1 Friday, 30 August 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 WITNESS: MARTIN PNISHI [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] According to these data, you are a farmer. Is
11 that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And before that, you worked in the police?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is it true that you worked in the Zrze police station?
16 A. I worked at the police station at Rahovec, and Xerxe is a
17 substation of Rahovec police station.
18 Q. Yes. But you worked at Zrze, didn't you?
19 A. I worked in Rahovec, for the police station in Rahovec.
20 Q. Is it true that you retired as a police officer?
21 A. Yes, that's true.
22 Q. And as of which date did you receive a pension as a retired police
24 A. At the end of 1988, in September.
25 Q. Tell me, please, at a certain point in time in the police, because
1 your -- of your exceptional merits, you were awarded and received a
2 carbine as a gift as an exemplary worker of the police force?
3 A. That's not true. I don't know where you got that information. I
4 bought it with my own money because I was a hunter.
5 Q. So you did not receive it as a gift for your merits from the
6 police. That information is incorrect?
7 JUDGE MAY: There is no need to repeat it. He said it wasn't a
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. On page 1, you describe the killing of five Serb policemen on the
12 22nd of April in your village of Meja. Is it true that this happened on
13 the 21st of April?
14 A. Yes, that's true -- no, on the 22nd of April.
15 Q. I'm just checking because, according to information I have, it was
16 not the 22nd but the 21st. But after all, that is not so important for
17 your testimony.
18 Do you know that among the killed policemen, one was an Albanian
19 policeman, Arifaj Naser; is that correct?
20 A. He may have been Albanian. I didn't know him.
21 Q. And do you know that in addition to those policemen, a policeman
22 called Milutin Doncic was seriously wounded and that his right leg had to
23 be amputated at the hospital in Pristina?
24 A. No, I didn't.
25 Q. And before this act of terrorism in your village and the immediate
1 vicinity, in the course of 1998 and the first months of 1999, were there
2 terrorist acts committed by the KLA against civilians, the police, the
3 army? What do you know about that?
4 A. I don't know of the KLA committing any acts against civilians.
5 1998 -- in 1998 there were acts. From the 2nd of August on, there wasn't
6 any KLA there, around there.
7 Q. Who, then, committed those acts if it was not the KLA? Who is it
8 that opened fire on civilians, the police, and the military?
9 A. I don't know. I just know that the whole area was surrounded with
10 tanks, police, army from all sides, and that's when the incident took
11 place. I don't know who did it, I just know that the whole place was
12 surrounded by tanks and police, the whole village in Meja.
13 Q. And while it was surrounded by the police and the army, they
14 killed those six policemen. Is that what you're telling us?
15 A. Yes, that's true.
16 Q. And tell me, please, how far is the village of Batusa from your
18 A. The village of Batusha's about 20 kilometres from my village.
19 Q. Very well. Did you hear of the expulsion of the entire Albanian
20 population of that village, consisting of 80 households? Did you hear
21 that they had been expelled by members of the KLA in 1998 who had come
22 from Albania? Are you aware of that event?
23 A. That's not true. It's not true that the KLA expelled the
24 population. The KLA defended the population as far as it was able.
25 Q. Very well. Tell me, please, how far is the village of Smolica
1 from your village, a village that you mention in your statement on page 1,
3 A. Smolica is near -- is about ten kilometres away.
4 Q. Had you heard that in this village in 1998 there was the main base
5 of the KLA terrorists for Djakovica and also the centre for collecting and
6 distributing weapons brought in from Albania?
7 A. Yes, I've heard about that.
8 Q. And do you know that the KLA in this village dug out several
9 kilometres of trenches from which they opened fire on the police?
10 A. I don't know. I've never been there.
11 Q. And had you heard of the killing of the soldier Dragan Ignjatovic,
12 Marko Matic, Dejan Ristic, Dusan Tasic who were brutally murdered by the
13 KLA in Smolica in 1998? Are you aware of that event?
14 A. No, I'm not. I haven't heard of that.
15 Q. And next to this village, you also mention in your statement the
16 village of Nec. Do you know that the KLA terrorists, in 1998, forced the
17 Albanian Catholic and Muslim population to leave the village and that a
18 half went to Junik and the other half to Cardak?
19 A. That's not true, because all the population, all the families were
20 defending their own houses. They were all together. They all left
22 Q. Very well. And had you heard that at the time KLA members set
23 fire, in Smolica, all haystacks and the complete harvest?
24 A. Could you ask that again? I didn't quite understand what you were
25 getting at.
1 Q. Had you heard that at the time, in the village of Smolica, the KLA
2 torched all the haystacks and the complete harvest?
3 A. I couldn't imagine that happening, that a people would burn its
4 own food sources.
5 Q. But they did not burn their own food sources. It is the KLA who
6 burnt it in the village of Smolica, burned the harvest of the farmers
8 A. That's not true, because the people needed to eat. It can't
9 possibly be true.
10 Q. And do you agree with me that it is even less probable, following
11 your own logic, for them to kill civilians, including Albanians, and they
12 still did so and in quite large numbers, as you know. Is that right?
13 A. That's not true. I don't agree with you at all.
14 Q. Okay. I understand that you disagree with me. You were born in
15 the village of Ramiz. Do you know that in that village there was local
16 security elected by the inhabitants of the village themselves with the
17 support of the state which provided them with weapons to protect
18 themselves from these bandits? Do you know of that?
19 A. No, I don't.
20 Q. And had you heard of an incident on the 26th of February in 1999
21 when in that very village of Ramiz where you were born, the KLA wounded
22 three members of the local security force, all Albanians?
23 A. Yes, I heard about that.
24 Q. And have you heard of the killing of an Albanian called Fadil
25 Tolaj by the KLA on the 11th of March 1999 in the village of Meja, where
1 you lived?
2 A. No. I've never heard that name.
3 Q. Were you an eyewitness or do you know anything at all about --
4 since you left the village of Meja, according to your own statement, on
5 the 22nd of April, 1999, so do you know anything about the bombing of a
6 column of Albanians in the vicinity of your village on the 14th of April
7 when more than 80 men, women, and children of Albanian ethnicity were
8 killed and dozens wounded? Do you know anything about that event?
9 A. I know it was two kilometres away from my home. The planes flew
10 very low that day, and everyone said that it wasn't NATO but it was Serb
11 planes. That was our view.
12 Q. Very well, Mr. Pnishi. Even NATO has admitted to that bombing, so
13 we have a saying, "You don't have to be a greater Catholic than the Pope."
14 Did you go to visit the site yourself?
15 A. No, not personally. I didn't dare go out.
16 Q. You weren't interested in seeing what was happening.
17 A. No, I couldn't. I didn't dare. I was interested, but it was
18 difficult to go there. The -- the son of my brother went and -- went
19 there and helped bury the victims, but I didn't go personally, no.
20 Q. Very well. In connection with the killing of the policeman that
21 you mention at the beginning of your statement, you stated that you don't
22 know who was behind this act but that afterwards, what you call the
23 incident, many of your neighbours sought shelter in your own house. Is
24 that right, Mr. Pnishi?
25 A. That's true. I was at home when there was shooting, when there
1 was bombing two kilometers away, and a few minutes later, the army came
2 from Gjakove and they were shooting, shooting everywhere, in the air. We
3 heard that people were killed. Milutin Prascevic and four colleagues of
4 his were killed. There was shooting down the road independent of whether
5 people were involved or not.
6 Q. I am asking you -- I'm asking you in connection with the people
7 who sought shelter in your own home. Did any of those who sought shelter
8 in your home take part in the attack against the police?
9 A. No, never. Their house was near the main road, ten or 15
10 kilometres away, and they didn't even dare go out of their house. They
11 stayed in a big basement room. We were at my brother's place, Gjelosh.
12 At 9.15 or 9.30, there was a shot that came in through the window. It was
13 firing with a sniper gun which came through the window. Fortunately, it
14 didn't hit my brother but hit the wall opposite, broke the glass.
15 And at 4.00, 4.30, there was shooting again at my brother's place,
16 and the window was broken in. So that's the day we left our house and
17 went to a village farther away, Jahoc, which is farther away from the main
19 Q. Tell me, amongst those who were sheltered in your home, how many
20 were armed?
21 A. No one was armed. That I can tell you sincerely. No one had an
23 Q. You said that you counted tanks on the 31st of July, 1998, near
24 the border, and you mentioned the alleged attack on the villages of Nec,
25 Smolica and Dobros. Do you call an attack the conflict between the police
1 and the army with the KLA?
2 A. What else can you call it? There we are, sitting in our own
3 villages, and the Serbian police and army came and attacked it.
4 Q. But please explain. Why do you call the conflict between the
5 police and the army and the KLA as an attack on the village?
6 A. It was an attack on the village because the KLA in Kosova never
7 went to Serbia to attack villages there. They were around their own
8 homes, defending their own property. That's the way it was.
9 Q. Very well. Are you aware of the fact that that territory, that
10 is, Kosovo, is also Serbia and that there's no question of going from
11 Kosovo to Serbia because Kosovo is Serbia?
12 JUDGE MAY: I don't think the witness can deal with that. It's a
13 rhetorical point.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. But you were a policeman. If you come across a group of
16 terrorists shooting at the police, at the army, at citizens, civilians,
17 Serbs, Albanians, and so on, do you consider that to be their right
18 because they're living on that territory? Because after all, bandits
19 operate in the territory in which they live.
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, this is all argument. The witness is
21 simply describing what happened to him. He can't do more than that. As
22 for the character of the conflict and what happened, that's something
23 we're going to have to rule about in due course.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, you can rule that today is
25 Monday, but do you see that every conflict by these witnesses of yours,
1 conflict between the police and terrorist groups, is qualified as an
2 attack on a village, as if some women were milking cows and the wild
3 Serbian police come to kill them. These are highly organised groups of
4 terrorists, as you can see, who were killing, slaughtering --
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you can make your arguments in due
6 course. All that you can argue to us in due course. But right now,
7 you're engaged in cross-examining this witness, and the recent questions
8 have all been matters of argument with him.
9 Now, if you've got some further questions, some relevant questions
10 for him, you should ask them.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All the questions are relevant. And
12 especially this one is relevant, because in answer to a question why he
13 describes a conflict with the KLA as an attack on the village, his
14 explanation was that it is because they live there. So such an
15 explanation is very useful for us to have to be able to understand what
16 was going on.
17 JUDGE MAY: Your time -- your time is limited, as you know, so you
18 need to move on.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Was there a Serbian family Prentic living in your village?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And on the 6th of May, 1998, did members of the KLA fire at the
24 house of that family from a hand-held -- from a mortar and from automatic
1 A. It is true that the -- there was fighting, but I swear to this
2 Court that every Albanian -- that no Albanian would fire like that, and
3 only the Serbian police would fire in that way in order to use it as a
4 pretext to imprison and arrest us.
5 Q. Are you trying to say that this was the police of the Republic of
6 Serbia which attacked that Serbian house in your village with a mortar and
7 from automatic weapons? Is that what you're claiming, Mr. Pnishi?
8 A. There was no attack with a mortar, only with an automatic rifle,
9 with 12 bullets from an automatic rifle that were fired.
10 Q. But did the Serbian police attack the house of this Prentic? Is
11 that what you're claiming, that it was the Serbian police that used
12 automatic rifles to attack the house of your neighbour Prentic, the person
13 of -- your co-citizen from Meja? Is that what you're claiming?
14 A. I can swear to God and to the Court that on that night, the police
15 were drinking until half past ten that night. And when they came out,
16 outside in the street between my house and his, when I came out, they
17 fired at the -- at the roof of the house, not at the window. They aimed
18 very well. And those two policemen went -- and they went to Korenica, and
19 I swear -- I can swear that I saw them with my own two eyes as clear as
21 And on the same -- on the next morning, I heard that they were
22 firing the day before, and I'd seen everything that had happened from the
23 balcony that night, and I saw it and I related it the next day. And then
24 the police went and found the cartridges. We knew this very well. But we
25 ourselves didn't dare go out to investigate what was happening.
1 Q. And when did this happen?
2 A. You mentioned the date.
3 Q. So please tell me now, when did this happen? Because you happened
4 to know this specifically, and I mentioned --
5 JUDGE MAY: Was more than one occasion when the house of the Serb
6 family was shot up? Did it happen more than once?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Only on that night. Only that
8 night, no other occasion.
9 JUDGE MAY: There you are, Mr. Milosevic. That's your answer.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. I'm asking the
11 witness when did this happen, because he describes this event so
12 precisely, and he says that he remembers everything, so I'm asking him
13 when did that happen.
14 JUDGE MAY: You've given him the date, the 6th of May, 1998.
15 You've given it to him. It was the only occasion the house was shot up.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But he seems to have forgotten in
17 the meantime. Perhaps he could have said it if he knew it. But very
18 well. I need to hurry up because you will deny me the opportunity of
19 questioning him within ten minutes or so.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. And page 2 of your statement, you describe how four soldiers with
22 rifles pointed pushed Kole Duzhmani in the direction of your house. Were
23 these people soldiers or police officers? You said there were two members
24 of the MUP and two Russian soldiers. Can you tell me what these Russian
25 soldiers are? Who are they?
1 A. On that morning, as I mentioned in my statement, with my wife, my
2 son Mark came, we did our jobs, and the Serbian army and police had been
3 previously prepared during the night, and started firing in the air. At
4 that moment, the APC arrived at my house and started firing above, in the
5 hills above Meja.
6 Kole Duzhmani from Korenica had been on a bike and had went to
7 Jahoc and was setting off to his own house, and they stopped him and they
8 mistreated and tortured him at my own front door. And -- and they --
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Pnishi, I'm going to interrupt you. You were
10 asked about the Russians specifically. Now, can you tell us about them,
11 what they were doing?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They -- as soon as I opened the
13 door, there were four, and they said, "Open -- open the door." And I knew
14 that they were not Serbs. I opened the door, and there were two masked
15 Serbian policemen --
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Pnishi, there is no need to describe the event that you
18 already described. I asked you: How is it that you know that they were
19 soldiers, and what were Russians doing in the Serbian military and the
21 A. You can tell very easy from the way they speak whether they're
22 Serbian or Russian. In fact, about 30, 40 per cent of the Serbian
23 language resembles the Russian one, but there's difference.
24 Q. Did you meet many Russians in your life?
25 A. I have met Russians.
1 Q. Do you speak Russian?
2 A. I understand Russian.
3 Q. And you said that the Russians didn't know how to read the
4 information that was written in the alphabet, in the Roman script. The
5 fact that they're Russian doesn't necessarily mean that they cannot read
6 the Latin script.
7 JUDGE MAY: I think that's a matter of comment. Can you -- yes,
8 Mr. Shin.
9 MR. SHIN: Your Honour, just as a point of fairness here, the
10 statement actually states, and I'm looking at page 5 of the English, the
11 fourth full paragraph, the witness states that the Russians could not read
12 the Albanian language. There's no reference to the Roman script there.
13 JUDGE MAY: Well, I suspect the reference to the Roman script is a
14 reference to Albanian.
15 Yes. The point is -- just one moment. Let's try and clarify
17 The point that's being made is how did you know they were
18 Russians, and you say you could tell from the language; is that right?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
20 JUDGE MAY: Help us about the script. What was the point about
21 the script? Did you see them reading something?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard them talking, and they were
23 talking to me, and I knew from that that they weren't Serbs. And they
24 beat me and wanted to throw me in the well. And they were talking Russian
25 among themselves.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Very well. You said that you heard shots from the direction of
4 your brother's house and that 19 days after you heard those shots, you
5 found this Kole Duzhmani, you found his body, and based on that, the fact
6 that you found him 19 days later, you claim that he was killed by those
7 soldiers; is that right?
8 A. That's right, because they left me -- they left me in the yard,
9 and they put Kole Duzhmani in my brother's house. And my brother's wife
10 had 12-year-old daughter on her hand, and they wanted to slit my son's
11 throat, and then my brother-in-law got hold of my son by the arm and took
12 him on the road to Albania, and they entered -- and on that very same day,
13 they found Kole Duzhmani, and they had 19 --
14 Q. All right. Exactly that what you have said confirms that you are
15 saying here what others have told you, but that doesn't confirm anything.
16 It doesn't say who killed Kole Duzhmani or when they killed him. Isn't
17 that right, Mr. Pnishi?
18 A. From the moment they took him from my house, they shot him and
19 they burnt all the rooms in the house.
20 Q. How do you know who it was that fired when you found that man dead
21 19 days after that day when you met those people that you claim are
23 A. At that moment, as soon as I left the door of my house, I ran to
24 the window and looked at my brother's courtyard. When my sister-in-law
25 went outside and set off for Albania, then they went in my brother's house
1 and they did the execution there. We found the body on the nineteenth day
2 because we couldn't go there any earlier. We dared not go there any
4 Q. I understand. I was only asking you how is it that you were able
5 to conclude 19 days later when he was killed, who killed him, and so on.
6 But there is a more interesting claim in your statement, and also based on
7 what you said yesterday. You said that -- let's see first.
8 Do you know how many members of the KLA were killed in the
9 fighting with the army and the police in those days that -- during the
10 period that you are testifying about? Do you know how many of them were
11 killed in fighting with the army and the police?
12 A. I don't know anything about that.
13 Q. You don't know. You claim here that about -- that a policeman
14 killed about 11 of them. Then you claim that later in June you found
15 traces of burnt bodies and that you estimate that 74 bodies were burned.
16 Yesterday you spoke about how 412 bodies, dead bodies, were loaded onto a
17 truck and a tractor, which you don't mention in your statement at all. So
18 could you please explain to me this progression from the 11 who were
19 probably killed in fighting, if there had been any fighting, so there were
20 11 dead, to these 74 that you claim that you found burned, and then to
21 these 412 that you mentioned yesterday but which you do not mention in
22 your statement, that were transported. Please tell me what this is all
23 about, Mr. Pnishi. What is this story that you are telling here?
24 A. Please make up the sentence in shorter parts.
25 Q. I had to ask a more detailed question, a longer question, because
1 I will be interrupted soon. But let's put it this way: Did you see with
2 your own eyes that someone killed an Albanian at any time? Is that what
3 you're saying that you saw, these 11? Is that right?
4 A. The truth is that before I left my house that morning, the convoy
5 that was coming in the direction of Korenica-Gjakove, the commander of the
6 police from Ponoshec, his name was Dragutin Guta, he came out on a vehicle
7 type Cadet, black colour, and parked it across the asphalt road so nobody
8 could proceed on that road. Every person, every young man, every youth
9 was supposed to leave the tractors lying on the asphalt road. And the
10 convoy would proceed only with elderly persons, and those who would
11 remain behind would be executed.
12 When the police withdrew in the direction of the school, in the
13 direction of the checkpoint which was the main checkpoint, I went to the
14 house and went to the third floor to see what was going on outside. I saw
15 four policemen, Serb policemen, who brought seven persons, and they
16 stopped them near the wall or the bridge, and one of the policemen shot
17 them there at the bridge. And I was there on the third floor, and I could
18 see this very well. And I know this policeman very well as well. Who he
19 is, I've mentioned it already in my statement.
20 Q. All right. So you claim that you saw the killing of seven
21 persons; is that right?
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. And you claim that you saw this personally?
24 A. With my own eyes, I swear. Because as the crow flies, it was not
25 more than 60 metres.
1 Q. So these seven were killed by that one person that you say you
2 know. So you know the person who killed these seven people.
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. You are an ex-police officer. Did you go to report this man? Did
5 you go to the police station where you used to work to report this?
6 A. If I went to report this, I wouldn't have been here today. I
7 wouldn't have been alive.
8 Q. All right. Even though this is not true, let's leave that. So
9 this seven that you say that you saw that personally, but where do these
10 412 persons come from? How did these seven people in some strange way
11 become 412 people? Did you see that yourself?
12 JUDGE MAY: To be fair to the witness, he never said that he saw
13 412 people. What he said was it was something he'd been told about,
14 something he had heard about, that was all.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't understand. If this is the
16 place to hear what -- who told what to whom, then we could hear many
17 stories like that. Some incredible things are being allowed here.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Did you see even a single person out of those 412? Did you see
20 even a single body out of those 412 bodies that you were told about?
21 A. I saw those seven when they came and placed them together with the
22 other group. Some others who were also going by tractor, the truck
23 returned from the direction of Korenica in the direction of the Meja
24 cemetery, and the tractor was waiting for the truck at that position.
25 Then when they -- they together proceeded in the direction of the
2 Q. So you're coming back to these seven. Did you see anybody else,
3 any other bodies other than those seven that you claim you saw?
4 JUDGE MAY: This must be your last question. Yes.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is very important, Mr. May.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You'll get an answer to this question.
7 Mr. Pnishi, the question is: Did you see any other bodies other
8 than the seven?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In addition to those seven that I
10 mentioned, the first day after our liberation, at the Meja cemetery there
11 were about ten bodies. Six other graves were opened in our cemetery, and
12 there were three other bodies also decomposed. And then the foreigners
13 would come, and then they would see the bodies and they would come to a
14 conclusion that there were bodies there.
15 You know, he was your worker, the one who with his sons packed the
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Now you are talking about bodies that you saw after the war. You
19 saw them after the war.
20 JUDGE MAY: That is what -- that is what his statement says, in
21 fact, that he'd seen bodies after the war.
22 Now, we must bring this to an end. You've had more than your
24 Mr. Kay, have you any questions?
25 No, Mr. Milosevic, we cannot go on arguing in this way. You have
1 your 45 minutes. You've had it and five minutes more.
2 Mr. Kay.
3 MR. KAY: No, Your Honour.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, did I ask any irrelevant
5 questions? Did I spend time asking irrelevant questions?
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You spent plenty of time on the first part of
7 his statement, which was more or less relevant. And then if you do that,
8 it means that you don't have time - and this happens all the time with the
9 witnesses - you don't have time for the second part.
10 Now, what you should do is organise your cross-examination in such
11 a way that you concentrate on the important matter. But you don't do that
12 and this is what happens; you get brought to a close.
14 MR. SHIN: Just one question, Your Honours.
15 Re-examined by Mr. Shin:
16 Q. Mr. Pnishi, you've testified in response to questioning by the
17 accused that you saw Kole Duzhmani being led by the two Russian soldiers
18 and the two police officers into your brother's house. You testified also
19 that you then heard some shots and some 19 days later found the dead body
20 of Mr. Duzhmani, with gunshot wounds, in your brother's house.
21 If you can remember, could you please tell us approximately how
22 much time passed between the time you saw Mr. Duzhmani being led into your
23 brother's house by these four and the time that you heard the gunshots?
24 A. Yes. It could be a whole -- a total of five minutes, not any
25 more. They went in, they took him in, and then they tried to slit my
1 son's throat. Then they went into my brother's house, then I heard the
2 shots, then the rooms were burning. It was about five minutes altogether,
3 no more.
4 Q. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Pnishi.
5 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Your Honours
6 Questioned by the Court:
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Pnishi, because I'm ignorant to the Russian
8 language, if you could help me with this: In your statement, page 5 of
9 the English version, you said relating to the Russian soldiers, I quote:
10 "After the Russian soldier answered, the person on the other end of the
11 radio ordered, 'Unisti ga.' That means 'Destroy him.'" I'm not sure my
12 pronunciation is good. "Unisti ga" is Russian?
13 A. That's true.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 A. Yes, that's true that I understood what you are saying. And from
16 outside the wall there, they were talking through their radios. The
17 Russian took the radio outside and asked, "Is Gjelosh Kola there?" He was
18 Serb, because if -- he was a Russian, because if he was a Serb, he would
19 have understand what is "Kola." Then he said, "Unisti ga," which means
20 "destroy him as soon as possible," and then they took Kole, they took him
21 to my brother's house and they executed him there.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Pnishi, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
24 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Ryneveld, before the next witness comes in, there
3 is one matter which I want to deal with. It concerns the evidence of K13,
4 a witness whose statement was admitted, as I recollect, under the Rule 92
5 bis. It has not yet been, as far as I can see, exhibited. Perhaps you
6 would attend to that and make sure that is done. It's important it should
8 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes. Thank you very much, Your Honour. Sometimes
9 we go through the work and we don't actually file the documents. So we'll
10 certainly attend to that, perhaps during the next break, if we may.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [No translation]
14 JUDGE MAY: What is it? I didn't get a translation.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Milosevic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's on. According to this new
17 schedule, I see that the next witness is Baqaj Gani. This doesn't bother
18 me in the least, the fact that he has now been brought out of order, but
19 yesterday I remarked about the inclusion in 92 bis, which you did not
20 agree to but about this witness, I think -- of course it's your right not
21 to take into account any of my remarks and put everything -- treat
22 everything as 92 bis, but with this witness, I would like to say that this
23 witness will testify about a wide number of questions which relate to arms
24 smuggling from Albania, cooperation with the Albanian army, and a series
25 of other things. And he is not suitable as a 92 witness. I cannot
1 question this witness in only 45 minutes. So I suggest that before we --
2 before you reject my request that he not be treated as a 92 bis witness, I
3 ask you to read his statement in order to see that it is not possible to
4 cross-examine him in 45 minutes in view of the number of issues that he
5 will testify about.
6 JUDGE MAY: We will consider the application and consider how long
7 it's appropriate for you to cross-examine.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
10 WITNESS: GANI BAQAJ
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
13 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The witness can take a seat.
15 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honours. I'm going to ask, again
16 for the benefit of anyone wanting the spelling of Mr. Baqaj's name, that
17 the spelling of his name be put on the ELMO. And I bring that to the
18 Court's attention because I have misspelled the name in the summary. I
19 put B-A-C-A-J and it's B-A-Q-A-J. Thank you.
20 Examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
21 Q. Mr. Baqaj, do I understand correctly, sir, that you are a
22 36-year-old Kosovar Albanian?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And I ask that you keep your voice up so that everyone can hear
25 you, sir.
1 Sir, in your original statement, your birth date is recorded as
2 being the 1st of April, 1966. You have subsequently advised that your
3 birth date is in fact the 1st of August, 1966; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And it's right, sir, that you're married, you have two children,
6 and that you served your military service in the Yugoslav army between
7 1987 and 1988; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You joined the KLA in June of 1998. Is that also correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, sir, is it -- did you give your original statement to members
12 of the Office of the Prosecutor on the 27th and 28th of March of the year
13 2000? Did you provide a statement at that time?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. And subsequently, on the 9th of March of this year, 2002, did you
16 have an opportunity to review that statement and make a correction such as
17 the spelling of your name and the -- your date of birth and then tell the
18 officer of the -- presiding officer of this Tribunal that the contents of
19 your statement were true and accurate to the best of your information and
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. RYNEVELD: Subject to any -- Your Honour, I would tender the
24 statement that has been -- I believe it's here available now -- as our
25 next exhibit. While that is happening, I just remind Your Honours that
1 this witness will be talking about Dubrava Prison which, as in the other
2 witnesses you've heard, is located in the Kosovo atlas at page 5, J12.
3 It's about six or seven kilometres east of Istok.
4 If I may read while that's happening.
5 JUDGE MAY: Let's deal with the exhibit number, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked Prosecutor's
7 Exhibit 300.
8 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, Your Honours.
9 On the 2nd of September, 1998, the witness was first arrested by
10 Yugoslav soldiers at the Albanian-Montenegrin border, was taken to an army
11 barracks, and then transferred to another barracks where he was
12 interrogated by two men in civilian clothes. In his statement, he
13 outlines that he was beaten and tortured between 10.00 p.m. that evening
14 and 6.00 the next morning. Then, under military escort, he was taken to
15 Nis, to Pristina, and then to Gjakove. From here, on the 5th of
16 September, he was taken to the Peja police station where he was further
17 interrogated and physically mistreated. He knew, and therefore names, two
18 of his interrogators in his statement.
19 Unable to take any more beatings, he admitted membership in the
20 KLA. He was then detained in Peja prison.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please read more slowly, Mr.
22 Ryneveld. Thank you.
23 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes. I've been admonished to read more slowly.
24 The witness was transferred, with another around 20 other
25 prisoners, to Dubrava Prison in Istok on the 21st of December, 1998. He
1 was housed in cellblock C1 and identifies his cellmates. Also in C1 block
2 were ten Serbian prisoners who wore prison uniforms. They were kept
3 segregated from the Kosovar Albanian prisoners.
4 And C1, Your Honours will recall, was the C block labelled the
5 isolation block in Exhibit 289 that you've heard other witnesses testify
7 The witness states that he was taken to Peja court on the 4th of
8 February where he was found guilty of arms smuggling, guarding his
9 village, and being a member of the KLA. He was sentenced to 18 months'
10 imprisonment and then returned to Dubrava Prison. On the 21st of
11 February, 1999, he was transferred to C2 block, where most of the
12 convicted prisoners were housed.
13 His evidence will include the fact that from around the beginning
14 of March 1999 to the end of April, 1999, additional prisoners were
15 transferred from other prisons in Serbia to Dubrava and that some
16 civilians from Gjakove town were also brought to and detained in Dubrava.
17 Hence, at the end of April of 1999, the prison population, he would
18 estimate, was nearly a thousand inmates.
19 Well, the witness tells you in his statement that on the 19th of
20 May, 1999, NATO bombed the prison, killing three prisoners in C1 block.
21 After this incident, the prisoners were allowed to remain out in the
22 compound. On the 21st of May, NATO bombs, in a more prolonged bombing
23 attack, killed approximately 19 more prisoners. The Serb guards ordered
24 the witness and the other prisoners to take the wounded to the sports
25 field and to cover the dead where they lay with blankets. He spent the
1 night of the 21st of May down a large drain, along with other prisoners.
2 On the morning of the 22nd of May, 1999, guards ordered the
3 prisoners to line up on the sports field, telling them that they were
4 being transferred to Nis prison in Serbia. He tells you in his statement
5 that there were around 10 lines of prisoners. He was in the front line
6 with friends approximately 30 metres from the watchtower facing him. He
7 saw three people dressed in guard uniforms and wearing black masks with
8 eye holes standing in the tower. Two had automatic weapons and one had a
9 bazooka-type weapon. To his right he saw a figure outside the perimeter
10 wall in green camouflage uniform, saw that individual stick a heavy
11 machine-gun through a hole in the wall. That hole, he says, had been
12 caused by NATO bombing. On this person's right sleeve he saw the word
13 "Milicija." The guards and milicija began shooting at the prisoners. He
14 heard the sound of firing all around. He was terrified and lay face down
15 on the ground. He heard the screaming from the wounded around him and
16 obviously general panic amongst the prisoners.
17 He describes that the shooting lasted, in his opinion, for around
18 half an hour, after which he crawled about 50 metres before running to the
19 kitchen basement where he sought refuge with about 300 to 400 other
20 prisoners. Throughout the day, snipers fired from the watchtowers. He
21 spent that night in the kitchen basement.
22 The next morning, between 5.00 and 6.00 a.m., he saw about 20
23 masked men wearing uniforms and an unmasked man in a guard uniform
24 surround the kitchen. Grenades were thrown inside and a voice shouted in
25 Serbian, "You have five minutes to come out or we'll kill you all." Those
1 in the basement surrendered and were marched to the gymnasium where they
2 were ordered to sit on the floor.
3 While in the gymnasium, the witness heard a masked man outside
4 say, "We will kill them all inside and people will think that NATO killed
5 them." He could hear shooting continuing outside and the sounds of
6 exploding grenades. Two hours later, a masked man came into the gym with
7 five cartons of cigarettes and told the prisoners that the commander,
8 Miki, had sent them the cigarettes and they would no longer be harmed.
9 After this announcement, they had freedom of movement inside the prison.
10 The witness indicates that he went with others to the sports field
11 where they counted the bodies of 160 dead prisoners. Dead prisoners were
12 also found in the drains. Together -- altogether, the witness will say
13 that, including the 23 prisoners killed by NATO, according to his count,
14 190 Dubrava prisoners had been killed.
15 On the 24th of May, all surviving prisoners were transferred by
16 bus to Lipjan prison. The wounded followed in trucks. They were told by
17 guards not to talk about or discuss what had happened in Dubrava and that
18 if asked, they should say NATO killed all the prisoners.
19 Well, very briefly, then: On the 10th of June, he was transferred
20 to Sremska Mitrovica prison where he served the remainder of his sentence
21 and was released on the 6th of March, 2000.
22 Now, Your Honours, you have already seen Exhibit 289, but I would
23 like to just ask the usher to show the -- the attachment that you have in
24 the 92 bis package of the Dubrava Prison which shows the watchtower, and I
25 just want to ask a couple of questions about that.
1 Q. Mr. Baqaj, you can see it on the screen, but I'm going to ask you
2 actually to use something and point on the document itself so it will show
3 on the screen. I'm particularly interested, sir, in the sports field and
4 the watchtower and that incident that you described in your statement.
5 Can you briefly indicate on this document, this map that you have
6 initialed, could you briefly show us where the prisoners were and where
7 the shooting came from and where you went.
8 A. The prisoners were in the gymnasium there, all in lines, and the
9 person -- people who shot -- were shooting were up in the watchtower and
10 over there on the right side where there was a hole in the wall which had
11 been made -- caused by NATO. And I was about there, out in the field
12 somewhere, in front.
13 Q. All right.
14 A. In a row. We were in rows.
15 JUDGE KWON: Is that the gymnasium or sports field?
16 MR. RYNEVELD: That's my first question of clarification.
17 Q. I believe, sir, that you said, "We were in the gymnasium." Did
18 you mean gymnasium or did you mean the sports field? Where the men were
19 lined up.
20 A. No, I meant the sports field.
21 Q. And pointing to that -- just show us again this area that is
22 immediately below the word "watchtower" where we have a sort of a triangle
23 formed by the word "watchtower," that area right in front of that, for the
24 record, is that the sports field to which you are referring?
25 A. In the corner there, at the top, that's the watchtower. And the
1 sports field is right under it there.
2 Q. These lines, these ten lines of men, how many persons would you
3 estimate were lined up facing in those ten -- facing the watchtower in
4 those ten lines?
5 A. There were about 800, 850, I would say, prisoners facing the
6 watchtower there.
7 Q. One final question about that, sir -- from me, at least. The hole
8 in the wall that you pointed to, just to the right if we're looking at the
9 perimeter wall, you said there was a hole caused by NATO bombing. How
10 large was that hole, approximately?
11 A. The hole on the right wing was about 70 centimetres high and about
12 50 centimetres wide.
13 Q. Would that hole be large enough for a person to go through?
14 A. It was difficult for a person to go through it because it wasn't
15 quite a big hole for a person to crawl through it.
16 Q. At least, not a person of my size, I take it. Would you -- you're
17 somewhat slender; would you have been able to go through that hole?
18 A. Yes, but I guess with efforts.
19 Q. Sir, was that hole large enough, for example, for a truck to drive
21 I'm sorry, I didn't get a response.
22 A. No. A tractor could not pass through that hole. The hole was not
23 that big.
24 Q. Finally, sir, of the people that were killed in the sports field
25 as a result of the shooting incident, do you recall any of the names of
1 those people killed that day on the sports field by the activities of the
2 individuals you described on the 22nd of May, 1999?
3 A. I remember certain persons who were near me. I had several bodies
4 that were around me, so I can remember those names of those bodies who
5 were near me. Can I --
6 Q. Please state them.
7 A. -- number the names, please?
8 Q. Please, yes.
9 A. There was a person from municipality of Decan, from the village of
10 Istinic, whose name was Met Osmanaj. Besim Paqarizi was also close by.
11 He was from Prizren. Naim from the village of Streoc, also from the
12 municipality of Decani. Ramiz Memija from Albania, from Tropoje. Hamdija
13 Demaj [phoen] from the village of Racaj. Fadil Beqiri from Racaj as well,
14 and Izet Beqiraj from the municipality of Gjakove. These were the persons
15 near my position, persons whom I knew.
16 MR. RYNEVELD: Those are my questions. Just one final thing:
17 The photograph that I've asked the witness to refer to is part of the
18 bis'ing package. Do you want it made a separate number or just leave it
19 as part of the package?
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
21 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. Those are my questions.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] In your statement, you said that you joined the
25 KLA in June 1998; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Who was the commander of your unit?
3 A. There was -- we didn't have a commander at that time in my
5 Q. Who was the commander of your unit? I'm not talking about the
6 village. You were part of a unit.
7 A. I was a member of a unit.
8 Q. I didn't hear you very well. What were you, I'm sorry?
9 A. I was a member of the KLA.
10 Q. A member of the KLA, and that is why I'm asking. How many men did
11 your unit number?
12 A. All the village was -- were -- formed part of my unit.
13 Q. Will you please answer my question. How many men were in your
15 A. There are about 250 homes in the village. I said that all the men
16 in the village were members of the unit.
17 Q. Does that mean that the unit numbered about 1.000 men? Maybe a
18 little more, a little less?
19 A. The whole village was in the unit with the exception of a few
20 individuals who were loyal to the Serb state.
21 Q. Tell me, what kind of weaponry did you have?
22 A. We had an automatic -- automatic rifles. Correction: I had an
23 automatic rifle.
24 Q. Did you all have automatic rifles?
25 A. No, not all had automatic rifles.
1 Q. What did the others have, then?
2 A. There weren't enough arms for everyone.
3 Q. All right, then. When you started bringing weapons from Albania,
4 were there sufficient weapons then?
5 A. No. There were just some people went to get arms for themselves.
6 Q. And tell me, when did all of you have a weapon?
7 A. I don't know when everyone had arms. I just know that I had an
8 automatic weapon and that some individuals went to Albania to get arms for
10 Q. And you were one of those persons who went to Albania to get
11 weapons. That's right, is it not?
12 A. Yes. I went with some friends.
13 Q. And before we move on to that subject, that is, to your travels to
14 Albania to get weapons, tell me, in how many battles did your unit take
15 part involving the killing of policemen, officers -- army officers, and
16 civilians? In how many battles, how many operations?
17 A. There were no actions in my village undertaken by the KLA. I'm
18 talking of the time when I was in the village.
19 Q. Did you take part in any killing of a policeman, a soldier, or a
20 civilian, and if so, how many?
21 A. I did not take part.
22 Q. Did you fire from that rifle that you say that you and the others
24 A. I didn't have the opportunity to use it.
25 Q. So you didn't fire a single bullet during this war.
1 A. No, because I had my engagements with my family.
2 Q. Very well, sir. Mr. Baqaj, let us now focus on your activity.
3 You mentioned that you were arrested on the 2nd of September on the border
4 between Albania and Yugoslavia on the Yugoslav side of the territory at
5 Bozhaj and that you were arrested by the army.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You crossed the border illegally, didn't you?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And where were you put up in Albania?
10 A. I was with my family in Durres.
11 Q. Generally speaking, in those days and on all other occasions while
12 staying in Albania, you were collecting weapons, weren't you?
13 A. No.
14 Q. And while staying in Albania, were you involved in the training of
15 KLA members in camps in Albania?
16 A. No, because as I said, I had engagements with my family.
17 Q. Very well, Mr. Baqaj. In the statement that you made to our
18 investigating authorities, which is attached to your statement to The
19 Hague Prosecutors, you said that in April, on the 24th of April, 1998, a
20 meeting was held in the village mosque. That's right, isn't it?
21 A. I don't know anything about this issue.
22 Q. All right. Let us skip over that topic. Is it true that Ramush
23 Haradinaj signed a certificate with which you went to Tropoje in Albania
24 to take over some weapons there?
25 A. With some friends that I went with in Albania, we didn't have any
1 documents with us.
2 Q. But when you crossed into Albania, were you without documents?
3 But did you have that document at any point in time at all?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And where did you leave it?
6 A. I said we did not have any document with us.
7 Q. You told the investigating authorities that in Tropoje officers of
8 the Albanian army met you and that they took you in military trucks to the
9 town of Bajram Curri. Is that right or not?
10 A. With my family, when I went there with my family, yes.
11 Q. And what ranks did those officers hold?
12 A. I don't know.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, the time has come for an adjournment.
14 We'll consider your application for more time during the adjournment.
15 Mr. Baqaj, we're going to adjourn now for 20 minutes. Could you
16 remember, please, during this adjournment not to speak to anyone about
17 your evidence until it's over, and that does include the members of the
18 Prosecution team. Would you be back in 20 minutes.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we've considered the question of time.
22 You can have an hour with this witness, which means that you have another
23 50 minutes.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I didn't get an answer to my last questions. What ranks did the
1 officers have, the ones who were waiting for you at the border?
2 A. I said I don't know what kind of ranks they had.
3 Q. And how many soldiers from the Albanian army were there together
4 with them?
5 A. I didn't see any soldiers.
6 Q. How many times did you go to Albania for weapons?
7 A. I went once.
8 Q. When was that?
9 A. It was about the middle of April.
10 Q. How many of you were there in the group then?
11 A. When I went, there were about 15 of us.
12 Q. And how many weapons did you bring across on that occasion?
13 A. When I went, we all brought back one each.
14 Q. You told the Yugoslav investigating authorities that -- you said
15 that when you crossed the border to Albania, you met a column of
16 Albanians, about 200 of them, who had 200 horses with them which were
17 loaded with weapons; is that right?
18 A. I didn't say that they were with weapons, but I said that they
19 were with their womenfolk, going to Albania.
20 Q. And these people who were transporting weapons from Albania, were
21 they Albanians from Kosovo or were they Albanians from Albania?
22 A. I didn't see them carrying weapons.
23 Q. But the people that you met, were they Albanians from Kosovo or
24 were they Albanians from Albania who were crossing into Yugoslavia over
25 the border?
1 A. I said I saw them -- I saw women, children, the elderly crossing
2 the border going into Albania.
3 Q. Well, you say that now, but in your statement to the Yugoslav
4 investigative authorities, you said that you saw 200 horses loaded with
5 weapons. Each horse was led by a guide, a person who was leading the
6 horse. Is that so or isn't that so?
7 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, it occurs to me that Your Honours
8 have not had the opportunity of seeing the document on which the witness
9 is now being cross-examined. It was part of the disclosure package, and
10 in order for this to make any sense to Your Honours, I wonder whether you
11 should have a copy of it available to you. I only -- this has not been
12 reviewed with the witness either. It was part of the disclosure package
13 but not something led.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let us have that document.
15 MR. RYNEVELD: I also wonder, since the witness has not seen this,
16 there is a copy in B/C/S, might he be provided with it as well? The
17 witness has not -- this has not been reviewed with the witness prior to
18 his giving evidence.
19 JUDGE MAY: Provided this doesn't take up too much time, it can be
20 done. I don't want to waste more time than is strictly necessary.
21 MR. RYNEVELD: No, Your Honours. I'm just trying to think of
22 fairness to the witness and the fact that Mr. Milosevic appears to be
23 choosing to spend time on this aspect rather than on the evidence that
24 he's been led on and that's relevant.
25 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter about that.
1 MR. KAY: The eighth line on page 3 is the passage that the
2 accused is questioning on at the moment, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. We have the document now. I asked you already and you denied it,
6 but in your statement, it says: "Two days before we went to the Republic
7 of Albania on the 24th of April, 1998, the four mentioned persons
8 organised a meeting in the village mosque which was attended by 50
9 villagers, among them my brother Baqaj Haki. It was decided at the
10 meeting that we would leave for the Republic of Albania in two days and
11 that anybody who applied could go. On the 26th of April, in the evening
12 hours, in the village of Aljaj, 50 members of the DTG, the sabotage
13 terrorist group, got together. Aljaj Bujar was appointed the leader of
14 the group since he knew the road towards the Albania very well."
15 And then you name all of those who crossed over. And before that,
16 you say that this was at Haradinaj Ramush's initiative, the commander of
17 the Main Staff, that it was on his initiative that this operation was
18 carried out. You talk that on the return of the group from Albania, a
19 headquarters was formed in the house of Ramadan Dukaj who was appointed
20 commander of the staff while the others -- the other persons were also
21 members of the staff. And their names were Bujar Aljaj and Shemsedin.
22 Before that, you say that you remained for seven days in the KLA
23 headquarters in the village of Busidoj [phoen] near Tropoje, and that
24 these people were forced to buy the weapons with their own money, and so
1 At one point, you say during -- "When we were crossing over the
2 border, we met a caravan of about 200 horses loaded up with weapons and
3 about 200 members of the DTG, of whom one-half were from the Drenica area
4 and the rest from Junik. In addition to the others, Sadrija Gacaferi was
5 in the column who told me that the weapons had been collected from the
6 staff of the so-called government of the Republic of Kosovo in Tropoje."
7 And then you say: "When we arrived at the entrance --"
8 JUDGE MAY: No. We need to see where you're reading from. Mr.
9 Kay, can you assist us, please.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This has your -- this has the
11 markings 00002948. I'm reading from the Serbian text. I'm reading from
12 the first paragraph of that text, and it's 2950. That is the number on
13 the Serbian version.
14 JUDGE MAY: Page 3 in the English at the top.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. And then you say: "When we arrived at the entrance to Tropoje, we
17 were greeted by Albanian army officers who transported us in military
18 lorries to the town of Bajram Curri where we were accommodated in private
19 homes. My family and I were housed with Hasan Avdija for a month. After
20 three days, I went to the Three Brothers Cafe in Bajram Curri and there I
21 met Muhamet Nitaj from Drenovac who pointed --" I cannot read this -- "who
22 pointed out Tahir Zemaj, a former JNA officer from the village of Streoc,
23 Fadil Haradinaj from the village of Sllup, Decani municipality, a certain
24 Aba born in Drenica, and their driver who had a beard and black glasses.
25 He told me that they had recently arrived from Germany and were in the
1 staff of the so-called government of the Republic of Kosovo in the village
2 of Hodjaj near Tropoje."
3 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop you, Mr. Milosevic. This is
4 cross-examination. The witness should have the chance to deal with what's
5 being read out.
6 Mr. Baqaj, we've got this statement in front of us, and you've
7 heard the bits that have been read out so far. Is there anything you want
8 to say about it?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't say this. But those who
10 took me in for questioning in Peja wrote what they wanted. This list of
11 names has been shown to me by the man who took me into questioning, and I
12 merely saw it in Peja.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I continue?
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Towards the end of the statement, since we don't have a lot of
17 time I have to skip a lot, you say: "I note that I am in contact with
18 Aljaj Hakija, a cook in the staff, and in contacts with him I found out
19 that for the needs of the DTGs in Kosovo and Metohija weapons are being
20 brought by both from Germany and Switzerland to the port of Vlora,
21 Republic of Albania, and then by lorry to Tropoje." And then at the end,
22 it says: "The citizen has read the record and hereby signs it." And
23 there is your signature here as well as the signature of the authorised
24 officials to whom you provided the statement. Is this your statement,
25 Mr. Baqaj?
1 A. It is my signature but it's not my statement. I don't know this
2 person whom you mentioned, and I have no idea who he is.
3 Q. Yes. I understand that you have no idea about anything that you
4 talked about before, but by the way, can you tell me, since a little while
5 ago in response to Mr. Ryneveld's questions, you said that one of those
6 killed next to you to the Dubrava prison was Ramiz Memija from Tropoje.
7 So he was a citizen of the Republic of Albania. Why was he arrested? Was
8 he arrested as a member of the KLA or not? He was arrested on the
9 territory of the Republic of Yugoslavia.
10 A. I don't know why he was arrested.
11 Q. All right. This caravan that you met with weapons, do you know
12 what kind of weapons were being transported in the caravan?
13 A. I said I didn't see any convoy with weapons coming into Kosova.
14 Q. I read your statement, and it states there that it was a convoy of
15 200 horses and 200 members of the KLA with weapons, and now you claim that
16 you didn't say that; is that right?
17 A. I didn't say it.
18 Q. All right. Who was responsible in the -- in Kosovo on behalf of
19 the government in Tropoje for distributing those weapons? The so-called
20 government of Kosovo in Tropoje?
21 A. I don't know.
22 Q. You don't know that either. Very well. You said that you met
23 Tahir Zemaj in the Tri Brata cafe. Was he a member of the KLA as
24 well? Just answer yes or no, please.
25 A. I don't know where this cafe is nor do I know Tahir Zemaj. I know
1 him as a name but I don't know him personally.
2 Q. So it is also not true that you met him there. Is this also
3 something that was made up by the team of investigators who talked to you,
4 that you had met Tahir Zemaj in the Three Brothers, Tri Brata cafe? You
5 didn't say that either, did you?
6 A. I didn't say this, and I say again that I don't know Tahir Zemaj
7 and I've never had contact are him.
8 Q. Did you read a book with the interviews of Tahir Zemaj and Ramush
9 Haradinaj? Did you read that, at least? This was published. Anyone can
10 buy that in Kosovo, I assume.
11 A. No, I've never read it. I've heard about it. But personally, I
12 have not read it.
13 Q. Very well. In your statement to The Hague investigators, you said
14 that before the military authorities you denied being a member of the KLA.
15 Is that true?
16 A. Yes, I have denied this.
17 Q. Yes. And you say that they showed you a list that contained 74
18 names of Albanians who had been smuggling weapons from Albania. Is that
20 A. That's true. They showed me this list in Peja.
21 Q. Is it true that there was a warrant out for all of your arrests?
22 A. I don't know about this.
23 Q. In your statement, you say that on the 6th of September, at 7.00
24 a.m., you were taken to the police station in Djakovica. Is this true?
25 A. Yes.
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts. Pages 9261 to 9269.
1 Q. And you say that you were questioned by the investigators and
2 inspectors. One of them was called Zita, as well as the Pec security
3 chief, Dem Mujaj, who you say you knew very well from before the war. Is
4 this true?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you explain how you knew the chief of security in Pec, Dem
8 A. I only knew him as a face.
9 Q. You knew him only by sight. But you said you knew him very well
10 before the war, in the statement that you provided for the Tribunal.
11 A. I knew him by sight, but I had never talked to him.
12 Q. Were you perhaps an associate of the state security after you got
13 acquainted with Dem Mujaj perhaps?
14 JUDGE MAY: The witness has said he was not acquainted with
15 Mr. Mujaj. He simply knew him by sight.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I will skip questions
17 relating to this issue.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. So during your questioning before the head of state security Mujaj
20 and a police officer named Zita, subsequently admitted that you were a
21 member of the KLA. Is this true?
22 A. I did admit this. And anybody in my position would have done the
24 Q. Were you detained until the trial when you were sentenced to 18
25 months by a court in Pec?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Is it true that no one mistreated you when you were in prison?
3 A. I wasn't mistreated in Peja prison because some of the prison
4 guards were Albanians.
5 Q. I assume that it wasn't just some of them. Could you please tell
6 me whether at least one-half of the guards in the Pec prison were
7 Albanians? Is that true or not?
8 A. I think it was half of them.
9 Q. Let us now move to the Dubrava prison. On the 21st of December,
10 you were transferred there, and you were put into block C, with prisoners
11 who had not yet been sentenced. They were all wearing civilian clothes,
12 just like in any investigative prison before they were convicted. Only
13 convicted convicts wear prison uniforms. Was that clear?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You started to serve your sentence in February 1999 in Dubrava.
16 From the point when you started serving your sentence until the
17 bombardment while you were serving in Dubrava prison, did anybody mistreat
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. How many Albanian guards worked in the prison?
21 A. There was not a single Albanian in Dubrava prison.
22 Q. Was Nexhmedin Kalicinaj [phoen] the deputy warden of the Dubrava
24 A. I don't know this man.
25 Q. He was killed in the bombing. Do you know that not a single
1 Albania, or not a single inmate, neither a Serb or an Albanian, was
2 brought to that prison without being brought for trial proceedings before
3 that? Were you aware of that?
4 A. I didn't understand this question.
5 Q. You met the other inmates in the prison. Did you meet a single
6 prisoner who was arrested and had not been brought before a court for
7 trial proceedings?
8 A. While I was there, everybody in my cell had been unconvicted.
9 Q. They were not convicted. They were not charged. Is that what you
11 A. I said they had not been convicted.
12 Q. They were under criminal investigation. The proceedings, the
13 criminal investigation proceedings were under way. Isn't that so?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is it true that the C1 block, which was hit right away, was a
16 block that was under stricter supervision?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is it true that the most dangerous criminals were placed in that
20 A. I don't know what kind of criminals there were. I don't know what
21 you're driving at.
22 Q. And can you tell me, was the security command post hit at that
23 time in that pavilion?
24 A. The C1 block was hit twice.
25 Q. Tell me, please, is it true to say that, in the first strike, the
1 security services building was targeted?
2 A. I know that there were three shots. Which one was first, I don't
3 know, because we were inside.
4 Q. Do you consider that there's any connection between the targeting
5 of the security services building and the hitting of the wall with bombs?
6 A. I said I don't know.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
8 the picture showing the destruction of the periphery wall or perimeter
9 wall of the prison. But we won't wait. I'll continue with my
10 cross-examination, so please show it to the witness when you trace it.
11 JUDGE MAY: The exhibits produced by the accused, the
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Do you know how many workers of the security service were wounded
15 during the first strike?
16 A. I don't know that. We were inside the walls.
17 Q. Where were you when the attack ended?
18 A. Which attack are you talking about?
19 Q. When that first attack was over, where were you?
20 A. I was housed in C2 block.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just the picture of the wall that
22 had been destroyed. Yes, that one. Please put it on the ELMO.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. This is the destroyed wall of the prison. A moment ago,
25 Mr. Ryneveld asked you whether a truck could pass and you said it
1 couldn't. Don't you think, seeing the picture now, that a truck could
2 pass through this hole in the wall?
3 JUDGE MAY: Well, first of all, in fairness to the witness, there
4 has been an identification of this wall.
5 Just help us with this, Mr. Baqaj; do you recognise the wall,
6 first of all?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I recognise this wall very
8 well. This is not where we prisoners were. This was on the left-hand
9 side. Here there was the central heating plant for the prison, and this
10 was outside the wall where the other buildings were.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. But do you link the hitting of the wall with the hitting of the
13 building with the guards?
14 JUDGE MAY: That's nothing to do with him. You'll have to ask
15 those who targeted the prison. He can't deal with that.
16 Have you finished with the photograph now, Mr. Milosevic?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon?
18 JUDGE MAY: Have you finished -- have you finished with the
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let it come back.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Is it true that additional security measures were introduced to
24 prevent the prisoners from escaping?
25 A. I believe so.
1 Q. And is it true that the aim of those measures was to protect the
2 prisoners from possible settling of accounts amongst themselves?
3 A. No. It was no doubt in order to exterminate us all.
4 Q. Well, tell me now, Mr. Baqaj, how do you explain that someone
5 intends to exterminate you all and then after that, as you yourself say in
6 this statement, using 15 buses, according to data I have, more than 800 of
7 you were transported to other prisons, and those who had served their
8 sentence were released home on time, et cetera. How do you explain that
9 somebody had the intention of exterminating you and then transported 800
10 of you to safety?
11 A. We had seen what had happened inside. And about 160 prisoners
12 were killed.
13 Q. Do you know that 93 killed prisoners, that their bodies were
14 pulled out of the rubble and that this number that you mention of 160,
15 you're really referring to the number of injured, not the number of dead.
16 Isn't that right, Mr. Baqaj?
17 A. The number of those injured was larger, and there were 160 killed,
18 or 180 including the 23 killed by NATO.
19 Q. So you know exactly how many were killed in the NATO bombing, and
20 you're reducing it to the number of 23, and you're claiming that the rest
21 were killed by prison guards. Is that your testimony?
22 A. I saw these 23 people myself with my own eyes and I counted them,
23 each of them. These were the people killed by the NATO attacks.
24 Q. In all the days of the NATO strikes -- well, how many days was the
25 prison bombed?
1 A. The prison was bombed on the 19th of May, the 21st of May, and
2 then there were no more NATO bombings.
3 Q. Very well. Tell me, then, how probable is what you're claiming on
4 page 7 of your statement? "While we were in Lipjan, the guards ordered
5 the prisoners from Dubrava not to say anything about what had happened in
6 Dubrava. If we were ever asked, we were to say that all the prisoners
7 were killed by NATO."
8 Is it probable that 800 of you were persuaded by the guards and
9 that these guards, who wanted to exterminate you, would believe you that
10 you would do them the service of saying that NATO had killed them? Who
11 could accept such an assumption?
12 JUDGE MAY: This is all a matter of argument. This is all
13 argument, Mr. Milosevic, as you know. Now, if you've got a question, you
14 can ask it, but that's not a proper one.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I do have questions.
16 You have fixed my time, and I will use it.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. When you were finally evacuated and after transferred, as far as I
19 gather, to Sremska Mitrovica, or where was it you ended up? Yes. You
20 were released on the 6th of March, 2000 from Sremska Mitrovica. How many
21 time did you spend in Sremska Mitrovica?
22 A. I spent about nine months in the prison at Sremska Mitrovica.
23 Q. Did it occur to you that in those nine months spent in the prison
24 in Sremska Mitrovica - so you were far from Kosovo, you were in a regular
25 prison in the north of Serbia - did it occur to you to inform one of the
1 authorities, the warden or his assistant or anyone, of the fact that the
2 prison guards wanted to kill you and that they actually killed some of
3 your colleagues in prison? Did it occur to you to report this to anyone,
4 to report what had happened to you to anyone?
5 A. No.
6 Q. How many more of you from Dubrava were housed in Sremska
8 A. I don't know about the other cells, but in mine there were 90.
9 Q. Nine from Dubrava? Is that what you said?
10 A. I said there were 90 brought from Dubrava in my room.
11 Q. I'm not sure that this translation is correct. Is there a cell in
12 prison that can take 90 men?
13 A. The room was about 20 metres long, and there were 90 people
14 sitting on the floor. It was about 20 metres by six.
15 Q. Are you talking about Sremska Mitrovica?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You didn't have a bed in Sremska Mitrovica during those nine
18 months you spent there?
19 A. Not a single prisoner in Sremska Mitrovica had a bed. We were all
20 on the floor.
21 Q. I must say that I hear that for the first time, but I can't
22 question you any further about that. It sounds too improbable to me.
23 Tell me, please, at the time of the bombing of the prison in
24 Dubrava, did anyone escape or try to escape?
25 A. I don't know. I heard that certain persons tried to escape, but
1 they did not succeed. That day that we were transferred to the prison in
2 Lipjan, I saw the bodies at the entrance of the prison.
3 Q. Did anyone try to persuade you, among the more dangerous
4 criminals, shall we call them that, to try to escape?
5 A. Me personally? No.
6 Q. Is it true that during the NATO attacks on the prison, crews of
7 domestic and foreign reporters would come, take photographs and film and
8 prepare reports about the bombing of the prison? Did you see them?
9 A. No.
10 Q. No? Very well. Is it true that a team, together with the
11 investigating judge, came to carry out an on-site inspection?
12 A. Yes. On 20th of May, they came. I saw a cameraman there, and
13 certain persons of Roma nationality came with a tractor to pick up the
14 three bodies that were killed -- of persons who were killed on 19th of
16 Q. And as far as you know, was that investigation suspended because
17 of the bombing, in which the investigating judge was wounded, but the
18 investigation continued for several days in succession? Do you know that?
19 A. I don't know. I was in my cell.
20 Q. And is it true that this large bombing raid caused panic, great
21 panic, among the prisoners?
22 A. There was panic.
23 Q. And when you hid in those manholes and drains, and when they
24 forced you to come out, did they throw teargas inside to force you out?
25 A. On the morning of 22nd of May, at 6.00 in the morning, I was in
1 the manhole and they called me and said we should line up on the sports
2 hall and that we would be transferred to the prison in Nis.
3 Q. Very well. After this event that you describe that they shot at
4 you but didn't kill you and then you went to the gymnasium and then you
5 said the guards then brought you cigarettes sent by the commander of the
6 prison, food and so on. So they wanted to kill you for a while, and then
7 they gave you cigarettes and food. And then after that, the next day or
8 the day after, it doesn't matter after all, they put you into those 15
9 buses and drive you off to another prison. Is that your whole story?
10 A. On the 23rd of May, that is to say I spent the night of the 22nd
11 of May in the basement of the kitchen. In the morning, at about 5.00,
12 police forces entered, guards as well. They were firing in manholes where
13 prisoners were hiding. They threw hand grenades and killed.
14 Q. Were they throwing teargas or bombs or grenades?
15 A. I said that in those manholes where prisoners were hiding, they
16 were throwing bombs, hand grenades.
17 Q. Were you in the manhole?
18 A. I don't have interpretation.
19 I said that on the night of the 21st of May, I was in the manhole
20 until 6.00 a.m.
21 Q. Did anyone throw a hand grenade at you?
22 A. That night, no.
23 Q. Did anyone throw a hand grenade at you in the manhole that other
24 night? Or day, it doesn't matter when. Did anyone throw a hand grenade
25 at you?
1 A. The night when the hand grenades were thrown, I said I was in the
2 kitchen basement, but I said I saw people inside the manholes who had been
4 Q. I mentioned to you the 93 bodies pulled out of the rubble. Do you
5 know that each of those bodies has been identified, that the complete
6 crime processing, photographs were taken, and that all this was done by a
7 doctor, a surgeon from the hospital in Pec, and that there are complete
8 records about this that I have been able to see. Nowhere is there any
9 mention --
10 JUDGE MAY: If you don't know this, just say you don't know.
11 A. I don't know where these rubbles that he's mentioning were.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you have one minute more.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, if it's just one minute.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. While serving your sentence in Sremska Mitrovica, did you have any
16 problems whatsoever, and did any one of the Albanians have any problems in
17 the prison in Sremska Mitrovica?
18 A. When I served my sentence, I was escorted by the International Red
19 Cross Committee to Kosovo.
20 Q. I didn't ask you who escorted you after you had completed serving
21 your sentence. When you were released, you were released exactly on the
22 day when your sentence had been completed. Isn't that right?
23 A. I can't understand the question.
24 Q. All right. To save time, I'm not asking you what happened after
25 you served your sentence but during the time you were in the prison in
1 Sremska Mitrovica, the nine and a half months spent there. Did you or any
2 one of the other Albanians imprisoned in Sremska Mitrovica have any kind
3 of problems? Did anyone mistreat you?
4 A. Yes. There were lots of problems.
5 Q. What kind of problems?
6 A. There was beating. Hygiene conditions were poor, food as well.
7 Q. So you're claiming that in the prison that was under the
8 competence of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia where you
9 were serving your sentence, that you were beaten up, as were the other
10 Albanians. Is that what you're saying? In the prison in Sremska
12 A. Yes. I was personally beaten as well.
13 JUDGE MAY: Your last question, Mr. Milosevic.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Who beat you?
16 JUDGE MAY: Your last question, Mr. Milosevic.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Who beat you, Mr. Baqaj? Who? Please give me the name. You met
19 all those people during the nine and a half months you spent there; who
20 beat you?
21 A. The prison guards. I don't know their names. I don't remember
22 their names.
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kay, do you have any questions?
24 MR. KAY: Your Honours, I'm going to deal with matters which are
25 at the LiveNote transcript, page 30, line 1, and within the statement at
1 page 7, line 10 of the English version.
2 Questioned by Mr. Kay:
3 Q. You gave evidence today concerning a list of names of people you
4 say were killed in the sports field by the camp guards. Do you remember
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In your statement that you made to the Tribunal, you told them
8 that you didn't know -- you could not remember the names of people who
9 were killed at the prison.
10 A. I knew some of them.
11 Q. In your statement, you said, "I knew some of them, but now I
12 cannot remember their names.
13 A. I mentioned some names, some that came on my mind.
14 Q. In your statement -- in your evidence today, you gave a list of
15 names, including one Memija Ramiz. Do you remember that name?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you said that he was one killed close by in the sports field.
18 A. Yes. Ramiz Memija was killed as well near the sports field but by
19 a sniper that fired from the watchtower.
20 Q. Yes. In your statement, I'm looking at page 6, in the middle:
21 "During the day, snipers fired from the watchtowers and I remember that
22 one prisoner, Memija Ramiz from Tropoje in Albania was shot and killed by
23 a sniper." The other names that you gave today, Hamdija Demaj, Izet
24 Beqiraj, Fadil Beqiri, how did you remember those names?
25 A. I remembered those names because they were close by, close to my
1 location. And the next day -- and I also remember them from the next day
2 when we went to count the bodies.
3 Q. I'm also looking at the prosecutor's summary, paragraph 15, page
5 Have you been referring to any notes while you've been giving
6 evidence about those names?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What piece of paper do you have?
9 A. I don't understand the question. Repeat it, please.
10 Q. Did you have those names written on a piece of paper, that you
11 gave today?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you look at that while you were giving evidence?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Who wrote that paper or wrote those names on the paper?
16 A. I wrote those names.
17 Q. When did you write those names on the paper?
18 A. When I was in Kosovo, in my home.
19 Q. When was that?
20 A. Two months ago.
21 Q. And why did you write those names on the piece of paper?
22 A. Because I remembered that these persons who were killed that day
23 on the sports field were close by.
24 MR. KAY: Thank you. I have no further questions, but could I
25 make the observation that if witnesses are referring to lists or names on
1 pieces of paper, it's desirable that the Trial Chamber or the OTP should
2 know about it so that one can see what sources they're using whilst
3 they're giving evidence.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
5 Questioned by the Court:
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Baqaj -- Mr. Baqaj, are you hearing me?
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: One of the matters we have to consider is the
9 demeanour of a witness, that is, how the witness appears to us, and I have
10 to say that I have been struck by just how sad, how melancholy and
11 withdrawn you appear. Can you tell me whether you have been like that all
12 your life or is this something relatively new?
13 A. I've been like this throughout my life.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Are you suffering, as far as you're
15 aware, then, from any effects of the experience that you had?
16 A. Yes. Three ribs on the right-hand side have been broken in the
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. And are they now broken or have you
19 received treatment for that?
20 A. Partly.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you now working?
22 A. No, I'm not working.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: And have you been -- have you worked at all since
24 the -- since the conflict?
25 A. No.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
2 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Baqaj, I'd like to ask some questions about the
3 events which happened in Dubrava prison. When you were lined up early in
4 the morning, the 22nd, and even after the shooting took place, were there
5 any prisoners who tried to escape out of the prison at that time?
6 A. No.
7 JUDGE KWON: And it's about the people who were killed in the
8 manhole: Was it that they tried to escape through the manhole or they're
9 just hiding inside the manhole?
10 A. They were hiding in manholes, trying to find a more secure place.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
12 MR. RYNEVELD: Might the witness be shown Exhibit 289, which is
13 the aerial photograph.
14 Re-examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
15 Q. Sir, you were shown a photograph by Mr. Milosevic about a large
16 hole in what you say you recalled as being an area that you knew. I'm not
17 going to show you that photograph, but I'm going to ask you to look --
18 MR. RYNEVELD: Oh, do you have the colour version? Thank you.
19 JUDGE KWON: The transcript should say this is Mr. Ryneveld
20 instead of Mr. Nice.
21 MR. RYNEVELD: I'm not looking at the transcript. Thank you for
22 catching that.
23 Q. Sir -- could we show that on the -- do you see the photograph
24 there, sir? Can you tell us, in relation to this larger aerial view,
25 where in relation to the wall, if it is depicted in this photograph, where
1 that hole in the wall is? Are you -- do you know? Perhaps we can
2 orient --
3 A. It's a little bit further from here.
4 Q. All right. Perhaps I can ask you these questions: Do you see
5 that the wall on the left-hand -- the left-hand side seems to extend
6 beyond where it says -- I can't read it now --
7 MR. RYNEVELD: Excuse me, Your Honours.
8 Q. There's an administration building and then the square below that.
9 What does that say? "Front gate."
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please speak into the microphone.
11 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes. Sorry.
12 Q. Do you see where the front gate is on that photograph, near the
13 administration building?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. That appears to be an intersection of a wall that runs
16 horizontally across the photograph and a wall that runs sort of
17 vertically, continuing in a northerly direction. Do you see that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did that wall continue beyond the perimeter of the prison itself?
20 A. Yes. Outside the buildings, there was another wall.
21 Q. This hole in the wall shown to you by the accused, did you see
22 that hole in the wall while you were a prisoner during the month of May,
23 1999, in the prison?
24 A. After the bombing, I was in my cell on the second floor, and I saw
1 Q. And where did you see that hole? Can you -- is the location of
2 that hole shown in this photograph, Exhibit 289?
3 A. It's very far. I cannot tell. But I said it was on the left side
4 of the block where I was housed.
5 Q. Yes. And can you find that for us? If you can't, just say so.
6 A. Here. This is -- this was the wall of the prison, and this was a
7 separate wall that went further down the line, and here is the part where
8 the wall was destroyed.
9 Q. Can you point to the place where the wall was destroyed, if you
10 see it? I'm sorry. If you did, it didn't show up on the ELMO. You're
11 now pointing in the area beyond the prison proper; is that correct? This
12 is the exterior perimeter wall.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE MAY: It's right that the statement which was put to the
17 witness in cross-examination by the accused, the record of the interview
18 in Pec, should be exhibited and given an exhibit number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, those statements will be -- the
20 B/C/S and the English will be given Prosecutor's Exhibit 301.
21 JUDGE MAY: Possibly a Defence exhibit number, since they were
22 produced by him.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Okay. Scratch that. It will be Defence Exhibit
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Baqaj, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
1 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE MAY: You have another witness, Mr. Ryneveld?
5 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, she's here and ready to go, but I'd say we're
6 six minutes away from the normal adjourning time; do you want me to start
7 or --
8 JUDGE MAY: No. We will take the adjournment now. We will
9 adjourn for 20 minutes.
10 --- Recess taken at 12.08 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 12.35 p.m.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Ryneveld.
13 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honour. The Prosecution calls
14 Sofije Imeraj. And this witness, Your Honours, deals with issues about
15 Padaliste, and you've heard from another lady a couple days ago by the
16 same surname, Imeraj.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
19 WITNESS: SOFIJE IMERAJ
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
23 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you'd like to take a seat.
25 Examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
1 Q. Ms. Imeraj, I understand correctly you are 21 years old, you're
2 currently unmarried, and you are a Kosovo Albanian young woman from the
3 town of Padaliste in the municipality of Istok; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And on the 26th of March, 1999, were you living in your home with
6 your parents, Hasan and Hyra, and your two brothers, Muhamet and Jeton, in
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right. Now, did you give a statement to investigators of the
10 Office of the Prosecutor on the 25th of November, 1999?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And on the 6th of March of this year, 2002, were you given an
13 opportunity to review that statement in your language, in Albanian, and
14 have an opportunity to make whatever corrections that needed to be made,
15 and then were you asked by a presiding officer of this Tribunal whether
16 that statement was true and accurate to the best of your recollection and
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. RYNEVELD: Might that statement be marked at this time, Your
20 Honours, as an exhibit. And this time I will wait for the number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked Prosecutor's
22 Exhibit 301.
23 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
24 While it's being distributed, Your Honours, I would propose to
25 read a summary of what is contained in that statement for highlights.
1 Your Honours, according to this witness's statement, which you are
2 about to receive, she tells about an incident on the 26th of March, 1999,
3 when Serb forces and tanks surrounded Padaliste the previous day, the 25th
4 of March, and prevented villagers from leaving. Avdyl Imeraj, the
5 witness's father's uncle, and his family - five people in total - arrived
6 at their place in order to seek shelter and safety. Apparently all were
7 concerned and worried about what the Serb forces might do, because they'd
8 heard that Serb officials had said that if NATO bombed, Albanians in
9 Kosovo would suffer.
10 Well, the next morning, the 26th of March, 1999, the witness
11 describes in her statement how between 6.00 a.m. and 6.30 a.m. of that
12 morning, they were all preparing to leave Padaliste when the village was
13 attacked by Serb soldiers on foot. She describes how three soldiers
14 dressed in green camouflage uniforms came to her house. One smashed the
15 front window and fired his automatic rifle into the room. Apparently her
16 father said to this soldier, "Don't do that, Neighbour." The soldier
17 replied, "There are no more neighbours."
18 One of the soldiers then entered the house and the third soldier
19 remained in the courtyard. Her father, brother Muhamet, and uncle Avdyl
20 were ordered out of the house. Her mother pleaded with them to leave
21 Muhamet, her first son after the birth of four daughters, but to no avail.
22 When he was also taken out, her mother then fainted.
23 As her father, brother, and uncle left the house, she saw the
24 soldier at the window kneel down and fire his automatic rifle at the men
25 continuously for several seconds. One of the women who understood Serbian
1 heard one of the soldiers say, "Leave the other ones here. We'll come
2 back later and catch them and burn them."
3 When the soldiers had left, the women went out and found the
4 bodies of the men lying immediately outside the front door. The witness
5 describes in her statement the soldier at the window who shot her father,
6 brother, and uncle, and she says she heard him being called "Pero," which
7 she believes is short for the Serbian first name of Predrag.
8 When they checked on their neighbour's home, they found that Beka
9 Imeraj and eight members of his family had also been killed. The witness
10 and the other occupants remained in the house until about 11.30 a.m., when
11 they decided to leave. They made their way to local woods where they
12 sheltered the rest of that day, until about 10.00 p.m. Then they left for
13 Uq, a village in the mountains, where they spent the night.
14 Well, Uq village came under shell attack early the next morning,
15 and the witness and her family and others were forced yet again to flee.
16 They went to the woods at the mountain known as Fushe e Madhe. They
17 remained there with thousands of others from various villages for two
18 weeks before walking to Rozaje in Montenegro. That journey took two
19 nights and three days. She and her family eventually made it to Albania
20 where they remained until the end of the war.
21 When returning to their home in Padaliste at the end of August,
22 they noted that their house had been badly damaged and looted, with
23 everything stolen. The windows were broken, there were bullet holes
24 everywhere, and the three cows were missing. They found the bodies of her
25 father, brother, and uncle Avdyl buried close to the well in their garden.
1 That is a very basic summary of some of the highlights contained
2 in this witness's statement, and I have no additional questions to ask
3 her. Thank you.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before I start with the
6 cross-examination, I would like to ask Mr. Ryneveld to be kind enough to
7 give me a piece of information. As an interpreter, on the first page here
8 of the witness's statement, the name is stated Besnik Sokoli. Is that the
9 Sokoli who already testified here in the course of the past six or seven
11 JUDGE MAY: Insofar as is relevant, you can ask the Court.
12 Mr. Ryneveld, can you help as to that or not?
13 MR. RYNEVELD: I'm having some difficulty locating the reference.
14 JUDGE MAY: The reference is on the first page. The interpreter
15 is described as Mr. Sokoli, and it's said that a witness of that name, as
16 indeed my recollection also, gave evidence. Yes, he was the eighth
17 witness. Do you know whether he's the same man or not?
18 MR. RYNEVELD: I don't want to indicate without checking. Perhaps
19 I can provide that information later. It may be the same name. Of
20 course, many names are similar and I wouldn't want to hazard a guess
21 without giving a correct answer. So I'll check that out.
22 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much.
23 JUDGE KWON: It seems to be the number eight witness who gave
24 evidence on the 22nd of February.
25 MR. RYNEVELD: Although I need to check it out, our case manager,
1 who knows these things, is nodding in agreement that it is the same
2 person. So unless I tell you otherwise, my understanding is that it is in
3 fact the same person.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
5 MR. RYNEVELD: It's just been confirmed, apparently. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Does that mean that he is an
7 employee of this institution?
8 JUDGE MAY: Let us deal with this witness. She's here to give
9 evidence. Cross-examine her and then you can raise these other matters.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Very well, Mr. May.
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Did you live in Padaliste the entire time, and
13 you were born there as well?
14 A. Yes.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. "Yes."
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Did you hear about the activities of the KLA in your region in
19 A. No. In my region, there was no KLA.
20 Q. Did anybody from your family or any one of your relatives belong
21 to the KLA?
22 A. No, no one.
23 Q. In your statement, you said that there was another family in your
24 house, the family of your father's uncle. And Mr. Ryneveld also stated
25 this a little while ago. And the family arrived the day before because it
1 would be safer there. Where did that family come from?
2 A. The family wasn't there two days earlier, but they came in the
3 night when the Serb forces surrounded the village.
4 Q. I understood from your statement that your father's uncle lived
5 close by. Did he live close to you?
6 A. Yes. He lived near, close by.
7 Q. How close?
8 A. Could you repeat the question?
9 Q. How close?
10 A. He lived about 50 metres away.
11 Q. So what was the sense of him not feeling safe in his own house and
12 feeling safer in your house which was only 50 metres further away? What
13 is the sense of that if the difference is only 50 metres?
14 A. He came to us because your forces, your Chetniks, were near his
15 house on the hill in Padalishte, above the hill, above the village. They
16 were -- his house was at the end, near the hill, and our house was more
17 near the valley, on the other side.
18 Q. Which Chetniks are you talking about?
19 A. Your -- the thugs that work for you.
20 Q. Are you thinking of the police officers or the soldiers or the
21 police and the soldiers? Who are you thinking of when you say that?
22 A. I mean your police and soldiers.
23 Q. All right. So he felt threatened because they were close to his
24 house, and your house is 50 metres away from his house, so -- and that is
25 why he felt safer. That's why he came to your house.
1 JUDGE MAY: There's no need to repeat that. That was her
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. And did your uncle's father have any reason to hide?
6 THE INTERPRETER: "Your father's uncle," interpreter's correction.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He didn't come to us to hide. Your
8 forces were shooting, and he came in our direction, towards the valley, to
9 get away from the police.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Did you find out from him that the police entered your village?
12 A. I didn't find out from him. The police had a checkpoint, a point
13 of control on the hill just over the village.
14 Q. Yes. But it had that checkpoint for a long time. It wasn't there
15 just from that day.
16 A. Yes. They had been there for quite awhile.
17 Q. You said that you knew that NATO had started bombing. My question
18 is as follows: What did you personally see of this bombing?
19 A. Sorry, could you repeat that? Which bombing are you talking
21 A. You said that you knew that NATO had started its bombing. You
22 knew about it. So I'm asking you what did you personally see of this
23 bombing? What was it that you knew from personal experience?
24 A. I didn't see anything. I just knew that NATO had bombed.
25 Q. And another quote from your statement about how somebody,
1 allegedly from the Serbian government, stated that when NATO started its
2 bombing, then the Albanians in Kosovo would suffer. Did you say that?
3 A. Could you repeat that, please?
4 JUDGE MAY: The point is, it says in your statement: "I heard
5 someone -- that someone in the Serbian government had said that if NATO
6 bombed, then the Albanians in Kosovo would suffer." Did you in fact hear
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard that on television.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Before you tell me who it was who stated this on television, could
11 you please tell me if Kosovo was bombed?
12 JUDGE MAY: Well, there's no dispute about that. What she said is
13 that she saw nothing of it.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. But is it -- is it disputed
15 that the majority of the population in Kosovo are Albanians? Is this
17 JUDGE MAY: No. Just ask the witness some relevant questions.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. If somebody bombs the territory populated by a majority of
21 Albanians, wouldn't these Albanians be the ones who would suffer?
22 JUDGE MAY: Just ask the witness what she saw or who it was who
23 said it, what programme it was on. You can ask questions of that sort,
24 but there's no point arguing with her.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I am asking her,
1 Mr. May, who was it who said this. Was this somebody threatening the
2 Albanians, somebody from the Serbian government threatening that the
3 Albanians would suffer if NATO were to bomb?
4 JUDGE MAY: You say you heard this on television. Can you tell us
5 who it was who said this?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was on the television, on the
7 news from Belgrade one, Television One, and they said it in Serb. It was
8 the forces of Milosevic which said that.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. All right. Let's not waste time with this. Obviously you don't
11 know who said this. Well, nobody could have said that as a threat, but
12 let us continue.
13 Were you frightened when you found out that NATO had started its
15 A. I wasn't afraid of NATO, I was afraid of your forces, because NATO
16 didn't come to kill us, it came to save us.
17 Q. All right. When NATO bombed Kosovo, weren't you afraid of those
18 bombs? Do you think that bombs differentiate between the ethnic groups
19 and that they would only kill Serbs and not kill Albanians? Is that the
20 reason why you were not afraid?
21 JUDGE MAY: That's not a proper question.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. May, would you put the
23 question in its proper form then? This girl says that she wasn't afraid
24 of the bombs, she was afraid of Serbs. Well, of course I expected her to
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That's her answer. So there's no point arguing
2 about it.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. So you were not afraid of the bombing.
6 JUDGE MAY: She said that.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Did you hear how many Albanians in different cases -- for example,
9 scores of Albanians were killed in certain incidents by NATO planes. Did
10 you hear about that?
11 A. No, I didn't hear about that.
12 Q. Do you know if any Albanian was killed by the NATO bombing?
13 A. I said I didn't know, and I don't think any Albanians were killed
14 by NATO forces.
15 Q. So that is the feeling in Kosovo right now, that nobody was killed
16 by NATO.
17 In your statement, you say that you woke up, that you were
18 drinking coffee, that you were getting dressed, and that you were getting
19 ready to flee. Doesn't it seem to you that this is pretty cold-blooded
20 and quite casual, if you wish to flee; getting up, drinking coffee, and
21 getting ready to flee? Does it seem as if you were in mortal danger in
22 that case?
23 A. We got up in the morning. Some were having coffee and some
24 weren't. We didn't want to leave right away from our house, but when your
25 forces came and surrounded the village, then we had to get away because we
1 were afraid of your forces.
2 Q. But you said that you tried to escape the night before but that
3 you were returned, turned back. Who was it that turned you back?
4 A. I didn't say the night before we didn't want to go. I said that
5 my uncle came the night before to our house. I didn't say that we wanted
6 to leave.
7 Q. When did you decide to leave the house, since he arrived the night
8 before and informed you that the village was surrounded? When did you
9 finally decide to escape?
10 A. My uncle came the night earlier and spent the night at our place.
11 But when your forces arrived right in front of the door, then we left
12 immediately; we had to leave.
13 Q. And what did our forces do if they were there up until the
14 morning? What were they doing during the night?
15 A. Your forces came in the morning, at 6.30 in the morning that they
16 appeared. And what they were doing, you would know better than I. You've
17 got my statement in front of you.
18 Q. All right. I understood that you said that they had surrounded
19 you already the previous night. But let's not waste time on that.
20 Had they surrounded you the previous night or are you still
21 claiming that they came in the morning?
22 A. Serb forces arrived in the evening and went in the direction of
23 Mitrovica. They stayed a few minutes on the street, on the road, they
24 shot a couple of times, and then went on, carried on immediately.
25 Q. You said that the uncle saw soldiers in the morning. How far away
1 were they?
2 A. My uncle saw the soldiers surrounding the village. When he saw
3 them, that they'd surrounded the whole village, he came in to our place
4 and told us about it.
5 Q. Could you see them as well?
6 A. Yes. I saw them.
7 Q. And what were they doing?
8 A. They were coming towards the houses to kill and massacre Albanians
9 who had done nothing.
10 Q. I see. So you saw them approaching the houses; is that right?
11 You said that your father told your brother Muhamet to hide in the
12 neighbour's basement. Do you have another brother?
13 A. Yes, I have another brother.
14 Q. Why did he say that to Muhamet only? Why didn't he say the same
15 thing to the other brother? Where was he?
16 A. Because the other brother was small, whereas Muhamet was older.
17 Q. You said that three soldiers came to your house. When you refer
18 to your house in your statement, do you also imply the courtyard?
19 A. There was one soldier at the window, one came in, and one stayed
20 outside, around the house, looking around the house, behind the house.
21 Q. And where was the third one?
22 A. One was at the window, one was in the courtyard, looking around to
23 see that no one was coming, and the third one was inside.
24 Q. Very well. So you say the soldier broke the glass of the
25 with his rifle. Did you see that? With the --
1 A. Yes. I saw it with my own eyes.
2 Q. And you say that he pointed the gun through the window and fired
3 in the direction of your mother and brother; is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. A moment ago, Mr. Ryneveld said that he opened a burst of fire.
6 Did he fire a single shot or a burst of fire in the direction of your
7 mother and your brother?
8 A. He shot one time, to kill my brother Muhamet who was sitting by my
9 mother. My mother intervened and protected my brother, and the bullet
10 passed by and entered the wall.
11 Q. So he was shooting at your brother - you're sure of that - through
12 the window into the room. So he was only a couple of metres away from
13 them. And then, thanks to what your mother did, he missed him; is that
14 right? Is that what you're telling us?
15 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, I'm loath to interject, but it's been
16 suggested that I put in the summary something that wasn't put in the
17 summary. When I talked about the burst of fire, I indicated it was at the
18 men. I did not talk about the shooting incident at the women. And the
19 summary speaks for itself, but he's left that suggestion, and I thought it
20 should be corrected.
21 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Mr. Milosevic, you're asking the witness
22 to repeat something which she's already said, so move on to something
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Tell me, did I understand you correctly that your father addressed
2 this soldier who broke your window with the word "Neighbour"? Did he know
3 him? Are you claiming that this was indeed your neighbour?
4 A. Yes. My father -- when the window was broke, he said, "You're our
5 neighbour." He said, "Don't do this. We are neighbours." And he
6 replied, "We have been neighbours up until today. We are not neighbours
7 any more." And my father recognised this soldier, and I recognised this
9 Q. What is the name of that soldier?
10 A. Predrag Belosevic.
11 Q. So what you're saying now doesn't sound convincing if you
12 inferred, and you say in your statement, that someone addressed someone
13 with the word "Pero," with the name "Pero," and on the basis of that, you
14 drew the conclusion that his name was Predrag; is that right? Because you
15 heard somebody call somebody "Pero," you inferred that his name was
16 Predrag. Is that what you said?
17 A. I heard the soldier calling the name of Pero, but my father said,
18 "Don't be afraid, don't get scared, because it's him, our neighbour
20 Q. And do you know that the short name for Predrag most often is not
21 Pero? "Pero" is the short name for Petar and not for Predrag.
22 A. That was his name. And his real name was Predrag Belosevic.
23 Q. From what it says in your statement, I will ask you something now,
24 and answer me. I believe that you drew this conclusion from somebody's
25 explanation rather than on the basis of your own knowledge. This is what
1 it says at the end of your statement: "The soldier who was in the yard
2 called out to the soldier with the word 'Pero.'" And then in the next
3 sentence, it says: "'Pero' is a nickname for someone who is named
5 "Pero" is the abbreviation for somebody who is called Petar and
6 not Predrag.
7 And then you go on to say: "I have been told that there was a
8 policeman at the police checkpoint located at the stop of Rakosh hill who
9 was called Predrag Belosevic and that he comes from Cerkolez."
10 So you're claiming in this statement that you were told that at
11 the checkpoint there was a policeman called Predrag Belosevic. Is that
12 right or not?
13 A. I recognised the soldier very well because he was our neighbour.
14 I knew he was from Cerkolez, and I knew he was Predrag, while those who
15 called him Pero were your thugs. And they called him Pero. Personally, I
16 recognised him as Predrag and my father recognised him as Predrag, and he
17 comes from Cerkolez and he is today in Cerkolez now.
18 Q. Okay. If you know him so well, how is it possible that in your
19 statement you said, "I have been told that there was a policeman at the
20 police checkpoint at the top of Rakosh hill who was called Predrag
21 Belosevic"? If what you say is true, wouldn't you have said, "I knew the
22 policeman called so and so," instead of saying, "I have been told that
23 there was policeman called Predrag Belosevic," that somebody told you
25 A. It's a mistake, because nobody told me anything. These are my
1 words. I said that I recognised him, that I've seen him at the checkpoint
2 in Rakosh, and that I've seen him there several times.
3 Q. All right. I was just quoting from your written statement,
4 therefore, I had the impression that somebody had told you of Belosevic in
5 order to charge him. That appeared to me to be obvious. Now you're
6 claiming something else and that you didn't say what it says here. But
7 let us move on.
8 And this soldier who broke the window and then fired a shot in the
9 direction of your mother and brother could have simply entered the house
10 if his intention was to kill somebody in that house. Why would he shoot
11 through the window?
12 A. He broke the window, and he fired a shot at my brother Muhamet in
13 order to kill him in the lap of my mother Hyra so that my mother could see
14 her dead son in her own lap.
15 Q. For heaven's sake. You think it's a sadist who wanted to kill the
16 son in front of his mother?
17 JUDGE MAY: No. The witness can't say why the solder did what he
18 did. All she can say is what happened, and she's described that. She
19 can't give a motive for this.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, she's just mentioning those
21 motives, which seem to me rather extreme.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Did anyone take care of your mother when she fainted?
24 A. There was no one to look after her except me. Do you think that
25 your forces would have looked after her? Their intention was to kill us,
1 not to look after us.
2 Q. Did any one of you take care of your mother when she fainted? Who
3 did? Who cared for her?
4 A. I did. I got up immediately, and I brought her a glass of water,
5 and I was trying to bring her back to consciousness.
6 Q. You say that you saw the soldier shooting next to the window. Did
7 you see only him shooting or within your field of vision was also your
8 brother, father, uncle, and all the others? Did you see him only as he
9 fired that shot into the house or did you see him firing in some other
10 direction as well? What exactly did you see through the window?
11 A. I saw when the soldier approached the window and said to my father
12 and my father's uncle and my brother to come outside. When they took them
13 outside, I saw the soldier very well as he kneeled down and as he fired in
14 their direction. I saw this with my own eyes. I saw him killing them
15 with my own eyes.
16 Q. But tell me, please, did you see any kind of shooting, apart from
17 the one that you've just described, that you saw a soldier kneeling and
18 firing in the direction of your family? At that point in time, you didn't
19 see your family members, only the soldier shooting; is that right?
20 A. I saw how he lined them up against the threshold, and I saw very
21 well how the soldier kneeled down and how he fired in their direction, and
22 I saw when the three of them actually fell down on the ground.
23 Q. You say that: "When Muhamet, my father, and uncle went outside, I
24 saw that soldier from the window kneel down and without a word start
25 shooting. It was rapid and continuous shooting of several seconds. I
1 didn't hear anyone utter a sound until those soldiers left." And so on.
2 You heard them having this conversation. "Leave the rest there. We'll
3 catch them later," and so on. So you're claiming that actually that
4 soldier executed the members of your family and you saw that with your own
6 A. I saw it with my own eyes, and I heard it perfectly well when he
7 said, "Leave them there. We will come back again and we will burn them."
8 Q. Tell me, please, when this was happening, the event that you have
9 described, was there any other shooting in the vicinity in your village?
10 Could anything else be heard except what you describe that allegedly took
11 place in your house?
12 A. I did not hear -- I heard that the village was surrounded from all
13 sides by your forces, and they were shooting, firing in the direction of
14 our house. Their intention was to burn the house. When those soldiers
15 left, my sister-in-law got up and she went to turn off the electricity
16 because she thought that there might be fire because there was firing in
17 the direction of the house at all times.
18 Q. Does that mean that only your house in the village was attacked or
19 was there a lot of other shooting around you?
20 A. There was a lot of shooting around us. And the entire village --
21 for example, 19 members of the Imeraj family were killed by your forces,
22 and six were buried. There were shooting, firing, and massacres
23 throughout the village.
24 Q. Are you claiming that there was no fighting there or was there
25 fighting between the police and some KLA forces? Was there any combat
1 there or was there none?
2 A. I didn't say there were KLA forces. In the beginning, I mentioned
3 that there was no KLA in our region, in the village of Padalishte, in the
4 Imeraj neighbourhood. There was no KLA. But it was the firing of your
5 forces, their killings, their massacres. There was no KLA there.
6 Q. I am not asking you whether the KLA from your village was engaged
7 in fighting with the police in your village. I'm just asking in general
8 terms about the KLA whose unit could have come from some other village or
9 some other area and engaged in combat with the army and the police right
10 there or in the immediate vicinity of your houses. Could that perhaps
11 have been the case or not? Was there any kind of conflict going on at the
13 A. No. Between the KLA and your forces, no. There were only your
14 forces killing the village, the Imeraj family. There was no KLA in the
15 Imeraj neighbourhood.
16 Q. Very well. Tell me, what was the exact date when this happened?
17 A. 26th of March.
18 Q. How much time did you spend in the house after this alleged
20 A. We stayed there until about 11.00 a.m., 11.30.
21 Q. And you say that after that you went to the woods. Did you go to
22 the woods alone?
23 A. The whole family left the house. On our left side we saw my
24 father, uncle, and brother killed. We proceeded -- we proceeded towards
25 the courtyard of Beka Imeraj's house, who was killed together with seven
1 other members of his family, and then we proceeded in the direction of
2 Cerkolez, but there was no place for us to go because the whole
3 neighbourhood was also surrounded, and the only possibility left was for
4 us to take to the woods. And throughout the way, I saw dead bodies. I
5 saw buried bodies.
6 Q. You saw buried bodies? When did you see those buried bodies?
7 A. Not buried, but they had bullet wounds.
8 Q. All right. And how far was Tahir Imeraj's house from the woods?
9 A. It wasn't far away. Maybe 300 to 400 metres, approximately.
10 Q. And tell me, how far is the mountain you went to from the village?
11 A. When we were fleeing towards the mountain, we changed our position
12 two to three times, because your forces who committed the killing in the
13 Imeraj neighbourhood, they would come again to the mountains and ask for
14 men in order to kill them. They killed everything they saw in front of
15 them; women, children, elderly, everything.
16 Q. So you went in a tractor to the woods, didn't you?
17 A. That night we walked. We went on foot. We didn't go by tractor
18 because we couldn't go by tractor. All the tractors and all other
19 vehicles were destroyed. We went through the maintain. We passed the
20 Cerkolez-Padalishte road. And as soon as we crossed the road, your forces
21 again came and we sought shelter in the mountain, and we went then to the
22 village of Uq. And Ali Tahiri, whose house is in this village, we spent
23 the night in his house. The following morning, we woke up and the whole
24 village had already fled to the mountain. And then we set off. My mother
25 Hyra could not walk. She was not able to walk. And we placed my mother
1 in a tractor while the rest of us, we proceeded on foot to the mountains,
2 to the place called Fushe e Madhe.
3 Q. Very well. So what I was asking you about the tractor means that
4 only your mother was on the tractor up to Velika Poljane, because she
5 couldn't walk, and the rest of you were on foot. Did I understand you
7 A. My mother got on the tractor, on the tractor which belonged to the
8 house where we were staying in Uq, and we took things to take with us to
9 the mountains, but we couldn't all get on, so we put on the tractor my
10 mother, who couldn't walk, and we ourselves, we walked.
11 Q. But from that place, as far as I can understand from your
12 statement, you walked towards Rozaje. So you crossed over into Montenegro
13 and went to Rozaje. And you walked for two nights and three days. Is
14 that so or isn't it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Was your mother with you at the time? Did she walk with you for
17 two nights and three days?
18 A. My mother couldn't walk fast but slowly, rather late, supporting
19 her -- there was my brother Jeton and I supporting her. We managed to
20 complete the journey in two nights and three days. And then we finally
21 made it to Rozaje.
22 Q. And when did you go to Albania?
23 A. We went to Albania by bus.
24 Q. From Rozaje.
25 A. Yes, from Rozaje to Albania by bus.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no more
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kay.
4 MR. KAY: No questions.
5 MR. RYNEVELD: Nothing arising. Thank you, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Imeraj, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
7 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for inviting me to come
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE MAY: I don't know who is next. Mr. Saxon, I think since
12 it's Friday, we might as well call it a day. It's ten minutes before we
14 MR. SAXON: Very well, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MAY: Who is the next witness?
16 MR. SAXON: The next witness, Your Honour, will be Behar
18 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll hear him on Monday morning.
19 MR. SAXON: Very well. I think Mr. Ryneveld might have a point
20 right now to raise with the Trial Chamber.
21 MR. RYNEVELD: Very briefly, Your Honours. K13's statement is now
22 available, and we'll ask that that be provided.
23 And secondly, in response to the question that I said I would
24 check out about Mr. Sokoli --
25 JUDGE MAY: Can we -- let's deal with one thing at a time. Let's
1 deal with K13.
2 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. We have copies of K13's 92 bis package,
3 and we would ask that be marked as an exhibit in these proceedings.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Ryneveld. What was your other point?
5 MR. RYNEVELD: Fine. We will await a number in a moment. I
6 suspect it will be 302 or something. But the other thing was just the
7 question that was posed to me through the Court about Mr. Sokoli, the
8 eighth witness. My understanding is that he in fact was employed by the
9 OTP for a period of time but not when he gave evidence. He was not an
10 employee of the OTP when he gave his evidence. He acted as a translator
11 for some witness statements in an intervening period. And the evidence he
12 gave before this Court was about a time period before he ever became an
13 employee as an interpreter.
14 So, yes, it is the same man; yes, he was employed by the OTP for a
15 period of time but not concerning the time period when he testified about
16 what had occurred nor at the time he gave evidence itself. That's the
17 best answer I can give you.
18 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much. Can we have the exhibit number,
20 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The original of K13's statement
21 will be marked as 302, under seal. The first redacted version will be
22 302A. The public redacted version will be 302B. 302A will also be under
24 JUDGE MAY: We will adjourn now. Nine o'clock Monday morning.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.37 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Monday, the 2nd day of
2 September, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.