1 Tuesday, 11 June 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before I begin with
8 cross-examination, I wish to inform you that yesterday, at 6.30 in the
9 evening, an associate of mine came, Mr. Tomanovic, to inform me that the
10 order of witnesses has been changed again, yet again, and that another two
11 witnesses were added. Mr. Walker was scheduled for today, and then this
12 current witness was added and then two more witnesses were added last
13 night. And I think that this is an attempt to minimise the time allotted
14 to me to cross-examine Walker, and I think that --
15 JUDGE MAY: We will ensure that that is not the case.
16 Mr. Nice, can we be assured that there will be ample time to hear
17 Mr. Walker?
18 MR. NICE: There is absolutely no intention to deprive the accused
19 the opportunity to examine Mr. Walker. My principal focus at the moment
20 is on ensuring that we can find a way of taking Mr. Walker's evidence in
21 chief as shortly as possible, by consideration of possible application of
22 92 bis to parts of it.
23 The other two witnesses to whom he refers, the witnesses who I
24 think are 92 bis witnesses, crime-base witnesses, they have been here a
25 long time already and there was considerable difficulty in retaining them
1 any longer. That's the difficulty.
2 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Provided there's sufficient time for
3 Mr. Walker, no harm will be done.
4 Yes. Now --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But, please, can you tell me, how
6 can you explain that at 6.30 two witnesses were added and I was informed
7 of it by my associate? Do you have an explanation for that?
8 JUDGE MAY: I'm not going to debate it with you, Mr. Milosevic.
9 We have a list. We were told one thing. There has been a change of
10 plan. There's nothing sinister in that. Our task is to ensure that no
11 injustice is done. No injustice is done to you so far. We will ensure
12 you have sufficient time to cross-examine Mr. Walker.
13 Now, let's go on with this witness.
14 WITNESS: SABRI POPAJ [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] You are describing not only the events in Bela
18 Crkva but also outside of it, because you also mention events in Nogavac,
19 in Mala Hoca, in Velika and Mala Krusa; isn't that right?
20 A. In Bellacerkva, in Celine, and Nagavc.
21 Q. In view of the fact that this activity of yours took place
22 precisely at the time when there was fighting going on between the forces
23 defending the country and the terrorist forces of the KLA and while the
24 bombing was going on as well, so in view of that, did you perhaps try to
25 show those who were killed during the bombing and in that fighting as
1 somebody who was a victim of a Serb crime, as you describe it?
2 A. There was no KLA in Bellacerkva ever, and all the victims were
3 civilians. There were more than 70 victims.
4 Q. But you claim that there were no civilian victims in the fighting
5 between the KLA and the police and that there were no civilian victims of
6 the NATO bombing. Is that what you're claiming?
7 A. There was no KLA, and there was -- they were all civilians. There
8 was no fighting between the KLA and the Serbs.
9 Q. All right. In your statement, on page 1, you say that you lived
10 in a compound in which there were four houses. One house was yours, two
11 of your brothers, and one of your parents; is that right?
12 A. We lived with my brothers, and all four houses belonged to us.
13 Q. How many people lived in your household?
14 A. There were 22 of us.
15 Q. And then you go on to say that you were a truck driver; is that
17 A. I have been a truck driver, a farmer, and a shepherd.
18 Q. In view of the fact that you were a truck driver, you frequently
19 moved or travelled through the municipality. So I suppose that you were
20 well-informed and well -- you were familiar with the circumstances in
21 Kosovo; isn't that right?
22 A. I only travelled during the vegetable season, between July and
23 September, and otherwise I was involved with livestock on the Sharr
25 Q. All right. But at any rate, you moved about. And just now you
1 told us that there was no KLA in your village, whereas on page 2,
2 paragraph 4 of your statement, it says that there were some in your
3 village. There were, in fact, three members of the KLA there; is that
5 A. There were no KLA units in our village. They were separate.
6 Q. Well, I'm not referring to units. You mentioned three
7 individuals. A previous witness from your village, Isuf Zhuniqi, claimed
8 that there were no KLA members at all in your village, and what I'm
9 interested in is what is the precise number of KLA members in your
10 village. Could you help us, please.
11 A. There is no village called Zhuniqi, but it is a family called
12 Zhuniqi. They were individuals who were involved in units of the KLA who
13 were further away, up to 15 kilometres away.
14 Q. I didn't say "village." I said that the previous witness
15 claimed -- let me repeat. I didn't mention the village. I mentioned your
16 fellow villager, Isuf Zhuniqi, who claimed that there were no KLA in your
18 And can you tell me where this unit of yours was stationed? These
19 three people that you mentioned were apparently members of the unit that
20 was stationed 15 kilometres away. Is that right?
21 JUDGE MAY: Well, let us deal with that fairly for the witness.
22 He has not -- just a moment. He has not accepted that there was a unit.
23 He said specifically there was not a unit in the village.
24 In your statement, Mr. Popaj, you refer to three members of the
25 KLA in the village whom everybody knew. Now, those three members, where
1 were they stationed in the village?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They weren't in the village but were
3 in KLA units in Retia. I've heard about them, because I didn't actually
4 see them.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Very well. So these KLA units that you just mentioned, where were
7 they based?
8 A. I wasn't there at the unit, but I've heard that this unit was at
10 Q. And who was the commander of that unit?
11 A. I don't know. I don't know.
12 Q. Yes, I understood your answer to be that you don't know. But in
13 your statement, on page 2, you say that no member of your family belonged
14 to the KLA and that you, just as the majority of residents in the city,
15 provided food and also gave funds to whom? Who did you give the money
16 intended for the KLA? Who did you give this to?
17 A. Not only our village, but all Albanians helped the KLA with food.
18 Q. I didn't ask you about that. What I'm asking is: Who did you
19 turn this over to, the food and the money?
20 A. They handed it over to the representative of the village. I was a
21 farmer and a shepherd at this time.
22 Q. To the representatives of the village. And what was your monthly
23 dues in terms of food and money? I'm referring to the dues that your
24 family was supposed to hand over.
25 A. I didn't give money. I gave flour and meat and what I wanted to
2 Q. And what was your monthly dues?
3 A. We didn't give monthly contributions, but we gave when we wanted.
4 Q. And when was that? Was it due once a month, every three days,
5 once a week?
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you're guilty of what is called
7 suggestio falsi, and you do it all the time. The witness has made it
8 quite clear that he was not required to give anything; he gave
9 voluntarily. But you insist on using the word "dues." That really is a
10 misrepresentation. Please stop it.
11 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I was going to raise separately the
12 question of the relevance of this material. I realise that there's reason
13 for not confining an accused who is representing himself too narrowly, but
14 really, these questions about the KLA have got nothing to do with the
15 case, in my respectful submission.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, the answer is this: that there is a very
18 broad relevance in the sense that it is part of the case of the accused
19 that the KLA were responsible for atrocities; indeed, it appears the
20 suggestion that they may be responsible for the ones with which this
21 witness deals, or certainly some atrocities. In those circumstances, he
22 is entitled to cross-examine about it. However, we make it plain that his
23 time is limited because of the way in which time is wasted generally in
24 this sort of cross-examination by him, and therefore the approach of the
25 Trial Chamber is to allow cross-examination, provided it has some
1 relevance, but to limit it in terms of time.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Were you in Bela Crkva in 1998?
5 A. From 18th of May and until July, I was within the Sharr Mountains,
6 with cows and sheep.
7 Q. And the rest of the time you were there. All right. Do you know
8 who Xhelaj Hajda [phoen], nicknamed Toni, is?
9 A. No. He's not someone from our village.
10 Q. Do you know who was the KLA commander for the Orahovac region?
11 A. I told you I don't know him.
12 Q. Well, this is a different question. I'm asking you: Do you know
13 who the Orahovac region KLA commander was? And you are telling me that
14 you don't know who Hajda was? Does this in turn mean that Hajda was the
16 A. No. No. I don't know anything about this.
17 Q. Do you know about the KLA attack on Orahovac?
18 A. No. I don't know anything about this, and I haven't written about
19 it in my statement.
20 Q. And these three members of the KLA that you mention in your
21 statement, did they participate in the attack on Orahovac, together with
23 A. How should I know? I wasn't their bodyguard to accompany them
25 Q. All right. Can you tell me who -- do you know who Skender Hoxha
2 A. I don't.
3 Q. And during the time when you worked as a truck driver, as a
4 seasonal truck driver, did you also transport weapons or other supplies
5 for the KLA?
6 A. As I said, in 1998 I wasn't even in the village. I was with the
7 livestock in the mountains.
8 Q. Well, you were in the mountains during the summer, as you said
9 yourself, but the majority of the year, you were in the village, weren't
10 you? Where were you during the rest of the year?
11 A. I was at home, looking after my sheep. I was with the flocks.
12 Q. You say that on March 25th, at 2.00, when NATO started bombing,
13 you went into the basement of your house, together with your family. This
14 can be found on page 2, last paragraph of your statement. Is that right?
15 A. When we heard the sound of the Serbian tanks entering the village,
16 when the NATO bombing, Serbian positions above the village started
17 firing. My family and I --
18 Q. I'm asking you about this part of your statement where you say
19 that on March 25th, at 2.00, when NATO started its bombing, you went into
20 the basement, together with your family. Is that right?
21 I didn't ask you about tanks. I asked you about what you stated
22 yourself in your statement.
23 A. We heard the NATO bombing starting at 10.00 at night. But at
24 2.00, Serbian forces started firing, and then my family and I went to the
1 Q. I'm going to read you the last paragraph of your statement on
2 page 2. It says as follows: "When the NATO bombing commenced, my family
3 moved down into the basement of the house."
4 Let's continue on. Was your village bombed by NATO?
5 A. No, it wasn't bombed by NATO, nor were we frightened of NATO.
6 Q. So you claim that not a single bomb fell in the vicinity of your
7 village; is that right?
8 A. Not at Bellacerkva or on Xerxe or on the villages around did a
9 single NATO bomb fall.
10 Q. And do you know about anyplace in Kosovo where any bomb fell?
11 JUDGE MAY: No. He's giving evidence about his own village and so
12 any broad question is not for him.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. You say that the tanks came into the centre of the village and
16 then withdrew from the village and took up positions on the hill above the
17 village. Is that right or not?
18 A. The Serbs entered the village at 2.00 and some tanks took
19 positions then. Then from the 22nd of March, there had been tanks there
20 before on a hill above Fetush Hill. And on the 25th more entered at 2.00
21 in the morning, and some went in the direction of Celine, a place called
22 the hill of Breganoli [phoen].
23 Q. Can you please explain the following: Were the tanks in the
24 village during the bombing or after the bombing they took up positions on
25 that hill?
1 A. On the 22nd of March, two days before the bombing, they took up
2 position under the home of Nahit Fetoshi and evicted the inhabitants of
3 that house from the house, and these people came to my house.
4 JUDGE MAY: You were asked about the position of the tanks during
5 the bombing. Can you tell us where they were?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, of course I can. The tanks
7 were positioned on a hill in the direction of Celine, and there were two
8 armoured vehicles in the schoolyard. The others went to Celine, but I
9 don't know how many there were because it was night and I couldn't see
11 Q. You say that the police started shooting from the bunkers above
12 the roofs of the houses and that you and other residents of the village
13 started leaving the village; is that right?
14 A. We started leaving the village at 4.00 in the morning when they
15 started burning houses. They started at one end of the village. And I
16 didn't leave my home because all 80 members of my family in the yard, and
17 then we set off to go to Rogova. I went back to my house to let the
18 livestock loose.
19 Q. Was that perhaps a conflict between the police and the KLA when
20 they entered the village, when you claim that they entered the village?
21 A. I've already told you that the KLA didn't exist. There was no KLA
22 in my village. I told you before.
23 Q. But on page 3, paragraphs 2 and 3, you say that the police was
24 shooting over the tops of the houses to a target that was apparently on
25 the opposite side if they were shooting over the tops of the houses, the
1 roofs of the houses. So who were the police shooting at?
2 A. The police came up. Had police -- the police had positions on the
3 22nd of March, and 80 per cent of the people had already left, and they
4 started burning the houses of the people who had left at 5.00 in the
6 Q. In that same paragraph on that same page, you say that you saw
7 Serb forces opening fire on houses as they entered the village, and you go
8 on to say that the policemen used gasoline and flame-throwers. But
9 despite of that, you came back to the village to feed your livestock
10 because you didn't want to leave them unattended. Didn't you state that?
11 A. I went back to feed my livestock while the houses were burning.
12 And you could hear gunshots. And afterwards, when I had fed the
13 livestock, I went through the other houses and I heard children crying,
14 being mistreated. And then I found the family of Clirim Zhuniqi and
15 Xhemal Spahiu, from Opterusha, with 30 members of his family, and I helped
16 them to cross the river, which was deep. And they were fighting from
17 positions above the village.
18 Q. All right. I've understood that from your statement. I did not
19 ask you that.
20 Tell me, is it logical for you in a situation when, you had put
21 it, the police was setting the village on fire, was it logical for you to
22 return only to feed the cattle while they were setting the village on
24 A. I didn't leave the village, but I saw the people off, and I helped
25 them to leave the houses and to go in the direction of the Cergova
1 [phoen]. I didn't leave the village. I looked after the village and I
2 saw how the people were setting fire to the village. And after that, I
3 came out of the house and heard the voices of the children, which were 300
4 metres far from the house.
5 Q. A little while ago you said that you heard shooting at that very
6 same time. Where did you hear the shooting?
7 A. I heard the shooting from 2.00 a.m. until the time when they were
8 executed, the family of Clirim Zhuniqi and my family all. They didn't
9 stop the shooting until the evening in the village.
10 Q. Who were they shooting at, then, in the evening, in the village?
11 Or rather, were they shooting all over the village all day?
12 A. All day they were setting fire to the village. They didn't do it
13 only for one day, but they did it for one month in succession, displacing
14 the people and dispossessing the people of their clothes and setting fire
15 to the houses.
16 Q. So for a month they were torching your village and shooting all
17 over the village every day?
18 A. So it has been, because the last house was set to fire on the 4th
19 of May. There were 300 houses in our village, and only 6 houses were not
20 set fire to.
21 Q. And who set these houses on fire?
22 A. These houses were set on fire by your police.
23 Q. And who were they shooting at all over the village for an entire
25 A. There were no people there. They were just shooting at random.
1 They were dispossessing the houses of the clothes. And there were three
2 trucks which were taken by the Serbs, and I have found these trucks in the
3 place called Kllokot, and I found my truck, which the others were taken by
4 the corps police.
5 Q. Just tell me one thing: Who were they shooting at when there was
6 no one in the village?
7 A. In the village, they killed the cattle. There were 5.000 cattle
8 in the village, and none of them remained alive. All the cattle was
9 executed, just like the people were executed.
10 Q. And how many people did they kill in the village while they were
11 shooting during that one month?
12 A. The people were killed on the 25th of March, and the other days
13 there was nobody in that village.
14 Q. How many of them were killed on the 25th of March?
15 A. On the 25th of March there were killed 70 persons.
16 Q. And where did you see them kill these people?
17 A. [Previous translation continues]... to the execution. I've seen
18 them killed because I was there helping the family of Clirim Zhuniqi and
19 Xhemal Spahiu. I was there with the electric pole, and there was near a
20 place for watering, and I was 80 metres far from there. And there I saw
21 the police going in the direction of the Belaja bridge, where the people
22 were executed there. Five persons of my family were executed there, and
23 the sons of my uncle. There were executed 40 persons, civilians, who,
24 after one hour, I came back with my wife and we went to the place of the
25 event, and we saw them executed, my sons, Shendet, and here I have the
1 photograph. I have the photograph of my son when I buried him. You see
2 him all in blood. Here are the two sons. And I have here the witness
3 that --
4 JUDGE MAY: Let him finish.
5 A. And here I have the documents of the son of my uncle.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. All right. So what is your assertion? How many people were
8 killed or how many people lost their lives then? Forty or seventy?
9 JUDGE MAY: He says 70.
10 A. All in all, in this village, there were 70 people killed. I can
11 also quote them with names.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Tell me, please: Since you mentioned that you saw 12 policemen in
14 different uniforms and some kind of surgical gloves -- is that correct?
15 That is in paragraph 5 on page 3.
16 A. On my part, I was on the right side of the river. I have seen 12
17 police. Whereas on the left part of the river I haven't seen how many
18 police were there, and they were paramilitary from Serbia.
19 JUDGE MAY: The question you were asked was about the plastic
20 gloves. Is it right the police were wearing plastic gloves that day?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were not plastic gloves. We
22 found the gloves after we returned, and they were seen by the
23 investigators of the Tribunal.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. You say, precisely, in this paragraph that I've been quoting to
1 you: "Some of them, or most of them, wore bands," et cetera, et cetera.
2 And finally, there is a sentence saying: "All of them were wearing
3 tight-fitting, white plastic-type gloves like those used by doctors." So
4 you claim that you saw policemen wearing plastic gloves, the type used by
6 A. It was not me who said this, but I have met Zhuniqi with his
7 mother, who were hidden, when they were executed, and they told me that
8 there in Celine and Bellacerkva they saw the people with the gloves, and
9 there they have found the gloves and needles, and they told us about this
10 when they came back home.
11 Q. All right. All right. On the basis of what I read, it was my
12 understanding that you were describing what you had seen. But since you
13 had not seen this yourself, we can proceed. Because this is the first
14 time we hear that police or the military wear surgical gloves.
15 On page 4, paragraph 2, you say that these, as you had put it,
16 policemen, killed those 14 persons whom you had helped. Did you see them
17 kill them?
18 A. When they were executed, I saw them. I saw the police when they
19 executed them, and after they left, 100 metres from the place where they
20 executed the people, I went to that place and I saw the people being
21 executed. I went there soon after 20 minutes in the event, and then I
22 left because I couldn't stay there. And I started walking towards the
23 railway which takes you up to Prizren. When I approached the railway, I
24 heard shots from the police, from the mill of Xerxe. I fell there and I
25 stayed there. And then I saw my wife, who was taken to the rails of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 railway, and she told me that my sons, my brothers, and everyone who was
2 there was executed.
3 Q. Mr. Popaj, I'm very sorry if you lost your sons, but are you sure
4 that they lost their lives during an execution, or did they lose their
5 lives in a war conflict between any kind of warring parties? It's not
6 even important what particular warring parties.
7 A. If you felt sorry, you wouldn't have accomplished this deed. But
8 this is true, because I went there. I found eight of them. And there was
9 Alban Popaj, the son of my brother; Feim Popaj, the son of my uncle;
10 Defrim Zhuniqi. And I took six of them to Hysni Popaj. In the evening,
11 Hysni Popaj died in the village at the house of Abaz Kryeziu. And Alban
12 Popaj died on the 26th, at about 1.00, whereas I buried them at 3.00 a.m.
13 Q. All right. Please, how many people were in that group there by
14 the bridge, underneath the bridge? Because you and the previous witness
15 have been speaking about the same group of people. How many people were
17 A. Some people -- how many people have been all in all, I don't know,
18 but I know how many of them were killed because I have buried them with my
19 own hands and I have written the names of every one of them when I started
20 burying them. Twenty-seven of them. There was a massive graveyard, 36;
21 the other had 2; and the other 2 in the village Xerxe. Whereas the other
22 group of 100 metres [as interpreted], there were 6: the priest of the
23 village, the dervish of the village, and the two sons of my uncle, Agim
24 and Medi Zhuniqi.
25 Q. You say that all the time you were by some other people. Doesn't
1 it seem illogical to you that you were along with different people all the
2 time, while you left your own family on the other side?
3 A. I haven't been with other people. First of all, I was alone, and
4 then I joined my wife and my father and my mother.
5 Q. And tell me, please: Even then, during these clashes, is it your
6 claim that there was no KLA anywhere while this shooting was going on and
7 everything else that was going on?
8 MR. NICE: To pick up His Honour Judge Robinson's point, the
9 accused is doing it again. There's no evidence of clashes. There is
10 evidence of execution.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That's right, Mr. Milosevic. What the witness
12 is saying is that these were executions. There was no question of the
13 people dying as a result of some conflict.
14 Now, have you got anything else you want to put to him?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, of course I do, but the point
16 is that I cannot assume, even assume that it could be an execution.
17 JUDGE MAY: Well, that's his evidence which we're dealing with.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I understand that. I
19 understand that that is what he is speaking about.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Since the police were present all the time in the area during the
22 drive and as the tractors were returning when you went to help the
23 wounded, did your people have any problem with the police? So you took a
24 tractor to pick up the wounded and you refer to that, and you say you were
25 driving back and the police were there. Did you have any problem with the
2 A. The police had left after they did the execution, and they went in
3 the direction of Celine. They were not present. For the truck, there was
4 my wife who went there. And with the truck there came Shemsedin Kelmendi
5 and Abaz Kryeziu, and after that, there came my wife accompanied by other
6 women. And we took all those who were alive - because we were not able to
7 take the victims - but we took the people who were alive to save their
8 lives, and there were eight of them. And we took them to the village
9 Xerxe. I just showed the names to them. It was Alban Popaj, the son of
10 my brother Remzi Popaj, Defrim Zhuniqi, and some others, and we took them
11 to the house of Abaz Kryeziu in Xerxe where his daughter was a nurse
13 Q. All right, Mr. Popaj. You say that you went to Zrze and that you
14 bought some plastic foil and blankets. This is on page 6. Is it possible
15 that shops are open in a situation where the police, as you had put it,
16 were going about executing all Albanians?
17 A. The shops were not open, but it was -- on the 27th, all day I went
18 where I could find people in the agriculture stores, and I took the things
19 there. And I waited all day during the 27th. I made two metres of that.
20 And I prepared some glass bottles to write the names. And in the evening,
21 27th, about 9.00 p.m., there were some co-villagers of mine and some of my
22 friends to help me. And we went at 9.00 in the evening to start burying
23 36 persons in the massive graveyard. And this is what is written in my
24 declaration. I remember it very well.
25 Q. All right, Mr. Popaj. You don't have to explain things so
2 Among the names of the victims, you mentioned Jusuf Popaj as
3 well. Do you know according to documents, Jusuf Popaj, on the 17th of
4 May, 1998, was mistreated by the KLA on the road between Malisevo and
5 Orahovac near the village of Dragobilje when a pistol was taken away from
6 him and nine bullets as well and that he personally reported that incident
7 to the police? Do you know about that, since you are related?
8 A. This is a big lie of yours. This is a big lie created by you,
9 because Jusuf Popaj was 70 years of age. He was a hoxha.
10 Q. I am talking about a document that we have, but let us consider
11 what you've said.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You've got about two minutes left,
13 Mr. Milosevic, so you should tailor your cross-examination.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Tailor it? In terms of two
15 minutes? That's quite difficult.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. You say that in the village of Nogavac - that is on page 10 - that
18 you searched the houses that were destroyed by the bombing, and you say
19 that the bombing of Nogavac was carried out by a Serb plane rather than by
20 NATO. What is your basis for claiming that?
21 A. That night from the village Xerxe, we started going with Nazim
22 Rexhepi to the village of Celine. And then when we entered Celine, there
23 came two aeroplanes which flied very low. And then after some minutes, I
24 heard four explosions of bombing, and I didn't know where this explosion
25 fell. But after three days, I heard about the right place where this
2 Q. I asked you on the basis of what do you claim that that was or
3 those were, as you said, Serb aeroplanes, not NATO. So even -- so Serb
4 planes were even bombing their own territory, as you had put it.
5 A. It's because when I went there, I have heard there were many
6 people stationed there who were shooting. But we found pieces of the
7 explosion. We hid them. And KFOR took these pieces. And there were
8 letters there in Cyrillic alphabet. I found in Nagavc the sister of my
9 father killed there, and I buried her on the 6th of April. Her name was
10 Sanije Kastrati.
11 Q. And how many people were killed in that bombing?
12 A. There I don't know the exact number, but I saw that there were
13 killed eight children and three women. There were -- I couldn't stay
14 there for longer. Then I left. I saw the children there.
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Mr. Milosevic, your time is now finished.
16 Mr. Tapuskovic, have you any questions of this witness?
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have
18 only two questions precisely related to what is mentioned on page 10,
19 paragraph 4 of the English version.
20 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, when you came to the actual site, you
22 said, this is the last sentence of that paragraph: "The roof tiles and
23 windows in most of the houses in the village were broken by the
25 Does that mean that these houses, that the majority of the houses
1 in the village were not hit at all and yet were without any windows or
2 roofs? Does that mean that there was a strong gust of air that blew them
4 A. You speak about the village Bellacerkva or the other village,
5 Nagavc? I didn't understand the question.
6 Q. I'm talking about Nogavac, because you said that you went there
7 the very next morning. The very next morning with Gazmend Malsori and ten
8 other men, you went to the actual site and you saw that on the houses
9 there were no roof tiles and that there were no windowpanes.
10 A. They were, because of the bombardment, all the tiles which had
11 fallen on the floor. All of them, like the earth was trembling.
12 Q. Thank you. Just one more thing. In that village, did you see any
13 craters that the bombs had made?
14 A. We found some pieces, pieces from the bombs when we found the
15 children. We found the pieces of the bombs right there. Was it from the
16 bomb or what else? We don't know. These pieces were taken by the KFOR.
17 Q. That's not what I'm asking you. Did you see big craters ten
18 metres wide or, rather, ten metres long and seven metres wide? Did you
19 see them? Yes or no.
20 A. When I went there, I saw the people killed, and I took the people
21 out, and I didn't see anything else. Because with my own hands I have
22 buried 168 civilians in the village Bellacerkva, Celine, and Nagavc. I
23 couldn't see anything else.
24 Q. Thank you, Witness.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
1 MR. NICE: Two things.
2 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
3 Q. The photograph that you produced is of your two sons, and I
4 thought you found them on one of them when they were buried; is that
6 A. Yes, it's so.
7 Q. And that's why it's covered in blood. Just help me with this:
8 Was it normal for the son on whose body it was found to carry a photograph
9 of him and his brother or not?
10 A. My little son Agon was there with this photograph when I buried
11 him. And perhaps before they parting he wanted to take the photo with him
12 as a souvenir in the moment when the village was set to fire. And you can
13 still see the stains of the blood. This is the photo of my two sons.
14 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I don't ask that it be produced as a Court
16 Q. Second point: Your statement does say, that is the statement that
17 you signed, it does say at paragraph 3 -- page 3 that when you were
18 looking at the 12 policemen at the side of the Belles stream, that they
19 had particular uniforms, and you give the colours, and that your statement
20 does go on to say, this is you speaking, apparently: "All of them were
21 wearing tight-fitting white plastic-type gloves like those used by
23 Can you tell us please, just so that we know how to deal with the
24 statement, did you see that through binoculars or otherwise or not? And
25 if not --
1 A. I saw that with binoculars, the 12 police from my side, on the
2 right side. On the left side, I didn't see how many police were there.
3 And I saw them through binoculars.
4 Q. With gloves?
5 A. I saw -- I saw them executing the people at the Belles bridge.
6 Q. Did you see them with gloves or not?
7 A. Yes. They had gloves. And they took off the gloves in the middle
8 of the village Celine and Bellacerkva, and we found them afterwards when
9 we made the unburial of the people. I handed them over to the
10 investigators of the Tribunal.
11 MR. NICE: Those are the only questions I ask in re-examination.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Popaj, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
13 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you very much.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, while you're changing over and we're just
17 waiting for the witnesses, towards the end of the week, probably on
18 Friday, we would wish to have a further discussion about the witness list,
19 clarifying one or two matters arising. There is also the issue of
20 Dr. Baccard's exhibit which we have yet to resolve. I don't know if you
21 want to address us on that then or not.
22 MR. NICE: I'd hoped not to be here myself on Friday. It's
23 possible I will have to be. It depends on how the witnesses map out. And
24 I can see some slippage of time this week already for reasons outside our
25 control. So I might prefer not to be here on Friday if it could be dealt
1 with either on Thursday or possibly next Monday.
2 I'm anxious to revert to the witness list, and I'm having -- I'm
3 taking steps in relation to both this part of the case and also the other
4 part of the case to have lists prepared that will, I hope, be helpful for
5 the Chamber and indeed for the accused because of his concerns about
6 preparation over the summer. My forecast is that those lists will be
7 available at about the end of the week but possibly not before. So that
8 again would suggest a Friday hearing of these issues, or possibly Monday.
9 We know that General Naumann's coming after Ambassador Walker, and
10 I know that both men have got apparent time restrictions which I'm going
11 to investigate when I go, when I leave the courtroom right now, but I
12 think it's quite likely that the witnesses listed for this week will be
13 difficult to squeeze in as it is, and there may be a small residue flowing
14 over to next Monday in any event.
15 I don't know if that helps. It probably only makes things more
16 difficult. But if there's any chance of making the Friday hearing movable
17 to allow the possibility, if all other things allow it and my not being
18 here, I would be very grateful.
19 JUDGE MAY: We can do that. We'll fix a suitable time. Perhaps
20 you'd let us know how things are getting on.
21 MR. NICE: Certainly.
22 JUDGE MAY: Could we have the witness, please.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, Your Honours. The Prosecution called Lutfi
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you'd like to take a seat.
5 WITNESS: LUTFI RAMADANI
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 Examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
8 Q. Mr. Ramadani, I understand, sir, that you are a 58-year-old Muslim
9 of Albanian ethnicity residing in Krusha e Vogel in Kosovo. Is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you were originally born in the Suva Reka municipality; is
13 that correct?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. Sir, how long have you lived in Krusha e Vogel?
16 A. From 1958.
17 Q. Do I understand correctly, sir, that you are married and you have
18 two surviving sons? Two other sons were killed on the 26th of March,
19 1999; is that correct?
20 A. That's right.
21 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, it may assist if I showed from the
22 Kosovo atlas where Krusha e Vogel is. If you could turn to page 10.
23 At -- if you look on the right-hand margin, number 23, and go immediately
24 to the left to where at the top it says "70," you will see -- near where
25 those intersect, you will see Krusha e Vogel.
1 And perhaps we could just have the usher put this on the ELMO to
2 have the witness point out where his village is.
3 Q. Sir, if you would just look at that map and use the pointer and
4 point out where your village is.
5 Are you able to locate it?
6 A. [Indicates]
7 Q. You're pointing now to Prizren. Yes. Okay. You're now pointing
8 to - yes - Krusha e Vogel. All right. Thank you very much.
9 MR. RYNEVELD: Mr. Usher, could you also show the witness, please,
10 two photographs.
11 Q. I'm going to show you some photographs, sir, aerial photographs.
12 Do you recognise the village depicted in these aerial photographs?
13 Mr. Ramadani, is that a photograph of your village?
14 MR. RYNEVELD: Perhaps I'll move on, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
16 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ramadani. I take it you're now pointing to -- is
18 that a photograph of your village, sir?
19 A. Yes, of the village.
20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Ramadani, were you interviewed by members of the
21 Office of the Prosecutor on the 20th of July of 1999, and did you give a
22 statement on that particular day?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And did you give two subsequent statements on the 26th of June,
25 2001 and the 5th of October of the same year, for a total of three
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, sir, did you appear before a presiding officer of this
4 Tribunal on the 4th of June of 2002 and have those statements read back to
5 you and given an opportunity to make some corrections, if any?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And on that date, the 4th of June, 2002, after making some
8 corrections, did you indicate to the presiding officer that those
9 statements were true to the best of your knowledge and belief?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes. I wonder, Your Honours, whether the package
12 of materials under 92 bis might now be given an exhibit number.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked Prosecutor's
14 Exhibit 226.
15 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, I now propose to read a very brief
16 summary of what is contained in that statement and follow that up with a
17 couple of questions.
18 Your Honours, as you will note from the various statements which
19 have just been marked as exhibits, this witness indicates that at about
20 4.00 in the morning on the 25th of March, 1999, his family had left their
21 house and hid in the woods due to the fact that the Serb police had
22 surrounded their village. He indicates that at this time the police
23 started to shell the village and later burned the Albanian houses. He
24 describes that the Serb forces were wearing blue MUP, or police,
25 camouflage uniforms. He describes in his statement seeing green-coloured
1 APCs and tanks positioned around the village.
2 He tells you in his statement that almost the whole population of
3 the village were gathered in the woods, near a stream, close to a
4 vineyard, where they stayed most of that day, that is, the 25th of March.
5 At about 7.00 that night, the majority of them left that location and went
6 to the house of Sejdi Batusha, due to the fact that it was cold and the
7 young children were upset and crying. The witness and his entire family
8 stayed at Sejdi Batusha's house until the following morning, the 26th of
9 March, 1999. He indicates that the shelling continued until they were
10 approached by a group of police, who told them to stay where they were or
11 they would be killed. He says that he saw police take up positions on the
12 roofs of some of the houses in that vicinity and that he observed Isen
13 Kanjusha, who was not with his group, being shot.
14 He states that the Serbs ordered Aziz Shehu to go to the woods and
15 bring back those people who were still hiding there. In his statement, he
16 then names the names of four men and four women who were brought back
17 pursuant to that order, and indicates that all of those men are now
19 He further tells you in his statement that the group was ordered
20 out of the yard and onto the road, where the men were separated from the
21 women. The women were ordered to go to Lake Vermica, and prior to leaving
22 they were forced to hand over their personal belongings. He says that as
23 the group of women were leaving, escorted by some police, he saw one of
24 the policemen take several young boys out of the group and make them join
25 the group of men. In his statement, you will find that when the women
1 started to scream, they were threatened to be killed. At this point, the
2 group of men were verbally abused by a policeman wearing a black mask, who
3 was saying that someone else was going to have sex with their wives.
4 He describes how the group of men were ordered to kneel down with
5 their hands behind their heads for a considerable period of time and that
6 Adem Isufi was ordered to go around to each man and collect documents,
7 money, and car keys from them. This witness describes in his statement
8 how the group was forced to line up in columns and were taken down the
9 road in the direction of Qazim Batusha's cowshed or barn. He names some
10 of the other victims who were with him. He describes that they were
11 ordered into a two-roomed building with a central corridor and indicates
12 that he stayed in the corridor because the rooms were too crowded.
13 You will then read about how a policeman carrying a big
14 machine-gun with a round ammunition box attached to it arrived,
15 accompanied by other armed police. He then relates overhearing a
16 conversation with other police who, in response to a request as to why the
17 one policeman was late, indicated that "he would fix the problem in two
18 minutes." The witness heard the sound of a gun being cocked, and almost
19 immediately afterwards, the Serb with the machine-gun appeared in the
20 doorway and the firing started. The witness fell to the ground and other
21 villagers fell on top of him. The machine-gun firing stopped and he then
22 heard the sound of single shots. He concluded that the victims who were
23 not dead by machine-gun fire were finished with a single shot.
24 He then tells you how he heard the sound of burning and saw bodies
25 burning. The corridor filled up with smoke. He stood up and realised
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that there were others he knew who were still alive. He names those
2 persons in his statement and describes his escape from the barn. In his
3 26th of June, 2001 statement he produces a map and refers to the house
4 used as a barn, where over a hundred men and boys were shot and burned in
5 this incident. He states that a crippled villager, Sait Hajdari, who was
6 confined to a wheelchair, had been positioned by the Serbs in the doorway
7 in order to stop the men from escaping the cowshed. This witness had to
8 physically move Hajdari in order to escape. Having left the burning
9 building, he and other survivors fled into the woods, shot at by police as
10 he ran, and finally escaped.
11 I now wish to turn, if I may, to two photographs.
12 Mr. Usher, could you show the witness that photograph, please.
13 Q. Now, Mr. Ramadani, I ask you to look at that photograph. Can you
14 tell the Court what that is a photograph of? I see you're having to put
15 on your glasses. Yes. First of all, sir, do you recognise the scene
17 A. This photograph is Bali Avdyli's house, and this is where the
18 massacre took place. People were burnt and shot here.
19 Q. Now, for the record, sir, you're pointing to an area in front of
20 what appear to be the remains of two buildings. Is the cowshed or the
21 barn where this massacre took place, is that building still --
22 A. Here -- it's not the shed here, but it was here, adjacent to the
24 Q. Yes. My question --
25 A. Here it was mined. It was at this point. Here is where it was,
1 where the shed was. It had two rooms and a corridor.
2 Q. Sir, is what you are saying that nothing remains of this shed, but
3 it's in the foreground, where you were pointing with your pointer?
4 A. Nothing remains, because when we returned from Albania, it was
5 blown up, and there are only two holes here.
6 Q. All right. Thank you, sir. One final photograph I'd like to show
8 MR. RYNEVELD: Mr. Usher.
9 Q. In your statement, sir, you refer to a wheelchair being positioned
10 in the doorway. I'm going to show you a photograph now, if you would,
11 please, and tell the Court if you recognise this particular photograph and
12 what appears to be the remnants of a wheelchair.
13 A. When they blew up the shed, they threw away this wheelchair.
14 Q. How, if at all, does that wheelchair compare with the wheelchair
15 that you saw on the 26th of March, 1999?
16 A. It's similar.
17 Q. Who was the crippled individual in the wheelchair?
18 A. Sait Hajdari was in this wheelchair.
19 Q. Do you recognise the lady depicted in that photograph?
20 MR. RYNEVELD: I don't have a translation of the answer.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Would the witness draw closer to the microphone,
23 JUDGE MAY: Could you speak into the microphone, please,
24 Mr. Ramadani.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I know this person. I knew
1 Sait Hajdari, and that's what his wheelchair was like.
2 MR. RYNEVELD:
3 Q. My question is: Do you know the lady depicted in that photograph?
4 A. No, I don't know this woman.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. I don't know this woman.
7 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
8 Remove the photographs, please.
9 MR. RYNEVELD: Those are my questions, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] You gave your first statement on the 18th and
14 20th of July, 1999, in Orahovac; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And your second statement was given on the 26th of July, 2001; is
17 that right?
18 THE INTERPRETER: June. Correction.
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. How did it come about that you had to give a second statement
22 after giving the first one?
23 A. I'm sorry. Could you repeat the question, please?
24 Q. Well, let's be brief. And your third statement was given on the
25 5th of October, 2001. Your second one was given on the 26th of June,
1 2001, and the third one on the 5th of October, 2001; is that right?
2 A. I gave these statements, but I didn't write down the dates when I
3 gave them.
4 Q. All right. Why did you give three statements?
5 A. When they came to see, themselves, we gave statements, and the
6 people who were asked told what happened in Krusha e Vogel.
7 Q. Upon whose initiative was it? Who were these people that came to
8 take your statement?
9 A. It was my initiative to make a statement, and the people who came
10 were investigators.
11 Q. And why didn't you state everything that is contained in your
12 third statement? Why didn't you say it when you were giving your first or
13 second statement? Why isn't it contained in your first or second
15 A. My account is the same in the first, second, and third statements.
16 JUDGE MAY: If you read the third statement, you will see that the
17 investigator gave the witness a map and clearly asked him to draw things
18 on the map.
19 In your first statement, were you asked - or your second - were
20 you asked to draw on a map, Mr. Ramadani?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE MAY: He plainly doesn't understand.
23 Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Next question.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. And your third statement, was it taken down after what you said?
1 A. These statements I gave were not given me to read, but they went
2 to the Court.
3 Q. In your first statement, you said that you looked into the
4 possibility of negotiating with the Serbs and that Ismail Arifi informed
5 you that an agreement had been reached and that the Serbs would protect
6 the Albanian population and the Albanians would protect the Serbs from the
7 KLA. So this was an agreement among the residents of the village; is that
9 A. They did make an agreement. I wasn't present. Ismail Arifi made
10 the agreement with the Serbs. But they didn't keep the agreement. Those
11 that made it did not keep it. The criminals of Krusha e Vogel who shot,
12 burned 112 people, they shot 103 in one place --
13 Q. We heard that, and that can be found in your statement. I would
14 like you to concentrate on my questions alone now. Can you please tell me
15 how many members of the KLA there were in Mala Krusa?
16 A. There was no KLA. It didn't exist in KLA [as interpreted].
17 Because there was a cafe owned by Nikolic which the police used as a
18 station, and there the policemen beat and maltreated people. And even --
19 Q. I'm not asking you about the cafe. Please answer my question.
20 Just a minute ago you confirmed that an agreement had been reached and
21 that the Serbs would protect the Albanians and the Albanians would protect
22 the Serbs from the KLA. Now you're telling us that the KLA did not even
23 exist. So how could an agreement have been reached for the Albanians to
24 protect the Serbs from the KLA if the KLA did not exist? Why had an
25 agreement been negotiated if there was no KLA?
1 A. I don't know why they made this agreement. I say that there was
2 no KLA in our village. It didn't exist in our village.
3 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. You went on to explain something about
4 this cafe owned by Nikolic, at which the police used to gather. Is that
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Even -- even children going to
7 school carried weapons. And the police sat there in the cafe of Dimitrije
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. All right. And is it true that these Serbs, Petkovic called Nuci,
11 Vuci Nikolic called Zivca, that you mention in your statement were in fact
12 members of the local police or, rather, local security that had been
13 established by the residents of Mala Krusa; is that right?
14 A. There were plenty of uniformed policemen there. They were almost
15 all policemen. And I don't know how they were organised. Sometimes they
16 were there, sometimes they were not. We didn't know who was a policeman
17 and who was not; they all had uniforms.
18 Q. All right. And do you remember that there was a local security
19 force in Mala Krusa consisting both of Albanians and Serbs and that there
20 had been an agreement for the Serbs to protect their fellow villagers,
21 Albanians, and vice versa, and to ensure that people could live in peace?
22 Was it like that or wasn't it?
23 A. The Serbs themselves were dressed as policemen, and even when
24 foreigners --
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Ramadani, just concentrate, if you would, on the
1 question. The question was: Was there an agreement in the village
2 between the Albanians and the Serbs to protect each other?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was an agreement reached by
4 some elderly people. And I was not present. I don't know how they did
5 reach that agreement.
6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will adjourn now. It's time for the
8 Mr. Ramadani, you're giving evidence. Would you please not speak
9 to anybody until it's over about it, and that includes the members of the
10 Prosecution. Could you be back, please, at half past eleven.
11 We will adjourn until then.
12 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Milosevic.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just a small digression, Mr. May.
16 Yesterday, at the request of the other side, you asked that a document be
17 returned to you from the set of documents that was given to me yesterday,
18 so here it is, and the usher can take it.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If the usher would.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. On the 25th of March, 1999, was there a clash between the KLA and
22 the police?
23 A. No, there wasn't.
24 Q. And why, then, did you seek shelter in the forest?
25 A. Because they attacked in the houses.
1 Q. Who attacked houses?
2 A. The police.
3 Q. Was that that police of yours that was in the village all the time
4 that you've been referring to? Both Serbs and Albanians were on that
5 police force. How is it that the police attacked houses?
6 A. They were Serb police. There were no Albanian police.
7 Q. All right. At that time when you went into the woods together
8 with the other farmers, did the members of the KLA withdraw with you or
10 A. There was no KLA. Since there was no KLA there, how could the
11 members of the KLA come there? There were women, elderly people,
13 Q. So there were no men with them. The men were elsewhere.
14 A. There were men. They were with us.
15 Q. And when you returned to the village around 1900 hours, as you
16 had put it, were they with you then, the members of the KLA?
17 A. There was no KLA, but it was us, the people, with children, with
18 women. All of us, we went to Sejdi Batusha's house. And there were
19 people there. There were children under 15 years of age. There were 40
20 children there.
21 Q. So you returned. You fled from the police, but you returned
22 although the police were in the village. Why did you return if it's the
23 police that you were running away from in the first place?
24 A. We didn't leave. We didn't go far from the village. We just left
25 the houses. We stayed near the stream, near the vineyard, near the
1 village. And in the evening, it started getting cold. There were
2 children. There were elderly people. There were girls. And the people
3 started feeling cold. So did the elderly people. And then we went to the
4 house of Sejdi Batusha. On that night, we stayed there. On the 26th, we
5 woke up at 8.00, and at 8.00, they started setting fire to the houses.
6 Q. All right. Please. You say that you returned to the village on
7 your own and you went to Qazim Batusha's house, and in the statement you
8 say that it was the police who forced you to enter the shed of Qazim
9 Batusha; is that right?
10 A. It was not a shed. It was a stable. They took us there. They
11 executed the people and they set fire to them, 103 people.
12 Q. That's what I was talking about. And how many of you were in this
13 group, all of you who were ordered to enter the stables?
14 A. There were 109 people. One hundred three people were left there.
15 Q. And the livestock, was it in the stables or the barn, then?
16 A. No, there wasn't. There wasn't.
17 Q. All right. It was empty. And how many policemen were in the yard
18 where the barn was?
19 A. There were about ten police who guarded us outside, and then there
20 came the villagers there. Police of the village they were, Serbs.
21 Q. Tell me, then: You say that a policeman appeared at the door of
22 the cowshed and started shooting at you. Is that the way it was?
23 A. That police really came, and there was attached to him some other
24 people. He was leading the other people. He entered the house and he
25 started opening fire among the people. He executed the people.
1 Q. And do you know who Avdyli Mehmet from Mala Krusa is?
2 A. Avdyli Mehmet from Mala Krusa is my neighbour.
3 Q. Was he with you then in those rooms?
4 A. He was there with me as well. There was also Mehmet Avdyli.
5 Q. Yes. And do you know that he mentioned in his statement that it
6 was not a cowshed at all, that it was a house? So where were you? Were
7 you in the cowshed or were you in the house?
8 A. [No interpretation]
9 JUDGE MAY: Can we have an interpretation, please.
10 A. It was a stall, either a hall, not a house. Some people entered
11 through the door with gun -- they opened fire against the people, and some
12 entered through the windows. They executed all the people. They set fire
13 to half of the people, and they were burnt half alive.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The witness has given his evidence about it. He
15 says it wasn't a house. Now, the next question.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. How many people survived this incident? Because you say that they
18 killed everyone.
19 A. Only six people survived. All the people were executed and burnt,
20 103 people. We don't know where these people are buried.
21 Q. You say that you're the first one who came to the door and that
22 you started to run away. Does that mean that you were standing by the
24 A. I was inside. I was among the dead people. And then I went out.
25 I was on the right part, where the Serbs of the Krusha e Vogel were
1 there. They were setting fire to the people. Then I observed that there
2 were no people on the left part and it was possible for me to leave.
3 Q. All right. If the policemen were around the cowshed, and if, as
4 you say, they were setting it on fire, how did you manage to run away?
5 A. God knows how I managed to run away. I am burnt, my clothes were
6 burnt, and my right hand is burnt.
7 Q. Did somebody else escape together with you in the same group or
8 did you escape on your own?
9 A. There were six other people, two young boys, and after us, they
10 were caught and executed.
11 Q. And all of you escaped together, then, in that group, as you had
12 described it?
13 A. We were not all together, but we went as we could manage, just to
14 save our souls.
15 Q. A little while ago you said that you did not find the bodies of
16 the persons who were executed. Did you see these people being killed?
17 A. I was among them. And it is true that they were killed. They
18 were executed and then they were burnt.
19 Q. That means that these bodies that you assume were lost were burned
20 down. Is that your claim?
21 A. Yes, they were burned down. And what happened to their bodies, I
22 don't know, because after the war, when we came back from Albania, that
23 place was mined, and in that place we couldn't find anything but the shoes
24 and the wheelchair of that person that I mentioned. There were other
25 people who were crippled and couldn't move, and mentally ill people.
1 Q. Does that mean that after that fire and after the killing, the
2 place was mined and, therefore, you could not approach it when you
4 A. We find -- we found only some shoes and a wheelchair. The
5 foundation of that house were blown up in the air. How did that happen?
6 I am not aware of this fact because I was not present. About the mining,
7 I don't know. You know it very well.
8 Q. All right. Tell me, how far away was the asphalt road from which
9 the other group shot at you?
10 A. The macadamised road is about 100 metres from the house, but they
11 didn't shoot from the asphalt road. They shot from here, not from the
12 asphalt road.
13 Q. From nearby. So they were from you -- they were shooting from two
14 sides at you.
15 A. I don't know what you mean. About the place of the event where
16 the people were executed and burned or you're speaking about another
18 Q. I mean what you said in your statement. You say that the other
19 group was shooting at you from the road as you were running away. So one
20 group was shooting at you from the site that you had described, and the
21 other one was shooting at you from the road. Does that mean that you were
22 being shot at from two different sides?
23 A. I was being shot at from the place I came out of the house. I
24 came out into the not-asphalted way. They shot at us, but, luckily, we
25 were not killed.
1 Q. All right. So from how many sides were they shooting at you, from
2 two sides, from three sides, from one side? From how many sides were they
3 shooting at you?
4 A. From there, we were three people. We were walking towards the
5 road of Krushe e Madhe. They shot at us from the village and from the
6 asphalt road until we entered the stream towards the mountain.
7 Q. So they were shooting at you from two places; is that right? From
8 two sides, that is. From the asphalt road and from the village itself.
9 A. Both from the asphalt and from the village itself they were
10 shooting at us while we were leaving the place.
11 Q. All right. Can that mean that from two sides -- from the two
12 sides where the shooting was coming from, could that have been the police
13 and the KLA, that they were shooting at each other and that you were
14 caught up in the crossfire?
15 A. There was no KLA in the asphalt road, and there was no KLA in the
16 village. But it was the Serbs of the village of Krusha e Vogel. They
17 surrounded the place, the village; some were in the asphalt road and some
18 were near the houses, from where they shot at us.
19 Q. All right. Now you say the Serbs from Mala Krusa. So it's the
20 Serbs, the villagers, who had set fire to their very own village. And a
21 little while ago, you said it was the police who came in and set fire to
22 the village. So who did it, actually?
23 A. Those people who destroyed the house, they destroyed the houses of
24 the Albanians. They were only the houses of the Albanians looted by the
1 Q. All right. Just give me a brief answer to the following
2 question: If they were shooting at you from two sides, wouldn't they be
3 shooting at each other that way as well?
4 A. I gave my answer. Those which I said, from the asphalt road and
5 from the village. They didn't shoot against each other. The asphalt is
6 down, and the village is in the side.
7 Q. All right. Since you mention in your statement the headquarters,
8 is it true that the KLA was near that house that you refer to as the
10 A. There was no KLA in our village. There didn't exist even in the
11 vicinity of our village such a KLA.
12 Q. All right. But I'm asking you to clarify this which I do not
13 understand. Why are you mentioning a house now whereas in your first
14 statement you mention headquarters? Why the difference?
15 JUDGE MAY: Whereabouts is it in the statement?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, in these two statements. I
17 can't waste time searching for it now in the statement, but --
18 JUDGE MAY: Before you go on, you will tell us where it is. If
19 you're going to put things to witnesses, they must have the chance of
20 dealing with it properly.
21 Now, you can tell us where this is or we'll go on to another
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Is the witness denying the fact that
24 he refers to headquarters in the first statement?
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you are not going to put things to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 witnesses without referring them to the statement and where it is. And
2 then, no doubt, afterwards when you find it you claim there is some sort
3 of bias. That's one of the sleights which you [Realtime transcript read
4 in error "I"] use in cross-examination.
5 Now, before you go on, if you want to ask this question, you must
6 tell us where it is in the statement so we can check to see where it
7 says. Then if it's a fair question, you can ask it.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. All right. Obviously,
9 now it is hard for me to find it in these three statements, but I will
10 have it marked for you and then I'll give it to you. And I'll move on to
11 my next question now, because, otherwise, I'll waste a lot of time.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. In your second statement, you say that the Serbs removed the house
14 and the mortal remains of the people who were there and that they threw
15 them into the Drin River and that that is what you know. Is that correct
16 or not?
17 A. I don't know about this fact because I was not present there when
18 they shot. And I don't know what they have done with these.
19 Q. All right. If there are no witnesses concerning these events,
20 does that mean that you are the sole witness of these events?
21 A. I am a witness about the fact that they were executed and burnt.
22 The Serbs of Krusha e Vogel did these things with the help of the people
23 from the neighbouring villages.
24 Q. Are there any other eyewitnesses?
25 A. Yes, there are.
1 Q. Can you say their names? Who are these other eyewitnesses?
2 A. They will come here and witness for themselves.
3 Q. All right. Can you give us their names, though?
4 A. There was mentioned here Mehmet Krasniqi. He is a witness here.
5 Declares that the people were executed and burnt.
6 Q. All right. Do you know who Dimitrije Nikolic and Djordje
7 Cvetkovic are?
8 A. Yes, I know them very well.
9 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. I've noticed a mistake in the
10 transcript which is serious enough and should be changed. At line 21, it
11 has me quoted as saying, "That's one of the sleights which I use in
12 cross-examination." It should read, "That's one of the sleights which you
13 use in cross-examination." The matter should be made plain.
14 Yes. We'll continue.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Are they people from your own village?
17 A. They are of our village.
18 Q. And were they members of the local security that you had?
19 A. We don't know, because at that time they were mobilised.
20 Q. All right. You say that in the village there were no members of
21 the army. Is that right?
22 A. The Serb army was at the asphalt road and in the vicinity. In the
23 village, I myself didn't see. Perhaps there have been, but I didn't see
24 with my own eyes.
25 Q. You say that Nebojsa Nikolic - and you said that he was killed at
1 Pastrik, as a reservist of the MUP - wore a green camouflage uniform.
2 A. I don't know whether it was a uniform, but he went as a
3 volunteer. I knew this when I came back from Albania.
4 Q. All right. But just now you told us that the army was not in the
5 village but rather on the asphalt road. Does that mean that the army was
6 outside of the village?
7 A. Perhaps it was also in the village, but for myself, I didn't see
8 it. From where I was gathered with the population, I didn't see the army.
9 Q. Will you please answer the question. Why did you state in your
10 first statement that the village had been shelled and that this was the
11 reason why you left your houses, whereas in the third statement you say
12 that the artillery had not been used? How was the village shelled if the
13 artillery had not been used?
14 A. They fired from armoured vehicles, and they fired on my house, and
15 the bullet is inside and was given to the investigator. I don't know
16 where it is now.
17 Q. All right. Was the artillery used or not, please? Just tell me
19 JUDGE MAY: Where does it say the artillery wasn't used?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's what I'm asking him, Mr. May,
21 to tell me whether the artillery was used or not. I just want an answer
22 to that question.
23 A. The artillery was not used. They merely fired from armoured
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Fired from what?
2 A. From the asphalt, at the Albanians' houses.
3 Q. Was there some artillery fire coming from a larger distance? For
4 example, mortars that were fired at the KLA? So not from the village but
5 from the distance, was there firing directed against the police that was
6 in the vicinity of the village? Was there a conflict there at all?
7 A. There was no conflict.
8 Q. All right. In your municipality of Orahovac, do you know how many
9 conflicts there were between the police and the KLA?
10 A. I don't belong to Rahovec municipality but to Prizren
12 Q. All right. Well, let me change my question. Do you know how many
13 conflicts there were in your municipality and in your vicinity between the
14 police and the KLA?
15 A. I don't know of any conflict having taken place in our village or
16 of the KLA being involved in any clashes, not one.
17 Q. I'm asking you about your area. Do you have any information of at
18 least a rough number of the KLA members that got killed in the fighting
19 with the police and the army?
20 A. No. There was nothing of this kind.
21 Q. Your area, Prizren, and that part that is close to Albania,
22 suffered intense bombing or was subjected to intense bombing. Do you know
23 anything about the NATO bombing?
24 A. There was no NATO bombing until the 26th. Around there, there
25 wasn't any at all.
1 Q. Now, tell me, please: Do you know how many people in your area
2 were killed as a result of NATO bombing?
3 A. Not a single person was killed by the NATO bombing, and nor did
4 NATO bomb the villages.
5 Q. All right. So if I understood you well, you claim that during
6 those conflicts starting on the 24th of March, nobody got killed, no
7 Albanian got killed as a result of NATO bombing, nor were there any people
8 that were killed, any members of the KLA that were killed during fighting
9 with the police or the army. Is that what you're claiming?
10 JUDGE MAY: The witness has answered these questions. He has
11 given his answer both about the KLA and about the NATO bombing. He's made
12 that quite plain. Now, Mr. Milosevic, time is running out. Do you have
13 any more questions of the witness?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do have more questions.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. So that means if no KLA members were killed in the fighting, if
17 nobody was killed in NATO bombing, then everybody that was killed, as you
18 claim it, were civilians, and they were killed by the Serb army and the
19 police. Is that the gist of what you are telling us here?
20 A. Albanians were killed only by the Serbian police. That's in the
21 village of Krusha e Vogel. Only the Serbian police, and also local
22 villagers who joined them.
23 Q. And by trying to portray all of those who were killed as victims
24 of the Serb police, do you perhaps try to cover up the fact that some of
25 the people were killed as a result of the fighting and some of the people
1 were killed as a result of the bombing? Please think carefully over this
2 question and give me an answer.
3 A. They were all shot by the Serbian police. They were shot, and 112
4 people were shot and burnt in one place; and in another, 103. This was
5 the Serbian police.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
7 A. Alongside with the village. Serbian villagers -- the Serbian
8 villagers wanted to ethnically cleanse the village.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Tapuskovic, have you any questions, please?
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have no
11 questions for the witness.
12 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
13 Mr. Ryneveld?
14 MR. RYNEVELD: Very briefly, Your Honour, two areas.
15 Re-examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
16 Q. Mr. Ramadani, in cross-examination, you were questioned as to
17 whether or not you were sure that these people who you left behind in the
18 barn were in fact dead. When you came back, you came back to your village
19 of Krusha e Vogel?
20 A. On the 4th of June, we came back. I think it was the 4th.
21 Q. And you have lived back in that village since the 4th of June of
22 1999; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, in the village.
24 Q. Have you seen any of those people who were in the barn with you,
25 other than the ones who escaped with you, have you ever seen any of those
1 people alive since?
2 A. I saw Mehmet Krasniqi.
3 Q. That's the only one?
4 A. I saw also Agim and Bajram.
5 Q. And these are people that escaped with you; is that correct?
6 A. Yes. These are people that escaped with me.
7 Q. Other than the people who escaped with you, did you see any others
8 alive since you returned?
9 A. These 103 people remained there. They -- they are no longer
10 alive. They were burned.
11 Q. Thank you. One other area that I might ask you to try another
12 look at.
13 MR. RYNEVELD: Mr. Usher, could you assist?
14 Your Honours, I propose to show the witness photograph 0210321006,
15 and I'm going to ask that he look at it before it goes on the ELMO,
16 perhaps, to orient himself. This, Your Honours, is in relation to
17 cross-examination about the route and the location of the asphalt road, to
18 assist the Trial Chamber in terms of distance.
19 Q. First of all, sir, do you recognise -- you're looking at the
20 photograph. It's an aerial photograph. Do you see the yard of Sejdi
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. All right. And before we put it on the ELMO, do you see the road
24 leading to Qazim Batusha's barn, where it used to be? Do you see that?
25 A. Just a moment. Yes. Here it is.
1 Q. Yes. All right. And then looking towards the top of the
2 photograph, beyond the line of trees, there seems to be a horizontal
3 line. Is that the asphalt road or is that something else?
4 A. No. That road is not asphalted.
5 Q. All right.
6 A. This is a dirt road.
7 Q. Yes. All right. Perhaps if you could put that on the ELMO now,
8 you could explain to the Judges where Sejdi Batusha's yard was and where
9 you walked to the barn location.
10 A. This is Sejdi Batusha's house. This is where we stayed. And from
11 here, they took us out onto the road and divided the men from the women
12 and the elderly. And they told the women, "Go drown in the Drin if you
13 like. Go to Albania if you like." Some children were with them --
14 Q. Sir, I'm not asking you to retell the story. I'm asking you if
15 you would point out where the men were taken to the barn.
16 A. Right. From here. They separated us here. Women went over
17 there, and we went along here to Qazim Batusha's front door. And we went
18 in there. And that's where the shed is, in --
19 Q. Can you --
20 A. -- middle between these destroyed houses and --
21 Q. And you've been shown a photograph where you say the foundation of
22 what was the shed is still visible.
23 Now, if you look at the top of the photograph, there is a line
24 just beyond the trees. Do you see that line running across the -- no.
25 Farther up. Point your -- farther. Farther up towards the top of the
1 photograph. Top of the photograph.
2 A. Here?
3 Q. No. Sir --
4 A. Here?
5 Q. -- do you see the top of the photograph?
6 A. Here? Ah. Ah, here.
7 Q. Yes. What is that?
8 A. This is -- this is the paved road. This is the main road.
9 Q. Is that the asphalt road to which you refer in your statement?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And finally --
12 A. Yes. Yes. This is the asphalted road.
13 Q. One more question about this map, or about this photograph. You
14 have described in your statement your route of escape. Go back to the
15 location of the barn and show with the pointer, if you would, your route
16 of escape, please.
17 A. From here, we went out here. Along here, that's where my house
18 is. And we went through here and through -- and we stopped a little bit
19 here and then we went on. We went on down and came out on this road, this
20 dirt road that goes to Krushe e Madhe. That's where that road is. And
21 from the asphalt, they fired at us.
22 Q. Thank you, sir.
23 MR. RYNEVELD: Those are my questions. I hope that assists.
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Ramadani, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
25 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are now free to
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you as well.
3 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Mr. Usher, as you escort the witness, could you please return with
5 Mehmet Avdyli.
6 Again, while we're waiting for the witness, Your Honours, the next
7 witness describes the same incident. Therefore, I do not propose to show
8 maps or photos to this particular witness, to save time. Just so you know
9 we're talking about the identical incident.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
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: If you'd like to take a seat.
16 WITNESS: MEHMET AVDYLI
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
19 Q. Mr. Avdyli, do I understand correctly, sir, that you're 43 years
21 A. No. I'm 35.
22 Q. All right. Thank you very much. I've got that information
24 You're of Kosovo Albanian ethnicity, are you, sir?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And I understand you lived all of your life in Krusha e Vogel; is
2 that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Are you married?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How many children do you have?
7 A. I have three; two sons and a daughter.
8 Q. Now, sir, did you give two statements to the investigators of the
9 Office of the Prosecutor; on the 4th of April, 1999, and then again on the
10 5th of October of 2001?
11 A. Yes, I did make them on the 4th of April, but the second one, I
12 don't remember the date.
13 Q. All right. And just recently, on the 7th of March, 2002, did you
14 appear before a presiding officer of this Tribunal and give a solemn
15 declaration that the contents of those two statements were correct to the
16 best of your information and belief?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. All right.
19 MR. RYNEVELD: Might the statements which are attached, might
20 those be marked as an exhibit in these proceedings, Your Honours?
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
22 MR. RYNEVELD: While those are distributed, I propose to read a
23 very brief summary of what this witness has indicated in those
25 Your Honours, you will find that he indicates that the entire
1 village of Krusha e Vogel, which to the best of his estimation has about
2 400 inhabitants, that they were all civilians, and there were both Serbs
3 and Albanians living there, and they lived in relative harmony until after
4 the airstrikes began by NATO on the 24th of March, 1999.
5 He then indicates that on or about 3.00 a.m. on the 25th of March,
6 1999, Serb tanks entered his village. This event caused the villagers,
7 including his wife and children, to flee to a nearby forest. He says that
8 at daybreak, the Serb tanks fired for about an hour upon those people
9 hiding in the forest. He saw that the MUP or police were taking away
10 vehicles and tractors from the village and observed the village being
11 progressively burnt down by the Serbs.
12 At about 9.00 in the morning on Friday, the villagers were
13 captured by the Serb forces. The men were separated from the women and
14 children. The women were instructed to go to Albania and chased away.
15 The group of men and boys totaled about 110, and according to the
16 witness's statement, they ranged in age from 13 to 72 years of age.
17 Apparently the group was searched, had their wallets and identity cards
18 confiscated. He says that they were forced to kneel on the ground with
19 their hands behind their heads and with their heads on the ground. If
20 anyone raised their heads, they were subjected to severe beatings on all
21 parts of their bodies.
22 He then describes in his statements how the group was taken to the
23 house of Haxhi Batusha where all of the 110 males were forced inside this
24 two-bedroom house. Included in that group of 110 was a man who was an
25 invalid and was confined to a wheelchair. He says that at the time, the
1 house was intact and had not been hit by any shells prior to the group
2 being forced inside. Once inside, they were subjected to abuse, and while
3 being verbally abused, the Serb forces opened fire with firearms through
4 the windows.
5 At the completion of the shooting, he says he saw a policeman
6 throw hay on top of the bodies and then set fire to the hay. He says not
7 all of the victims were killed by gunfire but some of the survivors were
8 subsequently incinerated by the ensuing fire.
9 The witness then describes how he escaped the burning house and
10 later observed the MUP officer stealing a motor vehicle owned by his uncle
11 and that he saw how the police continued to feed the house fire with maize
12 stems to intensify the fire. He says the village burned for the next few
13 days. He fled to the forest and eventually received medical attention for
14 the severe burns he suffered during the fire.
15 While leaving Kosovo for Albania, he and two others were detained
16 by the Serb police, tied to a heater, interrogated, and accused of being
17 members of the KLA. In his statement, the witness provides the names and
18 ages of the majority of persons killed during the execution at the house
19 or barn of Mr. Batusha.
20 That is a very brief summary. Obviously, I've left out many of
21 the details. And I'm sorry, I didn't get the exhibit number for the
22 statement while it was -- while I was reading in the summary, so I've
23 delayed that. Might that be given one now?
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked Prosecutor's
25 Exhibit 227.
1 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] You gave your first statement in April of 1999 in
5 Albania; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Where did you give your second statement?
8 A. In Kosova.
9 Q. Why was it necessary to give a second statement after giving the
10 first one?
11 A. Because it was necessary -- because it was a very tragic case in
12 my village, when more than a hundred men, young boys and old men, lost
13 their lives.
14 Q. Did you graduate from school?
15 A. No.
16 Q. So you are working the land. You have been working the land ever
17 since you started working; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was any member of your family a member of the KLA?
20 A. No.
21 Q. In your statement dated October 5th, 2001, you state that five of
22 the residents of your village were members of the KLA, but they were not
23 your relatives; right?
24 A. They joined the KLA after the war, and before, there wasn't any
25 KLA at all, and I never had any contact with the KLA.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Yes, but you spoke of the time in the beginning of the war, and in
2 your statement you said that five farmers were members of the KLA. Is
3 that right or not?
4 A. No, that's not right. No.
5 Q. All right. And these people whose names you gave in your
6 statement, do you know them well?
7 A. Yes, I know them very well.
8 Q. Do you know, when did they become members of the KLA?
9 A. I saw them after the war in uniform.
10 Q. When after the war?
11 A. After we came back from Albania. This was very late, maybe -- I
12 don't know what date, but it was very late, when anybody could.
13 Q. All right. And who was the commander of the KLA unit to which
14 these five farmers belonged?
15 A. I don't know. I didn't even speak to them about this sort of
17 Q. All right. In your statement April 4, 1999, you stated that
18 everything was peaceful in the village until the NATO air raid started.
19 Nothing special or particular occurred prior to that; right?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. Was your village bombed? I mean the village or the surrounding
23 A. I didn't understand that very well.
24 Q. Was the area around your village, including your village, bombed?
25 A. What do you mean? When we were in the village or ...?
1 Q. Both when you were in the village and when you were outside the
3 A. When we fled to the woods, there were gunshots. When the gunshots
4 came, we fled to the woods immediately.
5 MR. RYNEVELD: May I interrupt just for one moment? If Your
6 Honours are looking through the bis'ing package, you'll see that the 5th
7 of October statement is in fact missing. It's on its way. We have two
8 copies of the -- I have a copy, but apparently the package that was handed
9 in is missing that statement. So I just thought I -- it is on its way.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I think we probably got copies from the original
12 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. I just didn't want the Court to be
13 looking through the documents that were just handed in only to find that
14 they're not there.
15 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. When I refer to the bombing, I am referring to bombing from
18 aircraft, that is to say, throwing bombs out of an airplane.
19 JUDGE MAY: You're talking about the NATO bombing; is that right?
20 Is that what you want him to deal with?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I want him to answer my question,
22 whether he knows whether the area around his village was bombed and
23 whether he saw that. I think that that is a perfectly clear question.
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Avdyli, the first question is this: Was your
25 village or the area round about bombed by NATO?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As long as I was in Kosova, it was
3 JUDGE MAY: Then the question is: Was it bombed by anybody else,
4 from the air?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There was the sound of
6 machine-gun fire.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Did anybody bomb the village from the air?
9 A. No. As long as I was there, no.
10 Q. You say that there was no bombing, and in the statement dated the
11 4th of April, on page 2, in paragraph 2, you say that you saw a Serb
12 neighbour of yours turning off the light and taking his family into the
13 cellar. Is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you also go to the cellar in your house with your family?
16 A. No. No.
17 Q. You were not afraid of the bombing; is that right?
18 A. We were not scared by the NATO bombardment.
19 Q. You say that on the 25th of March, at 3.00 in the morning, you
20 heard tanks going by your house; is that right?
21 A. Around the village.
22 Q. By the village. And did they enter the village?
23 A. Yes, they did enter the village.
24 Q. And when they entered the village, what happened when the tanks
25 entered the village?
1 A. The people left. Once the tanks came into the village, the people
2 left for the mountains.
3 Q. You say that when dawn broke, that the tanks started shooting at
4 the upper part of the forest, that the shooting went on for about one
5 hour. Who were they shooting at, I mean the tanks, when they were
6 shooting at the upper part of the forest?
7 A. When they came, the forces of the army, we were up to the
8 mountain, so they were shooting towards us.
9 Q. So you were in that part of the forest at which they were shooting
10 from the tanks?
11 A. We went towards the woods. We sought refuge in the woods.
12 Q. I understand what you are saying. But if you say that they were
13 shooting at you while you were in the woods, does that mean that somebody
14 got killed by this fire coming from the tanks, somebody in the woods?
15 A. I don't know about anybody being killed in the woods because of
16 the tanks.
17 Q. So what were these tanks shooting at, then?
18 A. I don't know it even myself. They were shooting in the direction
19 of the people.
20 Q. Well, you were those people; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And nobody got killed?
23 A. No. No.
24 Q. Were there some other people there then when you say "these
25 people" or "those people"?
1 A. No.
2 Q. This Friday that you're referring to was the 26th of March, 1999;
3 is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now explain something to me that I do not understand. You claim
6 that you saw Serbs gradually burning the village on Friday, and further on
7 in your statement you say that on Friday, at 9.00 in the morning, 15
8 policemen entered the woods and took you to Haxhi Batusha's house, an
9 Albanian whose house is on the outskirts of the village, by the forest.
10 This is in your statement dated the 4th of April, page 2, paragraphs 5, 6,
11 and 7.
12 A. There were 15 police who entered the woods, because on the 26th,
13 they surrounded us.
14 Q. How big was Haxhi Batusha's house?
15 A. There were two rooms and a corridor. The house was one floor.
16 Q. A total of two rooms; right?
17 A. Yes. Two rooms and a corridor.
18 Q. You say that in these two rooms and in that corridor -- as far as
19 I could understand it, actually, these rooms were four by four metres;
21 A. I don't know exactly. I haven't measured them. Perhaps it is
23 Q. So you say 110 people managed to fit into these two rooms and that
24 one corridor; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And when the policemen started shooting at you, what time was it
3 A. I don't know exactly. I didn't have a wristwatch with me because
4 we were robbed of the wristwatches. They took our wallets and everything
5 we had in our possession. We were not allowed to have anything in the
6 hands. We were forced to have our hands up above our heads.
7 Q. Were they shooting at you through the doors and through the
8 windows or only through the doors?
9 A. In the room where I was, they were shooting at us through the
11 Q. All right. Ramadani Lutfi testified here before you concerning
12 the same event, and he said that you were not in a house. He said that
13 you were in a cowshed. He said that the policemen were shooting from the
14 door of the cowshed, and you say that you were in a house and that they
15 were shooting at you through the windows. Can you explain this in
16 somewhat greater detail? He was with you then; isn't that right?
17 JUDGE MAY: The witness can't give evidence about what somebody
18 else said.
19 Was this a house?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot give the statement of
21 anybody else. I'm speaking about myself. I was there in that room,
22 present, which had -- which -- and there was hay in that room. And what
23 happened in the corridor and in the other room, I am not well aware
25 Shefqet Shehu was standing on foot after the executions, and I
1 have heard with my own ears that he said to the Serbs, "Are you doing
2 so?" And then they shot again Shefqet, who was a student of chemistry.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. I'm going to draw your attention to page 2 of your statement,
5 where you say -- it's at the very bottom of the page: "The entire group
6 of men that numbered about 110 were crowded into two rooms of the house,
7 four metres by four metres, squashed into two rooms of the house."
8 That's why I asked you whether it was four by four. And you said
9 that you hadn't measured it.
10 So it was in these two rooms in that house. Now you say that --
11 JUDGE MAY: No. He also said that it could be true that it was
12 four by four.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's not the point. The point is
14 that there is an enormous difference. Are we speaking about two rooms
15 four by four in a house or are we speaking about a cowshed? I can't
16 understand this.
17 JUDGE MAY: No. You are not here to make speeches. You will ask
18 questions. If you have any more questions -- don't interrupt. If you
19 have any more questions of this witness, you can put them to him.
20 Meanwhile, you're not to make speeches now. The witness has said it's a
21 house, and he's described it. He can't comment on what somebody else may
22 have said.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am addressing this comment to you
24 gentlemen. We are listening to such fabrications here that --
25 JUDGE MAY: This isn't the time to address comment to us. If you
1 are saying this witness has made up what he's told us about being present
2 during an execution, you put it to him so that he can answer. If you are
3 saying he's lying, you must put it to him about this sort of event.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I believe that both of them
5 invented this.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Please tell me --
8 JUDGE MAY: Very well. It should be put to the witness in terms.
9 You can't make these comments without giving the witness a chance to
11 What is being suggested, so you understand this, Mr. Avdyli, by
12 the accused is that you have invented this story about being present in a
13 house in which a hundred people were executed. Do you follow what he's
14 putting to you, what he's suggesting? What's your answer to this? Have
15 you made all this up?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I couldn't make it up. Nothing
17 could I make up. I have come here only to tell you the truth. Look how I
18 am burnt in the two hands and in all of my face. I'm all burnt. I have
19 these scars and signs here. I've come here to tell the truth.
20 JUDGE MAY: The transcript should reflect the fact that the
21 witness has shown the Court what appears to be the scarring on his
23 Yes. Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Any more questions for the witness?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, within the time that I have
25 available, I shall certainly put more questions.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. The windows that they were shooting at you from, did they face the
3 same side of the yard or different sides of the yard?
4 A. They were from the side of the yard.
5 Q. So they faced the same side of the yard, these windows? How many
6 windows did this room that you were in have?
7 A. In the room where I was, there were two windows.
8 Q. Were they shooting at you from both or through both or through one
10 A. They were shooting from one window, which I saw with my own eyes.
11 I've seen it with my own eyes from the window which looked at the yard.
12 Q. Well, you say that you fell on the ground as soon as the shooting
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And after that, they brought hay and they threw it all over you.
16 Is that your assertion?
17 A. They have burnt us. They put hay upon us.
18 Q. And when they were throwing hay at you, did they enter the room
19 that you were in?
20 A. I couldn't see them because I was among the dead people and among
21 the wounded people.
22 Q. Did they throw the hay in through the window or through the door?
23 A. I didn't see how they threw it.
24 Q. All right. Tell me, how long were you in that room where you
25 stayed with the dead?
1 A. I don't exactly know how long I stayed here, but there were so
2 many people blocked. They were wounded, severely wounded, and they had
3 some slight wounds. There was one, Muharrem Asllani. He was my
4 neighbour, and he had his arm cut by the machine-gun fire. He was blocked
5 from the fire. So when they started spreading hay upon the dead people, I
6 saw the -- I saw the people in blood. I could not be able to breathe
7 because my blood became very thick because of the smoke. And I came out
8 of the fire, and I said better die from the bullets rather than be burnt
10 Q. On page 3, in the middle, it says: "The group was forced into the
11 house around 11.00, and I escaped at about 1500 hours, after the smoke
12 became unbearable." And then further on, you say that you sustained burns
13 to your face from the flames that still raged on the bodies.
14 How is that possible? How can this room be on fire for several
15 hours, the same room that you were in, and how could you survive that?
16 How could you spend a few hours in these raging flames, as you had put
17 it? Even four hours later. There was four hours between 11.00 and 1500
18 hours when you escaped, and flames were still raging. How was it possible
19 for someone to spend four hours in raging flames regardless of whether he
20 is believed to be dead or alive or just wounded or not wounded at all or
21 even wrapped in something?
22 JUDGE MAY: Now, it's time there was a question.
23 Mr. Avdyli, you've heard what is being put by the accused. Can
24 you deal with it?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Once more, I didn't understand the
1 question, please.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, that's understandable, considering how
3 long it was. What appears is being put is that there was a fire, and you
4 were able to stay in the room for several hours. How was that possible if
5 there was a fire going on?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's not that it was on fire.
7 Raging flames, that's what it says here, at least in the translation.
8 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't -- I am not saying that I'm
10 making up this story, but I don't know exactly how long I stayed among the
11 dead bodies and among the fire. But since the dead bodies were blocked
12 and Muharrem Asllani started crying that he was being burnt -- I don't --
13 I don't know how long I stayed there in that fire and among the dead
14 bodies. So I came out of that place, and I say, "Better to die from the
15 bullets rather than be incinerated," like many other people died being
16 burnt, and I couldn't stand hearing their cries. I didn't have a
17 wristwatch. As I said it, we were robbed of everything that we had with
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: So what you're saying, then, is that you might
20 not have spent as long as four hours in that room?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Really, I don't exactly know how
22 many hours. I just know that I tried to escape and die from the bullets
23 rather than from the fire.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. My question is the following: How did you manage to escape since
1 there were police around there? That's your claim.
2 A. In that room, there were two windows, one window at the sides [as
3 interpreted]. I didn't come out of that window from where they were
4 shooting, which was siding the yard. I came out of the other window and
5 between the house of my uncle, Bali Avdyli, and I entered the cellar of
6 the house of my uncle. My uncle's house was near this house.
7 Q. All right. A while ago, in response to my question, you said that
8 both windows were facing the same direction. Now you say that one window
9 was on one side and the other window was on the other side. Please make
10 up your mind. Did both windows face the same way or did the room have
11 windows on both sides, on two different sides, and then you managed to
12 escape through one of the windows? So what is the truth out of all that
13 you have been saying?
14 A. This is not true. You are planning it. I say that this room had
15 two windows. The other one had one window, whereas the house had three
16 windows and a corridor. One window was at the side and the other was
17 opposite the yard. And it was not a big window; it was a small window.
18 Q. The fact that it was a small window does not mean that it can be
19 interpreted as an answer to the question that I put to you previously:
20 Which side did the windows face, the same side or different sides?
21 JUDGE MAY: He's given his answer, and it may not, considering the
22 magnitude of what happened, as the witness said occurred, matter which
23 side the window was. Now, Mr. Milosevic, technically you have another ten
24 minutes. Have you more questions for ten minutes? If so, we'll adjourn.
25 Or can we finish before lunch?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, after the break I can complete
2 the remaining ten minutes. That's no problem.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now.
4 Mr. Avdyli, could you be back, please, at half past 2.00 to finish
5 your evidence. Could you remember not to speak to anybody about it until
6 it's over, and that does include the members of the Prosecution team.
7 We'll adjourn now until half past 2.00.
8 JUDGE KWON: Before we adjourn, I'd like the Prosecution to give
9 us some clarification. I understand the witness changed name from Avdyli
10 to Krasniqi after the war.
11 MR. RYNEVELD: After the war. That's in his statement, yes.
12 JUDGE KWON: But I noticed some various signatures which is in the
13 bottom part of his statement, in Albanian and in English. And there are
14 several. So what -- could you give us some clarification about that
15 later? I don't think that they are all -- that's consistent, one
16 writing. There's different writing. I notice there are some differences,
18 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. If I could perhaps report that after
19 the break. Thank you.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll adjourn.
21 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I condensed this, and I will fit
4 within the ten minutes allotted to me.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. How did you manage to enter the house of your uncle since the
7 policemen were obviously in the yard of your uncle's house?
8 A. I entered from the lower part, from a door that is down below.
9 And I used a baby's nappie, and I wrapped my hands in that, but sometimes
10 they went round the side of the house. And then there was Sveta Tasic,
11 from our village, who took my uncle's car.
12 Q. Now, tell me, please, how did you then manage, and at what risk,
13 to escape from your uncle's house if the policemen were still there? Were
14 the policemen still there when you fled into the forest or had they
15 already gone at that time?
16 A. As long as I was there, I went also up to the second floor where I
17 saw the village -- the Serbs of the village who were still throwing hay on
18 top of the bodies. There was Slavisa Petkovic and Boro Stankovic who were
19 throwing hay on top of the bodies. And I saw this from the place where I
21 Q. I'm asking you how did you manage to flee once again from your
22 uncle's house into the forest if the policemen were still there? Did you
23 wait for the policemen to leave or did you flee with them still there?
24 How did you manage to flee? That's my question.
25 A. I stayed there until late, until the evening. And after it got
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 dark, I went down to the stream and then up into the forest.
2 Q. All right. And were they still there when you were trying to flee
3 or had they already gone at that time?
4 A. All day -- they were there all day. I saw them in my uncle's
5 cellar. I saw them all there. I saw the sons of --
6 Q. Yes, but as you were fleeing, as you were leaving, as you were
7 fleeing into the forest.
8 A. Just a moment. When I fled to the forest, there was none of them
9 left. Because if they had been there, I would have been a dead man. I
10 didn't seek shelter there, but I went there by chance, thinking that
11 perhaps they wouldn't come there, because they had searched all the houses
12 in the morning, and they had ransacked them and thrown all the clothes
13 about and the contents. And they did that in my uncle's cellar.
14 Q. All right. All right. Thank you very much. I can see that you
15 are saying untruths again.
16 I want to point the penultimate paragraph on page 3 to you when
17 you explain how you left your uncle's house, where you say: "I withdrew
18 into the forest where I stayed until midnight, looking at the house in
19 which there were dead people, and the policemen were feeding the fire
20 until late into the night," whereas now you claim that they'd already gone
21 when you fled. Is that so or not?
22 A. In the evening, they withdrew and stayed in the houses where they
23 were staying. And then when I went out, I didn't see any of them because
24 it was night, and I didn't see any policemen round about. If I had seen
25 one, I would have been a dead man.
1 Q. All right. It is quite clear, quite clear. In your second
2 statement, you said that you did not see the vehicles nor the weapons from
3 which they were shooting, and you said that they were shooting above your
4 heads. Is that right or not?
5 A. What do you think -- I don't understand this question very well.
6 What place are you talking about?
7 Q. Well, you said while you were in the forest there was artillery
8 firing directed at you, that you saw artillery pieces firing at you.
9 Didn't you say that?
10 A. Yes. That was before, when the people were sheltering in the
11 forest. That's when they fired.
12 Q. No. Prior to that, you said that you saw artillery firing at
13 you. And let me read to you what your statement contains. This is
14 paragraph 6 on page 1, or rather, on page 2, because the first page is
15 always a cover page, and I'm reading verbatim:
16 "I did not see either the vehicles or the weapons because they
17 were shooting towards the forest above our heads. They used heavy
18 artillery. We heard detonation as they were firing, and one tree was cut
19 into half by a shell."
20 This is the entire paragraph. So what is the truth here: what you
21 said before the break or what is contained in your statement?
22 A. That was on the 25th, when they fired on the population in the
23 village -- in the forest, not the day when I went out into -- not the
24 night when I went out into the forest myself. I'm talking about the night
25 later, on the 26th, when I went to the forest. I was injured, with all my
1 hands and face burnt.
2 Q. Yes. Yes. I am referring to the 25th, because that is the only
3 incident that you described that they fired at you while you were in the
4 forest. But what is the truth here: what you said before the break or
5 what is contained in your statement?
6 JUDGE MAY: I don't remember any discrepancy between the two.
7 You're referring here -- you were asked by the investigator, I
8 suppose: I have been asked if I know what types of weapons were being
9 used by the Serbs to fire upon the civilians from the villagers who were
10 hiding in the woods.
11 Do you remember that?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. They fired from below, where
13 they were positioned, with their military hardware. They fired from below
14 up into the forest, on the civilian population.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I would like to remind you
16 that this witness said here that they fired from the armoured personnel
17 carriers and that there was no artillery, but rather, that they were
18 shooting from machine-guns. This is what he said during his testimony
19 here. And I would like to remind you here that he did not see APCs, that
20 heavy artillery had been used, and that one shell even cut a tree into
21 half, and that they were shooting above their heads. So this is a
22 completely different description of events.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. So let me continue. You --
25 JUDGE MAY: Your time is now virtually up, but the witness should
1 have a chance to deal with what you allege is a discrepancy.
2 Now, is there any discrepancy in what you've said about the
3 artillery or not? Was there artillery used?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 25th, when the forces took
5 position, we were in the forest, and then they fired artillery of various
6 kinds. Shells fired from below us when we were in the forest and a tree
7 was cut down there. And on the 26th, in the evening, I fled to the
8 forest. Because when we were in the forest, we couldn't actually see the
9 hardware they were using, though we knew where they were positioned.
10 JUDGE MAY: You can ask one more question, Mr. Milosevic.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I would like you to grant
12 three more minutes to me, because you took up some of my time. I planned
13 this out carefully for ten minutes.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Please, can you tell me who dictated the persons of these people
16 that were allegedly killed? Did you know them, and how did you acquire
17 information on their years of birth, and under whose instructions did you
18 invent this description of events? What was promised to you in exchange
19 for this?
20 JUDGE MAY: There is a series of questions in that, one of which
21 is a suggestion that this witness has made up his evidence yet again, the
22 suggestion made again.
23 Now, Mr. Avdyli, this will be the last question you are asked,
24 because there are two or three questions in it.
25 First of all, in your statement you have listed those who were
1 executed. What is suggested is that this was dictated to you. Now, can
2 you tell us how you came to list those who were executed?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were all from my village. They
4 were all people I knew from my village.
5 JUDGE MAY: The list contains, it's pointed out, the various
6 ages. Where did you get the ages from?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We got them because I knew, more or
8 less, roughly, how old they were, because I was born there in that
10 JUDGE MAY: Now, it's suggested that you've invented this, indeed
11 all your evidence. What's your answer to that?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I haven't invented this at all.
13 I haven't done this myself. I haven't written this myself. I haven't
14 imagined this. I knew all these things, and I knew how old these people
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Has the amicus got any questions?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I ask another question?
18 JUDGE MAY: No, Mr. Milosevic. You've had your time.
19 THE ACCUSED: Okay.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
21 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] I would like to kindly ask you to just clarify
23 this issue that had been brought up already by Honourable Judge Kwon. I
24 would like to ask Mr. Krasniqi, or rather, sorry, Mr. Avdyli: I know
25 Albanians frequently change their last name, and can you tell us what was
1 the reason for your changing your name in such a short period of time?
2 A. It wasn't for a reason. The thing is that my father and brother
3 used the surname Krasniqi, and my father has now died, and my brother is
4 Krasniqi. But nevertheless, my documents were in Avdyli, so I wanted to
5 have the same name as my brother because I couldn't find these old
6 documents. And now at UNMIK, my documents are registered in the name of
7 Krasniqi, my entire family.
8 Q. Mr. Krasniqi, why were you brought here under the last name of
9 Avdyli if your current last name is Krasniqi, in fact?
10 JUDGE MAY: That's not his responsibility. It's the
11 responsibility of those who took the statement.
12 Now, Mr. Tapuskovic, if there's some point in this we will
13 continue, but there doesn't at the moment seem to be any point in it.
14 He's explained why he's changed his name.
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like the witness to
16 explain the difference in his signature when he signed his name as Mehmet
17 Avdyli - this is on the 4th of April of 1999 - and his signature on the
18 statement from March 2002, 7th of March, 2002. I would simply like the
19 witness to explain this. I have no further questions. I would simply
20 like the signatures to be shown to him so that he can explain it. I don't
21 have any further questions.
22 JUDGE MAY: What is there to explain? His name was Avdyli. He
23 signed that in 1999. And then he's Krasniqi later on. What is it that
24 you want him to explain, Mr. Tapuskovic?
25 MR. RYNEVELD: If it assists, Your Honour, I believe the question
1 is that the signatures appear to look different. I have a question that
2 might clarify that issue.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
4 MR. RYNEVELD: And I also have a photo, if necessary.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, let counsel for the Prosecution deal with
6 it, then. Mr. Tapuskovic, we will let the Prosecution deal with it. They
7 took the statements.
8 MR. RYNEVELD: Do you wish me to do it now? Did we want --
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. That's what I think too.
11 That's right. Thank you.
12 Re-examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
13 Q. With respect to your signature, quite apart from the fact that you
14 signed one statement with the name Avdyli and the other with the name
15 Krasniqi, you've explained that, there appears to be on your statement,
16 sir, a difference in the type of handwriting. What I'm asking you now
17 is: On the 3rd and 4th of April, were you suffering from any burn wounds
18 to your hands as a result of what occurred to you on the 26th of March?
19 A. Yes. My hands were very badly burned. They were entirely
20 burned. They were all burned.
21 Q. As a result of medical treatment which you sought, were your hands
22 bandaged? Were they wrapped with bandages?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you sign the first statement on the 4th of April with bandaged
1 A. Yes. I had bandaged hands. That's how I signed it.
2 Q. Did the bandages on your hands affect your ability to write as
3 legibly as you might do two years later?
4 A. Not just a bit. At that time, it was very difficult for me to
5 write at all because I couldn't hold a pencil.
6 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, if that clarifies the matter. I do
7 have a photo from the Internet showing bandaged hands, but I don't know
8 whether that's necessary, given his answers.
9 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure this is of great importance, but let's
10 put it simply. Could the usher put this witness statement on the ELMO.
11 Mr. Krasniqi, could you kindly look at the signature at the bottom
12 of the page. That's the English version taken in 1999, and there's two
13 signatures there.
14 The bottom part. The signatures.
15 There are two signatures. You recognise them? Who did this
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's my name and signature,
18 name -- that is me. This other one, I don't know.
19 JUDGE KWON: And this time, Mr. Usher, could you put this on the
20 ELMO. This is perhaps the third -- second statement, yes.
21 There's some different handwriting. "Mehmet Krasniqi." You wrote
22 this also?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Mehmet Krasniqi"? Yes, I wrote
25 JUDGE KWON: You wrote that yourself?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I wrote it myself.
2 JUDGE KWON: And this time this is the signature that appears on
3 the Albanian version. The left side. Yes. You also signed this?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's my signature.
5 JUDGE KWON: So all of them are done by you?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
8 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honours. I do have one more
9 question in re-examination, but I don't know whether Mr. Tapuskovic was
10 finished. Yes. Thank you.
11 Q. One more question, sir. You've been cross-examined about the
12 house --
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 MR. RYNEVELD:
15 Q. -- where you were. You've described to us that in one of the
16 rooms in which you were there was hay; is that correct?
17 A. That's right. In that room where I was, it was -- it had this --
18 it had hay inside.
19 Q. Did you notice any furniture or any sign that it was being used
20 for people to live in?
21 A. No. This was an uninhabited house.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 A. It -- they -- they had filled it with hay and things for cows and
24 things like that.
25 Q. Thank you, sir. That clarifies my question.
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Avdyli, thank you for coming to the Tribunal to
2 give your evidence. It's now over. You are free to go.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you as well, Your Honour and
4 everybody, for making it possible for the blood of these people who died
5 and make to the truth known to the world. Thank you.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, just before the next witness comes in, two
8 matters. First, may I shortly and respectfully just invite the Chamber to
9 give thought to the following in relation to the manner of
10 cross-examination of witnesses of the type we've seen over the last few
11 days. If the witnesses are telling the truth, then cross-examination, to
12 the effect that they fabricated everything, adds insult to injury and may
13 be particularly distressing, perhaps even more distressing to people from
14 this culture than from others. And I just wonder, and as I say, I'm
15 asking the Chamber to think about it if it would -- if it could, I just
16 wonder if when the accused makes this kind of allegation he should be
17 required to make it clear whether he's doing it on the basis of material,
18 he has witnesses who can support these allegations, or whether he's simply
19 making it on the basis of what he can make of what's in a statement.
20 Not only might this be of significance in the way the witnesses
21 themselves are dealt with, but of course if in due course at the end of
22 the trial we come to the position of finding that these allegations are --
23 that have been made are entirely groundless, it will be too late to do
24 anything about it and we will have forgotten all about it by then. And I
25 just wonder if the Chamber might think about it as a way of confining
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE MAY: Of course if this were a -- not a litigant in person
4 but somebody who was represented, we would expect matters to be put more
5 accurately. Unless something is put, we will assume that it is merely an
6 allegation. But it's right that the witnesses should have a chance to
7 deal with it if it's being put, and it should be put fairly and squarely
8 to them --
9 MR. NICE: I entire agree. I just --
10 JUDGE MAY: -- so they can respond.
11 Before we call the witness, there is something which I want to
12 deal with. I should have mentioned it earlier.
13 I was talking about clarification of the witness list, and there
14 are two matters which possibly I should raise now because they concern
15 witnesses who it may be, because we're going at a faster rate, could be
16 called fairly soon.
17 The first is Mr. Vllasi. We have considered his evidence or,
18 rather, the summary that we've had of his evidence. We note that since he
19 was not an original witness, you will require leave to call him. We, at
20 the moment, are concerned about the -- given the number of witnesses and
21 the amount of evidence, we are concerned that this is not of great
22 relevance, and we will not be minded to give leave at the moment. It may
23 be you'd like to reflect on that.
24 MR. NICE: It's very helpful to have that advance indication. If
25 I can come back to you about it first thing in the morning, I'll let you
1 know what my then-position is. I know that I had the intention to take
2 his evidence shortly. I'll see if what's contained within the short
3 passages I wanted to lead is worth drawing to your attention
5 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. I think we ought to be considering these
6 matters as to the amount of evidence.
7 General Naumann we have also considered. Again, you'll need leave
8 to call him, but clearly he's an important witness who deals with other
9 matters, and we would be minded to give leave.
10 MR. NICE: Thank you.
11 JUDGE MAY: There may be some matters arising as to disclosure,
12 about the time available, and it may be you'll have to make an application
13 in respect of that.
14 (redacted)- I may have got the name the wrong way
15 around - he is, I think if I recollect, a verifier.
16 MR. NICE: Your Honour, if I can just remind you that there was
17 another issue arising yesterday that we have yet to resolve. In fact,
18 they're the same issue, I suspect. There's the issue -- it's a Rule 70
19 issue and it relates to this witness.
20 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let me say, then, in relation to that,
21 that we're not minded to be persuaded that the matters raised should
22 be -- would be appropriate. I hope that makes it plain.
23 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes. I think this is touching on a
24 sensitive area, and it may be appropriate for me to ventilate the topic a
25 little more generally, perhaps in a private session, but not now.
1 JUDGE MAY: Very well. But that's our view.
2 MR. NICE: Well, it's very helpful to have that view, and I'll
3 communicate it to the government concerned. Of course, he's in the
4 process of deciding on what representations to add to the material I've
5 already laid before you.
6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Shall we deal with the next witness?
7 MR. NICE: Yes. Again, before he comes -- incidentally, in
8 relation to (redacted), as I understand Your Honour's observations,
9 this was nothing to do with dates of disclosure; it was simply in relation
10 to the Rule 70 issue itself.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 MR. NICE: Yes. I can satisfy you, I think, about disclosure, but
13 it's all wound up in the same general topic, and a rather complex history,
14 so for another date.
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
16 MR. NICE: The immediately forthcoming witness, Ambassador Walker,
17 I hope the Court has had an opportunity of considering --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have a question regarding the
19 previous one, regarding the previous one, the previous issue that was
20 mentioned. Can we receive the order of the witnesses today, the order of
21 the witnesses after Walker? I take it that Mr. Walker will be the first
22 witness coming, and can we have the order for at least the following
24 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the order is being published and furnished
25 to the defendant on the regular basis, and I don't know when the last one
1 went out. The 7th of June is the date of the last one.
2 JUDGE MAY: And that is the current order --
3 MR. NICE: That's the current order.
4 JUDGE MAY: -- for next week?
5 MR. NICE: Subject, of course, to deletions that the Court may
6 make in it.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
8 MR. NICE: And if things change, as they do from time to time, I
9 make a point of notifying the accused at the earliest possible moment,
10 where necessary getting messages sent to him in the late afternoon, if it
11 is necessary.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
13 MR. NICE: Ambassador Walker. I trust the Chamber has had the 92
14 bis package, as we are for some reason now calling it. It's not a
15 package; it's a clip really, which contains the two statements in reverse
16 order as to date, and the summary. The summary is the summary of the
17 evidence that I would wish or feel obliged to give viva voce in any event,
18 even if the Rule 92 bis application were to be granted in part. I can
19 identify the paragraphs that would be taken live and would ask the Chamber
20 to consider admitting the balance of the statements 92 bis, given that
21 they cover materials covered by other witnesses, in particular, General
22 Drewienkiewicz, and others. I dare say, in the nature of things, it's
23 likely that the whole statement will go in under another route in any
24 event and in due course, but to be sure, I should apply for the document
25 to go in under 92 bis so that its status is clear.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE MAY: It's both statements you're asking to go in under 92
3 MR. NICE: Yes.
4 JUDGE MAY: So you're asking, in fact, that only part of the
5 statements go in. Those parts which deal with meetings with the accused
6 you will deal with anyway, and I see you'll be covering Racak.
7 MR. NICE: Absolutely. Not all of Racak, but all that, it seems
8 to me, new and significant.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, Racak is a topic which has been covered.
10 The rest of his evidence concerning the Verification Mission and the
11 background is cumulative, repetitive. We've heard other evidence about
12 it, and therefore it comes within the Rule. However, we'll hear any
13 applications that anybody wants to make.
14 Mr. Milosevic, what is proposed should happen is that the
15 statement of this witness should be exhibited and admitted under the Rule,
16 but that he would be called to give evidence about some of the incidents
17 in Racak, and particularly about any of his meetings with you, which
18 doesn't come within the Rule because it relates to the acts and conduct of
19 the accused, but that the other part should be admitted. You will, of
20 course, have the opportunity to cross-examine.
21 Is there any objection to our admitting the rest of the
22 statement? No doubt you'll be cross-examining on it anyway.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do object, because the witness was
24 announced as a live witness, and now including his written statement in an
25 indirect way limits the scope of my cross-examination.
1 JUDGE MAY: No, it doesn't. It doesn't limit the scope of your
2 cross-examination. Provided it's a proper cross-examination, you may
3 cross-examine him on his statements. So the scope is not limited.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Oh, so the time for
6 cross-examination will not be limited either; right?
7 JUDGE MAY: No. That is another issue which we'll come to in due
8 course. But meanwhile, we'll admit the statements under Rule 92 bis.
9 MR. NICE: May the witness come in, please.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE MAY: If the witness would take the declaration.
12 WITNESS: WILLIAM GRAHAM WALKER
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
14 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
16 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
17 Examined by Mr. Nice:
18 Q. Your full name, please, sir.
19 A. William Graham Walker.
20 Q. Mr. Walker, is it right that you were a career diplomat in the
21 United States of America, achieving the rank of ambassador, a rank in
22 which you were confirmed by the Senate, thus giving you for life the
23 entitlement to the title of Ambassador?
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. Are you now retired from work for the United States Department of
1 State; you're vice-president of an international energy company?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. From August 1997 and until February 1998, were you the United
4 Nations Transitional Administrator for Eastern Slavonia?
5 A. Yes, I was.
6 Q. UNTAES, I think, is the --
7 A. UNTAES.
8 Q. UNTAES. Thank you. Then, from the 17th of October 1998 and until
9 mid-June of 1999, with rank of Ambassador, were you head of the Kosovo
10 Verification Mission within the Organisation for Cooperation and Security
11 in Europe?
12 A. Correct, yes.
13 Q. The KVM, as we know it to be called, being set up immediately
14 following the OSCE-FRY agreement of the 16th of October, sometimes
15 referred to as "the Holbrooke Agreement" because of the involvement of
16 Ambassador Richard Holbrooke?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm not going to make any more of the
19 background of this witness, which is contained within the materials.
20 I can take the Court to the relevant paragraphs which underlie the
21 summary paragraphs. The second statement is the first one in the bundle.
22 The first one is towards the back. And paragraph 66 of the second
23 statement can be found on page 35 of that statement.
24 JUDGE MAY: Have we given the statements exhibit numbers?
25 MR. NICE: We haven't. The whole package should be exhibited,
1 please. And I think outstanding from yesterday is the request for
2 clarification as to whether exhibits contained in these clips of documents
3 automatically fall to be part of the exhibit when we produce the
4 statement, even if the exhibit is not specifically referred to in the oral
5 testimony of the witness.
6 JUDGE MAY: I think that must be right, but it's sometimes more
7 convenient if the exhibits are produced.
8 MR. NICE: If they're looked at separately, yes. But of course,
9 if the Chamber goes back to look at a 92 bis statement, which it's
10 entitled to do, for its content, and then wishes to consider an exhibit,
11 the exhibit has to be there.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It's part -- unless I'm otherwise advised, it's
13 part, it seemed to me, of the statement.
14 MR. NICE: We're grateful for that clarification.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be given Prosecutor's
16 Exhibit 228.
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. Ambassador, I see you have open before you some documents. It may
19 or may not be you'll be allowed to look at them. Perhaps you had better
20 tell us what they are first and whether you need to refer to them, because
21 the preference of the Chamber tends to be for people to speak without
22 reference to notes when they can.
23 A. Your Honour, I have compiled what I call a chronology of events
24 that took place during my experience in Kosova, and I have it more or less
25 just so that I can remind myself of dates and people who might have been
1 at meetings I attended, that sort of thing. The other package I have is
2 my two statements that I've given to the Court, my sworn statements that I
3 was given copies of yesterday when I signed them and swore to them.
4 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Refer to them as you wish.
5 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. Your first meeting with the accused was in your role as a
8 transitional administrator. When was it and what were your initial and
9 first impressions?
10 A. The first meeting was from UNTAES. When I first took over UNTAES,
11 I went first to Zagreb and met with Tudjman, and I believe it was on
12 November the 18th of 1997 I flew to Belgrade and was received by then
13 President Milosevic.
14 Q. In a few sentences, because time is limited, but in a few
15 sentences, give us your initial impressions and tell us how he dealt with
17 A. It was what I would describe as a friendly meeting. He welcomed
18 me, told me he was -- had heard about me, was -- told me that we were on
19 the same side of the issues in Eastern Slavonia, that I was there to
20 protect the Serb population from what he described as the possible
21 intrusion by the Croats, and he told me that a General Loncar, who I think
22 I had already met, he told me that he was there to work for me, that we,
23 as I say, were on the same side of the issues. The meeting was informal.
24 It was just him and a few of his people, me and a few of my people, very
25 little of the formality that I had encountered with my meetings with
1 President Tudjman.
2 Q. And before we move on, one other general matter that I'd like you
3 to answer with all your meetings with the accused in mind. You, as an
4 ambassador, of course, would have been in various government offices and
5 probably heads of states' offices around the world. How, if at all, did
6 the accused's running of affairs as head of state compare or contrast with
7 what was normally found by you in terms of, for example, the scale of
8 obvious administrative back-up support, things like that?
9 A. Well, my only experience with heads of state were in Latin
10 American countries, which was my area during my career, and then that one
11 meeting with President Tudjman. I would describe the situation in
12 Belgrade, meeting with then President Tudjman, as being much more
13 informal, much less the accoutrement of a presidential palace, not the
14 same types of guards in place, uniformed guards, and he always -- all four
15 times I met with him, he did almost all of the talking on his side. I
16 would say it was a much more informal setting than I had seen with other
17 heads of state.
18 Q. Was there evidence of detailed note-taking, evidence of detailed
19 administrative support, back-up?
20 A. No. I was used to dealing with presidents who always have, you
21 know, note takers there. If there were note takers, I did not notice
22 them. There was no interpreter that I recall. He spoke to me in
23 English. The conversations were always in English. As I say, I'm sure I
24 was introduced to the people on his side, but I have very little memory of
25 who was at those meetings because they didn't participate.
1 Q. Incidentally, Ambassador, one problem that we have is going at a
2 speed helpful to the interpreters.
3 A. I'm sorry.
4 Q. When you're in dialogue with somebody speaking to you in English,
5 one trick is to switch the channel of the microphone to 5, which is the
6 French, and just hear it as background noise, and then you can wait for
7 the end -- I don't mean that in any sense offensively about the wonderful
8 French language, let me say at once. My goodness. But you can then hear
9 it as background noise and you'll know when the question has been
10 translated and it's easy to move on.
11 I'll come to your final views of the accused from the meetings you
12 had with him when we've dealt with the last of those meetings. How many
13 meetings with him in UNTAES?
14 A. I had two meetings with him.
15 Q. We can then move on from those to the first of your meetings with
16 him as head of KVM, which can be found in the first witness statement at
17 paragraph 4. But do it from memory if you can. Of course, you have leave
18 to refer to the documents. When was that first meeting, Ambassador?
19 A. I believe it was on the 22nd of October of 1998. I had not
20 formally arrived in Kosovo. I had made a trip to Europe, and I went to
21 see President Milosevic to sort of reintroduce myself and to, you know,
22 present myself as the new head of KVM who would be leading the OSCE
23 mission in Kosovo.
24 Q. His general attitude towards you at this time?
25 A. Was -- was a repetition of, you know, a welcome of someone he
1 knew. He gave me his version of events in Kosovo, and initially we
2 chatted about our mutual experiences in the Croatia experience of the year
4 Q. Did you raise with him one particular name, somebody you --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. -- before? Who was that?
7 A. It was General Loncar.
8 Q. Tell us how that played out.
9 A. When I was in Croatia, General Loncar had been left behind by the
10 Serb forces to keep an eye on the Serb population in Eastern Slavonia. As
11 I said earlier, President Milosevic had told me that General Loncar
12 essentially worked for me since we were on the same side. So when I
13 arrived as head of the KVM in that October 1998 meeting, I raised
14 General Loncar's name as sort of a piece of conversation to get the
15 meeting started.
16 I asked, you know, where was General Loncar these days.
17 President Milosevic responded by saying he wasn't quite sure. He knew
18 that General Loncar had retired from the -- from the Yugoslav army, that
19 he thought he was in private business someplace in Yugoslavia, but he had
20 very little information about him. And that was essentially the end of
21 the conversation about General Loncar.
22 Q. When you took up your position, I think in Pristina, what did you
23 observe on arriving at the airport?
24 A. When I knew this officially a few days latter to Pristina, I
25 believe it was -- well, more than a few days. I believe it was in the
1 second week of November. I was surprised, on alighting from my plane,
2 that at the bottom of the steps was General Loncar. And he introduced
3 himself as being principal liaison with my mission, representing the
4 government in Belgrade.
5 MR. NICE: I wonder if this passage of transcript can just be laid
6 on the ELMO. It doesn't need to be exhibited. It's perhaps easier to
7 read. The page number I'll give you in a second.
8 Q. But the accused has said this in the course of the trial, of a
9 witness, asking about General Loncar who is retired, said: "And do you
10 know that he came to this position," that's the position you've just
11 described, "at the request of William Walker, head of the mission, that he
12 addressed me personally, and that is because he had very good experience
13 from his cooperation with General Loncar in Eastern Slavonia, and he
14 wanted someone whom he knew well, whom he trusted, and whom he appreciated
15 as an honest man and a good person to work with. He wanted to cooperate
16 with him again. So this was an expression of our goodwill that we asked
17 General Loncar to head this commission. Do you know that?"
18 If we just look at the -- the page number - thank you so much - is
20 Any truth in that suggestion, Ambassador?
21 A. Essentially, no. I did not ask for General Loncar. As I say, I
22 only inquired about someone we both knew as a means of getting the
23 conversation started. But as I also said, I was really quite surprised
24 when I got to Kosovo a few days later and found General Loncar there,
25 representing the government, especially since I'd been told he was in
1 retirement and his whereabouts were unknown to the president.
2 Q. We'll come back to Loncar and Sainovic perhaps a little later or
3 we'll deal with it perhaps in the next question, really.
4 Taking up office in the first couple weeks of November, did you
5 have another meeting with the accused in November of 1998?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Date? This is page 20, first statement, paragraph 9.
8 A. I met with him on the 16th of November, 1998.
9 Q. Whereabouts?
10 A. In his presidential palace, I guess you would call it, in
12 Q. What topics were discussed?
13 A. I went under instructions from the OSCE secretariat in Vienna. I
14 talked about -- I raised at least three subjects that I remember. The
15 first and probably the most important was to tell President Milosevic that
16 the international community, as represented by the OSCE, felt that there
17 was non-compliance on both sides of the -- of the conflict with promises
18 made to the international community. In other words, his government, as
19 well as the KLA, were in non-compliance.
20 I also raised a subject that was something that Richard Holbrooke,
21 Ambassador Holbrooke, had told me was an important issue in terms of his
22 dealings with President Milosevic that he had brought up before, which was
23 the city of Malisevo and that we were very, very worried that the tension
24 level there was going up rather than down.
25 MR. NICE: Pausing there. The Chamber will know that Malisevo can
1 be seen on the same page that we've been looking at on the map, a little
2 to the north, on page 10.
3 Q. Sorry to have interrupted you.
4 A. Not at all. And then the third major subject I spoke about was
5 the fact that we were having what I would call administrative,
6 bureaucratic problems in getting our mission up and running to full
8 In the first meeting with President Milosevic, I had expressed the
9 hope that, you know, his government would do as much as possible to help
10 us with visa matters, with customs clearance for stuff that we were
11 bringing in, and that, you know, I would hope that normal bureaucratic
12 procedures would not necessarily be followed.
13 At the first meeting, he assured me of total cooperation with the
14 KVM. And in the November meeting, the second meeting, I wanted to bring
15 to his attention that we were still being confronted and confounded by
16 constant bureaucratic problems. So I wanted him to know that if he had
17 given the orders to make things go smoothly, they were not.
18 Q. His reaction?
19 A. On the first issue, the non-compliance, he stated categorically
20 that his government was in total compliance with every word of the
22 On the second issue, Malisevo, he told me that he had every right
23 to keep a strong police force with armoured cars and fairly heavy weaponry
24 in that town because the KVA -- KLA - excuse me - would attack if the
25 police presence was reduced.
1 On the third issue, he told me that he had given instructions
2 that, you know, the mission was to have no problems with bureaucratic
3 impediments and that, you know, bring them to his attention or bring them
4 to his representative's attention and they would be cleared up.
5 Q. Can we now produce and look at, quite shortly, an exhibit,
6 please? Which is the report that you prepared on this meeting.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, this is within the bundle at page 14. The
8 page numbering is in reverse order in the bundle but it's there to be --
9 JUDGE MAY: It would be helpful, I think, to have a separate
10 exhibit number.
11 MR. NICE: Certainty.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked Prosecutor's
13 Exhibit 229.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. And, Ambassador, we can see that this is described as your initial
16 meeting. In fact, as you've told us, you had earlier meetings but in
17 another setting.
18 On the 16th of November, you met the president for about 90
19 minutes in Belgrade. He had with him his foreign policy advisor and his
20 federal Deputy Prime Minister. He requested a meeting to deliver, under
21 instructions, a message from the OSCE chairman in office.
22 "The international community remains intensely interested and
23 deeply concerned with events in Kosovo and will not be distracted by
24 events in the Middle East or elsewhere; second, the chairman in office and
25 the OSCE Member States are `deeply concerned and displeased' by what is
1 viewed as a serious deterioration in the security in Kosovo with Malisevo
2 a prime example; and third, the KVM is having continuing low-level
3 bureaucratic difficulties."
4 So does that capture the intensity or the seriousness of your
6 A. Yes, it does.
7 Q. Paragraph 2. The accused's insistence that his government was in
8 full compliance.
9 MR. NICE: If this hasn't gone on the overhead projector, my
10 oversight. It ought to be there for the public to view should they wish.
11 And if the usher would be good enough to follow the pages. I'm going to
12 skim through it quite quickly so that it can be read.
13 Q. So paragraph 2, the insistence by the accused that his government
14 was in full compliance. And: "He denounced the international community
15 for treating the government and the KLA 'symmetrically,'" blaming
16 increased tension and violence in Kosovo squarely on the KLA's shoulder
17 and expressing surprise at your description of non-compliance and
18 harassment, blaming a partisan media not reporting the KLA's campaign of
20 The paragraph 3, didn't budge on the MUP presence in Malisevo.
21 "Indicated a willingness to discuss future cooperative approaches."
22 Were there any in relation to Malisevo?
23 A. Several months later, the police presence was slightly reduced.
24 Q. Was that as far as the accused ever budged?
25 A. Yes. And that was at the end of very lengthy discussions with
1 Mr. Sainovic and others to make that occur.
2 Q. Paragraph 4. He expressed further surprise to hear your charges
3 of a deteriorating security situation in Kosovo, complaints that his
4 people are impeding KDOM or KVM operations or of incidents involving
5 threats to verifiers. "He claims his people have reported nothing to him
6 reflective of such conditions." One of denial. "... emphatically stated
7 he is in complete compliance."
8 Just help us, if you will, Ambassador. How clear, how good was
9 the material or evidence you had in support of these complaints? How weak
10 was it?
11 A. I don't think I would have brought it to his attention unless I
12 thought the evidence was quite strong. And it was not based on any single
13 issue or set of circumstances. It was based on an accumulation of
14 problems we were having with his people.
15 Q. Paragraph 5. You drew to his attention the inevitability of KLA
16 tit-for-tat incidents if the presence of 30 to 40 MUP in Malisevo
18 Paragraph 6. You insisted on a reduction in those numbers, and we
19 can see how he set out his unchangeable position.
20 Paragraph 7. You turned to the threats to verifiers. He insisted
21 he'd heard of no such complaints.
22 Paragraph 8. Claimed that KVM applications would be processed in
23 two days and, in addition, the foreign office would set up a consular
24 office in Pristina. Did that happen?
25 A. I am not sure. I never became aware of its presence. It might
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 have been set up, but it was not brought to my attention if it was.
2 Q. Paragraph 9. Brief discussion about the extraction force in
3 Macedonia. Can you give us a word about that, please?
4 A. Yes. Sometime shortly after the creation of the KVM, NATO
5 announced that they were going to put in place what they called an
6 extraction force. The governments that had contributed personnel to the
7 KVM mission were unanimous in concern for security of their people. We
8 were an unarmed mission going into a region which virtually everyone else
9 was armed.
10 One decision made to lessen our fears for our security was NATO
11 establishing an extraction mission. I believe it was about 1.600 military
12 personnel stationed in Macedonia, and I believe it was set up with that
13 title, that if anything serious ever happened in Kosovo and our people
14 were in serious danger, that this force could theoretically come in and
15 extract us.
16 Q. If you turn over the page to the end of paragraph 9, we see how
17 your reporting of this concluded.
18 "I explained," the last four lines, "that the security of my
19 people was of the utmost importance --" sorry. A little earlier.
20 "... he claimed, were friendly. He further claimed such a plan
21 was not needed as he could provide the necessary protection for KVM
23 You explained security of your people was of utmost importance and
24 that an over-the-horizon force was a necessary insurance policy. The
25 accused insisted he was your insurance. You told him you felt safer with
1 as much insurance as you could afford.
2 Then there was a particular incident which perhaps we needn't
3 trouble with. The accused can raise it if he wishes to.
4 And then 12, the comment. "This was a classic Milosevic
5 encounter, at first friendly but turning stern when any criticism of his
6 regime was raised. He would not budge from the position that he was in
7 complete compliance with all agreements and commitments. He claimed that
8 contrary to the non-compliance, his forces were operating under order of
9 restraint and that the KLA is taking advantage of this. At the end of the
10 90 minutes, there were indications he would consider reaching a mutually
11 satisfactory solution to the Malisevo police problem. An interesting
12 first encounter."
13 There was also, I think, a letter you sent which is Exhibit --
14 Exhibit number 94, tab 3, which can be -- thank you very much.
15 Exhibit 99. My mistake. Which is on page -- back of the bundle, page 6.
16 MR. NICE: Just lay it on the overhead projector when we get it.
17 Only just to remind the Chamber of a document they have seen before. Lay
18 it on the overhead projector, please, Usher. Thank you.
19 Q. This is a letter you sent to the president, as he then was, on the
20 23rd of November, 1998; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did this spring out of the meeting that you had with him or was it
23 independent of that?
24 A. I'm not sure I recall, but it certainly came immediately in the
25 aftermath of the meeting. So I'm sure I had that meeting in mind when I
1 wrote this.
2 Q. It's a long letter. We don't want to take a lot of time with it.
3 The comment on it is this: You're setting out a number of definitions on
4 the first page. What were you seeking by this letter?
5 A. Well, the agreement that the OSCE and the government of Milosevic
6 had signed called for us to verify that, you know, troops and police and
7 equipment in Kosovo, you know, did not go up, that there were certain
8 limits placed on what could be done with the army and the police units and
9 their equipment in Kosovo.
10 Q. So if we turn to the second page of the letter, we see you're
11 setting out there in the first new paragraph: "The first compilation of
12 this information must be provided no later than the 1st of December,
13 reflecting the situation as of the 25th of November."
14 Next paragraph: "OSCE also requires information of all FRY
15 Serbian security forces including weapons and equipment."
16 Next paragraph: "To augment this structured information expect to
17 receive following types of notification," and so on.
18 Was this letter, which was part of the agreement, ever complied
20 A. What we were looking for was a baseline of information that we
21 could then judge whether things were going up, down, or staying the same.
22 The answer to your question is no, it was never complied with. We never
23 received that baseline information.
24 Q. I'd like you just to deal with two other exhibits, and I think
25 then substantially -- or there may be one or two other documents to look
1 at but it won't take us very long.
2 The next exhibit is 94, tab 6. This is an exhibit I want for your
3 general comment, I think. We've seen it before, I think
4 General Drewienkiewicz. The declaration as to where it's found is not of
5 value. It's the next sheet, please.
6 I don't know when you first saw this sort of document,
8 A. Excuse me. I didn't --
9 Q. When did you first see this sort of document?
10 A. Yesterday.
11 Q. I thought so. It's a document from the Ministry of the Interior,
12 this one from Pec, dated the 28th of December of 1998, but it's clearly in
13 a pro forma shape, and we can see that it's compiled by an OSL and relates
14 to sighting of or contacts with the OSCE mission. Indeed the report
15 itself is on sighting of or contact with the members of the OSCE mission.
16 We then see subjects of interest and what replies were given to
17 the questions posed by the particular mission member who had been
19 We're not concerned with the particular content of this particular
20 document, but what do you say as to the existence of this type of
21 reporting mechanism within the accused's government structures?
22 A. I guess it confirms my thought during the mission that I and all
23 my people on the mission were under observation by state security people.
24 I was not -- I didn't know it was quite as formal a procedure as this
25 would indicate, but it does not surprise me that they were reporting on
1 contacts with KVM personnel.
2 Q. Finally, Exhibit 6, just to give a -- not Exhibit 6. On the list
3 here which is Exhibit 94, tab 18.
4 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. Excellent. Lay it on the
5 overhead projector, please.
6 Q. Just to complete the picture of events that you perhaps obtained
7 more recently, this document, when did you first see this document?
8 A. Yesterday.
9 Q. And what struck you -- we can see it's dated the 12th of January,
10 1999. It's the Federal Foreign Ministry in Pristina. It's a confidential
11 report. Its subject is a conversation with Aleksandar Nikolaev, a chief
12 of reconstruction, KVM. Do you actually know that particular individual?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Given the name, can you hazard an educated guess at which part of
15 the mission he may have come from?
16 A. I personally am not familiar with the title "Chief Reconstruction
17 KVM." I'm not sure I know which of our departments that might have been.
18 Q. We see in paragraph 2 that at the meeting on the 11th of January,
19 Nikolaev presented some details with regard to events in the KVM after the
20 murder of the policemen and the abduction of Yugoslav army soldiers.
21 Immediately upon receiving the news about the given events, General
22 Drewienkiewicz informed Walker in Washington, Ambassador Walker asked
23 General DZ to hold off sending the report to Washington, and so on.
24 What do you say about this -- and we'll look in a second at the
25 addressees. What do you say about this sort of report being prepared in
1 the course of your mission's time there?
2 A. Again, it doesn't surprise me that reports were going up to
3 Belgrade on what the KVM was up to. I'm not surprised at that. I had
4 been told repeatedly, in the capitals of Europe and in North America, that
5 the state security apparatus of Belgrade was really quite sophisticated in
6 gathering information. But I was surprised that someone who reportedly
7 was a member of my mission was talking about the internal affairs of the
8 mission with someone from state security.
9 Q. And if we turn to the last page of this exhibit in the English
10 version, we see that the addressees outside the federal ministry -- last
11 page in the English. We'll find it. No, it's before that, I'm afraid.
12 It's the last English page. You'll see that the addressees
13 included - there we are. Thank you very much - Milosevic, Milutinovic,
14 Minic, Sainovic, and so on. So those are some indicators of the way in
15 which your mission was being dealt with. Does this, in your
16 consideration, now that you've thought about it, fit with the description
17 of 150 per cent compliance?
18 A. I saw very little indication on my front of anything near 50 per
19 cent compliance, far less 150 per cent compliance.
20 Q. Thank you. Let's move on now to your general conclusions about
21 the accused, because I think this was the last time you actually met him.
22 Would that be right?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. In one of your statements, you suggest - this found at page
25 35 - that you had five to six face-to-face meetings. But in fact, on
1 reconsideration, the total number of successful face-to-face meetings was
2 how many?
3 A. Four.
4 Q. And this was the last of the four?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. There were other attempts you made to see him, and one you were
7 diverted to Milutinovic, and of course after Racak you were unsuccessful
8 in seeing him at all.
9 MR. NICE: And this can be found, Your Honours, more specifically
10 dealt with in the first statement, paragraphs 17 to 22.
11 Q. Tell us, Ambassador, though, without turning to that, and just
12 from your memory, if you would be so good: What impressions did you
13 obtain by the end of these four face-to-face meetings?
14 A. My impressions were that I was dealing with a person who felt that
15 when he said something, that made it true; that he was not used to being
16 contradicted; that he became defensive when criticised. I never saw him
17 lose his temper, although I saw him when I thought he was getting mad
18 because I was saying something that could be interpreted as critical of
19 his administration and regime. I found him not to welcome, receive the
20 advice of subordinates, at least in my presence. The meetings were
21 dominated by him, all four of them. As I say, he did not seem to be a
22 person that doubted the veracity of anything he said.
23 Q. Do you have any examples of your having reasons to doubt the
24 veracity of things he said, despite his approach?
25 A. Many.
1 Q. Can you give us just one or two of them from these meetings?
2 A. In my first meeting with him, when he was describing the
3 population of Kosova, you know, I think I might have mentioned what was
4 the common wisdom at the time, which was the Albanian segment of the
5 population in Kosova was approaching 90 per cent. It was certainly a
6 large majority. And he went to great lengths to explain to me that this
7 was totally untrue. He gave me the percentages, exact figures of
8 Albanians, Serbs, Gypsies, Egyptians, and by his calculation the Albanians
9 were well less than 50 per cent. I cannot believe he thought that was the
10 truth when he said it to me.
11 Q. How convincing was he when he said this to you?
12 A. As he said everything, it was with total assurance, with
13 total -- I don't know if "conviction" is the word, but it was: This was
14 what I'm telling you. You should accept this.
15 Q. Can you give us any other example of things he said in respect of
16 which you had reason to doubt the veracity?
17 A. One that comes to mind is when I sent a letter to - excuse
18 me - when I received a letter from his foreign ministry that was telling
19 the mission what we could and could not do in certain areas, and these
20 comments by the foreign ministry were totally out of line with the
21 agreement. So when I saw Milosevic, I mentioned this letter, and I said,
22 you know, "Your foreign ministry is telling us this and this and this are
23 things we cannot do. This is totally against the agreement." And it was
24 so obvious that I was right on this that he said, you know, "What letter?
25 There's no such letter." I had a copy of the letter with me, and he just
1 said, "I haven't seen the letter. It doesn't exist."
2 Q. Did you ever move him from that position?
3 A. I didn't try to. Again, when he made a statement with the
4 assurance that he made it, it was useless to question him, to contradict
6 Q. Finally at this stage, what was his apparent knowledge of events
7 in Kosova and/or control over them?
8 A. I would say his knowledge was in many respects quite detailed, you
9 know, except when I talked to him about events that indicated
10 non-compliance; he would say he had never heard of them. But in terms of
11 talking about certain things, he obviously had quite detailed knowledge.
12 In terms of his control over those events, I never wavered in my opinion
13 that I was dealing with a person who was in, you know, maximum control of
14 events in Kosovo, at least from the Serb side.
15 Q. Before we move to Racak, just one other topic concerning the other
16 people you met there. You've told us about Loncar and perhaps briefly
17 about Sainovic. Are you able to put them in comparative positions so far
18 as authority and power in Kosovo is concerned?
19 A. There were three people that I would say were directly below
20 President Milosevic in terms of Kosovo. The one at the -- that I dealt
21 with. The one at the bottom was a fellow named Andjelkovic, who greeted
22 me upon my arrival in Pristina, introduced himself as being in charge of
23 some sort of commission that was to deal with the KVM, that we were to
24 bring problems to him. I never really had anything substantive to do with
25 Mr. Andjelkovic again. I felt that he was just a frontispiece.
1 Above him was General Loncar, or at least someone that we did take
2 serious issues to or who brought serious issues to us. We dealt with him
3 quite a bit. My British deputy, General DZ, dealt with him a lot on
4 issues involving the military.
5 I would say above him was Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Sainovic,
6 who I first met in Belgrade, and we had a long discussion about Kosova and
7 the mission. He came to Pristina again four or five times, six times,
8 while I was there, and he definitely brought the word from Belgrade.
9 In meetings where General Loncar and Sainovic were both in
10 attendance with me, General Loncar only spoke when spoken to, which was
11 seldom. Deputy Prime Minister Sainovic was the principal on the other
12 side of the table. He also conducted those meetings in English, which
13 General Loncar did not understand and therefore was left out of the
14 discussion often. And then obviously I felt that Nikola Sainovic reported
15 directly to President Milosevic in Belgrade. So that would be where I
16 placed the people I dealt with principally.
17 Q. Turning to Racak, which the Chamber can find principally dealt
18 with at paragraph 9 of the second statement, towards the front of the
19 clip, page 45 -- and I'm not going to take you through all of this,
20 Ambassador, because a great deal of it has been heard of already, some of
21 it unchallenged; therefore, I can almost advance it to you. But is it
22 right that the first information about Racak came from or via General
24 A. That is what I was told when I first heard the name "Racak," yes.
25 Q. Before we move on: Is it right that at the visit you made to
1 Racak, General Loncar was not present?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. Had there been any suggestion that he might attend?
4 A. General DZ told me that he invited General Loncar to go along with
5 him and me when we decided on the morning of the 16th to visit Racak. I
6 was told that Loncar had not accepted the invitation.
7 Q. And so in the event, when you were in Racak, was there any
8 representative of the Serb side, as it were --
9 A. I do not believe there was.
10 Q. -- advancing an explanation of what had happened?
11 A. Not that I came in contact with. I do not believe so.
12 Q. Was there anything to stop such an explanation being advanced to
13 you had they chosen to do so?
14 A. No. As I say, General Loncar was invited to accompany us. He
16 Q. Well, after information came to you, I think on the 15th, was it
17 on the 16th that dissatisfaction with the account being given via General
18 Loncar's office led to the visit being planned?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. By whom were you briefed?
21 A. In the first instance, General DZ told me, before we went into the
22 vehicles, what he knew, but the initial briefing of what has been
23 discovered in Racak was given to me by General Maisonneuve, a Canadian
24 head of our Regional Centre in Prizren, just before we got to the village.
25 Q. When you got to the village, were the press already in attendance,
1 did you see a decapitated male in the centre of the village, or
2 thereabouts, and were you directed to the dry stream bed near a ravine?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. What did you see there?
5 A. After we left the first body, which was the decapitated male, we
6 climbed up this rocky gully, stream bed, and encountered first one, then
7 another, then another, and finally a pile of bodies.
8 Q. We've seen video footage of your walking there, and I'm not going
9 to play it again. I don't think it would serve any particular purpose.
10 What did you notice, if anything, about the condition of the
11 bodies, layman's observations, of course, because you're not a medic, but
12 what did you notice yourself? Paragraph 23 of the same statement.
13 A. I noticed a number of things. First I noticed that the first
14 bodies I saw appeared to be elderly men, grey hair, white hair. I noticed
15 they were all in not just civilian clothes but in the clothes that I would
16 normally associate with rural farmers in the Balkans, especially in
17 Kosova. Several had the little white skullcaps that mostly older,
18 traditional men wear, and these were either on or had fallen off their
19 heads. I noticed most of the bodies were punctuated by multiple bullet
20 holes, quite often in the face, eyes blown out, top of the heads blown
21 away, gunshot wounds in the body itself, a lot of blood on most of them.
22 Many of the victims had these cheap rubber boots on that the peasants in
23 Kosovo wear when they're out in the fields. The bloodstains on the wounds
24 were, you know, soaked into the clothing. There was blood on the ground,
25 consistent with them having been shot there.
1 I saw no evidence of uniforms. I saw no evidence of insignias. I
2 saw no evidence of weapons. I saw no evidence of spent cartridges. I saw
3 no evidence of a battle having taken place there, and the night before we
4 had been told by General Loncar that a battle had occurred where 15 KLA
5 had been killed. I saw well more than 15. I saw maybe upwards of two
6 dozen bodies, but I was told that there were further bodies, another pile
7 of bodies further up the hill.
8 At that point, I had become a little disgusted by what I was
9 seeing. I didn't want to see much more of that, so I didn't go further up
10 and see more. Plus, going up this ravine, or whatever it was, was not
11 easy. It was rocky, it was icy, it was wet, it was slippery. And I have
12 a bad left leg from a parachute jump I once did and I was having trouble
13 continuing up the ravine, so at this point I said I had seen enough, and
14 some journalists took me off to the side. They wanted to talk to me.
15 Q. Thank you. You saw no bullet casings yourself. Were you informed
16 by anybody of the sighting of any bullet casings?
17 A. Later, when I went down to the village, a member of the KVM - I
18 believe his name - I'm not certain - I believe his name is Brown - he told
19 me he had been a military corpsman and had some medical knowledge, but he
20 was also from the US army. And he told me that on the sides of the
21 ravine, above the bodies, he had found spent casings, bullet casings, and
22 he gave me his military opinion that these were the same calibre, the same
23 type that were used by the VJ and the MUP.
24 Q. Now, we know that you were, in due course, to give an account of
25 this incident. We'll turn to that at its rightful time. But did you,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 while in the village, have the opportunity to talk to any survivors?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. How many? And just in summary, what did they tell you?
4 A. When I was coming down the hill, I asked my people, those who had
5 been in the village, if there were any witnesses, survivors, and they told
6 me there were two men who would talk to me. And I was introduced to -- in
7 the village I was introduced to two men, one older, one younger, and they
8 essentially told me they had been there the previous day, they had been
9 there during the shelling. They had decided -- when all the men tried to
10 get out of the village, they said while most of the men went in one
11 direction, for some reason they went in another direction. They saw the
12 police come down, the special police units come down the hills after the
13 shelling. They saw them round up the men who they had captured, the ones
14 who had gone in the opposite direction. They saw them being harangued and
15 verbally abused. They saw them being led out of the village by the MUP.
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. I then also spoke to a couple of women who were brought before me,
18 who described their experience the previous day, all of which agreed with
19 what the two men had told me. But they were in the village when the MUP
20 entered, and they described the MUP going from house to house, ordering
21 men and boys out, again verbal abuse, cuffing them around and then taking
22 them off as prisoners. They told me that they had not known their men and
23 boys had been killed until the following morning, that they thought they
24 were being led off either for interrogation or as prisoners or something
25 along those lines. So as I say, the three or four women I spoke to, plus
1 the two men's version, were very consistent with what I had seen up in the
2 ravine, up in the gully, and very inconsistent with what General Loncar
3 had told us the day before was the government's version of events.
4 Q. On leaving Racak, which you did later, what were your instructions
5 to KVM?
6 A. I told those members, most of whom were from Prizren Regional
7 Centre, I said, you know, "Take as much in the way of photographs as you
8 can. Collect any evidence." You know, "You're not criminal
9 investigators, I know, but if there's things you can gather as evidence,
10 particularly pictures, video, gather as much as you can, talk to as many
11 people as you can to find out if there are other witnesses." And I think
12 I also told them at that time, "It would probably be better if you stay in
13 the village, or at least let's establish a presence here so that the MUP
14 doesn't come back in and totally destroy the scene."
15 Q. Your conclusions drawn that day as to what you had seen, and how
16 did you reach them?
17 A. My conclusion was that the government story made no sense with
18 what I had just seen. My conclusion was that what I had seen coincided
19 very well with what the witnesses were telling me had happened and that
20 the men and boys whose bodies I had seen had been captured by the MUP,
21 taken out of the village, and turned up the following morning dead.
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, if that's a convenient time. We're moving
23 from Racak.
24 MR. NICE: We're moving --
25 JUDGE MAY: Not from the topic but from the place.
1 MR. NICE: We're moving from Racak, yes.
2 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now.
3 Ambassador, would you be back, please, at half past 9.00 tomorrow
4 morning to continue your evidence.
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir, absolutely.
6 JUDGE MAY: We're adjourning now for the night.
7 THE WITNESS: Fine.
8 JUDGE MAY: Could you remember, please - I must warn you
9 formally - not to speak to anybody about your evidence until it's over,
10 and that does include members of the Prosecution team.
11 THE WITNESS: I understand.
12 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
13 We'll adjourn now, half past 9.00 tomorrow morning.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.09 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 12th day of June,
16 2002, at 9.30 a.m.