1 Tuesday, 3 July 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
7 Mr. Bouckaert, could I remind you of the affirmation you made at
8 the beginning of your evidence, which still applies.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
11 Mr. Saxon.
12 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour. And, Mr. Bouckaert, let me
13 remind both you and me of the need to speak a bit slowly and pause between
14 question and answer, to assist the interpreters.
15 WITNESS: PETER BOUCKAERT [Resumed]
16 Examination by Mr. Saxon:
17 MR. SAXON: If we can return for a moment to what was marked for
18 identification as Exhibit -- as P352. Mr. Bouckaert, this is at tab 36 of
19 your binder. It is the report that you drafted entitled "Crimes Against
21 And if we could turn to what is page 17 of the English version,
22 and the bottom of page 18 in the Macedonian version. The English version
23 that I'm talking about has ERN number U0000114.
24 I'm wondering -- I don't know if there's a problem with the -- ah,
25 here it's changing now. There we are. Thank you so much.
1 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, we need your assistance to clarify a couple of
2 things, please. Do you see in the middle of page 17 in the English
3 version there is a subtitle called "The Role of the International
4 Community"; do you see that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And below that, we see in bold letters: "Organisation for
7 Security and Cooperation in Europe." Do you see that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The penultimate sentence of the next paragraph says this:
10 "Although the mandate," and we're talking about the mandate of the
11 OSCE, "does not explicitly reference human rights, activities in the
12 OSCE's 'human dimension' are certainly implicit in the mandate and have
13 formed part of the missions' work for years." Do you see that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. The next paragraph tells us this:
16 "At least two OSCE international observers were present in
17 Ljuboten on Tuesday, August 14th, 2001, when international observers and
18 journalists first gained access to the village after the government
19 offensive. According to the international journalists who were on the
20 scene, the OSCE monitors carefully documented the physical evidence at the
21 scene with a video camera, and they spoke to villagers about the events in
23 Do you see what I've just read to you?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, moving on to, in the same paragraph, onto the next page,
1 which is page 18 in the English version, it says:
2 "The OSCE mission has issued no public report of this
4 And now we're at -- it's page 19 now in the Macedonian version:
5 "One of the OSCE monitors, speaking on condition of anonymity,
6 confirmed to the Associated Press that the OSCE had found the remains of
7 five persons in the village, including an elderly man, and suggested that
8 they might have been killed while running away."
9 The next paragraph, you describe -- you, as the author of the
10 report, describe how the Minister of the Interior, Ljube Boskoski,
11 immediately and fiercely criticised the OSCE for even attempting to
12 investigate the events in Ljuboten. And then we see a quote from
13 Mr. Boskoski from the 14th of August.
14 And then in the next paragraph that begins: "During a meeting
15 ...," it says that:
16 "The then OSCE head of mission, Ambassador Carlo Ungaro
17 reportedly distanced himself from the reported comments of his OSCE
19 Do you see that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In the next full paragraph, it begins: "The OSCE's continuing
22 silence ..." Do you see that phrase?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. It says:
25 "The OSCE's continuing silence about the serious abuses committed
1 by police in Ljuboten is disturbing because the organisation undoubtedly
2 has sufficient information to speak out publicly about the events in
3 Ljuboten and demand a credible and impartial investigation."
4 Then you go on to say that:
5 "The OSCE silence has helped the Macedonian government maintain
6 its version of the events in Ljuboten and avoid further investigation."
7 The next paragraph, which is at the bottom of page 18 in the
8 English version, is on page 20 of the Macedonian version, and there is a
9 critical -- a sentence, the first sentence of that paragraph, that that
11 "The OSCE mission in Skopje has remained largely silent on the
12 grave human rights abuses that have been committed by the Macedonian
13 forces throughout the conflict."
14 Do you see what I've just read to you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. We turn to the next page in the English version, please, which is
17 page 19. We're still on page 20 of the Macedonian version.
18 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, Your Honour.
19 Perhaps as a matter of clarification, for the sake of
20 cross-examination later on, we would like to know from the Prosecution
21 what's the purpose of this exercise of reading the statement attributed to
22 Mr. Bouckaert in relation to the OSCE. None of those statements were put
23 to Mr. Bolton when he was present in this courtroom, and we're just
24 wondering whether the Prosecution is now minded to attack the OSCE with
25 OSCE for its conduct in Macedonia in general in relation to Ljuboten in
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon. I want to explore with the witness who
3 wrote this report why he wrote this section of the report and why he wrote
4 this criticism.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Are you saying you're doing that with an open mind
6 or you have a purpose? What reliance are you going to make upon this in
7 due course?
8 MR. SAXON: That -- well, obviously that will depend on the
9 witness's answer, but the -- depending on the witness's answer, the effect
10 may have a certain impact on the Chamber's reliance on at least some of
11 the OSCE documents that have been used to date in this case.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Mettraux.
13 MR. METTRAUX: In that case, Your Honour, I would simply insist on
14 upon the fact that none of those documents were either challenged or taken
15 on with Mr. Bolton, who was the best person to deal with those issues.
16 JUDGE PARKER: You're in a rather awkward position, Mr. Saxon.
17 It's your own evidence, and now, by this approach, you're seeking to take
18 away from its quality.
19 MR. SAXON: That's not -- I don't believe that's quite -- I don't
20 believe that's quite correct, Your Honour. I'm not attacking through this
21 evidence the evidence of Mr. Bolton, if that is the concern of Your
22 Honour. I'm -- I have to --
23 JUDGE PARKER: No, it's the fact that you are wanting to deal with
24 matters that you could and should have with Mr. Bolton but did not.
25 MR. SAXON: Then I will move on, Your Honour.
1 Q. If we can turn, please, to what is tab 38 in your binder,
2 Mr. Bouckaert, and this is 65 ter number 333. It has -- begins with
3 ERN number N002-5867.
4 Do you recognise this, Mr. Bouckaert?
5 A. Yes, it's the press release that was released when we released the
6 report "Crimes Against Civilians."
7 Q. And when you say "we," who released this report?
8 A. I drafted the press release and Human Rights Watch, as an
9 organisation, released the press release and the report.
10 Q. And can you tell us to whom this press release would have been
11 sent to?
12 A. Yes. As is our standard practice, it goes to our media, diplomat,
13 and authority list, which includes thousands of people.
14 MR. SAXON: All right. Your Honour, if this report, dated
15 September 5th, 2001, could be marked for identification, please.
16 JUDGE PARKER: It will be marked.
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P353, marked for identification, Your
19 MR. SAXON:
20 Q. If you can turn now, please, to what is -- actually, before I ask
21 you to turn, I need to ask you, Mr. Bouckaert: Prior to the publication
22 of the report that you wrote about the events in Ljuboten, did another --
23 did a media source receive some information about the expected contents of
24 your report?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you turn, please, to what should be tab 39 in your binder.
2 This is 65 ter number 334. It begins with ERN N002-5869.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. This is an article from "The Sunday Telegraph." It's dated the
5 26th of August, 2001. There is a headline: "Massacre Report Names
6 Macedonia Interior Minister." Then below at the start of the article it
8 "Macedonia's hard-line Interior Minister will come under pressure
9 this week to explain his role in the worst alleged atrocity in the 6-month
10 conflict with ethnic Albanian rebels."
11 And then below that it says:
12 "Ljube Boskoski will be accused by Human Rights Watch, an
13 American-based pressure group, of involvement in the incident in
15 Below that, we see:
16 "The accusation will be made in a damning report to be submitted
17 to the Macedonian government."
18 And then, lower down, it mentions you, Peter Bouckaert, senior
19 researcher with Human Rights Watch, who was writing the report, after a
20 series of interviews with witnesses, said:
21 "However, that the document would detail a massacre and raise
22 questions about Mr. Boskoski's role."
23 Do you see that?
24 A. Yes, although I don't think I used the word "massacre" when I
25 spoke to the journalist.
1 Q. All right. Is the remainder of the information correct?
2 A. That -- yes.
3 Q. Can you recall whether Mr. Boskoski responded to the information
4 contained in this "Sunday Telegraph" article after it was published on the
5 26th of August, 2001?
6 A. If I may just explain, this article was a result of a
7 misunderstanding with a journalist. We didn't want any information about
8 our investigation being released while I was still in country and before
9 the report was released, so we were not very happy that she published this
10 story. It was featured on the Evening News in Macedonia in Macedonian. I
11 watched that newscast at my apartment. Obviously, I couldn't understand
12 everything that was being said, but there was a discussion of the article,
13 events in the "Sunday Telegraph" and Human Rights Watch and
14 Peter Bouckaert, and then -- which I think was the journalist just reading
15 this article in Macedonian. And then it featured Minister Boskoski
16 responding to the allegations.
17 Q. I see. And what reactions or comments did you receive after
18 Mr. Boskoski appeared on television commenting on this newspaper article?
19 A. Soon thereafter I was contacted by two prominent ethnic
20 Macedonians, including somebody who was within the government, who
21 advised me to leave the country as soon as possible.
22 Q. What did you decide to do?
23 A. At that point I was busy with an investigation -- I had completed
24 my Ljuboten investigation, and I was busy investigating the disappearances
25 of ethnic Macedonians at the hand of the NLA, the Albanian rebel group,
1 especially in the Tetovo area, and most of those ethnic Macedonians and
2 ethnic Albanians who had disappeared at the hands of the NLA were former
3 police officers. So that work required extensive contacts with the police
4 to contact the families of these disappeared people. I contacted my
5 executive director, Elizabeth Anderson, in New York by cellphone. We
6 discussed this unanticipated newspaper article and the reaction of
7 Mr. Boskoski, as well as the unfeasibility of continuing with the research
8 on the disappearances at the hands of the NLA. So I took a flight out the
9 next morning.
10 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender the document at
11 tab 41.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P354, Your Honours.
14 MR. SAXON: Actually, I apologise. I should have said "Tab 39"
15 "39," my mistake. I was thinking ahead.
16 If we could move, please, to what is tab 41 in your binder,
17 Mr. Bouckaert. This is 65 ter number 335. It has ERN number N002-5871.
18 This is an article from the BBC, dated the 27th of August, 2001. It's
19 entitled "Macedonia's Interior Minister Rejects Human Rights Accusations,"
20 and it begins:
21 "Macedonia Interior Minister Ljube Boskoski has strongly denied
22 claims that he was involved in an alleged atrocity against ethnic
23 Albanians two weeks ago, Macedonian Radio said on Monday."
24 And then the radio said that Mr. Boskoski was responding to "The
25 Sunday Telegraph" report. And down below, and it says:
1 "Asked by the radio to comment," Mr. Boskoski is quoted as
3 "I vigorously reject the accusations against the
4 Interior Ministry and against the regular and reserve police forces, which
5 have demonstrated unprecedented courage in defending Macedonia's
7 The next paragraph:
8 "I view the accusations issued by the Human Rights Watch as a
9 classic act of framing the Interior Minister."
10 Mr. Bouckaert, were you provided with all newspaper articles that
11 were related to the work that you were doing in 2001?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And how were you provided with this information?
14 A. I have support staff in New York who monitor the media on a daily
15 basis, to send me all information about the countries I'm working on which
16 they think is relevant, and this is actually an article which was provided
17 by me to the Tribunal from my files.
18 I should mention that it's not a BBC article, it's a translation
19 of a story on Macedonian Radio on August 27th, as is indicated by the
20 source information at the bottom.
21 Q. I appreciate that. At the top, we see: "BBC Monitoring News
23 A. That's correct.
24 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this item, please.
25 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received. Mr. Mettraux.
1 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, simply to register the objection which
2 we have made at the time in relation to the reliability of this piece, and
3 the fact that Mr. Bouckaert has not given any evidence about the accuracy
4 or truthfulness of the content of that document.
5 We'll say no more.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
7 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be received as Exhibit P355,
8 Your Honours.
9 MR. SAXON: If we can turn now to what is tab 40. This is 65 ter
10 number 335. I apologise. 65 ter number 992. It starts with ERN number
12 THE WITNESS: Sorry, that's tab 41 in my binder.
13 MR. SAXON: Okay. It's tab 40 in my binder. Well, then let's
14 call it tab 41. That's fine.
15 THE WITNESS: And the article on the screen is actually not in
16 my --
17 MR. SAXON: Actually, if we turn to page 7 of this ERN range,
18 we'll find the article that I'm looking for. There we see it.
19 This is an article published on "The New York Times" front page
20 September 5th, 2001, entitled "Report Says Macedonians Killed Civilians in
21 Revenge." It's by a journalist named Ian Fisher. And this article
22 contains information about what I see in the third full paragraph:
23 "In a detailed report to be issued today, Human Rights Watch
24 accuses overwhelmingly Slavic forces of Macedonia's government of summary
25 execution of civilians, arson and torture."
1 In the right-hand column, there's a reference to Mr. Boskoski. Do
2 you see that, Mr. Bouckaert?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And Mr. Boskoski is quoted as responding to some of the
5 accusations in the Human Rights Watch report.
6 Can we turn to the next page, please. On the next page, it's a
7 little bit difficult to see on the screen, but in the first full paragraph
8 it begins with the words: "Mr. Bouckaert ..." Actually, even in the very
9 first paragraph, there's a reference to Peter Bouckaert, a senior
10 researcher for Human Rights Watch, who wrote the group's report on
12 So were you interviewed by the journalist who prepared this
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, I would seek to tender this article,
17 MR. METTRAUX: I would simply make the same point, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Mettraux. It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P356, Your Honours.
20 MR. SAXON: If we can turn to what I hope is tab 42 in your
21 binder, Mr. Bouckaert. It is 65 ter number 337. It has ERN number
23 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, this is an article from the Associated Press, dated
24 the 5th of September, 2001. Again, it's a discussion of the Human Rights
25 Watch report that you authoured, and there's a discussion -- there's a
1 sentence in the middle describing how the report also implicated
2 Interior Minister Ljube Boskoski in the bloodshed. Do you see that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Down below, two paragraphs further on, we see the words:
5 "But Boskoski vehemently rejected the allegations, saying he
6 arrived only after the end of the operation."
7 The next paragraph, Mr. Boskoski is quoted as saying he would seek
8 legal recourse at the European Court of Human Rights to clear his name.
9 And in the next paragraph, Mr. Boskoski is quoted as saying:
10 "I want to end this speculation and these lies presented by this
11 quasi-international organisation,' Boskoski said."
12 Do you see that, Mr. Bouckaert?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can we turn to the next page, please.
15 The next page, sort of in the middle of the page, there's a
16 sentence beginning: "Macedonian police unions ..." Do you see that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. It says:
20 "Macedonian police unions issued a statement accusing Human
21 Rights Watch of 'Remaining deaf and mute to claims of attacks against
22 Macedonian authorities and civilians and threats of liquidation of entire
24 Then below that:
25 "This organisation persistently sees violation of human rights on
1 one side and one side alone, that of the allegedly-wronged Albanian
3 Mr. Bouckaert, do you feel that that is a fair and correct
5 A. No, I thought it was one of the most unfair and personally hurtful
6 statements that were issued against my organisation during the work,
7 considering the work that we had done. The demonstrable dedication we had
8 shown to monitoring violations by all sides to the conflict.
9 Q. All right. We will get to this. This particular article, would
10 this have been sent to you by your colleagues in 2001?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document,
14 MR. METTRAUX: For the record, Your Honour, we will make the same
16 THE WITNESS: And I also saw the original statement from the
17 Macedonian police.
18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P357, Your Honours.
20 MR. METTRAUX: And perhaps, Your Honour, instead of disturbing the
21 next time, I would simply indicate that the point should be made in
22 addition to the other articles.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
24 MR. SAXON: If we could turn to what is hopefully tab 43 in your
25 binder, Mr. Bouckaert. This is 65 ter number 336. It has ERN number
1 N002-5872. It's an article from "The Times" dated the 6th of September,
2 2001, headlining or titled "Skopje Minister in Revenge-Raid Village."
3 It begins by talking about how the Macedonian forces under the
4 control of the country's Interior Minister launched a revenge raid against
5 an ethnic Albanian village "last month." Do you see that, Mr. Bouckaert?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And then it says:
8 "The New York-based Human Rights Watch highlighted the presence
9 of Ljube Boskoski, the Interior Minister, in the village of Ljuboten on
10 the third day of the raid when some of the Albanian civilians were
12 In the sixth paragraph, we see that after the raid on Ljuboten,
13 there's a reference to Mr. Boskoski insisting that the village was a
14 bastion of ethnic Albanian rebels and claimed that the only casualties
15 were terrorists.
16 Can we turn to the next page, please.
17 A. If I may just point out, Mr. Boskoski contradicted himself in "The
18 New York Times" story where he said he didn't know whether the people
19 killed were rebels or civilians.
20 Q. If we turn to the second page of this article, the top paragraph
22 "During a Sunday house-to-house attack, police forces shot dead
23 six civilians. One man was killed by police as he tried to close the door
24 to his home," et cetera.
25 Did this information -- did that come from the report that you
2 A. Yes, as the prior paragraph indicates.
3 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this article,
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P358, Your Honours.
7 MR. SAXON: If you could turn to what is hopefully tab 44 in your
8 binder, Mr. Bouckaert. This is 65 ter number 338. It has ERN N002-5876
9 at the top. It comes from the BBC monitoring European. It's dated the
10 6th of September, 2001, and there's a title: "Minister Threatens Law
11 Suit Over Claim of Human Rights Violations." And below we see the text of
12 a report in English by the Macedonian state news agency, and below:
13 "Skopje, 6 September," and there's a quote from the Macedonian Minister
14 of the Interior, Ljube Boskoski:
15 "I will press charges to the Court for human rights in Strasbourg
16 because the claims of the Human Rights Watch organisation undermine not
17 only the dignity of the Macedonian Ministry of Interior but also my
18 personal dignity."
19 Do you see that, Mr. Bouckaert?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Would you have received this article in 2001?
22 A. Yes. All of these -- a lot of the quotes in the previous article
23 came from the press conference that Mr. Boskoski gave, which is referred
24 to in the next paragraph of this statement. That's why the quotes are all
25 so similar.
1 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document,
3 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P359, Your Honours.
5 MR. SAXON: If you can turn, please, to what should be tab 45 in
6 your binder, Mr. Bouckaert. This is 65 ter number 339. This is an
7 article from "The New York Times" by a man named Ian Fisher. It's dated
8 the 12th of August, 2001, and it says -- it's titled "Macedonians
9 Kidnapped by Guerrillas Tell of Abuse," and the start of the article says:
10 "A human rights group released detailed interviews today it
11 conducted with roadworkers kidnapped by Albanian guerrillas this week in
12 which the workers say they were tortured, forced to perform sexual acts on
13 each other, and had initials carved into their backs."
14 Below that paragraph, we see a victim saying he asked everyone for
15 their names," one of the kidnapped men told a researcher with Human Rights
17 Mr. Bouckaert, who was the researcher with Human Rights Watch
18 referred to in this article?
19 A. It would be me, as is reflected at the bottom of the page.
20 Q. And how did the author of this article receive the information
21 contained in this article?
22 A. Because I read my interview notes to him and to another journalist
23 with "The Guardian."
24 Q. Can you tell us, please, how you came to investigate the torture
25 and other crimes committed against this group of roadworkers?
1 A. Yes. I was contacted by somebody in the Macedonian Ministry of
2 Information, who informed me that these five men had been released, that
3 they were in the hospital in Kumanovo, and asked me if I would be
4 interested in interviewing them. I was the only person contacted by the
5 Ministry of Information. He then put me in contact with police officials
6 in Kumanovo, who facilitated the interview for me, who actually took me to
7 the hospital to interview one of the victims in the hospital and later
8 took me to the house of a second person, who had been released from the
9 hospital, to interview that second person.
10 Q. And just for the record, who, then, did you conclude was
11 responsible for these crimes?
12 A. The people responsible for these crimes were members of the NLA.
13 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document,
15 THE WITNESS: And in October of that year, as the conflict came to
16 an end, we actually wrote a letter to the then late president and the
17 Prime Minister, asking that these serious crimes be excluded from the
18 amnesty which was under consideration for the NLA because of their
20 MR. SAXON:
21 Q. And again when you say "we," you're referring to Human Rights
23 A. That's correct.
24 JUDGE PARKER: This document will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P360, Your Honours.
1 MR. SAXON: If you could turn, Mr. Bouckaert, to what is hopefully
2 tab 46 in your binder. It has 65 ter number 345.
3 This is a document entitled "Police Abuse Against Albanians
4 Continues in Macedonia, Peace Agreement Doesn't End Violence." It's dated
5 the 22nd of August, 2001.
6 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, can you tell us what this document is?
7 A. Yes. It's a press release I wrote about yet another case of
8 police abuse.
9 Q. During what time period?
10 A. It happened on August 13th in the capital, Skopje.
11 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this document.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P361, Your Honours.
14 MR. SAXON: If we could turn very briefly to what was admitted
15 yesterday as Exhibit P334, please.
16 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, you will recall this is the sketch that you drew
17 based on the sketches that you drew when you were in Ljuboten on the 23rd
18 of August. Do you recall that?
19 A. That's correct.
20 MR. SAXON: I'm wondering if we can see this perhaps as a single
22 Q. And you mentioned yesterday, when we were looking at this sketch,
23 that you recorded the burning of a home owned by an ethnic Macedonian by
24 the name of Zlatko. Do you recall that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And that home is just to the right and above the words "Ulica 5";
2 is that correct?
3 A. Yes. It says "Macedonian house of Zlatko burned Thursday."
4 Q. Okay. Just below the road and to the left at that point, there is
5 another home which has the words under it: "Burned on Friday," and I'm
6 wondering if the Court Usher could assist us by placing the magnifying
7 glass over that square, so we can read the name of the person who owned
8 that home.
9 No, move to the right, please. No, nope. I'm sorry, can you
10 please go back to where the magnifying glass was? All right, now just
11 move a bit to the right, a bit more, now a little bit down. Can we have
12 that --
13 Are you able to read the name, Mr. Bouckaert?
14 A. I will attempt to. It seems like it says "Rashad Kamberi."
15 Q. And that would have been the home of an ethnic Albanian that you
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Which was burned on the Friday after the 12th of August?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 MR. SAXON: Thank you.
21 Your Honour, at this time I have no further questions.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Saxon.
23 Mr. Mettraux.
24 MR. METTRAUX: Good afternoon, Your Honours, good afternoon,
25 Mr. Bouckaert.
1 My name is Guenal Mettraux, and together with Ms. Residovic, I'm
2 appearing on behalf of Mr. Boskoski.
3 Your Honour, perhaps before I start, there is a document that I
4 will show early on to the witness, and my colleague Mr. Saxon and myself
5 were being asked questions by the Chamber in relation to that particular
6 document. We would simply like to indicate, and I believe the Prosecution
7 agrees with it, that in a recent filing which relates to a Prosecution
8 application to tender a number of documents relating to the destruction of
9 houses, the Defence made reference to a particular OSCE document which we
10 failed to attach. In turn, Mr. Saxon referred to the same document in his
11 reply. We would simply indicate that the document to which both parties
12 were referring was a document which has now been admitted into evidence as
13 Exhibit 1D32, and I will show the document to this witness early on in the
14 cross-examination, so simply to answer the question of the Chamber, Your
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Mettraux:
17 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, I understand in your statement you indicated that
18 you arrived in Macedonia during your fourth visit on the 17th of August of
19 2001. Is that correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Is that correct also that at the time of your arrival, there was
22 no other investigator or researcher of Human Rights Watch on the ground in
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is that also correct that after the incident in Ljuboten, you were
1 the first representative of Human Rights Watch to visit Ljuboten?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is that also correct that between the period of time of 18th of
4 August until the 25th of August, you carried out approximately 22
5 interviews with a number of -- with villagers?
6 A. I'm not sure where that number came from.
7 Q. Counsel has simply counted the number of references to different
8 witnesses in your statement. Does that mean that you've referred to each
9 and every interview?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Can you recall how many interviews you've rejected or not --
12 A. They would not have been rejected. They would've just not been
13 included because they would have been repetitive of information already
15 Q. And can you recall approximately how many of those were not
16 included in the report?
17 A. I would say that the total number of interviews is probably
18 between 35 and 40.
19 Q. And would I be correct to understand that a 1-week investigation
20 is a short or very short investigation by "Human Rights Watch" standards?
21 A. We've carried out similar short investigations into similar or
22 less serious incidents such as the IDF attack on the refugee attack in
23 Jenin in the West Bank.
24 Q. Is that correct or that in Jenin case you said that mission would
25 last for a period of two weeks, anywhere up two or three months; would
1 that be for such an investigation?
2 A. No, that was a particularly long mission and it was focusing on a
3 wide variety of incidents. The purpose of my visit in August was
4 specifically to investigate Ljuboten, first and foremost.
5 Q. And could you tell this Chamber where these interviews took place,
7 A. Yes. The majority of the interviews took place in private homes
8 in Skopje. We went and tracked down people who had been displaced from
9 Ljuboten during the fighting or who had been released from custody and
10 then interviewed them in private.
11 Q. Did some of the meetings also take place at the office of the DPA
12 political party in Skopje?
13 A. I don't believe so. We had contact with the DPA, but I don't
14 think any witnesses were interviewed there.
15 Q. So if someone were to give that evidence, that would be incorrect,
17 A. No, I just don't recall holding any interviews at the DPA office
18 in Skopje.
19 Q. Thank you. And could you tell who organised those meetings for
20 you, who made the arrangements for you to meet and identify and locate
21 these villagers?
22 A. I did that myself.
23 Q. Did you get any assistance from anyone from the village?
24 A. As we started identifying villagers, we would ask them for the
25 location of people who had been released from Ljuboten or for specific
1 persons such as relatives and eyewitnesses to particular incidents, and
2 then those villagers that we had found would put us in touch with other
4 Q. And is that correct that during the 20 or so days, between the
5 17th of August when you arrived in the country and the 5th of September,
6 when you published the report, you also carried out an on-site
7 investigation, I understand, on the 23rd of August of 2001?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. Would that be correct to suggest that you had announced the visit
10 to the persons which you had interviewed in the days prior to that date?
11 A. I don't believe so, no. You mean to all of the people we
13 Q. No, to some of the people, sir.
14 A. Well, we asked for contact information for the people in the
15 village, but I don't think a large number of people knew about our visit
16 to Ljuboten, no.
17 Q. But some of them did?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is that correct that your intention, at the time when deciding to
20 visit Ljuboten, was to collect evidence of any violations of any
21 humanitarian law?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And as I understand it, this is one of the objectives of your
24 organisation, to bring those whom you consider to be responsible for such
25 violations to justice. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes, although we don't remove any evidence. We look at the
2 evidence that we see, yes.
3 Q. No one would accuse you of that, Mr. Bouckaert.
4 Is that also correct that one of the goals of your organisation
5 is, to the extent possible, to assist the Office of the Prosecution in
6 tracking down or at least in assisting the Prosecution in its
7 investigation of violations of humanitarian law?
8 A. We have always been fully cooperative with the Yugoslav Tribunal,
10 Q. And that was the case in relation to Ljuboten; is that correct?
11 A. We -- after the report was published, we immediately sent a copy
12 to the Tribunal, yes.
13 Q. Did you have any contacts during that period prior to sending this
14 report to the Office of the Prosecution with any member of the Office of
15 the Prosecution? And I'm speaking of the period between the 17th and the
16 5th of September. Can you recall?
17 A. I personally did not. I believe I was contacted by a member of
18 the OTP on September 6th or September 7th to -- they expressed interest in
19 the events in Ljuboten.
20 Q. Sir, I'd like to perhaps start where you ended up yesterday in
21 relation to questions which were asked of you about your observation about
22 the destruction of houses. I think you will recall making a number of
23 mentions about accelerators that it was your understanding, or in any case
24 your belief, that accelerators had been used to burn houses.
25 Can you recall this?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you have any evidence -- did you make any -- take any
3 substance which you understood to be accelerant or was it simply based on
4 your experience, as you explained, of observation in other conflicts?
5 A. It was based on my own observations and during our visit to the
6 village of Ljuboten, which were consistent with accounts of eyewitnesses.
7 Q. But you didn't make any -- you didn't take any samples or any
8 sort, you didn't find any traces of accelerants yourself; is that correct?
9 A. No.
10 MR. METTRAUX: I'd like the witness to be shown P339 at this
12 Q. Sir, this is a picture that you were shown yesterday by the
13 Prosecution. It's one of the pictures that you were shown yesterday. And
14 you made an observation, when asked by my colleague, as to the nature or
15 the cause, rather, of the destruction of particular houses, and you've
16 indicated that it was your understanding that the presence of chimneys on
17 a number of houses was an indication that --
18 MR. SAXON: I'm very sorry to interrupt. Just I was wondering
19 could we wait until the photograph appears on the screen before the
20 question? Thank you so much.
21 MR. METTRAUX: Absolutely. I apologise to the Prosecution.
22 Q. Mr. Bolton [sic], you've made a number of comments --
23 A. Mr. Bouckaert.
24 Q. Mr. Bouckaert. Mr. Bouckaert, you've made a number of comments
25 pursuant to questions of Mr. Saxon relating to the presence or the fact
1 that chimneys were standing up on a number of houses which had incurred
2 damage, and you explained to the Prosecution that you understood this to
3 be an indication that the house had been burned rather than shelled; is
4 that correct?
5 A. Yes. I was not talking about the fact that a particular chimney
6 was standing but that the chimneys of all the homes that we inspected were
7 still standing.
8 Q. Is that correct also, Mr. Bouckaert, that the chimneys in the
9 village, in particular of those houses which you observed, were all
10 attached to the wall and not to the roof of those houses, such as the one
11 in front of you?
12 A. I don't believe that's correct. I think that there were some
13 chimneys which were more in the center of the home. This is the chimney
14 of a store.
15 Q. But would you agree that a number of houses which you observed
16 yesterday in the picture, the chimney was attached to the wall rather than
17 to the roof?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Are you able, sir, to estimate approximately how many houses make
20 up the village of Ljuboten?
21 A. According to our information, the -- Ljuboten has a population of
22 3.000 people. So based on that, I would guess there are probably about
23 400 to 600 homes.
24 Q. And did you inquire with the villagers why particular areas or
25 pockets of Ljuboten were targeted but not others; is that a matter that
1 you raised with them?
2 THE INTERPRETER: For the benefit of the interpreters, could the
3 speakers please pause between questions and answers. Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: Yes, I apologise.
5 MR. METTRAUX: Yes.
6 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, would you like me to repeat the question?
7 A. No, I see the question on the screen.
8 We did ask and they had no particular answer for us on why this
9 area of the village was so heavily damaged or had been the focus of the
11 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness now please be shown what is
12 Rule 65 ter 1D432, and it has an ERN range of 1D003979 to 3980, and the
13 Macedonian version is a 1-page document -- no, 2-page document, 1D003977
14 to 3978.
15 Q. I would just like to go through the top of that document first
16 with you, Mr. Bouckaert. As you can see, it's a document that comes from
17 Security and Counter-Intelligence Division, also known as the UBK of the
18 Ministry of Interior, and it's the department of Cair. It has a number
19 and it's dated the 19th of March of 2002. If I may draw your attention to
20 the title of that document, it says: "The meetings took place on 12th and
21 14th of March of 2002," and then it locates the place where the meeting
22 took place, and further down on this document there is a subject heading
23 and it says:
24 "Information and intelligence of interest to you UBK."
25 Can you see that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. At this stage, Mr. Bouckaert, I would like to show you the second
3 page of this document. If the Registry could turn to the second page. I
4 understand it's the second page in Macedonian as well.
5 I should have pointed out to you that the person to whom the UBK
6 spoke was given the nickname of Odja, and if I may draw your attention to
7 the paragraph which starts: "At the end of the meeting ..." Can you see
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. I will read it out to you. It says:
11 "At the end of the meeting Odja informed that the houses which
12 are most damaged in the areas of Skamala [phoen] in the village of
13 Ljuboten are the ones from which the security forces of the Republic of
14 Macedonia were fired upon by the residents of the aforementioned quarter
15 and that, according to him, this is the reason why the majority of those
16 killed are residents of that quarter; that is, the houses of
17 Veseli Afandi, Jashari Haziz, and Bajrami Qani, and the Zendeli family are
18 located there."
19 Can you see that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And then it goes on to say:
22 "On the other hand, there was also the case of Kamberi, Asad, who
23 set his own house on fire so that he could present himself as a victim of
24 the reaction of the security bodies of the Republic of Macedonia before
25 the international representative."
1 Sir, is Kamberi, Asad, the person which you identified a few
2 minutes ago on the map?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then I will draw your attention to the first comment on the
5 next heading which says:
6 "Contact with Odja was made for the purpose of gaining
7 information in connection with the last year's event around the village of
9 Sir, did any of the villagers tell you that the reason why a few
10 pockets of the village were targeted was because fire had come from these
12 A. Absolutely not.
13 Q. So they never mentioned that to you?
14 A. No.
15 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, I would simply ask the document be
16 marked for identification at this stage. We'll come back to it in a
18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D87 marked for identification, Your
21 MR. METTRAUX:
22 Q. Sir, you will recall that you told the Prosecution that you were
23 given information to the effect that two houses, a Macedonian house, that
24 of Mr. Zlatko, and an Albanian house, that of Mr. Kamberi, had been burned
25 on the 16th and 17th of August of 2001; do you recall that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you will recall also that this information was given to you by
3 some of the villagers; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Is that also correct that you had no independent means to verify
6 whether, in fact, two houses, three houses, or four houses in that street
7 had been burnt on the 16th or 17th of August; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness now be shown what is 1D32. And
10 simply to clarify, sir, your "yes" was a confirmation to the effect that
11 you were not able to independently verify; is that correct?
12 A. That's correct.
13 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, it is Exhibit 1D32 with an ERN number
15 Q. What is about to appear, Mr. Bouckaert, is a report, an OSCE
16 report of the 17th of August of 2001. Are you able to read it,
17 Mr. Bouckaert?
18 A. It's a little bit small.
19 MR. METTRAUX: Could the document -- yes, thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: Yes.
21 MR. METTRAUX:
22 Q. If I may just go through this document with you, it concerns a
23 document of the 17th of August, 2001. It comes from the Operation Office
24 in Skopje to location in Radisani, that was the area covered by the team
25 which covered the village of Ljuboten, and you can see the dates, it says:
1 "Period covered 16 hours, 16 August to 22 hours, 17 August of
3 Can you see that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And then if you go on to the subheading with the title
6 "Incidents," I'll just read the beginning of that paragraph. It says
8 "At approximately 1730, the team arrived in the village of
9 Ljuboten to investigate reports of house fires in the area. Investigation
10 established that at approximately midnight on the 16th and 17th of August,
11 a Macedonian house on the road leading northwest from the church and some
12 150 metres from the church had burnt."
13 That would be consistent with your evidence; is that correct?
14 A. Yes. That would be the home I identified as Zlatko's home.
15 Q. "It was also established that at approximately 11.00 on the 17th
16 August, three Albanian properties had also burnt, one outbuilding and two
17 adjoining houses, all three on the same road as the Macedonian house. How
18 the Macedonian house has been destroyed was unclear. There were no signs
19 of projectile impacts on the wall and no sign of accelerant was observed.
20 A trace of diesel was followed back from the site of the most
21 westerly-destroyed Albanian properties, the two adjoining houses."
22 Sir, would you agree that, in effect, what the OSCE found out was
23 that three Albanian houses and one Macedonian house in that stretch of
24 houses had been burned on the 16th and 17th; is that correct?
25 A. The I believe it's one outbuilding and two Albanian houses and the
1 Macedonian house, yes.
2 Q. And then if I may draw your attention to the bottom of that
3 document, it says:
4 "Villagers, both Albanian and elderly Macedonian, confirmed the
5 ethnicity of the property owners. Both Albanian and Macedonian villagers
6 stated that, 'Army paramilitaries,'" --
7 And then there's parenthesis:
8 "`(Both Albanians and Macedonians were clear that the person
9 referred to were not police) had been in that area of village at the time
10 the Albanian property burned.'"
11 Can you see that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Then if I may ask the Registry to bring up what is now P334,
14 Mr. Bouckaert. That's again your own drawing, your own map of the
16 First, perhaps to ask you this question, Mr. Bouckaert: The
17 people to whom you talked only mentioned two houses having been burnt on
18 the 16th and 17th; that's your evidence, is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. They never mentioned those other two houses having been burnt on
21 this day?
22 A. Yeah, it's possible that the house that they said was burned on
23 Friday contained the outbuilding, but they certainly didn't mention two
24 homes to me.
25 Q. And it's also possible that other houses on that stretch of road
1 were burned on the 16th and 17th, you just don't know; is that correct?
2 A. For the other homes that are marked on this map, they were burned
3 on the 12th.
4 Q. And that's based on what you were told by the villagers; is that
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. And again you had no independent means to verify their
8 information; is that correct?
9 A. We based our conclusion on a lot of interviews, yes.
10 Q. And solely on interviews?
11 A. And on the fact that when we did reach houses that had been burned
12 on different days, it was the villagers who volunteered that information.
13 Q. But they didn't volunteer the fact that there were more than two
14 houses that had been burned on the 16th and 17th; is that correct?
15 A. They pointed out those houses that are marked on the map to me,
16 that's correct.
17 Q. And if we may look at your map, if you go to the extreme left
18 bottom side, you will see what you've marked as, I understand, the
19 orthodox church. Is that correct?
20 A. Yeah, it's actually a little bit further down the road.
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. But it's in that general area.
23 Q. And then if you go northwest of that, you see the house of Zlatko,
24 the one that you had identified as the house of the Macedonian; is that
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. And the houses to which the OSCE refers in its report would appear
3 to be those that would be under the -- what you've marked as "Ulica 5"; is
4 that correct?
5 A. Where -- it was suggested that the OSCE said that those were
6 burned on other days?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. That's not the information I have, and I don't see any indication
9 in the OSCE statement that they're referring to those homes.
10 Q. Perhaps I'm going to read to you again the passage in question.
11 It says that:
12 "At approximately 7.30 the team arrived in the village of
13 Ljuboten to investigate reports of house fires in the area. Investigation
14 established that at approximately midnight --"
15 MR. SAXON: Sorry to interrupt.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
17 MR. SAXON: Could we have the document that counsel is reading
18 displayed on the screen, please?
19 MR. METTRAUX: Yes. If the Registry could bring up what is 1D32,
21 THE INTERPRETER: And while we're waiting, the interpreters are
22 again asking for pauses instead of overlapping of questions and answers.
23 MR. METTRAUX: Mr. Bouckaert, we are warned again.
24 I'll read out this sentence to you again, Mr. Bouckaert. It says:
25 "At approximately 7.30, the team arrived in the village of
1 Ljuboten to investigate reports of house fires in the area. Investigation
2 established that at approximately midnight on 16 and 17 August, a
3 Macedonian house on the road leading northwest from the church and some
4 150 metres from the church had burnt. It was also established that at
5 approximately 11.00 on the 17th August, three Albanian properties had also
6 burned, one outbuilding and two adjoining houses, all three on the same
7 road as the Macedonian house."
8 So would you agree, sir, that at least so far as the OSCE is
9 concerned, the information which they received was that those three
10 buildings had been burnt in Ulica Pet number 5; is that correct?
11 A. Yeah, I don't dispute, be it, that according to the OSCE, the
12 buildings were in Ulica 5. It's not clear for me from their description
13 that they're referring to the buildings in a row which I marked on my map.
14 Q. So it could have been any three buildings in that street?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. I'd like to ask you now a few questions about the
17 process of statement-taking which you have explained to the Prosecution
18 and also in your statement to the Prosecution. I have a few questions
19 about that.
20 Is that correct that none of the interviews which you carried out
21 with the victims and witnesses was either audio or videotaped; is that
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Is that also correct that the procedure that you follow is not
25 technically to take formal statements which are then signed by the victim
1 or the witness, but to take notes into a notebook of yours?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. And it's also correct that your notebooks are not signed or
4 otherwise adopted by the people you interview?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And it's also the fact that the report that you then wrote upon
7 your return or during your investigation is based not on any statement
8 but, again, on your note?
9 A. On our interview notes, yes.
10 Q. Yes. And I think you've indicated to the Prosecution that you
11 speak neither Albanian nor Macedonian; is that correct?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. And your interviews with the villagers, your questions to the
14 villagers as well as the response which you received from the villagers,
15 was translated back and forth to through a third party; is that correct?
16 A. Through my interpreter, yes.
17 Q. And is that also correct that you were unable to assess for
18 yourself the accuracy of the translation which was given to you by your
19 interpreter at the time?
20 A. That is correct to the extent of the period of time after my
21 colleague, Fred Abrahams, left because my colleague Fred Abrahams does
22 speak fluent Albanian and limited Serbian, and he worked together with the
23 same translator, and we never had any indication that there was any
24 problem with the interpretation.
25 Q. But Fred Abrahams wasn't in Ljuboten?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. And to answer my question, you were not able to assert for
3 yourself or assess for yourself the accuracy or the quality of the
4 translation which was given to you by the interpreter at the time; is that
6 A. Yes, but I had no doubt in his objectivity and in his -- the
7 quality of his interpretation.
8 Q. But, again, you were not able to make that assessment; is that
10 A. Well, I had worked with him for several months, and I had never
11 had a problem with him, so I was quite certain he was doing his job
13 Q. But is that correct perhaps that if the interpreter would have
14 made a mistake, you would not have been able to point that out to him; is
15 that correct?
16 A. As I explained to Mr. Saxon, we did go over the interviews in the
17 evenings to see if they had been accurate.
18 Q. But there again, if you go through your notes with the
19 interpreter, the accuracy would be only to his or her understanding of
20 what he or she understood you to say or what the witness answered and
21 what -- not what you understood the witness to answer; is that correct?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. I also understand also that you were regularly registered with the
24 Ministry of Information [realtime transcript read in error "Ministry of
25 Internal Affairs"]; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. But you were not what is known in Macedonia as an authorised
3 official; is that correct?
4 A. That's correct. There's a mistake in the transcript. It should
5 say "The Ministry of Information" not the "Ministry of Internal Affairs."
6 MR. METTRAUX: I'm grateful. And it's at page 40 line 17 and 18.
7 It's the Ministry of Information.
8 Q. Thank you Mr. Bouckaert.
9 A. There was no provision for Human Rights Watch to be registered as
10 an official, so we kind of fell between the cracks.
11 Q. But is that correct that you were not accompanied at the time by
12 any authorised official of the State of Macedonia?
13 A. Yes, that's definitely correct.
14 Q. And none of the statements which you took from -- or none of the
15 notes, in any case, none of the interviews which you made of the villagers
16 was done under oath; is that correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And you knew also at the time that the absence of an authorised
19 official would have made those statements inadmissible in local courts; is
20 that correct?
21 A. I -- I am not aware of the law in Macedonia on that point.
22 Q. Thank you. But you understood that the persons whom you
23 interviewed were not subject to any form of sanction or perjury for lying
24 to you or otherwise being less than candid with you; is that correct? You
25 understood that?
1 A. Yes, which is why we conducted many additional interviews to
2 assure the accuracy of our information. Our methodology has been
3 developed to address those kind of concerns.
4 Q. And you would do that through -- I'm going to come back to that,
5 but through the necessary requirement for you to corroborate each and
6 every incident for which you were given evidence; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you draw to the attention of the villagers whom you
9 interviewed the fact that those statements that they made to you could be
10 used in the context of criminal proceedings?
11 A. I did draw -- as is our general practice, I informed the people
12 that we interviewed that I was investigating what happened in Ljuboten and
13 that their statements could be used in our report, and I also asked them
14 if it was okay to use their names in our report.
15 Q. And did you also point that to them that these statements could be
16 used in the context of criminal proceedings?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Can I ask you whether you have been or whether you have been asked
19 by the Prosecution could give copies of those notes of yours which you
20 took in Ljuboten?
21 A. I was asked. It's the general practice of our organisation, and
22 I'm under instructions from our organisation, that we don't hand over our
23 notes, which is why our statement was submitted under Rule 70.
24 Q. But isn't it correct that in Human Rights Watch, there is in fact
25 a procedure in place for a party to request these notes from you; isn't
1 that correct?
2 A. I'm not aware of that procedure.
3 Q. Well, I'll simply read a statement from your colleague's --
4 Fred Abrahams', from the Milatinovic proceedings, and perhaps I will call
5 it so that you can see for yourself. It's under 1D003812. It's from the
6 transcript of 13th of July, 2006, and it's at page 904. This is what
7 Mr. Abrahams said to the Trial Chamber in the Milatinovic case. I'll wait
8 until the document is in front of you.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Could the counsel please repeat the number.
10 MR. METTRAUX: Absolutely. It's the ERN number is 1D003812.
11 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, in the absence of the document, I'll show it to you
12 later on, but for the time being I'll simply read the statement of
13 Mr. Abrahams, and we can look at it after the break.
14 Mr. Abrahams is recorded as saying this:
15 "As a matter of policy, the notes are the private property of the
16 organisation," and that's Human Rights Watch, "but individuals or
17 organisation can make specific requests to our legal office for a release,
18 which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis."
19 Is that a correct statement of the procedure and the practice
20 before Human Rights Watch?
21 A. Yes. It's the property of the organisation. It's our general
22 practice not to release notes. Any exception to that rule would have to
23 be made by our legal office rather than by myself.
24 Q. And was such a request made for the notes that you took in the
25 village of Ljuboten by the Office of the Prosecutor?
1 A. Certainly, an informal request was made, and it was denied.
2 Q. And was the formal procedure which I read to you followed as well,
3 as far as you know?
4 A. The OTP accepted that we had the right to keep our notes
6 Q. Thank you. I'd like to ask you a few questions about the
7 procedure and mechanism which are in place at Human Rights Watch to ensure
8 the quality of your reporting.
9 Am I correct that, in a way, Human Rights Watch is a
10 self-regulated body, and by that I mean that there is no outside body
11 which assess the quality or intervenes into the quality of your product?
12 A. The quality of our product is certainly publicly assessed by a
13 wide variety of sources, including the public, including the diplomatic
14 community, and we would quickly lose the effectiveness of our organisation
15 if the quality of our information was challenged.
16 Q. Perhaps my question should have been more precise. When you
17 prepare a report, such as the report that we've discussed beforehand, is
18 that correct that the process or the involvement of individuals into the
19 preparation, the drafting, the editing, and so on of the document is
20 limited to employees and staff members of Human Rights Watch?
21 A. That would be generally correct, although on many occasions we do
22 use outside experts to evaluate reports, especially technical reports
23 about illegal arms trades and other such issues. But we have an extensive
24 in-house review process of our reporting.
25 Q. And did you have recourse to any outside help or assistance in
1 relation to the Ljuboten report?
2 A. Not in relation to the Ljuboten report.
3 Q. Am I correct to understand that one of the most fundamental
4 safeguards, so to say, of the quality of your reports is your insistence
5 to rely on primary evidence rather than hearsay or secondary evidence?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. And another safeguard is for you to have recourse to as many and
8 as rich a variety of sources as possible?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And you've also just indicated that there is an internal vetting
11 procedure which you have described in your statement as being quite
12 stringent to ensure that the material contained in every report is
13 supported by the material which you've collected during your
14 investigation; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. The report is first reviewed by the regional division or the
16 Tomatic [phoen] Division, which has oversight over the work, in this case
17 that would have been the Europe and Central Asia Division, it was refused
18 by the Executive Director of the Europe and Central Asia Division, then it
19 is reviewed by the Legal Division of Human Rights Watch, by legal counsel
20 with extensive experience in human rights law and the laws of war, and
21 then it is reviewed by our Programme Division which oversees all of the
22 work of the organisation. And in some exceptional cases, it's also
23 reviewed by the Executive Director.
24 Q. And is that correct that if at any stage in that process any of
25 the layers of control, so to say, is not satisfied about the sufficiency
1 or the reliability of any of that material, the material would then be
2 withheld from the public; is that correct?
3 A. Not necessarily. They would ask me to go back and do further
4 research, perhaps, on a certain point, or if it was the case of a legal
5 conclusion, we would abide by the decision of our legal office. But
6 certainly your point is correct that we would not include unreliable
7 information in our reports.
8 Q. And in the case of the Ljuboten reports, were you asked by any
9 of -- anyone in your hierarchy to do any further research or investigation
10 when after you had given them your draft report?
11 A. I didn't have to go do any further interviews. I wasn't asked to
12 do any additional interviews, but certainly there were many questions
13 asked, many requests for clarification, and many discussions before the
14 report was finalised.
15 Q. And we've just discussed it, but I would like to spend a bit more
16 time on it.
17 One of the fundamental safeguards, so to say, of your procedure is
18 the requirement that every fact which you state in your report or every
19 incident that you report about is being corroborated at least by two
20 sources, I understand, or one source plus corroboration; is that correct?
21 A. I think that's overstating things a little bit. In our report,
22 there certainly are incidents which are based on the evidence of a single
23 witness, but then the text of the report would indicate that we had no
24 further witnesses available and that some questions remain to be answered.
25 And in those cases, the statement of that single witness will be
1 corroborated with physical evidence or other evidence available to us.
2 Q. So am I correct to understand from your answer that the
3 availability or otherwise of corroborating evidence would be obvious from
4 the mere reading of the footnote in your report?
5 A. I think that our report reflects the nature of the evidence that
6 we have available to us, either in the text or in the footnote, yes.
7 Q. So if a fact is stated in your report or a finding is being made
8 by you in a report, the source of that finding and the entirety of the
9 source of that finding would be traceable either in the text or in the
10 footnote of the finding; is that correct?
11 A. In general, I would say.
12 Q. And that was the case with your report on Ljuboten?
13 A. Unless sources ask for anonymity.
14 Q. Which was the case on a number of occasions, two or three
15 occasions; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, and in that case we would keep their names on record at Human
17 Rights Watch.
18 Q. Is that also correct that the need for corroboration of evidence
19 and the care which you pay to that matter is particularly important when
20 you interview members of a particular group or community which report
21 violations or violence against other members of that same community; is
22 that correct?
23 A. Certainly.
24 Q. Is that also correct that you were aware, particularly because of
25 your experience in Kosovo, that members of the Albanian community could be
1 subject to particular pressure from the NLA, the UCK, not to reveal or to
2 give a particular versions of the events; that's something you were aware
4 A. We did very extensive work in Kosovo, but before, during, and
5 after the NATO bombing of Kosovo, and as far as I know all of our reports
6 remain accurate to date, have never been seriously challenged, so
7 obviously our methodology has been designed to deal with those -- the kind
8 of challenges you describe.
9 Q. But perhaps to answer my question, you were aware of the fact that
10 UCK or the NLA, or the KLA in the case of Kosovo, was at the time
11 exercising great pressure on the citizens of the Albanian members of the
12 population to give a particular account of the events; is that correct?
13 A. I wouldn't just limit it to the UCK. There were such cases on all
14 sides of the conflict.
15 Q. But that would be the case with the UCK; is that correct?
16 A. I'm sure there were such cases, yes.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Mettraux?
18 MR. METTRAUX: Absolutely, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE PARKER: We must have the first break and resume at a
20 quarter past 4.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
23 MR. METTRAUX:
24 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, I have been threatened with all sorts of unpleasant
25 consequences during the break by the poor interpreter, who have been put
1 under great strain, so if we can attempt to not overlap, and I would be
2 grateful if you would assist me in that matter.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Can I mention, Mr. Mettraux, it's not merely, I
4 suspect, the matter of overlap, but when you come to read a long passage,
5 you have quite a quick delivery.
6 MR. METTRAUX: That may be correct, Your Honour.
7 I'll ask the Registry, just in fairness to Mr. Bouckaert, that he
8 be shown what is or what has been identified as Rule 65 ter 424. It has
9 an ERN of 1D003812.
10 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, this is the statement of your colleague,
11 Mr. Abrahams, that I read to you a moment ago. I simply want you to be
12 able to see that statement for yourself.
13 Thank you, that's the correct page.
14 You can see, Mr. Bouckaert, at the top of the page the exchange
15 between counsel at the top of the page. It asks this of your colleague:
16 "Do you happen to know what the position of your organisation or
17 your former organisation is, sir, for releasing this information," to
18 which Mr. Abrahams said: "I do".
19 "And what is that position"?
20 And that is the passage I read out to you:
21 "As a matter of policy, the notes are the private property of the
22 organisation, but individuals or organisation can make specific request to
23 our legal office for a release which will be reviewed on a case-by-case
25 I simply wanted to read it out to you since I told you I would
1 come back to it.
2 Is that correct, sir, and simply to clarify an answer you gave to
3 me earlier on today, that on any mission that you undertake, there would
4 be a significant amount of information that would be withdrawn or taken
5 out from your report either because you consider it to be unreliable or
6 because you were unable to find corroboration for that material; is that
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. And I would simply ask you about one particular report which you
10 prepared yourself most recently, which concerned the bombing of South
11 Lebanon by Israel. It relates to a matter of methodology which will later
12 be relevant, but is that correct that one of the issues which you had to
13 determine in this report is whether targeting by Israeli forces was
14 indiscriminate or whether they were, in fact, aiming at Hezbollah
15 positions; is that correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. And I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, that you visited a
18 number of locations which had received Israeli fighter -- fire, I'm sorry,
19 to determine whether in fact there had been a Hezbollah position or a
20 Hezbollah presence in the area at the time?
21 A. That's correct, and coming to the Court to give this testimony has
22 interrupted a finalisation of the report on those issues.
23 Q. I apologise, at least on the part of the Defence, but the
24 questions will be short in relation to this report. Is that correct also
25 that for each incident or alleged incidents of targeting by the Israeli
1 forces of the Hezbollah, you sought to obtain witness from outside the
2 area controlled by the Hezbollah to corroborate the version which was
3 given to you?
4 A. I believe you're talking about the Fatal Strikes report.
5 Q. That's correct, yes, sir.
6 A. Yes. That report was compiled during the time that the conflict
7 was still ongoing, so our access to both locations and witnesses was
8 extremely limited.
9 Q. And is that correct that for each incident of alleged
10 indiscriminate targeting, you would insist to find corroboration by
11 eyewitnesses or otherwise outside of areas controlled by the Hezbollah to
12 ensure the reliability of the evidence?
13 A. Yes, but it was often difficult to do so.
14 Q. And is that correct that when you were unable to do so, you would
15 drop the particular incident from your report?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you did not put the onus on the Israeli government to
18 demonstrate to your satisfaction that there was, in fact, no Hezbollah
19 position in those particular locations; is that correct?
20 A. That's correct, although we did ask the Israeli government for
21 information about the intelligence that they had relating to particular
23 Q. If you did not put the onus you to produce evidence and material
24 that they were positioned there? Hezbollah --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- positions. Thank you.
2 Is that correct that in tense circumstances, such as conflict
3 situations, be it in Israel or in other parts of the world, it's very
4 important for you to get the full picture of what's going on before you
5 report about it; is that correct?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. Is that also correct that this full picture means that you would
8 have to hear from both sides of that conflict or situation?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. I would simply ask -- or I would read out to you a statement made
11 by your colleague, Mr. Abrahams, again in the context of the Milatinovic
12 proceedings, and that would be 1D428 with an ERN 1D00-3919 to 1D00-3920.
13 Mr. Bouckaert, I'll draw your attention to the bottom of the page,
14 if it can be enlarged, thank you, and a bit for Mr. Bouckaert, and that
15 would be at the bottom of the page. Your colleague, Mr. Abrahams, was
16 being asked by Defence counsel Ivetic the following:
17 "You would agree, would you not, that in order to have a full and
18 complete picture in any circumstance it is always preferred or in fact
19 even essential to hear both sides in a conflict, is it not?"
20 And if we turn to the next page, it will be on the top of the next
21 page. Mr. Abrahams answered: "Yes." And that's, I suppose, a
22 conclusion you would agree with.
23 A. I would say it's always preferred, yes, but it's not always
25 Q. Is it also correct, Mr. Bouckaert, that the accuracy and the
1 reliability of any of your reporting would be not only dependent but also
2 greatly enhanced by the fact that you have talked to both sides?
3 A. Certainly, but we feel that the position of Mr. Boskoski and the
4 government was reflected in our report based on public statements made by
5 him and by the government.
6 Q. But in general terms, you would agree with the proposition that
7 your findings would have been much weakened by the fact that you had only
8 talked to one side, to put it that way?
9 A. No, I would not agree.
10 Q. Well, let me ask the Registry to show what is 1D428. That's
11 ERN 1D0031 -- sorry, 3910 to 1D00-3911, and it's again taken from the
12 Milatinovic proceedings. And the witness in this case was again was a
13 Mr. Abrahams, and it's dated the 7th of August of 2006, and the page is
14 983 and 984.
15 If we can scroll down a little bit to the bottom of the page,
16 please. If I may draw your attention, Mr. Bouckaert, to that last part of
17 that document of that page with the questions that -- okay. With the
18 question which says:
19 "Now, would it be fair to say, then, that your reports were
20 generated without any information or input from the Yugoslav or Serbian
22 And if we can turn to the next page, this is the answer of Mr.
24 "I would not say that's fair to say. We used open source
25 material wherever possible to present the government view, and I sincerely
1 wish that we had received responses to these letters from one of the many
2 agencies and ministries to whom they were sent, to which they were sent,
3 because I would have -- the report would have been strengthened greatly
4 and all our work would have been strengthened greatly by having official
5 answers to these particular inquiries.
6 Would you then agree with the proposition made by Mr. Abrahams?
7 A. I certainly agree it would have strengthened -- it would
8 strengthen any report to reflect information obtained from the government.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 A. And that's something we strive to do in all of our reports.
11 Q. And, in fact, it's your usual practice to send a request of that
12 nature to the authorities for information; is that correct?
13 A. I would not characterise it as our usual practice.
14 Q. Well, would you characterise it, then, as your usual operating
15 procedure; would that be fair?
16 A. No. I would say it's a common practice, but we take into account
17 working conditions, security concerns, to make that kind of evaluation.
18 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness please be shown it's 1D424, and
19 it's again a transcript from the Milatinovic proceedings of 14 July 2006.
20 The ERN is 1D003805. It's from the 14th of July of 2006.
21 Q. Mr. Abrahams is talking about the letters which he sent to the
22 Serbian and Yugoslav authorities, and he's being asked by Counsel
24 "Whether this letter, was it your idea to send this letter?"
25 And the answer of Mr. Abrahams, you can see it in the middle of
1 the page, he says:
2 "This letter is standard operating procedure following a mission
3 to request information from the government."
4 Do you agree with that statement?
5 A. As I've already testified, I think it's a common operating
6 procedure. I would not characterise it as standard. To the extent
7 possible, we do try to send requests of information to the government,
9 Q. And you've explained that in the case of Ljuboten, you did not do
10 so; is that --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. But you did it in other -- I mean, you've mentioned the issue of
13 security, and I will come back to that, but is that correct that you sent
14 such request for information --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down for the interpreters and make
16 breaks between questions and answers. Thank you very much.
17 MR. METTRAUX:
18 Q. You've mentioned, Mr. Bouckaert, the fact that security issues
19 were a fact relevant to your procedures in that respect. Is that correct
20 that in a number of conflict situations characterised as quite dangerous
21 places, you have, in fact, followed the procedure outlined by Mr. Abrahams
22 of sending letters of inquiries to various governments; is that correct?
23 A. Sure.
24 Q. You've done that, for instance, in relation to the events of
25 Kosovo; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, and more recently to Israel about the events in Lebanon.
2 Q. And you've also done that, for instance, in Sri Lanka in relation
3 to one of your reports concerning abduction and child recruitment; is that
5 A. That was not one of my reports.
6 Q. But it's been done by your organisation; are you aware of that or
8 A. Certainly, but I also have just came back from the Central African
9 Republic, and we didn't send such a request for information. I just came
10 back from Somalia, and we didn't send such a request for information, so
11 it's certainly not done in every case.
12 Q. But you've done it also, for instance, in your report --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Please make breaks.
14 MR. METTRAUX:
15 Q. -- called "Hearts and Minds, Post-War Seen in Baghdad caused by US
16 Forces;" is that correct?
17 A. That was not one of my reports.
18 Q. So you are not aware of the fact of whether or not it was done?
19 A. In that case I do believe that it was done, because it was a
20 report dealing with US military abuses, and we have had good cooperation
21 from the US military on getting credible information from them.
22 Q. It was also the practice of your organisation, when possible, to
23 contact either NGOs or international organisations which were on the
24 ground in the relevant area; is that correct?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. And the reason for doing so again was to verify the reliability
2 and accuracy of the information which you had obtained; is that correct?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. And I think in your statement, Mr. Bouckaert, you mention talking
5 to one OSCE observer which you don't identify, but is that correct, you
6 talked to one particular OSCE observer?
7 A. Can you refer to where I say this in my statement?
8 Q. I believe it's in your report. What I'm going to ask you is
9 this: Did you make any requests to the OSCE for official information at
10 the time you speak of in your report?
11 A. I did discuss our findings with OSCE officials.
12 Q. And can you recall with whom of the -- which official of the OSCE
13 did you discuss that matter?
14 A. I believe it was either Sandra Mitchell or Mr. Bolton.
15 Q. I will read out your statement, Mr. Bouckaert. It's at page 18 of
16 the report, and you refer to one of the OSCE monitors speaking on
17 condition of anonymity. It's P352, it's been identified, but the sentence
18 goes on to say that it confirmed to the Associated Press that the OSCE
19 have found the remains of five persons in the village.
20 What I'm trying to ascertain, Mr. Bouckaert, is whether or not you
21 actually talked to any representative of the OSCE in Macedonia at the time
22 when you were there.
23 A. Sorry, I would just like to see the reference from the --
24 Q. It is at the top of the page, page 18 of your report.
25 A. That's a reference to the OSCE speaking on condition of anonymity
1 to the Associated Press, not to Human Rights Watch.
2 Q. And did you talk to any representative of the OSCE in Macedonia at
3 the time?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And can you identify that individual, that person?
6 A. As I said, it was either Sandra Mitchell or Mr. Bolton or both.
7 Q. And did you contact any other international organisation or NGO
8 which was on the ground at the time?
9 A. Yes. We had very regular discussions with a number of
10 organisations, including UNHCR, as well as the ICRC.
11 Q. Did you contact any of these organisations or NGOs in relation to
12 the events at Ljuboten?
13 A. We did discuss the events of Ljuboten.
14 Q. And did you obtain official information from any of those
15 organisations in relation to these events?
16 A. No, these were informal discussions.
17 Q. Is it also the practice of your organisation, sir, to obtain
18 information not only from the authorities but directly from the people who
19 you consider to be the perpetrators or the people responsible for
20 violations of IHL?
21 A. On some occasions, we have done such investigations and such
23 Q. Is that the usual practice, sir, or is that something that is done
25 A. I would say it's a rare practice.
1 Q. And you didn't do that in the case of the Ljuboten; is that
3 A. That's correct. I'm just pausing to allow for the translation.
4 Q. I'm grateful for your assistance. Is that also correct,
5 Mr. Bouckaert, that it's quite an exceptional practice for your
6 organisation to actually name an individual who you consider to be
7 responsible for violations of IHL?
8 A. It's -- we name individuals if we have clear and convincing
9 information that they are linked directly to IHL violations, including
10 quite a few people who are in the custody of this Tribunal.
11 Q. That would be my next question. Apart from your Kosovo reports
12 and the Ljuboten reports, is there any other report of Human Rights Watch
13 which, so to say, point the finger at any individual as being responsible
14 for a violation of IHL?
15 A. Of IHL or human rights abuses as well?
16 Q. I mean IHL.
17 A. I certainly have written reports where we named officials for
18 issues of torture, for example, in Azerbaijan, but those were not conflict
19 related, and I'm working on a report about a Central African which may
20 name some individuals. And in Sri Lanka, we named the head of the Korina
21 [phoen] Group as responsible for the abduction of children, forced
22 recruitment of children.
23 Q. And is that correct that this is the practice of Human Rights
24 Watch not to name or not to point the finger at anyone in that manner
25 unless you have three independent sources, at least, to back your claim;
1 is that correct?
2 A. I'm not aware of the rule requiring three independent sources.
3 Our counsel in the case of a report that would name individuals would more
4 carefully review those reports to ensure that we had adequate information
5 and convincing information to make those charges.
6 Q. Well, perhaps I'll show what is 1D427. It's ERN 1D004073.
7 So this is one of the reports which I understand you've
8 contributed to is "Under Orders, War Crimes in Kosovo," is that correct,
9 you contributed to that report?
10 A. I contributed research, but not writing.
11 Q. Well, I would like to read to you a passage. It's at Roman XXII
12 in the introduction section. I am just waiting for this document to
13 appear. It's Rule 65 ter 1D427 with an ERN of 1D00-4053.
14 And that's the "7" which is on my piece of paper as, in fact, a
15 "1", it could be 1D421.
16 I'll read to you in the meantime, Mr. Bouckaert, what the document
17 says. It's not the correct document that appears. I'll read it out to
18 you. This is page 22 of the introduction of this report. It says this:
19 "The naming of alleged perpetrators was undertaken with
20 particular care, although Kosovar Albanians often did not know their
21 tormentors, a few names are mentioned in this report. For each, at least
22 three independent sources confirm their participation in a crime."
23 So I suppose what I'm asking you is whether that was common
24 practice for Human Rights Watch to have a requirement of three minimum
25 sources for each identification of alleged perpetrators or whether the
1 practice varied depending on the report.
2 A. As I've said, our reports are -- if we're going to name any
3 individuals, counsel will make a determination that we have adequate and
4 convincing evidence. I think in the case of "Under Orders," which does
5 name a number of perpetrators, this is a descriptive passage of what is
6 contained in that report rather than a description of our standard
7 operating procedures.
8 Q. Would that mean that in some circumstances your organisation would
9 be satisfied to make such a finding with less evidence rather than more or
10 less sources rather than more?
11 A. We would require adequate and convincing evidence.
12 Q. And that assessment, sir, could you tell the Chamber by whom it
13 would be made, in particular, in relation to Ljuboten?
14 A. It would have been a central concern of all of the people who
15 reviewed the report, including the Executive Director of the Europe and
16 Central Asia Division, the counsel of Human Rights Watch who would have
17 the primary responsibility in this case, and as well as the official
18 within the Programme Division of Human Rights Watch.
19 Q. And is that correct that before making those allegations, you
20 would generally side on the side of caution; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. But in the case of the Ljuboten reports, you made the finding that
23 Mr. Boskoski had been intimately involved in the operation and that crimes
24 had been committed by individuals under his authority; is that correct?
25 A. I don't think that's the language of the report.
1 Q. But is that the language you used in the interviews with "The New
2 York Times," for instance, or in the letter which you drafted for
3 Mr. Cartner?
4 A. If you want to put those in front of me, I'm perfectly happy to
5 review them.
6 Q. But out of memory, Mr. Bouckaert, is that correct --
7 MR. SAXON: Well, Your Honour, may I object?
8 JUDGE PARKER: You may, but not successfully.
9 MR. SAXON: Then I will not, Your Honour.
10 A. Our report concludes that, by his own admission, Mr. Boskoski was
11 present at Ljuboten during the worst day of the operations there, when --
12 a day on which we -- our investigation shows crimes were committed, and we
13 asked for his role to be investigated.
14 MR. METTRAUX:
15 Q. When -- in fairness to you, Mr. Bouckaert, I will read out from
16 you the passage which is attributed to you by "The New York Times." It's
17 P357. It's now admitted in evidence.
18 I apologise. That would be P356.
19 And if I can ask the Registry to focus on the bottom right-hand
20 corner of the document and to enlarge it a bit for Mr. Bouckaert.
21 This is what is recorded as your statement, Mr. Bouckaert:
22 "It's important to understand that he doesn't," and that's
23 Mr. Boskoski, "have to witness the people being killed to have some
24 responsibility for what happened, said Peter Bouckaert, a senior
25 researcher for Human Rights Watch who wrote the group's report on
2 And then there's another quote which is attributed to you:
3 "It was done by troops under his authority in an action in which
4 he was intimately involved."
5 Can you see that? It's on the top of the next page, perhaps, if
6 the Registry could assist.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And does that accurately reflect what you recall saying to
9 Mr. Fisher, the journalist?
10 A. Yes. Mr. Fisher wrote -- read Mr. Boskoski's quote to me and
11 asked me to respond to it, so it's in direct response to Mr. Boskoski's
12 statement. And I think it's an accurate summary of the law of command
14 Q. Well, I'm simply asking you to state whether that's an accurate
15 representation of what you told the journalist, Mr. Bouckaert.
16 A. Absolutely.
17 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness now please be shown MA5353. It's
18 a "P" number.
19 Q. And that, you explained, is a letter which you drafted for
20 Ms. Anderson and which was signed by or in any case adopted by her; is
21 that correct?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. And if I may draw your attention to a paragraph, it's the third
24 paragraph from the bottom of that page which starts with the words: "The
25 Macedonian government ..." Can you see it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And in that letter, you say the following:
3 "The Macedonian government must answer to the people of Ljuboten,
4 said Elizabeth Anderson. It is deeply disturbing that the Ministry of
5 Interior appears to have been so intimately involved in one of the worst
6 abuses of the war. We demand an impartial investigation."
7 Can you see that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that was the nature of your conclusion as to what you believe
10 or understood Mr. Boskoski to have done or partaken in at the time; is
11 that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You've explained to the Prosecution and earlier in your evidence
14 the reasons why you did not send a letter of inquiry to the Ministry of
15 Interior, and you explained that you had security concerns; is that
17 A. That was one of the reasons.
18 Q. And could you state what the other reasons were?
19 A. Because the Ministry had already made public many statements about
20 what happened in Ljuboten, and we were not certain that we would get any
21 credible or relevant information from them if we did ask them.
22 Q. So it was your understanding that the Ministry could not have
23 assisted you in relation to your investigation; is that correct?
24 A. I think that's overstating it a little bit. We would have
25 reviewed any information they would have provided us for it. We just
1 didn't believe that we would get much -- much credible or relevant
2 information from them.
3 Q. And you've indicated that you had some security concerns. Is that
4 correct that you did not receive any threats at the time?
5 A. I did not receive any personal threats, but I certainly had
6 many -- several incidents where police officials acted towards me in a
7 very hostile manner.
8 Q. But you were not threatened or otherwise physically abused; is
9 that correct?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. And there was no interference with your work from the Ministry of
12 Interior; is that correct?
13 A. That's not correct.
14 Q. Well, were you allowed to enter the village on the 23rd of August,
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you were not searched when you entered, or were you, when you
18 went out of the village at that time; is that correct?
19 A. My car was searched when entered the village.
20 Q. And none of your belongings or notebooks or cameras were taken
21 from you; is that correct?
22 A. Not on that occasion.
23 Q. And no one came to confiscate your notes at your hotel during that
24 period between the 17th and the 25th of August; is that correct?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. And no one sought to detain or arrest you or search you for this
2 information at the airport when you left Macedonia on the 26th or 27th; is
3 that correct?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. And your pass with the Ministry of Information was never
6 revoked; is that correct?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. And you were again allowed to travel freely to Macedonia whenever
9 you wished, and I understood you returned to Macedonia, if only in
10 passing, at later days. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, that's correct, in passing.
12 Q. Is that also correct that you've described your relationship with
13 the Ministry of Interior as being a good one; is that correct?
14 A. Could you tell me what you're referring to?
15 Q. Well, do you recall giving an interview to any newspaper where you
16 were asked about the nature of your relationship with the Ministry of
18 A. In the Macedonian press?
19 Q. That's correct.
20 A. Yes, I did give such an interview.
21 Q. And can you recall also being asked about the nature of your
22 relationship with the Ministry of Interior and the Macedonians' authority
23 in general?
24 A. Yes, but I don't recall what my exact answer was, so ...
25 Q. But do you recall indicating to the journalist that, in fact, your
1 relationship with the government of Macedonia at the time was a fruitful
3 A. Yes, but because what we wanted to encourage through this
4 interview is a dialogue with the Macedonian government, and I stressed in
5 the interview that we were not against ethnic Macedonians, that we were
6 not against the Macedonian government, that our mandate was simply to stop
7 the human rights abuses, because we did face a lot of hostility from both
8 the local population and from some elements of the government.
9 Q. Is that correct that you also told the journalist that you were
10 [realtime read in error"weren't"] taken seriously by the government; is
11 that correct?
12 A. By some elements of the government.
13 Q. Is that correct that you also said that you had many constructive
14 meetings with government representatives?
15 A. With some government representatives.
16 Q. And that you also received answers in detail to issues which you
17 had raised with government representatives?
18 A. Yes, although not through official channels.
19 Q. Is that correct that, in fact at the time when you were
20 interviewed, you indicated that the assistance which you received from the
21 government was fruitful, as I mentioned, but that your complaints were
22 directed to the problems which you encountered in the field? Is that
23 correct, is that what you told the journalist?
24 A. I apologise. I mean, this is an interview which was given six
25 years ago, and I can't recall the exact details.
1 Q. Well, I can help you here, Mr. Bouckaert. I believe it's Rule 65
2 ter 324. It has an ERN range of N002-5309, N002-5313-80 for the English,
3 and the Macedonian version starts at N002-5309.
4 Your Honour, before starting again with the questions, there's a
5 line 4 and 5 of page 68 where I'm recorded as asking Mr. Bouckaert:
6 "Is that correct that you also told the journalist that you
7 weren't, were not, taken seriously by the government," whereas the
8 question or at least as I put it was that:
9 "You were taken seriously by the government," so I'll simply ask
10 Mr. Bouckaert again, perhaps.
11 Q. Is that correct, Mr. Bouckaert, that you told the journalist at
12 that time that you were taken seriously by the government?
13 A. We had serious discussions with elements of the government.
14 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.
16 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, at least on the English version, I don't
17 see a date for this article. I'm wondering whether we can simply be
18 informed the date of this publication or the date of the interview.
19 MR. METTRAUX: Certainly. We understand the article having been
20 given by Mr. Bouckaert in July of 2001. Mr. Bouckaert may confirm that,
22 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, do you recall -- you have the article now in front
23 of you, it was with Anna Petruseva [phoen], can you recall that
25 A. Yes, I recall the conversation. I just don't recall the details
1 of the questions or the answers.
2 Q. And do you recall that this conversation took place sometime in
3 the month of July of 2001?
4 A. Yes, or -- I don't know, actually, the exact date. It was
5 definitely after the events in Aracinovo, because the picture is from
7 Q. And it was sometimes in the summer of 2001; is that --
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And if we can turn to the third page of that document, it's
10 N002-5311-80. There's a question put to you by the journalist in the
11 following terms:
12 "How do you evaluate the cooperation with the Macedonian
13 authorities? Is there a feeling for the problems that you indicate?"
14 And that's your answer as recorded:
15 "We have a fruitful cooperation at the government level. I have
16 an impression that our indications are being considered really seriously.
17 We have had many constructive meetings with government representatives and
18 received answers in detail about the case we pointed out. However, the
19 situation in the field is somewhat different. For example, we know that
20 many foreign journalists face the problem of check-points. Members of the
21 police and the army are undisciplined. We have many times encountered
22 drunken soldiers and policemen."
23 Is that an accurate record of what you recall saying to this
25 A. I -- I can't vouch for the accuracy, especially of the part where
1 it says "we have received answers in detail about the cases we pointed
2 out," because either at that stage or a later stage, that certainly wasn't
3 the case. So I don't know if it's a problem of translation or of an
4 inaccurate reflection in the original, but that part certainly I don't
5 feel is accurate.
6 Q. So you are suggesting that you didn't say that to the journalist
7 at the time; is that correct?
8 A. Well, because I don't recall having received any answers in detail
9 about the cases we discussed with the government, so yeah.
10 Q. So is that the case of you not remembering receiving those
11 information or you're not telling the journalist this fact?
12 A. No, I think it's an inaccurate reflection of the interview.
13 Q. Is that also correct, Mr. Bouckaert, that originally when you were
14 asked about the reasons why you had not given an opportunity to
15 Mr. Boskoski to communicate with you, you had different -- you had given
16 quite a different explanation than the one you gave yesterday and today?
17 A. I don't think so.
18 Q. Do you recall telling the journalists that -- when asked that
19 particular question, that you had tried but that Mr. Boskoski was away
20 from Macedonia at the time?
21 A. I never tried to contact Mr. Boskoski.
22 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness please be shown what is Rule 65
23 ter 1D380. It has an ERN of 1D00-3573. And the Macedonian version is
25 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, what will appear in front of you is, on the
1 right-hand side, an excerpt of a press article from "Dnevnik" and on the
2 left you'll have the English translation of that same article. It's dated
3 the 29th of August, 2001, and the headline is: "Boskoski Human Rights
4 Watch Hideously Distorts the Truth." Can you see that?
5 A. M'mm-hmm.
6 Q. And then it refers to:
7 "Peter Bouckaert, a senior researcher with the Human Rights Watch
8 protection organisation, Human Rights Watch," can you see that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And "Dnevnik" says--
11 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly slow down for the benefit of the
12 transcript and the interpreters. Thank you.
13 MR. METTRAUX:
14 Q. It says:
15 "Peter Bouckaert confirmed yesterday for Dnevnik that his report
16 would contain serious accusations against the Minister of the Interior,
17 Ljube Boskoski."
18 Do you see that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And it goes on to say:
21 "In Bouckaret's words, the report will state that several
22 civilians were killed in the operation by the Macedonian security forces
23 which allegedly was led by Boskoski in the village of Ljuboten in the
24 Skopje area."
25 Can you see that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And then there's a quote again attributed to you further down
3 which says:
4 "We are convinced that the persons killed in Ljuboten were
5 civilians, and this judgement is based on the evidence available to us.
6 We have not found one single piece of evidence to suggest that they were
7 terrorists. We found only civilian clothing, and there was no indications
8 of the presence of the NLA in the area. In the course of our
9 investigation, we spoke with local people, international observers and the
10 Macedonian authorities, but we are unable to speak with the Minister of
11 the Interior since he was out of the country when we tried to meet him,'
12 Bouckaert said."
13 Is that what you told the journalist at "Dnevnik" Mr. Bouckaert?
15 A. I don't recall giving this interview but it's possible.
16 Q. And do you recall telling the journalist at the time that you had
17 been unable to contact Mr. Boskoski because he was out of the country at
18 the time?
19 A. Well, I don't recall giving the interview so I don't recall making
20 that statement, and I don't even recall knowing that Boskoski had been out
21 of the country at the time. He certainly appeared on the news the night
22 before this report was made.
23 Q. So you are saying that is -- it is again a case of the journalist
24 having either invented stories or attributed statements to you that --
25 A. No.
1 Q. -- you didn't make?
2 A. No. I'm just saying I don't recall giving this particular
4 Q. But are you suggesting it did not happen or --
5 A. No, I just don't recall.
6 MR. METTRAUX: Okay. Well, Your Honour, perhaps we'll seek to
7 tender this document at this stage.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Again, what's the relevance? We have quoted into
9 the transcript the passage that you want, the date of the article.
10 MR. METTRAUX: In that case, we won't insist, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
12 MR. METTRAUX:
13 Q. But is that correct, Mr. Bouckaert, that you also could have sent
14 a fax or a letter to the Minister of the Interior once you had returned in
15 New York; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, we could have.
17 Q. And you didn't do it?
18 A. I don't know if we had the fax number for the Minister of
19 Interior -- Ministry.
20 Q. But you didn't seek to find that number, and in fact you never
21 sent a fax and never gave a call to the Ministry; is that correct?
22 A. That's correct, I focused on writing up my findings.
23 Q. And is that correct also that that was again basic Human Rights
24 Watch practice, to contact or proceed to contact authorities upon return
25 from a mission?
1 A. Again, as I think I've stated previously, it's a common practice.
2 It's certainly not a practice that we engage in every case and this was
3 discussed with my superiors, and we decided not to do it in this case.
4 Q. And, again, the reason for it, that you didn't believe that any
5 meaningful information could be provided to you by the Ministry; is that
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. Do you recall, sir, that on the 29th of August, 2001, the Ministry
9 of Interior in fact wrote a letter to Holly Cartner, your superior, I
10 understand, asking you to contact the Ministry; is that something which is
11 within your knowledge?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Is it within your knowledge that the Defence of the co-accused
14 Mr. Tarculovski sent a number of requests to your organisation for
15 information and assistance?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Is that correct, sir, that a large part of your report, in
18 particular as concern Mr. Boskoski, is based on media report or, more
19 precisely, a television broadcast?
20 A. I think that television broadcast has about two lines in the
21 report. It does -- yes, it is mentioned that there was a television
22 broadcast of which we obtained a copy that showed Mr. Boskoski in the
24 Q. Well, perhaps we'll turn then to -- it's P352, it's [inaudible],
25 it's again your report, and I will ask the Registry to turn to page 15 of
1 that report.
2 Sorry, that would be two pages further. That's the 15th page in
3 the report, so that means the 17th page. Yes, thank you, that's the one.
4 If I may ask you to look at the section under the subheading:
5 "The responsibility of the security forces and the role of the
6 Ministry of Interior, Ljube Boskoski." Do you see that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And this section is essentially made of three paragraphs; is that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And the only reference, footnotes or authority given in that
12 section is to an MTV newscast on 12th of August of 2001; is that correct?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Is that also correct, Mr. Bouckaert, that you did not seek to
15 contact the television or the journalist which had prepared that
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. So the evidence or the material upon which you relied in relation
19 to this was, in effect, unverified; is that correct?
20 A. I obtained it from another journalist at MTV.
21 Q. And you didn't query with the person who had done that report
22 whether the content of that material was accurate or not; is that correct?
23 A. We believed it to be accurate.
24 Q. But you did not verify it?
25 A. I think it was rather self-explanatory what the content showed.
1 Q. Is that correct also that you alleged that Mr. Boskoski had been
2 present during the entire operation; is that correct?
3 A. No. We quote the state television newscast as saying that
4 Mr. Boskoski was present during the entire operation, and we say later on
5 that Mr. Boskoski has acknowledged that he was present at Ljuboten on
6 Sunday, but maintains that he arrived at around 4.00 p.m. after the
7 operation was over.
8 Q. And you are aware, sir, of the Macedonian media, not necessarily
9 very reliable; is that something you're aware of?
10 A. Mr. Boskoski himself has never challenged that he was filmed in
11 Ljuboten on that day, as far as I know.
12 Q. I'm just asking you a general question about the reliability of
13 the media or otherwise in Macedonia. Would you agree that they are not
14 always very reliable; is that correct?
15 A. I'm certainly -- it depends on what they're reporting, yes.
16 Q. And is it also correct --
17 A. We were often misrepresented in the official state media.
18 Q. Is that correct that they were prone to distortion or
20 A. In some cases, yes, including in relation to the work of Human
21 Rights Watch.
22 Q. Is that also correct that Human Rights Watch would be very
23 careful, as a matter of policy, only to rely -- first rely very carefully
24 on media and only if you knew those media to be sufficiently reliable; is
25 that correct?
1 A. Given the fact that Mr. Boskoski himself never challenged this
2 footage, we remain of the opinion that there is no question as to the
3 reliability of the newscasts that we relied on in this particular case.
4 Q. But isn't that right that you published the report before
5 Mr. Boskoski was even given a chance to react upon what you wrote in your
6 report? You didn't show him a copy of your report prior to publication;
7 is that correct?
8 A. Mr. Boskoski actually did react to this particular information
9 which was contained in "The Sunday Telegraph" story which he reacted to on
10 television that evening.
11 Q. But just about yourself, Mr. Bouckaert, if I may, you did not send
12 a copy of your report to Mr. Boskoski, prior to publication, asking for
13 his comment; is that correct?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And it's also correct that your organisation would normally not
16 rely upon any media unless those media were, to put it that way, the most
17 reputable and that you would be aware of their work and methodology; is
18 that correct?
19 A. And we evaluate every piece of evidence on an individual basis,
20 and so it's not like we have a standard set of 12 rules that we apply on
21 whether we include evidence or not. The evidence is evaluated based on an
22 individual basis.
23 Q. Well, can we say this, then: Is that correct that your
24 organisation would, in principle, be relatively wary of relying upon media
25 reports if it could not get access to the primary source?
1 A. Are you still talking about the MTV broadcast or have you --
2 Q. I'm speaking of the media in general, Mr. Bouckaert.
3 A. Well, it's very difficult to answer these questions in the
5 Q. Well, let's take the example of Macedonia there. Would it be
6 correct that you would be very careful -- your organisation would be very
7 careful in the Balkans, in general, when relying upon media reports
8 without any corroboration for information released in the media; is that
10 A. Certainly. I have a whole chapter in the report I wrote, "A Week
11 of Terror in Drenica" which about a massacre in Kosovo which talks about
12 the response and the misrepresentations in the official state media of
13 that massacre.
14 Q. So your answer is "yes"; is that correct?
15 A. We are careful about the reliability of all information that we
16 include in our reports.
17 Q. And is that also correct that it's the practice of your
18 organisation to rely, in principle, solely on what you consider to be
19 reputable media outlets?
20 A. Again, I believe I've answered this question over and over again.
21 In principle, we rely on reliable, reputable media outlets, but we
22 evaluate each piece of evidence based on an individual determination of
23 the reliability and the value of the evidence.
24 Q. And was it your position that MTV, the Macedonian Television, was
25 one of those reputable and reliable media outlets?
1 A. It depends what kind of information they're reporting. On issues
2 of abuses against ethnic Albanians, probably not.
3 Q. So your evidence is that they are reliable in part; is that
5 A. Yes. And for us, the fact that the national television had shown
6 a minister in the national government on location with police officers,
7 surrounded by police officers, in Ljuboten village while the sounds of
8 gunfire could be heard on the background did give reliability to this
9 particular piece of evidence.
10 Q. And was it also enough for your organisation to support your
11 statements that Mr. Boskoski had been intimately involved in the operation
12 and that the people who committed the crime had been under his authority?
13 Perhaps I can start with the "intimately involved." Was the press report
14 sufficient for you to make that finding?
15 A. I think our report and our research is sufficient to make that
17 Q. Well, my question is slightly different. My question is whether
18 the report on which you rely, that's the MTV report, was considered by you
19 to be sufficiently reliable to base this finding.
20 A. We believe it was, my organisation believes it was, yes.
21 Q. Thank you. Is that correct, sir, that you did not talk to any
22 member of the Ministry of Interior or any member of the army which had
23 been involved in the events of the 12th of August?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Is it also correct that it's the policy of your organisation, its
1 practice, never to rely upon media reports to make allegations about
2 crimes; is that correct?
3 A. In terms of the investigations we carry out, those are carried out
4 by interviewing eyewitnesses as to what they saw committed, and we would
5 not issue reports based solely on media reports.
6 Q. And is that correct, again, that you would not make an allegation
7 about the commission of a crime by anyone unless -- I mean, based solely
8 on information on media reports; is that correct?
9 A. Certainly, our allegations about Mr. Boskoski are not based solely
10 on media accounts.
11 Q. Well, did you talk -- I've asked you already whether you talked to
12 anyone who had been present in the village at the time. Did you talk to
13 anyone who claimed to have been present with Mr. Boskoski in Ljuboten at
14 the time?
15 A. No, but Mr. Boskoski has never denied being in Ljuboten at the
17 Q. Well, the question perhaps should be better put to you like this:
18 Is that correct that, as I showed you earlier, the part of your report
19 which concerned the alleged responsibility of Mr. Boskoski is based solely
20 on the report from MTV, or is that your evidence that you received any
21 other information or any other evidence which would support your finding
22 that Mr. Boskoski had been intimately involved in the operation?
23 A. There was no evidence for -- available to us to suggest that
24 Mr. Boskoski was not present at Ljuboten on the 12th. He was surrounded
25 by a group of police officers in uniform while the fighting was still
1 taking place, and we found that his presence on August 12th, the day where
2 the most serious abuses in Ljuboten took place, required investigation,
3 and that's our position.
4 Q. So your position, to understand it properly, is the expression
5 "intimately involved" which you used is no more than an expression to
6 point out the fact that Mr. Boskoski had been present in Ljubanci on the
7 12th of August; is that correct?
8 A. In Ljuboten.
9 Q. Well, that's your evidence; yes?
10 A. Yes, but I think it's quite clear that his role was not limited to
11 just being present, that his presence at the scene in Ljuboten on
12 August 12th suggested that he had played a role in the operation and
13 that's what we wanted to have investigated. We had established that
14 crimes were committed in Ljuboten. The evidence available to us indicated
15 that Mr. Boskoski had been present during the operation while, gunfire was
16 still taking place, surrounded by his commandants, so we felt that his
17 role should be investigated. It was a clear indication that he had played
18 a direct role in the Ljuboten operation.
19 Q. So is that correct that you had no evidence of that, you merely
20 assumed it; is that correct, that's what you're saying?
21 A. I think it's a fair assumption based on the evidence that was
22 available to us.
23 Q. And the evidence is a video footage of his presence at Ljuboten;
24 is that correct?
25 A. And we didn't have any contradictory evidence to suggest
1 Mr. Boskoski had not been there. I discussed informally our findings with
2 Mr. Stevo Penarovski who was at the time the security adviser to the
3 President and briefed him on our findings, and he certainly didn't make --
4 show any indication to suggest that Mr. Boskoski had not been there.
5 Q. But he didn't give you any evidence that he had; is that correct?
6 A. No. As I said, he gave us no contradictory evidence to suggest
7 that we -- our concerns were somehow unfounded.
8 Q. Is that correct also that this is not the only occasion when you
9 relied upon press reports to make relatively serious allegations against
10 Mr. Boskoski?
11 A. I'm -- that's a very broad question. I'm -- we did use press
12 accounts to follow Mr. Boskoski's involvement with paramilitary groups,
13 because there was a very difficult issue to investigate, and it was
14 basically the only information which was available to us came from press
16 Q. And you were happy to forward these allegations, these rumours,
17 which you read from the press; is that correct?
18 A. Forward to who?
19 Q. Well, you were content, if I may put it in that way, to propagate
20 those allegations and rumours which you read in the press to other people
21 or other entities; is that correct?
22 A. We never made those kind of allegations in any public way. I do
23 think I referred to them in my statement to this Tribunal.
24 Q. Well, perhaps I'll direct you to your statement in that case. This
25 is now P322, and I would ask the Registry to go to page 4. That's
1 paragraph 16, 1-6.
2 MR. SAXON: Would it be helpful to provide the witness with a copy
3 of his statement?
4 MR. METTRAUX:
5 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, are you able to read it on the screen or would you
6 like --
7 A. No, that's fine.
8 MR. METTRAUX: If it could be enlarged a bit for Mr. Bouckaert,
9 please. That's paragraph 16, 1-6.
10 Q. I'd like to draw your attention, Mr. Bouckaert, to a particular
11 statement which is attributed to you in this statement at the end of the
12 page with the sentence starting: "During the summer months ..." Can you
13 see that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You're recorded as saying:
16 "During the summer months, Mr. Boskoski personally organised an
17 irregular police unit called The Lions."
18 And then you go on to say: "The Lions were personally --"
19 If we can turn to the next page:
20 "The Lions were personally selected by Mr. Boskoski. After the
21 conflict The Lions briefly blockaded roads when Mr. Boskoski's successor
22 as Minister of Interior attempted to disband the unit. During the
23 conflict, it became publicly known that The Lions had employment contracts
24 not with the Ministry of Interior but with Mr. Boskoski directly."
25 Is that an accurate portrayal of what you told the Prosecution?
1 A. Yes. And during my proofing, I actually raised some concerns
2 about the phrasing of this paragraph. I wanted to make it clear that I
3 was relying on press accounts in this case. So I would like, for the
4 record, to say that these -- the allegations in this paragraph are based
5 on the information that we received from the press, both before and after
6 the conflict, yes.
7 Q. And simply for the record, you have indeed corrected your
8 statement, replacing the word "during the conflict" by "after the
9 conflict"; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, but I felt that the paragraph, as written, didn't adequately
11 reflect the fact that it was based on my impression, my following of press
12 accounts, rather than any direct knowledge of myself. So I was concerned
13 about the language of that paragraph.
14 Q. I'm grateful for that clarification, Mr. Bouckaert. Is that
15 correct also that you actually never verified whether there was any truth
16 in those press reports?
17 A. It was a marginal issue of concern to us, because it was more of a
18 security issue rather than a human rights issue. We were concerned about
19 The Lions because of our knowledge of what paramilitary groups like
20 The Lions had done in other countries -- in other conflicts, like Kosovo
21 and Bosnia, but --
22 Q. But with concern back to the statement, Mr. Bouckaert, is that
23 correct that you never sought to verify and that you, in fact, never
24 verified that any of those facts or statements which you gathered from the
25 press were accurate or otherwise?
1 A. I do believe them to be accurate. There certainly was a unit
2 known as The Lions. They appeared often on television. The question was
3 about their relationship to Mr. Boskoski, and as I explained to you, that
4 was a question of marginal importance to us. We were more focused on
5 documenting human rights abuses rather than on documenting that.
6 Q. So is that your evidence, would that be correct to suggest that
7 other than your awareness of the existence of The Lions unit at some
8 stage, you cannot vouch for the accuracy or reliability of the information
9 stated in that paragraph which I've read to you; is that your evidence?
10 A. The information contained in that paragraph is based on my
11 following of the press accounts about Mr. Boskoski's links to The Lions.
12 I do believe those press accounts to be accurate, but I do feel that the
13 paragraph, as written, does not reflect the fact that it is simply my
14 opinion based on my reading of the press accounts, yes, that's correct.
15 MR. METTRAUX: Would it be a convenient time, Your Honour?
16 JUDGE PARKER: Very well, Mr. Mettraux.
17 Could the Chamber indicate that it would be valuable if we could
18 finish this evening between a quarter to and 10 to 7.00. Is that going to
19 produce any --
20 MR. METTRAUX: No, not at all, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE PARKER: -- great problem?
22 Thank you.
23 --- Recess taken at 5.30 p.m.
24 --- Upon commencing at 6.01 p.m.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
1 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you.
2 Q. Mr. Bouckaert, I would simply like to read once again the
3 paragraph from your statement. It's paragraph 16. I will just read it to
4 refresh your memory a bit. This is what you are recorded as saying:
5 "Mr. Boskoski, the Macedonian Minister of Interior played a
6 direct role in creating irregular police unit under his direct command.
7 In the summer months, Mr. Boskoski personally organised an irregular
8 police unit called 'The Lions'. The Lions were personally selected by
9 Mr. Boskoski. After the conflict, The Lions briefly blockaded roads when
10 Mr. Boskoski's successor as Minister of the Interior attempted to disband
11 the unit."
12 Then you've corrected the first word, you now say:
13 "After the conflict it became publicly known that The Lions had
14 employment contracts not with the Ministry of the Interior but with
15 Mr. Boskoski directly."
16 And you've adopted that evidence a short while ago.
17 Now, can I ask you this: Have you ever seen any of the official
18 documentation which related to the creation of setting up of The Lions
20 A. No.
21 Q. Have you ever met with the commander of The Lions unit at any
22 point during your work?
23 A. No.
24 Q. I'd like to turn your attention to a document which is Rule 65 ter
25 1D420, with an ERN 1D00-3764, and the Macedonian version is 3763. The
1 English version would be 1D0 -- yes, thank you very much.
2 If I can draw your attention first to the top left-hand corner,
3 you will see it's a document that comes from the Republic of Macedonia,
4 Ministry of Internal Affairs, and it's dated the 3rd of February, 2003.
5 And if you look at the bottom right-hand corner of that document, it's
6 signed by the Minister of the Interior, Hari Kostov. Can you see that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And if I can draw your attention to the first paragraph of that
9 document, it says this:
10 "Pursuant to Article 55, Item 1 of the law on organisation and
11 work of the bodies of the state administration and with regard to Point
12 10, Item 2 of the Republic of Macedonia Government's decision for
13 transforming the unit for rapid intervention, Lavovi/Lions [phoen] of the
14 Ministry of Internal Affair of 27 January 2003, the Minister of Interior
15 issued," and then there's a text.
16 My first question, briefly, is were you aware that the Lions unit,
17 the official name of The Lions unit, was Unit for Rapid Intervention?
18 A. No, I was not. I only knew them as The Lions.
19 Q. And if you look at the title of that decision, it says: "Decision
20 for terminating the validity of the decision to form rapid intervention
21 police battalion of the Ministry of Interior Affairs." Can you see that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And if you go to the first paragraph below, it says that:
24 "With the entering into force of this decision, the decision to
25 form rapid intervention police battalion of the Ministry of Interior," and
1 then there's a number, it's 16.1-4475 of 6 August 2001, "is being
2 terminated." Can you see that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And that suggests that the rapid intervention police battalion --
5 Battalion of the Ministry was created by the decision with that number.
6 Is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. METTRAUX: Well, Your Honour, at this stage we'll tender this
10 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D88, Your Honours.
12 THE WITNESS: Although the date of August 6th, we certainly were
13 concerned and aware of a unit called The Lions before that date.
14 MR. METTRAUX:
15 Q. Well, let's look at the next document, then. It's Exhibit P74,
16 ERN 042-4682-80-01 in the English, and it's -- yes.
17 First, if I may ask you to look at the top left-hand corner of
18 that document, again you will see it's a document from the Republic of
19 Macedonia, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and it bears the same number and
20 the same date, that's 16.1-4475/1, and the date is 6th August of 2001.
21 Can you see that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And then there's a bulky paragraph which is essentially the legal
24 basis upon which the decision was taken, and it reads like that:
25 "Based on Article 55, paragraph 1, of the Law on the Organisation
1 of and Work of State Administration and Agencies, Item 2 of the decision
2 of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia to establish a unit for
3 special purposes," and then there's a number of decision -- a number
4 mentioned, and it refers to a decision of the President of the Republic of
5 Macedonia to establish a temporary unit for combat against terrorism of
6 classification ADT number 07-54 of 15/06/2001: "The Minister of Internal
7 Affairs brought the following."
8 Can you see that paragraph?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And it says it's a decision to establish a rapid intervention
11 police battalion of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Then if I can ask you to turn to the second page of that document,
14 and ask you in particular to focus on what is numbered as paragraph 4 of
15 that document. It says this:
16 "Filling up the rapid intervention police battalion will be made
17 on a voluntary basis and by assignment from the special police unit of the
18 Ministry of Internal Affairs."
19 Can you see that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. It then goes on to say:
22 "Members of the rapid intervention police battalion from the
23 reserve forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs are employed as
24 full-time employees at the Ministry of Internal Affairs."
25 Can you see that?
1 A. M'mm-hmm, yes.
2 Q. And then it goes on to add:
3 "Members of the rapid intervention police battalions are required
4 to remain in the service for at least three years, starting from the date
5 of assignment to the battalion, that is, from the day the employment
6 agreement is concluded."
7 And then if I may also ask you to look at paragraph 5:
8 "The selection of candidates to fill in the rapid intervention
9 police battalion is performed by a special committee composed of the head
10 of Sector Special Units as the Chairman and to members from the Department
11 of Police."
12 Can you see that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And it's signed by the Minister of Internal Affairs,
15 Ljube Boskoski; is that correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. And you will agree, I hope, that this is in complete contradiction
18 with the press report which we have referred earlier and which you have
19 adopted in your evidence. Is that correct?
20 A. First of all, as I think I've made clear, I'm a human rights
21 investigator not a security expert, and I've also made clear that I'm
22 testifying on the basis of press reports. Due to --
23 Q. I'll just --
24 A. This is certainly not the paramilitary Lions unit that we were
25 concerned about, as a human rights organisation. This document may refer
1 to the formalisation, under international pressure, of some of the those
2 irregular units, but in my opinion the date of this document is
3 inconsistent when we first heard about The Lions and their activities.
4 Q. Well, let me ask you this: This opinion which you've just
5 expressed about a formalisation process, is that again based on press
6 reports, or did you see any particular documents?
7 A. No, it's certainly not based on any legal documents. It's based
8 on us following the press reports.
9 Q. Well, I'll ask you to look at a different document, then. It's
10 Rule 65 ter 222. It's a Defence document, and it has an ERN
11 N000-5388-N000-5404-80. The Macedonian version, Your Honour, will be at
12 N000-5388. Thank you.
13 Sir, this is a list of persons that were employed in the
14 intervention unit -- rapid intervention unit, Lavovi, based on received
15 concurrence, it says, by the Minister of Finance on the 12th of November
16 of 2001, and that is a list that comes from the archives of the Ministry
17 of Interior.
18 Would you agree, sir, that again this document suggests that
19 The Lions unit was, in fact, a formalised police unit of the Ministry of
20 Interior and not some sort of organisation with which Mr. Boskoski had
21 contracts and personal relationships?
22 A. I don't know the providence of this document. I don't even see
23 the date when the document was issued.
24 Q. Well, the date is 12 November 2001. It's at the top.
25 A. Is that the date the document was issued, or is this a review
1 based on the finance documentation that was issued on that date?
2 Q. Well, my --
3 A. Because as I state in my statement, there was a controversy when
4 this unit was disbanded about their employment contracts, and I assume
5 that this document relates to establishing who exactly was in the unit and
6 who was not. So, I mean, it's very difficult for me to testify about
7 documents that -- whose relevance and nature is unclear to me.
8 Q. Well, perhaps to assist you, this is a document that was provided
9 to the Defence by the Office of the Prosecution, and we understand it
10 comes directly from the archives of the Ministry of Interior or the
11 Ministry of Finance. Would that assist you?
12 A. From what I understand is after the end of the war, The Lions unit
13 was disbanded. They blockaded some roads, including the main road leading
14 to Skopje.
15 Q. Let's just stay on the question, Mr. Bouckaert, if I may.
16 Would you agree that this list, again, as with the previous
17 document, suggests that there is, in fact, no merit to the allegations
18 reported in the newspaper in which you have reported in your statement as
19 regard The Lions unit; is that correct?
20 A. I don't see how this document goes to the allegation.
21 Q. Well --
22 A. There was a controversy about the nature of their employment
23 contracts, from what I understand from the press, and I'm sure the
24 government made an attempt to resolve that conflict and to reopen the
25 road. And from what I understand from what this document looks like, is a
1 document listing the final people who had membership in this unit and who
2 required -- who received required compensation so the roads to Kosovo
3 would be reopened.
4 Q. That's not exactly my question, Mr. Bouckaert. In your statement,
5 you claim that after the conflict it became publicly known that The Lions
6 had employment contracts not with the Ministry of Interior but with
7 Mr. Boskoski directly. Is that what you told the Prosecution?
8 A. Yes, and as I've made clear in my prior testimony, I did raise the
9 categorical language of this paragraph. It was the only paragraph that I
10 discussed with the Prosecutor that I had problems with, because it did not
11 reflect that this was my opinion based on press reports.
12 As I've said, from my understanding based on those press reports,
13 the controversy when The Lions unit was disbanded was between claims that
14 they had contracts with the Ministry of Interior or directly with
15 Boskoski, and I see this document as probably finalising an agreement
16 listing who was in this unit and who would receive compensation. So I
17 don't see it inconsistent with my statement, but perhaps, because as I
18 said, I don't have a security expertise, I'm misunderstanding the nature
19 of the document.
20 Q. Well, perhaps we'll try to stick to your understanding of this
21 matter, Mr. Bouckaert, and I'll ask that the witness be shown 65 ter
22 1D419. And it's ERN 1D00-3761.
23 And I'll just ask you to focus again perhaps on the top left-hand
24 corner of the document. At the time it's written: "Public of Macedonia,
25 Ministry of Interior Affairs." It has a number and it's dated 22nd of
1 August of 2002. Can you see that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And there's a big subheader in the middle of the document which
4 says: "Employment Agreement." Can you see that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And if you look at the first paragraph of that document, it says
7 the following:
8 "Pursuant to Article 14 of the Law for Employment Relations
9 Official Gazette and Article 12 of the Collective Agreement of the MOI,
10 again Official Gazette, the employer, the Ministry of Interior Affairs of
11 the Republic of Macedonia, represented by the Minister of Interior Affairs
12 and the employee Nikola Strajapolos [phoen], a citizen of the Republic of
13 Macedonia from Tetovo," with address and so on,"made the following ..."
14 And then it says "Employment agreements." Can you see that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And if you can look at the third paragraph, it says:
17 "The employee establishes an employment relationship for
18 employment as a police officer at the unit for fast intervention - Lions,
19 in the Department for Police at the MOI of Republic of Macedonia."
20 Can you see that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And then if you can look at paragraph 5 of that document, it says:
23 "The employee accept the responsibilities which are
24 determined by the Law on Employment Relations, the Law on Internal
25 Affairs, the Law for Organisation and Work of the Bodies of the State
1 Authority, the collective agreement, and the acts of the employer, and the
2 separate rights and duties established by the resolution for forming of a
3 police unit for fast intervention - Lion of 6 August 2001, and the rule
4 book for the conditions and the procedure for assigning the rights and
5 duties for members of the unit for fast intervention of the MOI."
6 Can you see that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that would suggest, doesn't it, that the contracts between
9 members of The Lions unit and the other party was, in fact, with the
10 Ministry of Interior directly; is that correct?
11 A. At the time that this employment contract in August 2002 was
12 issued, that would be correct.
13 MR. METTRAUX: Well, Your Honour, perhaps we would tender this
15 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D89, Your Honours.
17 MR. METTRAUX:
18 Q. And perhaps I will read out to you the evidence of another witness
19 who's testified before this Tribunal. It's Witness M-56, Your Honour, who
20 testified on the 18th of June of 2007. It's at page 2203 to 2204.
21 The witness, Mr. Bouckaert, was asked the following:
22 "Bearing in mind that part of the policemen who are members of
23 the unit Posivna [phoen] already employed with this decision, also it has
24 been determined that one portion of the reserve that will become part of
25 the rapid intervention battalion will be hired, that is to say, employed
1 at the Ministry; is that correct?"
2 "Yes, that's correct."
3 And then the witness was asked:
4 "And if somebody would say before this court that the members of
5 these battalions have been employed or reached the employment directly
6 with the Minister, would not be correct, because the decision clearly says
7 that they are going to be employed by the Ministry of Interior; is that
9 The witness said:
10 "Yes, that's correct:
11 So you would agree, sir, that this evidence would be directly
12 contradicting the press report in any case on which you based your
14 A. As I think as I made very clear in my testimony, we understood
15 that a group called The Lions existed before the establishment of this
16 unit, and this may have been an attempt to regularise this unit which had
17 been formed before, but I don't see it as contradictory to my testimony.
18 Q. But, sir, do you have any evidence of the suggestion which you are
19 now making, that this is merely an attempt to regularise the situation, or
20 is it something that you are simply assuming or claiming?
21 A. Well, I base it on the fact that this unit was established on
22 August 6th, 2001, and we certainly had press reports showing the existence
23 of a unit called The Lions talking about their demonstrations and their
24 actions long before then.
25 Q. But it is not your evidence, sir, that the members of the first
1 unit and the members of the police unit at the time were the same people,
2 or is that what you are claiming today?
3 A. No, I'm just saying that before this order was issued, there
4 already was some kind of formation called The Lions which was of great
5 concern to us.
6 Q. And, again, simply to clarify the point fully, those contracts
7 which you claim Mr. Boskoski had with a different Lion outfit, you never
8 see -- you never saw any of those; is that correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. You've also made a statement in your report of 5 September of 2001
11 to the effect that Mr. Boskoski was openly hostile to international actors
12 in Macedonia including Western media, NATO, and the OSCE. Do you recall
13 making that statement?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You also said that Mr. Boskoski was an ultra-nationalist. Is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you also made a statement that there was a risk that in such
19 climate, nationalist government officials such as Minister Boskoski could
20 use threat of public incitement against the OSCE; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, as I had seen during the riots in Skopje during June
22 following the evacuation of NLA fighters by NATO forces.
23 Q. And before making that claim, sir, did you contact the high
24 officials of the OSCE to verify whether that was their impression or their
25 view that there was such a risk from Mr. Boskoski?
1 A. I'm sure they would have denied it, and in their public statements
2 they spoke about -- they certainly never mentioned such tensions.
3 Q. Well, are you saying you're sure that they would deny it. Did you
4 talk to any of those officials which claim that they were afraid of
5 Mr. Boskoski's threats?
6 A. I never spoke to Ambassador Ungaro about it, no.
7 Q. Did you speak to Mr. Seford, his deputy?
8 A. No.
9 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness please be shown Exhibit 1D38?
10 It's an exhibit.
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters ask you to observe the pauses
12 between questions and answers.
13 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you.
14 Q. Sir, this is the translation of a letter. The English for you is
15 on the left. It's a translation of a letter actually sent in Macedonian,
16 and it's sent to Mr. Ljube Boskoski, Minister of Interior, and it comes
17 from the deputy head of the OSCE mission in Skopje, Mr. Robin Seford.
18 I'd like to draw your attention to first the date, 14th of June,
19 2001, and to the first paragraph of this letter. It says:
20 "Please allow me to express my deepest personal gratitude and
21 respect and that of the OSCE mission for the exceptional level of
22 understanding, cooperation, readiness and efficiency which you and all the
23 members of your valued Ministry have always demonstrated during our mutual
24 contact. The permits given by the Ministry of the Interior of the
25 Republic of Macedonia to our personnel, international and local, are of
1 critical importance for the work and functioning of the office of the OSCE
2 mission in the Republic of Macedonia in accordance with our mandate."
3 You will agree, I hope, Mr. Bouckaert, that this does not suggest
4 the thought of threats or concern which you expressed in your report; is
5 that right?
6 A. It reflects the usual diplomatic language which is used in such
8 Q. Well, are you able to state before this Trial Chamber, then, that
9 you know that Mr. Seford was being merely diplomatic or was that just your
11 A. That was my opinion.
12 Q. Is it also correct, sir, that a great part of your reports and
13 many of your findings in your report are based solely on press reports; is
14 that correct?
15 A. That's not correct.
16 Q. Well, would it be correct to say a third and a quarter of all
17 references in your reports are to press reports and media outlets; would
18 that be correct?
19 A. Just because we cite a lot of media reports to support certain
20 statements in our report does not mean that it's based, in your words,
21 that many of our findings are based solely on press reports, no. The
22 findings as to the crimes that were committed in Ljuboten are based on our
23 interviews, on our visit to Ljuboten, and our discussions with various
24 other observers.
25 Q. Well, let's just stick with my question, if you may for a second.
1 Is that correct that approximately one-third to one-quarter of your
2 references, and that would be approximately 20 footnotes of about 70, were
3 to press reports or media outlets? Is that correct?
4 A. Yes, and almost all of those are focused on our discussion of the
5 role of the OSCE and other issues, not our own investigation into the
6 events in Ljuboten on August 10th to 12th.
7 Q. Well, isn't that the case that the only reference you make to the
8 presence of Mr. Boskoski in the area at the time, as discussed earlier, is
9 to a media report to that effect and a video?
10 A. I think we've gone over this in great detail.
11 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, this has been asked and answered
13 JUDGE PARKER: It is reaching that point, Mr. Mettraux. Have
14 you got any further specific --
15 MR. METTRAUX: I'll will move on this point, Your Honour.
16 Q. Is that correct, Mr. Bouckaert, that all of your findings
17 concerning the events of Ljubotenski Bacila, which in your view were the
18 cause or the lead-up to what happened in Ljuboten, solely based on media
20 A. We do not say that this is the cause of what happened in Ljuboten.
21 The incident of what happened prior to the attack on Ljuboten is based on
22 information from the official state media, yes, of the official Macedonian
23 information agency, I should say.
24 Q. But is that correct that you make the claim in your reports, and I
25 believe also in a number of media reports, that the incident of Ljuboten
1 was in revenge for what had happened in Ljubotenski Bacila; is that the
2 finding you've made?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And is that correct that your finding in relation to what happened
5 in Ljubotenski Bacila are based solely on media reports?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is it also correct that the claim that you make of an attack on
8 the Ljubotens police -- Ljubotenski police station by the NLA on 12th of
9 August 2001 is also based solely on media reports?
10 A. Well, they're based on information from the Macedonia Information
11 Agency, which is a state news agency, so we saw them as official releases
12 from the government to that extent.
13 Q. And again am I correct to understand that you did not seek to
14 verify either this matter or the matter which related to the Ljubotenski
15 Bacila incident?
16 A. You're talking about the mine explosion?
17 Q. That's correct.
18 A. Yes, because we didn't feel the facts related to this incident
19 were in dispute.
20 Q. In your statement, you've indicated to the Prosecution that you
21 believed that Mr. Boskoski had called up a significant number of
22 reservists to supplement, I believe is the expression, the regular police.
23 Do you remember that?
24 A. There had been a call-up of reservists, yes.
25 Q. And it is your evidence that this call-up was made by
1 Mr. Boskoski; is that correct?
2 A. That's what I believe, yes.
3 Q. And was that belief based again on press reports?
4 A. It was based on my general monitoring of the situation at the
5 time. There certainly was a call-up of reservists at the time.
6 Q. And what you refer to by "my general monitoring," would that be
7 monitoring -- and I'm referring to what you say was a call-up made by
8 Mr. Boskoski, this information you received from the press; is that
10 A. No, I don't recall exactly, but we attended a variety of meetings
11 with other monitors on a regular basis. We monitored the press. We
12 stayed in close contact with a variety of journalists and diplomats and
13 other observers. So it will be based on a combination of those sources.
14 Q. And do you have any knowledge or awareness of the laws and
15 regulations which apply to this matter, to the calling of reservists from
16 the police?
17 A. Not directly. I mean, the only point which was of interest to us
18 is that reservists had been called up and were participating in some of
19 these operations and that there were concerns about discipline among those
21 Q. And are you aware of the fact that the call-up of police
22 reservists was made at the request or at the behest of the Prime Minister
23 or the President? At any stage, did you become aware of that fact?
24 A. I think that's quite possible.
25 Q. Well, there's a particular document that I would like to show you,
1 Your Honour, but at the discretion of the Chamber, if the Chamber wants to
2 continue for another five minutes.
3 Thank you.
4 It's Rule 65 ter 1D439.1, and it has an ERN of 1D00-4038. And the
5 Macedonian equivalent would be 1D00-4035.
6 Sir, this is essentially a summary of press releases and press
7 reports which were prepared within the Ministry of Interior at the time.
8 It's dated 29th of June, it should be the 29th, it's the 29th of June,
9 2001, and if I can draw your attention to the second paragraph, which
10 starts with the words: "Demobilisation."
11 Can you see that? It's in the middle of the page. Can you see
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. It says:
15 "Demobilisation of the reserve composition. The Ministry of
16 Interior Affairs, Ljube Boskoski, at the press conference stated, the
17 members of the reserve composition of the Republic of Macedonia will be
18 demobilised and withdrawn from the check-points around Skopje, with the
19 aim of allowing politicians to continue with the peaceful solving of the
20 problem. They will again be engaged when the President will determine
21 that they are needed for defending the country. I am doing this because
22 of the series of accusations by the opposition and by the Social
23 Democratic Union of Macedonia directed at me that I'm being radical, that
24 I'm for war, that I want to conduct a police upheaval, that I am for
25 mobilisation of the reserve composition of the police, according to party
1 criteria, and that I am 'stopping' the realisation of President
2 Trajkovski's plan for peaceful resolution of the crisis."
3 And then the next paragraph say:
4 "I deny all of the accusations and categorically claim that am
5 for peace in this region, but for rightful peace. I personally think that
6 there is no single reason for me to defend myself from the accusations
7 according to which the MOI and the Minister are responsible, also for the
8 events that occurred in front of the Macedonian Parliament, because at
9 that moment I was the only person who stood before the Macedonian people
10 and tried to calm the gathered crowd of people."
11 Can you see that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And I'll just ask the Registry to show the next document which
14 relates to the present one. It's Rule 65 ter 1D439.2 with an
15 ERN 1D00-4042 in the English and 4040 in the Macedonian. It would be the
16 next page in the Macedonian version, please.
17 Mr. Bouckaert, I'll ask you to look at the last of the three
18 sections of that document. As you can see, it's dated the 13th of June,
19 so that's the next day.
20 And if it could be enlarged a bit for Mr. Bouckaert, please.
21 It says the following:
22 "The police reservists are returning to the check-points. The
23 Ministry of Interior Affairs withdrew the decision for demobilisation of
24 the police reserve composition and ordered remobilisation which will be
25 processed selectively. The remobilisation of the police reserve
1 composition is conducted upon a request of the commander-in-chief of the
2 Macedonian armed forces, Boris Trajkovski, due to the actual security
3 situation in the country."
4 Were you aware of that information, Mr. Bouckaert, at the time?
5 A. Not at the time.
6 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, we'll seek to tender these two
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, they will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter 1D439.1 will become Exhibit 1D90, and 65
10 ter 1D439.2 will become Exhibit 1D91, Your Honours.
11 MR. METTRAUX: Would that be a convenient time, Your Honour?
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Mettraux.
13 Mr. Saxon.
14 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I have a matter of scheduling that I must
15 raise, and since I cannot speak directly with the witness, I may
16 respectfully ask the Chamber to consider whether it needs to communicate
17 with Mr. Bouckaert.
18 Before this session began, counsel for Mr. Boskoski told me that
19 it's very possible that my colleague will take the entire day -- the
20 entire court day tomorrow with continued cross-examination. That would
21 leave Thursday -- part of Thursday for perhaps additional
22 cross-examination by Mr. Apostolski and some redirect examination by the
24 It's my understanding that this witness is presently scheduled to
25 fly back to his current place of work and residence on Thursday, and I
1 simply don't know whether the passage of time is going to effect this
2 witness or his ability to remain here through Thursday and perhaps not
3 until Friday.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Let me start with you, Mr. Mettraux. Your time
6 MR. METTRAUX: Well, Your Honour, first we would like to indicate
7 that we would, as far as possible, try to arrange it for the witness as
8 well and that we will seek to be as short as possible. Mr. Saxon is
9 correct, we believe we will need certainly the entire day of tomorrow and
10 possibly another session of the day after. We will try to, during the
11 evening and tomorrow morning, to shorten the cross-examination, the
12 further cross-examination.
13 I would simply point out, Your Honour, if I may, that in effect
14 the cross-examination is a cross-examination of evidence which is at least
15 the equivalent of four days of court time, as a minimum, since
16 Mr. Bouckaert was interviewed, I understand, for three days by the
17 Prosecution and that he was examined in chief or partly in chief for a day
18 and a bit, simply to indicate that we will try to be as quick as we can
19 also for the witness and for the rest of the scheduling. This is our
20 estimate at this stage, perhaps one day and one session.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.
22 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I support what my
23 colleague Mettraux just said, and I would also like to inform the Court
24 that this evening we will have a meeting with our colleagues from the
25 Defence of Mr. Boskoski. Therefore, jointly we can make this as short as
1 possible, the cross-examination, to make it as short as possible.
2 JUDGE PARKER: That's not a very helpful estimate, Mr. Apostolski.
3 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I know this.
4 However, I believe that in the course of tomorrow and the first break in
5 the course of tomorrow would perhaps be a more probable time to say, if my
6 colleague Mettraux finishes by tomorrow.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
8 Mr. Bouckaert, your travel commitments, can they accommodate being
9 here on Thursday?
10 THE WITNESS: I believe I'm scheduled to fly out on Thursday
11 evening, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Do you know at what time?
13 THE WITNESS: I think the flight leaves at about 8.00 or 9.00
14 p.m., but I can confirm that. So --
15 JUDGE PARKER: Because we are scheduled to sit from 2.15 to 7.00
16 on Thursday.
17 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I believe in order to catch that
18 flight, I would probably have to finish sometime before the final session
19 on Thursday, but if the Defence needs me, I will change my travel plans,
20 of course.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Well, Mr. Bouckaert, we're grateful for your
22 position and attitude in the matter. It takes the pressure off the
23 immediate problem, but not the general problem.
24 We have two days allowed for this witness. He's going to run four
25 to five days, which is exactly the problem we had with Mr. Hutsch at the
1 end of last week. It's simply going to have to speed up. People will
2 have to be more selective of what is material and more quick in dealing
3 with it. And to that end, Mr. Mettraux, we would encourage you to do all
4 that is possible to finish by the end of tomorrow. And with that then
5 done, Mr. Apostolski and Mr. Saxon may be able to finish in time to allow
6 Mr. Bouckaert to catch his scheduled flight, and we'll see by the end of
7 tomorrow whether that can be achieved on Thursday.
8 So if all counsel will be aware that the Chamber has indicated at
9 the end of last week that it's going to have to become more positive in
10 its time allowances, because we can't just let this pattern continue to
11 develop of far longer times spent with each witness. But for the moment,
12 Mr. Mettraux, we'd be grateful for you, over the evening, to do all that
13 can be done.
14 MR. METTRAUX: It will be done, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
16 That leaves you at a state of some uncertainty, Mr. Bouckaert.
17 You may be able to explore the possibility of getting a tentative booking
18 or something like that, but what can be done will be done to get you free
19 by about 6.00 on Thursday.
20 THE WITNESS: I appreciate that, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE PARKER: We will now adjourn and we resume tomorrow at 2.15.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
23 6.50 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
24 the 4th day of July, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.