidence be challenged by the

5 accused.

6 Q. The position is this, Mr. Surroi: You've set out or there's been

7 set out for you in the summary how you wrote articles for the Croatian

8 press which were critical, how you were a participating member of the

9 Yugoslav democratic initiatives, UJDI, as long as 1989, which was a

10 movement for the democratisation of Yugoslavia represented throughout the

11 former Yugoslavia; is that correct? Just yes or no.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. You helped form the first trade union for construction workers in

14 1989; correct?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. You were involved in the parliamentary youth movement from 1990 to

17 1992, but you then resigned from that as a defined political organisation,

18 and I think thereafter revealed your interest in politics in other ways.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And you can tell, if anybody wants to know about it, in detail of

21 demonstrations, including those you had a part in organising; for example,

22 the candle demonstration in February of 1990, which was a demonstration

23 over the killing of some 30 people in previous demonstrations.

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. 1991, you were known as a person who had organised anti-war or

Page 3377

1 violence protests called the Burial of the Violent Day and, as a result of

2 that, you were imprisoned for 60 days, initially, where you served only

3 two? D

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Much later, paragraph 15 - and we'll hear about this when we come

6 to your meetings involving the accused - there was a demonstration

7 following the massacre at Prekaz in 1998, and as a result of your

8 involvement in that demonstration, what happened to you?

9 A. I was beaten up by a number of Serb policemen as I was protesting

10 whilst sitting on a Prishtina street, and I suffered injuries in my arm.

11 Q. I'm going to ask you to deal not in a way that's actually set out

12 in the summary but in much more general terms with something to do with

13 education. The Chamber's already heard quite a lot of the history of the

14 education agreement, so we can deal with it with you very swiftly as a

15 history, but could you please explain in a few sentences why it is that

16 education for Kosovo was an important issue in a way that it might not be

17 for other Western countries and therefore not be readily understood by

18 those who do not have Kosovo experience?

19 A. The Albanian people in Kosova was almost totally illiterate at the

20 end of World War II. This is part of an old heritage amongst the

21 Albanians, given to the fact that the first unified Albanian alphabet

22 dates back to 1908; i.e., very late. Secondly, the heritage of the

23 Yugoslav kingdom meant that there were no Albanian schools allowed to

24 open. There were two fundamental factors: First the overwhelming need of

25 a people to get education in its mother tongue; and secondly,

Page 3378

1 demographics. Albanians are the youngest people in Europe, therefore,

2 there's a greater number of people growing up and needing education than

3 in other Western countries. And at a time when Albanian schools in Kosova

4 were being shut down, that is, following the years 1989, 1990, every

5 fourth Albanian citizen in Kosova was tied, in one way or another, to the

6 educational process, be it as a student or a teacher.

7 The -- and in the political growth of the Albanian people in

8 Kosova, with the expansion of the autonomy, was closely linked to the

9 increased -- to its increased capabilities to get educated, which led up

10 to the university and the profound enhancement of studies therein.

11 Q. Was the significance of education to Kosovo Albanians something

12 that was readily recognised and understood by others, for example, those

13 in government elsewhere in Serbia?

14 A. It was clear that part of the conflict between the anti-Albanian

15 ideology in Serbia and the Kosova Albanians centred on the education, and

16 the persistent efforts to curtail Albanian education finally erupted after

17 the abrogation of the autonomy and manifested itself in the shutting down

18 of Albanian schools as a form of stopping the growth of the Albanian

19 people in Kosova and its maturation as a state-forming subject --

20 political subject.

21 MR. NICE: There are only three exhibits with this witness. One,

22 please; K2408. This is a Security Council report of the 24th of December,

23 1992.

24 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 101.

25 MR. NICE: Page 17, in the top right-hand corner.

Page 3379

1 Q. Mr. Surroi, you've reviewed this document, I think.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Would you care to comment on the contents of the Kosovo passage,

4 starting at paragraph 47 concerning -- education is mentioned there, but

5 just do so very briefly because it's document of record that we can then

6 refer to.

7 A. The document in question reflects the political attitude that we

8 took at that time and which was that because the question of Kosova's

9 political status was a difficult one to solve, the question of the status

10 should not obstruct the right of the citizens of Kosova to receive

11 education in their mother tongue. And from that time, it was the Albanian

12 political -- politicians insisted always in a peaceful manner on agreement

13 and on involving the international community on solving an extraordinarily

14 difficult problem, which was education, which affected the great majority

15 of the citizens of Kosova.

16 So in 1991 and 1992, which this document is concerned with, we

17 tried -- we tried at international conferences, at meetings with

18 international politicians to create a way of opening schools in some way

19 despite the unsolved nature of the Kosova question. This was part of our

20 policies of -- in a peaceful manner and through dialogue of solving

21 everyday social problems while leaving the question of status for a time

22 when conditions would be right.

23 Q. Now, with those general observations in mind with this document of

24 record to which we may refer, we can now go to paragraph 18 but simply

25 pass through history because the Chamber's already heard of it from other

Page 3380

1 witnesses.

2 There was the education agreement brokered by Sant' Egidio in

3 September 1996, which you understood from other sources was signed and

4 eventually announced but not implemented.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. To make the point -- no. I beg your pardon. It wasn't

7 implemented, in summary, for what reason?

8 A. I think that the Sant' Egidio agreement was in fact exploited in

9 order to create a block in the negotiating process in which the

10 negotiation process would lose its impetus and -- on the Albanian side,

11 while the entire problem of Kosova would be concentrated on the question

12 of whether one school or another would be opened or not. In fact, the

13 agreement and the delays in implementing it was a tactic to delay a

14 solution of the Kosova question.

15 Q. Paragraph 22. At about the same time as the agreement was being

16 made, were there demonstrations concerning electoral practices?

17 A. These were the demonstrations after the agreement, and these were

18 in Belgrade. And these had to do with local elections which the

19 opposition parties called electoral theft. And this led to a sense of

20 outrage among the citizens of Serbia.

21 Q. Any consequences of those demonstrations you would want to refer

22 to or comment on?

23 A. I think that the weakness or the response of the opposition in

24 Belgrade led to a crackdown by the state apparatus. And in fact, also in

25 some cases at the beginning of the 1990s, as long -- until the war to

Page 3381












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Page 3382

1 confrontation. The confrontation between the Serbian regime and the

2 opposition was reflected later in the war that began in Croatia.

3 For us in Kosova, the deterioration of internal relations between

4 the government and the opposition in Serbia was a signal to us that the

5 moment was coming when the Serbian regime would -- would -- would distract

6 public attention towards Kosova because this was a nationalist ploy.

7 Q. Next series of negotiations on which you can give, if asked, some

8 personal assistance of the Bertelsmann Science Foundation talks, which

9 occurred in autumn of 1996 and into 1997; correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And in the course of these talks which happened in Rhodos in

12 Greece and I think elsewhere, but you had contact with a political party

13 run at the time by the Serbian Minister of Internal Affairs, Dusan

14 Mihajlovic.

15 A. This is the present Interior Minister, Dusan Mihajlovic. At that

16 time, he was part of the civic alliance.

17 Q. And you've listed others involved at that time in paragraph 23.

18 How seriously were these negotiations taken, and in a sentence, what was

19 their result? And we can produce a document that deals with it and then

20 move on.

21 A. There were three basic issues. First, we all believed that a

22 track 2 for negotiations had been opened. And second track negotiations

23 did not involve members of the government, but nevertheless, the readiness

24 to negotiate would be conveyed to them.

25 Secondly, at this meeting, we participants from Kosova showed our

Page 3383

1 readiness to start on a new way towards approaching a solution of the

2 Kosova issue of not confronting the issue of the status, a question which

3 should come at the end, but to create a framework of administering a kind

4 of peaceful process that would, on the one hand, lead towards improved

5 living conditions, and secondly, would lead to discussions of -- about the

6 end of these negotiations which could be approached without prejudice.

7 Thirdly, we conveyed to both sides the fear that the -- the lack

8 of negotiating process would lead to war, would lead to a deterioration of

9 the situation because this situation would be unstable over a long period

10 of time. So we insisted at all costs on avoiding war and finding a

11 peaceful solution.

12 MR. NICE: The second exhibit of this witness, K2824.

13 Q. I think the second meeting was in Halki in Greece; is that

14 correct?

15 A. In Munich and then in Halki.

16 Q. This is a five-page document dated --

17 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 102.

18 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.

19 Q. Dated 1997 from Halki. The Joint Recommendations, we can read it

20 at our leisure, but we can see on the first page, third paragraph under

21 Joint Recommendations for Resolution, an observation that comprehensive

22 democratisation of Serbia is necessary but not a sufficient precondition

23 for reconciliation, and further observations on what is required. And

24 over the page, under Confidence Building and Practical Improvements, "The

25 education agreement of September 1996 should be implemented without

Page 3384

1 further delay." And an explanation of what would be required.

2 Was this document, and we can see, scanning our eyes over it,

3 other topics covered such as disarmament on 3 at paragraph 5(e). Is this

4 document one that, in your judgement, fairly represented the

5 then-positions?

6 A. This is a document that reflected the way in which the issue could

7 be solved, and it reflected a fair range of the scope of the debate, and

8 of course, both the Albanian and the Serbian sides had opposite attitudes

9 towards this document, but nevertheless, the document represented the

10 degree of consensus that might have been achieved at that moment.

11 Q. And just, I think, a couple more questions about this negotiation

12 process. Paragraph 27, you've mentioned Mihajlovic, and there are others

13 - Tanic and Simic - who were involved. What was their position on the

14 probabilities of maintaining the status quo in Albania at that time -- in

15 Kosovo at that time?

16 A. All the Serbian participants took the view that the status quo

17 could not be maintained, and they warned of a wave of violence, and they

18 were all, without exception, against this wave of violence that was being

19 prepared and which they themselves were sensitive of.

20 Q. And they were signed up to, they were in agreement with this

21 document that we've looked at, for their part?

22 A. Yes. As far as I know, the promise was that this attitude would

23 be conveyed to the Serbian authorities.

24 Q. And that brings me to the last question, last two questions on the

25 topic. The Serbian authority of the accused and his party, had they

Page 3385

1 participated in these talks themselves at all?

2 A. We have information that one of the participants, who was one of

3 the members of the government coalition, obliquely conveyed the position

4 of the government.

5 Q. Can you name that person or not?

6 A. Mr. Tanic represented the New Democracy Party, which was a part of

7 the government.

8 Q. Then finally on this topic, did you understand whether a copy of

9 the document we've now looked at in brief was passed to the accused or

10 not?

11 A. According to the information that was given to me personally by

12 the Bertelsmann Foundation, this document was part -- was given to German

13 Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel in Belgrade, and there, with two

14 participants in the meeting, it was handed over to the Serbian

15 authorities, including the accused himself.

16 Q. You were in due course, as we shall hear, to participate at

17 Rambouillet. The attitude of the Albanian, Kosovo Albanian negotiators at

18 the Bertelsmann meetings was it, in your judgement, consistent with or

19 inconsistent with the line taken subsequently at Rambouillet?

20 A. I think it was consistent in the sense that we insisted on finding

21 a framework of self-administration which would leave the question of

22 Kosova's status open. But the question of Kosova's status would not be

23 prejudged in advance and -- but everyday -- everyday issues had to be

24 solved first, and first an administrative framework had to be found which

25 would not pre-judge Kosova's political status and then we could talk about

Page 3386

1 the question of status. All the efforts of the Rambouillet delegation

2 were concentrated on stopping the war.

3 Q. We'll come to Rambouillet in a few minutes. For completeness,

4 passing over or passing through paragraphs 29 and 30, was there a further

5 series of talks or couple of talks called the Project on Ethnic Relations

6 which happened in Belgrade in 1997? Did you have some part in those,

7 including in the second meeting in New York?

8 A. I took part in both meetings. In the first meeting in Belgrade,

9 there was Professor Agani and myself. And later, the Albanian

10 participants were broadened. And in this first meeting at Belgrade, one

11 of the members of the leadership of the Serbian Socialist Party, Mr.

12 Pecvic, a member of the ruling party, was also present.

13 Q. In the event, did these meetings come to anything?

14 A. I think they showed two things. First, they showed the readiness

15 of the Albanians of Kosova to -- to insist on a peaceful solution. And

16 second, they showed that they -- there was a great gulf between the

17 Albanians' attitude and the attitude of the Serbian regime. And indeed,

18 to some extent, the standpoint of the Serbian opposition.

19 Q. Thank you. Next in order -- it may not be in chronological order

20 but it probably is, an offer to mediate by a man called Pacolli but that

21 didn't come to anything?

22 A. As far as I know, as the late Professor Agani told me, a

23 businessman who had ties with the Serbian regime and the accused offered

24 his services as a mediator, but this offer was immediately refused by

25 Professor Agani.

Page 3387

1 Q. We then come to events of which the Chamber has already heard from

2 another witness, and that is the meetings involving Mr. Bakalli and the

3 DB. You weren't involved in those yourself. Did you hear anything about

4 them?

5 A. I was informed about these meetings only after they were held.

6 Q. Were you informed of any threats about what would happen to

7 villages in Kosovo?

8 A. The mediator at these meetings was a member of my staff, and he

9 told me that the results of the meeting with the state security head,

10 Stanisic, was a direct threat that if a solution were not found between

11 Belgrade and Prishtina, the Serbian regime had identified ethnically pure

12 villages that would be destroyed.

13 Q. Was that, in the climate in which you were operating, something

14 that was taken seriously or something that could be shrugged off as mere

15 words?

16 A. Knowing where these words came from, we took them very seriously.

17 At that time, we had the impression that Stanisic was a trusted person of

18 the accused and his message to us was a very serious one.

19 Q. So when later you learned of the dismissal of Stanisic and

20 Perisic, how did you interpret what was happening then?

21 A. For me, it was a surprise. And bearing in mind the standpoint,

22 the rather milder standpoint taken by General Perisic, who at that time

23 had a rather less confrontational tone and was inclined to avoid

24 confrontation, the dismissal of these two members of the government's

25 inner circle could have been interpreted as an omen of war or of a

Page 3388












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Page 3389

1 deteriorating situation.

2 Q. Now for the reference of the Chamber, at paragraph 35, I only want

3 to focus on the title of this paragraph. You don't have it in front of

4 you but there's a paragraph in your summary headed "Koha Ditore role

5 during the war and Jashari attacks." Now, the war, which war are you

6 speaking of? More important so that we can understand your terms of

7 reference, when did it start?

8 A. I think that the war started -- started with the attacks on Prekaz

9 and the massacres of the Jashari family.

10 Q. Thank you. And the date of that was?

11 A. The first siege in Drenica was in January; the end of 1997 and the

12 beginning of 1998.

13 Q. Do you remember the date of the killings?

14 A. March.

15 Q. What role did your newspaper have in relation to those events and

16 to what degree did it become involved with people from around the world?

17 A. At that time, our newspaper was the only one that reported from

18 the scenes of events. And what our reporters saw was a major massacre

19 under preparation. And there was the Deliaj family and the Jashari

20 family, and people were being executed in front of their own homes. And

21 because this attracted international attention to the cases, we opened our

22 offices to all the diplomats and the correspondents from foreign countries

23 in order to urgently convey an alarm and to sound the alarm in the world

24 that a war was under way against the citizens of Kosova, against the

25 Albanians of Kosova.

Page 3390

1 Q. We then have heard already of the formation of something called

2 the G15. Was the United States diplomat Gelbard involved at this time as

3 well?

4 A. Mr. Gelbard was very much involved, especially in the idea that

5 the Albanians of Kosova should form a negotiating team that would urgently

6 enter into negotiations with the Belgrade regime. And as a result of this

7 atmosphere that had been created, the G15 negotiating group was formed,

8 and this was supposed to represent the broad spectrum of Kosova opinion.

9 Q. And you were a participating member.

10 A. I was a member of the G15 group as an independent member.

11 Q. Was Mr. Gelbard particularly significant in persuading Mr. Rugova

12 what attitude he should take in relation to the work of G15?

13 A. I think that Mr. Gelbard was a key figure in persuading Rugova

14 that a broad spectrum of people should be represented in this negotiating

15 group, especially in a situation in which Mr. Rugova believed that he had

16 been elected the President of Kosova.

17 Q. Shortly after the formation of this group, was there some concern

18 about the apparent absence of international mediation in the crisis, and

19 did Ambassador Holbrooke then take a role?

20 A. For us, it was a sine qua non condition that there should be

21 international mediation in the negotiations with Belgrade. Not only did

22 we not trust the sincerity of the opposite side, but we had been -- we had

23 been inured to ten years of failed negotiations with Yugoslavia, and we

24 thought that international mediation was a key factor in their success.

25 And this trust was further reinforced when the referendum in Serbia was

Page 3391

1 organised against involving international mediation. And at this moment,

2 the statement by Ambassador Holbrooke was decisive, and by the very fact

3 of going to Belgrade and to Prishtina and arranging a forthcoming

4 negotiating process, he showed not only that international mediation was

5 possible but also vital and productive.

6 Q. You speak of the organisation or is it arrangement of the

7 referendum on international involvement. Probably obvious, but just tell

8 us, which way did the vote -- which way did the vote go?

9 A. The voting led to an overwhelming majority against international

10 mediation after what I would call a very intense propaganda on the part of

11 the government's side against international involvement.

12 Q. We go now to the meeting with the accused of the G5 group, of

13 which you were a member, some of the evidence having being given

14 unchallenged thus far. The meeting involved Mr. Rugova, Fehmi Agani,

15 Mahmut Bakalli, Pajazit Nushi, and yourself.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. I think there was some concern, paragraph 40 of your summary,

18 about Mr. Rugova's ability to meet on his own and it was thought

19 preferable to go in as a group; is that right?

20 A. I was surprised at the announcement of the news that Mr. Rugova

21 would meet with Mr. Milosevic, and together with Professor Agani and

22 Mr. Bakalli, we decided that it would be difficult, from a moral point of

23 view, to meet the accused whom we considered to be responsible for crimes

24 in Kosova and, nevertheless, we shouldn't leave Mr. Rugova alone, because

25 we had doubts in his competence to conduct a fruitful meeting with the

Page 3392

1 accused.

2 Q. You set out your -- or there are set out in your summary other

3 concerns you had about -- reflecting the wishes of Ambassador Holbrooke,

4 but let's not be under any illusions. G5 and G15 had what as their

5 ultimate goal, so far as Kosovo's independence was concerned?

6 A. There was this consensus among the Albanians of Kosova, which was

7 reflected in the G15 and G5 group, and this was that the status of Kosova

8 should be a matter for self-determination by its people, i.e., the

9 independence of Kosova for which the people of Kosova had already spoken

10 out.

11 Q. The meeting was on the 15th of May at the White Palace, as we have

12 already heard. Is this the first time, or the only time that you met the

13 accused?

14 A. This was the only time that I met the accused.

15 Q. I'm not going to take you through the various, in a sense,

16 domestic details of the meeting. You can tell us about them if they

17 become relevant and if you're asked. But at the stage of greetings

18 between the accused and the members of the G5, was there any indication

19 that he'd met any of them before, from things that were said?

20 A. I didn't have the impression, and I was surprised by the closeness

21 and the warmth with which the accused greeted members of the delegation.

22 Q. Just yes or no to this, if you wouldn't mind. So far as you were

23 concerned, was the business of meeting the accused one that presented

24 issues, including moral issues, for yourself?

25 A. Yes.

Page 3393

1 Q. When it came for you to have a chance to contribute to the

2 discussion, can you tell us, please - paragraph 44 - what you covered and

3 how the accused responded?

4 A. I think that the most important part of this intervention, on my

5 part, was about the violence and the massacre of the Jashari family. When

6 I raised the question of the massacre of the Jashari family, the witness

7 [as interpreted] interrupted me, saying that it would be insane to think

8 that the Serbian police would kill children. And then he started to say

9 how Adem Jashari was a criminal and so forth and that he had killed his

10 family. I said, "Then why? In this case, why isn't it allowed for a

11 team, an international team from a neutral country to come, an

12 international forensics team, that would come to investigate how the

13 Jashari family had died? And if they were killed by a shoot-out among

14 themselves, then this would exculpate the Serbian forces from any

15 responsibility. And on the other hand, if the opposite were proved, then

16 a process to identify who was responsible could be begun."

17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, the transcript has, and as interpreted, the

18 witness as saying that it was the "witness" who interrupted. Yes, perhaps

19 you could just clarify.

20 MR. NICE:

21 Q. You've heard what His Honour said, Mr. Surroi. Whether accurately

22 translated or not, the transcript has you saying that it was the witness

23 who interrupted you. Who was it who said it would be insane to think that

24 the Serbs would kill children?

25 A. It was the accused.

Page 3394

1 Q. The proposition that Jashari had killed his own family, coming to

2 you from the accused, is that something that you heard before this day in

3 all your dealings?

4 A. I had heard it, this interpretation, from the spokesman of the

5 Serbian forces and from the Serbian media.

6 Q. Any other support that you as a journalist had ever found for it

7 anywhere else, apart from those particular sources?

8 A. No, nowhere.

9 Q. The accused having given you this version of events and you having

10 proposed the use of an international investigative team, what was the

11 accused's reaction to that?

12 A. He only said, after an expression of annoyance, "We'll see," and

13 then he looked at his secretary.

14 Q. How well-informed in detail did the accused appear to be about

15 this event?

16 A. I had the impression that he was very well-informed because he

17 explained to us details, according to his own interpretation, of how the

18 operation had been conducted.

19 Q. Did he have or refer to any notes or was he speaking from memory

20 or knowledge?

21 A. He didn't have anything written. He spoke very fluently, and I

22 had the impression that he was persuaded of the truth of what he said.

23 Q. Let's cover a couple of other topics at this meeting. Was

24 anything said by any of the delegation about education, and if so, can

25 you, in summary, say what the accused's attitude to that was?

Page 3395












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 3396

1 A. Mr. Agani in particular, because he was responsible for the

2 signing of the Sant' Egidio agreement, raised the question of education as

3 one of the issues which were also raised by the accused. Mr. Agani said

4 it was quite incomprehensible how the implementation had been so late in

5 being applied. And the accused, at the end of the meeting or at the end

6 of this part of the meeting, said how the Serbian parliament was in the

7 course of preparing a law on education which, according to him, would deal

8 with certain issues and would make it possible to implement the agreement

9 more quickly.

10 Q. Was anything said about the university?

11 A. It seems to me that the key words were about the university,

12 because the Serbian rector of the university had obstructed the

13 implementation of the agreement. And as we heard later as part of the

14 purges that followed the law being prepared by the Serbian politics --

15 parliament, after purges at Belgrade University involving the dismissal of

16 opposition teaching staff who disagreed with the regime, the rector of the

17 Serbian regime in Prishtina was also involved and was dismissed. And then

18 the -- the process of the share-out of university premises for Albanian

19 students and Serbian students started to go faster.

20 Q. You were, of course, a newspaper publisher. Anything said about

21 that?

22 A. At one point, the accused, trying to describe the climate in which

23 he lived, he accused me of being a dictator [as interpreted] and said to

24 me, "Mr. Surroi, has your newspaper ever been closed?" And he said -- he

25 said this with a smile, and I said, "Yes, you have closed it." And he was

Page 3397

1 surprised to hear this and said, "When?" And I said, "When I published a

2 photo montage. But that's not the greatest problem today. The greatest

3 problem today is violence and war, armed conflict."

4 Q. Another small translation problem. Who accused whom of being a

5 dictator, according to the accused?

6 A. The accused was talking about public opinion, and he hadn't pinned

7 down anybody in particular.

8 Q. He was speaking of other people accusing him?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. The transcript had it wrong. And finally, did the question of

11 Kosovo's status come up explicitly? If not, was it touched on by the

12 accused at all?

13 A. The question of the status of Kosova was mentioned at the

14 beginning of our meeting by Mr. Rugova, and he said that the citizens of

15 Kosova -- and we were determined on independence, but then we passed to

16 another subject and the accused did not pay any attention to this issue

17 and didn't address the question of Kosova's status.

18 Q. But at the end of the meeting, was anything said by him, if not

19 about independence, about nationalists or nationalism?

20 A. Yes. He did mention in particular whilst referring to pressure or

21 what he described as internal pressures, he said, "Look, I've got my own

22 nationalists," i.e. nationalists that do create problems for me.

23 Q. As a matter of interest, when you left the meeting, were you

24 optimistic, pessimistic or about the same? We can see from the end of

25 paragraph 41 how you really approached the accused, but how did you leave

Page 3398

1 the meeting?

2 A. I concluded that the gap dividing us was huge and I foresaw

3 difficult days ahead of us.

4 Q. The accused himself, his approach and manner throughout the

5 meeting at that -- you haven't described it but you can, and did that

6 change your view of him at all? Just yes or no.

7 A. The accused was someone who established quick relations with the

8 interlocutors, tried to create an easy-going atmosphere, in fact, wanted

9 to insert a motif of sympathy in the conversation.

10 Q. As you returned from the meeting to Pristina, what in fact

11 happened, as far as food imports were concerned?

12 A. A few kilometres before the border between Kosova and Serbia,

13 where a Serbian checkpoint was set up, we noticed a large convoy of

14 lorries transporting different sorts of goods, and subsequently learned

15 that in fact a blockade, a food blockade on Kosova had started. And these

16 were the first results of this blockade.

17 Q. Any explanation given from Serbia as to what triggered this

18 blockade?

19 A. I'm not exactly aware of the interpretation, but as far as we were

20 concerned, this was an unusual coincidence, which means that at a time

21 when we were supposed to talk on how to resolve the problems, new problems

22 appeared to crop up. We agreed that this was an act of pressure towards

23 Kosova.

24 Q. Was there change in military activity in the immediately following

25 days?

Page 3399

1 A. During that month, that is to say, during the month of May, the --

2 a huge operation of clearing up the border belt started, including in

3 particular the Decani area. And towards the end of that month and the

4 beginning of June, we faced an increased number of refugees, many of whom

5 remained holed up -- up in the mountains on the border between Kosova and

6 Albania.

7 Q. Any explanation given publicly for the particular timing of this

8 operation and the consequential increase in number of refugees?

9 A. There was no explanation given with the exception of the official

10 explanation that these were anti-terrorist activities.

11 Q. The meeting with the accused had been intended the first of a

12 series of bilateral meetings involving G15; would that be right?

13 A. Yes. And another meeting over the following week was announced

14 between our own negotiating team and the team that had been appointed by

15 the accused, who actually included members of the Serbian government and

16 the federal government.

17 Q. That second meeting occurred. Do you remember the date? Don't

18 guess it if you don't.

19 A. A week later. It had been planned for the 22nd.

20 Q. The -- it was held, I think, in the offices of the LDK in

21 Pristina?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. You can list those present, if necessary, or just identify them

24 from time to time, but -- in your evidence, but did the group you were

25 facing appear to have any power to make decisions by themselves?

Page 3400

1 A. I'm of the opinion that these came from the inner circle, as was

2 the case of Nikola Sainovic or Ratko Markovic, but I think that in every

3 single negotiating situation, they had no decision-making powers but only

4 the right to consult, and the decision-making remaining with the man they

5 considered to be their superior, their boss.

6 Q. Indeed, what appeared to you to be the purpose from their side of

7 this meeting; negotiation or something else?

8 A. I did not detect a great deal of readiness to negotiate, even

9 though a number of issues were put on the table, it was more a matter of

10 form rather than content. For instance, we spent more than half an hour

11 debating where to hold the next meeting. Whether it would be held in

12 Belgrade, as we insisted, in order to set in motion a circle of such

13 meetings in Belgrade, or at the government buildings in Prishtina, as they

14 insisted, to create the impression that these were talks within -- held

15 within the same region that were dealing with local issues which

16 necessitate a local handling.

17 Q. Was there ever a third meeting held?

18 A. No, it wasn't, because this was also difficult to do, but also --

19 but also there was increased international pressure on us, in particular

20 by Ambassador Holbrooke, to participate in this meeting. The situation,

21 however, was deteriorating rapidly. And in lieu of creating a better

22 atmosphere towards negotiation, we were heading increasingly into -- into

23 more violence and open problems. We therefore insisted within the

24 negotiating group that it would be futile to hold negotiations when the

25 situation kept deteriorating.

Page 3401

1 Q. And you, the members of the G5, how had you been described at home

2 in respect of your going to Belgrade?

3 A. There was many kinds of reaction, many of them unpleasant. Many

4 of the labelling was unpleasant. Two of the members of the G15 resigned

5 at the very moment when we decided to go to Belgrade regarding that if not

6 some kind of treason, something bordering on treason.

7 Q. By this time, what number was put on internally displaced

8 Albanians in the mountainous regions?

9 A. In May and the beginning of June, we faced a huge crisis. There

10 were around 5.000 civilians who, given that snow had not melted yet, were

11 hiding atop mountains on the border between Albania and Kosova with no

12 food, no clothes, no heating; nothing.

13 Q. And I think Sadako Ogata was eventually involved, head of UNHCR?

14 A. We alarmed the American mediator Chris Hill, who had been accepted

15 by the Belgrade side too. We told him that this was a huge humanitarian

16 crisis in the vicinity or in the environs of Decani and, given that UNHCR

17 staff were not allowed to travel at that stage, we contacted directly Mrs.

18 Ogata so that she would intervene and be able to send humanitarian relief

19 to the refugees.

20 Q. On the -- there were people killed in Ljubenic, as we've heard --

21 we haven't yet heard, on the 25th of May; is that right?

22 A. Yes. It was prior to our meeting with President Clinton, the

23 meeting of four members from Kosova. This was one of the signals on --

24 bespeaking a red line of execution of civilians in front of their own

25 homes. This was one of the incidents demonstrating the continuity of

Page 3402












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 3403

1 police and military activity.

2 Q. Following that, there was the Serbian university law that you've

3 already told us about, initially presented by the accused in the meeting

4 as being what? Something of a positive step?

5 A. Yes. He announced that there'd be a law which would clear up some

6 of the matters.

7 Q. In the end, was it a positive step or otherwise?

8 A. I think it brought a good deal of damage to education in -- to the

9 university in Serbia, and in fact at the same time the problems had

10 exacerbated to that extent in Kosova at the moment that it was almost

11 irrelevant whether Rector Popovic would remain in his position or not.

12 Q. And then we come to the meeting with President Clinton.

13 JUDGE MAY: That may be a convenient time.

14 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we are obviously on target to finish the

15 evidence in chief early in the next session, not within half the next

16 session. So I hope the examination or cross-examination of the witness

17 may indeed be concluded today. If the accused has very little to ask the

18 witness, I will make arrangements -- were he minded so to express himself,

19 I will make arrangements for some of the 92 bises to come here today,

20 otherwise they will not, of course, be immediately in the building. We

21 don't ask them to come here unless there is an expectation of their coming

22 -- an expectation of their giving evidence.

23 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Mr. Surroi, we're going to adjourn for 20

24 minutes. Could you remember in this and any other adjournment there may

25 be during these proceedings while you're giving evidence, not to talk to

Page 3404

1 anybody about it until it's over. That includes members of the

2 Prosecution.

3 We will adjourn for 20 minutes.

4 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.

5 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.



8 Q. Mr. Surroi, you went to Washington on days in May of 1998 for

9 meetings with the US government, including with President Clinton.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. [Previous translation continues]... paragraph 64 and 65. What do

12 you remember as the dates, please? And if you don't remember them, don't

13 guess.

14 A. It was May the 29th.

15 Q. When you met the President, of what did you inform him?

16 A. I informed President Clinton, taking the example of the massacre

17 at Ljubenic, that regardless of our readiness to negotiate and obtain a

18 peaceful solution, the Serbian regime is escalating the situation with new

19 acts of violence and the killing of civilians. I requested that a

20 security framework of circumstances be created which, with international

21 mediation, would enable the beginning of negotiations. That in turn would

22 set up a self-administration process whilst, at the same time, paving the

23 ground, the way for the status which remains or remained the biggest

24 confrontational issue between Prishtina and Belgrade.

25 Q. Were your talks known of by others, including the accused?

Page 3405

1 A. I don't think so. I don't think the contents of the talks would

2 be known with the exception of the members of the talks. Yes. The

3 meeting had been publicly announced throughout the world media.

4 Q. And what happened when you emerged onto the White House lawn with

5 President Clinton? What did you discover?

6 A. At that moment, as we emerged from the White House, we got

7 information from activists who had contacts with Prishtina, and then

8 through my contacts with my staff that the situation had further escalated

9 around Pec and Decan and that political and military activity had

10 increased and the number of refugees had risen dramatically.

11 Q. Any particular reason given for the escalation? Any cause that

12 you could identify?

13 A. I think that everybody on the Kosovar side that took part in that

14 meeting considered this a response on the part of Belgrade towards our

15 talks with President Clinton. This was a way of telling us that if you

16 meet the American President, this is what happens.

17 Q. We return to Rambouillet in February 1999. In your summary, there

18 is set out a number of not anecdotal but in a sense small-scale events

19 that we needn't weary the transcript with and the Judges with unless it's

20 strictly necessary, but tell us this: What view did you eventually form

21 about how conscientious, how serious the Serbian delegation was?

22 A. I think that a great number of people within this delegation

23 weren't even aware of why they were there. And with the exception of

24 three or four people who came from the circle, the inner circle, they just

25 wasted their time. In the first two weeks of negotiations at Rambouillet,

Page 3406

1 we also noticed that even this inner circle had not come there to

2 negotiate but to obstruct the negotiations.

3 Q. Your side, the Albanian side, was it taking these negotiations

4 seriously?

5 A. Absolutely. It was vital for us. It was not only the issue of

6 the present but the future was at stake as well. And we undertook those

7 negotiations under very difficult circumstances in which, first of all, we

8 had to keep in mind that we were temporarily giving up on the status of

9 independence; i.e., these were not talks which would bring independence

10 which was an aspiration of everyone's. And secondly, within the framework

11 of these negotiations, we had to seek a way of dismantling the KLA, the

12 Kosovo Liberation Army, which was a difficult issue, given that guerilla

13 forces are difficult to persuade, to transform into civilian life. This

14 is a difficult procedure in every other country where guerrilla movements

15 do exist.

16 Q. Had there been an understanding either, at arrival at Rambouillet

17 or before, as to the authority that would be vested in the negotiation

18 groups and as to whether those groups would be seeking authority or

19 direction from outside?

20 A. There was an agreement, a total agreement which we had reached

21 with the mediators that the delegations would be fully empowered to make

22 decisions. And there was the preliminary agreement that we would not seek

23 consultation with persons outside the Rambouillet castle.

24 Q. Sainovic was one of the representatives on the Serb side. Did

25 there come a time when he left the negotiations to go somewhere else?

Page 3407

1 A. I asked Ambassador Hill, who was one of the mediators, why members

2 of the Belgrade delegation were being allowed to go to Belgrade, and he

3 replied that Sainovic had asked to consult with the accused because in

4 fact it would be the accused who would make decisions. And according to

5 Ambassador Hill, this might be -- this might help the negotiation process

6 because the negotiations were more or less paralysed.

7 Q. The consequence of Sainovic leaving the talks included what, so

8 far as your delegation was concerned?

9 A. One member of our delegation, Mr. Thaci, asked as a response that

10 he, too, should go and meet with Mr. Demaci. And according to the

11 mediators, in order to create the necessary equivalence, the balance, this

12 was allowed.

13 Q. Well, those talks ended. The Paris talks in March occurred. On

14 the Serb side, President Milan Milutinovic was one of the participants.

15 What was his apparent authority?

16 A. He was -- he introduced himself as somebody who could assist the

17 Belgrade delegation. But nevertheless, at a certain moment -- at the

18 final moment, when it came to signing the agreement, according to the

19 three international mediators, that is Majovski, Ambassador Hill, and

20 Petric, he said that in fact his boss in Belgrade would have to make the

21 decision and he could do nothing.

22 Q. Well, we'll move on from those talks. But without leaving the

23 month of March of 1999, tell us, please, what happened to your newspaper

24 at about the same time as the Paris talks.

25 A. Because we were late in getting back from Paris because we were

Page 3408

1 not allowed to land at Prishtina airport, I was a day late, and when I

2 arrived on a Sunday in Prishtina, I had heard previously that the Serbian

3 authorities had -- had prosecuted the newspaper Koha Ditore for publishing

4 a report by a Western news agency which had quoted Hashim Thaci, who had

5 accused the Serbian authorities of destroying Albanian villages.

6 According to the repressive Serbian media law which had been adopted by

7 the Serbian authorities, this law punished any newspaper that presented

8 facts which, according to the government's interpretation, were not true.

9 And in an exceptional judgement taken on a Sunday, at which Bajram

10 Kelmendi and Hasmi Bali were lawyers involved, we were fined a large sum.

11 And if we did not pay this fine, we would be closed down.

12 And after three days, the NATO bombing started, so that the

13 newspaper was in fact closed not because of this law but because, on the

14 night of the bombing, uniformed police entered the editorial office,

15 killed our guard Rexhep Ramadani, and then either confiscated or destroyed

16 all the equipment we had. One night later, our printing works was

17 burnt.

18 Q. Have you ever known of your local courts sitting on a Sunday

19 before?

20 A. This was entirely extraordinary, not only in Prishtina, but I have

21 never heard of such cases anywhere.

22 Q. Last, we come to the NATO bombing, and just a few matters arising

23 from that. I'm not sure you told us in your account of what had happened

24 who your lawyer was. I don't think you did. Oh, yes you did; Bajram

25 Kelmendi. Tell us what happened to Bajram Kelmendi, please.

Page 3409












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 3410

1 A. Our lawyer was Bajram Kelmendi, and that Sunday afternoon we had a

2 last meeting, and on the night of the bombing, a few hours after the

3 bombing started, at his home, according to what his wife and

4 brother-in-law said, they were taken by uniformed police, Bajram and his

5 two sons were taken and taken to an unknown place and executed. On the

6 morning of the 25th, his -- Bajram's brother-in-law told me that the

7 police had taken the men of this family. And I phoned Bajram's wife,

8 Nekibe, and confirmed this. Later, I heard that Bajram and -- they had

9 taken the bodies of Bajram and his brother-in-law, and I heard that they

10 had been executed.

11 Q. And for what type of legal work was Bajram Kelmendi well-known?

12 A. Bajram was a human rights -- a defender of human rights par

13 excellence. He was one of the founders of the Council for the Defence of

14 Human Rights and Freedoms, and he had been a defence lawyer in almost all

15 the political trials. He had defended me personally several times,

16 whether in my capacity as a newspaper editor or as an organiser of

17 protests which were called the "Burial of Violence."

18 Q. Just a few final matters on the last page of the summary. The

19 general attitude of the Albanian population to the NATO bombing?

20 A. Although most of us were opponents of violence, the bombing, the

21 first bombings and the later bombings were welcomed with what I might call

22 relief and even joy. They were indeed bombs aimed at a regime that had

23 invaded us and enslaved us, and we thought and hoped, and as it turned out

24 later, it turned out to be the case, that these bombs would bring us

25 freedom. And none of us -- I do not think that any of us thought about

Page 3411

1 the danger from the bombs because the Serbian soldiers, policemen, and

2 paramilitaries were so very much more dangerous.

3 Q. Mr. Rugova and his position, whether he was thought to be free or

4 otherwise and thought to be exercising free decision during the bombing,

5 what's the position on that?

6 A. I think that Dr. Rugova and some other people were in fact

7 hostages of the regime. And his behaviour during the war and during the

8 bombing, and his public statements and his various writings which rather

9 look like a kind of quisling behaviour, can be interpreted only in -- as

10 the behaviour of a person who is frightened for his own life and the life

11 of his family.

12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, that is the opinion of the witness. It is

13 not of assistance to us with respect to him.

14 MR. NICE:

15 Q. Turning to another issue which it may be difficult to distinguish

16 your opinion from the facts, but do the best you can. We're looking at

17 the history of Fehmi Agani, and very briefly his relationship to the KLA.

18 How well respected or otherwise was Fehmi Agani amongst Albanians, Kosovo

19 Albanians?

20 A. Dr. Agani was a respected figure for the whole nation. And I can

21 say that he was the sole figure within his party who was fully respected

22 both by parties or movements that were somehow opposed or disagreed with

23 his policies. I could say that Dr. Agani was a respected figure. And I

24 saw this during the Rambouillet negotiations. He was respected by all of

25 the participants in our delegation, including the members representing the

Page 3412

1 KLA.

2 Q. Did he have, apart from at these negotiations, meetings and

3 contacts with the KLA from time to time?

4 A. Even before, in 1998, Dr. Agani had had contacts with various

5 political representatives of the KLA.

6 Q. And of course when you say at Rambouillet, he was respected by all

7 participants, it's notwithstanding the criticism you make of the Serbian

8 delegation, do you include that delegation as those who appeared to have

9 respect for him?

10 A. I think that Dr. Agani was respected as a trustworthy and balanced

11 person even though he was -- there were -- there were -- I think he was

12 respected even in Belgrade, even though there were clear differences of

13 opinion.

14 Q. As things worsened, was there an expectation that Agani would

15 leave Kosovo?

16 A. I had heard rumours that he was preparing to leave. I'd heard

17 from a personal friend of his. And the situation that was created during

18 the bombing posed a danger of recreating political problems between

19 representatives of the KLA and the LDK and various political parties, and

20 Rugova's appearance in Belgrade would exacerbate the situation further

21 within -- among the Albanians of Kosova, and I think --

22 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry, I'm going to stop.

23 MR. NICE: I was going to --

24 JUDGE MAY: This is pure opinion.

25 MR. NICE:

Page 3413

1 Q. Yes. Can I move to the next question, please, Mr. Surroi. What,

2 in the event, happened to him?

3 A. I saw news on the Serbian television and on foreign television

4 about the murder of Mr. Agani. He was executed. According to Serbian

5 sources, he was executed by KLA forces. But what we learned later --

6 JUDGE MAY: Again, Mr. Surroi, unless you've got some direct

7 evidence about it, this is merely what you've heard, and we'll have direct

8 evidence, no doubt, in due course.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard about his murder on

10 television.

11 MR. NICE: I'm not going to trouble the Court with the third

12 exhibit to which I made reference, which is a summary of Kosovo --

13 suffering by Kosovan violence to Albanians early in the 1990s.

14 Q. But I would like your assistance on one other topic before I

15 close. As a man who has travelled around the world as well as throughout

16 the former Yugoslavia, can you assist the Chamber with how Kosovo

17 Albanians were either regarded or dealt with, not just at home but, for

18 example, when they were in Serbia? What status, what jobs they occupied.

19 If you can summarise that position for us, please.

20 A. The overwhelming majority of Kosova Albanians in the former

21 Yugoslavia, especially in Belgrade, were manual workers. And indeed, in

22 the 1940s and 1950s, they were well-known as being woodcutters, and they

23 knew that anybody carrying a saw would be an Albanian. And then they

24 delivered coal to houses. And even in the Serbian dictionary, the daily

25 vocabulary, people didn't say, "Go and fetch a worker to cut wood," but

Page 3414

1 they said, "Go and find an Albanian to bring the coal." It had the same

2 connotations of low value as -- as in California they say, "Go and fetch a

3 Mexican to clean the yard." Or they might say in the south of Europe, in

4 Spain or Italy or Greece, "You've got to find a Filipino to clean the

5 house." It had this kind of association. They were identified with this

6 kind of work that they did.

7 Q. And had that attitude changed significantly or at all by the time

8 of the war with which you've been dealing?

9 A. After 1968, Kosova started to develop, especially in education,

10 with the creation of a new elite. And there was a conflict between this

11 kind of identity of the new elite who were educated and the old conception

12 of the Albanians as manual workers.

13 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. That's all I ask. You may be

14 asked further questions.

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

16 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:

17 Q. [Interpretation] As the son of a Yugoslav diplomat, practically

18 all your life you spent -- you had a silver spoon in your mouth; isn't

19 that right?

20 A. Yes, for a long period.

21 Q. Everything you achieved - we see this from your CV - was made

22 possible for you by the Yugoslav society, starting from your material

23 status all the way up to your education.

24 A. Yes. My parents catered for that. They were part of that

25 society.

Page 3415

1 Q. I assume that you were also part of that society together with

2 your parents.

3 A. Up until the moment when that society was destroyed.

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I haven't received an

5 interpretation. I did not hear an interpretation. I didn't hear any

6 sound whatsoever.

7 JUDGE MAY: Well, ask another question and we'll see if it's

8 interpreted.

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can hear you quite well.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. So were you also part of that society?

12 A. Up until that society was destroyed.

13 Q. Is it correct that the social status, standard of living,

14 freedoms, human freedoms, human rights, everything else that defines the

15 quality of life was incomparably higher in Kosovo and Metohija than in the

16 neighbouring Albanian state, the Republic of Albania?

17 A. Until the year 1990, yes, it was higher than in Albania and far

18 lower than the rest of Yugoslavia, including Serbia.

19 Q. There is no contest to the effect that Kosovo was an

20 underdeveloped part of Yugoslavia. That is why it was developed at an

21 accelerated rate. However, you say that that was until 1990. Do you

22 know, for example, that your friend Christopher Hill, who you've often

23 been mentioning in your statement and who was there much later, both in

24 Albania and in Kosovo, do you know that he told me how he felt when he

25 would leave Albania and get into Kosovo? He said that he felt as if he

Page 3416












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13 English transcripts.













Page 3417

1 were entering Disneyland.

2 JUDGE MAY: That sounds like the opinion of Mr. Hill. You can ask

3 him, if he's going to give evidence, about it. This witness can't comment

4 on that.

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am asking him whether he told him

6 something to that effect or not, because we are talking about comparisons.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we take into account comparisons,

8 there are some regions of Bolivia which were so underdeveloped that when I

9 returned from Bolivia into Kosova, Kosova appeared to me to be Utopia. I

10 can't see how Albania enters into this equation vis-a-vis Kosova.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Well, it gets into the equation because it is probably undeniable,

13 as far as you are concerned too, that Kosovar Albanians, economically,

14 politically, socially, from the point of view of their rights, were much

15 better off in Kosovo than they were in Albania which was their own state.

16 Isn't that right or is that not right?

17 A. I grew up under the conviction that Kosova was my own state.

18 Q. You grew up under the conviction that Kosovo was some kind of an

19 independent state?

20 A. I grew up with the conviction that Kosova was my fatherland, a

21 part of Yugoslavia.

22 Q. As part of Yugoslavia, of course. As part of Serbia.

23 A. As a part of Yugoslavia.

24 Q. And do you share the view, if you look at this historically, when

25 the Albanians were under the Turks and under the Germans and under the

Page 3418

1 Italians and under the Russians and now under the Americans, that

2 practically only in Yugoslavia, only in Serbia - that is to say, in Kosovo

3 and Metohija - that they were free and that they managed to develop freely

4 and that that is why such progress had been made precisely in that area?

5 Isn't that correct?

6 A. Absolutely not. Albania -- excuse me, interpreter corrects,

7 Kosova is only correct at this stage only because its citizens are free.

8 JUDGE MAY: Now, that's enough of a general debate. Let's get on

9 to what the evidence was.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. A short while ago, Mr. Nice asked you how the Kosovo Albanians

12 were viewed within Serbia and, for example, in Belgrade. You said that

13 they were manual labourers, which is for the most part correct. It is

14 certain that there were a great many Serbs who were manual labourers as

15 well, as is the case until the present day. But do you know that there

16 were physicians, university professors, depending on the level of

17 education, a considerable number of Albanian intellectuals who also lived

18 in Belgrade?

19 A. I think that the proportions go greatly in the -- disfavourably

20 towards the Albanians, and this disfavour has helped create a stereotype

21 that obtains that when somebody wanted someone to cut wood before the

22 winter, it was an Albanian he turned to. But I think that this stereotype

23 has now been overcome or is in the process of being overcome.

24 Q. And do you ascribe that to the level of education or to some

25 national criteria?

Page 3419

1 A. The stereotypes are always a product of low cultural levels or

2 lack of communication and ethnic distances or other identity distances.

3 Q. You said that, for example, the Albanian language got its own

4 alphabet only in 1908, and you also said how much the level of education

5 lagged behind that of the other peoples in the Balkans. So this fact that

6 the majority of them were manual labourers and all these other occupations

7 that you mentioned, do you ascribe this to the level of their skills or to

8 some kind of a national ethnic criterion? Did anybody discriminate

9 against them according to ethnic criteria?

10 A. There absolutely existed a discrimination which was a product of

11 the overall range of relationships, including here a history in the

12 development of the education. The persistence of the Albanians to educate

13 themselves, to have more education, has existed, among others, as a way of

14 overcoming these stereotypes.

15 Q. And in any respect, as far as the treatment of Albanians is

16 concerned, was the position of Albanians different in Serbia than it was

17 as far as other minorities are concerned; Bulgarians, Hungarians, Slovaks,

18 et cetera, not to mention all of them? There are 26 different ethnic

19 groups in Serbia. So was it different at all?

20 A. Absolutely. The greatest number of political prisoners in the

21 former Yugoslavia consisted of Albanians. A great number, over -- far

22 larger than their proportion in the population.

23 Q. And do you know that now in West Europe, proportionately speaking,

24 in terms of their presence in these countries, also in Switzerland, if you

25 look at this, is the same?

Page 3420

1 JUDGE MAY: What's the relevance --

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is no connection at all with

3 what we're talking about.

4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, that's right.

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, he has indicated some kind of

6 discrimination which never existed, and that is why it is relevant.

7 JUDGE MAY: Let's move on.

8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Are you aware that, for example, in Belgrade during all these

10 years there were between 70 and 100.000 Albanians living there? And do

11 you know, for example, that when you walk along the main street, along the

12 Boulevard of the Revolution, from the federal Parliament onwards, that

13 there are many Albanian names and shops, the names of the shop owners? Do

14 you know that never, during all this time over these past ten or 20 years

15 or whatever, not a single shop window was broken and there was never any

16 discrimination? Are you aware of all of that?

17 A. This is not true either. Many windows were broken after the

18 incident at Paracin. A child became -- came under attack, a child of a

19 baker's in Serbia came under attack. He was assaulted with a knife or

20 some other cutting object, and his eye was popped out.

21 Q. I'm talking about Belgrade. I'm not talking about individual

22 incidents. I asked you about Belgrade. I asked you if you knew about

23 Belgrade. And as for what you mentioned just now, we can discuss it

24 further.

25 THE INTERPRETER: Can the interpreter kindly request that the

Page 3421

1 witness please pause between question and answer.

2 JUDGE MAY: Can you pause after the question for interpretation.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were broken panes,

4 windowpanes, in Belgrade as well. Belgrade's bakers also felt threatened

5 and returned to Kosova.

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. You know full well that that's not true, but let's go back to the

8 event in Paracin. You mentioned the event in Paracin. Do you know what

9 that was all about?

10 A. Yes it had to do with the killing of four soldiers, and an

11 Albanian was accused of this.

12 Q. Not four, many more soldiers. His comrades, his fellow soldiers

13 were riddled with bullets by an Albanian. He did this. Everybody saw

14 this. He killed people in the Paracin barracks, which was abhorred by the

15 entire country. I imagine you remember that, because I should think that

16 you should have condemned and that you did condemn an act of this nature.

17 JUDGE MAY: When -- when are we talking about, Mr. Surroi; what

18 sort of date?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The second half of the 1980s.

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Next question.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. Since you have been ascribing to me all the events that took place

23 from 1989 onwards, to put it that way, could you answer the question why

24 was there unrest, riots, demonstrations in Kosovo, in 1965, for example,

25 in 1968, in 1980, 1981, et cetera? During all this time until 1989 and

Page 3422

1 1990, why?

2 A. There is no relationship or similarity between the violence and

3 demonstrations from 1989 onwards. Where similarities do exist, it has to

4 do with the political demands of the Albanians for a republic status

5 within the Yugoslav federation. And what put or should have been a normal

6 constitutional debate was transformed into an object of repression. The

7 violence came from the state and not from the citizens.

8 Q. I asked you why there was violence in 1965, 1968, in 1980, and

9 1981, and you are talking about different --

10 JUDGE MAY: We're going to deal with this briefly, because it's

11 going back a long way. Mr. Surroi, you're asked why there was violence,

12 if there was, in 1965, 1968, and the early 1980s. Can you deal with that

13 briefly?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because the state confronted with

15 repression by violence a political demand coming from groups which were

16 not part of the political elite of the time. Demonstrations in the

17 streets, peaceful demonstrations, were met with a violent response on the

18 part of the organs of power.

19 This political demand was one that requested a republic status for

20 Kosova within the Yugoslav federation.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. And are you aware that throughout this time when allegedly the

23 rights of the Albanians were jeopardised, a large number of Albanians held

24 very high positions in the federation, in the republic in Kosovo,

25 Metohija, in all the municipalities, and even in various places outside

Page 3423












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13 English transcripts.













Page 3424

1 Kosovo and Metohija, beyond the republican level in Serbia, et cetera?

2 Even your father was an ambassador. There were many people, Albanians,

3 who held higher positions or similar positions, those of ministers, et

4 cetera. Can this in any way be qualified as discrimination?

5 A. The evolution of autonomy, from 1968 onwards, brought the

6 integration of the Albanians in various levels of the administration. In

7 other words, their involvement in the elite. Nevertheless, this process

8 went parallel with a process of a repressive state and a repressive

9 system.

10 This period, nevertheless, was very much more liberal than the

11 period when the accused took power.

12 Q. We will see that it is actually the other way around, but for

13 example, throughout this time, you have been a journalist, a publisher,

14 the owner of a paper. You worked freely, travelled freely, accumulated

15 wealth. Did anybody put any obstacles in your way in terms of what you've

16 been doing?

17 A. As I have said several times, I was obstructed.

18 Q. For the time being, I have heard of one example only of

19 obstruction. I was surprised by that myself when you told me that during

20 the course of that conversation. As you remember, I asked for it to be

21 checked out. I received information that that was several years

22 beforehand, that it is true that the rooms where your newspaper was were

23 sealed for one day, not several days. And it was because some financial

24 misdoings [sic] that you had committed at that time were being

25 investigated. It wasn't due to any caricature of mine, a cartoon.

Page 3425

1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, what is the question? You're not here

2 to make speeches. You know that.

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The question was: Does he consider

4 himself to have been free as a journalist, the owner of a newspaper and

5 publisher during all those years while he worked in Yugoslavia, and he

6 said that regime was repressive?

7 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let -- let the witness deal with it. He's given

8 one example. If there are others, no doubt he can give them.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I won freedom myself; my work.

10 While confronting all the obstacles placed in my path by the system, I

11 did not feel myself to be a free man as I do today. I didn't feel myself

12 to be a free man when my colleagues were taken in for questioning by the

13 state security. I didn't feel a free man as long as people were being

14 killed in Kosova and there was no responsibility. They were killed by

15 security forces and no one was held to account for this. I didn't feel

16 myself to be a free man when the police beat me because I was protesting

17 against war. I didn't feel myself to be a free man when I was sentenced

18 to 60 days in prison because I protested against the war.

19 Every person measures the consequences of what lies ahead of

20 him and I could either give in to this or I could continue. I wasn't

21 given freedom by a system or a state. I won this freedom myself.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. Mr. Surroi, you are an intellectual. I think that there is no

24 point in us listening to pathetic tirades as to how you have won your

25 freedom. I asked you quite pragmatically.

Page 3426

1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we are equally not listening to

2 comments of that sort from you. You can ask the witness questions. You

3 can make comments to us in due course, but there's no point making that

4 sort of comment.

5 Now, you're taking up valuable time. Let's move on to something

6 else.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Very well.

8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Please try to give answers that are fact-related. Since you

10 mentioned that various people were being taken away, and it is my

11 assertion that there were no political prisoners in Serbia whatsoever over

12 those ten years, is that correct or is that not correct?

13 A. It's absolutely untrue. Absolutely untrue. From the matter of

14 isolation, which was a practice that existed only under this regime, when

15 people were taken and placed in isolation without any recourse to due

16 process, and all the political prisoners who were detained in Kosova

17 sentenced whether to 60 days' imprisonment or to other sentences, the

18 number of Albanians who suffered persecution grew enormously. The prisons

19 of Serbia were crammed with Albanian political prisoners.

20 Q. Mr. Surroi, you've just said it now. They were sentenced to 60

21 days. This is not imprisonment imposed by a court at all. This is an

22 administrative fine for disrupting law and order in a public place. Isn't

23 that true, that this was an administrative fine? It meant that you were

24 sentenced to 60 days in prison, but then you were released after 15 days.

25 Isn't that true?

Page 3427

1 A. That isn't true. I was released after two days, but I was

2 sentenced to 60 days. And at the same time, procedures were initiated for

3 what was called offending the feelings of Serbs and Montenegrins, which at

4 this time was a matter in the penal code. I didn't -- I didn't create any

5 kind of disorder in the city. I was protesting against the war alongside

6 200.000 other citizens.

7 Q. Well, among those 200.000 were a number of those who were causing

8 violence, and you will remember that, and I imagine that's not contested.

9 A. Absolutely untrue. Not a single citizen ever caused violence or

10 even noise. It was absolutely a silent protest.

11 Q. Since you've taken yourself to be an example of a victim who was

12 persecuted, apart from those two days that you spent in prison after those

13 demonstrations, were you ever in prison apart from that?

14 A. No.

15 Q. And from the ranks of the politicians, public personalities or any

16 other prominent Albanians, who was in prison at all? Do you know of

17 anyone who was in prison?

18 A. Hajrullah Gorani, chairman of the independent trade

19 unions of Kosova was in prison; Rexhep Osmani, the chairman of the

20 Association of Teachers of Kosova; Jup Statovci, now deceased, the former

21 rector of the University of Kosova. There was the late, or rather, the

22 missing Ukshin Hoti, a professor at the University of Kosova. There was

23 one of the vice-presidents of the LDK was detained, and I could give you a

24 list. There were the three lawyers. And all of these examples contradict

25 what you said.

Page 3428

1 Q. On the contrary. You mentioned a few persons. This is a

2 single-digit number. And how much time did they spend in prison?

3 A. I think at least 60 days.

4 Q. So once again, this was an administrative punishment and not a

5 court judgement, sentence.

6 JUDGE MAY: Well, they ended up in prison, whatever it was. But

7 no doubt we can get the facts here rather than asking the witness to try

8 and recollect. No doubt you or somebody else can supply us with them.

9 Let's move on.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Of course, as it's quite clear that political prisoners in Serbia

12 for those ten years, there were none. And the witness is --

13 JUDGE MAY: You're not giving evidence now.

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And the witness is saying now --

15 JUDGE MAY: You're not giving evidence, Mr. Milosevic. Let's move

16 on with questions.

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Was there any restriction of movement? Was anybody not able to

19 get a passport? Were you all able to travel throughout the world,

20 beginning with Rugova and yourself, and all the other Albanian public

21 personages that you mentioned? Were they free to set up all kinds of

22 political parties and so on and so forth? Yes or no.

23 A. I was prevented from travelling for a period, and my passport was

24 taken from me. And thanks to the intervention of the Swiss authorities, I

25 think, after six months, my passport was restored to me.

Page 3429

1 Q. So it -- your passport was taken away from you for six months, you

2 say. And throughout those ten years, did anybody, any of the Albanian

3 politicians or public persons, have anything happen to them? Were they

4 killed? Did anything happen?

5 A. Other citizens were killed. There were other citizens who were

6 killed.

7 Q. Well, not by the authorities, quite certainly. Now, whether

8 somebody was killed or not, killings exist in all countries, happen in all

9 countries. I'm asking you whether there was anything that could have been

10 -- could have resembled repression on the part of the authorities towards

11 political leaders, political parties, the restriction of freedoms for them

12 or anything that could resemble things of that kind.

13 A. Kosova was restricted in its freedom. There was a total lack of

14 institutions. There was lack of defence through the law, and the citizens

15 who were killed, these were not citizens killing each other, they were

16 killed by the police. And this failure to punish these crimes became

17 elevated to a principle in the course of these ten years.

18 A policeman who has killed a child was never held to account. And

19 when this happens once, twice, five times, this creates a general culture

20 of a failure to punish in which a Serbian policeman could do everything

21 and Albanian citizens had no defence. And within this kind of framework,

22 it's not very relevant what kind of parties are created because there's no

23 parliament for them to be represented in.

24 It is not important whether one kind of trade union or other is

25 created because there is no legal process whereby this trade union can

Page 3430












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13 English transcripts.













Page 3431

1 defend workers' rights.

2 Kosova was a state of outright violence, with a total lack of

3 institutions for the protection of human rights. Under these

4 circumstances, I believe, I think the violence against political leaders

5 had an opposite effect and was to distract international attention.

6 Q. I didn't understand your answer very well. What served to attract

7 international attention -- or distract, rather, distract international

8 attention, as it says? I'm not sure I understood you there.

9 A. There has been no open violence towards political personalities

10 because this would attract international attention.

11 Q. You are testifying here about facts, whereas what you're actually

12 doing is expressing your opinion. You have now answered my question as to

13 whether there was any violence against political persons, and you say

14 there were not, but because we were sly, we didn't want to expose

15 ourselves to the international community.

16 Now, the question is "Was there?" and your answer was there was

17 not. So please give me an answer when I ask you.

18 You say in your statement that Rugova had been taken away, that

19 his house had been burnt, and afterwards, you saw that this was not true,

20 of course. Now, did you have any idea as to who wanted to kill Rugova and

21 burn his house down, for example? Have you any ideas about that? When

22 you heard that, that Rugova had been taken away and his house had been

23 burnt, what occurred to you? Who committed that?

24 A. My supposition at the time was that it must have been Serbian

25 paramilitary forces.

Page 3432

1 Q. And do you know that it was precisely the Albanian terrorists who

2 had tried to kill Rugova and that he knows that very well himself?

3 A. I doubt this. I don't believe this at all.

4 Q. Do you know that on the wall of his house, an assassinator trying

5 to jump over the wall who had tried to assassinate him, was shot?

6 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... just a moment.

7 Let the interpreters catch up. What I said was the witness cannot know

8 about this; he wasn't there. It's all secondhand. You can ask Mr. Rugova

9 about it.

10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That is precisely what I'm going to

11 do.

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. And do you know who protected Rugova, who prevented him from being

14 killed by these terrorists?

15 JUDGE MAY: No, the witness doesn't know about it.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. And do you think it's logical that those same people who wished to

18 kill Rugova and indeed attempted to kill Rugova --

19 JUDGE MAY: No. No.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. All right.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. You complained a moment ago that you were fined for publishing

23 Hashim Thaci in the paper. Today, in the West, can anybody assert

24 terrorism and give coverage to terrorism? You're a journalist yourself,

25 you move around the Western world and I'm sure you know this very well.

Page 3433

1 JUDGE MAY: That is not a proper question, that's comment.

2 What were the circumstances in which you were fined and was it

3 right that it was merely because you were reporting terrorism? That's

4 what's alleged. When I say "you," the paper, I mean.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We published an agency report, an

6 ordinary agency report, published by many newspapers in the world, and in

7 this report, Mr. Thaci said that Serbian villages -- I mean, Albanian

8 villages are being destroyed by Serbian forces. According to this law,

9 the Serbian Information Minister, who considered that it was a lie that

10 Serbian forces were destroying Albanian villages, and this is why we were

11 convicted.

12 But this law, as you could see in other cases too, condemned any

13 statement by anybody that the Serbian government might consider to be

14 untrue.

15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. As you know, Mr. Surroi, what you've just said is not true,

17 because the law could only apply penalties for publishing obvious

18 untruths. So according to that law, if you remember it and if you read it

19 at all, when a paper publishes a notorious lie and cannot within the space

20 of 24 hours prove that it is not a lie, then he would pay a monetary fine.

21 And that's all that the law says.

22 And as you claim and call this conscious repression, then I would

23 like to have that law read out independently of this testimony so that we

24 can see that this witness is not telling the truth.

25 JUDGE MAY: Wait a moment. We will get the law in due course and

Page 3434

1 we'll refer to it. Now, is there anything else for this witness on that

2 point?

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. As a journalist, you were well-known for your unobjective writing.

5 Now, do you consider that during this testimony you are using half-truths?

6 A. I -- I think you should rephrase your question because it's

7 insulting, saying that I'm using half-truths.

8 Q. From what you have said, it emerges, that is to say, something

9 emerges not directly but you are inferring that there was no freedom of

10 the press. Do you know how many papers and publications -- let us take

11 just those that were published in the Albanian language in Kosovo and

12 Metohija, which you could buy at every street corner. For example, in

13 front of your house or in Pristina.

14 A. The number that you quoted in the course of these ten years did

15 not correspond to the truth. It was a number made up by the information

16 media ministry at the time, and it related to the number of newspapers

17 that had been registered since 1945.

18 Q. I didn't give a figure.

19 A. And this is a matter -- this is if it's the number that you have

20 been repeating in the last ten years.

21 Q. And how many papers during, let's say -- let's say from 1990 up

22 until the year 2000, that ten-year period, how many papers came out in

23 Albanian, in the Albanian language in Kosovo and Metohija?

24 A. There was a daily newspaper called Bujku and there were two

25 weeklies. There was a monthly crossword magazine. There was one

Page 3435

1 pornographic magazine that came out every month or two. There was a

2 magazine for education called Shkendija and there were regional newspapers

3 which were also for crosswords. Meanwhile, Prishtina radio television was

4 closed, and there were many more Albanian language programmes on radio

5 Moscow or on radio Helsinki than on radio Prishtina, which was controlled

6 by the Serbian authorities.

7 Q. Did you have television news bulletins and news bulletins over the

8 radio in Albanian? There were bulletins even in the Turkish language

9 although there were far fewer Turks than Albanians. So did you have daily

10 programmes in Pristina in the Albanian language?

11 A. From radio television Prishtina, which broadcast about 12 hours a

12 day, when autonomy was abolished, there was a news programme contrived in

13 the Albanian language but it was contrived by incompetent people who

14 translated news from Serbian which they read out in an utterly

15 incomprehensible form of Albanian. That was the Albanian language

16 programme that you're talking about.

17 Q. How far journalists -- a good journalist is a relative question,

18 and you're a journalist, so that must apply to you too. You enumerated

19 some ten newspapers which were published during the time period that you

20 stated. They came out freely. You could buy them anywhere.

21 You also said that your own paper, the Koha, was registered in

22 Croatia, that you did that because it wasn't possible in Serbia to set up

23 a private newspaper. Do you happen to know that in 1990 - 1990 I'm saying

24 - in Serbia a new Constitution was passed which introduced the

25 multi-party system on the basis of which laws were enacted according to

Page 3436

1 which you were able to register every private newspaper in Serbia, radio

2 station, or other form of information media? So the press and electronic

3 media. Are you aware of that?

4 A. At the time of registration, it was not -- there was not possible

5 even for Belgrade newspapers, even for Vreme. Not even Belgrade papers

6 could register in Belgrade, and they registered in Croatia too. What

7 you're talking about happened later. And for a long time, none of us in

8 Kosova wished to re-register, expecting that the state of emergency would

9 be lifted in Kosova and Kosovar institutions would be created and we could

10 register newspapers with them.

11 Q. That's another matter entirely as to what your motives were. What

12 I was asking you was: Could you register your newspaper in Serbia? And

13 at any rate, if you registered it in Croatia, you sold them quite freely

14 in Serbia. Is that right or not?

15 A. Until 1991, yes.

16 Q. What about after 1991? How did you publish the Koha and Koha

17 Ditore and how did you tell them, the newspaper in Kosovo and Metohija?

18 A. We registered with the Serbian authorities.

19 Q. Well, then, were you able to print and publish your paper freely,

20 Koha and, after, the Koha Ditore in Kosovo and Metohija, in Serbia and so

21 on? You could buy it in Belgrade as well.

22 A. I don't think you could buy that in Belgrade, you could have

23 bought that in Belgrade.

24 Q. Yes, you could. There were private people bringing them in from

25 Kosovo, and you could find the newspaper the Koha Ditore at the kiosk in

Page 3437

1 Terazija square.

2 A. I don't think so in Belgrade. You could have bought Croatian

3 newspapers, but I don't think you could have bought Koha Ditore. I have

4 been through Terazija.

5 Q. Where you sent the Koha Ditore, I'm sure that nobody took it. Is

6 that right? The Koha, the Koha Ditore?

7 A. Within the territory of Kosova during that period, there was no

8 direct obstruction on the printing and distribution of the newspaper, with

9 the exception -- with a few exceptions.

10 Q. All right. Thank you very much. At last I have got a concrete

11 answer from you. And you say that there was no destruction in the

12 printing and distribution of your paper.

13 Now, was any number, any issue of a paper -- I'm not saying a

14 paper but an issue of a paper stopped and prohibited? You said that there

15 was a caricature, a cartoon of my own which led to the shutting down of

16 your paper. But do you know of a case of any single Albanian paper and

17 any issue of that paper that was banned?

18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter request: Can the witness please

19 pause.

20 JUDGE MAY: Could we have a pause, please? And we will get on

21 more quickly, Mr. Milosevic, if you don't comment on the answers, the ones

22 which you approve of and those you don't.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, it was very difficult to

24 arrive at an answer, so I had to express my great satisfaction at having

25 received one. But I won't comment. Don't worry.

Page 3438












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Page 3439

1 THE INTERPRETER: I think I was misunderstood. I asked for the

2 witness to pause between the question and answer.

3 JUDGE MAY: There is a comment from the interpreter. Will you ask

4 the witness to pause between question and answer. That seems to be the

5 problem.

6 Mr. Surroi, if you'd do that. In fact, it's coming up to the time

7 for an adjournment. We will adjourn now. Twenty minutes.

8 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.

9 --- On resuming at 12.35 p.m.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Until when was your paper Koha published in Croatia? How long did

12 it operate under that regimen?

13 A. The registration should be valid even today in Croatia. It

14 continues to be registered.

15 Q. That's not what I'm asking you. I'm asking you until when was

16 your paper published under that registration? Until when did you

17 distribute and register your paper under the Croat registration? Later on

18 you were registered in Serbia.

19 A. Until 1991.

20 Q. And were you registered in Serbia in 1991?

21 A. No, in 1994.

22 Q. And how was Koha published between 1991 and 1994?

23 A. It was not published.

24 Q. So you started your newspaper again only in 1994?

25 A. Yes.

Page 3440

1 Q. You described this one particular case, and you said yourself in

2 your statement that this happened because there's some kind of cartoon of

3 mine, that the paper had been blocked. Do you know whether this was the

4 only case when some of my cartoons were being published in Albanian

5 newspapers in Kosovo?

6 A. No. This was a photo montage, but we -- before that, we had

7 published a -- a caricature of yourself and Saddam Husein. And the man

8 who did that -- who drew that was given a 60-day sentence in prison.

9 Q. Was there any case of someone having closed down his newspaper

10 because of some kind of cartoon of mine? Any newspaper. It doesn't have

11 to be Koha Ditore.

12 A. No.

13 Q. And does that lead you to the conclusion that when you mentioned

14 that it was because of my cartoon that it wasn't actually because of my

15 cartoon?

16 A. No. It does not lead me to this conclusion. The inspectors, the

17 security service inspectors questioned a few people regarding the author

18 of this photo montage and who allowed that to appear.

19 Q. In what sense were you opposition in relation to Rugova? You say

20 that in your statement, that you were in opposition to Rugova.

21 A. Personally, I thought that peaceful politics ought to have been

22 dynamised. The peaceful resistance, the policy of peaceful resistance, by

23 definition, means resistance, active peaceful resistance; protests,

24 blocking institutions of the occupying power, the expression of the

25 energies of the citizens towards freedom. And I never thought that a

Page 3441

1 weekly press conference could replace the peaceful resistance.

2 Q. Do you claim, as you do until the present day, that the police

3 brutally attacked Adem Jashari?

4 A. Absolutely.

5 Q. And do you know that before that, since you mentioned his family,

6 before that that you refer to and that you call an attack against his

7 family, the police came to arrest Jashari and that they left because he

8 was not at home, that nobody touched the family?

9 A. This does not justify their subsequent killing of children.

10 Q. Nothing justifies the killing of children, of course. But the

11 question is: Who is responsible for that? And since you knew everything

12 that was happening in Kosovo, as a journalist and as a public figure,

13 precisely in relation to Jashari, I wish to put a few questions to you.

14 Do you know that Adem Jashari, Sulejman Selimi and Hazir Pajazit,

15 as far as back as September of 1995 attacked the police station in

16 Podujevo when policemen were killed and wounded? Did you know of that

17 event?

18 A. No.

19 Q. You didn't? And did you know that a week later, that is to say

20 also in 1995, they also attacked the police station in Glogovac where two

21 policemen were killed and four seriously wounded? Did you know that?

22 A. I wasn't aware, but you can elaborate further in the sense of what

23 was the Serbian police seeking in Kosova.

24 Q. What the Serbian police were seeking in Kosovo? Is that what

25 you're saying?

Page 3442

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Are you aware that Kosovo is the territory of the Republic of

3 Serbia?

4 JUDGE MAY: We're going to get a long way from the case if we

5 start this argument again.

6 Yes. Is there something else you want to put about Mr. Jashari?

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Do you know that in January 1996, Adem Jashari, with his group,

9 killed two policemen who were working in Srbica?

10 A. We're returning back to the fundamental issue. What relation does

11 this have to do with the killing of children and the massacre on the

12 Jashari family?

13 Q. It does have to do with it because it's not the police that are

14 responsible for that. And I am enumerating to you a series of crimes

15 committed by Jashari due to which the police had come to arrest him. Do

16 you know that they killed Skender Gashi from Glogovac in 1997 because he

17 worked at the police, in the police force? Do you know that event?

18 A. No.

19 Q. You don't? And do you know in the same year they killed 20 people

20 in their intensive terrorist activity? For example, the Kryeziu brothers

21 were killed with their sons in the village of Sasare, near Kijevo, in the

22 area of Drenica?

23 JUDGE MAY: Do you know anything about any of this?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not, and I still cannot

25 establish what this has to do with the killings of the Jasharis.

Page 3443

1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, if you want to put something about the

2 event which was discussed at your meeting about the killing of the

3 Jasharis, you can, but this witness can't help as to the background.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. And do you know --

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. May, this has to do with a

7 very, very major criminal who had committed a vast number of crimes,

8 having killed many Serbs and Albanians, and therefore, the police came to

9 arrest him. And the entire event boils down to this clash that was --

10 that took place during his arrest.

11 For example, these Kryeziu brothers, if you remember, were very

12 rich men --

13 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. Now, you're alleging that, first of

14 all, that he was a criminal. That's not a matter for this witness to deal

15 with. If there's any evidence of it, no doubt you'll put it before us.

16 The witness himself was not, of course, there at the time, but since he's

17 given evidence about it, we'll allow you to ask questions.

18 But on the accounts that you've heard, Mr. Surroi, was this a

19 case, as alleged here, in which the police came to arrest Mr. Jashari and

20 afterwards there was a clash? Can you help us as to that?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I -- I have no doubts whatsoever

22 that the Serbian police went there to arrest Mr. Jashari. Mr. Jashari was

23 an insurgent against a government which he considered to be illegal and

24 illegitimate. I also have no doubts that weapons were used. But my

25 question for the accused in Belgrade was to do -- why a group of forensic

Page 3444

1 experts, independent forensic experts from a neutral country were not

2 allowed to come and verify who killed the Jasharis.

3 This is nothing to do with the conflict per se between the two

4 armed parties but with the humanitarian right for civilians to be

5 protected in cases of conflict.

6 JUDGE MAY: As you heard the reports, what happened when the

7 police went to arrest Mr. Jashari?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to one of the survivors of

9 this family, a huge number of special police forces made a siege on the

10 farm and started shooting indiscriminately, killing in the process almost

11 all the members of this family, with the exception of a few who survived

12 and left, fled.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. And do you know from this information that the -- that Jashari

15 shot at the police, that a policeman was actually killed by his gunfire

16 and the gunfire coming from people who were with him in the house? Do you

17 know that?

18 A. I'm not aware, but I wouldn't doubt this. This was a

19 confrontation between two armed parties.

20 Q. You do not doubt that Jashari and his men shot at the police?

21 A. No, I wouldn't doubt that.

22 Q. And does it seem logical to you that -- I mean, I have given a few

23 examples to you, but Mr. May interrupted me from continuing with the

24 presentation of these examples --


Page 3445

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. When Jashari killed --

3 JUDGE MAY: We're not going over this. He can't help. Now you

4 can put the evidence, if you have it, in front of us in due course, but

5 there's no good asking this witness about it. Now, you'll have to move

6 on.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Do you know -- do you know that this institution here, including

9 the Prosecutor, has the statement of an Albanian witness, a protected

10 witness, in all fairness, who says literally that the members of the

11 family wanted to get out and they were begging him to get out and

12 surrender as well, and that he himself killed Hamza Jashari because he

13 wanted to go out and surrender, that he killed some other members of the

14 family who wanted to go out --

15 JUDGE MAY: There's no point putting this to the witness unless he

16 knows anything of it.

17 Do you know anything about this?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. And do you know that the son of Adem Jashari who survived the

21 incident --


23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. -- told the KLA what happened and they said to him that he should

25 never tell anyone about that because his father is a hero to his own

Page 3446












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13 English transcripts.













Page 3447

1 people and --

2 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop this. Now move on from this topic.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. And do you know anything about the terrorist activities -- do you

5 know anything about the terrorist activities of other groups of Hashim

6 Thaci, Selimi, the Selimi brothers, et cetera? Do you know anything about

7 that?

8 A. No.

9 Q. And do you know that there is existing evidence about this, and

10 from Albanian sources at that, that are accessible to this Court because

11 that's how I got them too, that they themselves organised their own

12 attacks against peaceful Albanian villages in order to conceal some of

13 their own crimes and blame this on the police? Do you know anything about

14 that?

15 A. You are asking about things I haven't heard of, read about, or

16 done myself.

17 Q. Well, do you notice that as far as the crimes of Albanian

18 terrorists are concerned, you know nothing because you were not present,

19 which I believe. I believe that you were not present because you are not

20 a terrorist. But you know very well about the alleged crimes of the Serb

21 police, and you were not present again but you do have information about

22 this. Do you distinguish between the two?

23 JUDGE MAY: Can you answer the question or not?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My personal attitude has always been

25 and remains that an organised force that has a chain of command and enjoys

Page 3448

1 institutional support from a state, at that precise moment implementing an

2 ideology or the fruits of an ideology manages to kill civilians, and this

3 was the case with Serbian police in Kosova.

4 If I had any kind of information regarding any Albanian group

5 which, based on a certain ideology, implements violence against civilians,

6 I would speak out openly against this group in the very same manner.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. And I am precisely giving you information that this institution

9 has, that Hashim Thaci killed Albanian civilians in the interest of

10 liquidating loyal citizens or members of the police who were Albanians or

11 wealthy people he wanted to rob. And there is evidence about that.

12 JUDGE MAY: This is all your case. You can give evidence about it

13 if you have any. It's not going to help to put it to this witness. In

14 any case, it's difficult to see -- in any case, it's difficult to see how

15 it can justify what is alleged to have happened.

16 Now, move on to another topic.

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, the witness is a

18 journalist. He is a public figure, and according to what he is saying

19 here, he knows everything that took place in Kosovo. The only thing that

20 he does not know about is the crimes of the Albanian terrorists, even

21 those committed against Albanian citizens.

22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You've made that comment. Now we'll move on.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was asking questions with respect

24 to the events that the witness keeps saying he knows nothing about.

25 That's what we're talking about.

Page 3449

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Now, who was behind the wave of terrorism that escalated in 1998

3 and 1999?

4 A. The Belgrade regime, because this was state terrorism.

5 Q. I'm talking about the terrorist activities of people similar to

6 Thaci, Adem Jashari, and the rest who certainly didn't represent what you

7 call the Belgrade regime but were criminals who killed Serbs and Albanians

8 and policemen and postmen and foresters --

9 JUDGE MAY: We've heard about this. Mr. Milosevic, we have heard

10 your case. You have put it numerous times. It's of no assistance to go

11 on putting it.

12 Now, if you have got any questions about this witness's evidence

13 you can ask it, otherwise we're going to bring this cross-examination to a

14 close because it's pointless.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do have a lot more questions. I

16 just don't know why you're not letting me ask them.

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. You mention meetings, alleged meetings of Bakalli with the

19 representatives of the State Security Service, and you claimed that he had

20 received threats saying that purely Albanian villages would be identified

21 and destroyed if the Albanian -- unless the Albanian side agrees to

22 certain demands. I don't know which demands you meant. Is that what

23 you're saying? Is that what you claim?

24 A. I conveyed the words of the mediator that ethnically-homogenous

25 Albanian villages had been identified, not would be identified, and that

Page 3450

1 if there was any escalation... This was taken as a threat by the

2 participants at the meeting.

3 Q. You say yourself in your statement that you were surprised by

4 something like that. Did it seem probable to you that anybody could

5 threaten to destroy villages, whole villages, and to explain it away by

6 saying that Albanian villages would be identified when it is common

7 knowledge to everybody in Kosovo about the hundreds of Albanian villages?

8 There's no need to identify them. It's a reality, it's a fact of life,

9 and nobody needs to investigate that in order to establish the fact.

10 A. I wasn't surprised at all, because having learnt from the war in

11 Bosnia and Croatia, I knew that war would be equally genocidal in Kosova.

12 I -- I heard about identification. I didn't say that -- I didn't hear

13 that they would be identified, but I interpreted it identified as being

14 within terms of military operations.

15 Q. In your statement, you talk about the fact that the goal was the

16 independence of Kosovo on the basis of the right to self-determination.

17 Do the Albanians have a national state of their own in the form of the

18 Republic of Albanian?

19 A. Yes. The citizens of Albania have their state, and the citizens

20 of Kosova would like their state.

21 Q. And do you consider that the right of a national minority to

22 self-determination exists anywhere in the world, anywhere in the world and

23 international law, when you have people of the same nation living in a

24 neighbouring state, like the Albanians living in the neighbouring state of

25 the Republic of Albania?

Page 3451

1 A. In this case, the basis for the politics is not the application of

2 the Serbian doctrine in which the accused took part in drafting it,

3 according to which territory where Serbian population live. We were

4 talking about self-determination within the disintegration of a

5 federation. Yugoslavia was made up of constituent units, and when it

6 disintegrated, when the federation disintegrated, we thought and we still

7 think in Kosova that Kosova would have the right to a view about its own

8 future.

9 Q. All right. That position of yours is common knowledge. Now, I

10 was asking you whether you knew -- whether you know that there is nowhere

11 the right of national minorities to self-determination. There is the

12 right of nations to self-determination. But let's move on to another

13 area.

14 You said that after the meeting with me, you came across a food

15 blockade in Kosovo. Where do you get this idea of a food blockade in

16 Kosovo? You said you didn't know how this was explained, this -- that --

17 this thing that never happened, in fact.

18 A. Within a week, between the 15th and the 22nd, that is, after our

19 first meeting with the Serbian regime, administrative measures in Kosova

20 obstructed the arrival of food from Serbia. And people immediately

21 noticed the shortage of milk and flour and to a degree sugar, but the milk

22 shortage was the most immediately apparent. I'm not the person you should

23 ask about this blockade; you should ask people in Belgrade.

24 Q. And tell me this: In your opinion, how long did that food

25 blockade, what you call a food blockade, how long did it last?

Page 3452












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13 English transcripts.













Page 3453

1 A. Within that week; at the end of the first meeting, it was noticed

2 that the day after, this matter eased somewhat.

3 Q. Do you know how long -- how many times it happened that there was

4 no milk in Belgrade or in any other towns in Serbia, sufficient quantities

5 of milk? How can you define a shortage of -- a temporary shortage of some

6 foodstuff as a food blockade?

7 A. Because the trucks with food were being obstructed by the police

8 and the customs authorities or, rather, the financial police at the border

9 between Kosova and Serbia or, rather, a few kilometres before the border

10 at the village of Rudari. This has been documented. The trucks were

11 waiting. It's not that these articles were missing, it's because the

12 trucks were prevented from entering Kosova.

13 Q. Did you ever think, having mentioned the financial police and so

14 on, that it might be a control over the supplies of certain products in

15 order to prevent tax evasions, which is something that the financial

16 police has to deal with and that it wasn't a food blockade of any kind?

17 A. It's very strange how the same policemen allow the same lorries to

18 enter after a week.

19 Q. Well, I suppose you assume that once they conducted an inspection

20 of the trucks and their loads and the taxes to be paid, that they had no

21 further reason for not letting them pass. And did you ever think that the

22 food blockade couldn't only hit the Albanians, it had to affect the Serbs

23 and the Turks and the Romanies and the Egyptians and the Muslims and

24 everybody alike, that is to say, all the inhabitants of Kosovo?

25 A. Ninety per cent of the population of Kosova were Albanians. So it

Page 3454

1 would hit at the majority. Meanwhile, various quasi-state organisations

2 dealt with the distribution of vital supplies for the Serbian population.

3 In the later period there were so-called crisis staffs which distributed

4 not only food but also weapons to Serbian citizens.

5 Q. I'm not talking about supplies but of trading. How could you

6 think that somebody could block -- the government could block trading in

7 part of its territory and prevent the normal flow of goods, monies,

8 trading, sales, and so on?

9 A. It's very clear, because circumstances were not at all normal and

10 nor was the state normal.

11 Q. Does that seem to you to be like one of the fabrications that was

12 bandied about, about a national poisoning incident in schools?

13 A. These two things don't have a direct connection between each

14 other.

15 Q. Well, this latter is as true as the former. You talk about the

16 conflict in the Decani region. Now, you as a journalist as least, do you

17 have an insight into the statements made by Ramush Hajradinaj precisely by

18 mentioning Decani, Prilep and so on, that part of the territory, when he

19 said that everything should be turned topsy-turvy, upside down, and that

20 attacks should be launched on all these places and to -- that shooting

21 should come from all these places? Do you know of these statements of

22 his, at least, if you don't know about the events and the incidents

23 themselves?

24 A. No.

25 Q. You know nothing who created a roadblock on the main road, down

Page 3455

1 there in Metohija, for example, or the mass terrorist operations that took

2 place in the Decani area at the time?

3 A. I have no doubt that there were armed confrontations between armed

4 units of the KLA and police forces, but my main concern was how can

5 civilians be protected in this armed conflict? Part of this concern and a

6 great worry of mine was establishing a five-kilometre-wide sanitary

7 corridor which was installed by the Serbian authorities on the border

8 between Kosova and Albania. The entire civilian population were evicted

9 from their own homes by force by Serbian police and military forces.

10 In those critical days of May and the beginning of June, my main

11 preoccupation was how to protect these civilians who were lost somewhere

12 in the forests and mountains between Albania and Kosova.

13 Q. I suggest, if possible, that you answer my questions more briefly

14 because time is flying.

15 Now, do you know that it is precisely across that border, that is

16 to say, the border under the control of the army and the police force,

17 that large convoys of smuggled weapons were coming through from Albania in

18 order to arm the KLA and the terrorist activities in Kosovo and Metohija?

19 A. I have no doubt, in that if the insurgents could have bought

20 weapons elsewhere they would have done, but this was the nearest place.

21 Q. And do you know of the event when the KLA withdrew from Junik and

22 crossed over into Albania that it took with it the entire civilian

23 population of the village to use them as a human shield up to the border,

24 and once they crossed over they returned the population back to the

25 village, the village of Junik? Do you know about that incident?

Page 3456

1 A. I don't know. This is your interpretation. I visited Junik

2 during the war, and at that time, the majority of the civilian population

3 had already been displaced from Junik and a section of the population from

4 villages roundabout who had been evicted by Serbian forces had sought

5 shelter in Junik and, from there, were moving to Albania. The civilian

6 population were extremely scared by the Serbian police and military

7 operations.

8 Q. And do you know why -- do you know why the members of the KLA took

9 civilians as a human shield, that that was because they knew that the

10 police would not shoot either at the terrorists -- they would not shoot at

11 the terrorists if they thought there was the danger of civilians being

12 hurt, that they knew about this order and that's why they took these

13 civilians to be a human shield? Are you aware of that?

14 A. I don't believe this. The number of those killed in Kosova, the

15 number of Albanians killed among the Albanian armed insurgents was

16 proportionately much smaller than the number of civilians killed by the

17 Serbian forces. So this shows the indiscriminate nature of their

18 operations.

19 Q. As you've just mentioned a figure and taken it as an argument,

20 tell me, please, how many Albanians died in Kosovo in those conflicts at

21 the time.

22 A. I can't give a final figure because, after all, it hasn't been

23 issued, but it is the proportion that is important.

24 Q. Yes, but if you take a number and place it as an argument, then I

25 assume you have an idea of the number you're using to prove your argument.

Page 3457

1 You're not just selecting one at random.

2 JUDGE MAY: This is all general debate. Now, let us go back to

3 the evidence.

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Let us go back. But I'm

5 following the testimony of the witness, and that's why I'm asking these

6 questions. I think that that is logical.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. You represented the members of the government that came to the

9 meeting in Pristina and members of the delegation in Rambouillet as being

10 idiots. That is to say, you explained that they didn't even know why they

11 had come, that the vice-presidents and members of the government who were

12 amongst the delegation did not know what they were talking about, that the

13 members of the delegation in Rambouillet spent their whole nights drinking

14 and singing, and that the head of the delegation, Milan Milutinovic - and

15 you said this - that he said in Rambouillet was unable to decide anything

16 but had to refer back to me and ask me and that the delegation in fact had

17 nothing to look for there. These are all things that you stated. So can

18 you explain this to us, please? Can you truly describe the delegation of

19 the Serbian government in that way, and the delegation of Serbia and

20 Yugoslavia, made up of government members in negotiations with you and

21 your colleagues in Rambouillet and in Pristina, can you really say that

22 they were idiots?

23 A. I didn't use the word "idiot." I believe I said that apart from

24 the inner circle of Sainovic, Markovic, Stanbuk, and later Milutinovic,

25 the majority of the delegation didn't know what the conference was about.

Page 3458

1 And as for the singing, it's a problem for the delegation why they

2 sang and drank, but I heard them with my own ears.

3 As for Milutinovic, I didn't say that he said to me. This is what

4 he said to the intermediaries, and I'm passing on what the intermediaries

5 said to me. And Milutinovic apparently said that he couldn't decide.

6 Q. That delegation in Rambouillet, as you very well know, was

7 composed of the representatives of all the ethnic communities living in

8 Kosovo. Are you aware of that?

9 A. Ethnically, they were members of different ethnic groups.

10 Politically, they were all of the opinion of the ruling party, and their

11 political identity was more important than their ethnic identity. They

12 were part of a policy that had gone on for more than ten years in Serbia,

13 creating so-called Albanian -- or so-called honest Albanians, so-called

14 honest Turks and so forth. And these were people who were reconciled to

15 the Belgrade regime. In the American literature, this is called "Uncle

16 Tom syndrome."

17 Q. And did that policy, the one that you're making fun of, obviously,

18 did it express the position of national equality for all national

19 communities, ethnic communities living in Kosovo?

20 A. It's all part of an Orwellian kind of equality in which everybody

21 was equal but the Belgrade regime was more equal than anyone else. The

22 ideology of that state prevailed.

23 Q. So in Kosovo, where you do not contest that Serbs, Albanians,

24 Turks, Muslims, Goranis, Egyptians, Gypsies and everybody else lives, and

25 a delegation that was composed of all that is Orwellian in quality,

Page 3459












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Page 3460

1 whereas a delegation from your part, made up of exclusively Albanians, was

2 democratic. Is that what you're saying? Is that your position?

3 A. The delegation that represented the majority of Albanians in

4 Kosova had a much greater vision of the future and was committed, at

5 Rambouillet, to much greater rights for minorities than the international

6 mediators had anticipated. The quotas of rights for minorities were

7 extended in the direction of positive discrimination in a way that was new

8 for Europe, and this was the vision of the Albanian delegation.

9 Q. Now, how this is expressed and manifested is seen in present-day

10 Kosovo reality, where there is no room for anybody except the Albanians.

11 A. From 120 seats in the Kosova Assembly, 20 seats are reserved for

12 Serbs, although they have only 5 per cent of the population.

13 Q. And those are the ones that have military escorts and high

14 security to take them to meetings of that so-called --

15 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... we are now going

16 from the indictment. Let us go back to the evidence.

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. To go back to Rambouillet, those two delegations, your own, that

19 democratic one, and this Serbian and Yugoslav multinational Orwellian one,

20 never negotiated in Rambouillet. Is that true or not?

21 A. On the contrary. We tried to negotiate throughout that period on

22 the basis of the mechanisms tabled there that centred on the exchange of

23 governments with the mediation of experts and legal advice.

24 Q. Let's be quite clear for the public, because what you're saying is

25 not quite clear. Apart from the ceremonial meeting, did the two

Page 3461

1 delegations ever sit down to the table, the negotiating table, one

2 opposite the other, to discuss the issues that were to be the subject of

3 the negotiations or not?

4 A. No, because there was a mechanism according to which we were to

5 exchange documents. There was no need for decorative or protocol

6 meetings. These were working negotiations.

7 Q. That is to say that the delegations that were supposed to

8 negotiate between themselves never actually met in order to negotiate

9 because had they met, as you put it just now, this would just be a -- for

10 decorative or protocol purposes; right?

11 A. There was a huge number of documents to be gone through, that it

12 would have been impossible under that same format to discuss anything in

13 any way that would be serious.

14 Q. All right. Your paper Koha Ditore published the entire text of

15 the agreement from Rambouillet. I had it in my hands, your paper, I mean,

16 before the meeting itself was held. Do you remember that at least?

17 Because it is your newspaper.

18 A. We have published a number of drafts, preparatory drafts, towards

19 Rambouillet, including the one you're mentioning. The Rambouillet

20 agreement, the basic document, was only published with the completion of

21 the Paris conference.

22 Q. And how do you interpret the fact that your newspaper Koha Ditore

23 published the agreement before there was a theoretic possibility for it to

24 be adopted? That is to say, before the meeting itself. And at the same

25 time, the delegations that were supposed to reach this agreement never met

Page 3462

1 to discuss that agreement at all. How can you explain these two facts?

2 A. I can't explain them because you're wrong. Koha Ditore did not

3 publish the agreement as reached at Rambouillet. Koha Ditore published in

4 a number of issues the drafts which were given for negotiation to both

5 parties during the autumn of 1998. And during 1999, we published a draft

6 which gave the skeleton of negotiations at Rambouillet. But the document

7 of the agreement of Rambouillet was only published subsequent to the

8 Rambouillet conference and not prior to that.

9 Q. The former one was published after the conference, but the working

10 paper that you refer to that you published in full, practically does not

11 differ at all from the final document. You published the entire text of

12 the document. You published its entire substance. Did you or did you

13 not?

14 JUDGE MAY: Now, what he said -- what the witness has said is that

15 he published the preparatory draft.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This preparatory draft and the final

17 version differ very little.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. And your explanation --

20 JUDGE MAY: Is that right, Mr. Surroi?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. It is even theoretically

22 impossible not to have changed, because we had three weeks of

23 negotiations, and during these three weeks, the document has changed

24 substantially.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 3463

1 Q. That is a logical explanation in principle, but as far as this

2 concrete matter is concerned, you know full well that there is a published

3 version of the Koha Ditore and it can be compared. And we haven't

4 explained this. You said that the negotiations went on for three weeks.

5 How come during these three weeks that the two delegations that are

6 supposed to reach agreement between themselves did not sit down to

7 negotiate the agreement?

8 A. There was not a lot of readiness from one side; and secondly, it

9 wasn't very productive.

10 Q. On whose side was there no readiness? On both sides there was no

11 readiness?

12 A. From our side, we were not ready because we did not consider this

13 to be fruitful.

14 Q. So the delegations did not meet because your side did not want to

15 negotiate with the Serb delegation.

16 A. And also because this was the format, the predetermined format

17 that had been set out by the mediators, the American ambassador of the

18 European Union and the Russian ambassador.

19 Q. Are you trying to say that this was according to the

20 take-it-or-leave-it system, that is what a group of American

21 intermediaries was supposed to impose?

22 A. Absolutely not. The document has been subjected to change based

23 on negotiations, and it was not only the American ambassador but there was

24 one from the European Union and Ambassador Majovski, representative of the

25 Russian Federation.

Page 3464

1 Q. But you know very well that Ambassador Majovski, the

2 representative of the Russian Federation did not want to sign the

3 document.

4 A. There was no need for him to sign it. It was the parties which

5 negotiated, not this or that ambassador.

6 Q. I'm not going into the details now, the details pertaining to

7 form. But it was clear, and it was publicly made clear that he or,

8 rather, the Russian Federation did not support the Rambouillet agreement,

9 especially those sections that referred to the right of NATO to de facto

10 occupy Yugoslavia. Do you remember that? Because you were present.

11 A. Absolutely. The precedent had been established at Dayton where

12 you took part and where Russia did not sign up to the military annex based

13 on the principle of non-participation in NATO operation. There is no

14 discrepancy here, and Foreign Minister Ivanov managed to explain this.

15 Q. On the contrary. There is a great deal of similarity because this

16 was unacceptable from a political point of view. It's not that they were

17 not participating but they were opposing the occupation of Yugoslavia. Is

18 that right or is that not right?

19 A. I don't see this as being relevant at all.

20 Q. Well, it is very relevant, but we are going to leave this to

21 Ambassador Majovski for when he testifies here. You said that the Serb

22 side did not want the negotiations to take place in Belgrade, which is not

23 true. And you actually refuted yourself by giving this oral explanation

24 here, which I heard here this morning, that the reactions because of your

25 trip to Belgrade were very unpleasant, that you were almost condemned for

Page 3465

1 treason because you went to Belgrade, that that is how your circles in

2 Pristina reacted to that.

3 Was that the main reason why you didn't want to go to Belgrade?

4 A. Those who accused us constituted a minority. However, I think

5 that you have misunderstood this. On the contrary. We insisted on going

6 to Belgrade, whilst the Belgrade delegation insisted that the following

7 meeting be held in Prishtina.

8 Q. And the Belgrade delegation was upset because they had to come to

9 your feet, so to speak, to Pristina rather than have you come to

10 Belgrade. Are you aware of that?

11 A. They did not create this impression on Prishtina. On the

12 contrary. They insisted that the following meeting be held in Prishtina.

13 Q. Obviously we cannot understand each other on that, but we can go

14 on because this is easy to establish. You wrote in your statement that

15 you published critical texts against me, but you were not allowed to

16 publish them in the Bujku newspaper. That is what it says in your

17 statement. That's not contested.

18 Who did not allow you to publish this in Bujku? Did I have Bujku

19 under my control perhaps?

20 A. I can't see how those two things have been related together, but I

21 have continued to write critical articles against yourself in many other

22 newspapers. In principle, I have not agreed with the editorial policies

23 at Bujku, so I do not see this as being a great problem. Whilst the

24 answer to your question is no, you have not had any control over Bujku.

25 Q. In your statement, it looks as if I practically did, because you

Page 3466












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 3467

1 say that you were not allowed to publish in Bujku. It's not any different

2 from that. There's no need for me to quote your statement because that is

3 certainly what you said.

4 Why did you withdraw in 1992, in 1992 from political life and from

5 involvement in political parties? You said that until then, you were in

6 this movement of young parliamentarians of Kosovo.

7 A. I can't see how that can be relevant but I'll give you an answer

8 anyway. Because political parties have to exist within a parliamentary

9 context. In Kosova, your own government did not allow the parliament to

10 convene and for a normal democratic parliament to exist. Under those

11 circumstances and wishing to return to my own profession, that is exactly

12 what I did, I returned to my own profession.

13 Q. And do you know at least you that boycotted all the elections in

14 Kosovo according to your own decision and that a relatively small

15 percentage of Albanians, only those who did not want to go by the dictate

16 of your political leaders, voted in the elections that were held at

17 republican and federal levels and municipal levels for the municipal

18 authorities, and so on and so forth?

19 A. Yes, because those elections were organised by an occupying power.

20 Q. So you treat legal state authorities as an occupation power.

21 A. From the year 1989, Serbia has executed an Anschluss in Kosova.

22 In 1999, with the final abrogation of the autonomy, of the Kosova

23 autonomy, Serbia dissolved the Yugoslavia federation.

24 Q. And do you know that what you are saying and what you are calling

25 the Anschluss were constitutional decisions about which the parliament

Page 3468

1 of Kosovo also had their say and voted on it and the parliament of Serbia

2 voted on it, and at that time, various positions in Kosovo and in

3 Yugoslavia were held by Albanians, in Serbia too?

4 A. The Assembly which formally endorsed, if we can call it that,

5 these changes had been encircled by police forces, and there were

6 extraordinary emergency measures, and there was a lot of threatening of

7 the MPs. And as if this were not enough, votes within that parliament

8 were cast by people who were not even members of the Parliament of Kosova.

9 And there is photographic evidence to support this.

10 JUDGE MAY: It's now -- it's now time to adjourn, Mr. Milosevic.

11 It's quarter to. We will allow you to continue your cross-examination

12 tomorrow, but you will be restricted to half an hour. It means that you

13 will have had 40 per cent, nearly, more time than the Prosecution. You

14 asked for more time than them and you can have it, but we must bring this

15 cross-examination, in due course, to an end so you must prepare on that

16 basis. We will then hear from the amici and any re-examination.

17 Yes.

18 MR. NICE: Two --

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But please, then, it should be borne

20 in mind that this half hour be given to me, because the witness is using

21 far more time than I am and he can give yes or no answers to questions.

22 So this is really your responsibility, not mine.

23 JUDGE MAY: It is my responsibility, or our responsibility,

24 rather. It seems to me that he's been answering quite fairly, and I doubt

25 if he's taken up more time than you.

Page 3469

1 Yes.

2 MR. NICE: Your Honour, three things: Obviously, we'd also noted

3 that, by an extension of half an hour, he will have considerably more time

4 than the Prosecution. I wasn't aware that the accused had asked for this

5 specifically, save by implication.

6 JUDGE MAY: He mentioned it in argument the other day about one of

7 the other witnesses. Yes.

8 MR. NICE: He's identified what he says is a protected witness in

9 cross-examination. If he could provide us in some suitably discreet way

10 with identification of who that witness is, we would be grateful, because

11 it's not clear to us at all.

12 Tomorrow I've got to make maximum use of the time. I will bring

13 the 92 bis witness, number 4 on the list, and probably two others in the

14 hope that there won't be some rule of thumb occupation of an hour of time

15 in cross-examination and that it can be tailored in order to make maximum

16 use of the limited time available because normally in a morning session we

17 would be able to get through three 92 bis witnesses.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I know who these other two are?

20 Can I know who these other two are in addition to --

21 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]...

22 MR. NICE: Numbers 1, 2, and 4 on the list.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.

24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Surroi, would you be back, please, tomorrow

25 morning at 9.00.

Page 3470

1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,

2 to be reconvened on Friday, the 19th day of April,

3 2002, at 9.00 a.m.