1 Friday, 2 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bezruchenko, the affirmation you made still
8 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honours. I understand that.
9 JUDGE PARKER: It may even be that I don't need to remind you of
10 that anymore after today. Let us see.
11 Mr. Apostolski.
12 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
13 WITNESS: VIKTOR BEZRUCHENKO [Resumed]
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Apostolski: [Continued]
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, witness, Mr. Bezruchenko.
16 A. Good morning, sir.
17 Q. Let me ask you, among the documents you reviewed when preparing
18 your report, could you answer whether you had learned that the NLA had
19 military barracks?
20 A. I don't think so. And I think I indicated clearly that they
21 didn't have any barracks.
22 Q. Yesterday, in page 49 of the unofficial transcript, you stated
23 that you have seen -- I apologise, 48th page. You stated that you had
24 seen an order issued by Ali Ahmeti quoting some of the regulations that we
25 reviewed yesterday. Do you recall that?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we please look at 65 ter
3 212, R062-6938.
4 Q. Is that this document? Do you see it in front of you on the
6 A. Just a moment, sir. I have to check the ERN number.
7 Yes, I think this is the document.
8 Q. Do you see whether this document is referring to some regulations,
9 in the upper part?
10 A. That's right. If you read the very first paragraph you will see
11 the following:
12 "On the basis of past experience, and to reorganise the National
13 Liberation Army, thereby applying more concrete measures and activities in
14 a uniform manner, I hereby order as follows."
15 And I think the cover page of this document also has the type
16 written signature of Ali Ahmeti. It is typed-signed.
17 Q. But is it correct that it does not refer to any regulation, no
19 A. I think the very next line under number 1, says: "Lodgings and
21 Q. But when issuing the order, has he invoked any document. As far
22 as I understand this text, Mr. Ali Ahmeti has issued the following orders.
23 Issuing those orders he is not invoking, referring to any regulation. Is
24 that correct?
25 A. I don't quite understand what you really mean, sir. Well, it
1 really depends on the type of the document. It really depends on the type
2 of the regulation. I mean, there is not really an express requirement
3 there each specific case to refer to any particular regulation.
4 Q. But you testified yesterday that in this document he referred to
5 some regulation. Is that correct?
6 A. Well, perhaps this is misunderstanding. But I think when we were
7 discussing this issue yesterday, I said that I saw a document signed by
8 Mr. Ali Ahmeti. This is the document I was referring to, and this is in
9 fact the order. I think we were discussing orders.
10 Q. Do you see a date on this document, the date when it was issued?
11 A. Maybe we could go to the cover page. But I don't think it
12 probably has the date.
13 Q. So are you saying that there is no date on this document?
14 A. As far as I can see, no.
15 Q. Very well. Thank you.
16 Let me ask you once again: Have you seen an order referring to
17 the regulations that we reviewed yesterday?
18 A. I don't quite understand what you mean, sir.
19 Q. When working on your report, have you seen any order referring to
20 the rules that we reviewed yesterday?
21 A. Referring, you mean, directly -- referring in sense of mentioning
23 Q. Yes, that's the order was issued on the basis of those
25 A. I think I have -- I have seen.
1 Q. Could you indicate which order was that?
2 A. In fact, this is 65 ter 159, the map with the brief explanatory
3 note which is entitled as: Concept of Operations. And if you read
4 carefully this note, particularly paragraph referring to raising the
5 brigades it would read as -- if I recall correctly, I don't have the
6 document in front of me, but I can pull it out, it says: To continue
7 raising brigades in accordance with established formation. Which clearly
8 indicates to me that these brigades were raised on the basis of the
9 formations, that is those documents, which we had previously discussed,
10 related to brigade and battalion formation.
11 Q. Very well. We will review that document a bit later. But this
12 order that you see now in front of you, is it correct that it refers to
13 barracks. It is dealing with barracks. Is that correct?
14 A. I think this entire document - and this is in fact, I think, a
15 quite lengthy document - essentially deals with issue of internal
16 regulations, which would include a wide variety of various issues
17 pertaining to the daily routines and everyday life regulations in the
18 army, including the barracks, of course.
19 Q. Very well. Thank you.
20 But at any rate, the first page, the one that you see in front of
21 you, contains provisions on lodging, and it details the barracks, the
22 premises within the barracks. Then the following three pages -- I
23 apologise. The following five pages deal with that issue?
24 A. I think this document is a part, as I mentioned of a larger
25 document well, if these are the pages which have been translated, perhaps,
1 I think there is, in fact, a number of pages that have been translated at
2 a later stage. Maybe the translation was a little bit late, but I'm
3 pretty certain that this is fact a part of a larger document.
4 Q. Very well. Thank you.
5 I will go back to the issues that we ended with yesterday. We
6 spoke about the territory under the control of NLA. Do you recall that?
7 A. Yes, sir, I recall that.
8 Q. You stated that it was predominantly villages that were under the
9 NLA control. Is that correct?
10 A. I don't really think I said that. What I said that -- according
11 to the documents which I reviewed, and specifically the report of the
12 Ministry of Interior for 2001, the NLA occupied about 20 per cent of the
13 Macedonia territory. Predominantly north and west of the country. And
14 many of the villages, of course, were occupied.
15 Q. But you testified yesterday that the NLA had no city under its
16 control. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes. I don't think that the NLA really controlled, in full, any
18 city, but it is equally clear from the documents that the city of Kumanovo
19 was in fact very close, very close, to being controlled by the NLA. In
20 fact, there was almost street-fighting going on there.
21 Q. But can you agree with me now that actually the NLA had under its
22 control just villages.
23 A. Yes, this is true.
24 Q. Were those villages populated by ethnic Albanians?
25 A. Yes, mostly.
1 Q. Is it correct that the NLA enjoyed the support of the Albanian
3 A. This is the view which is correct. I think that the NLA indeed
4 had pretty strong support of the local Albanian population, and, in fact,
5 raising an army of about 8.000 men without such support would be simply an
6 impossible and a hopeless undertaking.
7 Q. In your opinion, ONA enjoyed the support of the political parties
8 of the Albanians as well. Is that correct?
9 A. I was not specifically looking in this aspect of the conflict,
10 since the political aspect of the conflict is pretty remote from the
11 original goals which I set in my report, but it would appear to me that
12 there was a great deal of sympathy for the NLA on the part of the ethnic
13 Albanian parties.
14 Q. It was the PDP and the DPA those are the Macedonian abbreviations
15 of the political parties of Albanians that existed in Macedonia in 2001.
16 Is that correct?
17 A. If you are referring to the democratic party of Albanians and
18 democratic party of prosperity, this is correct.
19 Q. Yes, I was referring to those, thank you.
20 When you are saying that the villages were under the NLA control,
21 do you thereby mean control of a military aspect?
22 A. I think at the very basic level, the control or village would
23 mean, in fact, that there was no presence of the Macedonian security
24 forces there, and there was no presence of the Macedonian authorities,
25 government authorities there.
1 Q. And what about the presence of the local authorities, the elected
2 local officials that were elected in the -- in 2000?
3 A. Well, I do not know, obviously. I could not really look into the
4 issue of presence of local authorities in each and every specific village.
5 But coming back again to the issue of the territorial control, I would say
6 that a lot of sources suggest that numerous villages, perhaps running into
7 hundreds, were in fact under NLA control.
8 Q. Did the political control of the villages belong to the NLA?
9 A. As I mentioned, I did not really look into the political aspect of
10 this conflict. This is an entirely different matter and would require an
11 entirely different methodology and entirely different type of analysis.
12 This is political analysis which would have to deal with the political
13 problems of various political parties. The fundamental political issues,
14 the popular support, analysis of the elections, and so on and so forth.
15 But this was not my purpose.
16 Q. But considering that you testified a moment ago that the NLA
17 enjoyed the support of both ethnic Albanian population as well as the
18 parties PDP and DPA, can it be inferred that the PDP and DPA held the
19 political authority over the Albanian villages?
20 A. Well, this is something that really needs more analysis, I think.
21 And of course it is really impossible for me to make a sweeping statement
22 like this. I simply cannot tell you whether this is the case or not.
23 Q. And I would like to ask you as a military analyst now this: Is it
24 justified from a military aspect to conquer a village that is under the
25 control of people who are supporting you?
1 A. Sir, I do not really understand what you mean. It seems that you
2 are indicating some moral aspects of internal politics in Macedonia, but I
3 don't really think it has something to do with military aspects.
4 Q. I'm asking you as a military expert because you are a military
5 analyst. Is there a justification from the military aspect to conquer, to
6 take over the village that is under the control of the people who are your
8 A. Well, first of all I do not quite understand what you mean
9 by "conquer." If you mean to occupy or as to place it under control, I
10 think that in military terms there are numerous instances in the history
11 of warfare when, actually, the powers in times of a conflict were
12 transferred or taken over from civilian by military authorities.
13 For example, the history of war in Bosnia, for that matter, is
14 just full of such instances.
15 Q. Very well. When preparing the part of your report when you are
16 alleging which per cent of the Republic of Macedonia was under the NLA
17 control, you are referring to the instruction and the map received from
18 your sources, ethnic Albanians, as you call them. Is that correct?
19 A. In fact, in making this estimate, I relied on a number of sources,
20 including the Macedonian government source, which I think even more
21 illustrative in this sense.
22 Q. But my question is: Did you quote that source? I was reading
23 your report and I know what other sources that you were quoting from, so
24 I'm asking you now about this specific one.
25 A. Which one? You mean the map --
1 Q. The instruction on the map received from sources ethnic Albanians.
2 A. You mean the concept of operations which was signed by Ali Ahmeti?
3 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown P487,
4 please, which has been admitted in evidence.
5 Q. This is the map that you are referring to?
6 A. Yes, I used this map, along with other sources.
7 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the map be closed, please.
8 Q. You support the opinion that this map is a truthful one and
9 reflects the situation in Macedonia in 2001?
10 A. I think this is a little bit of an exaggeration. What I'm
11 suggesting is that my analysis and the numbers, in terms of percentage,
12 which I quote in my report, is based on a number of sources. I didn't
13 really say in my report that I absolutely trust this map. And, in fact,
14 in any warfare, the situation regarding the control of territory,
15 including control of certain villages, for example, could be due to the
16 ongoing operations extremely volatile. There are some situations, for
17 example, that, say, a village which was considered to be in the hands of
18 the friendly forces only a few hours ago would, in fact, be taken over by
19 the opposing forces just in the last few hours.
20 Well, at least for this reason I cannot really trust this map
21 completely, but I would say that by and large, essentially I tend to agree
22 that this map represents the true situation on the ground at least as far
23 as the main geographic areas of Macedonia are concerned.
24 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown
25 exhibit P466, page 48 in the English version, and page 53 in the
1 Macedonian version.
2 This is paragraph 165. I think we should scroll backwards. We
3 should go three pages back, I think.
4 Could the English version be turned three pages back so we can see
5 paragraph 165.
6 Q. Do you see -- you now see paragraph 165 of your report. It
8 "The analysis of the chronology of the conflict suggests that the
9 NLA operations in July and August 2001 were conducted along the lines of
10 the directive. Despite the fact that not every objective set out in the
11 directive was actually carried out between the time the directive was
12 apparently released and the end of the conflict the NLA made significant
13 gains pushing south from Tetovo and south-east from Kumanovo."
14 So in this paragraph you refer to a directive and your conclusion
15 is that the NLA succeeded in gaining huge benefits, pushing south from
16 Tetovo and south-east from Kumanovo?
17 A. I don't really understand what you mean by "huge benefits," sir.
18 What I'm say something that there are numerous reports suggesting that in
19 June, July, and August 2001 the NLA was still on the offensive and was in
20 fact occupying more and more territories.
21 Of course, the fighting was concentrated mainly in the area of
22 Tetovo, both north and south of Tetovo, and also south-east from Kumanovo.
23 On --
24 Q. But you claim that the NLA made significant gains pushing south
25 from Tetovo and south-east from Kumanovo. That means that the NLA managed
1 to go south of Tetovo and south-east from Kumanovo. Have I understood it
3 A. Well, I could specify this, perhaps.
4 Q. Please answer with yes or no, whether I have understood it well.
5 A. Yes, NLA was pushing south of Tetovo. And I think by August,
6 mid-August in fact, there were many villages which were put under control
7 along the road between Tetovo and Jezince, as well as some villages south
8 of Tetovo, particularly in the area of Marvovo, Marvovo lake, which is
9 south of Tetovo as well as some villages in the area of Gostivar which is
10 again south of Tetovo, and the NLA was also pushing in south-west and
11 south-east of Kumanovo. I think there was a lot of fighting both in
12 south-west and south-east of Kumanovo, which is obvious from a number of
13 documents, but I think the NLA probably did not really succeed in pushing
14 very hard towards Skopje.
15 Q. But they managed to take over territories east of Kumanovo.
16 A. East of Kumanovo, yes. Mostly Skopska Crna Gora area. Sorry, not
17 east, west. Skopska Crna Gora area is west of Kumanovo.
18 Q. But in your report you say south-east from Kumanovo. Am I seeing
19 it right?
20 A. It says south-east, yes. But actually it could be south-east, it
21 also could be south-west. General direction was south.
22 Q. Very well.
23 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown P487.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters' intervention, the exhibit number
25 is P487.
1 Q. Could -- do you recognise this map. This is the directive. Is
2 that correct?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. And based on this directive, you wrote paragraph 165, that you --
5 that I asked you about before and you referred to it, right?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the upper part of the map
8 be enlarged, please. Could you enlarge it a little bit more? Thank you.
9 Q. Do you see the city of Kumanovo here?
10 A. Yes, here it is.
11 Q. Could you put the number 1 next to the city of Kumanovo.
12 A. Here.
13 Q. It's not visible. It is not visible again. Could you put number
14 1 next to it, please.
15 A. I have underlined the name of Kumanovo on this map and also put a
16 dot here. It's number 1.
17 Q. Very well, thank you.
18 Could you please mark with X what part south-east of Kumanovo was
19 occupied by the NLA?
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, the NLA penetrated in.
21 A. South-east of Kumanovo. Well, you can see this arrow here. I
22 mark it as number 2.
23 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
24 Q. That is the north.
25 A. It's north, but the direction is south. To be more precise, the
1 direction is south-east.
2 Q. In your report you say that the NLA penetrated south from Tetovo
3 and south-east from Kumanovo. Could you indicate the territory south-east
4 of Kumanovo where NLA penetrated?
5 A. Well, I don't think this is something I could do on this map
6 because apparently even a small gain of a territory would require a more
7 accurate map than this one, and --
8 Q. But you claimed that this is a military map used by the NLA.
9 A. This is the map which was used by the NLA, that's right. But --
10 Q. And you claimed that this map was made by a professional and it is
11 a very accurate one.
12 A. It seems to be made on the professional basis, at least there are
13 military symbols which are professional military symbols on this map.
14 Q. I ask you once again: Could you then mark where is south-east
15 from Kumanovo and just to mark it with a line. Just take Kumanovo as a
16 reference and then draw a line where south-east is.
17 A. I think what I mentioned in my report was that in fact NLA was
18 pushing south from Tetovo and south-east from Kumanovo. And if you look
19 again at the area around Kumanovo, you will see that there is an arrow
20 which I marked as number 2, which indeed originates from the area close to
21 the border, north of Kumanovo and pointed in direction of south-east of
23 I don't really think there is any contradiction in my report in
24 this sense. If you are specifically referring which particular gains were
25 made in this particular area, as I mentioned previously, for this reason
1 we have to use another map. But I would imagine that some gains in this
2 area were made.
3 Q. So is it your testimony that territories south-east from Kumanovo
4 were occupied. Is that correct?
5 A. I'm not saying that. I said there were gains made, probably made
6 in the area south-east of Kumanovo. But also south-west.
7 If you see this area here, in fact --
8 Q. I'm not interested about south-west, Witness. Could you mark
9 south-east on the map. Do you want me to read paragraph 165 of your
10 report once again?
11 A. If you wish, sir, but I think I already answered your question,
12 saying that they were pushing south-east and south-west of Kumanovo. And,
13 again, if you really want me to show any particular gains that apparently
14 were made, or in this area, I simply cannot do it because this is not
15 entirely the appropriate map for this purpose.
16 And, secondly, I don't really think that I have extremely specific
17 knowledge of any locations which had been taken over by the NLA in this
18 particular area. It really requires very specific knowledge.
19 Q. I will read paragraph 165 once again. "The analysis of the
20 chronology of the conflict suggests that the operations of the NLA in July
21 and August 2001 were laid in accordance with the directive. Beside the
22 fact that all the goals set forth in the past were not --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel please slow down. It is
24 impossible to interpret in this pace.
25 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
1 Q. The NLA managed to gain significant benefit, to make significant
2 gains, pushing south from Tetovo and south-east from Kumanovo.
3 I kindly ask you to mark the south-east part from Kumanovo with an
4 arrow, the direction south-east from Kumanovo.
5 A. Thank you, sir.
6 I think I already marked the direction from north to south-east,
7 of Kumanovo, but I'm afraid are you misinterpreting or misreading my
8 sentence. What I said in the sentence was that NLA indeed made big
9 territorial gains, and I also said in this sentence that the NLA was
10 pushing south from Tetovo and south-east from Kumanovo. But I don't think
11 that this sentence should read as territorial gains were made only in
12 Kumanovo area. In fact, I was referring more to those gains made in the
13 area of Tetovo.
14 And if you scroll this map a little bit, I show you what I meant.
15 Q. Are you now saying something that is conflicting with paragraph
16 165 of your report?
17 A. It depends on how you really read it, sir. And also depends on
18 how you really understand it.
19 Q. I am reading it as written. And can I see, and I can read here
20 that the NLA made significant gains, pushing south from -- south-east from
22 Could you just mark south-east of Kumanovo with an arrow, just
23 that the area south-east from Kumanovo, where is it?
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski, I think we all know where the
25 south-east direction is, whether it is from Kumanovo or anywhere else.
1 We're going to confuse the map if we just mark a direction.
2 MR. APOSTOLSKI: Okay. [Interpretation] Very well.
3 Could this map be tendered in evidence?
4 JUDGE PARKER: Before that happens, the witness also completed the
5 enclosure of a large area to the west and a little north of Kumanovo and
6 north of Skopje. Should that be numbered, because he did refer to it.
7 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Since he already marked it, he
8 can mark the arrow with the number 3 --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, the interpreters were not able to hear
10 the last part of the sentence due to some background -- some loud
11 background noise.
12 JUDGE PARKER: I think that the transcript reflects enough that
13 the area I was referring to is now numbered 3 and that was an area that
14 the witness mentioned and you said well, that is not essentially -- you
15 said that is not the one that I'm interested in. Let's go to the
16 south-east of Kumanovo.
17 Very well. This map, as marked, will now be received.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 2D76, Your Honours.
19 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown 65 ter
20 number 388. All right.
21 Q. Could you read what is written down on the map?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. It has been prepared by the witness, Ali Ahmeti.
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. Is it correct that Ali Ahmeti is the person who could give most
1 accurate and most precise information about which territories were under
2 NLA control?
3 A. I really would not venture this kind of statement. Well, I think
4 that perhaps from the military point of view his Chief of Staff was
5 involved in these actions and operations on the daily basis, probably have
6 more intimate knowledge as what was happening on the grounds.
7 Q. Is it correct that Ali Ahmeti was the commander in chief of the
9 A. Yes, he was.
10 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we go back to the map, and
11 could we please zoom in on the top section where Kumanovo is. That would
12 be towards the middle of the map where the word Skopje is written.
13 Could we move back, yes, it is fine.
14 Q. You see here Tetovo as well. Isn't it so? To the left-hand side
15 of the map.
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we move the -- scroll down
18 a bit. Thank you.
19 Q. Do you see here the Mavrovo lake? It is on the left-hand side,
20 south-west from Tetovo?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. It is written Mavrovo there.
23 A. [Previous translation continues] ... Referred to my map.
24 Q. I don't want to you to refer to your map; I just want you to look
25 at this map, since this is the exhibit that we are reviewing now.
1 A. Yes, I can see Mavrovo lake.
2 Q. Could you agree with me there are red circles on the map marking
3 the places, settlements under the NLA control?
4 A. I don't really think that I could really basis my analysis of the
5 territorial control exclusively on there map. May --
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.
7 MR. SAXON: I'm very sorry for the interruption, Your Honour, and
8 it may be my poor eyesight on a Friday morning, simply I cannot see the
9 word Mavrovo on this map, and I'm wondering whether perhaps my colleague
10 or the witness can indicate to us where it is.
11 Ah, okay, now I can see it.
12 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry, you were interrupted, Mr. Bezruchenko.
13 THE WITNESS: It's perfectly all right, Your Honour.
14 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Could you please mark the Mavrovo lake with the number 1?
16 A. It says here Mavrovo lake.
17 Q. And you testified previously that, as it is written in paragraph
18 165, the NLA managed to occupy villages to the south of Tetovo, also near
19 Mavrovo. Do you recall that?
20 A. Well, if you allow me, Mr. Apostolski, I would also like to say
21 that for instance the village of Pirok was under NLA control the village
22 of Vrapciste seemed under NLA control. The whole smaller villages along
23 this side of the road were under NLA control. The villages all in this
24 area were under NLA control.
25 If you could go a little bit up, I would say also a lot of smaller
1 villages which are not really on this map in this area were under NLA
2 control. If you go down south and west, I could show you more villages.
3 Q. And Ali Ahmeti didn't know that Pirok, and Vrapciste were under
4 his control?
5 A. I don't know whether he knew it or not, I cannot really tell it
6 for him. But as I mentioned previously my analysis was based not entirely
7 on this particular exhibit, as you would imagine, because, again that
8 would be very irresponsible and unprofessional. My analysis was based on
9 a broad variety of sources which included both Macedonian and sources from
10 within the NLA. Well, therefore, I cannot really say whether
11 Mr. Ali Ahmeti was right or wrong in this particular regard. I only can
12 say that apparently, as is obvious from many other sources, the
13 territorial control the NLA extended far beyond those villages which are
14 marked on this map.
15 Q. When preparing your report, did you have access to this map?
16 A. Yes, of course I did.
17 Q. Did you quote from this map anywhere in your report?
18 A. I do not quote Mr. Ali Ahmeti's statement at all, for the reasons
19 I already mentioned on a number of occasions.
20 Q. Could the area that you encircled to the north of Skopje be marked
21 with number 1? No, I apologise, number 2, because number 1 was used for
22 the Mavrovo lake.
23 A. Okay.
24 Q. Could you please explain what is it that you have marked here,
25 what does this area mean?
1 A. Well, generally speaking, this is the area which is north of
2 Skopje. Part of this area is the so-called Skopska Crna Gora, part of
3 this area is the so-called Kumanovo area, and at least a number of
4 villages in this area were in fact under NLA control.
5 If you allow me to be more specific, sir, I'm prepared to give you
6 a list of those villages just to avoid many misunderstanding and not to
7 waste time.
8 If you give me one second --
9 Q. Witness, I have read all those from your report, which villages
10 were under the NLA control. But did you use the number 2 to mark an area
11 that was under the NLA control in 2001, towards the end of the conflict,
12 in August?
13 A. This is a completely different question, Mr. Apostolski. I think
14 you were talking about the villages which were under NLA control without
15 any specific reference, well, as to the end of the conflict.
16 I'm afraid you're asking me something else now.
17 Q. Were the areas under the NLA control compact or was it control
18 over the villages only?
19 A. I don't understand your question, sir.
20 Q. Were the areas that you assert were under the NLA control one
21 compact area, meaning that the entire area was under the control?
22 A. I'm afraid there is some misunderstanding here, Mr. Apostolski.
23 What I said in my report was that about 20 per cent of the entire
24 Macedonian territory was under the NLA control. Now you are asking me
25 whether this was a compact area. 20 per cent of an entirety territory,
1 well, this is quite a large area, and I'm not sure if this could be
2 described as compact or not.
3 Q. Were those 20 per cent of the territory connected?
4 A. As I mentioned previously on a number of occasions, there are
5 several fronts which were opened in the country during the conflict. In
6 fact. If you read Macedonian military documents, especially the Ministry
7 of Defence intelligence summaries, they speak mostly of three, what they
8 call, crisis areas. These were Kumanovo, Skopje and Tetovo. And if you
9 want me to generalise them we can say that if we are talking about these
10 three areas specifically without mentioning Gostivar and Debar well, the
11 entire area would be quite huge and would actually take a lot of territory
13 Q. My question was: Were those territories connected between
15 A. I could give you perhaps a descriptive answer somehow.
16 In fact the NLA was indeed apparently making effort to connect all
17 those fronts. For example --
18 Q. Wait a moment. I do not want you to mark this on this document.
19 We will go back to this because otherwise I would not have been able to
20 tendered it in evidence. Do not mark here.
21 One more question about the map that you have in front of you. Do
22 you see to the south or south-east of Kumanovo that Mr. Ali Ahmeti has
23 marked villages under the NLA control?
24 A. No. But for example --
25 Q. Very well. Thank you.
1 A. [Previous translation continues] ... Umin Dol apparently was under
2 NLA control, if I'm not mistaken, which is south of Kumanovo.
3 Q. That is to the south-west of Kumanovo.
4 A. Well --
5 Q. Very well. Thank you.
6 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I seek to tender
7 this map in evidence.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski, I don't want us to be confused by
9 the evidence about this map if we later need to turn to it.
10 I may well have misunderstood the witness, but I understood him to
11 commence to mark areas in which he said villages were under the control of
12 the NLA, and he seems to have circled or enclosed roughly three areas.
13 He also said that if the map was scrolled further to the north or
14 further to the south and west, he could mark more areas, if I understood
15 him correctly.
16 Now is this your understanding or have I got it wrong?
17 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours, then I would
18 remove this document and go back to the full map.
19 So could we please display 548 -- no.
20 JUDGE PARKER: You don't want to use this at all or preserve this
21 at all?
22 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wish to tender
23 this into evidence, and I wish to go back to the same map; and I would
24 like to ask the witness then to mark at the entire map which were the
25 territories under the NLA control, since I used this map just to mark the
1 territory south of Tetovo and to show the area of Kumanovo.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We can receive this map.
3 THE REGISTRAR: As 2D77, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Now you want this map to be displayed again but in
5 a more full view.
6 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, without --
7 JUDGE PARKER: This map or another map?
8 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] I would like this map to be
9 displayed again, the 65 ter 388, the original one.
10 Could we please zoom it in. Could we zoom out once only. And
11 scroll towards the right-hand side. Right-hand side. Very well.
12 Could we scroll up a little bit. Up, please. It is fine now.
13 Q. Witness --
14 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we scroll down a bit,
15 please. Further down, please.
16 Q. Do you need to see the Ohrid lake on the map.
17 Yes, that's fine?
18 A. [Previous translation continues] ... Yes, but if the map could
19 somehow be magnified, please, because it's really a very small font.
20 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we scroll it up a little
21 bit so that we can see the border of the Republic of Macedonia. Very well
22 now. Thank you.
23 Could we zoom in on this part. Could we zoom out one step,
24 please. One more step, please.
25 Q. Witness, is it -- is this the size of the map that is useful for
1 you, so that you can mark the territories under the NLA control and
2 without using that map that you now have in front of you and that you are
3 looking at?
4 A. Do you think, sir, it is possible to really see the font on this
5 map? I don't see it.
6 Q. Could you mark the approximate areas? I will not go into details
7 of whether a particular village was under the control or not, but which
8 parts of Macedonia comprised within those 20 per cent of the territory
9 that was under the NLA control.
10 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry to intervene, Mr. Apostolski, but it
11 seems to me that if you want the witness and the Chamber to be able to
12 read village names or even some town names and if you want the witness to
13 be marking with any degree of reliability it will be necessary to focus in
14 onto smaller sections of this map and go through them until gradually we
15 complete the whole map, because the scale, at the moment, it's really not
16 easy to follow.
17 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you. Thank you for
18 your suggestion, Your Honour.
19 Could we zoom in on the part around Kumanovo now? That would be
20 the upper part of the map. Thank you.
21 Q. Could you mark in this part of the map the territory under
22 control, and I don't want you to use your props.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Well, now, Mr. Apostolski, I'm going to intervene
24 again. Are you really saying that you expect the witness to remember with
25 any reliability to precise geographical areas covering at least 20
1 per cent, he says of the territory of Macedonia without any reference to
2 any of the detail that he has with him? He would be a very impressive
3 witness if he could do that from memory.
4 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Very well. Then I apologise,
5 Your Honour, and I apologise to the witness. Maybe I went too far with my
7 THE WITNESS: [Previous translation continues] ...
8 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Q. Could you please mark in this part of the map the territory that
10 was under the NLA control at the end of the conflict in 2001?
11 A. Okay. It is going to be pretty approximate area indeed for a
12 number of reasons.
13 Firstly because of the scale of the map. I think this is
14 essentially the road map of Macedonia, it's not really a military map as
16 Secondly for technical reasons, I don't really think it is really
17 physical to draw the exact line because the line which is left by this
18 marker is at least one millimetre thick or perhaps two millimetres thick
19 which may actually mean that this line alone will cover several kilometres
20 on the ground.
21 So --
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. So, again, this is going to be pretty approximate area. But put
24 in this way there was fighting in the area or perhaps there was some
25 activities in the area Tabanovce here. Well the area of Crna Gora and
1 east of Kumanovo was the area where there were a lot of NLA activities
2 going on including Aracinovo and almost to Skopje, down south like this,
3 in fact.
4 If you could go west now.
5 JUDGE PARKER: The movement we move, we lose what is there.
6 That's why it is going to be necessary if we are to complete this process
7 to do it view by view.
8 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could I seek to tender this into
10 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As 2D78, Your Honours.
12 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we move towards the
13 left-hand side of the map, towards Tetovo. Further down, please. A bit
14 further down, please. It's good now.
15 Q. Could you mark the area, the approximate area, under the NLA
16 control in this section, please.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Would it be more helpful for the witness to
18 identify what he sees to be the material views on the map. That way we're
19 likely to get, in the end, from him a more complete and reliable guide,
20 rather than you trying to select areas.
21 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Do you follow what I'm suggesting Mr. Bezruchenko
23 is this a practical next area or would you like the focus of the map on
24 the screen from what is presently being displayed.
25 THE WITNESS: Thank, Your Honour, this is perfectly fine for the
1 time being.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
3 THE WITNESS: The area of Radusa as well as Zeden feature south of
4 Radusa were apparently under NLA control. So I will again mark it pretty
6 The area south of Tetovo-Skopje road apparently also fell under
7 NLA control. Many of those villages fell under NLA control at the final
8 stage of the conflict, approximately.
9 The area west of Kumanovo experienced a lot of fighting and was
10 under NLA control at various stages of the conflict.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Did you mean to say Kumanovo or did you mean
13 THE WITNESS: Sorry, Tetovo, west of Tetovo.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Would you be able, I would ask, to mark that with a
15 number 3, the area you have just enclosed.
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
17 JUDGE PARKER: And the first area you marked with a number 1, the
18 more northern of the remaining two.
19 THE WITNESS: Radusa and Zeden this one.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, and number 2, the remaining area. Thank you.
21 THE WITNESS: Could you go north a little bit again.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Well, if we move, we lose.
23 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could I seek to tender this map
24 into evidence.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Is there any other area of this map before we leave
1 it that you would want to mark.
2 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
3 If you could go a little bit up.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Sorry, before we move this particular view --
5 THE WITNESS: I see what you mean.
6 I think this area here between Gostivar and the border was more or
7 less under NLA control, this one perhaps.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Number 4, could you mark.
9 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Number 4.
10 THE WITNESS: There was some NLA activities in the area of
12 JUDGE PARKER: Number 5, yes.
13 THE WITNESS: There was some NLA activity in the area of Debar. I
14 think south of Debar, but let me refer to my map again.
15 In fact in the area of the village of Goranci, which is somewhat
16 east of Debar, approximately here.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Number 6, could I suggest.
18 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. That's about it, as far as this view is
20 If you could go further up --
21 JUDGE PARKER: This view will be received.
22 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, I wanted to tender it.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As 2D79, Your Honours.
24 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Witness, just for the sake of clarity, because you comprised the
1 road from Tetovo to Gostivar, so to clarify for the transcript, is it
2 correct that the road from Tetovo to Gostivar was not under the NLA
4 A. I'm not sure, Mr. Apostolski. Apparently there were some villages
5 in the area between Tetovo and Gostivar which were indeed under NLA
7 Q. But to have it on record, was the road between Tetovo and Gostivar
8 under the NLA control.
9 A. As you can see on this map, Mr. Apostolski, there are two roads
10 between Tetovo and Gostivar. There is the highway and there is also
11 another road further to west. I think the village of Kamenjane and Pirok
12 as well as Vrapciste here, if I may mark them, as well as the village of
13 Lisec were under NLA control.
14 Q. The highway, Gostivar-Tetovo was not under the NLA control. Is
15 that correct?
16 A. I think not.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we now scroll down.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Not without losing what has just been marked.
20 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Yes. Could I seek to tender this
21 into evidence.
22 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As 2D80, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Now which way did you want the view to be varied,
25 Mr. Bezruchenko?
1 THE WITNESS: I would be grateful to Your Honours if the view
2 could be moved a little bit up and left. That's enough. Can we go back
3 actually. Okay. That's fine. Thank you.
4 All right. Now, as I mentioned previously, many villages in this
5 area here, in fact generally here, were under NLA control.
6 Also, many villages in this area as well, south of this road.
7 Approximately, of course.
8 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Witness, I believe we have marked them in the previous map. I
10 think it is the same area that you marked a while ago.
11 A. No, this is another view.
12 Okay. Let's go to the right, please.
13 Q. I believe that we should go further south, because you also marked
14 already the area around Kumanovo.
15 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
16 Q. Since in your opinion, the fronts were Kumanovo, Tetovo, Gostivar
17 and possibly we could go south if you feel that you need to mark some area
18 around the Ohrid lake. If you wish, I would move to the right. But
19 Kumanovo is there, to the right?
20 A. Well, I think I marked the area to the left, that is to the west
21 of Kumanovo already. I also marked the area of Zeden hill, Radusa south
22 of Tetovo-Skopje road as well as west of Tetovo. I also marked the area
23 in the area of Gostivar and some in the area of Debar. But we could take
24 a look at the area of Ohrid lake.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Shall we receive this, Mr. Apostolski?
1 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, I don't think
2 it needs to be received.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will lose this marking and move to
4 the area south of the lake.
5 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 Further down a bit, please. Thank you.
7 Q. Is this the appropriate section?
8 A. Yes, I think so. I think there was also some activities of the
9 NLA south of Debar; here approximately. And that's about it.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] So, Your Honours can I seek to
12 tender this into evidence.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As 2D81, Your Honours.
15 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Would this be the convenient time
16 for the break, Your Honours?
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, I think so, Mr. Apostolski.
18 We will resume at 11.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.
22 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Could the witness be shown P466, page 29 in the English version
24 and 32 in the Macedonian version of the report.
25 Q. That is paragraph 106 of your report. In your report, you used a
1 lot of communiques, communications to the public, issued by the NLA. Is
2 that correct.
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. And you refer to them in this paragraph saying that in order to
5 make its goals and actions known to the wider public the NLA issued a
6 number of public communiques and in the table below, a summary of these
7 communiques is provided as well as some addition sources.
8 A. Yes. In fact, all these communiques were received from the
9 Macedonian authorities through RFAs.
10 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we see the next page in the
11 English version.
12 Q. Is it correct that you received part of these communications from
13 Ali Ahmeti?
14 A. I do not recall exactly. I think essentially there were three
15 major sources for those communiques. One was the Macedonian government
16 and as I mentioned them we receive them through official RFAs. The second
17 one was the Macedonian Ministry of Interior "White Book" which published
18 some of those communiques. And the third one, probably, were obtained
19 from Mr. Ali Ahmeti.
20 Q. I assert to you that you received all of these communiques from
21 Mr. Ali Ahmeti. Would you agree with me?
22 A. I don't think so, sir. If you refer to the "White Book", for
23 example, at the end of the "White Book" you will find a chapter in fact
24 which is completely dedicated to these communiques, and I clearly remember
25 some of those communiques translated in Macedonian. In fact, I was
1 reading them in Macedonian, which would appear to suggest to me that they
2 were received from Macedonian authorities.
3 Q. You believed these communiques to be true.
4 A. I had no specific reasons to doubt the authenticity of these
5 documents. As I said, we received many of those from Macedonian
6 authorities, and some of them are published in the "White Book." You may
7 wish to refer to the book and see it for yourself.
8 Q. But in your report you used them -- you used them as truthful you
9 made no comment that did you not trust these communiques.
10 A. I don't really understand the implication of your question, sir.
11 In which sense are you suggesting I should trust or not trust these
12 communiques. Are you suggesting that they were forged or are you
13 suggesting that they did not exist or we did not receive them?
14 Q. I'm suggesting that some of them are fake, and I will show it to
15 you now.
16 If you look at the table in front of you, would you agree with me
17 that the first column delineates the date of the communique. Do you agree
18 with me?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The second column is the date of issue.
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. The third is the content of the communique.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And the fourth column that provides the signature of the person
25 that signed it.
1 A. It appears so.
2 Q. Could you -- could I draw your attention to the communique dated
3 May 5th, 2001. Do you see that -- do you see it in front of you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In this communique, this communique described the combat
6 operations of the 113th Brigade in the areas of Kumanovo and Lipkovo. The
7 communication says that the Macedonian government used Mi-24 helicopter,
8 gun ships, a machine-gun, a 155-millimetre Howitzer, various mortars,
9 tanks and armoured vehicles. It goes on claiming that the members of the
10 113th Brigade killed 20 Macedonian soldiers, police and paramilitaries,
11 destroyed three tanks and four armoured vehicles and shot down two
13 Do you see that in front of you?
14 A. I do, sir.
15 Q. And this communique has been signed by the General Staff.
16 A. Yes, I can see that.
17 Q. You believed that this is a truthful communique.
18 A. I believe that such communique was issued and this document does
19 exist. However, I believe that in fact this is grossly exaggerated in a
20 sense of [indiscernible] casualties which were suffered by the Macedonian
22 Q. But you never made any comment on all of this in your report.
23 A. Sir, in fact, this particular section of the report deals with the
24 public communiques issued by the NLA. I just made a summary of those
25 communiques in tabular form. It was not my intention really to comment on
1 each of them, and either support or deny information which is contained in
2 those communiques. But I think it is pretty obvious from reading this
3 communique that apparently the casualties are definitely overinflated, and
4 you can actually see it as well in comparison with other sources.
5 But, as I say, again, the purpose of citing this communique in my
6 report was entirely different. I was not going to really to comment on
7 each and every communique and say whether it was right or wrong. I just
8 cited them as facts; that is, such communique did exist and they were
9 actually issued.
10 Q. Are you implying that the communiques given by the NLA were
11 overexaggerated and were untruthful?
12 A. I'm not implying that. What I'm saying is that my analysis would
13 suggest that the information as contained in this specific communique, in
14 terms of casualties, seems to be overinflated. But it does not
15 necessarily mean that all the communiques were of this nature.
16 Q. And you believe that the NLA, in the operations in Kumanovo and
17 Lipkovo managed to destroy three tanks, four armoured vehicles, and they
18 shot down two helicopters.
19 A. I don't I don't believe it. I don't think it is true.
20 Q. But you never put any comment in your report about all these
21 notes. You never mentioned that you not believed this communiques to be
22 truthful. Is that correct?
23 A. As you see, sir, this entire section of the report, as I
24 mentioned, is actually dealing with various NLA communiques. As I say, it
25 was not really my intention to comment on this particular communique. In
1 fact, if such comments were really justified and required to be made they
2 would probably concern the entire operations in the area of Kumanovo and
3 Lipkovo, not just this communique.
4 Q. Very well. So you agree with me that this communique is not a
5 truthful one?
6 A. It is exaggerated. I don't think that at any point of the
7 conflict the Macedonian army lost two helicopters. I understand there was
8 only one incident in which one helicopter of the Macedonian army actually
9 crashed in the area of Popova Sapka, and there were also attempts by the
10 NLA to shoot down Macedonian helicopters who is portable anti-aircraft
11 missiles, but they never succeeded, at least I never saw any other reports
12 which would confirm this information.
13 Q. The village of Vejce is in Macedonia. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. The village of Sipkovica is also in Macedonia.
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. And in making your report, you referred also to foreign documents.
18 A. You mean some --
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Is that correct?
20 A. [Previous translation continues]. .. Perhaps?
21 Q. Yes, to some international documents.
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. Were you verifying the truthfulness of these documents?
24 A. Sir, if your question implies whether I was actually evaluating
25 the credibility of the sources and documents that they used, my answer is
2 Q. Were you verifying whether the content of those documents were --
3 was truthful?
4 A. Normally my analysis would not be really based on one single
5 document but would require confirmation and substantiation derived from
6 other sources.
7 Q. Very well.
8 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown
9 exhibit number P466; that is page 18 in the English version and 19 in the
10 Macedonian version.
11 Q. Could I draw your attention to paragraph 54 whereby you say: "The
12 General Staff of the NLA was in Prizren while the tactical staff was in
14 And you hereby refer to footnote 68, briefing package from
15 Macedonia. And you go on saying: "Shefi last name unknown, known as
16 Kravata was identified as a logistics leader. Den Korabi was
17 administrative assistant to Ali Ahmeti, Nazim Beqir was identified as the
18 NLA spokesman, while Fazli Hajdari as operations officer and you hereby
19 refer to footnote 69, briefing package on Macedonia.
20 Did you verify this information mentioned in paragraph 54?
21 A. I think this paragraph is based not necessarily on this source
22 alone, but also other similar sources which I reviewed throughout while
23 preparing my report. And I tend to suggest that in fact this information
24 in, general sense, is correct.
25 Q. Let me start from the beginning: "The General Staff of the NLA
1 was located in Prizren. The tactical staff in Sipkovica.
2 Is that correct?
3 A. Well, according to the documents this was the case at least for
4 the time being. At least for a while, I mean.
5 Q. And you claim that during the one period of the conflict the
6 General Staff of the NLA was located in Prizren?
7 A. According to the documents, yes.
8 Q. Is it correct that Ali Ahmeti would be the one who would know the
9 best where the General Staff was located. Did you verify his statement?
10 A. I would like to reiterate again, sir, that information which was
11 actually contained in the statement of Mr. Ali Ahmeti was corroborated
12 through other sources. I guess perhaps you would agree with me that
13 sometimes those who are being interviewed have their own reasons to say
14 and not to say certain things, and the witness statements, in many cases,
15 seem to be quite speculative.
16 This was the reason why I was trying to rely mostly on solid
17 documents, including those of international organisations, specifically
19 Q. You were present during the interview with Ali Ahmeti. Is that
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown
23 Exhibit number 65 ter 2D235, page 6 in both the Macedonian and the English
24 version. That is paragraph 31.
25 This is not the document. 65 ter 2D325.
1 Q. Do you see in front of you, this is a statement of Ali Ahmeti
2 given on 30th of July, 2005?
3 A. Yes, I can see that.
4 Q. Could I read to you paragraph 31. Mr. Ali Ahmeti, who was the
5 supreme military commander of the NLA in Macedonia says that the General
6 Staff and the Supreme Command were located in Vejce in March. The Supreme
7 Command and the General Staff moved to Sipkovica in April 2001, where it
8 remained until the end of the conflict.
9 Would you agree with me that Mr. Ali Ahmeti has given a statement
10 in which he fails to mention that the General Staff was located in
12 A. That's right. He never mentions this fact.
13 Q. And that differs from the fact that you mention.
14 A. That's right. Because what I mention is based on NATO sources,
15 which perhaps had their own sources of information to provide.
16 As I mentioned, I was trying to rely on my report in solid,
17 verifiable sources. I did not find any information in the course of
18 preparation of my report which would corroborate the fact that in March
19 2001, the NLA General Staff was in Vejce. Perhaps this was the fact, but
20 I did not really find any information which would otherwise support this
22 But it is also true that the General Staff moved to Sipkovica, and
23 I think this is adequately reflected in my report.
24 Q. The Staff was never in Prizren, as it is written in your report.
25 A. This particular information is based on NATO sources, sir, and I
1 have no reason to doubt these sources.
2 Q. Very well. I thank you.
3 Is it correct that each of the NLA brigades was fighting pursuant
4 to its own plan and assessment?
5 A. I did not find any evidence in the course of preparation of my
6 report which would suggest this allegation, sir.
7 I would suggest that in fact the actions of the NLA brigades were
8 coordinated and in fact in broad terms were aimed towards one ultimate
9 goal; to capture as much territory as possible, to push south along the
10 axis along the border with Albania and gradual increase control of the
11 areas close to the capital.
12 Q. So your assertion is that the brigades had coordinated actions and
13 coordinated plan and assessment for the actions.
14 A. Apparently there was a general plan as to the goals to be pursued
15 and the final resolution of the conflict.
16 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
17 65 ter 3D367 [as interpreted].
18 2D367, as the transcript is inaccurate in stating 3D.
19 Q. This is Gzim Ostreni's statement - do you see it in front of you -
20 page 10 in the Macedonian version and page 11 in the English version,
21 please, paragraph 53.
22 Do you see the paragraph 3 in front of you. That is the statement
23 of Gzim Ostreni. You stated that he was best able to know the information
24 about the NLA actions as the Chief of the General Staff. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. And in paragraph 53, could you see in line 6 it says: Every
3 brigade has an area zone of responsibility and each was fighting according
4 to its own plan and judgment. We actually did not have a chance to
5 conduct any coordinated operation involving several brigades.
6 Does Mr. Ali Ahmeti -- does Mr. Gezim Ostreni testify that each
7 brigade fought in accordance with its own plan and assessment?
8 A. That's right, sir, but obviously we understand this paragraph in
9 entirely different terms. I'm afraid we're talking about different things
11 What this statement says that at the tactical level each brigade
12 indeed had its own plan; that's true. However, it also means that in a
13 broader sense at the strategic level there was certain concepts and
14 therefore certain coordination in the actions of these brigades.
15 If you, again, take a look at the document titled the concept of
16 operations and the map which you have just described, it is pretty clear,
17 in fact that there were certain sequence of the moves an actions of the
18 NLA brigades.
19 Mr. Gezim Ostreni also says here that they did not have a chance
20 to conduct any coordinated operations involving several brigades. This is
21 absolutely right, but this is an entirely different matter. What he means
22 here is there were no joint operations which would involve several
23 brigades but that does not necessarily mean that there was not an overall
24 strategic plan and the actions of the brigades was in [indiscernible]
25 accordance with this plan were not coordinated.
1 At least this is my understanding of this paragraph.
2 Q. Thank you. And the section dealing the finances, section of your
3 report, you make a summary that the NLA received large financial
4 assistance and, among others sources of finances, you quote. But is it
5 correct that the NLA did not create a centralised budget?
6 A. Well, I don't think I ever use the word "budget" in my report.
7 Q. Is it then correct that the NLA had not created a central
8 financial system?
9 A. Again, sir, with my due respect, I don't think I used this
10 expression as central financial system in relation to the NLA. If you're
11 implying if there was any kind of a fund, perhaps, or if there was any
12 system, perhaps for collecting the contributions for the NLA, I think that
13 such fund existed and probably certain system was in place.
14 Q. In your report you make the assertion that it was an organised
15 movement and that it was an armed conflict, that it was an uprising to
16 attain political goals. Is that correct?
17 A. Essentially it is true.
18 Q. Is an uprising process typical for democratic states where there
19 is a possibility to resolve the problems through democratic institutions
20 in the system?
21 A. I'm afraid this is a general question which probably doesn't
22 really relate to the subject of my report.
23 But if you would like me to answer, I would tell that a political
24 process to resolve the differences in social- and political-economic
25 matters is the fundamental feature of any democratic society. Violence is
1 not a way to resolve problems in a democratic society.
2 Q. Is it correct that in Macedonia in 2001 the legitimate
3 representatives were elected for the parliament and for the government?
4 A. Yes, that's right, sir.
5 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness -- no, I will
6 ask another question.
7 Q. And you say in paragraph 15 of your report that the both sides
8 have signed the Ohrid Framework Agreement. Could you explain which two
9 sides are you referring to?
10 A. I'm afraid this is a mistake which is attributable to translation.
11 In English I think I used the word parties. This paragraph doesn't say
12 that these parties were in fact the parties to the conflict. What I meant
13 to say that the political parties signed the Ohrid Agreement. Of course
14 you are aware of the fact that was indeed the case, and four major
15 political parties in Macedonia became signatories of this agreement.
16 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
17 the exhibit P466, page 7, both Macedonian and the English version.
18 It is the paragraph 15, so we need to go a page back in the
19 English version.
20 Q. You say there that the most intensive period of the conflict
21 lasted until the 13 of August 2001 when, with US and EU diplomatic
22 intervention the -- both sides signed the Ohrid Framework Agreement
23 although after this date, the cease-fire violations continued.
24 Is it correct that you say in this item that both sides have
25 signed it, or the parties signed it?
1 A. Are you referring to paragraph 15, sir?
2 Q. [No interpretation]
3 A. Yes, in this perhaps I referred to the political parties which
4 signed the Ohrid Framework Agreement and these were four of these parties,
5 if I recall, correctly.
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters wish to note that in the
7 Macedonian version it says explicitly both sides or parties while the
8 English version does not mention the word both.
9 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
10 Q. But in paragraph 15, you did not write that it was political
11 parties, and you say -- you say parties.
12 A. Yes, that's right. The word "political" is not there but
13 essentially I meant political parties.
14 And I think in fact the Ohrid Framework Agreement, as such, was
15 not really the subject of my analysis.
16 Q. But you used the Ohrid Agreement as the possible end of the
17 military conflict in Macedonia.
18 A. Ohrid Agreement was the document which stipulated the end of
19 activities, of military activities and the end of violence. This document
20 also provided fundamental changes in the constitution of Macedonia,
21 including its preamble as well as a number of important provisions related
22 to the use of Albanian language, educational rights in native language,
23 proportional representation in the bodies of power, as well as
24 rearrangement of certain functions and administrative powers at the
25 municipal level.
1 So if you would really like me to comment more on that agreement I
2 could probably tell you more. But as I say it was not really the primary
3 objective of my analysis. I think we actually can regard this agreement
4 as the fundamental document which diplomatically and formally put an end
5 to violence, but I think the real end of the conflict could have occurred
6 on 26th September 2001 when the NLA declared that it was formally
8 Q. When you say that it was demobilised, does it mean that it was
10 A. When I say "demobilised," I mean that it was declared that it was
11 demobilised, and this happened after the end of Operation Essential
13 Q. Does mean that it was disarmed as well?
14 A. The NLA surrendered a certain amount of weapons which apparently
15 was previously agreed under the terms of the arrangement which involved
16 Macedonian authorities, the NLA, and NATO.
17 If your question implies whether there was any weapons which
18 reportedly would have been left in NLA's disposal, at NLA's disposal, I
19 simply cannot answer this question because I was not really looking to
20 this aspect as the final date which was in fact a benchmark for me in
21 relation to the duration of the conflict, which was 26th September 2001.
22 Q. I would ask to you answer me briefly. In your opinion, and from
23 the review of the documents that you did when preparing this report, the
24 NLA was disarmed at the 26th of September.
25 A. This is what the NLA statement said.
1 Q. Is that the assertion that you make as well?
2 A. No. I think that the cease-fire violations actually continued
3 after a while, and perhaps the real process of demobilisation was quite
4 difficult, but it is very difficult to establish in fact which particular
5 units were immediately demobilised and for which it took sometime to get
7 Q. Did the 113th Brigade return all the weapons?
8 A. I cannot tell that, sir, because I was not really involved in this
9 operation, and I didn't see any documents which would suggest that they
11 Q. Ljuboten was under the competence of the 113th Brigade [as
12 interpreted]. Is that correct?
13 A. I don't think so. Actually, it was 114th Brigade which was
14 operating in this area.
15 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] I apologise there is a mistake in
16 the transcript I asked whether it was correct that Ljuboten was an area
17 controlled by the 114th Brigade.
18 Q. So you gave your answer already.
19 Could you tell me whether the 114th Brigade was disarmed on the
20 26th of September, 2001?
21 A. I understand that all the NLA brigades surrendered a number of
22 weapons which, in totality, amounted to the numbers which were agreed upon
23 previously. But if your question specifically refers to 114th Brigade, I
24 cannot really give you a definitive answer, because -- for a number of
1 Firstly, I did not see the exact list of weapons that was in the
2 possession of this brigade. And, secondly, I did not see any documents
3 that would suggest that the amount that this brigade actually had was
4 above the amount which was surrendered.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you.
6 Could you now agree with me that in your report there is a
7 separate section that deals with the events of Ljuboten, 10 to 12 August
9 A. Yes, there is.
10 Q. The Prosecutor's office has requested from you to review the
11 relevant documents and materials and to express your opinion about the
12 actions of the Macedonian forces in the village of Ljuboten on the 11th
13 and the 12th of August, 2001.
14 Also, the analysis of these events was based on three sources as
15 well: Macedonian security forces that comprised both the army and the
16 police; the NLA sources; and international sources.
17 Is that correct?
18 A. That's correct, sir.
19 Q. Have you visited the area in and around Ljuboten?
20 A. I had, I think, two brief visits.
21 Q. Did you visit the positions of the Macedonian security forces?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. I'm referring to the positions of the Macedonian security forces
24 as they were in August 2001, 10 to 12 August.
25 A. I visited the positions of the Macedonian army above the village
1 of Ljuboten, and I found some old trenches and apparently mortar
3 Q. Did you visit the position Smok?
4 A. I think I did.
5 Q. Were you at Ljubotenski Bacila, where, on August 10, 2001,
6 Macedonian soldiers were killed and wounded?
7 A. I was in the general area.
8 Q. Did you visit Ljubanci?
9 A. We just passed through this village on our way to Ljuboten.
10 Q. Did you notice any football stadium or field when -- on the road
11 when you were going from Ljubanci to Ljuboten?
12 A. I don't think that this football field was really the focus of my
13 attention. I was more interested in the positions of the Macedonian army,
14 especially mortar and artillery positions, above the village.
15 Q. Did you visit the location where the Radisani police check-point
16 was located?
17 A. I don't think we went to Radisani; at least I didn't.
18 Q. Is it correct that you used witness statements? I'm asking you
19 about foreigners, Henry Bolton, as well as the personal notes of
20 Franz-Josef Hutsch, the Prosecution witness?
21 A. As I mentioned previously I was trying as much as possible not to
22 use any witness statements in my report at all. If there were such
23 instances, they were very rare and only for illustration of very specific
25 Q. As international sources you used the Human Rights Watch report as
1 well as the personal notes of Franz-Josef Hutsch?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. Is it correct that you had access to all the written documents in
4 OTP's possession in respect to the Ljuboten events or from between 10th
5 and 12th of August, 2001?
6 A. I think so.
7 Q. Did you review all the documents related to the events in Ljuboten
8 in 2001 coming from the international sources?
9 A. Well, sir, as you would imagine, in fact my report has probably
10 over 1.000, even more, footnotes, so the number of documents which I used
11 is really quite significant. I'm afraid that if I tell you that I have
12 seen every document, I might actually make an error, because it would be
13 simply impossible for me to claim that.
14 Q. Are you aware with the OSCE reports about the events in Ljuboten?
15 Did you review that report?
16 A. Which specific report do you mean, sir?
17 Q. The report of 16th of August, 2001. That is a special report on
18 the Ljuboten incident.
19 A. I think there were some reports to this extent.
20 Can I specifically be shown this report?
21 Q. I will now show it to you to refresh your memory.
22 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown
23 exhibit number 1D24.
24 Q. Can you see the document in front of you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you have access to this document while preparing your report?
2 A. Could you go to the next page, please.
3 Q. Yes.
4 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could we see the next page,
6 THE WITNESS: Could we go to the next page, please?
7 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Of course.
8 THE WITNESS: And the next page, please.
9 I think I have seen this report, but I'm afraid that I have seen
10 this report after actually my report was completed, to the best of my
12 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You said that you were following the trial since its beginning.
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. Didn't you consider this document --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
17 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Didn't you think that this document deserved bigger attention in
19 respect to the Ljuboten events of 2001?
20 A. In fact, my report was completed, as you may imagine, before the
21 trial started.
22 Now, this is the OSCE document --
23 Q. But once you made your draft report, your preliminary report, you
24 amended it later.
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Let me finish, sir, please. As I said, this is the OSCE report.
2 The OSCE, of course, had their own monitors on the ground. But having
3 said that I would rather rely on the reports that were produced by the
4 Macedonian army and the Macedonian Ministry of Defence which seem to be
5 quite more reliable in terms of the actual facts and details relating to
6 the events in Ljuboten for one simple reason they actually originated from
7 the primary sources.
8 This report describes events post-factum. This is dated after,
9 actually -- after actual events in Ljuboten, and this report seems to be
10 somewhat speculative, in a sense that it provides its assessments. But
11 having said that, I wouldn't say that this is an incorrect report.
12 Q. Is it correct that you used the report of human rights watch
13 report which was entitled: Abuse against civilians --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters apologise, they didn't get the
16 THE WITNESS: Well, I think at the very beginning of my work on my
17 report there is one of the documents that we really had at our disposal.
18 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Would you agree with me that this is a post-factual document?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. But you, nevertheless, [Realtime transcript read in error "never"]
22 paid attention to it and you quoted it in your report about the attacks in
24 A. I don't think I specifically quote this report in the part of my
25 report which deals with the attack on Ljuboten. If I do it's probably,
1 actually we have to verify it.
2 Q. I apologise I was misinterpreted in line 19. "Never paid
3 attention" should read "you paid attention."
4 A. You mean the report of the Human Rights Watch group?
5 Q. Yes, I'm referring to the Human Rights Watch report. And you
6 quote them in your summary related to the Ljuboten attacks, and you refer
7 to them in paragraph 483 of your report.
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. And you thereby say that the OSCE observers in the Human Rights
10 Watch report investigators that visited the village -- I apologise. There
11 is the mistake in the Macedonian translation that I read. The
12 investigators of Human Rights Watch who visited the village immediately
13 after the attack found no trenches, no bunkers, no machine-gun posts, no
14 sandbags post that would present evidence for an organised presence of the
15 NLA units in defence preparations.
16 Is it correct that based on the report of Human Rights Watch, you
17 came to such a conclusion in your resume?
18 A. In fact, I do quote this report in my report, but I also quote
19 other documents which seem be to at variance with this particular report
20 and these documents were quoted in the amendment which I prepared at a
21 later stage.
22 I would probably like to draw your attention specifically to
23 paragraph 481 (A) of my report, and can I read this paragraph to you.
24 "According to ministry" --
25 Q. I will allow it -- I will allow you to read it but you do not
1 refer to it in your summary about the Ljuboten attacks between 10th and
2 12th of August, 2001. Is that correct?
3 A. Because the documents which we have received actually were
4 received after my report was completed. The addendum is based on entirely
5 new documents.
6 Q. Although you amended your initial report, you felt no need to make
7 yet another addendum that would present the factual situation regarding
8 the Ljuboten events between the 10th and 12th of August, 2001.
9 A. I think, if you really read carefully the amended addendum to my
10 report, you will probably see that out of about perhaps 20 paragraphs
11 well, three quarter of those paragraph s are actually related to the
12 events in Ljuboten. And let me read there paragraph to you again. This
13 is paragraph 418 (A):
14 "According to Ministry of Interior documents as early as February
15 and March 2001, the administration for security and counter-intelligence
16 was receiving indications that the NLA was recruiting fighters in
17 Ljuboten. In June 2001, information was received that NLA was planning to
18 establish a corridor between Aracinovo and Ljuboten to facilitate NLA
19 actions towards Skopje and to provide logistics for NLA forces in
20 Aracinovo. Bunkers were reportedly prepared in Ljuboten by end of June
22 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown
23 page -- the fifth English -- the fifth English page and pages 4 and 5 of
24 the document that is now displayed. This is the OSCE special report on
25 the Ljuboten incident dated 16th of August, 2001.
1 The part starting with: "Finally it appears highly likely that
2 there were EAAG in the village during the recent hostilities and that the
3 EAAG have influence in the village. In this context, the Human Dimension
4 Officer of the mission finds reports that the ethnic Albanian villages
5 remained in their homes during the hostilities 'because they are loyal
6 citizens who had no reason to leave' profoundly disturbing. The mission
7 is unaware of a village free of EAAG influence in which the majority of
8 the ethnic Albanian population made the decision to remain in their homes
9 with their families when an armed conflict was erupting in the village or
10 nearby. It only happens in villages with an EAAG presence."
11 EAAG is an abbreviation of OSCE for the NLA. It uses it in its
13 May I read onward: "There does appear to be an EAAG tactic
14 involving the use of, at the very lest' suggestions' and informal pressure
15 on villagers to remain during fighting. This tactic effectively results
16 in the use of civilians as human shields. It also leaves them exposed to
17 incidents with troops. It is intended to produce either government
18 inaction in the face of aggression or incidents that can be exploited for
19 propaganda. It is thus not only illegal but a cynical abuse of a friendly
20 vulnerable local population by armed groups."
21 Mr. Bezruchenko, didn't you think that this OSCE report would be
22 useful to refer to in preparing your report?
23 A. Well, I would say the following: These two paragraphs which you
24 have just quoted in fact do not really say anything new to me. There were
25 numerous allegation in media and many other documents that in fact the NLA
1 was pressuring the local population to stay in the village in terms of
2 combat activities.
3 So I don't really find any particular value in these two
5 Q. You put -- are you claiming that the media report and the OSCE
6 reports have the same value?
7 A. What -- what I'm saying is that there were lots of reports which I
8 have seen including similar reports from OSCE as well and other
9 international agencies, media reports, statements by various political and
10 governmental figures, to the extend that, indeed, the NLA was pressuring
11 villagers in some of those villages to stay and essentially hold them as
12 human shields.
13 But I think we have discussed this issue already previously, and I
14 think I mention already that the plight of civilian population and the
15 problems regarding the safety of villagers were reflected in those reports
16 which I quote in the section 5 of my report dealing with chronology of the
18 Well, I don't really see any particular value, again to reiterate
19 this point, because it was highly known at that time.
20 Q. But you failed to mention this in the chapter where you speak
21 about the NLA tactics. Is that correct?
22 A. These two paragraphs seem to describe a very generic terms the
23 situation despite the fact that the whole report really deals with
25 This report will also contradict the statements of some of the
1 villagers, residents in the village of Ljuboten. Therefore, it would be
2 very difficult for me to rely on this report only in assessing whether the
3 villagers of Ljuboten were indeed forced to stay or not. But I think I
4 have seen at least one report, Macedonian military report, which suggested
5 that they were indeed pressured.
6 Q. Very well. We will continue now.
7 Were you aware of the reports of the German embassy related to the
8 events in Ljuboten in the period between 10th and 12th of August, 2001?
9 A. Which specific report you are referring to, sir?
10 Q. Would you like to have it displayed on the monitor so you can
11 refresh your memory?
12 A. Yes, please.
13 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown
14 Exhibit 1D224.
15 Could we see the English version? Thank you.
16 Q. Do you see the document in front of you?
17 A. Yes, I see it.
18 Q. Were you aware of this document when you were preparing your
20 A. I think by the time I prepared my report, we did not already
21 receive this document, but I have seen it.
22 Q. Were you of the opinion that this document might be useful for the
23 preparation of your report or for the amended part of your report?
24 A. Well, probably not really very much useful, because as I mentioned
25 previously, in the section of the report specifically dealing with
1 Ljuboten I found much better sources from Macedonian military intelligence
2 and the directorate for security and counter-intelligence than any other
4 Q. If you are able to see, this is subject information on Ljuboten.
5 Do you see that in front of you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You can see below description of the events, under 2.
8 A. Could you please scroll down just little bit.
9 Q. Okay, this is good.
10 I would read the account of events as described by the German
11 embassy about the Ljuboten events in the period 10 to 12th of August
13 "Intensive conversations have yielded the following course of
14 events. Ljuboten was a majority population of Albanian ethnicity and one
15 part of it is inhabit the by Macedonians. The mine incident of 10th of
16 August happened on one of the approaches to the Albanian part of the town.
17 The NLA, National Liberation Army, tried to capture the town in several
18 hit-and-run attempts but was prevented from doing so by the Macedonian
19 security forces.
20 "The attack by the security forces of 12 August was led by the
21 Macedonian part of the town against the centre of the town. There is no
22 doubt that the first three mortar attacks were aimed at the security
23 forces. It was the Macedonian forces which then followed by using further
25 Would you agree with me that the German embassy, as an independent
1 source of information, was an independent source of information because it
2 was neither on the Macedonian nor on the Albanian side and that it
3 presents an accurate description of the events and that it would be useful
4 to use this document in your report?
5 A. As I mentioned previously, sir, I think that my report was
6 completed by the time we received this document. This is first point I
7 would like to make.
8 Second point that I would like to make is that what this document
9 says, especially in the first -- in paragraph 2, is not really
10 corroborated by other sources, specifically Macedonian sources.
11 Point three which I would like to make about this report, it seems
12 to be based on a number of interviews which apparently was made with some
13 Macedonian military personnel, as it says intensive conversation have
14 yielded the following course of events.
15 I did not see any Macedonian military reports which would suggest
16 that the NLA was trying to capture Ljuboten prior to the date of 12 August
17 2001, especially in what is described as hit-and-run attempts. I actually
18 went through all the Macedonian military reports, General Staff reports, I
19 mean operational reports, through the month of August, and there is
20 nothing to suggest that any such actions actually took place.
21 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
22 A. Regarding as --
23 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I apologise you can finish your testimony. I thought you were
1 A. Regarding the mortar attacks which were in the security forces,
2 there was indeed some mortar exchange around the village. However, to
3 suggest that the first three mortar attacks were aimed at the security
4 forces does not really get any confirmation from the Macedonian military
5 reports. I think what happened is that on this particular date, on 12 of
6 August, in fact NLA attacked Macedonian army positions quite late. This
7 was on the second -- on the 12th of August. At least this is evident from
8 the record of the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Guardist Brigade.
9 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, is this a
10 convenient time?
11 JUDGE PARKER: We adjourn now and will resume at 1.00,
12 Mr. Apostolski.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 1.04 p.m.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.
16 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, you finalised your first report on the 30th of
18 March, 2006. Is that correct?
19 A. I think so, sir, yes.
20 Q. The Defence received that batch -- I apologise.
21 The Defence received your report on the 31st of March, 2006. It
22 was the batch 17. When producing your first report, you had access to all
23 documents of the OTP. Is that correct?
24 A. To the best of my knowledge, yes.
25 Q. You will access to documents in the Macedonian, the B/C/S, the
1 English language, and since you said yourself you speak all those
2 languages, you did not need to wait for the translation. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, that's right. Otherwise I'm afraid the whole process might
4 have been delayed for a very long time.
5 Q. You stated today that the OSCE report was not accessible to you
6 before you produced your first report. Do you remember that?
7 A. I think I put it in a slightly different way. I think I said that
8 I saw this report perhaps after my report was completed.
9 Q. If I tell that you the Defence received this report from the OTP
10 on the 7th of November, 2005, in the batch 3, that means that you have had
11 access to that document before producing your first report.
12 A. Well, that may be correct, but I'm not certain.
13 Q. So do you agree with me that you have had access to this document,
14 even before producing your first report?
15 A. I only have to repeat my previous answer, sir. I think that I saw
16 this report after my report was actually done.
17 Q. Do you remember that I showed you also the document from the
18 German embassy related to the events in Ljuboten?
19 A. Yes, of course.
20 Q. Do you remember saying that you had not seen this document before
21 you had produced your first report. Is that correct?
22 A. Well, I did not really say that. I think I said that, I think I
23 saw this report, well, after my report had been done. But, again, I'm not
25 But just to comment on this, I don't really think that either of
1 these report are of significantly particular value for my report for the
2 reasons which I have already explained. There are dozens and dozens of
3 similar documents which have been analysed and which seem to totally
4 fitting into the general picture as described in my report, and they are
5 of far better quality than these two reports.
6 Q. You had an opportunity to get acquainted with the statement of
7 Peter Matthiesen, the military attache to Skopje. Is that correct?
8 A. I think I read his statement, yes.
9 Q. If I tell that you Peter Matthiesen in the second statement of
10 16th and 18th January, 2006 enclosed also the document I showed, do you
11 agree with me that this report had been available to you before you had
12 produced your report?
13 A. I remember a number of documents that Mr. Matthiesen provided for
14 the Office of the Prosecutor, perhaps including this particular report,
15 but in fact, as I mentioned previously, essential aspects of my report
16 were already pretty well covered by the Macedonian military documents,
17 especially those of military intelligence and the directorate for security
18 and counter-intelligence of the Ministry of Interior.
19 So if there were any documents of value at all provided by
20 Mr. Matthiesen, they were very, very few and as compared to the other
21 documents provided by original sources, that is the Macedonian military,
22 they would be perhaps of secondary value for me.
23 Q. So your statement given before this Court that you had not seen
24 these documents before producing your first report is inaccurate.
25 A. Not, it's not. I think I indeed saw these documents after my
1 report was produced, to the best of my recollection.
2 Q. But as a military analyst, you should have reviewed all documents.
3 A. This is what I was doing; that's right. I, indeed, reviewed all
4 documents and selected those which I found best.
5 Q. You had submitted your amended report in August 2007. Is that
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. Do you agree with me that this report is not essentially different
9 from your first report?
10 A. I think it is not essential different, but I think, actually, the
11 amended addendum contains several valuable pieces of information which
12 might perhaps help you to rearrange certain accents related to the events
13 in Macedonia in 2001 and those related to Ljuboten as well.
14 Q. In this second report of yours, you're not quoting witness
15 statements. Is that correct?
16 A. You're absolutely right, sir, and I don't really know how many
17 times I have already been repeating this throughout my testimony, that I
18 was trying to rely mainly on the solid verifiable and reliable documents,
19 trying to remove any witness statements of speculative nature as much as
20 it possibly could be done.
21 Q. From the footnotes, you removed all references to witness
22 statements and to investigator's notes from the witness interviews. Is
23 that correct?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. If I tell you that in the footnotes you quote from witness
1 statements for at least 180 times, that fact would be correct? I'm now
2 speaking about the first report.
3 A. I think this is a somewhat overinflated number, but I think there
4 was indeed quite a big number of witness statements which I quoted in my
5 report, original report, for the lack of documents.
6 Q. Could you agree with me that your original, your first report, was
7 based on the witness statements, statements of the witnesses for the
9 A. Only partly. As I say, from the very beginning, I was trying to
10 really build my report on the basis of documents, but inevitably in the
11 course of the writing of reports, I identified a number of gaps which
12 somehow had to be addressed in any case for the sake of making the report
13 address all appropriate issues and aspects.
14 In such situations, whenever there were simply no documents to
15 provide any information about certain issue or a point which could be, at
16 times, pretty subtle but important, I inevitably had to rely on witness
17 statements. But, again, I must say, that even at that stage, at the very
18 beginning, while working on my report back in 2006, I was really trying to
19 minimise the number of such witness statements.
20 Q. But you will agree with me that in the part of the report dealing
21 with Ljuboten, you are referring to notes and sketches drawn by the
22 witness Franz-Josef Hutsch?
23 A. That's right. Unfortunately, or due to certain circumstances, I
24 had no other way, as not to rely on some of the documents provided by
25 Mr. Franz-Josef Hutsch, because there were some points related to the
1 events in Ljuboten which really presented significant gaps in what I was
2 trying to present. Therefore, it appeared to me that those documents
3 presented by Franz-Josef Hutsch would be useful documents to specifically
4 address these points.
5 I would like to emphasise again, that unfortunately, there were no
6 other documents to fill in these gaps, but if I didn't do it, I would feel
7 that my report would actually have been incomplete without addressing
8 these issues.
9 Q. Is it correct that you, as a military analyst, were present during
10 the interviews of all military questioned -- regarding their presence at
12 A. I think I mentioned already in the course of this testimony that I
13 was present at some interviews. I'm not really entirely sure if I was
14 present at all interviews of military personnel. I think not. I wasn't
15 present at some of those?
16 Q. I will go back to a question related to the witness
17 Franz-Josef Hutsch and his sketches.
18 Is it correct that when you are quoting from him in your report,
19 you are saying that he was a former German military officer?
20 A. I think this is what he said.
21 Q. So would it be fair to say and would it be included in the report
22 that he was a German journalist during the time when he was present at
24 A. That perhaps would make certain sense, but for me the fact that he
25 was a former German military officer with apparently military training and
1 background as well as some experience would be far more important, because
2 his opinion would present some professional military matters.
3 Q. And, for instance, Peter Matthiesen, as a military attache, did it
4 not seem a more credible source regarding the reports?
5 A. I think there is a significant difference between the statement of
6 Mr. Matthiesen and Mr. Hutsch, because I don't think Mr. Matthiesen ever
7 claimed that he was in the area of Ljuboten in the period which I
8 described in my report.
9 Q. But, surely, as a military attache, he would not provide an
10 untruthful report. He would surely base it on ascertained facts.
11 A. Sir, I have no reasons to doubt the truthfulness of the report of
12 Mr. Matthiesen, but let me explain again. When dealing with this specific
13 section related to the events in Ljuboten, I inevitably had to rely on
14 some documents presented by Mr. Hutsch who claimed to be there in the
15 area; and in fact, I did not really have any reasons, serious reasons, to
16 doubt that he had not been there.
17 Q. Inter alia, you refer to a sketch admitted in evidence by this
18 Chamber, P00296, whereby he drawed the village of Ljubanci and explains
19 the situation on 11th of August, 2001. Do you remember that?
20 A. I think there was such a sketch.
21 Q. Did you verify the sketch with the actual situation on the
22 terrain? Is it corresponding to the situation in the village of Ljubanci?
23 A. What do you actually mean, sir?
24 Q. Is the sketch in correspondence with the map of the village of
1 A. I must say, I have not really seen such a thing as the map of
2 village of Ljubanci, and I don't think we ever received such a map.
3 Q. On that map, on that sketch prepared by Franz-Josef Hutsch, you
4 refer to it in footnote 668 and you quote it in paragraph 507.
5 The entire paragraph 507 is based on the sketch.
6 A. Yes, that would appear so. Unfortunately, I did not see any other
7 documents which would actually support this paragraph. Support or deny
8 this paragraph, I mean.
9 Q. So you considered it truthful and, for that reason, you quoted it
10 in paragraph 507 of your report.
11 A. As I say, at the time of the writing of this report, I didn't
12 really have any reasons to doubt what Mr. Hutsch said.
13 Q. But you did not verify it.
14 A. I don't quite understand, sir, how would you expect me to verify
15 any specific point of Mr. Hutsch's report? Did you expect me to go on the
16 ground to Ljuboten to actually make a comparison between his sketch and
17 the location of the houses in the village? I mean, what do you exactly
19 Q. Exactly what I had in mind. Wouldn't it be necessary to go at the
20 spot and verify all the allegations and then to proceed in writing your
22 As you said previously, you were at the location, you verified the
23 location of the Macedonian security forces. You were at the Smok position
24 you were at the Bumbar [phoen] position, you were at the Ljubotenski
25 Bacila. Didn't you feel it necessary to verify the other things as well?
1 A. Well, I was verifying the information which we received through a
2 number of sources, including the reports of the Macedonian military and
3 police, as well as some witness statements. I think that this
4 verification was, in fact, aimed to avoid any significant mistakes in my
5 assessment of that situation.
6 I am not certain if -- at least I am still not certain if the
7 sketches which were provided by Mr. Hutsch contained any significant
8 mistakes or discrepancies.
9 Q. As a further source of information to compose your report
10 regarding the events in Ljuboten in August 2001, between 10th and 12th of
11 August, you refer to the sources coming from the NLA as well.
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. Is it correct that you only used one NLA document as a source?
14 A. Which particular document do you mean, sir?
15 Q. Document quoted in footnote 699, a NLA document, the document of
16 the National Liberation Army.
17 A. Yes, I quoted this document in footnote 699.
18 Q. Entire paragraph 526 is -- in the entire paragraph 526 you refer
19 to the NLA document in that paragraph about a person called
20 Muzafer Agushi. It is said that his -- with -- coming from Aracinovo was
21 called on 12th of August in or in the vicinity of the village of Ljuboten.
22 Could you tell me whether -- since you are mentioning two occasions here
23 could you tell me whether he was killed inside or in the vicinity of
25 A. The document which I quote, and I could probably tell you the 65
1 ter number - this is 65 ter 778 - does not really specify exactly where
2 this person was killed. In fact, this document contains a number of
3 columns describing the names of the persons, the date of birth, the
4 location of birth, the location of death, the date of death, and the
5 location of burial.
6 In the column, the location of death is just indicated Ljuboten
7 for this very person.
8 Q. So the column contains the word "Ljuboten," as you quote it as the
9 place where this NLA member was killed. It doesn't mention the vicinity
10 of Ljuboten. Is that correct?
11 A. It doesn't directly.
12 Q. So it would be correct in paragraph 526 to read when referring to
13 that document that the NLA fighter Muzafer Agushi born on 20th of July
14 1981, born in Aracinovo was killed on 12th of August, 2001 in Ljuboten?
15 A. I suppose this is also the way you could also read this document,
16 but it would be also perhaps reasonable to suggest that this person could
17 also be killed in the vicinity of Ljuboten, as we know that a lot of
18 fighting was taking place on this date around the village.
19 Q. Preparing your report on the Ljuboten events in 2001, you further
20 on -- you were also using the so-called Macedonian sources.
21 A. There are, indeed, Macedonian sources, sir.
22 Q. These are sources from -- these are written documents of the
23 Macedonian security forces and that are the military and the police.
24 A. Yes, that's right, sir.
25 Q. Could I draw your attention to the footnote 675. That is a
1 consolidated statement of the witness Osman Ramadani pursuant to Rule 92
2 ter. This is a statement of Osman Ramadani pursuant to Rule 92 ter,
3 paragraphs 12 and 15.
4 Could you explain what group would you put these statements in?
5 A. Well, apparently this is the statement of a resident of Ljuboten.
6 Q. But in the beginning your sources, you group in sources coming
7 from the NLA, international sources as well as Macedonian sources. Would
8 that mean that these two -- what group of sources would you put these
9 statements into?
10 A. Well, I wouldn't really ascribe this statement to any particular
11 group, but when I was describing the three groups of sources, I broadly
12 meant that in fact each of those groups also included the witness
14 Q. And how would you group these witnesses, what would group would
15 you put him into?
16 A. I wouldn't really regard him really as a NLA source because I
17 don't have any evidence, real evidence that this particular individual
18 belonged to the NLA. Well, perhaps I could just regard this particular
19 statement little bit as a -- as a stand-alone document.
20 Q. A third source of information used by you for the Ljuboten events
21 in 2001 between the dates 10th to 12th August you mentioned the Macedonian
22 sources. As you said -- is it correct you said you were present during
23 the interview of several military personnel. Did you include these
24 interviews in the group of sources of Macedonian sources?
25 A. I'm sorry, sir, I don't quite understand your question.
1 Q. Very well. I will rephrase it.
2 You were present during the interview of
3 Captain Nikolce Grozdanov. Is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. Is that correct that during the interview, Mr. Nikolce Grozdanov
6 have marked photographs about the NLA positions in the village of Ljuboten
7 on 12th of August, 2001?
8 A. Yes, that's right. I would say that he actually marked several
9 targets which his unit targeted in the village of Ljuboten. And I believe
10 he also assumed that these targets belonged to the NLA.
11 Q. Did you think it useful to use this photograph as an evidence
12 received from the Macedonian side in the preparation of your report?
13 A. I do not recall which specific photograph you mean, sir, but if
14 you are referring to various reports by the Macedonian military regarding
15 specific targets in Ljuboten, they were indeed a very thorough subject of
16 my scrutiny through the preparation of my report.
17 There was a number of reports which were made by the Macedonian
18 military men, officers of the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Guardist Brigade,
19 as well as officers belonging to the headquarters of the 1st Guardist
20 Brigade which I analysed in the course of preparation of my report,
21 including the reports provided by, for instance, Lieutenant Mario Jurisic,
22 Captain Grozdanovski, Lieutenant Brasnarski.
23 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation], Your Honours I know this is a
24 bit earlier but could we adjourn now? I will go on to a different group
25 of questions, and I would like to inform the Chamber and my learned
1 colleague from the Prosecution that is my intention to finish during the
2 first session of the following day.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Very well, Mr. Apostolski. We will adjourn now.
4 We resume on Monday at 2.15.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.43 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Monday, the 5th day of
7 November, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.