1 Thursday, 2 May 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before you move on to the next
8 witness, I would like to clarify a particular matter. Yesterday you asked
9 me, in connection with Witness K21, when this proposal was presented in
10 terms of 92 bis -- my answer to you was that I expected to get the
11 statement of that witness yesterday afternoon, and indeed I did get it
12 yesterday afternoon. I read the statement, and I would like you to take
13 into consideration some facts which indicate that there is no reason,
14 absolutely no reason whatsoever, for that witness to be a protected
15 witness. That witness --
16 JUDGE MAY: Let us deal with that. We've got a witness here.
17 We'll look at that in due course, K21, but let's get on with the evidence
19 Let the witness take the declaration.
20 WITNESS: SHUKRI GERXHALIU
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
23 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you'd like to take a seat.
25 Yes, Mr. Saxon.
1 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Examined by Mr. Saxon:
3 Q. Sir, is your name Dr. Shukri Gerxhaliu?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And Dr. Gerxhaliu, were you born on the 23rd of August, 1953?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Were you born in the village of Studime e Poshtme in the
8 municipality of Vushtrri in Kosovo?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And is that village now called Martiret?
11 A. Yes. Martiret.
12 Q. Martiret. Thank you. Dr. Gerxhaliu, from the 17th to the 19th of
13 February, 2000, did you provide a statement to representatives of the
14 Office of the Prosecutor about the events that you witnessed and
15 experienced in Kosovo in 1999?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. On the 4th of February of this year, 2002, in the village of
18 Martiret, in the municipality of Vushtrri, Kosovo, were you provided with
19 a copy of the statement that you made in February 2000, in the presence of
20 representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor and a presiding officer
21 appointed by the Registrar of this Tribunal?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And did you confirm at that time that the copy of the statement
24 that was provided to you was true and correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, at this time I would offer that
2 statement into evidence, pursuant to Rule 92 bis.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be marked Prosecutor's
4 Exhibit 122.
5 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, Dr. Shukri Gerxhaliu has lived most of
6 his life in the village of Studime e Poshtme, or Martiret, in the
7 municipality of Vushtrri in Kosovo. He is married, with four children.
8 He has worked as a medical doctor in the hospital in Vushtrri and
9 currently holds the post of occupational health specialist.
10 Beginning around October 1998, Dr. Gerxhaliu also treated the KLA
11 wounded, either at his home or in villages held by the KLA, and he also
12 treated members of the civilian population in those villages who needed
13 medical assistance.
14 Dr. Gerxhaliu describes how, after the NATO bombing campaign
15 began, Serb forces launched an offensive from the village of Rashice,
16 beginning on the 28th and 29th of March, 1999. The offensive included
17 shelling of the village where Dr. Gerxhaliu lived with his family.
18 Dr. Gerxhaliu's family and other residents of Studime e Poshtme --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Would you please slow down. Thank you.
20 MR. SAXON: I apologise to the interpreters.
21 Dr. Gerxhaliu's family and other residents of Studime e Poshtme
22 left their village. Dr. Gerxhaliu went into the mountains to work in the
23 KLA field hospitals at this time.
24 Around the 7th to the 10th of April, 1999, Dr. Gerxhaliu's family
25 returned to their village but Serb forces arrived, searching for
1 Dr. Gerxhaliu. At that time, Dr. Gerxhaliu decided to take his family to
2 the KLA-controlled areas in the mountains. The witness describes how he
3 and his family then came under fire from Serb forces as they walked to the
4 village of Studime e Eperme and Poshtme. For the next few weeks,
5 Dr. Gerxhaliu continued to work in the KLA field hospitals.
6 Dr. Gerxhaliu describes how, on the 2nd --
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let me interrupt you.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there is no
10 interpretation, and it seems that Mr. Slobodan Milosevic is not getting an
11 interpretation either. There's no interpretation into the Serbian
12 language, that is.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Saxon, will you sit down, please. We'll wait and
14 see what's happened. I understand a couple of minutes should put it
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE MAY: Good.
18 MR. SAXON: Around the 7th to the 10th of April, 1999,
19 Dr. Gerxhaliu's family returned to their village but Serb forces arrived,
20 looking for Dr. Gerxhaliu. At that time, Dr. Gerxhaliu decided to take
21 his family to the KLA-controlled areas in the mountains. The witness
22 describes how he and his family came under fire from Serb forces as they
23 walked to the village of Studime e Eperme. For the next two to three
24 weeks, Dr. Gerxhaliu continued to work in the KLA field hospitals.
25 Dr. Gerxhaliu describes how, on the 2nd of May, 1999, following a
1 breakthrough of Serb forces at the front lines in the villages near Llap
2 and Meljanica, the civilians who had sought refuge in the mountains
3 decided to form a convoy and head down the mountain in the direction of
4 the town of Vushtrri. Dr. Gerxhaliu estimated that there were around
5 40.000 people in the convoy.
6 The convoy set off in the afternoon of the 2nd of May, and
7 Dr. Gerxhaliu describes how the convoy moved very slowly and came under
8 fire from Serb shelling. He saw many wounded people. The witness hid
9 under plastic sheeting in the trailer he was riding in to avoid
10 recognition on the approach of Serb forces to the convoy. He describes
11 Serb soldiers and paramilitaries repeatedly approaching the people on the
12 convoy, demanding money from people and shooting men who had none.
13 Dr. Gerxhaliu's wife was threatened with rape until she handed over
14 several hundred Deutschmarks to one of the Serbs.
15 From where he lay in the trailer, Dr. Gerxhaliu heard as Serbs
16 questioned and beat his brother-in-law Halil and saw and heard when Serb
17 forces shot and killed the man who drove a tractor behind that of the
18 Gerxhaliu family. Dr. Gerxhaliu heard two men speaking in Serbian next to
19 his trailer. One said, "How many have you killed already?" Another voice
20 said, "About 50." The first voice said, "Let's continue until we reach a
22 The Serb forces killed the men in the convoy who did not satisfy
23 their demands for money. Fearing for their lives, Dr. Gerxhaliu and his
24 brother-in-law Halil ran away from the convoy and hid in a nearby stream.
25 Dr. Gerxhaliu's wife convinced the Serb forces who approached their
1 tractor and trailer that the men in their family had already been killed.
2 At around 11.45 on that same night, the survivors in the convoy
3 moved on. From where Dr. Gerxhaliu and his brother-in-law Halil were
4 hiding, they saw about ten vehicles come up the road from the south, from
5 the direction of Studime e Poshtme. Dr. Gerxhaliu saw that two to three
6 of the vehicles were Serb police vehicles and the remainder were armoured
7 personnel carriers. The vehicles had their headlights on and appeared to
8 be searching the area. Eventually, Dr. Gerxhaliu heard a voice shout in
9 the Serb language, "Soldiers, let's go back now. We have no fuel and it
10 is clear up here."
11 After the Serb forces left the area, Dr. Gerxhaliu and his
12 brother-in-law walked up towards the village of Studime e Eperme and then
13 on to the village of Slakovce, which had been completely burned.
14 Subsequently, Dr. Gerxhaliu and his brother-in-law walked back down the
15 mountain to Studime e Eperme, where the massacre had occurred. At that
16 time, some KLA soldiers were helping to bury the dead. Dr. Gerxhaliu saw
17 some of the victims, and many of them had wounds which made them
18 unrecognisable. Dr. Gerxhaliu was shown a list of the dead which, at that
19 time, had 97 names on it.
20 At the request of the KLA, Dr. Gerxhaliu returned to work at their
21 field hospital at Slakovce. On the 29th of May, he returned to his home
22 to see his family. On the 31st of May, 1999, Serb police were seen in the
23 nearby courtyard of Dr. Gerxhaliu's cousin, Seladin Gerxhaliu.
24 Dr. Gerxhaliu fled to avoid arrest. As he fled, Dr. Gerxhaliu heard
25 voices swearing and shouting in the Serbian language and he heard
1 gunshots. Other neighbours reported seeing seven Serb policemen in the
2 area, as well as three bodies. Dr. Gerxhaliu later saw that these three
3 bodies were those of his relatives - and I apologise if I mispronounce
4 these names - Xhemel Gerxhaliu, Seladin Gerxhaliu, and Seladin's son
5 Shaban. Dr. Gerxhaliu saw bullet wounds on these three bodies. Another
6 relative, Fatbardha Gerxhaliu, brought a camera and photographed the
7 bodies, and the Serb authorities were called. After a judge, a doctor,
8 and some Serb policemen attended the scene and then left, Dr. Gerxhaliu
9 entered the house of his cousin Seladin. There he discovered the dead
10 bodies of nine members of his extended family, including several children
11 under the age of 12. All of them had apparently been shot to death.
12 One or two days later, on about the 4th or 5th of June, the
13 remainder of the Gerxhaliu family, including this witness, left for
14 Montenegro, where they stayed for two weeks, until NATO troops entered
15 Kosovo later in June 1999.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Your Honour. I have my
17 statement -- I don't have my statement here.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You can have a copy of it.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope the microphone is on now. I
23 shall start with the event that the witness described as an attack against
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] In your statement - this is on page 1, the last
2 paragraph - you said that 80 per cent of the territory of the municipality
3 of Vucitrn was under KLA control. Is that right?
4 A. That's right. I believe that that is the case.
5 Q. Further on, on page 2, you talk about major concentrations at
6 Bajgora; is that right?
7 A. Of whom in Bajgora?
8 Q. The KLA was also at Bajgora. There was a KLA headquarters there.
9 Or are you perhaps claiming that it wasn't there?
10 A. I can talk about the municipality of Vushtrri, but Bajgora does
11 not belong to the municipality of Vushtrri.
12 Q. All right. All right. Let's not waste any time on that. I am
13 just dealing with your statement.
14 On page 2, in the last paragraph, you say that you were given
15 orders, or rather, it says quite specifically: "On the 2nd of May, the
16 order came for the KLA to move ..." That's what it says here. I imagine
17 it's supposed to say "withdraw." "... because the Serbs had broken
18 through the front line." How long did this fighting go on?
19 A. I'm not a military officer, and I wasn't on the front line at that
20 time; I was at the hospital. But I know that there was fighting there and
21 that on the 2nd of May, because of the breakthrough at the front and
22 because of the lack of food and other things, on the 2nd of May, faced
23 with shells that went over our head, we headed off in the direction of
24 Ceceli and then in the direction of Vushtrri.
25 Q. So according to your statement, 80 per cent of the territory was
1 under KLA control. Fighting took place where there was a front line,
2 according to your statement. According to your statement, our forces
3 broke through the front line and then you withdrew - the KLA, that
4 is - and you who were the non-combatants but certainly the KLA as well.
5 You worked as a physician for the KLA, didn't you? And you were
6 withdrawing in some direction. It's not important at this moment in which
7 direction it was. Isn't that right?
8 JUDGE MAY: He said all that in his statement, or just in the
9 evidence, so let's move on to something else.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Therefore, the operations that he
11 describes are operations against the KLA. Among them was the doctor who
12 treated them.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. These are not operations against the civilian population. Is that
15 right or is that not right?
16 JUDGE MAY: You're putting - so that we can understand it - that
17 the operations of the Serb forces were against the KLA and not against the
18 civilian population. That's the point.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I think that I put it very
20 clearly what this was all about. He described the situation by saying
21 that 80 per cent --
22 JUDGE MAY: Don't go over it again. Let the witness answer.
23 What is suggested - and you can answer from your experience - is
24 that this operation was an operation against the KLA and was not aimed at
25 civilians. Now, can you help us if that's right or not? If you can't
1 help us, just say so.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The operation, after the front fell,
3 they started in the afternoon against civilians, because they didn't aim
4 at the soldiers over there on the eastern part, but precisely on the
5 convoy of civilians. I'm talking about what the Serbian forces did.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Our forces were searching the convoy after this fighting and after
8 the front fell. That's what you said; isn't that right?
9 A. Serbian forces from behind, from Melenice and the north, followed
10 the convoy, whereas there were other forces up ahead. So that the convoy
11 was surrounded on all sides, until 4.00 or 5.00 in the afternoon, and then
12 the night of terror began.
13 Q. A group of the KLA were withdrawing with the convoy; isn't that
15 A. No.
16 Q. Are you trying to say that you were the only KLA member in the
18 A. No. I was by myself there. I was unarmed and without uniform. I
19 only had my scalpel and medical equipment. That was the only armament
20 that I had.
21 Q. My question is: Were you the only member of the KLA in that
22 convoy of 40.000 persons who were withdrawing?
23 A. Yes. I was the only one.
24 Q. So you claim that the KLA was not withdrawing with civilians and
25 that it did not take civilians as their human shield, which was their
1 usual practice?
2 A. This is absolutely untrue. The KLA was towards the east, by
3 Dumnice, whereas the civilians were undefended nearly, and I was there
4 with my equipment, with my stethoscope and other equipment.
5 JUDGE MAY: It's also suggested that the KLA took civilians as
6 their human shields. Did the KLA do that?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it didn't do that. I never saw
8 anything of that kind. That is quite untrue.
9 JUDGE MAY: It is also suggested that it was their usual
10 practice. Is that true?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not true. The soldiers took
12 the wounded to safe places, whereas civilians, because of lack of food and
13 other things, and the shelling, were forced to go to Vushtrria, head in
14 that direction in the hope of going abroad somewhere.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, please don't interrupt my
16 cross-examination, because it has a certain logic of its own, and I want
17 the witness to answer one question after the other.
18 JUDGE MAY: He will answer one question after the other, and the
19 logic will appear if you refrain from asking more questions than one.
20 What you do is you bind up in what you call a single question three or
21 four points, such as this one about the KLA taking human shields, as is
22 their usual practice. Ask one question literally and we'll get on.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Then we're going to move
24 on faster.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You said just now this was a convoy of unprotected civilians
2 because the KLA had gone to the other side. My question is quite simple.
3 It contains only one question: Why did the KLA leave the civilians
5 A. The KLA had gone to another strategic point and protected the
6 wounded and the sick, but there were so many civilians without food or
7 medicines, and so they were just compelled to let them go if they were to
8 survive, and to give them a chance.
9 Q. Does that mean that they had some other wounded and sick civilians
10 along with the civilians whom you had in the convoy, that there were some
11 other civilians there with them too?
12 A. Where do you mean that there were other civilians?
13 Q. Well, with the KLA.
14 A. No. I don't believe that there were civilians with the KLA. They
15 told me, "If you want to stay with the wounded, we will stay and stand by
16 them to the end and not hand them over alive. But I went with my family
17 and returned to them and headed in the direction of Vushtrria in the hope
18 of surviving.
19 Q. And in the convoy, did you take with you those wounded persons,
20 the wounded KLA members and the KLA members who had been killed, or did
21 you leave them?
22 A. No. They went -- there was one person killed, and he was buried
23 in the morning, and I was there, but the civilians were without any of the
24 wounded, any of the -- or any ill persons until the Serbian forces
1 Q. And did you perhaps leave those who had been killed along the way,
2 the members of the KLA, while your convoy moved ahead? Did you leave them
3 by the way? Is that correct or not?
4 A. No, no, no. You should read clearly in my statement that only one
5 member of the KLA was buried that morning, and the entire convoy, until
6 the Serbian military and police forces arrived at Studime, not one of the
7 members of the convoy was injured or sick in any way.
8 Q. All right. That one KLA member. Are you saying that just that
9 one was in the convoy?
10 A. No, no. This man of the KLA was buried in the morning. Of the --
11 from the KLA, there was only myself. The others were civilians. And I
12 was in civilian clothes.
13 Q. What about that one who was buried? Was he also a civilian?
14 A. He was a soldier, and he was buried in the morning before the
15 Serbian forces came. He had been a soldier and he was buried with
16 honours. This is written in my statement.
17 Q. And how did it come about that this soldier was with you when you
18 say that there were no soldiers with you?
19 A. You're mixing things up, because the soldier was buried in the
20 morning because of the wounds that he received on the front, while the
21 convoy set off after 1.00 and had passed through several villages. The
22 man was buried in Cecelia, but we had passed through Cecelia and had gone
23 to Studime e Eperme and Serbian forces arrived later on.
24 Q. And that means that that morning you separated. You became
25 separated from the KLA. Is that it?
1 A. No.
2 Q. You were there when the soldier was buried, and that was where the
3 KLA was. Then you separated later on and the civilians moved on?
4 JUDGE MAY: We have been over this now for five or ten minutes. I
5 don't think we're getting anywhere. He has explained where and when the
6 soldier was buried.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I think the situation is clear when you look at precisely what you
10 said; that 80 per cent -- about 80 per cent of the territory, which means
11 there was frontal fighting and then there was civilians. But let's go
12 back to the beginning of these events.
13 You lived in Vucitrn the whole time, didn't you?
14 A. At what time do you mean?
15 Q. I mean up until the war.
16 A. I lived in my village of Studime e Poshtme, and I worked in the
17 health centre at Vushtrri.
18 Q. All right. You worked in Vucitrn. And Donja Studime is, in fact,
19 the suburb of Vucitrn, at its periphery; is that right?
20 A. It's close.
21 Q. When did the tensions begin and the violence in your area?
22 A. The violence began some time ago.
23 Q. When did you hear that someone was killed when the first incident
24 broke out in the Vucitrn municipality?
25 A. I wasn't interested in these things. I haven't studied them. I
1 have been a doctor, and I didn't go into issues of who was killed and when
2 and where.
3 Q. All right. You don't know. Now, do you remember when in
4 mid-1998, a forester by the name of Milan Zivic was killed? And he was
5 killed with a blunt object. You are a doctor. You must have had some
6 connection with that, at least information coming in to you. Do you
7 remember the event? Just say yes or no to save time.
8 A. To tell the truth, I didn't treat him, so I don't know. It's not
9 a name or surname that I know from my village, so I can't say anything
10 about this case.
11 Q. And do you remember when, at the end of 1998, somebody else was
12 killed called Momcilo Zivic? Yes or no. In the yard of his house.
13 A. I've never heard of him.
14 Q. And do you recall on Bajram, before the NATO aggression, when a
15 group of masked KLA members abducted Fehmi Mulanju in front of the eyes of
16 his family? He was an employee of the public administration for public
17 income in Vucitrn. Do you remember that incident?
18 A. No. I never heard about it. Neither the surname rings any bell.
19 I've never heard that name. I don't think that man has ever existed in
20 the way you are describing him. We know all the families, at least in
21 Vushtrri, but I don't know of any family with such a last name. It's
23 Q. So you didn't hear about that. He was an employee of the
24 republican administration for public income in Vucitrn --
25 JUDGE MAY: We are wasting time by continual repetition. He
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 doesn't know.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Frankly, I don't know. I think the
3 last name must have been wrong, or I don't know.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. I read out the surname, and the name was Fehmi Mulanju.
6 A. That's the first time to hear of such a last name. I know many
7 people by the name of Fehmi, but not this last name. Maybe you have
8 misinformed you [as interpreted].
9 Q. All right. Do you know a man named Fehmi who was abducted in that
10 way by the KLA?
11 A. I don't know that the KLA has ever abducted anyone, but frankly
12 speaking --
13 Q. That's enough. That's enough. So you don't know whether anybody
14 was kidnapped. And do you know about the KLA killing anybody before the
15 NATO aggression?
16 A. Whom do you mean that the KLA has killed? I don't know.
17 Q. Well, you said you don't know anybody, and I'm thinking of Serbs
18 and Albanians too. Do you know of any Serb or Albanian killed by the KLA
19 prior to the NATO aggression?
20 A. No. No. I know that the KLA has been fighting on the front. I
21 don't know whom the KLA has killed there. It didn't need to kill anyone
22 there. I don't know.
23 Q. And apart from the front line, tell me: Are you aware of
24 terrorist KLA attacks, both on Serbs and Albanians and on Romas and on
25 other inhabitants of Kosovo? Do you know anything about any of that?
1 A. I think this is all untrue. I know someone in Mitrovica who
2 worked up to the 3rd of June, 2000. Listen well to what I'm saying. And
3 I know that the Serb State Security --
4 JUDGE MAY: No. Don't -- no. Both of you. Both of you. We'll
5 not get on if you interrupt. The witness has said it's untrue, so there's
6 no point going into any more argument about it. It's his evidence we're
7 concerned with.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. You worked in the health centre in Vucitrn; is that right?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. And you worked a shortened period, for three hours, in the Lamoks
13 factory as well; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. As you examined workers, do you know that of the 520 employees,
16 270 were Albanians in that company? Are you aware of that?
17 A. I worked there for three hours a day. There were Albanians and
18 Serbs, and I looked upon the same -- in the same way as our father of
19 medicine, Hippocrates, told us.
20 Q. I'm just asking you whether the majority of the employees were
21 Albanians, of the 520 workers that worked in Lamoks?
22 A. I think you should have asked someone else about that, not me.
23 Q. Well, didn't you have health files for all the workers in the
24 company, because you were the only physician that looked after their
1 A. Yes, I had health files, but not each and every one of them was
2 sick and came to -- visited. I have the files even today, you know.
3 Q. So you cannot confirm that the majority of employees in Lamoks
4 were Albanians?
5 A. Maybe they were, but that was something that was of no interest to
6 me. For me, it was of interest to look upon them in the same way, to take
7 care of them.
8 Q. All right. So you left your work when the aggression, the NATO
9 aggression against Yugoslavia, began; is that right?
10 A. On the 26th of March I was there, not when the NATO bombing
11 started, which was so welcome for us. But on the 26th of March, the
12 director - he was a violent man - he came to my office and he said, "Go
13 away." I said, "Why?" And then he said, "This is what you should do,
14 because I have orders from above, from Belgrade."
15 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment to clarify that.
16 Where was that, Doctor? Where was it that the director came into
17 your office and told you to leave?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was in his office and he came to
19 my clinic where I was still working. He came to the door of my clinic and
20 told me to leave.
21 JUDGE MAY: This was the factory rather than the hospital?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the factory was about
23 one or two kilometres away from the hospital, where I went three days to
24 work, working all the time in the hospital.
25 JUDGE MAY: So it was the director of the hospital who told you to
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The director of the
3 hospital - he was a stomatologist - he told me. Branko Milankovic was his
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Have you got a paper testifying to your dismissal?
7 A. He didn't give me any papers. He just told us to leave because
8 the paramilitaries, the police, were in the corridors, there was a lot of
9 ammunition in the cellar, there were armed forces also in the upper
10 floors, and so we had just to leave. We were forced to leave.
11 Q. All right. So you haven't got a decision on dismissal, and you
12 claim that you were dismissed by the director of the hospital.
13 Did the KLA perhaps order you to leave your work there because
14 they needed you on the 26th of March, 1999?
15 A. No. At that time, the KLA didn't need me, but the KLA and
16 everyone told us, "Don't leave your work unless you are forcibly driven
17 away," which is what happened to me. The police were in the corridor, and
18 the director, as I told you, ordered me to leave. And when I asked him to
19 give me a reason, he told me that he had orders from above.
20 Q. All right. Let's not waste time. All right. Now, how many
21 doctors worked in the Vucitrn hospital?
22 A. About 20, 30. I'm not sure about the exact figure.
23 Q. You don't know how many doctors worked in the same hospital that
24 you had been working in for years?
25 A. The number changed periodically. When there were Albanians in the
1 authority, there were about 40 doctors, but because of the violence and
2 other factors, the number of Albanians kept going down.
3 Q. And of the doctors in the Vucitrn hospital, how many of them were
5 A. About 80 per cent.
6 Q. So 80 per cent of the doctors in the hospital - and my information
7 says that it was even more than 80 per cent, but 80 per cent is quite
8 enough - that means that 80 per cent of the doctors in the hospital were
9 Albanians, and you claim that the director of the hospital, during the
10 state of war and the bombing and the constant terrorist attacks by the
11 KLA, gave up 80 per cent of the cadres of his hospital and told you all to
12 leave; is that what you're claiming? The director of the hospital, in
13 practical terms, dismissed 80 per cent of the physicians of his hospital;
14 is that what you're saying?
15 A. Yes. He expelled all the Albanians.
16 Q. All right. What was the name of the Serbian lady who allegedly
17 cautioned you and warned you that you were on some sort of list to be
18 liquidated? You say this in your statement. You say you were warned by a
19 lady that you had -- and that you had to flee. What was her name?
20 JUDGE MAY: What's the relevance of this? What does it matter
21 what her name was?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is relevant because I wish to
23 call that person to testify here, because I consider that this witness is
24 telling complete untruths. And that is why it is relevant.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
1 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, it also says in the second paragraph of
2 the witness's statement, in reference to this person, in parentheses: "(I
3 cannot remember her name.)"
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I, please?
6 JUDGE MAY: Can you remember the name?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I told then and now. I am a doctor,
8 and I have to deal with many patients, and I can't remember each and every
9 one of them. I remember she was an old Serb lady.
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. All right. Did you leave the hospital because you were afraid
13 then or because you were dismissed by the Serb director?
14 A. I said even earlier, the Serb director came to the door and
15 ordered us to leave. He said, "I have orders for all Albanians to
16 leave." And I was one of them. The police were present in the corridor.
17 I said they were armed.
18 Q. You claim that as of October 1998, you would go to treat the
19 wounded members of the KLA during the night; is that right?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. And who asked you to give them medical assistance? Who called
23 A. Often they had come to my home or have taken me there. They were
24 sick patients. And I have given them my assistance according to the
25 Hippocratic oath.
1 Q. When did you graduate from the faculty of medicine?
2 A. I graduated in 1982, in Prishtina.
3 Q. And when did you finish your specialist training?
4 A. In 1996.
5 Q. In 1996. Where did you finish your specialist training for
6 occupational medicine?
7 A. In Belgrade.
8 Q. And where were your other Albanian colleagues trained? So you
9 specialised, you say, in Belgrade in 1996. What about the other ones,
10 your fellow Albanians, colleagues? Where did they get their medical
12 A. Wherever they could. Who had more money went to better schools
13 and so on.
14 Q. All right. You say here in your statement that when you started
15 treating patients, that you didn't dare -- or, rather, that they didn't
16 dare bring them to the hospital because the Serbs would kill them. That's
17 what you say. Now, do you know, with respect to what you said, that the
18 Serbs would have killed a patient coming into the hospital, whether
19 anybody who came in for treatment into the hospital was ever killed?
20 A. The police checkpoints around Vushtrri, above my house and
21 elsewhere, they prevented anyone from passing by in those zones in the
22 north which they controlled. So as the need was, I went and offered my
23 assistance. It was easier for one person to get through than for sick
24 patients to be brought through such checkpoints to the hospital.
25 Q. Are you saying that the checkpoints were barricades through which
1 nobody could pass or just checkpoints to check out documents?
2 A. Those checkpoints which were in different places, the inhabitants
3 of those places who were in the KLA, they were very much afraid to come
4 and ask for medical assistance in Vushtrri for a long time.
5 Q. And how could any doctor in the hospital know whether a civilian
6 who had come for treatment was a KLA member or not?
7 A. I think you are mixing up things. I don't know whether you are
8 understanding me or not. I said that those who were inhabitants of the
9 surrounding villages, who didn't have access to that Prishtina-Mitrovica
10 road, they were afraid because once -- that if they dare, they would be
11 maltreated and beaten up and so on.
12 Q. Well, only awhile ago you said that nobody could get in through
13 these checkpoints.
14 A. Of course. Those were residents of the villages who were under
15 KLA control were beaten and maltreated very severely at these
17 Q. And that's why they didn't pass through these checkpoints?
18 A. Of course.
19 Q. All right. That means that the Albanians who lived under KLA
20 control were treated secretly, whereas those who lived in areas that were
21 not under KLA control were treated in hospital. Is that your assertion?
22 A. Yes. Those who were in the KLA zone, whether they were Albanians
23 or Serbs, were treated the same. But the others were treated on this
24 side. And so there was a separation between the two as far as medical
25 treatment was concerned.
1 Q. That means that at the checkpoints, everybody was checked
2 regardless of whether they were Serbs or Albanians. Is that what you've
4 A. People were checked, but the Albanians were mistreated and the
5 Serbs weren't.
6 Q. And during 1998 and 1999, did you treat wounded soldiers and
7 policemen too?
8 A. Whose soldiers and policemen?
9 Q. Soldiers of the army of Yugoslavia. The policemen of the Serbian
10 police who were wounded in that area. Did you treat them? You were there
11 doing your job at the hospital. Just say yes or no.
12 A. I did indeed check them, but there were no wounded people of this
13 kind. There were some who were ill, but as I've said several times,
14 according to the Hippocratic oath, I treated everybody without
16 Q. That means that you are claiming that there weren't any killed or
17 wounded soldiers or policemen in the area of the municipality of Vucitrn.
18 Is that what you're claiming?
19 JUDGE MAY: No. What he said was, if you don't misrepresent the
20 answer, that he didn't treat anybody, only some who were ill. If you want
21 to ask him were there any policemen or soldiers killed in the municipality
22 of Vucitrn, of course you can.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm asking him now.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Was any soldier or policeman killed in the municipality of
2 A. The Mitrovica hospital might know, but we in the Vushtrria health
3 centre only treated the ill, whereas soldiers, members of the Serbian
4 forces, and as far as I remember, on the 8th of January, 1999, at the
5 hands of the forces of the Operational Zone of Shala, there were -- eight
6 soldiers were captured with all their weapons. And they asked the
7 military officers whether they had any health needs, whether they needed
8 any care of any kind, and they said that they didn't have any problems.
9 And as far as I know, they were released a few days later in good health,
10 with the help of international mediators.
11 Q. I had asked you whether you knew, not whether you treated any such
12 people, but whether you knew whether any soldiers or policemen had been
13 killed, whether you had any knowledge of that before the NATO aggression
14 in the territory of your municipality.
15 A. I stressed that I saw these eight soldiers who were armed, who
16 were released in good health by the KLA. And the whole world knows this.
17 Q. That is to say that you visited them in prison in your capacity as
18 KLA doctor, that is to say, where KLA groups were.
19 A. No. I didn't go to visit them because there was no need. But the
20 military officers had asked them if there were -- was a need for medical
21 attention and they said no.
22 Q. Are you aware of any cases of killing or wounding Albanians by the
24 A. No. This is quite untrue. The KLA didn't kill anybody. And the
25 war that took place was purely a frontal war. And perhaps Albanians were
1 wounded, but no doubt the Serbian Security Services did it, because
2 Nexhmedin Ajeti worked in the Serbian state security until 3rd of
3 January -- June 2000, and he -- the Serbian forces killed his son. And
4 this is an example according to the principle that the revolution devours
5 its own children.
6 Q. And do you know --
7 A. Serbian security forces killed him in Mitrovica, and his son is
8 alive to -- killed his son, whereas he himself, he is alive. He lives in
9 Prishtina. He can come and testify himself.
10 Q. That he was killed by the Serb forces?
11 A. No. He was wounded, and he -- he had worked until the 3rd of June
12 in the Serbian Security Services, in internal affairs. I don't know. He
13 was wounded by Serbian forces. His son was wounded and has been left an
14 invalid, and his son was also killed according to this communist principle
15 that I quoted, the revolution devours its children.
16 Q. And do you know who really attacked Ajeti or do you not know? Or
17 did you just hear about this?
18 A. Ajeti said himself that Serbian police and military forces carried
19 out the attack.
20 Q. And do you think that somebody who lives in Pristina now would
21 dare state anything else?
22 A. That's how it was, because until June, he had worked in the
23 Serbian police service and -- in that he survived. He -- he went there,
24 and he doesn't have any problems. Prishtina is a democratic place now,
25 under the supervision of democratic Europe. I'm -- he's only saying the
2 Q. Do you know how many killings take place in Pristina as compared
3 to the situation before the NATO aggression, according to the data
4 provided by these services of democratic Europe?
5 JUDGE MAY: This is getting well beyond the witness's evidence.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MAY: No. Let's go on to another question.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Ever since you left home, that is to say, the 28th of March, and
10 then until your return between the 7th and 10th of April, your house was
11 empty; isn't that right?
12 A. It was empty.
13 Q. You claim that a large number of houses in Donja Studime were
14 burned, damaged; is that right?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. And everything was all right with your house when you returned to
17 it; is that right?
18 A. No. My house was set on fire in two places, but fortunately, it
19 didn't catch alight fully, but it was totally looted.
20 Q. Well, you wrote here that your house had not been burned. You
21 wrote in your statement that there were traces of attempts to burn it, but
22 you don't know why they didn't burn it. That's what you said in your
23 statement. Therefore, your house had not been burned.
24 A. They had tried to burn it, but they had only looted it, and then
25 they tried to burn it, without success.
1 Q. So you claim that they only attempted to burn your house, but they
2 didn't burn it, and here you say you don't know why. How come your house
3 remained intact, when you claim that you were the first or second person
4 on the list for liquidation?
5 JUDGE MAY: Well, he can't answer that. He can only say what the
6 position was. You must ask those who were responsible for the list.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. You claim that there was shooting all the time around your house;
9 is that right?
10 A. That's right. From the police and military forces that were on
11 the hill above my house and on the hill of Saracak, there was continual
12 firing from these forces.
13 Q. Firing against who?
14 A. On our houses in Studime, from the hill of Rashice and then down
16 Q. So then this was fighting between the KLA and the army and the
17 police; isn't that right?
18 A. No. No. The distance from my house to the KLA zone was about
19 five kilometres, as the crow flies. So they were fighting -- they were
20 firing only to scare us and to expel us and to drive us out.
21 Q. All right. The next day, you left the house with your family,
22 into the hills, and you went to this village of Slakovce, is that right,
23 under the control of the KLA, that is?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you say that every day there was fighting there between the
1 KLA and the army and the police; is that right or is that not right?
2 A. Yes, there were clashes in Melenice, above Bajgora, up to the
3 front line, far away in Llap, up by Sllakofc, where they were stationed.
4 Q. So the KLA was not fighting there where it was stationed?
5 A. The KLA had positions a long way from me. I was in the hospital.
6 Q. But you say that there was fighting between the KLA and the army
7 and the police. That is to say that you had to see this to come to that
8 conclusion, to find out about that in some other way. How come you found
9 out, since you were so far away?
10 A. You could hear the gunfire, and then the ill and the wounded came
11 and I treated them. Of course I wasn't on the front line. I was part of
12 the logistics.
13 Q. And do you know how many NATO bombings there were in your area and
14 do you know anything about the victims of that bombing?
15 A. In our area, NATO bombed very accurately, and it only hit Serbian
16 Yugoslav military positions, and I don't believe that there were any
17 victims. It was amazingly precise bombing. It was wonderful. I don't
18 think there were any casualties, but I believe that there was damage to
19 the Yugoslav army equipment.
20 Q. You said that twice while you were on the tractor they would come
21 up to your tractor and search it. Why was it only the second time that
22 you and your cousin Halil decided to escape? Why didn't you decide to do
23 that the first time when they came?
24 A. They didn't come twice, but four times, and at first we could have
25 escaped by giving them marks. But when our marks were used up, we saw
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that everybody who didn't have marks were being killed, and so we fled.
2 Q. And you claim that after this breakthrough at the front line, they
3 were not looking for members of the KLA in your convoy. You say that they
4 were looking for Deutschmarks. Is that what you're claiming?
5 A. Serb forces, in combination with other forces, they came and
6 surrounded us. First they asked us for Deutschmarks, and when we didn't
7 have any more left, they beat us and then finally would kill us. Seeing
8 what was happening around me, when I had no more Deutschmarks, I went to
9 that nearby stream and then I could run away from the terror.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Milosevic, the time is now coming up.
11 You've had an hour. But you can ask two more questions if you want.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You said that you heard very strong explosions on the 31st of May,
14 when there were bombings in the vicinity of your house; is that right?
15 You said that the barracks were bombed or something like that.
16 A. Yes. The barracks were bombed, the barracks of the army, and the
17 entire house heard the blast. It wasn't far away where the bombing took
18 place; three, four kilometres. After the war, I saw the traces of the
20 Q. On the basis of what you've said, it seems that nobody drove you
21 away from your house, that you left your house at your own initiative. Is
22 that right or is that not right?
23 A. No, that's not right. I left my house because of the shelling and
24 the attacks, whereas my neighbours, they -- the forces went to their
25 houses and told them, "Leave," because the -- the neighbours told them,
1 "Leave, because when the forces come, they will kill you."
2 Q. All right. You were not fleeing from the NATO bombing, then; you
3 were fleeing from the Serbs. Did I understand you correctly? As you were
4 fleeing from the Serbs, you escaped, no more and no less, through Serbia;
5 isn't that right? And you say that you had no problems there. And then
6 to Montenegro, where you had no problems either.
7 JUDGE MAY: That will be the last question.
8 A. No.
9 JUDGE MAY: Did you have any problems in Montenegro?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No, Your Honour. On the way,
11 we had to pay Deutschmarks again, and the High Commission for Refugees
12 took care of us.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tapuskovic, have you any questions?
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I will
15 try to finish within five minutes' time, until the time for our break
17 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Gerxhaliu, I'm quite certain that your work
19 did not allow you to use anything else but a scalpel. I'm quite certain
20 that you only did your job. However, I would like to put a few questions
21 to you related only to the events after the 25th of March.
22 The first thing I would like to ask you is the following: It is
23 quite clear that you said that 80 per cent of the territory of Vucitrn,
24 where you lived and where you did your job, was under KLA control. Does
25 that mean that you toured all these villages where treatment was
1 necessary, primarily these KLA field hospitals that you referred to in
2 your statement?
3 A. Yes. I travelled to all the field hospitals of the KLA. I went
4 there thanks to the stream of the village, which is -- it is in a very low
5 place, and I couldn't be seen by the Serb forces stationed on higher
7 Q. Maybe I wouldn't have asked you about this brook, this stream, but
8 since you've mentioned it yourself - Your Honours, on page 6 of the
9 English version, paragraph 3 - you say that that is the stream where it
10 is, and that it was guarded by KLA soldiers, and that that was the road
11 that led to the mountain but that it was guarded by the KLA. Is that
13 A. In the upper part of Studime, the stream was protected by KLA.
14 But from Rashice onwards, it was under the absolute control of Serb
15 forces. KLA was only in the upper part. As the crow flies, it's about
16 six kilometres away from where my house is. The stream is very long.
17 Q. All right. But later in your statement, you say that precisely
18 around this stream people got killed or wounded.
19 A. On what day are you referring?
20 Q. Well, in your statement, you didn't refer to a particular date.
21 You said that it would often happen during those several months, that
22 around that stream there were skirmishes and that people lost their lives
24 A. There weren't skirmishes along the stream in the region of Studime
25 e Poshtme, but on the 2nd of May, there were 109 innocent civilians
1 killed. On the 14th of May in that very stream, in the lower part in
2 Studime e Poshtme, where there were Serb forces stationed on both sides,
3 six Albanian civilians were killed. On the 24th of May, eight Albanian
4 girls were killed by the Serb police forces. On the 31st of May, my
5 cousin, my uncle, and his whole family, 12 members altogether, were
6 killed. Three were taken out of the house and killed. His son, Seladin's
7 son, was killed earlier by a policeman whom we knew, on the 27th of
9 Q. It was around that stream, wasn't it?
10 A. Yes. The police and military forces were -- came together from
11 Rashice, and often they did -- carried out what they called a check, and
12 killed innocent civilians for no reason at all. We have photos,
13 documents, evidence to prove, to corroborate the terror we went through.
14 Q. Very well, Doctor. I'm interested in the following now: When you
15 went to these many villages, were there any village patrols there in these
16 villages, and were these people carrying weapons or were there only KLA
17 members there? If there were any there, can you tell us approximately how
18 many members of the KLA there were in these villages?
19 A. I didn't see patrol -- patrols. It was not my problem how many
20 members were in the KLA. My only problem was to take care and to treat
21 the sick persons. That was the underlying motive of my work.
22 Q. Among the members of the KLA, were there people who wore civilian
24 A. I was the only one dressed in civilian clothes. I don't know
25 about the others. I don't think so.
1 Q. Just two more questions. The first one has to do with the several
2 days of fighting before the 2nd of May when the front line fell. You said
3 that there were a considerable number of wounded persons that you had to
4 treat that were brought to your hospital. How many wounded persons,
5 approximately, were brought in to the place where you had to treat them?
6 A. We had three rooms. I believe there must have been about 35, 36
7 wounded. Eighty per cent of them were civilians, and 15, 20 per cent were
8 wounded and injured soldiers.
9 Q. They were civilians when they came to see you at the hospital?
10 None of them had any weapons, neither those who were in uniforms nor those
11 who were in civilian clothes?
12 A. No. Those who were soldiers were, of course, donned in uniforms.
13 They were part of a unit. The others were women, children of two years
14 old were injured, some young girls of 15 years old. I mean, all of them
15 were civilians who were either injured because of the shelling, because of
16 some stray bullets or bullets aimed at them. So as I said, 70, 80 per
17 cent of them were civilians.
18 Q. But they were brought to you from the front line during those few
19 days. I'm talking about after the 25th of March. Those are the days when
20 the fighting took place. I'm not asking about before the 25th of March.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
22 MR. SAXON: Maybe Mr. Tapuskovic could clarify who he means by the
23 word --
24 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Just a moment.
25 MR. SAXON: Perhaps Mr. Tapuskovic could clarify in his question
1 who he means by the word "they" when he says, "They were brought to you
2 from the front line." Who does he mean by that?
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes. Mr. Tapuskovic, could you answer that,
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I mean precisely what the witness
6 has been saying, Your Honours. The front line fell --
7 JUDGE MAY: Well, we're obviously not going to get very far with
8 this. Is there anything else you want to ask the witness about?
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I wanted to ask the following,
10 Your Honour, in conclusion:
11 Q. Did you hear whether there were any victims at the front line,
12 whether there were any KLA casualties? Because yesterday we heard from a
13 witness that there were heavy losses on the KLA side. Were there any
14 casualties apart from this one single person who was brought in from the
15 place where the front line was broken through?
16 A. Certainly there must have been, because if there were no victims,
17 the front wouldn't have fallen.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you.
19 JUDGE MAY: Any re-examination?
20 MR. SAXON: I do, Your Honour, and I think it would probably take
21 10 or 15 minutes.
22 JUDGE MAY: Really, Mr. Saxon?
23 MR. SAXON: Could I have five to ten minutes, Your Honour?
24 JUDGE MAY: Have five minutes now --
25 MR. SAXON: Very well, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MAY: -- so that we can finish the witness.
2 MR. SAXON: Very well, Your Honour.
3 Re-examined by Mr. Saxon:
4 Q. Mr. Gerxhaliu, you mentioned that around the 26th of March, you
5 were told by the director of your hospital to go away and that the
6 Albanian doctors at that hospital were all sent away at that time, and you
7 said that the director's name was Branko Milankovic [sic]. Just to be
8 clear --
9 A. Ranko, not Branko.
10 Q. All right. Thank you. The name was Ranko Milankovic [sic].
11 A. [In English] Milenkovic.
12 Q. Milenkovic. If you know, what was the ethnicity of the director
13 of the hospital, Mr. Milenkovic?
14 A. [Interpretation] He was a Serb.
15 Q. Very well. I'd like to show you a map.
16 MR. SAXON: Your Honour --
17 Q. I'd like to talk to you, Mr. Gerxhaliu, about this notion of the
18 front line.
19 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I have with me copies of an exhibit that
20 has already been admitted into evidence. It is map 10 of Exhibit 4. I
21 have a number of colour copies as well as black and white copies. I would
22 like to ask the usher's assistance if a colour copy could be provided on
23 the ELMO, please, and then the other copies distributed around to the
24 Judges, to the amici, and to the accused.
25 Q. Mr. Gerxhaliu, if you could please take a look at the map that's
1 been placed to your left. It's right next to you. If you can look at the
2 actual map, Mr. Gerxhaliu.
3 During your cross-examination, you talked about how, around the
4 2nd of May, word came that Serb forces had broken through along the front
5 line, and that was in the area of Llap and a place, I believe, that is
6 called Meljanica. I'm wondering, Dr. Gerxhaliu, if you could take a
7 marker - I hope there is a marker or a pen on the desk near you, or
8 perhaps the usher could provide you one - and just roughly indicate where
9 those -- that front line or those front lines were in relation to where
10 you were on the 2nd of May in the morning.
11 A. You see here Sllakofc.
12 Q. Could you put a circle around Slakovce, please.
13 A. It is here.
14 Q. Could you put a circle around there, please. Dr. Gerxhaliu, could
15 you put a circle where you were, approximately.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. Now could you draw lines representing what you knew to be roughly
18 the front lines that were broken through on that day, if they're visible
19 on the map anywhere.
20 A. Yes. The front line must have been here somewhere, Melenice,
21 Trepca, in this area.
22 Q. And how about the area known as --
23 A. A great distance.
24 Q. And how about the area known as Llap?
25 A. Llap is on this side, but I can't see it very well on this map.
1 Let me look closer. It must have been here, I think.
2 Q. Can you draw a line roughly where Llap would have been, or the
3 front lines near Llap?
4 A. This village Segasht and these other villages must belong to the
5 Llap area. Melenice, Trepca on the other side. This one front line here
6 and one there, and these two lines were broken through. The forces came
7 together --
8 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu. Dr. Gerxhaliu, I just asked you, please, to draw a
9 line where the front line at Llap was. That's all I want you to do and
10 then we'll move on. Okay. Thank you very much.
11 A. This was the front line. And this, I think, must have been the
12 other front line, but it goes beyond this map.
13 Q. Thank you very much.
14 MR. SAXON: I would offer that exhibit now into evidence, and that
15 can be removed, please.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be marked as Exhibit 123.
17 MR. SAXON: Thank you very much.
18 Q. Moving on, my last topic: You were asked whether there were
19 members -- it was suggested to you that there were other members of the
20 KLA in the convoy that was attacked on the 2nd of May in the evening. I
21 would like to show a 20-second excerpt of an exhibit. This is an exhibit
22 that has already been admitted.
23 MR. SAXON: It is Exhibit 13/1. I would ask the audio-visual
24 people to please start it at 530 and let it run to 550 and stop -- and
25 there, and then I have a few questions for this witness and then I'll be
1 done. If we could let this run for a few seconds now, please.
2 [Videotape played]
3 MR. SAXON: And stop, please.
4 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, do you recognise this man?
5 A. Yes, I know this man.
6 Q. Who was this man?
7 A. He was Fatmir Ejup Gerxhaliu.
8 Q. Was Fatmir Gerxhaliu a relative of yours? Yes or no.
9 A. Yes, he was. He was a cousin of mine.
10 Q. Was Mr. Gerxhaliu older than you or younger?
11 A. He was some ten or 12 years younger than me.
12 Q. Was he married? Did he have any children?
13 A. Yes, he was married. His wife is from Saracak, and he has left
14 behind two sons.
15 MR. SAXON: Just for the record, we're looking at the body of what
16 looks to be a male. There appears to be some blood visible on the face.
17 Q. Where did this man live?
18 A. He lived closer to the city compared to my house, in
19 Studime e Poshtme.
20 Q. Was he a rich man, a poor man, or average?
21 A. He was an average, I would say.
22 Q. What was Fatmir Gerxhaliu's occupation?
23 A. Since he couldn't find a job for the state, he engaged mainly in
25 Q. And prior to the 2nd of May, 1999, was Fatmir Gerxhaliu a member
1 of the KLA?
2 A. No. He's never been a member of the KLA.
3 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour. Nothing further.
4 JUDGE MAY: Dr. Gerxhaliu, that concludes your evidence. Thank
5 you for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to
7 We will adjourn now until twenty to twelve.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I, Your Honour, say two words?
9 JUDGE MAY: Two words.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just want to thank you on my
11 behalf and that of my family, which was one of the most victimised
12 families, because today, three years ago, on the 2nd of May, 1999, my
13 members were killed. And I take this opportunity to thank you for
14 enabling us to come here to testify to the truth and nothing but the
15 truth, which I am sure it will oust -- quit [as interpreted] very soon.
16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
18 --- Recess taken at 11.13 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.42 a.m.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 WITNESS: FEDRIJE XHAFA
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
24 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you'd like to take a seat.
1 Yes, Mr. Saxon.
2 Examined by Mr. Saxon:
3 Q. Madam, is your name Fedrije Xhafa?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Ms. Xhafa, were you born on the 16th of June, 1964?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Were you born in the village of Saracak i Ulet, in the
8 municipality of Vushtrri, in Kosovo?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Is that village now called Monza?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Ms. Xhafa, on the 26th of February, 2000, did you provide a
13 statement to representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor concerning
14 events that you witnessed and experienced in Kosovo in 1999?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And on the 11th of October of 2001, did you provide an additional
17 statement to representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor concerning
18 events that you witnessed and experienced in Kosovo in 1999?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. On the 15th of March this year, 2002, in the village of Saracak i
21 Ulet, or Monza, in the municipality of Vushtrri, in Kosovo, were you
22 provided with copies of the statements that you gave in February 2000 and
23 October 2001, in the presence of representatives of the Office of the
24 Prosecutor and a presiding officer appointed by the Registrar of this
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And at that time, did you confirm that the copies of the
3 statements that were provided to you were true and correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, at this time I would offer copies of
6 these statements for admission into evidence, pursuant to Rule 92 bis.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Prosecutor's Exhibit
9 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, Ms. Xhafa attended elementary and
10 secondary school for mathematics in Vushtrri and was trained as a tailor.
11 Prior to the war in 1999, she did not work outside the home.
12 Ms. Xhafa describes how, on the 28th of March, 1999, she and her
13 family were forced to leave their house in the village of Saracak after
14 Serb forces began to burn houses in that village. The family fled to
15 Dubnica village and then to Samodreza village and Vesekovce village, where
16 they stayed for five weeks.
17 Around the 30th of April of 1999, the family travelled from
18 Vesekovce to Slakovce, where they spent two nights. They were informed by
19 KLA fighters that the KLA resistance had been broken in Meljanica village,
20 in the Mitrovica municipality, to the north-west, and that the Serb forces
21 were advancing from the north. Ms. Xhafa's family joined a large convoy
22 of people moving towards Vushtrri. Ms. Xhafa was riding on a trailer
23 together with 13 members of her family.
24 Ms. Xhafa describes how Serb forces approached her part of the
25 convoy several times. Ms. Xhafa describes how Serb forces first beat her
1 nephew and her brother and robbed the family's valuables. Subsequently,
2 at about 11.30 p.m., another group of six policemen wearing masks
3 approached Ms. Xhafa's tractor. The policemen shot and wounded
4 Ms. Xhafa's brother and shot dead her father.
5 Ms. Xhafa describes how her family continued on foot down the
6 mountain and eventually were directed to the agricultural cooperative
7 buildings in Vushtrri. The next morning, the Serb police separated the
8 men aged between 15 and 60 from the others. The men were taken to
9 Smrekovnica prison and all those with tractors were ordered to go to
11 Ms. Xhafa and the surviving members of her family walked to the
12 village of Kqiq and then moved on to the village of Doberlluka.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me briefly what life was like up until the
17 war in your area.
18 Yes, I think the microphone is on now.
19 Tell me, please: What was life like up until the war in your
21 A. It was a very difficult life before the war in my village. It got
22 more difficult every day.
23 Q. In the village of Bare, which is the centre of the Saska [phoen]
24 region, the Partizanka firm of Uzice constructed a factory producing
25 leather goods, and several hundred young Albanian women were employed by
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the factory there. Are you aware of that?
2 A. I know there was a factory, but who worked, I don't know.
3 Q. And do you know that that factory, in the course of 1998, became
4 the place where the KLA were? It was the Operative Zone for Salja.
5 A. No, I don't know about this.
6 Q. Do you know that among those forces, the KLA forces who were
7 located in that centre of theirs there --
8 JUDGE MAY: She doesn't know about it, so there's no point
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm asking her a different question,
11 Mr. May, and that is whether she knows that among the KLA members were
12 members of her own family.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they weren't. My brother's son
14 was a member, but he withdrew.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. And have you heard of the name Vesel Xhafa, father's name Ahmed,
17 born in 1958? Does that name mean anything to you?
18 A. No.
19 Q. So it isn't a cousin of yours from that area?
20 A. We live in the village of Saracak.
21 Q. And do you know that in the course of 1998, the KLA prison was
22 operational in Bare?
23 A. No, I don't know about this. I have no information about this.
24 Q. Well, do you know at the beginning of January, precisely in that
25 prison, soldiers of the Yugoslav army were imprisoned there that had been
1 captured by the KLA near the Stari Trg or Old Square?
2 JUDGE MAY: She has no information about it.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. So you have no information about that. And what about this: In a
5 former KLA functionary, Azem Azemi, in his house part of the forces of the
6 KLA were put up there just like in the house of Bajram Shala, who was one
7 of the directors of the Trepca plant?
8 JUDGE MAY: Do you know anything about this?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't know.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You claim that your cousin Ismet, that is to say your brother's
12 son Jetisha, was a member of the KLA up until the outbreak of the war, but
13 just at that time that he withdrew from their ranks; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How old was he at the time?
16 A. Twenty years old.
17 Q. And why did he step down from the KLA ranks?
18 A. Because they were being chased by the Serbian forces. And the
19 policeman of our village, Dusan Sijanic, was particularly interested in
20 him, and he was scared of something bad happening to the family and so he
21 left the ranks of the KLA.
22 Q. And he stayed on in the village with you, with his family?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And if a policeman was interested in him because of his
25 affiliation to the KLA, how come he felt safe to stay on in the village?
1 A. We were never really safe, because if a Serbian policeman were
2 interested in a family, something bad would happen.
3 Q. And what happened to him? Anything bad?
4 A. No. He stayed with the family.
5 Q. And what did he do after he left the KLA?
6 A. He didn't have any kind of work. He just stayed with the family.
7 Q. Do you know how long he had been a member of the KLA before he
9 A. About three or four weeks.
10 Q. Did you see any weapons on him or with him?
11 A. He did have them, but he handed them in.
12 Q. Do you know perhaps how he came to join the KLA in the first
14 A. All the young men were mobilised at that time, but he withdrew out
15 of fear that something would happen to the family. He was frightened of
16 being persecuted.
17 Q. That means he had been mobilised. That is to say, he didn't join
18 the KLA voluntarily. Is that it?
19 A. No. He went voluntarily, and he came back home voluntarily.
20 Q. In your first statement, you claim that on the 28th of March, with
21 your family, you were forced to leave the house in which you had lived.
22 Is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Who forced you to do so?
25 A. The Serbs started burning the houses in our village.
1 Q. Can you explain to me why in your first statement you claim that
2 you did this because you saw the Serbs burning Albanian houses, as you
3 just said, whereas in your second statement you say that you did this --
4 you took this step because some of your neighbours who were Serbs had
5 moved out and so you were afraid that something might happen to you?
6 A. The truth is that the houses started burning and my fellow
7 villagers left the village, and the Serbs had left one day before and had
8 gone to the village of Nedakoc.
9 Q. Yes, that's what you wrote, but you say in your second statement,
10 it is paragraph 3 on page 1: "We moved out of the village because some of
11 our neighbours, Serbs, had moved out to go to the village of Nedakoc."
12 JUDGE MAY: And the next sentence: "We thought something may be
13 happening, so we decided to leave." The two may not be incompatible.
14 Can you add anything to what you said in your statements or not?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's the truth, Your Honour. The
16 reason was that the houses started burning and we were frightened of
17 something terrible happening to us. All the inhabitants of the village
18 left the village and went off in the direction of Dumnice. It was a long
19 convoy. There were people from Vushtrria who went to Dumnice, and we
20 stayed one night at Dumnice. And on the next day, we continued on our way
21 to Samadrexha, and there we stopped just for five minutes.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. My question was --
25 JUDGE MAY: She's answered the question as best she can. Now, if
1 you want to make a point about it in due course, you can, but she's given
2 her explanation, and there's no point asking her further about it.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, but the explanations are
4 contradictory, so I wanted to clarify this, what the real reason was.
5 However, if you say so, then probably one should act in accordance with
6 your suggestions.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. In your first statement, you say you first went to the village of
9 Dubnica? Did I understand you correctly that you say that you went to the
10 village of Nedakovac? Where did you actually go from your village? My
11 question is actually: Where did you go from your village?
12 A. We weren't at Nedakoc. From our village, we went through Novo
13 Selo e Maxhunaj, and we stayed only one night at Dumnice, and that's what
14 it says in my statement.
15 Q. You say, in your first statement, that from Dubnica you went to
16 Samodreza, and in the second statement you say that people were afraid to
17 go to Samodreza because the police had placed checkpoints by Lazovici
18 [phoen]. So did you go to Samodreza or not?
19 A. Before we left the village, but it could leave for Samadrexha
20 because there was a police checkpoint in Lazovici [phoen] neighbourhood
21 [as interpreted]. Then we left the village and went to Dumnice. From
22 there, we continued our way to Samadrexha, passing by the police
23 checkpoint and to avoid it.
24 Q. Does that mean that you managed to avoid the police checkpoint and
25 you got to Samodreza without stopping at the police checkpoint?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And in the villages of Dubnica and Samodreza, were there any
3 members of the KLA?
4 A. There were in Ceceli.
5 Q. How far away is that from Samodreza and Dubnica?
6 A. About seven kilometres, in my view.
7 Q. So in Samodreza and Dubnica, you didn't see any KLA?
8 A. No. We stayed there only one night.
9 Q. And how did you know that the KLA was in Cecelija?
10 A. Everybody knew that.
11 Q. And during that time, the members of the KLA who were at Cecelija,
12 as you say, were they fighting the members of the Yugoslav army and the
13 police of Serbia?
14 A. This I don't know. I have no information about that. I know that
15 we left the houses to escape the worst, but I had no interest in such
17 Q. And during your journey from your home, were you actually moving
18 in the directions in which the KLA otherwise moved?
19 A. We moved in that area where there was no KLA, and neither there
20 were police, Serb police, that is.
21 Q. And does that mean, actually, that you tried to avoid areas in
22 which there could be conflicts between the police and the KLA?
23 A. We were never afraid and never fled the KLA, because we considered
24 it our protector. But the road passed through that area where there were
25 no KLA or Serb police.
1 Q. I was not suggesting that you were fleeing from the KLA. I just
2 put a question to you, because you said that you went to an area where
3 there was no KLA or police. Did you do that in order to avoid possible
4 conflicts between the police and the KLA, not to be in the area where
5 there would be a conflict?
6 A. We wanted to go to a place where there were no Serb police.
7 Q. And who told you that you had to go to Vesekovce from Samodreza?
8 A. We went there out of our own free will. We knew that that area
9 was free.
10 Q. And who was there in that area?
11 A. There were villagers, Albanian villagers.
12 Q. And why, then, did you leave Vesekovce?
13 A. I don't get your question, I'm afraid.
14 Q. Why did you leave Vesekovce? A short while ago you said that you
15 went to that area which was safe, to the best of my understanding. Why
16 did you leave it?
17 A. Do you mean the 30th of April that we left Vesekofc?
18 Q. Yes. Yes. Why did you leave Vesekovce? You said that it was
19 peaceful there.
20 A. Yes. We left because the front was -- fell in Melenice, in the
21 west and in the east of Kacandol. Then shelling started from the
22 direction of Llap. The population started to withdraw back to Sllakofc.
23 Q. But you say that the KLA fighters told you to get to Vucitrn; is
24 that correct?
25 A. No. The KLA fighters withdrew from that area, but the people left
1 in the direction of Vushtrri, where they formed that convoy.
2 Q. Did part of the KLA also move with you, with that convoy?
3 A. No. The KLA left for the opposite direction. We went in the
4 direction of Vushtrri.
5 Q. Were you with your family in the first part of the convoy?
6 A. We were in the middle of the convoy, actually.
7 Q. What about the first part of the convoy? Is that where women and
8 children were primarily?
9 A. We were together; men, women, children. Probably there was
10 another group who left earlier for Vushtrri. I don't know.
11 Q. In this group that left earlier, were they primarily women and
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Where did that group go?
15 A. That group went to Vushtrri.
16 Q. Did they have any problems on their way to Vucitrn?
17 A. I don't know. Maybe they did. Maybe they too were looted. They
18 went there before us.
19 Q. And how many men were there in your convoy? Because you say that
20 you were together.
21 A. I don't understand you.
22 Q. Let me put it the other way around, then. The group with women
23 and children only, how far ahead of you were they?
24 A. They left sometime in the morning, according to some eyewitnesses,
25 because I didn't see them for myself.
1 Q. And when did you leave after them? How much time had elapsed
2 since they had left?
3 A. I don't know when they exactly left. I know only that we
4 left -- that they left in the morning, whereas we, we left at about 4.00
5 in the afternoon.
6 Q. So those who left before you, in the morning, were women and
7 children, and you don't know that anything happened to them. As for this
8 convoy that you were in, in addition to you, there were also men there,
9 and you were a mixed group, so to speak; you were not divided into some
10 kind of a first section and second section of the convoy. Did I
11 understand you correctly?
12 A. In our convoy, there were women, men, children, elderly people.
13 Q. And when did you come across the police? When did your convoy
14 come across the police?
15 A. After 4.00, we decided to rest a while in Studime. At about 9.00,
16 the police arrived.
17 Q. Around 9.00 in the evening?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. On the basis of what you've said, is it correct that the policemen
20 sent part of the men to the prison in Smrekovnica?
21 A. They took them there on the 3rd of May, after they took us to the
22 yard of the agricultural cooperative in Vushtrri.
23 Q. Since they took them to prison, were they suspected of being
24 members of the KLA?
25 JUDGE MAY: That's not for the witness to answer. It's for those
1 who took them to prison.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. To the best of your knowledge, to the best of your knowledge, how
4 long did they stay at the prison in Smrekovnica?
5 A. Some stayed there for two weeks, some for ten days. Then they
6 sent them to Albania.
7 Q. Was anybody detained? Were any of them kept after these ten-day
8 interrogations, two-week interrogations?
9 A. Yes. Some of them were detained. I'm talking here about my own
10 family members. My nephew and my first cousin stayed there for ten days,
11 whereas my brother was detained for 13 days.
12 Q. Well, that's what you said. Somebody for ten days, somebody for
13 14 days or 13 days. Never mind. But apart from these ten or 14 days, was
14 anybody detained there after that, after the interrogations?
15 A. Yes. Many were detained. You might know that better than we.
16 Q. I do not know better than you, but I am asking you to give me this
17 information, please. How many of them were kept there?
18 JUDGE MAY: The witness isn't one of them, and for her to answer
19 is bound to be extremely difficult.
20 Can you help with the knowledge of your family members as to that
21 or not?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I'm afraid not.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. All right. Your people were released after ten or 13 days. One
25 after 13 days, the other after ten days. Did they tell you what they had
1 asked them there, the authorities in prison, the investigation
3 A. Yes. Every one of them was accused of being a KLA member.
4 Actually, all the Albanians who were detained there were charged there
5 with being members of the KLA.
6 Q. Can I understand that to mean that they were asked? Because you
7 say that -- you say yourself that after that, they were released.
8 A. I'm sorry, I don't get the point.
9 JUDGE MAY: You know, Mr. Milosevic, we've had evidence from one
10 of those who was detained. He told us about the interrogations, and I
11 think this point was already made.
12 Now, have you got anything else for this witness other than what
13 she may have heard about the detention?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. All right. I'm not
15 going to ask her any more questions about that.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. In your statement, in your second statement, you say that you
18 first saw armoured vehicles in Drenica, and after that, the killing of the
19 Jashari family. Is that correct?
20 JUDGE MAY: What's the question?
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Is it correct that you first saw armoured vehicles in Drenica, as
23 you described it, after the massacre of the Jashari family in Drenica? Is
24 that correct?
25 A. In fact, I have seen these armoured vehicles on television after
1 the massacre committed against the Jashari family.
2 Q. So you saw the vehicles on television, not over there. So you
3 were not in Drenica actually.
4 A. No, I was not.
5 Q. Did you know any of the Jashari family members?
6 A. No, I didn't.
7 Q. So you mentioned that only in terms of what you had seen on
9 A. This kind of -- this particular colour of these vehicles, I mean.
10 Q. All right. And is it correct that you stated that you saw these
11 same vehicles in Belgrade when you came to visit your sister?
12 A. Yes. I always refer to the colour of these vehicles.
13 Q. Does your sister live in Belgrade?
14 A. No. She was hospitalised there in Belgrade.
15 Q. Do you have any relatives and friends who live in Belgrade?
16 JUDGE MAY: What's the relevance of this?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. When you were in Belgrade, did you have any problems there?
20 A. No, we didn't have any problems. We went there to visit our
21 sister in the hospital.
22 Q. How many Serbs or Serb families lived in Donji Saracak until KFOR
24 A. I don't understand your question, I'm afraid.
25 Q. Were there any Serb families in your village until the end of the
1 war, on the eve of the war, before the war, the end of the war?
2 A. Yes, there were. Until the end of the war, the Serbs remained in
3 the village. They left after the NATO infantry arrived. I don't know
4 where they went.
5 Q. Are there any Serbs living in your area now?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Do you happen to know, or perhaps you saw, heard, learnt about the
8 killings and abductions of Serbs and Albanians before the beginning of the
9 NATO aggression on the 24th of March in your region?
10 A. This is a very long question. I don't understand you.
11 Q. Do you know, for example, in 1998 anything about the crimes or
12 killings or abductions that took place in your area carried out by the
13 so-called KLA?
14 A. The KLA did not commit any crimes of this kind.
15 Q. So you consider that the KLA didn't commit any terrorist acts
16 or --
17 JUDGE MAY: She said that the KLA didn't commit any crimes. So
18 that concludes that point.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] I have no more questions.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have no
21 questions either.
22 MR. SAXON: I have just one or two, Your Honour.
23 Re-examined by Mr. Saxon:
24 Q. Ms. Xhafa, you mentioned that when your part of the convoy -- in
25 your part of the convoy that was moving down the mountain on the 2nd of
1 May, there were women, men, children, and elderly. I'd like you to focus
2 just for a moment on the tractor and trailer on which you and members of
3 your family were riding on. Were any of your family members or any of the
4 people on that tractor and trailer members of the KLA at that time?
5 A. No.
6 Q. About how many times did groups of Serb policemen approach your
7 family's tractor and trailer that afternoon and evening?
8 A. Three times.
9 Q. And on those three occasions when Serb police approached your
10 family's tractor and trailer, did those Serb policemen make any attempts
11 to search the tractor and the trailer?
12 A. The first time they came up to the driver and asked for his
13 identity card and his driving licence. Then they started to beat my
14 nephew Ismet, who was nearby, who was near my brother in the tractor.
15 Then they asked for money. We gave them money and they went away.
16 Then another group came and they took my brother Jetish and beat
17 him. And then my father went up and asked for them to release him.
18 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, we're not getting any translation from
19 the Albanian --
20 THE INTERPRETER: "And then we gave what money we had."
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The question you were asked is: Did they search
22 the tractor at all?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the beginning, no.
24 MR. SAXON:
25 Q. At any time was the tractor or the trailer searched?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. No.
2 Q. All right. Was any person on that tractor or trailer armed or
3 wearing a uniform on that evening?
4 A. No.
5 Q. I know your father was killed that evening. How old was your
6 father at that time?
7 A. 71.
8 Q. Were there children on board that tractor or trailer?
9 A. The youngest was 13.
10 MR. SAXON: Thank you. No further questions.
11 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Xhafa, that concludes your evidence before the
12 Tribunal. Thank you for coming to it to give your evidence. You are now
13 free to go.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I thank the Court for making it
15 possible for me to state my true testimony. Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 MS. ROMANO: The next witness will be Isa Raka. Your Honour, if
19 it will assist the Court, the witness will be giving evidence of the town
20 of Kacanik. In the Kosovo atlas, it's page 12.
21 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Romano, I don't know where this witness is. It
22 may be that people were taken by surprise, but we've now waited something
23 like five minutes.
24 MS. ROMANO: Yes, Your Honour. I don't have an idea also, but I
25 will try to check and see if there is any problem.
1 JUDGE MAY: If you would.
2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
3 [Prosecution counsel confer]
4 MS. ROMANO: Your Honour, it seems that there was a
5 misunderstanding about which one was going to be the next one, and they
6 were about to take the witness away. But she is still - sorry - he's
7 still in the building and they are taking him back. So we will take a
8 little bit of time, some minutes. Do you want to adjourn?
9 JUDGE MAY: It may be sensible to adjourn now.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll take the break a quarter of an hour early
12 and we'll start again at 2.15.
13 MS. ROMANO: Thank you, and I'm sorry for this problem.
14 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.43 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.15 p.m.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
4 WITNESS: ISA RAKA
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
7 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you'd like to take a seat. Yes.
9 Examined by Ms. Romano:
10 Q. Witness, can you please state your full name for the Court.
11 A. Isa Raka.
12 Q. Mr. Raka, when were you born?
13 A. 17 September 1971.
14 Q. Where were you born?
15 A. In Kacanik.
16 Q. Have you lived all your life in Kacanik?
17 A. Yes, I have.
18 Q. Are you married?
19 A. Now, yes.
20 Q. And this is your second marriage?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. And what happened to your first wife?
23 A. My first wife was killed by the -- was injured first by the Serb
24 forces on 27th of March, 1999, and then she died a few days after because
25 of the injuries.
1 Q. Thank you. Mr. Raka, do you remember being interviewed by members
2 of the Office of the Prosecutor on the 26th of November, 1999?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you gave a statement at that time; is that correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And on the 31st of January this year, you attend a meeting where
7 you appear before members of the Office of the Prosecutor and an appointed
8 presiding officer of the Registry, and you received a copy in the Albanian
9 language of the statement that you provided?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you had the opportunity to review the statement and to
12 ascertain that its contents are true?
13 A. Yes, I had. I made some minor corrections which didn't make any
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Raka.
16 MS. ROMANO: At this moment, I would like to submit the statement
17 into evidence according to the 92 bis provision.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Prosecutor's Exhibit
19 number 125.
20 MS. ROMANO: The summary of the witness's testimony is the
21 following: He is a 32-year-old Kosovo Albanian Muslim from Kacanik.
22 Prior to 27 March 1999, he was married and an expectant father. He lived
23 in the family home in Kacanik with his wife, mother, sisters, brother, and
24 sister-in-law. He has since remarried with a woman with a child whose
25 husband had been killed.
1 The witness's statement describes that from the beginning of March
2 1999, there was an increase in police activity in Kacanik. On 27 March
3 1999, the witness observed two military jeeps and a white Lada Niva 4X4
4 vehicle driving into the lime factory situated on the other side of the
5 Lepence River from his house. About 20 to 30 police officers and two
6 officers wearing VJ uniforms came out of the vehicles. The witness
7 recognised a person called Ljubisa, a deputy police commander in Kacanik,
8 giving orders to the others.
9 The witness observed the soldiers taking positions on the top
10 floor of the factory. They carried automatic rifles and a mortar. The
11 soldiers started shooting towards the houses on the other side of the
12 river. A grenade was thrown through the roof of his house. Two guards at
13 the factory were also later found dead. He also describes the death of
14 others he knew. Sometime later, when the witness's pregnant wife ventured
15 outside, a bullet struck her right hip.
16 On 28 March 1999, the witness and a large group of people started
17 walking through the woods towards Macedonia. The witness was in a group
18 of 13 to 14 people who helped carry his wounded wife on a stretcher. When
19 they came to the border, a Macedonian soldier blocked the border and about
20 700 people had to stay in the woods for two days. The witness and his
21 group managed to contact some locals from Blace who helped them cross the
22 border to Macedonia.
23 The witness's wife was sent to hospital in Skopje. The doctors
24 surgically removed her child, who had died as a consequence of the
25 shooting. The witness's wife subsequently died on 5 April 1999 due to
1 blood loss. He returned to Kacanik on 16 June 1999.
2 That's all, Your Honour. No further questions.
3 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
4 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] On the first page of your statement, you take
7 note of the fact that up until the beginning of 1999, in your
8 municipality, life was more or less normal. Those are your words,
9 roughly. Is that right?
10 A. To some extent, yes.
11 Q. Otherwise, in Kacanik, which numbers some 40.000 inhabitants,
12 there were 98 per cent Albanians living there; is that right?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. That means just 2 per cent of the population were other ethnic
15 groups, predominantly Serbs and Romas; is that right?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. Do you know that in the Municipal Assembly of Kacanik, which is to
18 say in the organs of local government in Kacanik, of the 85 employed
19 persons, 62 were Albanians, right up until the war? Are you aware of that
21 A. No. I never worked in the Kacanik municipality. I was
22 unemployed, didn't have any interest in such things.
23 Q. All right. And do you know this: that in the neighbouring
24 Djeneral Jankovic place, in the Sharr factory, out of a total of 1.700
25 workers, employees, over 1.500 of them were also of Albanian ethnicity?
1 A. I said I have not worked -- I have not worked in the Sharr factory
2 of Han i Elezit. I have seen it only from outside.
3 Q. But you are an inhabitant of Kacanik, so I assume that you have
4 some idea about life in Kacanik.
5 JUDGE MAY: He may have, but not about the employment situation.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. And do you happen to know - this is a public matter, not linked to
8 the factory or the municipality. It's a general knowledge thing relating
9 to life in Kacanik - that prior to the war, in the course of 1998, in
10 Kacanik, the citizens themselves elected their own local policemen, and
11 all of them were Albanians, with several Romas as well? Do you know
13 A. Can you please repeat the question?
14 Q. I'm talking about the local policemen in Kacanik, who were elected
15 by the citizens themselves. So they weren't members of the Ministry of
16 the Interior, but they were just local policemen elected by the citizens,
17 and the government gave them uniforms and pistols and the general sort of
18 thing that policemen usually have. Now, do you know that it was the
19 citizens themselves who elected a certain number of Albanians and several
20 Romas to be their local policemen?
21 A. There weren't Albanian policemen in Kacanik. All of them were
22 Serbs, with the exception of one. One or two. I'm not sure. But there
23 weren't Albanians. I'm not sure whether it was 90 or 91.
24 Q. I'm talking about 1998, when the citizens themselves elected their
25 local policemen.
1 A. Which inhabitants are you talking about?
2 Q. The inhabitants of Kacanik. That is to say, 98 per cent of them
3 were Albanians, and they themselves elected their own local policemen from
4 amongst their own ranks. That is to say, they were also Albanians. And
5 the Romas, too, although there were far less -- few of them, and they
6 elected their own policemen, several of them.
7 A. [Previous translation continues]... know that the Albanian
8 population of Kacanik has elected the Serb police to serve there. 40.000
9 or 50.000 inhabitants you're saying elected the Serb police to work
10 there? I've never heard of that.
11 Q. I didn't say that they elected Serb policemen but that they
12 elected Albanian policemen.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Raka, just answer the question. Were there any
14 elections for policemen in Kacanik?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No, there have never been.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. All right. And do you know of the name Isen Tushi? His father's
18 name was Ali.
19 A. No, I don't know him.
20 Q. What about Osman Kuka? His father's name was Xheladin.
21 A. I know him by sight, just by sight. He was a guard where some
22 construction materials were sold. He was an old man, an uneducated man.
23 He was from that area.
24 Q. And do you know Bektash Dadishta [phoen]? His father's name is
1 A. He too was in the forestry sector as a guard. He was like Osman;
2 he was also an uneducated person.
3 Q. And what about the name Selim Topolani? Do you know him?
4 A. No, I don't know him.
5 Q. And Shaip Reka?
6 A. I had a chance to meet Shaip because his brother was my
7 neighbour. On the day when our house was shelled, he came -- he came
8 there. I know he was carrying a weapon. I know him, and I know him
9 because there was a cafe shop near there, near Lepence River.
10 Q. So you know him.
11 A. I didn't say I know him.
12 Q. And what about the name Riza Kiki?
13 A. I don't know him.
14 Q. But you saw him armed, you say.
15 A. It was clear. Shaip came armed, took away the family of his
16 brother and left on the day when the shelling started.
17 Q. And do you know about Bedri Berisha? Do you know that name?
18 A. No.
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. -- no. Mr. Milosevic, what's the point of this
20 list of names? What's the relevance of it?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The relevance is, the point is that
22 the witness is from Kacanik and that these names, without a doubt, are the
23 names of Albanians from Kacanik, and they were members of the local police
24 force which the inhabitants of Kacanik elected themselves, chose
25 themselves to see to law and --
1 JUDGE MAY: He said he doesn't know they were elected, so there's
2 no point going over that. But the witness should have a chance to
3 answer -- the witness should have the chance to answer whether the names
4 that you have been reading were the names of policemen or not.
5 Now, Mr. Raka, do you recognise the names that have been read
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know two or three that I
8 mentioned. They were mainly people who were -- did manual jobs. Osman,
9 as I said, worked in that place where construction materials were being
10 sold. Bektash was a forest guard. Rank and file, ordinary people.
11 JUDGE MAY: What is suggested is that they were policemen. Were
12 they policemen or not?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not that I know. I never saw them
14 dressed in police uniforms.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Well, they didn't wear uniforms of the state police force. They
17 had lighter blue uniforms of a local police force, to differentiate and
18 set them apart from the state police force. So did you see them in
19 uniforms of that kind?
20 A. No, I didn't.
21 Q. And did you hear about the fact that a number of them, and I have
22 many other names here in front of me, but as I can see I won't have an
23 opportunity to read them out, but did you hear that a certain number of
24 these local policemen were killed and abducted, kidnapped by the KLA?
25 A. No. I don't know anything about that. Maybe it was your own
1 servants who kidnapped them. I don't know anything. I was at Skopje at
2 that time.
3 Q. All right. And do you know that in Kacanik a party of Albanians
4 was set up and the name of it was the Albanian Democratic Initiative?
5 Have you heard of that party?
6 A. What party was that?
7 Q. The Albanian Democratic Initiative party, a party of Albanians in
8 Kacanik whose president was Faik Jashari.
9 A. No, I have not heard about that.
10 Q. And do you know Faik Jashari?
11 A. No.
12 Q. And do you know that Faik Jashari was a member of the state
13 delegation in Rambouillet in the capacity of president of that particular
15 JUDGE MAY: He doesn't know about it.
16 There's no need to answer that.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the witness knows the guard at
18 the storehouse, but in this little place of Kacanik, he doesn't know a
19 prominent figure the likes of Faik Jashari. This doesn't seem to be
20 logical to me.
21 JUDGE MAY: That's what he says.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, we've heard lots of things
23 said here, more than anywhere else.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So the situation, as you yourself said, was normal. You lived
1 quite a normal life. Ninety-eight per cent of the inhabitants were
2 Albanians. The vast majority were employed both in the administration and
3 in the economy. They were Albanians.
4 Now, why was it necessary to have violence in Kacanik? Can you
5 answer me that?
6 A. About the first question, I haven't worked in the administration.
7 I told you before. Please ask the second question again.
8 Q. I summarised what we had been talking about: 98 per cent
9 Albanians - you said you knew that - working in all the public services
10 and the authority, Albanians. In all the companies, there were
11 Albanians. They were the vast majority. And you said yourself that the
12 situation was regular, normal. Now, the question is: Why, then, was it
13 necessary to have violence in Kacanik? Who brought violence to Kacanik?
14 A. The police brought violence to Kacanik, the Serbian police and the
16 Q. And you don't know anything about the operations of the terrorist
17 groups of the KLA in Kacanik and the surrounding area?
18 A. The Serbian forces committed crimes and terror in Kacanik, and not
19 only in Kacanik, but throughout Kosova.
20 Q. All right. It is your claim that when NATO started bombing, the
21 Serbs retaliated by shooting. That's what you said; is that right?
22 A. Yes, that's exactly how it was.
23 Q. And who were the Serbs shooting at, since you say NATO bombed and
24 the Serbs retaliated by shooting? Who were they shooting at?
25 A. At the start of the NATO bombing -- while I was in Kacanik, there
1 was no NATO bombing, but they started shooting, from the police station,
2 no doubt. The shooting -- they were shooting at random. They were just
3 shooting. They were doing this even before the NATO bombing started.
4 Q. Was Shaip Dema a member? Was Shaip Dema a member of the KLA?
5 A. Shaip Dema was not a KLA member. The OSCE Verification Mission
6 stayed in his house, and his house was blown up by mortar fire from the
7 police station on the morning of 27th of March. Shaip Dema is an elderly
8 man, must be about 70.
9 Q. And why did the Serb policemen, as you said, on the 27th of March,
10 when they got out of the vehicle, started -- why did they start crawling
11 around it? You said that they got out of the vehicle and started crawling
12 towards the factory, rather.
13 A. They crawled - it's not a long distance - but then they started
14 climbing the stairs of the factory.
15 Q. And do you think that they were crawling towards an empty factory?
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 Q. So the factory was empty and they were crawling towards that empty
19 A. I didn't say they were shooting at an empty factory. They were
20 shooting at the factory. I didn't say they entered. They took
21 positions. I said they entered the factory. [As interpreted]
22 Q. And did somebody start shooting at them?
23 A. Nobody. There were only civilians in our neighbourhood at the
25 Q. And was fire opened at the policemen from the Lepence River, or
1 rather, from that side of the Lepence River where your house is?
2 A. Could you repeat the question, please? Could you put it more
4 Q. Was fire opened at the police from the Lepence River, from that
5 part where your house is?
6 A. There was no firing from the neighbourhood where my house is or
7 from anywhere in the town. Apart from firing from the Serbian forces,
8 there was no firing. It was only the Serbian police who fired anywhere in
9 the town.
10 Q. So you claim that the police was not attacked by the members of
11 the KLA who were in the houses around your house?
12 A. There was no KLA in our neighbourhood.
13 Q. And who were the policemen shooting at, then?
14 A. They shot at anything that moved. Those who were doing it would
15 know better.
16 Q. And you claim that the shooting went on for about one hour; is
17 that right?
18 A. The shooting went on from about 10.00 to 10.30, 11.00, maybe a bit
20 Q. All right. So a bit less than that. Does that mean that you
21 claim that during that time that you mentioned, the policemen were
22 shooting from their positions at the houses on the other side of the
23 Lepence River for no reason whatsoever?
24 A. They started firing at our side from the village of Bob, and also
25 from the positions in the factory, for no reason at all.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. I think that a little while ago you said that you had heard of the
2 name of Riza Kika. He was chief of the security service at the limestone
3 factory in Kacanik.
4 A. I've already answered that question, I believe. I said I didn't
5 know him.
6 Q. Do you know that on the 27th of February, 1999, he was abducted by
7 members of the KLA and taken in the direction of the village of Gajre?
8 Just say yes or no. Just say, "I do know" or "I don't know." Yes/no.
9 A. No.
10 Q. And do you know that the police tried to set the abducted Kiki
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. And do you know that on the 28th of February, that is to say, a
14 day later, members of the KLA, precisely in the village of Gajre, attacked
15 the policemen who were going out to get Kiki released?
16 A. I asked you before not to ask questions like this, because I don't
17 know the answer. I don't know anything about the KLA.
18 Q. Then just say, "I don't know." I ask you, and you just say, "I
19 don't know." Do you know the name of Bogoljub Staletovic, who was
20 commander of police in Kacanik?
21 JUDGE MAY: This is pointless if the witness doesn't know.
22 Do you know anything about the police in Kacanik and do you know
23 this man?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can say that in ten years I was
25 never in the police station in Kacanik. I only knew a few policemen by
1 sight and on the basis of nicknames that they had; and who commanded them,
2 I don't know.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Have you heard, since this was an important event for Kacanik, the
5 chief of police there, you don't know his name, but the very position of
6 chief of police, this is Bogoljub Staletovic, the fact that he was killed
7 when an attempt was made to free Riza Kiki, an Albanian who was abducted
8 by the KLA, do you know then that the chief of police was killed? Have
9 you heard of that event?
10 A. I merely heard from hearsay. I didn't hear anything specific. I
11 was never in the village of Gajra. I merely heard that this commander was
12 killed in Gajra. And I was never in this village at all, because I was
13 born in the town and grew up there.
14 Q. Since you heard that he was killed in Gajre, did you hear that
15 three other policemen were also seriously wounded, those who were in this
16 group that was trying to free Riza Kiki?
17 A. I don't know how this event happened. I wasn't there. I wasn't
18 there to be able to check this. I don't know.
19 Q. And have you heard of the name of Asaj Hatim [phoen]?
20 JUDGE MAY: This is a complete waste of time asking this witness
21 about these events. I don't know what the point is. Mr. Milosevic, you
22 can put your own evidence in in due course, but harrying the witnesses in
23 this way is of no point and no assistance to anybody.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Are you trying to deny me the right
25 to cross-examine, Mr. May?
1 JUDGE MAY: Have you any more questions for this witness? What
2 I'm going to stop you doing is asking irrelevant questions and harrying
3 the witnesses with them, with lists of names. There's no point in it.
4 Now, you can ask this witness about his statement. That's what
5 he's here to answer, not a series of questions about different -- totally
6 different matters.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Here comes a question
8 very concrete. I think that these questions also came from his statement,
9 but here is another very relevant question.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. On the basis of what do you claim that the policemen, on the 27th
12 of March, killed Halid Nikofci and Shefqet Dema, the guards?
13 A. Because the members of their families said that Halil and Shefqet
14 were at the factory on the critical day.
15 Q. And do you know that the police found them there dead when they
16 were attacked by the KLA?
17 A. This is not true. There was no KLA there. I said before.
18 Q. And how come you know that Ilaz Nika was killed also on the 27th
19 of March?
20 A. He was a neighbour, a neighbour of mine, and he told me on the
21 road to Blace -- his son told me on the way to Bllace. And he was sitting
22 in a cellar, and he was hit by bullets when he was in a cellar.
23 Q. How do you know that he was killed by the police?
24 A. There was nobody else there except policemen and two soldiers.
25 There was no shooting from the other side at all. Only they shot.
1 Q. You claim that you can distinguish bullets for an automatic rifle
2 from bullets, ammunition, from a sniper rifle? Yes or no.
3 A. When I came back from Skopje, I found the cartridge cases, and
4 somebody told me about the kind of cartridge it was, and it came from a
5 sniper bullet. And my house was fired upon very accurately, with high
6 precision. I don't know how they managed to do it.
7 Q. Will you explain this to me: If somebody used a sniper to shoot
8 at your house, did that have to be from a distance?
9 A. Can you repeat the question, please?
10 Q. Well, how could you find cartridge cases in your house when the
11 case remains in the weapon itself? You only could have found the bullet
12 that had arrived. Where did you find the casing?
13 A. Yes, the bullet. This is what I was talking about. I found the
14 pieces of bullets when they shot my wife. And it hit the concrete and
15 then it fell on the ground.
16 Q. So that's the bullet that hit your wife; right?
17 A. Yes. Yes, that's right. It was that bullet. And another one a
18 little further.
19 Q. So those are the two bullets that were fired at your house?
20 A. One was a little higher, and there was a shell.
21 Q. How can a cartridge case arrive with a bullet when fired from a
23 A. It was an accident. Anything can happen. It happened by accident
24 that it remained there.
25 Q. So you found in your house both the bullet and the cartridge case
1 coming from the sniper with which your wife had been hit.
2 A. I didn't say I found the cartridge case. I said I found only the
3 piece of the bullet. I was never a soldier, never in the army, and I'm
4 not an expert on weapons, but I can tell you what I found there, that
5 bullet, piece of the bullet.
6 Q. But you mentioned a cartridge only a short while ago.
7 JUDGE MAY: Did you -- I just wonder if this is one of these
8 confusions. Did you say that you found the cartridge case, Mr. Raka?
9 That was the way it was translated, but did you say it, in fact?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. Maybe it was
11 misinterpreted what you mean by cartridge case and bullet. I don't know
12 how you refer to it. But I meant that piece of the bullet.
13 JUDGE MAY: We've exhausted that topic. He's explained what he
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, it seems that we only have
16 a problem with the Albanian interpretation. Yesterday we had a problem as
17 to whether there was any difference between February and April, although
18 the witness repeated "April" several times. And you know full well that
19 even when children study a foreign language, during their first three
20 lessons they learn the months in the year and the numbers. It is
21 impossible for your interpreters for the Albanian language not to know
22 what the months in the year are - April, February - and not to know what a
23 bullet is as opposed to a cartridge case.
24 JUDGE MAY: The matter can be checked, but we're not going to
25 spend any more time on it now.
1 Yes. Now, what else is there?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Of course I have many more
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. So your wife, seriously wounded, pregnant, why did she have to
6 stay in the house?
7 A. Where could I take her apart from my own house? Nobody leaves his
8 or her own house of his own free will.
9 Q. Are you trying to say that you didn't dare go to the Kacanik
11 A. It was impossible.
12 Q. And why did you not dare take your wounded wife to the hospital
13 immediately? Your wounded wife who was pregnant, why did you not dare
14 take her to the hospital straight away?
15 A. With the killing of Jonuz, they came and took him, the first-aid
16 assistants. And the telephone line worked for some time. We called the
17 ambulance, and they told us, "We cannot come and pick her up," because the
18 driver was -- faced a live danger when he came and picked up Jonuz.
19 Q. It happens very often that an ambulance cannot come through.
20 Wasn't it easier for you to carry your wife yourself to the hospital, to
21 take her to hospital? Later on, you carried her on a stretcher across the
22 Macedonian border. Wasn't it more logical for you to carry her to the
23 hospital if a driver could not come?
24 A. It was a dangerous situation. The driver of the ambulance was
25 almost shot dead because it took away Jonuz's body. And we heard about
1 that, and we were scared and left for Bllace.
2 Q. You claim that the doctor who helped your late wife had come
3 somewhere from the woods; is that right?
4 A. He came from his own home, from Lagjja e Re, finding a roundabout
5 way in order not to be discovered by the Serb forces at night on the
6 28th. He gave her an injection, a drip.
7 Q. How did you come into contact with him?
8 A. I don't know. My cousin called him on the phone. He first called
9 the ambulance, and they told him that they would see if they could find a
10 doctor to send to our home.
11 Q. But then they didn't find him; it was your cousin who found him.
12 Is that right?
13 A. The doctors found him.
14 Q. All right. The doctors found him. Now, I'd like to draw your
15 attention to your statement, page 4, paragraph 2, where you say the
16 following. I can read the whole paragraph out, in fact, so that I should
17 not be criticised and said that I had skipped over something purposely.
18 You say:
19 "My wife had to stay in the house for two days. We could not get
20 any help for her. There were a lot of people hiding in our house, and
21 someone - I do not know who - managed to come into contact with a doctor.
22 After two days, the 28th of March, at 2.00 a.m., the doctor came. He came
23 from the woods somewhere and gave my wife some medical treatment."
24 And then the paragraph goes on to say:
25 "The doctor was Lul Raka. He is a local doctor from the clinic in
1 Kacanik and he still works here."
2 So what you wrote down in your statement was that he came
3 somewhere from the woods. You now say that he was at home in his own
4 house and that he was informed by telephone. So where was he? What was
5 he doing in the woods?
6 A. I don't know how he came there. He told us that he found a
7 roundabout way through the woods. The place he lives is far from where I
8 live. So if he could help her at the right moment, she would surely have
9 escaped death. In fact, he was unable to help her. He only gave her an
10 injection to calm her down.
11 Q. That is a very sad occurrence, at any rate, but my question was
12 related to the fact that you said that he had come from the woods. Now, I
13 am asking you: Why was he in the woods in the first place?
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, what does it matter whether he
15 came from the woods or from his house? What turns on it?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, what turns on it is that it
17 depends whether it was a doctor who was in the woods tending and caring
18 for the KLA or not.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Then perhaps you might want to put that
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, yes. Let me ask a direct
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Was it a doctor who was in the woods treating the wounded members
25 of the KLA?
1 A. In the place where we lived, we are surrounded by forest, and he
2 lives in what is called Lagjja e Re neighbourhood. Certainly he came from
3 his home and had to walk through these forests surrounding us to offer his
4 medical assistance.
5 Q. You say he worked at the clinic in Kacanik.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Was he working at the Kacanik clinic at that time too?
8 A. At that critical moment, when my cousin called him, he was not
9 there, and it was only 2.00 a.m. that he could come.
10 Q. So when all this was going on, were you aware of what you were
11 risking, that your seriously wounded wife was kept without any medical
12 assistance for two days, and then you took her off on a journey to
14 A. Yes. From what I found out from various persons and from the
15 doctors of the health house, on the 28th, sometime during the day, they
16 sent the ambulance of the city.
17 Q. And what happened next with that ambulance?
18 A. I don't know. People started to leave.
19 Q. In the paragraph that I quoted - to save time, I won't read it out
20 again - you said that there were a lot of people hiding in your house.
21 Who were these people?
22 A. They were refugees, or to put it better, guests from Han i Elezit:
23 my two first cousins, the wife of my uncle, the husband of my aunt, and so
24 on. Not only me; all the neighbourhood were hosting people, some 15, some
25 20 persons, depending on what they could afford, people who had fled
1 because of the war. This is what they told us. I don't know more.
2 Q. So they fled because of the war, you say; is that right? You say
3 that you undertook your journey to Macedonia in a group of 14 men?
4 A. There were 14 of us, perhaps a few more, perhaps a few less. This
5 was the group that carried my wife. There was another group -- there were
6 other groups elsewhere. We were on foot.
7 Q. Were they those same relatives of yours who were in the house with
8 you or some other people?
9 A. While carrying my wife as far -- my cousins helped me. My brother
10 and other cousins helped. They have their house rather further on from
11 us, in the middle of the neighbourhood. We had to carry my wife up to my
12 cousin's house, and from there up to Bllace.
13 Q. So they weren't the people who were guests in your own house that
14 you were describing a moment ago?
15 JUDGE MAY: What can all this matter, Mr. Milosevic, as to who was
16 on this journey?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It matters because a moment ago he
18 said his sister was there, the children, and so on, and then he crosses
19 the border with 14 men. So I want to ask him: Were they members of the
21 JUDGE MAY: Well, that's a question you can ask.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, that's what I'm asking him.
23 I'm asking him now.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Those 14 men, were there any KLA members amongst them?
1 A. I said even earlier: No. They were unarmed civilians. Some were
2 older, some were younger. They merely helped me to carry my wife up to
4 Q. Where are the villages of Ivaja and Kotlina to be found?
5 A. Somewhere in the hills of Kacanik, but I have never been there
7 Q. You've never been there. But did you know that there were KLA
8 camps in those villages where Albanians from the Kacanik municipality were
9 taken to?
10 A. I don't know.
11 Q. And do you happen to know of an incident involving the police,
12 when the police succeeded in freeing 15 Albanians from the KLA prison in
13 Ivaja? Did you hear about that happening?
14 A. No. I don't know. If I were a member of the KLA and fought, I
15 would have told you, maybe, but I never was a member of KLA. I don't know
16 anything. I never heard anything.
17 Q. I understand that. That's why I'm asking you whether you know
18 anything. Not as a member of the KLA but as an inhabitant of Kacanik.
19 Now, have you heard about an event that took place in December in
20 1998 near your village, on the border with Macedonia at the village of
21 Dimce when a large quantity of weapons that was being smuggled there from
22 Macedonia was seized? Did you hear about that?
23 A. No.
24 JUDGE MAY: This doesn't arise from his statement. It's
25 irrelevant to his evidence, and unless you have a relevant question, I'm
1 going to bring the cross-examination to a close. We're wasting valuable
2 time with these questions. You know quite well that in due course you can
3 put evidence of these matters, if you wish, before us. But there's no
4 point putting them to witnesses who know nothing about them.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, all right, but I'm asking him
6 because he's an inhabitant of Kacanik, and he's talking about the
7 circumstances in Kacanik, and I think they're relevant questions.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Do you know that on the 24th of April, 1999, near the Doganovic
10 village, five Albanian children were killed by a NATO cluster bomb and two
11 others seriously wounded? Did you hear about that event?
12 A. No. At that time on the 24th of April, I was in Skopje. I don't
14 Q. All right. Let me ask you about the 28th of March. Do you know
15 that on the 28th of March at around 2200 hours, a NATO cluster bomb was
16 thrown which took in an area of two hectares and caused 80 small craters?
17 Did you hear about that event?
18 A. On the 28th of March, I was worried about my wife's health, and I
19 never heard about it.
20 JUDGE MAY: We aren't going to get anywhere with this examination,
21 I'm going to bring it to a close. General questions about municipalities
22 do not help with individual witnesses who have their own evidence to give,
23 and you should be asking them about it. You don't.
24 Mr. Tapuskovic, have you got any questions of this witness?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have one more question to ask this
1 witness, and that is: Does he know how --
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Does he know how many Albanians moved out of Kacanik from the 24th
5 of March, when the NATO aggression started? Is he aware of the fact that
6 almost everyone in Stari Kacanik stayed in their homes?
7 A. Can you repeat the question, please? I wasn't clear. Can you
8 rephrase it more clearly?
9 Q. Do you know that practically all the inhabitants of Stari Kacanik
10 remained in their homes throughout the war, from the 24th of March up
11 until June? That means throughout that critical time. Are you aware of
13 A. No, I don't know that.
14 Q. Do you know that all 40 Serb houses in Stari Kacanik were burnt
15 down and looted?
16 A. I was never in Old Kacanik, Kacanik i Vjeter. I think I've all my
17 life lived in Kacanik, or 90 per cent of my life I've spent only in
19 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no questions
21 for this witness.
22 MS. ROMANO: Your Honours, I have no questions, but I just would
23 like to propose to show three photos that the witness brought with him
24 when he came to The Hague. It's photos from his house and the factory.
25 And as during cross-examination there was an issue about the distance and
1 the woods, I would like just to put them on the ELMO and ask the witness
2 to just explain the locations.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
4 Re-examined by Ms. Romano:
5 Q. Witness, did you bring these photos with you when you came to The
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And did you take those photos?
9 A. Yes. A photographer who did that.
10 Q. Can you please explain one by one what are those photos?
11 A. This is the part where the car stopped, the vehicle stopped. Then
12 they came around this area and came out here. And then from here, they
13 started to climb the stairs.
14 Q. Who are "they," Witness?
15 A. The Serb police and those two soldiers that were there.
16 Q. And what is this building in front of you? What is the building
17 that you see in the photo?
18 A. That is the lime factory in Kacanik. This is the new -- it is not
19 yet repaired, but it is found in Kacanik.
20 Q. And where is your house? Can we see the location of your house?
21 You can move the photo.
22 A. This is where I've taken the photo from the factory. You see my
23 home over there. That is my house.
24 Q. Can you point at it again, where is your house?
25 A. Here.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And that was the location where the shooting came from?
2 A. Yes. Yes.
3 Q. And the last photo?
4 A. These windows here, this is where the Serb police forces were
5 stationed. Here in one of these -- in the upper floors of the factory
6 were those two dressed in military uniforms.
7 Q. And the roof that you have in front of you?
8 A. That's the roof of my house. This is where they shot, from the
9 higher position, of course.
10 Q. Thank you, Witness.
11 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Romano, do you want those exhibited?
12 MS. ROMANO: Yes.
13 JUDGE MAY: Very well. The next exhibit number.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, those will be exhibit -- Prosecutor's
15 Exhibit number 126.
16 MS. ROMANO: No further questions, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Raka, that concludes your evidence. Thank you for
18 coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You're free to go.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Ryneveld, you have another witness here, do you?
22 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, Your Honour, we do.
23 JUDGE MAY: We will not be able to finish him today.
24 MR. RYNEVELD: That depends on how long we sit, of course. I
25 mean, that's totally up to the Court, but you're right, at the present
1 schedule I see we have something like 35 minutes.
2 JUDGE MAY: Well, even less because we sat at 2.15.
3 MR. RYNEVELD: That's true.
4 JUDGE MAY: So we would have to have a break at 3.45.
5 Let's consider the matter.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Ryneveld, we think in the circumstances that it
8 would be better to adjourn now rather than to try and finish this next
9 witness who may take well over an hour, unless you want to try and
10 persuade us otherwise.
11 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, given the very short time limits we
12 have, I cannot afford to waste any time whatever, but I'm in Your Honours'
13 hands. I prefer to start, but it's your ruling that counts.
14 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think since we're not going on tomorrow, the
15 witness will be adjourned and broken --
16 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes.
17 JUDGE MAY: -- until Monday. It would be better, really, to start
18 afresh on Monday with him.
19 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes. But I do not want to be seen not to take any
20 opportunity to proceed with our case, because we have very, very tight
21 time limits.
22 JUDGE MAY: Of course.
23 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
24 JUDGE MAY: We appreciate that. We did yesterday sit until, I
25 think, quarter to five.
1 MR. RYNEVELD: We did, yes.
2 JUDGE MAY: We will adjourn now until tomorrow morning, half past
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.28 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Friday, the 3rd day
6 of May, 2002, at 9.30 a.m.