Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 6140

1 Tuesday, 4 June 2002

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

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

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.


8 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]

9 Q. [Interpretation] Yesterday, we had reached the events in Donje

10 Obrinje that you had described. In Gornje Obrinje -- in Gornje Obrinje,

11 you were in contact with KDOM; right?

12 A. The contact with KDOM you're referring to was on that morning, the

13 29th of September. Before we arrived in Gornje Obrinje.

14 Q. Yes. That's what it says on page 7, paragraph 3 of your first

15 statement, that you were informed about this by KDOM, American KDOM, that

16 you got this information from them. And when you came to Gornje Obrinje,

17 did you talk to any of the eyewitnesses?

18 A. Well, first of all, it's not correct that we were informed by

19 KDOM. We confirmed the incident with KDOM. More specifically, I was

20 informed of an unconfirmed report on the 28th of September that killings

21 might have taken place in Gornje Obrinje village. And on the 29th, before

22 travelling into Drenica where an offensive was still taking place, myself

23 and my colleagues -- my colleague, together with a journalist from The New

24 York Times, went to the KDOM office to ask two questions. One, whether

25 something had happened in Gornje Obrinje, and they said yes without

Page 6141

1 providing details; and secondly, which road we might take to best avoid

2 land-mines, because in the last day or two, I believe the 26th, a Canadian

3 KDOM vehicle had struck a land-mine. And indeed on -- I believe the 29th

4 or the 30th, an ICRC vehicle also hit a land-mine, and we wanted to be

5 sure that this didn't happen to us.

6 Q. Yes. But my question was whether you then talked to some of the

7 eyewitnesses in Gornje Obrinje.

8 A. Yes, of course. We spoke with every possible person that was in

9 some way helpful to understanding the case. I'm sorry, are you referring

10 to KDOM specifically?

11 Q. No. I had asked you previously about KDOM, and I quoted your

12 statement of the 28th of September. The second question I put to you now

13 was whether you had talked to any of the eyewitnesses. My understanding

14 is that you had talked to eyewitnesses; right?

15 So -- see, in your statement on page 7, that is the first

16 statement you gave, it says: "Some of the people who told us what had

17 happened in their view escaped when the police came. They had not been

18 eyewitnesses of the event."

19 That is to say that, over here, you state that you had talked to

20 persons who had not been eyewitnesses of the event. So it's not that you

21 saw the event take place or the people you talked to.

22 So you did not talk to any of the eyewitnesses who had actually

23 seen the event take place. Let me remind you. It is the penultimate

24 paragraph on page 7. "They were not eyewitnesses of this event." That's

25 what you say.

Page 6142

1 A. That's correct. There were no -- nobody saw the killings

2 directly, but we spoke with the individuals who experienced and witnessed

3 the circumstances around the killings, who could explain for us what

4 happened prior to that moment and after that moment. So we were able to

5 reconstruct the incident.

6 Q. Yes, but on the basis of what you said you could reconstruct, you

7 mentioned yesterday that in that fighting around Gornje Obrinje, 14

8 policemen had died. Doesn't that show, beyond any doubt, that this was

9 serious, heavy fighting?

10 A. Without any doubt, there was fighting in and around Gornje

11 Obrinje. As I mentioned yesterday, the KLA had a base in the nearby

12 village of Likovac. However, none of that, in our opinion and based on

13 the facts, was relevant to the killings of the Delijaj family. There were

14 21 members of the family killed. Fourteen of them were in the forest.

15 That I mentioned yesterday. And they were all women and children --

16 Q. You've explained that. Let's not waste time with this. Let's not

17 waste time with this. You've explained that. I'm trying to clarify one

18 particular point with you, and that is that, quite simply, without any

19 proof, without any conversations with the direct eyewitnesses of this

20 event - and this event involved the killing of 14 policemen - you

21 explained this event as a crime committed by the Serb police; isn't that

22 right?

23 A. All of the facts have led us to that conclusion, yes.

24 Q. But I could not establish what kind of facts you had, because you

25 were talking to people who were not eyewitnesses, as you can see, and you

Page 6143

1 are drawing conclusions nevertheless.

2 Can you make any comment with regard to this: My associates got

3 by e-mail a letter from George Tintor from New York, a compatriot of

4 yours. Can you make a comment with regard to what he says here:

5 [In English] "[Previous translation continues] ... that Abrahams

6 was working hand in glove with NATO propagandists to smear the Serbs.

7 Abrahams made his statement to CNN just four days after the bombing began

8 and only a day after the US government began its atrocity/genocide

9 propaganda blitz on the Sunday morning news shows in America. Even if

10 Abrahams' allegation were true, it would have been impossible for a person

11 in his position, sitting in New York, to have gathered and verified

12 sufficient evidence in such a short and chaotic period of time to make the

13 claims he made."

14 [Interpretation] He also refers to a letter --

15 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness deal with this. Mr. Milosevic, you

16 are putting matters which the witness should deal with. Remember, you're

17 asking questions. But before you do, tell us, if you would, who this

18 Mr. George Tintor is.

19 THE WITNESS: I'm afraid I'm not familiar with that name, Your

20 Honours.

21 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

22 Mr. Milosevic, who is this George Tintor?

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, a compatriot of his, a New

24 Yorker. I wanted to read a letter that he had sent to CNN.

25 JUDGE MAY: No. Let the witness deal with this, insofar as it's

Page 6144

1 of any assistance to the Court: The view of some inhabitant of New York

2 is apparently that you were hand in glove with NATO propagandists to smear

3 the Serbs, and then there's some point here made that even if you were

4 sitting in New York, it would have been impossible for you to have

5 gathered and verified sufficient evidence.

6 So there are two points made by this Mr. Tintor, whoever he may

7 be. You must have the opportunity, since they've been read out, to deal

8 with them.

9 THE WITNESS: Well, regarding the allegation of sitting in New

10 York, I can only stress again what I said yesterday, which is that we

11 conducted our research in the field. This report on the Gornje Obrinje

12 killings was based on more than three weeks of research, as were the other

13 reports. So we were very cautious not to sit in New York and judge the

14 situation from a distance.

15 As for the hand-in-glove conspiracies, you know, again I think the

16 best response is to point to our research, and our reports have been

17 critical of NATO. Our report on NATO even had a different perspective

18 than the ICTY's findings on NATO, the preliminary investigation that the

19 Prosecutor's office conducted, and I believe that we've been balanced in

20 this, in documenting this matter.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. And what do you say to this, to what he wrote in his letter to CNN

23 on that day:

24 [In English] "Abrahams' comments on the situation in Kosovo were

25 shameful. He accuses the Serbs of systematically committing atrocities

Page 6145

1 against the ethnic Albanians, yet his charges are based on no hard

2 evidence but on reports from human rights activists and journalists in

3 Kosovo. Mr. Abrahams fails to mention that these activists and

4 journalists are probably all ethnic Albanian. He uses terms like

5 'pattern,' 'history,' and 'consistent stories' to support his

6 allegation. In general, Mr. Abrahams' presentation seemed too sleek and

7 too well orchestrated to be plausible. It seems that his main purpose was

8 to help the US administration in its desperate attempt to justify the

9 bombing of Serbia. President Clinton knows well that without testimonies

10 like Mr. Abrahams', public support for the bombing would evaporate."

11 [Interpretation] Do you believe that this is true, what George

12 Tintor says, at the time when you were making statements in New York about

13 what was going on in Kosovo? And I am talking --

14 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness deal with it.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.

16 THE WITNESS: I respect my fellow New Yorkers, but I do not know

17 who this person is. Still, I can respond to his allegations.

18 First of all, I categorically reject the allegation that we

19 accused Serbs of committing atrocities. That is a misrepresentation of

20 our findings. We accused the Serbian and Yugoslav governments, or Serbian

21 and Yugoslav forces, of committing violations, and that is a crucial,

22 crucial distinction I want to make, not to attack the Serbian nation or

23 the Serbian people.

24 Secondly, this report, "Under Orders," has more than 60 pages of

25 footnotes. All of the other reports have a similarly large number of

Page 6146

1 footnotes. And if you look, a large percentage of these footnotes are our

2 interviews in the field. We gave the date and the place of the

3 interview.

4 So it is simply not true that we sit in our offices and concoct or

5 imagine atrocities or use the information from journalists or local human

6 rights activists. Of course we would use their information as a lead or

7 as a confirmation of something we have also documented but not as a

8 primary source.

9 Q. Please --

10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, when you cite quotations from

11 persons that are critical of testimony from witnesses, that criticism, in

12 my view, would be more credible and more believable if you knew something

13 more about the person, if you could tell us something more.

14 For example here, George Tintor. He is simply, as the Presiding

15 Judge says, an inhabitant of New York. It would be much more credible,

16 and I think the cross-examination would be much stronger if you had

17 something more to say about the persons whose works you are citing.

18 Here we have Mr. Abrahams. You have criticisms of his testimony.

19 You're entitled to that. But we do know about Mr. Abrahams. What I am

20 suggesting to you is that in future, when you have these quotations, let

21 your researchers tell you a little more about the persons who are making

22 these criticisms.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you for your suggestion. I

24 think that the most important thing here is that the facts that he quotes,

25 that is to say that Mr. George Tintor quotes, are undeniable. They are

Page 6147

1 obvious.

2 JUDGE MAY: What facts? What facts, Mr. Milosevic? It was a

3 series of allegations against the witness. No facts at all.

4 Now, Mr. Abrahams, there's a second part of that quotation from

5 Mr. Tintor -- just a moment -- from Mr. Tintor which is probably no longer

6 on the transcript on the screen, but it was this -- and no doubt it's a

7 suggestion which is being adopted by the accused, and you should have a

8 chance to deal with it. The suggestion is that your purpose was to assist

9 the United States administration in justifying their bombing. Now, that

10 is a discussion which is made, and you should have the opportunity to deal

11 with it.

12 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I -- I reject that allegation. I think

13 our reports have been critical of US foreign policy. We were shouting

14 about human rights violations in Kosovo throughout the 1990s, shouts that

15 were falling on deaf ears in Western capitals. And we then criticised the

16 conduct of the NATO bombing without -- and Human Rights Watch never --

17 never explicitly -- or never called for the bombing. We called for

18 economic and political action, resolute action, to halt the abuses in

19 Kosovo, but I believe our criticisms of the Western governments and NATO

20 are the best response that I can provide to the allegation.

21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, when I refer to "facts," I

22 mean the facts that information is second -- the information gathered is

23 secondhand information from so-called activists and from journalists who

24 were involved in the media campaign and the media war against Yugoslavia.

25 So absolutely this kind of credibility cannot be considered seriously.

Page 6148

1 Q. Take another example. Mr. Abrahams, would you like to comment on

2 this? This is a comment from January 29th: [In English] "[Previous

3 translation continues]... categorically rejected Yugoslav government

4 claims that the January 15th attack on Racak were either Kosovo Liberation

5 Army soldiers killed in combat or civilians caught in crossfire."

6 [Interpretation] You are talking about some kind of a detailed

7 investigation of yours. How is that possible?

8 JUDGE MAY: What are you quoting from? Can you tell us that?

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am quoting a report of Human

10 Rights Watch: "Investigation Finds Yugoslav Forces Guilty of War Crimes

11 in Racak, Kosovo." I'm quoting their very own report.

12 JUDGE MAY: Just indicate -- just indicate which report it is and

13 we can find it.

14 Mr. Abrahams, can you help us? A reference to the 29th of

15 January.

16 THE WITNESS: Yes. It's in this report, Your Honour, on page 76.

17 JUDGE MAY: Is this Exhibit 198, is that right, "A Week of Terror

18 in Drenica"?

19 THE WITNESS: That's correct.

20 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Page 76.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. I don't know whether that's it. I quoted what it says here. So

23 you and your activists and your journalists, you give yourselves the right

24 to say that you have carried out a detailed investigation. And it says

25 here: [In English] "The investigation, the organisation, accused

Page 6149

1 organisation," it means Human Rights Watch, "accused Serbian Special

2 Police forces and the Yugoslav army of indiscriminately attacking

3 civilians, torturing detainees, and committing summary executions. The

4 evidence suggests that government forces had direct order to kill village

5 inhabitants over the age of 15."

6 [Interpretation] Please, where did you get this kind of evidence

7 from? Everything that came up afterwards in connection with Racak showed

8 that this was a deception that was organised by William Walker. And this

9 is not true, and that indeed it was members of the KLA who were killed.

10 A. This report - and I believe you're quoting the press release to

11 the report - was based on our field research. As I mentioned yesterday, a

12 Human Rights Watch consultant named Gordana Igric spent one week

13 researching in and around Racak and wrote this report based on her work in

14 the field.

15 Q. So my question is the following: Do you think that Human Rights

16 Watch, by using journalists and activists, could have obtained for itself

17 the right to speak about assessments, to say whether it was a crime or

18 not, whether there was guilt involved, guilt on whose part, et cetera?

19 A. No. We would not base our findings on the work of journalists or

20 activists. We base our findings on our research in the field.

21 Q. Yesterday, you said, when I asked you about how Human Rights Watch

22 was financed, you said that every donation over $5.000 is specially

23 registered. And it contributes to a substantial budget, doesn't it?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. Yes. And do you agree that a person has to be pretty rich, quite

Page 6150

1 rich, in order to be able to give donations of over $5.000 to an

2 organisation of this kind?

3 A. Either quite rich or very concerned about the issues.

4 Q. Doesn't it seem to you that this organisation is actually an

5 organisation that is financed by the rich and it helps the rich put the

6 poor under their own control, that that is the core of this organisation

7 that does this under the guise of human rights protection? That is to say

8 that the rich finance this organisation in order to have the poor put

9 under their control.

10 A. No, I don't believe that's the case.

11 Q. Do you think that this is a new type of colonialism and --

12 JUDGE MAY: No. This is taking this well beyond the bounds of

13 possible cross-examination. Now, ask some other questions,

14 Mr. Milosevic.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Now, linked to you yourself, Mr. Abrahams, how come that you as an

18 American, as a New Yorker, as a man who deals in the field of human rights

19 in the organisation called Human Rights Watch, that you take greater care

20 of the human rights of Albanians in Yugoslavia than you do about human

21 rights of Americans in America?

22 JUDGE MAY: Irrelevant. Yes, next question.

23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. Do you have any information as to how many homeless there are, how

25 many hungry people there are in America, how many of the coloured

Page 6151

1 population --

2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we said you had an hour. If you waste

3 time with irrelevant questions like this, the cross-examination will be

4 brought to an end now. Now, it's a matter for you whether you want to

5 continue with proper questions or irrelevant questions. If you go on with

6 irrelevant questions, the examination will be brought to a close.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, we are dealing here with

8 credibility and the purpose of the organisation Human Rights Watch. It is

9 not an irrelevant question, but a pertinent, relevant one.

10 JUDGE MAY: It is quite irrelevant. Do you want to ask more

11 questions or do you want to bring this to a close?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have a great deal of other

13 questions, Mr. May, to ask.

14 JUDGE MAY: Well, go on with them.

15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. You spoke about Orahovac. Do you know that -- the KLA, you say,

17 attempted to take control of Orahovac. How many Serbs, inhabitants of

18 Orahovac, therefore civilians, disappeared in those two days while the KLA

19 was in control of Orahovac? Page 12, paragraph 3, there you yourself say

20 that 40 Serb civilians went missing during those two days.

21 A. Yes, that's correct. The KLA did briefly take Orahovac, and 85

22 Serbs, civilians, were taken into detention. But after a few days, if my

23 memory serves me correctly, I believe 45 of them were released, and 35 of

24 them remained in custody. And these 35 people are still missing today,

25 and my personal opinion is that they are probably no longer alive. And

Page 6152












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

13 English transcripts.













Page 6153

1 this is one of the most serious incidents from 1998.

2 Q. Well, there you have it. They didn't kill 40, but 35 Serb

3 civilians in those two days. And you claim and say that in the fighting

4 in Orahovac, 42 persons were killed of Albanian ethnicity. So in the

5 fighting, 42 members of the KLA were killed and 40 Serb civilians

6 disappeared, and you yourself say that they were probably killed because

7 nothing is known of their fate until the present day.

8 Why do you equate the victims that lost their lives in fighting

9 with the civilians that were abducted and later killed without any chance

10 of life? Why now, in that specific case, where we have an attack by the

11 KLA on Orahovac and the killing of civilians on one side and members of

12 the KLA on the other side, a terrorist organisation, you lay the blame at

13 the door of the government forces, as you call them, that is to say, the

14 army and the police of Yugoslavia? Who attacked whom on that occasion?

15 A. As I said, I believe the KLA attempted to take control of

16 Orahovac, starting from the town of Malisevo, which they controlled at

17 that time. I do not believe that we are trying to equate these abuses,

18 and we quite clearly condemn the abductions and what I would call the

19 disappearances of the 35 Serbian civilians.

20 Q. I agree that you're not trying to equate this. On the contrary,

21 you hold the blame with the Yugoslav authorities, the authorities of

22 Serbia. So you're not equating this in any way.

23 But let's go back to your own claims with respect to Gornje

24 Obrinje, where you say that 14 policemen were killed and that there was

25 heavy fighting, and your conclusion was that the Serb forces, as you refer

Page 6154

1 to them, responded disproportionately. What, in your opinion, would be

2 considered proportionate? How many policemen would have had to have been

3 killed for you to have considered it to be proportional?

4 A. Look, the number of victims among armed forces, whether it's 14 or

5 1.400, does not justify the targeting or the killing of one civilian. And

6 I am thoroughly and completely convinced that the members of the Delijaj

7 family were not combatants. They were hiding in the woods, they appeared

8 to have been shot in the head, and I found no evidence to suggest that

9 they were involved in military activities.

10 Q. But you didn't find any evidence either of who they were killed

11 by, from whose fire power; isn't that right?

12 A. Our conclusion was Serbian forces, which is admittedly somewhat

13 vague because we were -- we did not find the evidence to point the finger

14 directly at the special police forces or the anti-terrorist units. And

15 again, we will not make an allegation, a strong allegation, without such

16 evidence.

17 Q. So you base your claims on the fact that they were Albanians who

18 were killed, and when it was Albanians who were killed, they must have

19 been killed by Serbs. That is your - how shall I put it? - method of

20 reaching conclusions.

21 Now, do you know how many Albanian terrorists of the KLA killed

22 Albanians in 1998 and 1999? Do you know how many Albanians were killed?

23 A. Well, first of all, I reject the assertion that we assume

24 anything. On the contrary; we, if anything, we assume that a violation

25 has not taken place. We try to find all the evidence to disprove our

Page 6155

1 concern and conduct our investigations with this critical approach in

2 mind.

3 Regarding your question on Albanian victims, in other words,

4 Albanian-on-Albanian violence, I do not have a precise figure, but it is

5 certain that ethnic Albanians were killed, intimidated, physically

6 abused. Mostly these are individuals who were considered to be

7 collaborators with the Serbian state. I am not justifying; I'm explaining

8 the logic. And so this was definitely a problem, and we have reported on

9 that in our report after the NATO bombing in August 1999, the report

10 called "Abuses Against Serbs and Roma in the New Kosovo." There's a

11 section that documents Albanian-on-Albanian crimes.

12 Q. Yes, but as to the victims on the Serb side, you spoke about that

13 after June 1999, that is to say, about these mass crimes. And when you

14 say that they killed ethnic Albanians who were considered collaborators,

15 in a state in which they lived, do you, with your criteria of human

16 rights, accept -- can you accept, for example, that postmen or foresters

17 or physicians working in state hospitals, only because they work for the

18 state authorities in hospitals, forestry reserves, and so on, can be

19 killed just like that, with justified political reasons, saying that they

20 collaborated by carrying on with their profession and doing their job in

21 the country and state they lived in? What kind of criteria are these?

22 Can you accept those? Are they acceptable criteria?

23 A. Well, first of all, it's not true that we only reported on Serbian

24 abuses after the NATO bombing. Our report from 1998 includes an entire

25 chapter on violations by the KLA. We issued other statements as well

Page 6156

1 about the abduction of Serbian journalists and so on.

2 Regarding your question, absolutely not. We don't accept this.

3 Albanians who chose to work for the state, who even chose to work for the

4 police, they have that right. They're citizens of Yugoslavia. And we

5 condemn the violations against them, and we did so.

6 Q. Well, all right. You've just said this in rhetorical fashion.

7 You have come here to testify for alleged war crimes. Did you give

8 testimony about war crimes of the KLA and their leaders, committed by

9 them, in view of the experience you've gained and in view of the fact that

10 you yourself said yesterday that they did commit crimes? Did you make

11 that kind of testimony, referring to their crimes?

12 A. All the information that we published on that issue was given to

13 the Prosecutor's office.

14 Q. That means you treated both sides in completely the same way; is

15 that right?

16 A. I don't understand the question. In what respect?

17 Q. Well, in the sense of elementary morals and ethics, in the sense

18 of accusing the legal forces fighting against terrorism and with respect

19 to the crimes perpetrated by the terrorist groups in Yugoslavia.

20 A. I believe we made honest efforts to be as objective as possible.

21 Q. In the article that you were looking at yesterday, dated the 5th

22 of August, 1998, you wrote the following, words to this effect, and I'm

23 quoting you:

24 "Washington is missing the point that there will be no stability

25 in the Balkans for as long as Milosevic is in power."

Page 6157

1 Now, this stability, does that mean that there will be no

2 occupation? What I mean is that one of the previous witnesses, Paddy

3 Ashdown, who is now an occupying chief in Bosnia-Herzegovina --

4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, first of all, you're supposed to be

5 asking questions, let me remind you. Secondly, we don't want abuse of any

6 sort of anybody here. Now, what's the question?

7 Perhaps, Mr. Abrahams, we can allow you to deal with the

8 quotation. I don't know if you remember it.

9 THE WITNESS: I think I do, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE MAY: Would you like to explain that?

11 THE WITNESS: Absolutely. Yes, I wrote this in Op. Ed. That was

12 published in the International Herald Tribune, and I stand 100 per cent

13 behind my words. It was my personal opinion and the opinion of the

14 organisation that the Balkans would remain instable while Milosevic

15 remained in power. And this was not a political view that we then sought

16 to back up or to buttress by finding the facts. This was a conclusion

17 that we reached based on our research in the field, that there was a cycle

18 of violence, a cycle of abuse; there was a continued reluctance to resolve

19 conflicts in a peaceful manner; there was a tendency to antagonise and

20 provoke; there was even, if you indulge a political -- I mean, the opinion

21 that conflict was used for political means. So based on that, we

22 concluded -- or I concluded this line, that stability was impossible as

23 long as that government remained in power.

24 Q. And do you differentiate between cause and effect?

25 A. Can you -- can you clarify the question? In general or in this

Page 6158

1 instance here?

2 Q. Yes. First I mean in general terms. Do you make a difference

3 between cause and effect?

4 A. Yes, I do.

5 Q. How, then, was there nothing of what you have spoken about until

6 the start of the violent criminal behaviour precisely at the beginning of

7 1998 and in 1999? How come up until then? The government was in power up

8 until. Then, it had been in power for a full ten years up until that

9 time. How, then, that there was nothing? It was testimony only when the

10 terrorist attacks began and the killings of policemen, postmen, foresters,

11 civilians and so on. Suddenly this government became a sort of criminal

12 government which was committing crimes in protecting its citizens from

13 crimes in terrorism.

14 A. Kosovo was an extremely violent place for the past decade, and our

15 reports throughout the 1990s document a series and a pattern of abuses and

16 violations. So it's not true that criticisms only came in 1998. We were

17 reporting on these violations prior to the armed conflict and intensified

18 our reporting when the abuses themselves became more intense.

19 Q. Well, all right. You yourself, in your report, spoke about the

20 exodus of Serbs in the 1970s and 1980s and so on. Now, how come this

21 exodus took place, and what happened, in fact, with all that? Did you

22 think about these things? Did you collect information, facts and figures

23 about that? Who exerted violence against whom? Why this exodus of Serbs

24 in those years? At least, what you referred to.

25 A. Yes. Human Rights Watch has addressed that issue, albeit in a

Page 6159

1 historical way because we were not conducting research in the field at

2 that time, but we did conclude that there was some discrimination against

3 the Serbian population of Kosovo in the '80s, in the 1980s. However, we

4 also concluded that this discrimination was nowhere near the extent or

5 intensity of the claims made in Belgrade. I'm referring most specifically

6 to the infamous memorandum of the Academy of Science, which said that

7 genocide was being committed in Kosovo against Serbs. We always believed

8 that this was a gross exaggeration. And while problems did exist, it did

9 not reach that level by any means. And in fact, we also concluded that

10 many Serbs left Kosovo for economic reasons. Kosovo was the poorest

11 region, the poorest province of former Yugoslavia and that this poverty

12 had a very negative effect on inter-ethnic relations and particularly that

13 many Serbs left in order to seek a better life.

14 Q. All right. If you say in the memorandum put out by the Academy of

15 Science, which is the highest scientific institution in Serbia, that they

16 exaggerated, what about -- did your Human Rights Watch go to visit the

17 Academy of Science and ask for an explanation, the arguments put forward,

18 and therefore to publicize this and to test it according to your criteria,

19 that perhaps it wasn't exaggeration? Perhaps they were observations based

20 on facts. Did you do that or did you not?

21 A. Our research in Kosovo began in 1990.

22 Q. You say, on page 3 of your second statement, that is to say that

23 you claim that most of the reports of the Human Rights Watch refer to the

24 abuse of human rights or war crimes which were perpetrated, as you say, by

25 the Serb or Yugoslav authorities because they express an intensity of

Page 6160

1 violation in the field, on the ground. You wrote words to that effect.

2 Do you not feel it to be too obvious and -- that there is too much

3 compatibility between your statement and this false indictment that was

4 raised here? Even when we come to the order in which all these things

5 were set out. You analysed the indictment. You said this yourself. You

6 wrote the statement yourself. So what I'm asking you now is: Do you not

7 seem to feel that this coincidence between the indictment and your

8 statement is very great?

9 A. Well, first of all, it's not correct that I analysed the

10 indictment. I conducted research --

11 Q. Well, that's what you wrote.

12 A. The -- the correct answer is that I conducted research for the

13 Kosovo case.

14 As for the similarities, as you stated, I can only say that the

15 facts led us to our conclusions, the facts as we researched them in the

16 field.

17 Q. Well, don't you feel that it is precisely these arguments

18 presented by you, as indeed the argumentation of the indictment is, in

19 essence, as is this trial; that is to say that the main goal is to justify

20 the crimes perpetrated by NATO against a sovereign country? Yes or no.

21 JUDGE MAY: We have been over this. It is not for the witness to

22 comment on the purpose of the trial. He is merely here to give evidence.

23 You have made these allegations about justification of the NATO bombing as

24 a reason for his evidence. He's given you his answer. He says it's

25 completely untrue. Now, there's no point going over it again.

Page 6161

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Do you claim that it is untrue that your statements were

3 made-to-order, commissioned?

4 A. Yes, I claim that this is untrue.

5 Q. When you say that you did research into the exodus of the Serbs,

6 that issue and other issues and questions in the elaboration of your

7 research, did you cooperate with anybody from Serbia except for the lady

8 that you mentioned?

9 A. Yes. We were in touch with various organisations based in Serbia,

10 some of which I have -- for which I have a very high respect. There are

11 in Serbia some very high-quality human rights organisations that worked in

12 very difficult conditions. I can mention the humanitarian law centre,

13 Fond Za Humanitarno Pravo, the Helsinki Committee, the Belgrade Circle and

14 the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights,

15 among others. And we were -- we were cooperating with many of these

16 organisations and individuals.

17 Q. Do you think that some of those individuals were also activists in

18 the role of self-deprecation and self-accusation of Serbia?

19 A. I can't speak to their personal psyches or the role they played in

20 society other than that I considered many of them to be high-level

21 professionals who worked at great risk to report objectively, something

22 that was not easy to do.

23 Q. You say that the Serbs, on the 24th of March, 1987, in Kosovo

24 Polje demonstrated because they were maltreated by the Albanians. Is that

25 correct? What kind of abuse and maltreatment was it, in fact?

Page 6162

1 A. I'm sorry, could you just repeat the question? I just didn't

2 catch it precisely.

3 Q. You said that the Serbs, in 1987 in Kosovo Polje, demonstrated

4 because they were mistreated by the Albanians. What kind of mistreatment

5 was this? You said you established that. What kind of mistreatment did

6 you establish?

7 A. Yes. There was a degree of discrimination and maltreatment by the

8 local authorities against Serbs. Primarily, this was what I would call

9 a -- sort of ongoing harassment. But this was not a broad pattern of

10 abuse. It was not an extreme abuse, in my opinion. The Serbian community

11 in Kosovo, I think, felt itself very isolated. It was far from Belgrade,

12 far from the heart of Serbia, the geographic centre of Serbia, and they

13 were a minority within Kosovo. So this caused various pressures and was,

14 in my opinion, the motivation for the demonstration to which you are

15 referring.

16 Q. Well, all right. Do you consider it to be logical that in Serbia

17 Serbs should feel themselves to be a minority and should accept being

18 mistreated in the kind of way that you have just explained them to have

19 been mistreated? And let me add this: Do you consider that this was just

20 some sort of -- what did you call them? Benign forms of mistreatment, I

21 think you said. Harassment when they included rapes and killings and

22 various other crimes of that nature. Yes or no. Arson as well.

23 A. I will not belittle any violation of any sort. And the citizens

24 of Yugoslavia had a right to be protected from these violations. The

25 government should -- should pursue all measures to guarantee these

Page 6163

1 protections, absolutely.

2 Q. Where's the problem, then?

3 JUDGE MAY: What problem?

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The problem when the government

5 undertakes measures to protect the citizens from terror, persecution, et

6 cetera.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Why, then, is the government, for doing this as a legitimate act,

9 accused of almost carrying out a crime? Not almost but accused of a

10 crime.

11 A. Well, look, the problem is not that the government acted. Again,

12 as I said yesterday, the problem is how the government acted. The

13 government has the right to protect the rights of its citizens. Of course

14 the government is obliged to do that. The government has a right to

15 respond to an armed insurgency. But the government does not have a right

16 to violate its own laws, to violate international norms when pursuing

17 those actions, and that is our criticism of what happened in Kosovo.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. Let me ask you something, please, because you say that all of

20 these are violations committed by the government. You are a New Yorker.

21 How many killings and rapes, for example, are committed every day in New

22 York?

23 JUDGE MAY: Don't answer that.

24 Yes. Now, Mr. Milosevic, the time is now coming to a close for

25 your cross-examination. If you have another relevant question, you can

Page 6164

1 most certainly ask it.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have many more relevant questions,

3 Mr. May, and I truly do not understand why you are restricting my time,

4 even with regard to this witness, who is a live witness, not one of those

5 famous "bis" witnesses. Why are you restricting my time?

6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we are not going to argue about this

7 now. Your time is restricted for reasons that you know, because the time

8 in the case is limited, but more seriously, because of the amount of time

9 that you spend on irrelevancies and arguing with witnesses and repetition,

10 and we've just been having examples of it. Now, you can ask two more

11 questions of this witness.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's not that I've been arguing with

13 the witness. I haven't noticed that. That must be your impression.

14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. You wrote, on page 6, in paragraph 6, that the Assembly of Kosovo,

16 on the 2nd of July, 1990, proclaimed Kosovo an independent constituent

17 element of Yugoslavia. As a researcher, did you ever read the

18 constitution of Yugoslavia?

19 A. I read the relevant sections that pertained to human rights

20 protections.

21 Q. Well, if you've read it, on the basis of what can some kind of an

22 assembly of Albanian separatists be given the status of the parliament of

23 Kosovo, where not only Albanians live, but also Serbs, Roma, Gorani, and

24 many other ethnic groups? Don't you know that this was an illegal

25 enactment?

Page 6165












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Page 6166

1 A. We -- the organisation Human Rights Watch never took a position

2 claiming that it was legal or illegal. We stated it as a historical fact

3 that this had taken place.

4 Q. In this text that we've been quoting, you said that a message

5 should be sent to dictators that their violence and lack of respect for

6 human lives will not be tolerated, that they should not hope for that,

7 because the international community will not allow this, only for the

8 purposes of territorial integrity. Do you know that the question of

9 territorial integrity of states is the governing principle of

10 international law, respect for the territorial integrity of every

11 country? Do you know that?

12 A. I know that territorial integrity is a crucial principle in

13 international affairs, but our job as an organisation was to document and

14 report on violations of the law, violations of domestic and international

15 law, and in the case of Kosovo we argued that these violations were

16 massive.

17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, I'm bringing that to a close. You have

18 now had the hour you were entitled to.

19 Do the amici have any questions?

20 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes, Your Honour.

21 Questioned by Mr. Wladimiroff:

22 Q. Mr. Abrahams, the Court has ruled on previous occasions that

23 investigators are not allowed to testify about their assessment of events

24 by passing to the Court their summaries or interpretations of what others

25 have said or witnessed, so it seems to make sense to be very accurate on

Page 6167

1 what you say what you witnessed and actually what is your assessment what

2 others may have witnessed. In your evidence, you say repeatedly "our

3 conclusion," "we found" or "we did not find," "we believe," "we reported,"

4 we this, we that. So what I'm going to do is ask you a few questions

5 about the exhibits that have been tendered.

6 Let's start with Exhibit 145, that is, the book "Under Orders."

7 You have not written all parts of that book, have you?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Can you tell the Court which chapters are written by you?

10 A. The book was primarily written by myself and Benjamin Ward,

11 another researcher. Would you like to know chapter by chapter?

12 Q. Please. Only those written by you.

13 A. By me. I wrote the executive summary, the background, Forces of

14 the Conflict, parts of the overview, I believe about half of it.

15 Q. Would you specify?

16 A. Which parts? Yes. I wrote the part on the killings, death toll,

17 targeted killings, arbitrary arrests, contamination of water wells, and

18 land mines.

19 Q. Right. And please, do go on with the other chapters.

20 A. I wrote the chapter on Djakovica, on Istok, on Orahovac, Pec, the

21 Prizren-Djakovica road, Suva Reka, Vucitrn, the statistical chapter, and

22 some parts of the abuses after June 12th, but that was mostly done by Mr.

23 Ward.

24 Q. Right.

25 A. And work of the War Crimes Tribunal, and the legal standards I

Page 6168

1 did, in cooperation with our legal office at Human Rights Watch.

2 Q. Now, looking at those paragraphs you wrote yourself, were these

3 writings the results of what you witnessed by your own fact-finding or

4 were you summarising, editing, evaluating the work of others?

5 A. Which sections are you referring to? Because there are some

6 differences.

7 Q. Well, you told the Court which chapters have been written by you.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And I'm asking you now which parts of these chapters you wrote

10 were written on the basis of what you witnessed, or were these chapters

11 written on the basis of what other people witnessed and you summarised

12 their reports, evaluated their reports, or edited their reports, and you

13 passed the information, through your book, to the Court?

14 A. It's a combination. Whenever possible, we visited the

15 violation --

16 Q. Mr. Abrahams, please do not say "we." I'm asking you questions.

17 A. Me. Sorry. Yes. I visited a number of the crime scenes, such as

18 Cuska village, Velika Krusa village, Bela Crkva. Otherwise, the findings

19 are based on our interviews.

20 Q. What do you mean by "our interviews"?

21 A. Excuse me. By my interviews. The sections that I wrote were

22 based primarily on the interviews that I conducted. However, there were

23 some -- a few sections -- for example, I recall the village Belanica, or

24 Gornja Studime, that were researched by other individuals, and I collected

25 their notes and wrote the section in consultation with them. There are

Page 6169

1 two or three villages like that. Otherwise, I did the research myself.

2 Q. Thank you. Let's elaborate that for a moment. When you write

3 about the work that has been done by others, do you summarise what they

4 have? Do you interview these people? Do you evaluate their reports? How

5 does the process work?

6 A. The process works like this: We are in touch during the research

7 and discussing the preliminary findings and the approach to the work, but

8 most of the communication is afterwards. All of the interviews are typed

9 up and reviewed carefully by myself and then written up, in consultation

10 with the researcher who did them. This was the case -- I believe it was

11 in the three villages that I mentioned: Belanica, Gornja Studime, and

12 Trnje also. Those were three cases that were researched by someone else.

13 Q. When you say "writing up," does that mean you summarise what you

14 have read or you evaluate what you have read or you interpreted what you

15 have read?

16 A. I would say that I wrote up their findings. That's the best way I

17 know how to express it.

18 Q. Meaning you adopt their conclusions?

19 A. No. We stated the findings that they had obtained through

20 interviews in the field. "They." It's one person I'm referring to.

21 Q. Now, let's go through the exhibits, then, and start with 188,

22 which is your report on Serbia and Montenegro.

23 MR. WLADIMIROFF: May the witness be given that exhibit, please.

24 MR. NICE: Your Honour, while that's being located and handed to

25 the witness, it may just be worth observing with the premise that

Page 6170

1 Mr. Wladimiroff is advancing, the premise that investigators are not

2 allowed to testify about their assessment of events, it's possibly to

3 overstate findings of the Court so far, which has been to the effect that

4 investigators of the OTP are not allowed to summarise materials of others,

5 because of course the Court has expressly allowed for both this document

6 and also other documents from the OSCE.

7 JUDGE MAY: Yes, that's absolutely right.

8 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Thank you.

9 Q. On page 40 of that exhibit, you will find the acknowledgment.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Am I right in thinking that you took a part in this report by

12 doing fact-finding missions yourself, and you also took a part in this

13 report by writing and editing the findings of others?

14 A. This report is based on a three-week mission I conducted in

15 Kosovo, travelling around through the various villages of the province,

16 and the findings are based on that research. I would have to look through

17 the report to be precise on answering your question, but I can state

18 unequivocally that secondary sources, reports from other organisations, I

19 believe -- you know, these reports were perhaps cited, but the crux of our

20 findings was the research that we did ourselves.

21 Q. When you say "we," you mean --

22 A. Me. Excuse me. Me.

23 Q. Right. Thank you. Let's go to Exhibit 190. There you will find

24 the acknowledgment on page 29. Again, the same question: What was your

25 participation in this report: fact-finding, writing about the work of

Page 6171

1 others, or a mixture?

2 A. This report was based on research that I conducted over a two-week

3 period in Serbia, to interview the -- essentially, the victims and the

4 witnesses of police abuse after the election of 1996.

5 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to Exhibit 191. There the

6 acknowledgment you can find on page -- where was it again? Perhaps you

7 could help us. Well, actually --

8 A. It's in the very beginning.

9 Q. The very beginning, yes. I've got it in front of me. Written by

10 you, but was it also based on what you witnessed?

11 A. This report is -- primarily is based on my research in Kosovo.

12 Q. And by "your research," you mean you've spoken to the people

13 yourself, you've been there on the spot, or is it you summarise or pass

14 through what others actually have done on the ground?

15 A. Primarily this was based on our research in the field, but as I

16 said, there are cases when we cited the work of others.

17 Q. If you say "our" and "we" --

18 A. I apologise. I'm used to institutional affiliation.

19 Q. Sure.

20 A. That, yes, is based on my research. But as I said, we do

21 occasionally cite the work of others. When we do cite the work of others,

22 we are explicit in that. We give the reference, we provide the source.

23 Q. If you say "sources of others," do you mean people not working

24 within Human Rights Watch?

25 A. That's correct. For example, another organisation.

Page 6172

1 Q. My questions are related more specifically to reports or findings

2 or what was witnessed by those who work within Human Rights Watch and

3 whose report you have seen. Have you seen all the events or have you

4 relied on what has been seen by others working within Human Rights Watch?

5 A. Yes. The findings that we present as our own are based on

6 our research in the field.

7 Q. What you do you mean by "our"?

8 A. I'm sorry. Based on my research in the field, or the research of

9 my colleagues, but ...

10 Q. Right.

11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Abrahams, could you clarify the additional

12 research which is mentioned on the same page and done by Mr. Bouckaert and

13 some other people.

14 THE WITNESS: Yes. In this report there is research conducted by

15 colleagues. Peter Bouckaert is a researcher who worked on specifically

16 the Gornje Obrinje and Golubovac case, which are included in the appendix,

17 yes, the appendix of this report.

18 Would you like me to explain the other individuals, Your Honour?

19 JUDGE KWON: That's enough.


21 Q. Thank you.

22 A. They're colleagues of Human Rights Watch.

23 Q. Let's move on to Exhibit 198, please. That's the other booklet.

24 Again, I'll ask you to look at the page dealing with acknowledgement,

25 which is almost the same place as in the previous book.

Page 6173

1 Here it says that on three field missions. These were done by

2 you, conducted by you. What about the other admissions or were there no

3 other missions that are reported in this report? And may I draw your

4 attention to the Racak report.

5 A. This report on Gornje Obrinje and Golubovac is based on three

6 missions, was three missions conducted by myself and Mr. Bouckaert, but

7 you are correct.

8 MR. NICE: Excuse me. There's a problem with the transcript. I

9 don't know if the Chamber is suffering the same problem, and I don't know

10 if it's going to come back, so I just thought I'd mention it.

11 JUDGE MAY: Can we have any assistance on that?

12 Yes.

13 THE WITNESS: Yes. This book is based on the three field

14 missions. But you are correct; the appendix, which includes the report on

15 Racak, was based on a fourth mission, so the acknowledgments are slightly

16 inaccurate in that regard. That mission to Racak was conducted in the end

17 of January 1999.


19 Q. Did you investigate Racak yourself?

20 A. No. No, I did not.

21 Q. Have you been in Racak?

22 A. No, I have not.

23 Q. Let's move on, then, to Exhibit 200. Would you please explain to

24 the Court whether this is written on the basis of your own experience,

25 what you witnessed, or is this a report written on the basis of what

Page 6174

1 others did, not you?

2 A. This report was researched by another person who was working for

3 Human Rights Watch.

4 Q. Thank you. 201. That's the report about "Abuses Against Serbs

5 and Roma in the New Kosovo." I may draw your attention to page 18. Were

6 you involved in this report?

7 A. Yes, I was.

8 Q. And what was the part you took in this report?

9 A. This report was primarily researched and written by Benjamin Ward,

10 a researcher at Human Rights Watch. I contributed to the research.

11 Particularly I recall conducting research among the Roma population. And

12 I also assisted in the writing essentially as an editor for the report.

13 Q. Right. Thank you. 202, please, which is the report on "Kosovo:

14 Rape as a Weapon of 'Ethnic Cleansing.'" And here may I draw your

15 attention to page 38. The acknowledgement indicates that you edited this

16 report. Question: What was your part in writing or researching the

17 report?

18 A. The -- the primary research was conducted by Martina Vandenberg

19 with assistance from Joanne Mariner. My role was as a -- let's say

20 advisory partner. Mrs. Vandenberg came to Kosovo in August 1999 when I

21 was also there conducting research, and we spent a considerable amount of

22 time together discussing this report, strategising on ways to conduct the

23 research. And I also assisted her in some of the research. I recall that

24 I did an interview with a doctor in Djakovica, for example. But the

25 interviews with women were obviously conducted by Ms. Vandenberg herself

Page 6175

1 and Ms. Mariner.

2 Q. Thank you. Let's proceed then to Exhibit 204, which is the report

3 on "Detentions and Abuse in Kosovo." The same question: What was your

4 part in this report?

5 A. I was the sole researcher and writer of this report.

6 Q. Right. Thank you. We move on to 206 -- excuse me, 205, which is

7 the yellow booklet. Page IX. What was your part in this book?

8 A. Do we have the same?

9 Q. We do have the same.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Roman IX?

12 A. Oh, Roman IX. Sorry.

13 Q. Sorry. Excuse me.

14 A. I was not working at Human Rights Watch during this time.

15 Q. Right. Thank you very much. Finally, Exhibit 206, "Civilian

16 Deaths in the NATO Air Campaign." There I draw your attention to page

17 79 -- 78, that is. Could you tell the Court what your part in this report

18 was.

19 A. Uh-huh. I conducted the research related to Kosovo of the 90

20 incidents of NATO bombings that caused civilian casualties. Approximately

21 one-third of those incidents were in Kosovo itself. I did some of the

22 research. For example, Dubrava Prison or on the road outside Djakovica, I

23 did the research for that. Mr. Arkin and Mr. Ivanisevic did the research

24 that was in -- outside of Kosovo, in other parts of Yugoslavia.

25 Q. Thank you. Finally, two questions: There were two sets of

Page 6176

1 letters tendered by the Prosecution. One is Exhibit 189. Just very

2 quickly I'll show them to you. These were letters that you drafted

3 yourself and were sent by yourself; is that right?

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. All right. The other set was Exhibit 192. Were these letters

6 drafted by you and sent by you?

7 A. Yes, they were.

8 Q. But signed by someone else.

9 A. They were signed by my director, but I drafted them and sent

10 them.

11 Q. And you also checked on these letters, whether there was any

12 response or not?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. Thank you. That's all I ask. You have been very helpful.

15 MR. NICE: Probably about five to ten minutes.

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It would be more convenient, if we can, to

17 finish.

18 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:

19 Q. Mr. Abrahams, the other researchers you've been dealing with in

20 answer to questions from Mr. Wladimiroff, are they likely to be available

21 and contactable should he want to make contact with them?

22 A. Absolutely.

23 Q. You'll help with that, will you, so he can track them down, if

24 necessary, in case the suggestion is that any of them become witnesses?

25 A. Yes, of course I can do that.

Page 6177

1 Q. As to your reports, various reports, some of them -- we can see

2 many of them were prepared and sent to various addresses well before there

3 was any question of bombing of Serbia or Kosovo; is that correct?

4 A. That is correct.

5 Q. In respect of that period of time when these earlier reports were

6 being published and sent to different people, was there any suggestion of

7 explicable bias levied against Human Rights Watch by the accused or any of

8 the organs of government with which he was associated?

9 A. I'm not aware of any direct accusations levelled at us directly

10 from the government. Certainly there were responses in the press

11 questioning our objectivity from commentators and other individuals.

12 Q. Just so that we can have the flavour, what sort of allegations of

13 bias were levied against Human Rights Watch, and how, if at all, did Human

14 Rights Watch respond to those allegations whatever they may have been?

15 A. Well, it's interesting that in the Balkans we've been accused of

16 being anti-Macedonian, anti-Albanian, anti-Serbian, anti-Croatian, and in

17 this case, we were accused of being anti-Serbian.

18 Q. Any reason given for it? I mean any explicable reason suggested

19 by the accused that you were hand in glove with NATO now, I think, but all

20 that could have been a possibility. Any other explicable reason given or

21 was it just an allegation of bias?

22 A. I can only assume that it stemmed from a displeasure with our

23 findings.

24 MR. NICE: Your Honours, so far as George Tintor is concerned, the

25 author of the document, we've done our research while the

Page 6178












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Page 6179

1 cross-examination has been going on because the witness was unable to help

2 us with anything about him. He, I think, checks -- he checks out to a

3 website called and regularly writes letters to newspapers on

4 the Serbian cause.

5 Q. It's been suggested that Human Rights Watch is supported only by

6 the rich. Do you have support from people with less than $5.000 to give?

7 A. Absolutely.

8 Q. Do students support you? Do young people support you?

9 A. Yes. Five thousand dollars is the amount above which donations

10 are reported in the annual report. But of course many contributions below

11 that amount also arrive. I can recall even envelopes with pocket change

12 coming into the office.

13 Q. "Under Orders." You've been asked about the amount that you wrote

14 and the amount written by others in some detail. Where there were

15 interviews of other researchers, did you review that material yourself?

16 A. Yes, in-depth.

17 Q. At the stage of preparing for publication of the book, did you

18 review the chapters prepared by your colleague? Did he review the

19 chapters prepared by you?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Were you able to contribute by way of suggesting corrections where

22 things were, in your judgement, in need of correction or reconsideration?

23 A. Yes. This was very much a collaborative project.

24 Q. You tell us that Human Rights Watch was aware of discrimination

25 against Serbs in the 1980s. Can you help us with whether that's

Page 6180

1 published -- whether that's covered in any of your reports or was that

2 really too early to be touched on in any of the reports that you've drawn

3 to our attention?

4 A. That period is covered in the background sections of some

5 reports. Most concretely in the "Under Orders" report. It's in the

6 chapter on background.

7 Q. One matter of detail that you may be able to help us with: We've

8 heard evidence -- I don't know if you can help us one way or the other

9 about it. We've heard evidence of a time when Kosovo Albanians were

10 losing their government jobs or their jobs in the banking sector and

11 matters of that sort, to be replaced by incoming Serbs. Have you any

12 knowledge of that? Have you dealt with that in any of your reports?

13 A. Yes. My work personally deals with that issue tangentially. The

14 only report was the 1996 report where I talk about discrimination. We

15 document discrimination in education and employment. But prior to me, I

16 believe this report "Open Wounds" is the most exhaustive documentation of

17 the period you are -- you are referring to.

18 Q. Exhibit 205. And does that cover, do you recall, this process

19 whereby Serbs were incoming and taking advantage of dismissed Albanians'

20 jobs? And if you don't remember, just say so and we'll check it out.

21 A. I don't know. It documents the discrimination in various sectors

22 of the society.

23 Q. What matter of detail, please. Can you take Exhibit 198, which is

24 the -- that coloured one. At page 76.

25 As you explained to the Chamber, the accused's quotation was from

Page 6181

1 the press release from the 29th of January of 1999 in relation to the

2 events in Racak, and the accused took you to a passage which was the

3 second paragraph, where the press release referred to indiscriminate

4 attacking of civilians, torturing of detainees, and summary executions,

5 and you were asked how that was supportable.

6 Would you please now take Exhibit 200, which is the short report

7 prepared by a colleague and to which you did not contribute. I mention

8 this simply because, in this Chamber, we're not in a position to explore

9 all events in Racak, having to focus on a limited number because of the

10 scale of the incident.

11 If we -- if you have this report of your colleague, we can see on

12 page 2, at the foot of the page, your colleague sets out on the basis of

13 live interviews or interviews with survivors that she had conducted, and

14 she sets out the number of interviews, at the foot of the page Torture,

15 and she goes on there to say what happened in the yard of Sadik Osmani.

16 That goes over on the top of the next page where she sets out in detail,

17 and I'll allow the Chamber perhaps to read it for themselves, if they have

18 it, to save time. She sets out an account of what happened to boys in the

19 yard. And then in the third paragraph, people were searched for weapons,

20 boys were taken out, and the way they were dealt with and so on.

21 So was there material contained in this report to justify the

22 allegations of torture and all the other allegations contained in the

23 press release?

24 A. This report is based on one week's research in and around Racak by

25 Human Rights Watch.

Page 6182

1 Q. But it was with surviving witnesses, and it was, as it were, close

2 to the events at the time?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. Thank you. A matter of geography next which we can deal with in

5 the same exhibit, because the Judges expressed an interest in the

6 geography of Drenica specifically. If we look at the front of the

7 document, there's a map which shows the location of Gornje Obrinje,

8 Golubovac, and Plocica.

9 MR. NICE: It's not a page number. It's immediately after the

10 index. So sorry. The map looks like that. The Chamber will find these

11 places marked in our exhibit, the road atlas, as it were, at page 6. And

12 it's in this square here, the bottom left-hand square of the right-hand

13 page, and you can see the three places, Plocica, Golubovac, and Gornje

14 Obrinje just in the square above. So that's where they're located.

15 Q. The only description in your work that I've been able to find of

16 Drenica can be found in Exhibit 191 at page 18. It's a short quotation

17 where you describe or the authors describe Drenica as a hilly region in

18 Central Kosovo. Are you able to assist the Chamber at all with the

19 borders of the area known as Drenica or is it as general as that?

20 A. Drenica is a region, not a municipality. So I'm not -- I'm not

21 aware of the precise borders. But generally speaking, Drenica stretches

22 from Kormnjan [phoen] near Glogovac - approximately I'm speaking - north

23 to Srbica, and it's bordered on the east by the Cicavica Mountains,

24 stretching west probably 30 or 40 kilometres in the direction of Pec.

25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nice, I think I noticed Drenica on page 156 in

Page 6183

1 "Under Orders."

2 MR. NICE: Thank you very much, yes.

3 THE WITNESS: That's correct, yes.

4 MR. NICE: Previously left in my room today, but I'll get the

5 Court's copy. Thank you very much.

6 THE WITNESS: Yes. It comprises -- Drenica stretches between the

7 two municipalities of Srbica and Glogovac.


9 Q. I'm sorry not to have pointed that out to you earlier. I think I

10 have two more questions, one relating again to Exhibit 198 about which you

11 were questioned extensively by the accused.

12 At the time of the publication of this report in February, had the

13 bombing started or not?

14 A. No, the bombing had not started.

15 Q. The whole book was prepared and published before the bombing that

16 it said it supported had even started.

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. You were criticised yesterday, I think, for your failure to

19 produce photographs of damage done by KLA and NATO. You said such

20 photographs existed and had been considered by you. Do you want to tell

21 us either, (a), in which report we should look to find them, or do you

22 have a raw supply that you'll provide if they're relevant and if the

23 Chamber wants to see them?

24 A. Yes. In brief, the photographs of KLA violations are included in

25 "Under Orders," in the chapter "Abuses After June 12th." I believe there

Page 6184

1 are also -- I can give page references if --

2 Q. Just in general, so we know --

3 A. Yes. In addition, there are photographs of KLA abuses on page 50

4 in the background chapter. There are two photographs in there. And

5 regarding NATO, the -- the report on Civilian Deaths in the NATO Campaign

6 has a series of photographs, more than a dozen, I believe, of damage

7 caused by NATO bombs. And some of these -- those photographs are

8 reproduced in "Under Orders."

9 Q. Thank you very much.

10 MR. NICE: Nothing else.

11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Abrahams, that concludes your evidence. Thank you

12 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it.

13 THE ACCUSED: Mr. May, I have an objection.

14 JUDGE MAY: You are free to go.

15 Yes, quickly, what is it?

16 THE ACCUSED: I have objection.

17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, quickly, what is it?

18 THE ACCUSED: Very quickly. [Interpretation] You did not allow me

19 to get to my objections, having objected and questioned to all these

20 exhibits which are mere publications and all -- and as I do, I challenge

21 all these photographs. They cannot be exhibits of any kind. They have no

22 probative value, nothing to authenticate them, nothing to prove who these

23 people were, nothing to show whether they are even citizens of Yugoslavia,

24 who these Albanians are, who the dead bodies were, who killed them. And

25 the witness was not in Orahovac when the fighting went on, nor was he in

Page 6185

1 Prekaze on the 5th of March, 1998, nor was he in Racak on the 15th of

2 January, 1999, nor was he in Likosane and Cirez in the days in which he is

3 talking about, nor was he in Suva Reka, Gornje Obrinje when what happened

4 there took place --

5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, I'm going to stop you. We have

6 admitted -- we have admitted his report. We have admitted his

7 photographs. He has identified the places where he says they were taken.

8 We have admitted them. Now, what weight we place upon them will be a

9 matter for us.

10 Now, we're going to adjourn.

11 Mr. Abrahams, as I say, thank you very much for coming. You are

12 free to go.

13 There is one additional matter - apologies to the interpreters for

14 keeping them - and that is that tomorrow and Wednesday, we will sit at

15 9.30. We have the court for the afternoon, and we will go until just

16 after 4.00.

17 MR. NICE: Thank you. I will make adjustments to the witness list

18 accordingly.

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I should have said tomorrow and Thursday.

20 We will adjourn now for 20 minutes.

21 [The witness withdrew]

22 --- Recess taken at 10.46 a.m.

23 --- On resuming at 11.09 a.m.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.

25 MR. NICE: Your Honour, before we return to K12, a few necessary

Page 6186

1 administrative matters.

2 First of all, Mr. Walker of OSCE has been contacted, and I'm

3 expecting to speak to him later this morning and hopeful that we can call

4 him next week. In order to call him next week, we would need leave in

5 respect of late service of the B/C/S version of his second statement. The

6 second statement has been served on the accused the second we got it, I

7 think, in English, but, as the Chamber knows, there's a considerable

8 backlog of translation. Nothing much we can do about that. And he hasn't

9 yet had the B/C/S version. I would ask that we have leave to timetable

10 Mr. Walker for next week, notwithstanding that. We will do -- if so, we

11 will do whatever we can to prioritise or add priority to the translation

12 of his statement, but it seems to us that the Chamber would probably be

13 assisted by having as much of the Racak evidence at a similar time rather

14 than divided by a long tract of time.

15 JUDGE MAY: Is the translation available yet?

16 MR. NICE: Not yet. We don't yet know when it's going to be

17 available. We've been simultaneously, I think, pressing that and trying

18 to make contact with Mr. Walker. Ms. Graham is about to give me a note.

19 The accused had it in English on the 26th of March. It should

20 already have come back. So presumably it's only a few days away in

21 translation.

22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, perhaps you could deal with that at least

23 by the weekend so that he has a chance to read it.

24 MR. NICE: Certainly, Your Honour. Yes. We're expecting perhaps

25 to get the ambassador, if he's available, to travel on the Sunday. Thank

Page 6187

1 you for that.

2 The second point, for information of the accused: We have finally

3 received, through the authorities, Marinkovic's report on Racak. It's in

4 Serbian and, indeed, I think, in Cyrillic. That's being translated and of

5 course will be made available as soon as it can be. I dare say the

6 accused already has access to it himself from other sources.

7 I mention it at this stage, though, for this reason: There's a

8 videotape that is part of the judge's report. It covers various things,

9 including some footage of General Drewienkiewicz, who we've seen, and

10 footage of the arms allegedly found in the course of the inquiry. I may

11 wish to put this video to a witness I'm calling tomorrow, and I will

12 attempt to provide a copy of the video to the accused and to the amici and

13 to the Court today so that they have some advance chance of looking at it.

14 There are some other outstanding matters that I realise are

15 slipping in time. I don't need to deal with them in detail, simply to say

16 that there were some outstanding newspapers, some outstanding unresolved

17 exhibits, and one way or another, Ms. Graham and I and your staff will

18 ensure that we aren't letting things slip too much so that we forget them.

19 Can I turn to the three witnesses of whom you expressed some

20 concerns yesterday? Mehmeti Agron was originally a 92 bis witness, and it

21 was in those circumstances that the original order, January order, of the

22 11th of January, I think, which referred to witness statements of

23 witnesses to be called in person to be disclosed, was not thought to apply

24 to him or other witnesses of the same category. In the event, service of

25 B/C/S versions of his ICTY statement and interview occurred after the

Page 6188

1 trial commenced, but all disclosure was completed on the 25th of January.

2 That's, in fact, before the trial commenced. It was actually before. So

3 all service was completed on the 25th of January.

4 Avdyli, the same situation applies, and he again was, from the

5 beginning, a 92 bis witness. His statements in English were disclosed on

6 the 25th of January, two of the three of them disclosed in B/C/S at that

7 time, the third disclosed, when available, on the 3rd of May. And then

8 there were additional non-ICTY statements which were disclosed on the 23rd

9 of April. So we would respectfully submit that we are in compliance, so

10 far as those witnesses are concerned, although Ms. Graham helpfully

11 reminds me that for Mehmeti, it was only the English statements that were

12 served in advance of the trial; the B/C/S came a little later. There's no

13 prejudice to the accused.

14 The third witness, Agim Jemini, is a witness who we've always

15 intended to call live, and therefore we do need leave to do so. He's a

16 witness who provides evidence of overheard radio communications from the

17 loft in which he was hiding, and it seemed that that evidence would serve

18 a particular purpose, not just crime base, but it had literally a higher

19 significance because of what he was able to overhear. The decision made

20 to call him was being made at the same time as decisions were being made

21 to reduce, wherever possible, the witness list. His ICTY statements were

22 first disclosed in English on the 1st of February, so that was before the

23 trial started; the B/C/S versions on the 15th of March; and there was a

24 second statement in English served on the 13th of February. But again,

25 all a long time ago, and his name has been on the list, so notification of

Page 6189

1 our intent to call him has always been provided, although we haven't

2 formally applied for an amendment to the list. He's here. He's a witness

3 who, in our respectful submission --

4 [Trial Chamber deliberates]

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We shall allow him to be called.

6 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. Your Honour --

7 JUDGE MAY: Before you move from that, there's a Mr. Elshani. Are

8 you proposing to call him? He's at the bottom of the list, described as

9 "may not be called."

10 MR. NICE: No. Elshani we have cut from the list.

11 Your Honour, as to 92 bis rulings, the Chamber has not yet ruled

12 on either Mehmeti, the next witness, I think --

13 JUDGE MAY: I have a distinct recollection that we have done.

14 MR. NICE: In which case, it's our oversight.

15 JUDGE MAY: On all those down certainly as far as Hendrie is

16 concerned.

17 MR. NICE: Very well. Well, then if it's permitted for them to be

18 given by 92 bis, that's all I --

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

20 MR. NICE: -- we need know. I'm grateful. There's K7 tomorrow,

21 and I'm not sure what the view was on him. He may fall into a different

22 category.

23 JUDGE MAY: No, I don't think we have yet dealt with K7.

24 MR. NICE: We are preparing for him fully today, he being in a

25 different category, and we will, of course, simply abide the announcement

Page 6190

1 of the decision.

2 Your Honour, that brings me to one point. We recall Your Honour

3 limiting the -- announcing a limitation to 45 minutes of cross-examination

4 for the accused in respect of crime-base 92 bis witnesses, but it may be

5 that the accused had yet to have an opportunity to address the Chamber on

6 that point, and it may have been that was reserved for discussion.

7 That apart, I come back to the witness who started off yesterday,

8 K12, and would invite the Chamber to allow us to go into private session

9 just for a couple of minutes.

10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

11 [Private session]

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 6191












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Page 6192












12 Pages 6192 to 6195 redacted private session.














Page 6196

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 [Open session]

12 MR. NICE: The reasons for private session were entirely limited

13 and as I explained.


15 [Witness answered through interpreter]

16 JUDGE MAY: Witness, K12, you are now back here. You'll remember

17 that you have taken a declaration to tell the truth, and counsel will ask

18 you some questions.

19 Examined by Mr. Nice: [Continued]

20 Q. K12, I asked you yesterday about whether you had done national

21 service. Do you remember answering that question? You said you had

22 done.

23 A. Is he asking me something? Is he asking me to confirm something?

24 What is this?

25 Q. Did you do national service in Yugoslavia?

Page 6197

1 A. I did do my military service, and I think I said that yesterday.

2 Please tell him, tell the Judge that I have had enough of this

3 psychological processing for two days now, and I've been confused even

4 more and more. I cannot testify on anyone's behalf today, and leave me

5 alone. I'll go crazy this way. And --

6 JUDGE MAY: Witness -- Witness K12. You must understand your

7 position. You are in front of a court of law which has summoned you to

8 give evidence. You have declined to do so. We have considered our powers

9 in relation to this, and they are these: that we may, in the exercise of

10 our powers, hold in contempt those who knowingly and wilfully interfere

11 with the administration of justice, and that includes any person who,

12 being a witness before a Chamber, perversely refuses or fails to answer a

13 question.

14 Now, you should understand that we have a power to hold you in

15 contempt for refusing to answer the questions which have been properly

16 asked by the Prosecutor.

17 Now, are you going to answer the questions or not?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If they think I'm guilty of

19 something, then they can put me into prison. If they don't understand why

20 I cannot testify, then I can't explain it any better than this. I've

21 tried to explain this, but if I cannot, I cannot. And if they should

22 think I should go to prison, I'll go to prison, and I'll sit there for as

23 long as it takes. I have more problems now than if I were in prison. So

24 just put me in prison, then.

25 JUDGE MAY: Very well. You are refusing to answer the questions

Page 6198

1 of the Court. We make a finding that you are in contempt of this Tribunal

2 as a result of your refusal to answer questions. We direct the Prosecutor

3 to initiate proceedings against you. We will order the Registrar, if you

4 make an application, to provide counsel for you. You will return to this

5 Tribunal to be dealt, when your explanation or explanations of counsel

6 will be considered, and we will decide what is an appropriate punishment

7 for this contempt.

8 Meanwhile, you will remain on the list of witnesses as a witness

9 who is listed to give evidence. Should you change your mind and decide to

10 give evidence, you should notify the Prosecutor, and you will be called.

11 Meanwhile, you'll be notified of a date for you to appear here again to be

12 dealt with for your contempt.

13 The Court will now rise for five minutes before continuing with

14 the next witness.

15 MR. NICE: Your Honour, might it be --

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have understood this.

17 MR. NICE: Might it be prudent to identify a first return date for

18 the witness and for those who have to know about his return to the court

19 on the basis that if we cannot meet that first return date for any reason,

20 we will adjourn it?

21 JUDGE MAY: Very well. A month. Twenty-eight days.

22 MR. NICE: We will find the date and the calendar and agree with

23 the Registrar.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Twenty-eight days. The Court will adjourn for

25 five minutes.

Page 6199

1 --- Break taken at 11.39 a.m.

2 --- On resuming at 11.48 a.m.

3 [The witness entered court]

4 THE ACCUSED: Mr. May, I have an objection before we start.

5 JUDGE MAY: We're going to hear this particular -- does it relate

6 to this witness?

7 THE ACCUSED: No. This has to do with what was going on a short

8 while ago. I have a very serious objection.

9 JUDGE MAY: We'll hear the witness. We'll hear any objection at

10 the end of the day.

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I know who the witness is?

13 JUDGE MAY: In a moment.

14 Just read out the declaration, if you would.

15 Somebody check the declaration is in the right language.

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

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

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you'd like to take a seat.


20 [Witness answered through interpreter]

21 JUDGE MAY: Would you begin with your full name, please.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Me?

23 Examined by Ms. Romano:

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. Agron Mehmeti.

Page 6200

1 Q. Mr. Mehmeti, where were you born?

2 A. In the village of Recak.

3 Q. And when were you born?

4 A. 15th of July, 1976.

5 Q. Are you a Kosovar Albanian?

6 A. Yes. I am an Albanian of Kosova.

7 Q. And do you work as a coordinator for the Mother Theresa Society?

8 A. I have done. At the moment, I'm out of work.

9 Q. Mr. Mehmeti, you gave two statements for the Office of the

10 Prosecutor. One on 12 December 1999, and the second one on 24th of

11 August, 2001; is that correct?

12 A. The first is correct. Could you explain the second one again to

13 me, if possible?

14 Q. On the 24th of August, 2001.

15 A. Yes, that's right.

16 Q. And you attended a meeting on the 6th of February, 2002, where

17 were present an office of this Tribunal -- a presiding officer for this

18 Tribunal, and at that opportunity, the two statements were read out for

19 you, and you were provided also with a copy in the Albanian language; is

20 that correct?

21 A. Yes. This was sometime at the beginning of February.

22 Q. And you had the opportunity to review the content of the two

23 statements and ascertain that they were true and correct?

24 A. They were accurate, and if -- I do have some slight explanations

25 to make, if the Court will permit me.

Page 6201

1 Q. Yes. We will do it in the proper manner.

2 MS. ROMANO: The Prosecution would like to submit the two

3 statements into evidence.

4 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 207.

5 MS. ROMANO: The summary of the witness statement is the

6 following: The witness states that there were unprovoked attacks on the

7 village of Racak by Serb forces in the latter part of 1998. During this

8 time, there was shelling and there were several houses damaged or

9 destroyed.

10 On 14 June 1998, a Serb policeman was killed in Caraleva, which

11 led to a crackdown on the Kosovo Albanian population who were no longer

12 able to travel to Stimlje.

13 On 25 July 1998, there was a Serb offensive on the village of

14 Zborce, about six kilometres away. The village of Racak was then

15 attacked. The witness evacuated his family to another village, during

16 which they were shot at by Serb forces.

17 On 23 August 1998, the Serb police and army started firing at the

18 village of Racak. The villagers took refuge in Shukri Hajrizi's basement

19 but were later removed by the police. The head of each household was

20 taken away by the police and their houses were searched. Around 80 houses

21 were set on fire.

22 On 15 January 1999, the witness's uncle, Bajram, woke him as he

23 had heard explosions in the village. The witness then heard gunfire. He

24 went to take shelter in Idriz Hajrizi's house next door. There were other

25 people seeking refuge there, some of whom decided to flee in the vehicles

Page 6202

1 of Veshta. En route, they were fired on. The witness's cousin Elham was

2 injured in the leg. Bajram was shot in the head, and Hanemshah were shot

3 in the chest. Both Bajram and Hanemshah died. The survivors took refuge

4 in a house until dark, when they went to retrieve the bodies of the

5 deceased.

6 The following day, the witness learned that there had been a

7 massacre in the village.

8 Can I have the witness shown the Racak binder, tab 7. There are a

9 series of photos in this tab. I would like the witness to be shown --

10 it's in the middle of the tab. It's crime location 3, scene 7. The ERN

11 number is K0214950.

12 I will start with photo number 1. It's the following sheet.

13 Mr. Usher, if you can put this photo on the ELMO for the witness.

14 Q. Witness, very briefly, can you explain to the Court what is in the

15 photo, what you can see.

16 A. The photograph is of the village of Recak, and this is the lower

17 neighbourhood, round the village mosque.

18 Q. And can you show where you were or where happened -- where Bajram

19 and Hanemshah died or where did you took -- did you take refuge?

20 A. The houses where we took shelter are not visible on this

21 photograph. I think I need another photograph.

22 MS. ROMANO: Can we move to photograph number 6.

23 THE ACCUSED: I have objection.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes?

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Are these photographs which were

Page 6203

1 taken by Kelly? Because I can see the crime scene denotes "Crime Scene 1"

2 and "Crime Scene 2." Those are Kelly's photographs, are they? And I

3 understood that the witness was rejected. So how can we be using his

4 photographs?

5 JUDGE MAY: The photographs have been admitted. The binders have

6 been admitted. The fact that it says "Crime Scene" on it is totally

7 irrelevant.

8 Yes.

9 THE WITNESS: Yes, okay. [Interpretation] This is in order. This

10 photograph relates to me.


12 Q. But, Witness, before -- before we check -- we change already to

13 photo 6. Can you --

14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.


16 Q. Witness, can you explain to the Court what is in the photo 6, what

17 is in this photo?

18 A. Yes, I can explain, if the Court will allow me to make a short

19 explanation.

20 Q. Very briefly.

21 A. This is -- this photograph was no doubt taken after the war,

22 because I can see a change here. This pipe was not here, placed in the

23 stream, was not there. It was put there in the year 2000 or 2001.

24 Q. Witness, I'm sorry. What I want you to tell the Court is what is

25 this location? What does this location refer to during 1999? The changes

Page 6204












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13 English transcripts.













Page 6205

1 are not relevant.

2 A. Yes. Only the pipe wasn't here -- there at the time, that iron

3 pipe for -- to carry water.

4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Tell us what happened in relation to that scene.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the place where my uncle

6 Bajram was killed. He was -- and my uncle's daughter Hanemshah was also

7 shot dead. And then Hani Mehmeti was also wounded. Makfire Hajrizi was

8 also wounded. This stream, we all jumped into this stream with the

9 exception of Bajram. Hanemshah was able to walk for about five or six

10 metres, and -- and while jumping into the stream, this is where Makfire

11 Hajrizi was wounded.


13 Q. Thank you, Witness. And are the two persons that you mentioned,

14 Hanemshah and Bajram, are the persons in photos 8 and 9?

15 A. I don't see the photographs, but no doubt they are.

16 Q. The usher will provide you.

17 A. Thank you. Yes, this is Hanemshah, 22 years old, Bajram's

18 daughter. And this is Bajram, 54 years old. If you wish, I can explain

19 when these photographs were taken.

20 Q. No. That's not -- that's not necessary, Witness. I just would

21 like you to go back.

22 MS. ROMANO: If the usher can put again photo number 1.

23 Q. And I just would like you, if you can, show to the Court in that

24 big photo where it's located. Where did it happen? Can you see in this

25 photo?

Page 6206

1 A. It's not in this photograph.

2 Q. Then photo number 2.

3 A. No. No. No.

4 Q. Is Idriz Hajrizi's house over there?

5 A. What I can see here are the houses of the mosque neighbourhood.

6 Q. Thank you, Witness. Witness, when you gave the second statement

7 to the Court, you were -- investigator Kelly, Barney Kelly, provided you

8 with several photos of unidentified bodies, and you identified one by

9 one. Do you remember that?

10 A. All these massacred people from the village of Recak whom I

11 identified, I'm able today to identify them again today, if the Court

12 wishes, by their first and second names and their dates of birth. And I

13 could say two or three sentences about each person.

14 Q. No, Witness. It's not necessary. I just want you to confirm if

15 the photos that I will show you right now are the photos that were shown

16 to you and that's the ones you made the identification. And I --

17 MS. ROMANO: Those photos are not in the Racak binder, and I have

18 copies here, but I will need the colour copy back again to produce more

19 colour copies. These are the colour ones.

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Prosecutor, if you allow me --

21 JUDGE MAY: No. No. If you will just allow me.

22 I don't think we need to go through all this evidence. We have

23 the binders.

24 MS. ROMANO: No, Your Honour. I just said they're not in the

25 binders.

Page 6207

1 JUDGE MAY: All right. Well, very, very quickly, please.

2 MS. ROMANO: I will not go through the identification. The

3 identification has already been made in the statement. I just want the

4 witness to confirm that these are the photos that were shown to him at the

5 time.

6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Would you just look at the photographs for

7 that purpose.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This person I see here, RA170 --


10 Q. You don't need -- you have already done the identification. You

11 just need to tell the Court if you have seen these photos before.

12 A. Yes. Can I go through them?

13 Q. No. You have already. Thank you. You've done this. It's not

14 necessary. Thank you very much.

15 A. Prosecutor, if -- it's not clear to me when we saw the photographs

16 of where we set off on the 15th January and when we left the Hajrizi

17 house. May I see them now?

18 JUDGE MAY: Let the Prosecutor decide what is relevant. We are

19 having to adopt here, because of the shortage of time, rather abbreviated

20 procedures. We're grateful to you for coming to give evidence, but I'm

21 afraid we can't hear every detail.

22 Ms. Romano, is there anything else?

23 MS. ROMANO: No. I just think that he was confused with the first

24 map, with the first big photo, because previously, in proofing, he

25 identified that map as the house, so I think he was a little bit

Page 6208

1 confused. But that's not a big issue. I think we can proceed.

2 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

3 MS. ROMANO: So no further questions.

4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you've heard us say that we intend, for

5 witnesses who deal with the various crimes under Rule 92 bis, their

6 statements having been admitted, that we are intending to restrict your

7 cross-examination to three quarters of an hour. The reason is that we've

8 had experience of your cross-examination now over the last few weeks. A

9 great deal of time is taken up with repetition and argument and sometimes

10 irrelevancies. Now, do you want to say something about that, as to why we

11 shouldn't restrict you in that way?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, yes, I do. Because you're

13 referring to experience, experience from the previous cross-examination,

14 then you could draw from that experience just one conclusion, and that is

15 the following: that there was one hour of cross-examination which was,

16 without a doubt, insufficient, because for all witnesses that I

17 cross-examined, within a limited time of one hour, you interrupted me,

18 leaving many questions not asked. And so now, instead of increasing my

19 time for cross-examination, based on what you have learnt from that

20 experience, you are shortening the period at the request of the opposite

21 side, that has trouble with time and sticking to timetables, so that the

22 problems of the opposite side you are solving by restricting my

23 cross-examination and limiting my time. So I continue to object to my

24 time being curtailed and I continue to demand that it be -- that I be

25 given at least one hour, which even that I consider to be insufficient.

Page 6209

1 And you were able to see yourself that when I did not have many questions

2 to ask witnesses, I would cross-examine them for quite a lot less than one

3 hour, so I did not avail myself of that one hour you accorded me.

4 JUDGE MAY: I will deal with this matter and those issues which

5 you raise.

6 First of all, there is no truth in your suggestion that this rule

7 was made at the application of the Prosecution. It was not. It was

8 purely based on the time which you've wasted in your cross-examination.

9 And the reason that you are interrupted, and will be if you continue, is

10 because you ask either lengthy, repetitious, or argumentative or

11 irrelevant questions. If you do that, you will be interrupted; if you

12 don't, you won't be. Having had the experience of the last few weeks,

13 when, I think out of the 67 witnesses, 66 that we've heard, I doubt if

14 there are more than two or three that you haven't taken up any moment or

15 any time that you are allowed, but two or three, if that, have gone

16 short. So for those reasons, we shall restrict you to three quarters of

17 an hour from now on for these witnesses.

18 Yes. Well, it may be convenient now, in fact, to take the break

19 before we begin the cross-examination. We'll break now for a quarter of

20 an hour.

21 Mr. Mehmeti, you are giving evidence. Don't speak to anybody

22 during the break, please, about it until it's over.

23 We'll be back at half past.

24 --- Recess taken at 12.13 p.m.

25 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.

Page 6210

1 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

2 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:

3 Q. [Interpretation] First let's begin with the questions that were

4 linked to the oral --

5 JUDGE MAY: We don't need the binder any more.

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. You said a moment ago the unjustified attacks on Racak in 1998.

8 Is it true that nobody got killed in those attacks?

9 A. In 1998, nobody was killed in Recak.

10 Q. And is it true that the police went searching for weapons during

11 what those -- as you call them, unjustified attacks?

12 A. I don't know whether the police were looking for weapons. They

13 came on the 23rd of August, 1998, and burned 80 houses in our village and

14 took two people with them.

15 Q. And with respect to what you said, that on the 14th of June, 1998,

16 a policeman was killed, do you consider that it was unjustified for the

17 police to come searching for weapons and to seek out the killer of the

18 policeman?

19 A. The policeman was not killed in Recak, and I don't know what kind

20 of a question this is.

21 Q. Well, a moment ago, you yourself said that on the 14th of June,

22 1998, a policeman was killed.

23 A. I said that it was suspected that he was killed, but he wasn't

24 killed in Recak.

25 Q. But he was killed somewhere round Racak; is that right?

Page 6211

1 A. It is suspected that he was killed in Caraleva.

2 Q. You said that the consequence of this was that the police was

3 present and that you couldn't travel to Stimlje. Why weren't you able to

4 travel to Stimlje?

5 A. No. No. The police were there before, but there was a policeman

6 killed, if indeed he was killed. There was a post block at -- there was a

7 checkpoint and there was the army that was sited at the Pishat of Shtime,

8 and there was no way we could get to Shtime. I don't see any point in

9 going through these.

10 Q. Well, you could pass through the checkpoint. Were you able to

11 pass through the checkpoint or not?

12 A. No. To go to Shtime, no. There was a checkpoint at the

13 crossroads, but I didn't have any reason to put myself in any danger.

14 They -- there was no reason why I should put myself at risk in this way.

15 Q. All right. Now, you described the 15th of January by saying the

16 following, and I want to ask you whether this is correct: You said that

17 your uncle heard some firing, some shots, and that he fled to Hajrizi's

18 house, and that some citizens were running, that one person was wounded in

19 the leg, another in the head, and a third in the chest. That's how you

20 described this whole event. And then you said that you heard later that

21 there had been a massacre in the village.

22 Now, is that what you said or not?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I could ask you to ask

24 for the accused not to put such long questions, because I must give

25 detailed explanations.

Page 6212

1 JUDGE MAY: What is it that you don't understand?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, but if I have to

3 answer such very long questions, it will take me a long time.

4 JUDGE MAY: Just answer as best you can. We will get on more

5 quickly if you'll just answer and don't get into arguments.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, but I don't know how to

7 answer in brief to such long questions.

8 JUDGE MAY: Ask the witness another question, please,

9 Mr. Milosevic.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. You say in your first statement that your profession at the time

12 when you made the statement was a coordinator for the Mother Theresa

13 Society, and a moment ago, in response to a question asked by Ms. Romano,

14 you said that you no longer worked for Mother Theresa. When did you cease

15 working for her?

16 A. I still have the badge of the Mother Theresa association here, if

17 the Court needs to see it. I used to be a worker for the association, but

18 at the moment, their association is not working because the emergency in

19 our village has now passed and there is no aid -- no need for aid of this

20 kind.

21 Q. All right. Now, in addition to that, you said that you replaced

22 the priest. Are you still his replacement?

23 A. No. No, no, no. We Muslims don't have priests. We have an imam

24 called a hoxhe, and I take his place at some times when he's not there.

25 And I must -- and I must say here that I wish to see the transcript in

Page 6213

1 Albanian. I've got it here in English.

2 JUDGE MAY: You can't have it.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Is that what you're doing now too?

5 JUDGE MAY: The transcript is only in English.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. You said in your statement, on page 1, in your first statement,

9 you said the problem of Albanians in Kosovo became worse with the killing

10 in the village of Prekaze, and they forced the Albanians to take on a

11 peaceful action.

12 Now, are you aware -- do you know that in 1998, a great wave of

13 terrorism started? Yes or no.

14 A. I don't understand this phrase "wave of terrorism," unless you're

15 talking about your own police and army that committed acts of terrorism

16 against the Albanian population. I can see no other meaning for this

17 phrase.

18 Q. I'm asking you about the terrorist operations of the KLA, which

19 were numerous in 1998 and in which many people were killed, both Serbs and

20 Albanians and other ethnic groups, soldiers and policemen. Is that

21 correct or not?

22 A. For me, the KLA is a liberation army, and I don't understand the

23 phraseology you're using.

24 Q. What the KLA did, is that what you refer to by saying that it was

25 a peaceful action?

Page 6214

1 A. No, no, no. I'm talking about the civilian population which went

2 in for peaceful demonstrations in the town of Shtime for 54 days on end.

3 This is not an act of terrorism. We went out and protested.

4 Q. I asked you about the KLA, and you said the Albanians were taking

5 on peaceful actions.

6 JUDGE MAY: You're at cross-purposes. Just ask another question.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. You link that up with the events in Prekaz. How far is your

9 village of Racak from Prekaz?

10 A. I can't say exactly in kilometres because Prekaz is in the north

11 of Kosova and Recak is in the central southern portion.

12 Q. Well, it's about 70 kilometres. That's right, isn't it, if you go

13 via Pristina and Mitrovica?

14 A. No, no, no. I don't know exactly, but it's -- it's a long way and

15 in an entirely different municipality. No doubt in Skenderaj

16 municipality.

17 Q. And in the course of 1998 in the village of Racak and in the

18 Stimlje municipality, were there any incidents, situations in which there

19 were incidents of any kind?

20 A. What I call incidents are the arrival of the Serbian police and

21 army on 23rd of August when they burnt houses and expelled us from the

22 places where we were. I don't know what else you could call an incident,

23 burning people's houses merely because they're Albanians.

24 Q. All right. Now, as a moment ago you questioned the killing of the

25 policeman, you write in your first statement, on page 2, and I quote:

Page 6215

1 "On the 14th of June, a Serb policeman was killed, and after that

2 we were not able to go to Shtime."

3 Is that right or not?

4 A. Not only that the Serbian police was killed. That's not the only

5 reason. Even before it was suspected that the Serbian policeman was

6 killed, the road was blocked and we were unable to go to Shtime for

7 protests or even to buy our groceries, and this was what the police did.

8 And if you're interested in evidence about whether the Serbian policeman

9 was killed or not, I can provide some details and evidence.

10 Q. All right. In the next paragraph, you say: "It seems that a

11 policeman was killed in Crnoljevo." Are you describing the same killing

12 when you say that? Do you have in mind the same killing, the same murder,

13 or another killing?

14 A. No. This is the claim, that there was a policeman killed there.

15 On the basis of information that we had and heard on the television and

16 were transmitted in Serbian, or it was sometimes translated into Albanian,

17 it is thought that there was an incident at Caraleva where a Serbian

18 policeman was killed, but I wasn't there in Caraleva, so I can't exactly

19 tell you whether it happened or not.

20 Q. When you say that on the 25th of July, 1998 an attack was launched

21 on the village of Zborce, my question to you is: Why were you in danger,

22 when you say in your statement that that village is about six kilometres

23 away from Racak?

24 A. It's six kilometres from Recak. And from the Pishat of Shtime and

25 Cesta and Podja e Geshtenjeve, they shelled the village of Zborc from

Page 6216

1 these positions and also shelled Recak and other villages of Shtime

2 municipality. We saw them shelling Zborc. We were not a thousand metres

3 away from them. How should we not be afraid? Because in this kind of

4 threat, we were unable to stay in the village. Think of the noise.

5 Q. You say:

6 "They shot at us from a hill. They did not hit us. But I do not

7 think that they were intending to hit any one of us but rather to frighten

8 the fleeing refugees."

9 Do you still stand by what you said there?

10 A. Yes. This might be true. But just a moment, please. Please.

11 Someone who is firing, this is an attempt at murder. I don't know how

12 somebody can be -- with armoured vehicles. Is there anywhere in the world

13 can it be allowed for this sort of thing to happen and people not be

14 afraid?

15 Q. Of the 2.300 inhabitants of Racak, how many of them were KLA?

16 A. Recak had 2.370 inhabitants. These were civilians. I don't know

17 exactly how many were soldiers of the KLA, and I have no authority to

18 speak on this. No doubt a witness will come who may be able to tell you

19 properly.

20 Q. All right. But roughly speaking. Tell us roughly. Give us a

21 rough estimate. You don't know exactly, but you have an idea, I assume,

22 of how many, approximately.

23 A. I can't even really give you an idea, because I wasn't involved in

24 the KLA and I didn't have lists, so I can't give you an exact figure.

25 Q. But you say in your first statement, on page 2, for the period

Page 6217












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

13 English transcripts.













Page 6218

1 after the killing of the policeman on the 14th of June, and I'm quoting

2 you: "The KLA was gradually coming into prominence and engaged the

3 Serbs." So you do have an idea about this. Explain the meaning of that

4 observation of yours, if you do not have an idea about it, as you now

5 say.

6 A. The KLA, based on media reports of the time - that is what I

7 relied on - it wasn't the liberation army of Recak or Shtime. It was

8 called the Kosova Liberation Army, so it covered the whole territory of

9 Kosova.

10 Q. And then you go on to say, after this, after saying the KLA was

11 gradually coming into prominence, you go on to say that that is why the

12 Serbs took energetic measures and carried out an aggression. Is that the

13 point of your explanation, that the Serbs reacted to the activities of the

14 KLA? Is that right or not? Yes or no.

15 A. No, I can't have a yes or no answer to this, because I don't have

16 a brief answer to give if the Serbian police and army took measures

17 against the KLA, because -- and the orders came from yourself, from the

18 accused to attack the village of Recak.

19 Q. But you said that because the KLA was gradually coming into

20 prominence and engaged the Serbs, that that was why the Serbs took

21 energetic measures and carried out an aggression. So what I'm asking you

22 is: Is it true or not that the forces of the police reacted to the

23 activities of the KLA? Is that so or not?

24 A. I do not know. The KLA on a territory-wide Kosova. I do not mean

25 the KLA in a village, in a neighbourhood, or something.

Page 6219

1 Q. Well, that means your village too, and that's why I'm asking you:

2 How many were there in your village?

3 A. There were no soldiers of the Kosova Liberation Army in my

4 village. As I said earlier, I can only reply here regarding civilians who

5 I lived with in my village. If you've got any questions on those, I can

6 provide an answer.

7 Q. And do you know how long the trenches are, the trenches that the

8 members of the KLA had dug and used in the village of Zborce that you're

9 referring to?

10 A. No, I do not know. I haven't been there to see the trenches. But

11 it's six kilometres away from Recak. I haven't been there to see them.

12 Q. But a minute ago you said that you were watching the activities of

13 the police from a distance of one kilometre.

14 A. Pishat e Shtime is about a kilometre away, and as I put it

15 earlier, it's fifty metres to a thousand metres away, north-west of

16 Shtime, and from there, the village of Zborc was being shelled at. And I

17 have -- I've seen the APCs, the Prikolica, and the Pragas shelling out.

18 I've seen the shells coming out of there, but I haven't seen where they

19 landed. It's quite a big difference between the two.

20 Q. When you say that there were about three to four hundred people

21 left in the village - I'm quoting you:

22 "I had to keep the good name of my family, just like other men did

23 at the time. They stayed behind in the village to protect their

24 property."

25 So 300, 400 men remained to protect their property. What does

Page 6220

1 that mean?

2 A. There were not only men who remained behind. There were also some

3 other families who were not scared as much, and some stayed behind. In my

4 statement, I said they stayed to look after their animals. And I cannot

5 even understand this. It's absurd, as far as I'm concerned, to be evicted

6 from my own property just because of ethnicity, because of being an

7 Albanian.

8 Q. But you said yourself that you remained to tend to the cattle, the

9 crops, that you were sending your family vegetables from the vegetable

10 garden, et cetera. So what you say, is that proof of the fact that nobody

11 impeded these everyday activities of yours and of the other men who had

12 stayed behind in the village? Isn't that telling proof of this?

13 A. Unless were they not inhibited. I just cannot understand that. I

14 did not say that. The threats were there, and it's only after the war

15 that I have been able to come to terms with the whole wave of threats

16 coming from the shells from your Serbian police and army. I mean, the

17 threats, of course, were unable to prevent the growth of tomatoes and

18 other groceries, other plants, because water comes of its own accord. All

19 I had to do was take 15 minutes and go and tend to them. Maybe I'm wrong,

20 but I don't think you can stop the growth of vegetables, because if you

21 had that possibility, you would probably have taken it.

22 Q. In your statement, you said that during that period, that is to

23 say the summer of 1998, the police was shelling the hills although they

24 did not enter the village. My question is the following: Why was the

25 police shelling the hills?

Page 6221

1 A. I think that you've got the wrong address. I think I should ask

2 this question to you because you gave the orders, and you should know why

3 the hills were coming under attack, and I don't know.

4 Q. And were there any KLA strongholds in these hills?

5 A. Which village do you mean?

6 Q. I'm referring to hills.

7 A. I do not understand which hills. Recak borders on Shtime.

8 Q. These are your words. This is what you said. "The police were

9 shelling the hills, although they did not enter the village."

10 A. No. They did not enter the village before 23rd of August, 1998.

11 They were shelling over Recak and the houses in the neighbourhood. There

12 were seven or eight cases, which have not been mentioned in that

13 statement, of houses that came under attack by mortars.

14 Q. All right. After searching the houses, in this same period the

15 policemen told you not to go into the woods, and they repeated the same

16 thing to you before they left the village. Is that right or is that not

17 right?

18 A. What period of time are you referring to? What is the date? the

19 month? the year?

20 Q. I'm referring to the period that you referred to in your

21 statement. You said that when you wanted to leave the village to go into

22 town - I'm quoting what you said - that you did not have to go anywhere

23 because they would protect you. Is that right or is that not right?

24 A. Serbian police to protect us? Is that what you mean?

25 Q. That's what you wrote in your statement. You said: "We didn't

Page 6222

1 have to go anywhere because they would protect us." That's what they said

2 to you. That is in your statement.

3 A. No, no.

4 JUDGE MAY: Where is this, Mr. Milosevic?

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I haven't got the

6 statement here with me, but it is certainly contained in it.

7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour. Page 4, last

8 paragraph in the English version.

9 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Serbs were willing ...

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. How do you explain this, that, "the policemen called Bozha and

13 Mira --" I'm quoting your words -- "were very well known and notorious in

14 the town of Stimlje," when in your first statement, on page 3, you say:

15 "One of the Roma wanted to attack us, but Mira said to him not to touch

16 us, and that Mira stopped nudging us along with his rifle butt

17 immediately." Isn't that right? That means that he protected you.

18 A. I think the names were confused. Mira, somebody else. Bozha,

19 some -- another policeman. There are-- was another policeman. There were

20 others. There was Sasa, Ceta. And I'm referring to the 23rd of August,

21 1998. They were wearing bandannas. He had the red armband. Mira had a

22 red armband on his arm. And other policemen were just pushing us with the

23 butts of their rifles, and Mira asked them not to do it. I think it was a

24 game of theirs to play with us in a way that did not mean anything to me.

25 They were all the same to me.

Page 6223

1 Q. And did you know Nazmi Luri or Olluri, an Albanian?

2 A. Where is he from?

3 Q. He was killed by the KLA between the villages of Zborce and

4 Balince at a place called Kodra Gorance. He was only three years older

5 than you. He was born in 1973. Do you know about that?

6 A. No. No. Do not try and compare who is of the same age as I am.

7 Bozha and Mira. You shouldn't try and compare your terrorists to myself.

8 JUDGE MAY: Just try and concentrate on the questions, if you

9 would, Mr. Mehmeti. We'll get on more quickly. You were asked if you

10 knew an Albanian who was killed. Do you know that man or not?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This person does not come from

12 Recak. This name doesn't exist. I'm not aware of this case.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Do you know Xheladin [as interpreted] Fehmi from Racak, born in

15 1954, who was abducted by the KLA on the 2th of December, 1998? An

16 Albanian woman, Abazovi Fatime, born in 1958, reported the abduction to

17 the MUP, to the police. This is a man from Racak. Do you know him?

18 JUDGE MAY: One at a time, yes.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you permit me on the

20 first question, I can provide an answer.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. First of all, did you know Xheladin [as interpreted] Fehmi from

24 Racak?

25 A. [Previous translation continues]... answer the question. Do you

Page 6224

1 mean Fehmi Xheladini?

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. Yes, I know him.

4 Q. Do you know that he was abducted by the KLA on the 28th of

5 December, 1998?

6 A. No, he was not taken by anyone. I do not know where he was as a

7 refugee at that time. After June the 12th, 1999, as everybody else from

8 Recak, he came to seek humanitarian aid at my humanitarian society in

9 Recak. In fact, today I don't know where he is, but I saw him a week ago

10 at his own -- in his own house -- or, rather, outside his house.

11 Q. And do you know that his abduction was reported to the police, to

12 the SUP, by Fatime Abazovi, an Albanian woman?

13 A. There is no Fatime Abazovi in the village of Recak. This name

14 does not exist. This information is wrong.

15 Q. Did you hear that on the 10th of January, Svetislav Perzic, a

16 policeman, was killed near Racak on the 10th of January, 1999?

17 A. Did you say the 11th of January?

18 Q. On the 10th of January.

19 A. No. I'm not aware of any policeman having been killed. There was

20 even -- no shooting at all during that period, because I think the

21 alleged -- the accord with Holbrooke that you yourself signed was in

22 force.

23 Q. Yes. On the 11th of January -- well, this is what it says on

24 page 5 of your statement. You said to your uncle -- you said to your

25 uncle that your cousin Vehbi should be taken to Godance because "then it

Page 6225

1 will be easier for us to run away if they attack us;" is that right? Did

2 you already know about the police action then, and they had encircled the

3 village in order to catch the killer of the policeman?

4 A. I cannot understand why do -- you did not refer to January the

5 9th, not January the 11th, and I can't understand why you didn't read

6 that. It was on that particular day that Serbian police came and stayed

7 there, and that was the reason why I asked for Vhebi to leave the village,

8 so that myself and my uncle could leave at very short notice in case

9 anything happened like what happened on January the 15th by your own

10 forces, at the hands of your own forces.

11 Q. All right. In the second statement, dated the 24th of August, on

12 page 1 you explain that you took the investigator of The Hague Tribunal to

13 show him, I quote what you said, that "the investigator should see the

14 significant sites in Racak where people were killed on the 15th of

15 January, 1999." My question is the following: Did you mark these sites

16 without having seen any one of these killings personally? Yes or no.

17 A. No. The sites -- I showed Barney Kelly the sites where me --

18 where I was present when my relatives were killed, where my uncle and

19 her [sic] daughter. Whilst on other sites, what I showed Mr. Kelly was

20 what had been told by other people, as was the case of Sahide Metushi, who

21 was killed by your own police. And her body's -- her body disappeared and

22 is still missing. The grave is still empty and the whole village of Recak

23 is looking for that.

24 And I have a question to you: If you know where that body is, can

25 you please tell us?

Page 6226

1 Q. In connection with that, I'm asking you -- it's precisely in

2 connection with that that I'm asking you. I quote: "Shabani said to me

3 that his mother had told him that she had seen the body lying there.

4 Until the present day, the body hadn't been found."

5 So you hadn't seen any of this. And Shabani told you that his

6 mother had seen this; is that right?

7 A. Yes, that's correct. I was about 200 metres away from the site of

8 the killing. Now, I can call her missing. It is correct that that was

9 related by Shabani's mother. To be more precise, the mother of Rame

10 Shabani.

11 Q. And is it correct that you showed the investigator the sites where

12 Nazmi Nuha was allegedly killed? And this was on the basis of stories

13 told by other villagers, but you hadn't seen it either?

14 A. No. The alleged killing of Nazmi, I saw him elsewhere, not where

15 he was killed. He was an elderly gentleman, unmarried, had no children.

16 He was about 80 years of age. In my briefcase, I have got the exact date

17 of birth, if the Court would need that. And he was massacred by the

18 police. The police, the army, the paramilitaries; I don't know.

19 Q. My question was related to the fact that you had not seen this

20 yourself. You heard stories about it. This is based on the stories told

21 by other villagers; right?

22 A. Yes. I have not witnessed this myself. I did not see the killing

23 of Nazmi Nuha because I did not go alongside the policemen to see who they

24 were killing.

25 Q. Thank you, but let us move on. And did you state the following in

Page 6227

1 relation to Asllani, that the Serbs killed him on the 15th of January, but

2 you do not know where, that somebody told you about this but you do not

3 remember who it was that told you about it. Is that right or is that not

4 right?

5 A. No, I cannot remember who he was. I know he was killed. Mustafe

6 Asllani, Mustafe Beqe Asllani, was killed. And he was a mentally retarded

7 person. It's probably not in my statement. I did not say he was

8 handicapped or mentally retarded. The word "mentally" is not there.

9 Q. I am just quoting your statement. And did you then describe the

10 death of Halit Shaqiri [Realtime transcript read in error "Halil"] and

11 Avdyl Demaj in your statement? And did you present to the investigator

12 two versions of their killings and then you said, "I'm not sure which

13 story is true"? Is that right or is that not right?

14 A. Yes, that's correct. I was not with Halit when he was killed. He

15 was with his own uncle, Avdyl Demaj. They were killed in Shtime. I do

16 not have the exact date, but I think it's 14th of April, 1999. I don't

17 know what time this occurred. There were two versions given of this

18 event. Whether it was the first or the second, I don't know. And that

19 was all based on the information that I got from the family of Halit

20 Shaqiri. I was more interested in obtaining information, given he came

21 from Recak.

22 I see a mistake here on the monitor. It's not "Halil," it's

23 "Halit" with a "T".

24 Q. From whom did you learn about both versions regardless of which

25 one is correct and which one is incorrect or whether any one of them is

Page 6228

1 correct? Who told you about these two versions?

2 A. The family of Halit Shaqiri. The two versions are fairly

3 similar. It's either the first or the second version that applies, and

4 that shows that Serbian police killed these people.

5 Q. Tell me, is it correct when you talk about the killing of Hasan

6 Beqiri you actually talk about secondhand knowledge? It is something that

7 you had not seen for yourself either. It's something that somebody told

8 you about as well; isn't that right?

9 A. The translation is not reaching my headset. I can't hear you. I

10 can hear it now.

11 I haven't seen Hasan Beqiri being killed on the site where he

12 was. His body was brought to the village of Petrova, and I -- and I

13 buried him with my own hands alongside some other inhabitants of Recak.

14 Q. All right. And is it correct that this story about his death is

15 something that you heard about from a young man? And in your second

16 statement, you say, I quote: "But I don't know his name." You heard

17 about this from someone whose name you do not know; is that right?

18 A. I've now found out his name, after giving the statement to

19 Barney. If required, I can give you the name.

20 Q. Yes. But again, you heard about this from a person whose name you

21 did not know then, but you hadn't seen this yourself either; is that

22 right?

23 A. I didn't see Hasan -- I didn't see a Serbian policeman killing

24 Hasan. I saw him killing someone from the village of Dramjak. I

25 took -- I saw Hasan from the village of Petrova and I buried him with my

Page 6229

1 own hands, alongside some other inhabitants of Recak. Hasan -- the place

2 where Hasan was killed is Caravik, near Petrova.

3 Q. And was he perhaps killed in the fighting between the KLA and the

4 police? How do you know whose fire killed him, and how do you know anyway

5 whose fire killed the persons that you are mentioning? How do you know

6 about this when you hadn't seen any of it?

7 A. I can refer you to Arben's information, and he told me that he

8 heard the policemen talking in Serbian, and they both fired, and they

9 struck Hasan in the stomach, while Arben managed to survive this murder.

10 I buried Hasan in Petrova, and on the 30th of August, I exhumed him, and

11 we buried him and two others in the cemetery of those who were massacred

12 in Recak.

13 Q. What does it mean, "heard the Serb policeman"? What did he hear

14 when he heard the Serb policeman?

15 A. Not the policeman, but the policemen. Arben heard them talking

16 Serbian, and no doubt they were swearing, and they fired. And these

17 people went to see the column of refugees to see where to send the

18 paramilitaries and to see whether to send the refugees in the direction of

19 Albania or to Macedonia. That's why they went there.

20 Q. So he heard them, but that had nothing to do with any kind of

21 killing. He heard their conversation; right?

22 A. I don't know whether you are trying not to understand me or not.

23 These were young people. These were 15- or 16-year-old boys. I have the

24 details here in my bag. And they wouldn't know Serbian very well, and I

25 don't think that they went up to him to offer them sweeties.

Page 6230












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13 English transcripts.













Page 6231

1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, your time is now up.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have one more question to ask.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. You said, and this is on page 03045489: The house in which Avdyl

5 was located was destroyed. You say the Serbs set fire to the house, and

6 you say: "I did not see his body, but while I was carrying the box, I

7 thought I was carrying an empty box." Is that what you say? Is that what

8 you say in your statement?

9 A. Avdyl Sejdiu was an aged person, 99 years old, very, very worn

10 out, and he didn't weigh any more than 40 kilogrammes. Yet your forces

11 burned his house, with him inside it, in the village of Greme. And his

12 family went and fetched the body, the skeleton, and when I lifted his

13 coffin, it was like lifting an empty coffin, even though the bones were in

14 there.

15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] All right. Thank you very much.

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.

17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Tapuskovic.

18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [No interpretation]

19 JUDGE MAY: I take it you haven't got any questions.

20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

21 JUDGE MAY: Re-examination?

22 MS. ROMANO: Just two matters, Your Honour.

23 Re-examined by Ms. Romano:

24 Q. Witness, in order to clarify the record, and it's also your

25 statement, but can you mention the names of the persons you yourself saw

Page 6232

1 being killed?

2 A. I saw two people killed one metre from me. That's Bajram Mehmeti,

3 54 years old; and Hanemshah Mehmeti, 22 years old.

4 Q. Have you seen the bodies of the other people, the other people

5 killed on 15 January, that day or the day after?

6 A. The 42 civilians who were massacred on the 15th of January,

7 between 7.00 in the morning and 5.00 in the afternoon.

8 Q. You saw their bodies?

9 A. Yes, the next day, apart from a few that evening.

10 Q. And you saw them where?

11 A. What bodies are you asking about now? There were 24 massacred on

12 the hill of Bebush.

13 Q. And you saw them in the hill?

14 A. Yes, on Saturday, when the distinguished Ambassador William Walker

15 arrived.

16 MS. ROMANO: Your Honour, I'm sorry, but I will have to go back to

17 the binder, just in order to -- in fairness to the witness, because the

18 first photo that was shown to him was a wrong photo.

19 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

20 MS. ROMANO: So I would ask the usher to show on tab 7 photo

21 K0214951.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite right.


24 Q. Can you tell us what happened and what is that location?

25 A. Yes. This is Idriz Hajrizi's house here. That's my uncle's

Page 6233

1 house, the house of Bajram Mehmeti. And here, in another yard, is my

2 house. We were sheltered in Idriz Hajrizi's house, and at 10.25, Hasan

3 Balalli came and said that the police and the army were entering the

4 village. So we went out of this house and went along this road, this

5 lane. And here Elhami was wounded. And my cousin Hanemshah shouted,

6 shouted to my uncle, and said that Elhami was wounded. And my uncle

7 arrived. And here the arrow shows where my uncle was hit by a bullet from

8 Bebush hill. And he fell very near me and closed his eyes. And his

9 daughter shouted again and said -- and the paramilitaries of the accused

10 hit her in the chest. And then Arben, Arben Hajrizi, first jumped into

11 this stream, and the others after him, and Makfire Hajrizi was wounded

12 while jumping into the stream. Hanemshah, five or six meters, she was

13 able to walk a short distance, and Ramiz Hajrizi helped her, and here she

14 died and was left here until the evening, when the firing stopped. And we

15 were sheltering here, in what you might call a larder.

16 JUDGE MAY: We have read all this. Thank you, Mr. Mehmeti.

17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Mehmeti, you just said that bullets were from

18 Bebush hill. Was it right?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. But they also came

20 from the main road and from Cesta, from three directions. And on the

21 basis of the wounds suffered by my uncle, you can tell that he was hit by

22 a bullet that came from Bebush.

23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.

24 MS. ROMANO: Thank you. No further questions.

25 JUDGE MAY: Thank you, Mr. Mehmeti. That concludes your

Page 6234

1 evidence. Thank you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You're free

2 to go.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I, for half a

4 minute ...

5 JUDGE MAY: I'm afraid not. Our Rules don't permit statements

6 from witnesses. We are much under pressure of time. But thank you very

7 much for coming.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, in the name of the

9 village of Recak and everybody there. May I now go and leave him here in

10 the place where he deserves to be.

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Ryneveld.

12 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honour. The Prosecution next calls

13 Xhemajl Beqiri.

14 [The witness withdrew]

15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Ryneveld, if - while we're waiting for this

16 witness - if you would pass on the message as to Witness K7. I don't know

17 if you're dealing with him or somebody else, but whoever. We've had a

18 brief look at his statement, and he doesn't appear to be suitable for Rule

19 92 bis. But we'll hear evidence in due course about it or we'll consider

20 it.

21 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. So in light of that ruling, the

22 Prosecution will call him as a live witness, then.

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

24 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. Your Honours, while we're waiting for

25 the following witness to be brought in: In view of Your Honour's

Page 6235

1 clarification that the documents that are in the exhibit binders have been

2 admitted into evidence, I do not propose to take the next witness and take

3 up further Court time with -- back to the Racak binders. I'm just going

4 to have him -- I'm just going to read out a summary and have the

5 attachments properly identified in the statements, available for the Court

6 to look at at the Court's leisure, if that meets with your approval.


8 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.

9 [The witness entered court]

10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you'd like to take the oath.


12 [Witness answered through interpreter]

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

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

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you'd like to take a seat, Mr. Beqiri.

16 Examined by Mr. Ryneveld:

17 Q. Mr. Beqiri, could you please tell the Court your full name.

18 A. Xhemajl Beqiri, from the village of Recak.

19 Q. And do I understand, sir, that you've lived in Racak all of your

20 life?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. You're 48 years old and you are of Kosovo Albanian ethnicity; is

23 that correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Are you married?

Page 6236

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. How many children do you have?

3 A. Five.

4 Q. Do I understand, sir, that you have formerly been a farmer, but in

5 the last few years your occupation has been a taxi driver?

6 A. I used to be a taxi driver, yes. Now I'm a farmer again.

7 Q. All right. Thank you very much.

8 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, I propose to read in a very brief

9 summary, if I may.

10 Your Honour, according -- well, actually, I should ask a couple of

11 other questions.

12 Q. Now, sir, on the 7th of December, 1999, did you give a statement

13 to investigators of the ICTY in regard to the incidents that occurred in

14 Racak?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And then in February of this year, on the 6th of February, did you

17 appear before a presiding officer of this Tribunal and confirm, in a

18 solemn declaration, that the statement you gave was true to the best of

19 your knowledge, information, and belief?

20 A. Yes.

21 MR. RYNEVELD: Might that statement at this time be marked as an

22 exhibit in these proceedings, Your Honour?

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

24 MR. RYNEVELD: And if Madam Clerk wants to give it an exhibit

25 number, then I propose to read while that's happening.

Page 6237

1 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 208.

2 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.

3 Your Honours, according to the statement which is just being

4 distributed, prior to the January 15th, 1999 attack on the village of

5 Racak, Racak had previously been the subject of various attacks by Serb

6 forces. Now, on the 15th of January, the witness describes in a statement

7 that at about 6.45 a.m., he woke to the sound of a blast in the village.

8 He says he realised that the Serbs were attacking, and he and his family

9 them climbed a hill to escape. There were refugees from Blinc in Racak,

10 because their houses had already been burned the month previously. He

11 describes in his statement Serb police coming in APCs and Pragas. He then

12 identifies, via photographs which are marked as attachments to his

13 statement, the type of artillery that the Serbs used on that day, and

14 those again are available to Your Honours.

15 Now, while apparently watching this artillery by the use of

16 binoculars, watching the artillery coming towards the village, he noted

17 that he got a bullet through his cap that he was wearing at the time.

18 During the course of this attack, his relatives - Rame, Zenel, and Riza

19 Beqiri - shot and killed, and Zyher and Fetije Beqiri, his mother and

20 daughter, were shot and injured. He took refuge in Hysni Emini's house,

21 where other villagers were also present. He describes in his statement

22 that Esmet Emini came into the house with a gunshot wound to his hand and

23 stated that the Serbs had killed Esmet's brother Ajet in front of his

24 house. This witness could hear the sound of gunfire and people screaming

25 outside. He describes that Serb police arrived and ordered them out into

Page 6238

1 the street, whereupon he saw the bodies of his 54-year-old cousin Bajram

2 Mehmeti and his 20-some-odd-year-old daughter Hanemshah lying on the

3 road. Two of the witness's nephews, Beqe and Mehrem, were apparently in

4 the KLA. Mehrem did not join the KLA until after the 15th of January

5 incident, when his father Riza and brother Halim had been killed.

6 He notes that there were regular police officers there that he

7 recognised, but he was not able to name them by name, other than two. One

8 was Bozo and one was Cvetko, last name unknown, who ordered them to line

9 up in the street and insulted them. The men were then separated from the

10 women. The Serb police accused the men of being KLA soldiers who had been

11 shooting at them and threatened that they would be shot, and then they

12 shot at one of the villagers, narrowly missing him.

13 The men were ordered to go up a hill, but instead they walked

14 towards the Berisha stream, but Serb police came from another direction

15 and fired on them. They ran for cover and, fortunately, escaped injury.

16 In an attachment to his statement, he identifies various shoulder patches

17 that were worn by the police that he saw.

18 He and his cousin brought the bodies of Riza, Zenel, and Halim

19 back to the house of Shefqet and later moved them to the mosque, where

20 about 40 other bodies had been collected. He later learned about 24

21 bodies having been located in the ravine on the day that William Walker

22 from the OSCE arrived. He claims that there were a total of about 40

23 victims.

24 Then he describes for you that on the 17th of January, two days

25 after the assault, he and his family left the village for Luzha, which is

Page 6239












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13 English transcripts.













Page 6240

1 two to three kilometres from Racak, and then describes how in the ensuing

2 weeks they travelled to other villages, along with the other refugees.

3 He states in his statement that there was no KLA presence in Racak

4 on the day of the massacre. He explained in proofing that there was no

5 KLA in his neighbourhood of Racak. Your Honours should know that Racak

6 consists of various neighbourhoods. I think they are referred to as

7 mahallas. He believes that the KLA came to Racak after the attack. He

8 also heard that the Serbian investigating judge was permitted to visit

9 Racak by the KLA, provided she was not accompanied by the Serbian police.

10 He indicates that he was told that Serb police came to the village on the

11 18th of the 1st of 1999 and forcibly took the bodies to the Pristina

12 morgue. He was told that most of the bodies were given back to the

13 villagers about a month later, and he returned to Racak to participate in

14 the funeral. He indicated that he remained in Kosovo throughout the

15 conflict.

16 That is a brief summary of the statement that Your Honours have

17 been provided with, and he's now available for cross-examination. Thank

18 you.

19 JUDGE MAY: Cross-examination in the morning, Mr. Milosevic.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The objection that you said you

21 would allow me to state regarding K12 at the end of today's day, what

22 about that?

23 JUDGE MAY: It is not a matter for you. This was a procedure

24 which the Court adopted. It had no bearing on any intervention on your

25 part. What is it you want to say?

Page 6241

1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wish to take note of several

2 facts. First, without a doubt, the witness K12 took the oath, the solemn

3 declaration. Secondly, it is without doubt that he did start his

4 testimony, because in the few minutes that he spoke, he answered several

5 questions, and then that testimony of his was interrupted. According to

6 your own Rules - and you draw everybody's attention to them - when a

7 testimony starts and it is interrupted, the opposite side, or anybody

8 else, cannot communicate with the witness, which in this case was not a

9 provision that was respected, and I'd like to draw your attention to that

10 and object to it.

11 Secondly, he stated here, into the microphone, that for two days

12 they processed him. Now, I should like to remind you that there is an

13 international convention which guarantees that statements cannot be

14 extorted from witnesses. And what he meant by "two days of processing," I

15 consider it your business to ascertain. That's all that I have to say.

16 JUDGE MAY: The Prosecution are entitled, and the parties are

17 entitled here, before a witness gives evidence, to speak to them and, if

18 necessary, to take a further statement from them. So there was no

19 irregularity there.

20 Secondly, a party may, with the Court's leave, speak to a witness

21 during the course of his evidence if it's necessary. In this case, the

22 Prosecution were allowed to speak to the witness because he was refusing

23 to give evidence.

24 So there is nothing in your objection. No rules were breached.

25 Now, we'll adjourn now.

Page 6242

1 Mr. Beqiri, could you be back, please, at 9.00 tomorrow morning -

2 I'm sorry, I'm reminded it is 9.30 tomorrow - to give your evidence.

3 Thank you very much. And could you remember not to speak to anybody

4 during the adjournment, and that does include members of the Prosecution

5 team, and not to speak about your evidence until it's over.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right.

7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.42 p.m.,

8 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 5th day

9 of June, 2002, at 9.30 a.m.