1 Thursday, 8 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
7 May I remind of the affirmation that you made at the beginning of
8 your evidence, which still applies.
9 Ms. Regue.
10 MS. REGUE: Thank you, Your Honours, good morning.
11 We identified the problem with the binders yesterday, and it was
12 you were missing the cover page of the Albanian version of what became
13 Exhibit 498, former 65 ter 778.4, which is tab 4.
14 So we make copies of the cover pages, if the usher can provide to
15 the Judges and also to the Defence.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
17 MS. REGUE: And, also, Your Honours, we notice that this cover
18 page had not been translated into English; and, yesterday, we translated
19 and we uploaded but we will seek your permission to link the cover page,
20 the English translation, to the already existing exhibit, 498.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
22 MS. REGUE: And we can provide also the English translation of the
23 cover page. It is also tab 4 of the binders.
24 Finally, Your Honour, I would like to put in the record that,
25 yesterday, in page 7431, line 20 and 7432, line 2, when we were working
1 with the last document, the transcript read "Exhibit P416," when indeed we
2 were working with, and I think I mentioned, Exhibit P460, 4-6-0.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
4 WITNESS: GZIM OSTRENI [Resumed]
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 Examination by Ms. Regue: [Continued]
7 Q. Good morning, General.
8 A. Good morning.
9 MS. REGUE: Could we please go to Exhibit P461, P461. It's in tab
10 3 of the binders.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, let me have a look at it.
12 MS. REGUE:
13 Q. We are waiting, General, to have the cover page in Albanian in
14 e-court. Okay. We will work with the hard copy in Albanian.
15 General, if we could go first to the cover page to the first page
16 of this document.
17 General we, again, see a document with a title, "Regulation on the
18 Competencies and Work of the Brigade Command." Again, in the upper part
19 of the document, we can read,"NLA, General Staff, Approved by NLA
20 commander, Ali Ahmeti." We can see in the lower part of the document your
21 name and "2001."
22 General, did you produce this document?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. When did you produce it?
25 A. In the period I mentioned. I worked from March, April, and early
1 May. I can't specify the exact time, date, or week, but that was the
2 period I worked.
3 Q. Thanks. And, General, in order to produce this document, in which
4 material, in which knowledge did you rely on?
5 A. In order to produce the regulation, the competencies, and the work
6 of the brigade general provisions, and so on, there is such a rule in each
7 and every army. In my case, I resorted to the army of Yugoslavia rules,
8 the Albanian army, and other documents, because, as I already said, I had
9 long experience in this field.
10 Q. To whom did you distribute these document, General, once it was
12 A. We distributed it to the brigade commands.
13 MS. REGUE: If we could go to page 4 in e-court, which I think it
14 will be page 3 for the hard copy. It's the Albanian page 3, my apology,
15 also in e-court.
16 Q. General, in the second paragraph of this extract, which appears
17 the title, "General Provision," we read: "The aim of this set of
18 regulations is to define the duties, responsibilities, and rights of the
19 officers and other staff members at the brigade command, so that they can
20 carry out their functions and duties."
21 General, which was the purpose of this regulation?
22 A. The aim of this regulation was to set the duties, responsibilities
23 of all the persons involved in the brigade command.
24 Q. Thanks.
25 MS. REGUE: If we could go to page 2 of both of English and
1 Albanian version, where we can see a table of contents.
2 Q. General, indeed, we can read in this table of contents different
3 positions; for example, item 3, commander of the brigade; item 5, legal
4 visor; item 6, head of the office for information and public relations;
5 item 8, Chief of Staff; and so on.
6 MS. REGUE: Also in the English version if we could go to the next
7 page and keep the same in the Albanian.
8 Q. There are other positions like driver, worker, waiter.
9 General, by the time that the Ohrid Agreement was signed, 13
10 August 2001, did the brigades -- had the brigades, all these positions
12 A. No, not all of them, because the tendency was that, first, we
13 completed the units that were engaged in fighting. So, beginning from the
14 deputy commander squads, platoons, commanders of companies, and so on,
15 only some important positions at the level of brigade were filled. So
16 gradually we worked on filling all the other positions.
17 I have to emphasise, however, that all these documents should be
18 seen as documents that were needed and implemented gradually in conformity
19 with the development and growth of the units of the National Liberation
20 Army, because this army was not a formed army. It was an army in the
21 process of formation abiding by such rules.
22 So the filling of the positions in this army, based on these
23 rules, was done according to the needs, assessments of the brigades, and
24 the commanders of such brigades demanded the cadres they needed in various
1 So, as I said, there were brigade commanders first who were
2 appointed, then their deputies, then the persons responsible for
3 logistics; the key positions, of course.
4 Q. You just mention that this army, the NLA, was an army in process
5 of formation. What do you mean with that?
6 A. By mean -- by means of this, I mean that the units of the NLA were
7 formed of voluntaries [as interpreted] and became part of this army based
8 on their abilities; and, normally, they were trained and given tasks to
9 perform in the context of the units they were placed in.
10 Q. When you were producing this document, General, when did you
11 expect that the conflict would end?
12 A. Our wish was that it ended as soon as possible, but our aim was to
13 reach a political understanding by the competent bodies in the Republic of
14 Macedonia. But this is something we didn't know when it would be coming;
15 therefore, our preparations were headed towards that direction. We
16 expected the conflict to last very long.
17 Q. And, General, would the level of implementation of these
18 regulations be different, depending on the brigades?
19 With that, General, I mean, if we focus on this regulation, the
20 positions, would that be different, depending on the brigades?
21 A. The responsibility, on the level of brigade, the duties of a
22 superior were the same, but the development of brigades varied; for
23 example, when Brigade 113 was the first to be formed, then came Brigade
24 112, then 115, 116, 14. So none of them developed at the same time. They
25 developed gradually, after they were completed with personnel and military
1 equipment they needed.
2 So the fulfilment of these tasks in theory were the same, but in
3 practice that varied. It depended on the work done by each and every one
4 of the personnel involved in that.
5 Q. Thanks.
6 MS. REGUE: We will move on to another document. This is already
7 an exhibit, Your Honours.
8 Now we will move to 65 ter 778.8, which is tab 6 of the binder,
9 and if we could go to the first page.
10 Q. General, we have in front of us the cover page of another
11 document, which bears the title, "Regulations for the criteria involved in
12 the classification of information of importance to the NLA, which must be
13 kept a military or state secret and the methods entailed in the
14 preservation thereof."
15 Also, General, in the lower part of this document, on the right
16 side, we see your name and the year, 2001.
17 General, did you produce this document?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. When did you produce it, General?
20 A. At the same time, during which I worked for the other documents,
21 but after I finished the rules and formations.
22 Q. General, in order to produce this document, which sources did you
23 rely on?
24 A. I relied exclusively on the rules of the Yugoslav army and state
25 at that time, in Serbia, it was called; that is, a summary of laws and
1 regulations on security in general."
2 Q. And once you finished producing this document, General, to whom
3 did you distribute this document?
4 A. This document, too, was distributed among the brigade commanders.
5 MS. REGUE: If we could go, please, to page 2 of both of English
6 and the Albanian.
7 Q. General, if we focus on Article 1 just below item 1, General
8 Rules, this Article reads, and I quote: "The set of regulations describes
9 the criteria involved in the classification of important information for
10 the NLA, which must be kept as a military or state secret and the means of
11 protecting it in command structures, staff offices, units, and groupings
12 of the Armed Forces, and in other organisations and associations which
13 have access to such information."
14 General, which was the purpose of this regulation?
15 A. The purpose was to preserve the data and not make them public to
16 people who are not competent of the NLA.
17 MS. REGUE: If we could move to page 4 in both versions, I believe
18 that in hard copies it will be page 3, and we focus in Article 15. In
19 Albanian, in e-court, it should be the following page.
20 Q. General, Article 15 just below the item, Criteria for classifying
21 secret information, Article 15 reads, and I quote: "The disclosure of
22 document, arms and military equipment, measures, human resources, and
23 other elements of importance to the NLA, by which the NLA and its
24 preparations for the defence and safety of the country could, in some way,
25 be jeopardised, constitute either military or state secrets, depending on
1 their fields." And I end the quote.
2 General, we just read here for the defence and safety of the
3 country. Which country were you talking about? Which country did you
5 A. The Republic of Macedonia.
6 Q. General, was among the goals of the NLA to establish a separate
7 and independent country?
8 A. No. This was shown in all our main communiques and main
9 documents; namely, that the NLA was in favour of the full sovereignty and
10 integrity of the Republic of Macedonia.
11 Q. Thanks, General.
12 MS. REGUE: If we could move, please, to the next page, it will be
13 page 5 in e-court in both English and Albanian; and, for hard copy, it
14 will be the page bearing number 4.
15 Q. General, you have in front of you Article 17, which defines a
16 state secret, and I quote: "State secrets are such information about the
17 NLA, information about the plans and preparatory defence activities of the
18 NLA, in regard to which it has been determines that their disclosure might
19 have negative repercussions for the defence and security of the country.
20 "In particular, they are information relating to," and now in the
21 document it is listed different examples; for instance, "item 2, Military
22 plans of the NLA."
23 General, if we move to Article 18 in the same page, I believe, the
24 definition of military secret appears, and I quote: "A military secret
25 constitutes information on the NLA, the plans, and preparatory activities
1 of the NLA, vehicles, arms and military equipment, military facilities,
2 important military formations, and all information impacting on the
3 activities of the NLA. The publication or distribution thereof could have
4 repercussions for the NLA and for the preparations for the defence of the
6 General, in a nutshell, which would be the main difference between
7 a state secret and a military secret, in simple terms?
8 A. To put it simply, for us, a state secret consisted of war plans,
9 formations, and duties, including also our assessment of them; whereas,
10 part of military secrets are equipment, better security of our positions,
11 even though they were open to the army and the police of Macedonia. They
12 were known to them.
13 Q. Thanks, General.
14 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, at this stage, I would seek to tender
15 this document into evidence.
16 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P500, Your Honours.
18 MS. REGUE:
19 Q. General, you mention in your statement that the origins of the
20 NLA, in paragraph 16 of your statement, you mention that could be found in
21 the dissatisfaction of the Albanian population as they were being excluded
22 from the public life, from the public institutions.
23 You also mention that the NLA explained its political goals in
24 communique number 6, which was reproduced almost entirely in the Ohrid
25 Agreement. That's in paragraph 31 of your statement, General.
1 Could you briefly explain which was the content of this
2 communique, meaning the main goals of the NLA?
3 A. Yes. Through this communique, the NLA General Staff insisted on
4 making known its aims embodied in the NLA. From what I recall, this
5 statement, or communique, had, as its first point, the commitment of the
6 NLA to preservation of the territorial integrity of the Republic of
7 Macedonia; then, the need for impartial international intervention to
8 resolve the conflict; then, the census of the population to be taken in
9 the Republic of Macedonia; then, amendment of the constitution of the
10 Republic of Macedonia.
11 To put it in simpler terms, we demanded that the amendment the
12 preamble to the constitution of the Republic of Macedonia for Albanians to
13 be a state constituent element in the Republic of Macedonia. In that
14 point, it is written that Macedonia should be an Albanian-Macedonian or
15 Macedonian-Albanian state, depending on the formulation.
16 We believe that by carrying out such amendments to the
17 constitution and its preamble, we would be free of discrimination in the
18 field of culture, science, education, state institutions, and so on.
19 Further on, in this communique, we demanded that the neighbouring
20 states not side with any of the parties but contribute to the conclusion
21 of this process; and, finally, we appeal to the Macedonian mothers not to
22 let their children become prey to the state officials in Macedonia at the
24 This is more or less, in summary, the content of communique number
1 Q. Can you recall when this communique was issued, approximately?
2 A. Yes, yes, I remember. This communique was issued on the 9th of
3 March, and it was published in the Albanian-speaking media and maybe also
4 some Macedonian-speaking medium. It was broadcast by such information
5 media. We believe that both international and home public were informed
6 of the aims of the NLA.
7 Q. Did you reproduce these goals of the NLA in another significant
8 document, General?
9 A. These goals were our permanent demand; therefore, they were
10 included also in other documents. Almost the same content, but rather
11 better regulated, is expressed also in the memorandum that the political
12 representative of the NLA, Mr. Ali Ahmeti, addressed to the United
13 Nations, its honourable chairman, the Secretary-General of NATO, the
14 chairman of the European Commission, the OSCE president, and the entire
15 public at home and abroad.
16 Q. And, General, again, if you can recall approximately when this
17 memorandums with sent to these international institutions?
18 A. The end of April, maybe on the 24th of April, if I'm not mistaken.
19 Q. Of 2001, correct?
20 A. Yes, certainly. We are talking all the time of 2001.
21 Q. Thanks.
22 MS. REGUE: If we could please move to Exhibit P486, which is tab
23 10 of the binders, Your Honours, and if we could go to the first page,
24 which is the cover page of this document.
25 Q. General, we have in front of us a cover page of a document which,
1 again, reads, "NLA, General Staff, Approved by NLA commander, Ali Ahmeti,"
2 and bears the title, "Development of moblisation and personnel and
3 material formation of the General Staff." We can read, actually, in the
4 lower part, again, your name, General.
5 Did you produce, General, this document?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. When did you produce it, approximately?
8 A. Within the same framework, when I worked on the formation. In
9 general, I worked on these documents during March, April, and part of May.
10 Q. General, again, in order to produce this document, which sources
11 did you rely on? Which knowledge did you use?
12 A. Since 1969, I was Chief of Staff; first, at a municipal level,
13 which compared to a brigade in army terms; then, during the Kosovo war, I
14 was Chief of Staff of the Dukagjini zone; and then I was Chief of Staff of
15 the KPC. So I did not lack the knowledge to draft and to create a General
17 Q. And, General, again, to whom did you distribute this document once
18 it was produced?
19 A. This document remained in the General Staff with me. The
20 commander, of course, had it as well. And, based on this document, I
21 insisted that the posts be filled in gradually.
22 MS. REGUE: If we could move to page 2 of this document, which is
23 page 1 in the -- in the hard copy. It's the first chart.
24 Q. General, we see here a chart which has the heading basic
25 mobilisation plan. This chart contains different columns. The first
1 column bears the title, "Organs."
2 General, is "organs" a correct translation from Albanian?
3 A. In Albanian, it's the "organigram."
4 Q. Excuse me, my mistake. It reads, "Unit."
5 So I want to ask you General, whether "unit" -- because in
6 English, we have the translation "unit." Was "unit" the correct
7 translation from the Albanian.
8 A. Here, where it writes "staff," perhaps a mistake has been made.
9 Maybe it should be stated as "organ," "department." Similarly, to other
10 formations and development charts, maybe this "unit" was transferred to
11 this chart automatically, but otherwise it should be "the organ."
12 Q. And we are talking about the first column, right?
13 A. Where it is written "the unit."
14 Q. In this chart, we can read, in the next columns: "Number and name
15 of unit," or organs, "place of basic mobilisation plan."
16 We read: "General, high ranking officer, officer," some other
17 positions, then "uniforms and weapons."
18 General, which was the purpose of these regulation of this chart?
19 A. If we are talking in terms of the development of mobilisation, the
20 aim of this chart was in order to have a clear picture as per every organ,
21 in order to show the number of participants and their equipment. While in
22 development, these were worked on, on individual terms, for every
23 formation individually.
24 Q. If we could --
25 A. So, here, we have a collective information and duties of the
1 respective organs.
2 Q. General, if we could move to the next page, both English and
4 Do you see, General, your position in this column, in the first
6 A. Yes, The Chief of Staff.
7 Q. According to the chart, General, you are marked below the category
8 "General," and you were given a uniform and a handgun. Is this
9 information accurate?
10 A. This is correct. I had a uniform and a handgun.
11 Q. Thanks, General.
12 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, this document is already an exhibit, 486,
13 so I won't seek to tender it.
14 Now I will move to 65 ter 778.13, which is tab 8 of your binders,
15 and if we could go to the first page. To the next one, please.
16 Q. General, we have in front of us a chart which bears the heading,
17 "Soldier's personal and collective weaponry card."
18 Well, first of all, General, which was the purpose of this chart?
19 A. From what I can see here, we have a -- an armed squad that
20 received or were issued weapons, and each of its members signed for the
21 weapons that they were issued with.
22 Q. Indeed, we have a first column with names listed. Second column,
23 for example, reads: "Kalashnikov, weapon number." If we go a bit to the
24 right, we see: "Ballots," and also "the weapon number, grenades, sniper
25 rifle." And then at the end, the last column requires the signature of
1 the person.
2 General, did you produce this chart, this particular chart?
3 A. No. This chart was produced by the base units, by the brigade, or
4 at a level of the battalion or the company. While here, what we see
5 before us, it's a chart about a squad and the weapons that members of this
6 squad were issued with.
7 Q. So at which level these charts would be kept, would be filled,
9 A. Such a form would be filled in at a company level, which is
10 divided into platoons and squads, while the records were kept at a level
11 of battalions and brigades.
12 Q. And whom within these units, General, will be in charge with
13 filling this information?
14 A. The person directly involved with this issue in the company, and
15 these records should be at the possession of the squad commander, so that
16 he is familiar with the weapons that are issued to his squad.
17 Q. And when you say "the person directly involved with this issue in
18 the company," which person do you mean? Which position do you refer to?
19 A. The person in charge; that is, the company commander and the
20 person that he assigns with the duty of keeping these records; then these
21 forms go to the battalion, to the brigade. I'm talking in terms of
22 serious and completed army. So as I described it earlier, this was in
23 period of formation, and I wish you to understand me within those terms.
24 Q. Thanks, General.
25 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, I will seek to tender this document into
2 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
3 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P501, Your Honours.
4 MS. REGUE: If we could move to 65 ter 778.14, which is tab 9.
6 Q. General, again, we have here another chart with the heading,
7 "Soldier's personal card of clothing and other personal equipment."
8 Which is the purpose of this chart, General?
9 [French on English Channel]
10 MS. REGUE: Do we have some problems with the translation?
11 Q. General, did you hear my question? Which is the purpose of this
13 A. The purpose of this chart is to have a well-kept record regarding
14 the equipment of the officers of the NLA, who were issued weapons and who
15 signed for these weapons and are responsible for them.
16 Q. Well, General, in particular, the chart that we have in front of
17 us deals with clothing.
18 If you can look, General, to the chart, you can see in the first
19 column, the names; then, the second column, for example, trousers; then
20 jackets, T-shirts, shoes, flakjackets; and at the end, we see the
21 signature of the person who was issued this material, General.
22 Do you see that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Which was then the purpose of this chart, General?
25 A. The purpose of this chart was to create a clear picture of the
1 clothing that was issued to members of the units of and brigades and the
2 persons that were issued. And based on these charts, then the need for
3 filling in the shortcomings would be clear.
4 Q. Did you develop these charts, General?
5 A. No. These charts were made at a level of brigade logistics
7 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, I will seek to tendered this chart into
9 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P502, Your Honours.
11 MS. REGUE: If we could move to Exhibit P487, which is tab 14.
12 Your Honours, this -- if we could go to the first page of the
13 Albanian version, which is the one that shows the map in the e-court.
14 Your Honour, we can provide to yourself and the colleagues a
15 bigger map; also to the witness, and one for the witness, please.
16 Q. General, we have in front of us a map which bears the title,
17 "Directive of military operation." On the upper right side, we see the
18 date, 13 of June, 2001; and in the lower part of the document, we see the
19 stamp and the signature of Ali Ahmeti.
20 General, who produced this map?
21 A. I worked in the production of this directive.
22 Q. Did you work, did you produce it on the 13th of June, 2001, as the
23 document reads?
24 A. I want to clarify something, if permitted.
25 This document is titled, "Freedom 2." On the right-hand side,
1 where the word "secret" is mentioned and the date, the first part is in
2 fact, "Freedom 1." And on the map, it is marked with yellow, and it
3 starts from the north at the village of Slupcane and continues along.
4 Do you want me to continue explaining this?
5 Q. Yes, General. If you allow me, I will keep asking the questions,
6 and then we can go on slowly so Their Honours can understand.
7 General, first --
8 A. No problem.
9 Q. Thanks. Why did you produce this map? Which was the main purpose
10 of this document, General?
11 A. In an army, the military plans are conducted on maps and are
12 explained in writing. I worked on this map for planning purposes and for
13 explaining to the commander a military operation plan.
14 Q. Thanks, General. And just to clarify, did you produce this
15 document on the date which is indicated in the upper right side, 13 of
16 June, 2001?
17 A. Yes, 13th of June.
18 Q. Now, General, we are going to look at the different parts of this
20 First of all, General, if you could explain, what were you
21 indicating with the areas which are depicted in yellow?
22 A. Yes, I tried to explain it earlier. I interfered, I guess, with
23 your question.
24 This document is titled, "Liria" or "Freedom 2." The previous
25 document was titled, "Freedom 1." Only that part of the document marked
1 with yellow was prepared. So, at the time, it was necessary to realise
2 that part in order to pass into this new plan, because the Liberation Army
3 at that time had been only on those positions.
4 Then, with the second map, with the green, it's marked what should
5 be done next.
6 Q. So the parts -- the territories which are indicated in yellow,
7 which are showing, General, exactly? Just focus on the yellow parts,
9 A. The yellow parts indicate the location or the area where the NLA
10 had established its authority, where it had its positions, excluding the
11 Kercove part and the city of Diber - and I'm specifying here the city of
12 Diber because there were some positions north of Diber - and with the
13 exclusion of Struga, while positions were present at all other locations
14 which are marked with yellow here.
15 Q. These three locations, these three positions that you just
16 mentioned, Kercove, Diber, and Struga, are indicated in yellow, General?
17 A. Yes, because the volunteers were ready, but we did not issue any
18 order for them to be sent there and become operative.
19 Q. Can you explain us where are these areas. Do you see them
20 indicated, marked in the map, the yellow?
21 A. Mali i Zi i Shkupit, Skopska Crna Gora, so from the border with
22 neighbouring country on the north, above Aracinovo at Mojance village;
23 then in the area of Radush, the Sar Mountain; and on the entire left side
24 of Tetova, in the municipality of Mavrov; in the area of villages of
25 Tanuse and some others, which I cannot read at the moment, and Kercove.
1 Q. I don't mean to interrupt you. I want to know is whether these
2 areas, these territories that you mentioned, are indicated already in the
3 yellow on the map. Either in the main yellow part or in the isolated
4 circles that we see, are they depicted in yellow?
5 A. Yes. They are depicted in yellow, with the exception of the
6 places that I mentioned: Diber, Kercove, and Struga.
7 Q. So these are not indicated in yellow. They are not marked with
8 yellow, these three locations?
9 A. They are marked with yellow, because as I said, the volunteers
10 were at the state of readiness and waiting for or order, but we did not
11 issue an order and they did not become operative.
12 MS. REGUE: Maybe if we can take the pen and the General can
14 Q. General, you will be given an electronic pen, and I will ask to
15 you look at the screen and to indicate where these three locations you
16 mentioned, Kercove, Struga, and Diber, are .
17 Let's start with Kercove, which area?
18 A. On the screen.
19 Q. Yes, just one second, General. The gentleman will help you out.
20 A. If you could move it up a little bit, in order to see Kercove.
21 Q. Do you see Kercove in this map, General?
22 A. A little bit, if you could just enlarge it. This is the part
24 Q. Okay, General, I would like, please, yeah, indicate where Kercove,
25 is, where it's located.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. So you were referring to this area. Could you write number 1,
3 please, General, next to this circle.
4 A. [Marks]
5 Q. Thanks. Now do you see in the same map Struga?
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. Can you write number 2.
8 A. [Marks]
9 MS. REGUE: For the record, the General has indicated that Struga
10 is the circle in the lower left side; and circle, indicated with number 1,
11 is the yellow circle more in the centre of the map.
12 Q. And the third location, General, I believe that you mentioned
13 Diber. Where is it located? Do you see it?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Can you write number 3, please?
16 A. [Marks]
17 MS. REGUE: The General has indicated a circle, which is more on
18 the left of the document.
19 Q. General, we see also more, if we look north, another area which is
20 depicted in a yellow circle, which is separated from the main yellow area.
21 Which territory were you indicating there?
22 A. It is an area where the units were supposed to take positions
23 later on. There are two green arrows showing which ones should go there,
24 but I cannot read it on the map at the moment.
25 Q. General, I'm talking about a yellow circle more in the north, just
1 below and on to the right of the main yellow area, which is isolated,
2 separated from the main yellow area. Do you see that, at least in the
3 hard copy, General?
4 I think it is written in the centre, "1/201," but I may be wrong.
5 A. There are many elements here that are the integral part of the
6 war, but I don't know which one you're referring to at the moment.
7 Specifically, which one? Which unit?
8 Q. I'm referring to a circle in yellow which is separated from the
9 main territory, from the many yellow area, which is to the right of the
11 But if you are not able to see, General, I will move on. It's a
12 bit -- it's to the left of Skopje. I believe that is below Tetovo.
13 A. I still can't see it.
14 Q. Below Tetovo?
15 A. It cannot be on the left of Skopje and below Tetovo.
16 Q. My apologies. Maybe I'm not well familiar with the geography.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps if you looked between Skopje and Tetovo,
18 just to the south of a line joining those two, and nearer to Tetovo.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I see it. It is a mark for a
20 company that should be formed from the brigade, 112th --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The interpreter is not sure
22 about the number.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Brigade of Tetovo.
24 MS. REGUE:
25 Q. Could you repeat the number of the brigade, General?
1 A. 112th, Mujdin Aliu Brigade.
2 Q. Could you please draw a circle on the screen indicating this area,
4 A. As I understand it, it is about this unit.
5 Q. Thanks.
6 A. If I understood it correctly.
7 Q. Yes, General.
8 MS. REGUE: And I thank you, Your Honour, for the help.
9 Q. If you could please write number 4.
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. Thanks.
12 MS. REGUE: Maybe, at this point, I will tender this document,
13 because we may lose the markings.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.
15 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours.
16 I apologise for interfering in the examination of my colleague,
17 but the Defence is not clear, and I think it would be good for the
18 transcript also to clarify the circles marked with 1, 2, and 3.
19 I think that it remained unclear whether inside the circles were
20 the areas that were not under the control of the NLA, which were not under
21 the NLA control. Then the question would be about the number 4, whether
22 the number 4 marks an area that was not under the NLA control.
23 At least this is how I understood it, so if my colleague can
24 clarify it and the witness.
25 MS. REGUE: I'm happy to clarify it, Your Honour.
1 Q. General, could you explain to us whether the areas that you marked
2 with number 1, 2, 3, and 4 were at the moment that you were preparing --
3 JUDGE PARKER: I think they're different, so perhaps you better
4 separate the fourth from 1, 2, and 3.
5 MS. REGUE: Yes, Your Honour.
6 Q. General, could you explain to us whether the areas, which you have
7 marked with number 1, 2 and 3, were under the NLA control by the date that
8 you produced this map, meaning 13 of June, 2001.
9 A. Yes. There were people in combat readiness who, upon taking
10 orders, would fight.
11 Q. What about the area indicated with number 4? Was the NLA deployed
12 in that region as well?
13 A. No. But it was the duty of Brigade 115 to develop, in case this
14 operation would be performed, to operate in that area with part of its
16 Q. Maybe I'm a bit confused, General, but I believe that you
17 mentioned 112th Brigade before. I'm talking about the region indicated
18 with number 4.
19 A. Brigade 112 should operate, come to the assistance of 115, in case
20 it needed it, because the aim of this operation was to close Skopje-Tetovo
21 road. Only in that case would this unit go there.
22 Q. So to have to clear, in the area depicted number 4, what -- was
23 NLA presence, or it was a forthcoming action, to be undertaken?
24 A. The text, the written text is attached to the map, and the text
25 clearly states the purpose of the operation. On the 13th of June, work
1 was under way to expand the units of the NLA, but the deployed -- there
2 were not specifically deployed units there.
3 Q. Thanks, General.
4 MS. REGUE: At this stage, Your Honour, I'll tender this document.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Can I just be a little more clear, Mr. Ostreni.
6 Do I correctly understand, in respect of the areas marked 1, 2,
7 and 3, that you had, you say, members of the NLA in position in a state of
8 combat readiness, but they had not been given orders?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were staying in their own
10 respective homes.
11 JUDGE PARKER: So they had not been mobilised.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they were not. They kept in
13 touch only with their leaders.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. And in the area marked 4, there were
15 not people in position, but orders had been given to the 112th Brigade to
16 be supported, if necessary, by the 115th Brigade, to gain control of that
17 area, with a view to blocking the Tetovo-Skopje road.
18 Is that what you were saying?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With a minor difference; namely,
20 that 112th would support Brigade 115, because brigade 115 was closer to
21 Skopje, so it could do that; whereas, the other brigade would go as
22 reinforcement on the right side of the road.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
24 This will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P503, Your Honours.
1 MS. REGUE:
2 Q. General, we also see some areas indicated in green. Were these
3 territories occupied by the NLA, General?
4 A. I wouldn't use the term "occupied," Your Honour, because that is
5 our country. We cannot occupy it.
6 Secondly, the colour green shows the direction that the operation
7 of the NLA would take to realise the operation, military operation, which
8 should be developed in the future.
9 Q. Thanks, General.
10 MS. REGUE: And now if we could please go to the plan, to the
11 document, which is page 1 in the English version and page 2 in the
13 Q. General, just to follow up in your answer, you mention that the
14 colour green shows the direction that the operation of the NLA would take
15 to realise the whole operation, the military operation, in the future.
16 Was this operation, which should be undertaken in the green areas,
17 ever implemented, ever performed by the NLA?
18 A. As an operation per se, it was not implemented.
19 Q. Okay.
20 MS. REGUE: If we please could about to the document itself, which
21 is page 1, as I mentioned, in the English, page 2 in the Albanian.
22 Q. General, we will look at the document closely in a minute. But
23 before that, did you produce this document?
24 A. Yes, I did. And on the left side, you see Gzim Ostreni on the
25 lower left side.
1 Q. In the lower part, yes.
2 MS. REGUE: Yes, it will be in the last page of the English
4 Q. And, General, did you produce it at the same time as the map?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. That would be June --
7 A. There are two documents that go together. First, you draw up the
8 idea in writing, then you put it in the map; then, again, you first
9 expound it in writing, providing for every details.
10 Q. Thanks. General, that would be June 2001, right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And which was the purpose of this document, General?
13 A. The purpose of this document was to coordinate the actions of the
14 brigades of the NLA and to help plan the realisation of a military
16 The reason for preparing it was that the NLA, at that time, was in
17 a position, because it had reached a considerable number of personnel, to
18 pass on to a joint operation.
19 Q. And, General, if we focus in the first paragraph, just below the
20 title, the heading, "3, Ideas for conducting the operation," and I will
21 quote: "While continuing to increase of the number of units in the
22 brigades, in line with the establishment, active combat operations will be
23 undertaken with a view to breaking up and eliminating the enemy's troops,
24 so as to block and take over the towns and main roads of western Macedonia
25 as rapidly as possible."
1 General, which is the significance of this particular paragraph?
2 A. I think this paragraph is clear. The brigades should push further
3 the forces of the army and the police, and take up other positions which
4 are marked here, and you can see them also in the map; that is, to carry
5 out a complete movement in the direction of the east.
6 Q. And these positions, these will be the ones indicated with green
7 colour in the map, General?
8 A. Yes, yes. They are marked in green.
9 Q. If we keep in the English version, page 1, General, a little bit
10 below to the main paragraph, we can read: "The operation will be
11 conducted in two stages: In stage one by 10 July," and just below, "in
12 stage 2, by the end of July." You describe several operations.
13 Were these operations ever implemented, General?
14 A. No. They were never implemented.
15 MS. REGUE: If we could go to page 2, please, of the English
17 Q. General, just we see here a heading with a the title,"4,
18 Deployment and tasks of UCK forces." You are describing different
19 operations with regards to different brigades.
20 If we focus on the first paragraph, General, when you are talking
21 about the 113th Brigade, we can reed that: "The 113th Brigade will, by 10
22 of July, make preparations to capture and cut off the town of Kumanovo,"
23 and also you mentioned the blocking of two nearby roads.
24 General, did the NLA ever succeed in capturing Kumanovo?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Which was the significance of this operation, General, for the
3 A. You cannot leave a war in the middle, unless the Ohrid Agreement
4 was signed. Unless the politicians didn't come to terms among themselves,
5 then the army and the police would continue with their fighting. The NLA,
6 also, had its own plan of operations to bring pressure, greater pressure,
7 to bear upon them in order to have its demands, its purposes and goals
8 expressed in communique number 6 in the memorandum, realised.
9 Q. And, General, if we move to the second paragraph, where it is
10 mentioned: "At the same time, the 113th Brigade troops holding the
11 village of Aracinovo will form the 1st Battalion of the 114th Brigade and
12 gradually continue recruiting to full strength at brigade level."
13 I'll just stop there, General. Was the 114th Brigade ever formed?
14 A. Brigade 114 was formed, as far as I can remember, on the 1st of
15 July, and it had to break away from Brigade 113 because of the great
16 number of soldiers in Brigade 113, which gave rise to the establishment of
17 the other brigade which was planned to be form.
18 Q. General, if we move now to the third paragraph, when you are
19 talking about the 115th Brigade, I quote: "The 115th Brigade battalion,
20 in the Derventa area, will continue efforts to expand at brigade level,
21 forming a 2nd Battalion."
22 General, was this battalion ever created within the 115th Brigade.
23 A. The 2nd Battalion was not created as a separate battalion.
24 Q. Now, in the same paragraph, General, you mention that also the
25 115th Brigade will make preparations to take some areas, in accordance to
1 an order.
2 General, did the 115th Brigade ever took -- ever take over these
3 additional territories?
4 A. No. It should be done on special orders by the General Staff.
5 Q. And was this order of issued, General?
6 A. No.
7 Q. If we move a bit below, General, we can also read here that: "The
8 115th Brigade will assist the 112th Brigade in breaking up and eliminating
9 the forces located in Polog, as well as in closing the Skopje-Velse road.
10 Were these operations ever carried out, General?
11 A. Can you please repeat your question? Which brigade are you asking
12 me? I'm not clear.
13 Q. Yes, General. I'm just reading from the document.
14 In the paragraph which relates to the 115th Brigade, it reads
15 like -- I believe it will be the third line, starting from the end of this
16 paragraph: "The 115 Brigade will assist the 112th Brigade in breaking up
17 and eliminating," excuse me, "the forces located in Polog, as well as
18 enclosing the Skopje-Velse road."
19 I was asking whether these operations were ever carried out,
21 A. It was not carried out on any orders.
22 Q. Now we move to another paragraph, which deals with the 112 Brigade
23 in the area of Tetovo, and here we can read that: "The 112 Brigade will
24 send a company to close the Skopje-Tetovo road."
25 General, this road was, indeed, cut off in the beginning of
1 August. Which was the importance of this operation of this action?
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
3 MR. METTRAUX: Simply, Your Honour, we believe that the facts
4 stated my colleague in her question should perhaps be established first.
5 MS. REGUE:
6 Q. General, was the road which -- which communicates as Skopje and
7 Tetovo ever cut off by the NLA?
8 A. It was not cut off on any orders by the General Staff. It was cut
9 off, as I heard later, by an operation undertaken by the brigade.
10 Q. Which was the significance, the importance, of this action in
11 military terms, General, for the NLA, the cutting off of this road?
12 A. If we talk about the duties of Brigade 112, that is a very
13 important one, because that would cut off the communication of the forces
14 of the army and the police which were deployed in Polog and the other
15 forces that were in Skopje.
16 It would make impossible bringing in of reinforcements of
17 reservist forces. That would be done in cooperation with 116 Brigade,
18 which had to come at the cross-roads from Kercove, which goes to Tetovo.
19 Polog would be cut off on both sides. The forces that would
20 remain there would have to fight. The forces of the army and the police
21 would have to fight with -- sorry, we'd have to face many problems and
23 Q. General, in order to speed up a little bit, in this document, also
24 some instructions -- some operations are foreseen with regards to the
25 116th Brigade, with regards to the 111th Brigade. Were these operations
1 ever carried out?
2 A. No, they were not.
3 MS. REGUE: If we could move, please, to page 3 of the English
5 Q. General, we see in item 5, "Balance of forces," and I will quote
6 the paragraph: "The balance of forces on the western Macedonia front is
7 currently a 1:5 ratio, in favour of the government troops, and they are
8 greatly superior in terms of equipment. By the end of July, it will still
9 be 1:2. And in the field of equipment, it will remain the same."
10 General by the end of July, did you reach the [indiscernible]
11 ratio, the ratio that you mention in this paragraph, 1:2?
12 A. As is known, the cease-fire started to take effect on the 6th of
13 July. So we stopped our efforts to reinforce the NLA because we had great
14 hopes in the forthcoming agreement to be carried out with the mediation of
15 international forces. Voluntaries [as interpreted] did come, but we, as I
16 said, kind of suspended the work because the expense of the number was
17 linked with the greater logistical support and equipment.
18 But we were very much hoping that this fight taking place between
19 our forces and the forces of the government would come to an end and we
20 would reach an agreement.
21 Q. General, did you ever reach this ratio, 1: 2? It's a "yes" or
22 "no" answer, General.
23 A. I would say that the NLA reached the number 5.000 troops at the
24 time we were preparing the operations. The overall number of the forces
25 of army were stated to be about 20.000 at the time.
1 Q. And, General --
2 A. I believe that that was a realistic -- the realistic assessment of
3 the ratio would be 1:4 or 1:5. In my view, at the time, the number of
4 forces directly engaged in the front line, without counting those who were
5 working in the logistics, in the administration, in the medical staff and
6 so on, the proportion came to be 1:5.
7 Q. General, you mentioned that the operations, which were foreseen by
8 the brigades that you indicate in this plan, were not carried out. You
9 just mentioned that before.
10 Why these operations were never implemented?
11 A. Because they were planned as of 10th of July, while the cease-fire
12 was in force on the 6th of July, it was signed at midnight of 5th of
13 July. So we were in a state of readiness and also awaiting a peaceful
14 solution to the situation in Macedonia. So it was our wish for this
15 conflict to end with dialogue and negotiations.
16 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, I have two more questions with regards
17 to this document. I don't know if you want me to finish it..
18 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on.
19 MS. REGUE:
20 Q. General, in the same paragraph that we are looking at, we can read
21 that: "The morale of the UCK forces plays a significant role in
22 ameliorating the balance of forces between the government forces of the
23 UCK, and will alter the ratio to a proportion 1:10, in favour of the UCK
25 General, which is the significance of this factor of the morale,
1 the high morale among the NLA?
2 A. The experience of the apprising army shows that their members are
3 volunteers. They are not forced to take up weapons, but they do take up
4 arms voluntarily, by their free will. So all recent wars in the territory
5 of former Yugoslavia in the Balkans shows that the ratio between the
6 volunteers and mobilised soldiers is uncomparable.
7 For a soldier, it is a shame to go back home. We had cases when
8 the volunteers, the wounded tried to go back on the front line. So I
9 don't want someone to be misunderstood, but the mobilised soldiers cannot
10 be compared in any way to the volunteer.
11 Q. If we focus on the last two lines ...
12 MS. REGUE: And for that we have to move to the last page in the
13 English translation.
14 Q. ... the last two of this document reads: "International
15 conventions must be strictly respected during all operations by UCK
16 troops, and the treatment of civilians and facilities must be at the
17 required level."
18 General, which is the significance of this sentence?
19 A. The sentence is of utmost importance. It prevails in many of our
20 documents. The National Liberation Army protected the civilians, looked
21 after them, and at all times feared the failure to control or to
22 instigate -- otherwise instigate a civil war.
23 So chapter 3, item 5 precisely defines how an officer in his
24 morale should be clear in that issues, to treat all the citizens of
25 Macedonia equally without making any difference as per their religion or
2 Q. Just to finish up, General, when you mentioned chapter 3, item 5,
3 which document are you talking about?
4 A. The Rules of Service of the NLA, which deals with the morale of
5 the members of the NLA.
6 Q. Okay.
7 MS. REGUE: Thanks, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE PARKER: We will take the first break now, resume at five
10 --- Recess taken at 10.36 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.09 a.m.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Regue.
13 MS. REGUE: Thank you, Your Honours. Could we please go to 65 ter
14 676. It's tab 15 of the binder.
15 Q. General, you mentioned in paragraph 31 of your statement that the
16 NLA General Staff communicated with the public through communiques. I
17 will show now you a list of communiques.
18 General, we have if front of us a communique signed with a the
19 name of Ali Ahmeti in the lower part, and it starts in item 1
20 reading: "On the 3rd of May 2001, they launched an attack offensive
21 fences without sparing even civilians in the Lipkovo Kumanovo defence area
22 of the 113th Brigade."
23 Then two lines below, it follows: "During the fighting, the UCK
24 NLA removed five killed and 11 wounded from their ranks; while on the UCK
25 sided, there were neither dead nor wounded."
1 General, are you familiar with the context in which this
2 communique was drafted and issued.
3 A. This communique was issued in conditions of preparations for the
4 operation MX-2 of the forces of the army and the police. During this
5 time, the shelling continued, the shelling of the territory; and in one
6 word, there was fierce fighting on those positions between the NLA and the
8 Q. General, are you aware of the date, of the approximate date when
9 this communique was issued?
10 A. I do not remember the date, but I have it before me so it should
11 be after the 3rd of May.
12 Q. Thanks. General, if we keep reading in item 2, it mentions that
13 two civilians were killed by the shelling of the villages.
14 Item 3 reads: "We appeal to the government and the president to
15 halt the violence against the civilian population and to stop further
16 destruction of our shared country while commencing talks to resolve the
18 Item 4 reads: "Only a halt to the conflict and the commencement
19 of constructive dialogue will serve the cause of peace and stability in
20 the Balkans and the building of a democratic society, where we will all
21 live happily."
22 General, we see, in item 4, that the NLA is asking is for
23 dialogue, in order to achieve peace and stability. With whom did you want
24 to engage in such a dialogue, General?
25 A. With the government, starting from the president of the country,
1 the prime minister, so with the government of the Republic of Macedonia,
2 and, of course, with the ruling political parties.
3 But if you talk to the government, it means that you have, in
4 fact, talked with the representatives of the political parties.
5 Q. And, General, why it was important to engage in a dialogue with
6 the political parties, with the government? Why it was important for the
8 A. It was important because it was necessary to bring the war to the
9 end by having our goals for the rights of the Albanians in the Republic of
10 Macedonia achieved, and this could be performed only by further
11 democraticisation of our country.
12 Q. Did the Macedonian authorities ever respond to your demand for
13 dialogue, at that time, beginning May 2001?
14 A. Unfortunately, they didn't. Instead, they continued with the
15 operation MX-2, on the 8th of May. I'm not maybe precise on the day, but
16 it should be during this period.
17 Q. Thanks, General. Now, if we look at item 5 of this document, of
18 the communique, we can read, and I quote: "We appeal to the international
19 community to use its authority to bring an end to the war and contribute
20 to peace-building in Macedonia."
21 Why the NLA was requesting the intervention of the international
22 community, General?
23 A. Because there was a misunderstanding between the Albanians and the
24 government, or the other the side that they represented, the Macedonian
25 people, regarding our rights.
1 As it is stated in part of the memorandum, we were led by the
2 example of Switzerland, Belgium, and other western European countries,
3 that based on a dialogue, you with reach cohabitation.
4 We were convinced that we, Albanians, alone, without the mediation
5 of the international community, will not achieve our goals. We could not
6 reach any dialogue with the competent organs of the government.
7 Q. And which was the reaction of the international community to your
8 request at the time? I'm talking about the beginning of May 2001,
10 A. During this time, it was our impression that the international
11 community had information that the Republic of Macedonia is a country of
12 peace, that the Albanians and other minorities enjoyed their rights; and
13 in this sense, of course, they supported the government of the Republic of
14 Macedonia in the beginning, in their actions. But this standpoint began
15 to change gradually.
16 Q. Thanks, general.
17 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, I would seek it tendered this
19 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P504, Your Honours.
21 MS. REGUE: Could we please go to 65 ter 675. It's tab 16 of the
23 Q. General, again, we see another communique, but this time the
24 producer it reads, in the lower part of the document, "General Staff."
25 I'm going to read to you the first paragraph: "Fighting between
1 Macedonian government military and police forces and the 100th Brigade in
2 the municipalities of Kumanovo and Lipkovo continued with undiminished
3 intensity on 4th May. The Macedonian police and army have been bombing
4 and shelling from surface and air.
5 "The targets of the destructive artillery projectiles attacks were
6 not only the positions occupied by the heroic and invincible soldiers of
7 the UCK, but also the houses and places of refuge of the Albanian civilian
9 General, are you aware in which context this communique was
11 A. This is a day following the communication we discussed earlier.
12 As I said earlier, this is in line of the operation that was to continue.
13 I think that the territory was being surveilled at that time, and the
14 positions as well. So there was regular exchange of fire between members
15 of the NLA and the forces of the army and the police, but with a small
16 distinction; that is, that the forces of the army and the police were
17 applying artillery weaponry, helicopters, and the devastation of a greater
18 scale because of the strength of the weapons that I mentioned.
19 Q. Indeed, General. I believe it is the third paragraph, at least in
20 English version, which mentions -- actually, lists the Macedonian weapons
21 used in the attack: Military Mi-24 helicopters, 115-millimetre Howitzers,
22 122-millimetre calibre cannons and mortars, et cetera.
23 In the next paragraph of the communique, General, it is mentioned
24 20 casualties. There were 20 casualties among the Macedonian forces, and
25 three of them were kept as prisoners.
1 If we read below, in the last four lines, it says: "The Albanian
2 civilians were also casualties in this attack. Seven were killed and many
3 others wounded."
4 And, finally: "The military and police attacks continued today, 5
5 May, but the NLA remains unflinching in their positions."
6 General, are you aware who issued this communique?
7 A. Yes. This communique was issued by the General Staff based on a
8 report it received from 113th Brigade, Izmet Jashari Kumanova Brigade, in
9 Kumanovo municipality.
10 Q. Thanks.
11 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, I will seek to tendered this communique.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P505, Your Honours.
14 MS. REGUE: Could we please go to 65 ter 677, which is tab 17.
15 Q. General, we have a communique dated 6th of May, 2001, and also
16 produced by Ali Ahmeti. It reads in the first paragraph, and I
17 quote: "The General Staff of the NLA is monitoring with deep concern the
18 decisions of the state organs, which have demonstrated that the conflict
19 is one of major dimensions; and, as a consequence, whole populated areas
20 have been destroyed and many civilians, including children, have been
22 General, which decisions taken by the state organs indicate that
23 the conflict was, indeed, a conflict of major dimensions, if you are
25 A. The Macedonian parliament, on the 15th -- or rather, 16th, 17th,
1 and 18th of March, held a session on the security situation in the
2 Republic of Macedonia, and reached the conclusions, pursuant to which the
3 Ministry of Defence and of the Interior was to carry out its duties in
4 order to establish -- re-establish peace in the Republic of Macedonia.
5 If you read carefully these conclusions at the time, we understood
6 them in the following way: They brought a decision that peace and
7 stability can be brought back only if the National Liberation Army is
9 That's why we thought, at the time, that the Ministry of Defence
10 and the General Staff of the army of the Republic of Macedonia, the
11 president, and everybody were engaged in this direction. The operations
12 continued against the National Liberation Army.
13 I would like to mention in this context that during this phase,
14 there wasn't a position by the parliament to proclaim a phase of war in
15 the Republic of Macedonia; while in reality, all their forces were being
16 used in combat.
17 The Macedonian government, in the beginning of April, brought a
18 decision to expand the border belt, which, in ordinary conditions, was 100
19 to 300 metres. It expanded to ten kilometres in the western part of the
20 territory, in order to enable the engagement of the army and the police in
21 this depth of territory.
22 Q. Thanks, General.
23 Now if we go whack to the communique, just after the line that I
24 just read, we can read: "Rapid action is needed to prevent this
25 catastrophic situations, so that the problems that are presented for
1 resolution are to the benefit of both our peoples, to turn a new page of
2 history, so that we may have live together in a democracy and for
3 progress, which is the immediate goal of all civilised people."
4 General, just briefly, what is the significance of this sentence
5 that I just read out to you?
6 A. The significance of this sentence, as we deem it, is very high.
7 Our goal was not to divide ourselves as Albanians from of Macedonians.
8 Our aim was not to divide the Republic of Macedonia. So this abyss that
9 could be created by bloodshed would have turned into an obstacle for
10 further co-existence.
11 That's why we aimed at negotiations because we wanted to live
12 together with the Macedonians. Once the war ended, we wanted to be close
13 with our co-citizens, with our friends, and with our neighbouring
15 Q. In the next paragraph, General, it is, indeed, mentioned
16 that: "The UCK is striving to use force in a mature fashion and in
17 self-defence, with the aim of creating the most suitable arena possible
18 for a general dialogue."
19 General, the word "dialogue" is mentioned here again. During the
20 conflict, was the NLA always open to dialogue with the Macedonian
22 A. The NLA was always open to dialogue and opted for dialogue. It
23 pleaded for the war to be brought to an end as soon as possible, so that
24 this division between Albanians and Macedonians become insignificant and
25 not have any impact in the future.
1 Q. Thanks, General.
2 If we move five lines below, the communique goes on, indicating,
3 and I quote: "We have expressed, and continue to express, a readiness and
4 willingness to announce a cease-fire, so long as you, Mr. Trajkovski and
5 Mr. Georgievski, do the same; as only thus can we save our common
6 fatherland from destruction, only thus can we alleviate the affliction of
7 our mothers and our families."
8 General, we just read that the NLA was willing and ready to
9 announce a cease-fire. Why were they -- was the NLA willing to reach a
11 A. A cease-fire is always a condition for talks, so we always showed
12 a goodwill and great wish to put an end to the war, to sit at the
13 negotiating table. This was not an adventure. It was a dangerous war,
14 dangerous for all citizens. There was also a danger for it to become a
15 civil war. That's why we were always ready to sit and negotiate.
16 If you follow the history of all developments up to the signing of
17 the agreement, you won't find any instance that would demonstrate that the
18 NLA was against negotiations, be they with international community, with
19 NATO and other representatives of the international community, or the
20 local government authorities.
21 Q. Which was the response of the Macedonian -- from the Macedonian
22 side to your request at that time? We're talking about 6th of May, 2001.
23 A. This was issued on the 6th of May; and, to my recollection, the
24 offensive MX-2 began in these villages. So their response was to
25 undertake offensive, the response of the forces of the army and the
2 Q. Thanks.
3 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this communique.
4 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P506, Your Honours.
6 MS. REGUE: Could we move to 65 ter 727, which is tab 18.
7 Q. General, we have here a communique dated 8th of May, 2001, and
8 also issue by Ali Ahmeti. It reads: "Bearing in mind the need to inform
9 national and international public opinion that the NLA has met conditions
10 for its legalisations, we hereby declare."
11 Item 1 mentions that: "The NLA functions as a disciplined
12 military organisation."
13 Item 2 mentions that: "The NLA has its own uniforms, ranks, and
15 General, I will stop there for a second.
16 Why was this communique issued at that time?
17 A. If you see the date here, it's 8th of May, 2001, it is a time when
18 majority of documents that we reviewed here were already prepared and were
19 being distributed to the brigades at this time, in order for them to start
20 reorganisation and implement these documents.
21 So it was necessary to make this communique public for the
22 internal and external public opinion; to familiarise them with the NLA
23 functioned, its hierarchy; and to make them aware that the competent
24 institutions that wish to talk with representatives of the NLA, they can
25 to so by talking about its commander.
1 In other words, this was to make public that the NLA was becoming
2 to be institutionalised.
3 Q. Thanks, General.
4 Item 3 of this communique reads, and I quote: "The method of
5 organisation of the UCK, as well as living and working conditions within
6 the UCK in line with current regulations, ensure that the UCK conducts its
7 operations in accordance with the stipulations of international law, fully
8 respected by all members, especially by the General Staff."
9 Item 4 mentions that: "The General Staff and the entire UCK
10 respect, and will always respect, the Geneva Convention during their
12 Finally, item 5 indicates that: "The General Staff will undertake
13 all necessary measures for cooperation with The Hague Tribunal, as being
14 the legitimate organ in this respect against all those who abuse their
15 function within the UCK, and whose conduct violates the rules in force
16 within the UCK, and also valid laws and war crimes in particular."
17 General, here we have read international law, Geneva Convention,
18 and valid laws and war crimes.
19 What is the significance of this -- of this mentions, General, of
20 the respect of international or Geneva Convention and war crimes law?
21 A. The significance of what you read is to make aware all the
22 subordinates in the brigades of the General Staff of the NLA, that all
23 those who will violate rules and laws will be held responsible for their
24 acts and will be brought to justice during war, if possible, or after war.
25 So that's why it was necessary to underline that the life of the
1 civilians, of women, children, elderly, and all other non-combatants, be
2 safeguarded; and, of course, the prisoners of war as well.
3 Q. Thanks.
4 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, I will seek to tendered this
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I say something else as well,
7 regarding this communique?
8 MS. REGUE: But just briefly, General, if you wish.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will be very brief, very brief.
10 We knew that there was The Hague Tribunal in place. This was so
11 not only to make us more aware of our duty to realise our duties, but also
12 to remind all the members not to commit any criminal offences.
13 So it was with seriousness that we, the formations of the army,
14 respected all the rules and the orders of the General Staff.
15 MS. REGUE: Thanks, General.
16 Your Honours, I will seek to tender this.
17 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P507, Your Honours.
19 MS. REGUE: Could we please go to 65 ter 678. It's tab 19.
20 Q. General, we have, in front of us, a communique dated the 10th of
21 May, 2001. And if we move to the second page of the English original, we
22 see your name at the end of this document.
23 General, did you issue this communique? Did you produce this
25 A. Yes, I did, but you have to look at the date, whether this was
1 issued on this day. It is my communique issued after the operation
2 undertaken by the army and the police in Tetovo on the 25th of March.
3 Q. And we will go now --
4 A. Whereas, the communique was written after the operation.
5 Q. Thanks, General.
6 We will go now to the text of the communique.
7 But why, at the time, did you feel the need to produce this
9 A. It was necessary, in my opinion, because without a decision by
10 parliament, the Republic of Macedonia, its competent bodies, were using
11 the army to resolve internal issues, which, at that time, ran counter to
12 the constitution of Macedonia.
13 By means of this communique, I wanted to inform each and everyone
14 at home and abroad that force is being against the Albanians, unlawful
15 forces are being used or -- a lawful force of the forces is being used.
16 Q. What do you mean by that the forces were being used counter
17 against what the constitution of Macedonia stated?
18 A. The constitution of Macedonia, which was in force at that time,
19 did not foresee the use of the army at home, particularly the army
20 forces. In order to use the army forces, first it was necessary to
21 proclaim a state of emergency, and then start using the army against the
22 various insurgents in this case the NLA.
23 Q. General, now, if we look at the communique, in the first
24 paragraph, I quote: "In order to regularise the armed struggle against
25 the NLA on the Albanian, the Macedonian state also began to prepare legal
1 support by the Macedonia parliament, something that would certainly have
2 taken place de jure, but for the advice of the European institution
3 because the Macedonian state has de facto done this in the military sector
4 without the approval of the parliament."
5 Then, General, you mention that: "The Macedonian state has
6 engaged all the military and police structures it has available in the
7 ongoing combat," and you mention some of these forces.
8 General, why -- what were you trying to say when you were
9 mentioning -- when you were drying this difference between de facto and de
11 A. De facto, it was a state of emergency, because in actual fact they
12 were operating as if de jure there was such a state of emergency, which in
13 fact it was not proclaimed by parliament, de jure.
14 MS. REGUE: If we move now to this other -- if we could go first
15 in e-court to the first page. I see that we have the second page in
17 Q. General, you go on indicating: "We shall give only some of these
18 forces; for example," and I just mentioned some of them: "The
19 communications regiment, the Skorpions mercenary unit with 900 members,
20 the Wolves special task unit, the Tigers special police unit, the special
21 police emergency unit, the infantry battalion in Skopje, the military
22 police battalion in Shkup, and so on.
23 You keep listing also, I believe, different forces in different
25 Why, General, did you indicate the forces in this communique which
1 were involved?
2 A. First of all, as I said, to produce facts that the state of war
3 was in place, even though it was not proclaimed as such; second, I wanted
4 to inform the domestic and international public of the forces
5 participating in this war, based on the information that I had access to
6 at that time; and, thirdly, to -- for others to understand the
7 significance of the ongoing fights.
8 MR. REGUE: Could we please go to the second page in e-court in
10 Q. General, just in Albanian version, it will be just two lines below
11 item 4, letter C. You indicated that you wrote: "Given what is cited
12 above, state of emergency has been de facto been brought into being within
13 Macedonia. It has simply not been institutionalised, and it has secretly
14 been directed against the Albanian people, by whose votes President
15 Trajkovski was elected."
16 Then you go on: "Conducting a war policy of this type represents
17 the failure of the policy of agreement."
18 General, what was, again, the importance of stating these facts in
19 the communique?
20 A. I think I already pointed out the importance of these facts;
21 namely, to inform the international community, the internal public, all
22 the citizens of what was going on; to provide data on the use of the army
23 for a war, without the decision of parliament on that; that Mr. Trajkovski
24 had already received the votes of the Albanians when he was elected; and
25 that was his duty to take care of the Albanians and citizens the
1 Macedonia. We wanted to have negotiations and find democratic solutions
2 through dialogue.
3 Q. Thanks, General. Finally, we read the last three lines of the
4 document, and I quote: "Neither the UCK nor Kosovo nor Albania either are
5 responsible for this, but neither is KFOR, which regularly confirms that
6 UCK forces are not crossing the Kosovo-Macedonia border."
7 What is the significance, General, of this paragraph?
8 A. At that time of the fighting, there was a propaganda going on
9 through the mass media, that this activity was being carried out through
10 the territory of Albania and Kosovo, based on the presumption that a NLA
11 had developed from the north up to the zone around the border with Kosova
12 and Albania.
13 Everybody who knows that, in the Republic of Macedonia, the
14 Albanians live exclusively on the western part of this Republic, will
15 understand the lack of logic in this statement, because, in this case,
16 they would have turned their backs to the forces of the army and the
18 This is what I wanted to make clear at that time, to tell the
19 truth about the facts; that is in this case, KFOR did what it was supposed
20 to, and that Albania and Kosova was not to blame for anything going on.
21 On the contrary, they were stating that we should stop the fighting and
22 sit down at a negotiating table, to resolve the questions of the rights of
23 the Albanians.
24 Q. Thanks, General.
25 I will seek to tender this communique into evidence.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P508, Your Honours.
3 MS. REGUE: Could we please go to 65 ter 679, which is tab 20.
4 Q. General, this communique bears the name of Ali Ahmeti, also in the
5 lower part of the document. It starts with: "The UCK NLA is following
6 with close attention the engagement of the international community, to
7 stabilize the situation in Macedonia, and find ways of putting an end to
8 this crisis. We welcome these initiatives which directly contribute to
9 putting an end to the fighting."
10 General, briefly, again was the NLA still supportive at that time
11 of the involvement of the international community in order to stop the
13 A. Yes. This was in conformity also with our demands, something that
14 we express in every communique we issued.
15 Q. General, in the second paragraph, we read: "The UCK would like to
16 set out its position with regard to the formation of a coalition
18 Item 1 reads: "The formation of the coalition government, the
19 primary purpose of which is to isolate the NLA, is of no assistance in
20 resolving the problem and is causing deep concern within the UCK and
21 rendering impossible the establishment of advantageous conditions for a
22 frank and open dialogue."
23 Item 2 -- I will stop there, General.
24 Why did you state -- why, actually, this communique reads that the
25 coalition government would not allow a productive dialogue at that time?
1 A. Based on information we had, the government of the Republic of
2 Macedonia at that time showed two faces, two stands. One stand towards
3 the international community and one stand at -- another stand at home.
4 It was -- one stand was good, which we liked, for a government to
5 be set up and to start negotiations and publish the document from the
6 agreement from the negotiations.
7 But there was the other part as well, which the prime minister
8 elaborated on the 13th of May, when this government was formed, in which
9 one or two duties of this government were the fight on the NLA.
10 This was why we thought that it was difficult to contribute to the
11 solution of this question.
12 What I already said is you can find in the records of the speech
13 by the prime minister on the day when this government was formed.
14 Q. General, again, in item 2, you mention that: "The NLA is willing
15 to reach agreement of a cease-fire."
16 And in item 4, you put forward a proposal in order to reach, what
17 you call, "a genuine democracy." The first item of this proposal is: "An
18 historic agreement must be concluded between the Albanians and the
19 Macedonians, with international mediation.
20 "The Macedonian government, the NLA, and the political parties
21 must participate in this agreement. This agreement must contain
22 undertakes from both parties, so that it will be implemented; and only
23 thus will conditions for the establishment of peace and security in
24 Macedonia be attained."
25 General, why was important to reach this agreement between
1 Albanians Macedonians, but with international mediation?
2 A. Because from our experience at that time and now, we know that
3 international mediation it is very hard to come to terms between us.
4 Q. Thanks, General.
5 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, I would seek to tender this communique
6 into evidence.
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P509.
9 MS. REGUE:
10 Q. General, did the NLA sit and talk to the Albanian political
11 parties during 2001, during the conflict?
12 A. Yes. Yes, they did.
13 Q. When was that, General?
14 A. If I am not mistake - don't hold me to my word - I think it was in
15 May, the Prizren Agreement, which was reached -- shall I say it?
16 Shall I speak more about this, or are you going to ask me?
17 Q. Yes, General, I would like to ask you what is the content of this
18 Prizren Agreement, please.
19 A. This agreement embodied most of communique number 6, the
20 memorandum, with some minor supplements, among which was the building of a
21 secular state.
22 Q. How the Macedonian political parties reacted to this agreement
23 that you reach?
24 A. At the beginning, they misunderstood it, reacted very badly, both
25 the government and the political parties who proclaimed the political
1 leaders as traitors, those who led the democratic party of Albanian, the
2 PPD. But the aim was to unify the stance of the NLA and the political
3 parties of Albanians in Macedonia, so that together it would be easier for
4 us to resolve these problems, because we saw the dialogue was coming
6 Q. And, General, from the NLA side, who participate in these
7 negotiations and in these agreements; and, secondly, from the Albanian
8 political parties, which political parties participated, if you can recall
9 in this agreement, in the Prizren Agreement?
10 A. I remember present was the leader -- the political leader of the
11 NLA; the chairman of the Democratic Party of Albanian, Arben Xhaferi; and
12 the chairman of the Party for Democratic Prosperity, Imer Imeri. Of
13 course, there were people who assisted them, but they weren't the main
14 protagonists of the meeting?
15 Q. General, just to have it in the record, when you referred to the
16 political leader of the NLA, you are talking about Ali Ahmeti; correct?
17 A. Yes, correct.
18 Q. General, my apologies, but before I fail -- when we were talking
19 about the former communique, which became Exhibit P509 - and you still
20 have on your screen - I fail to ask you if you aware of the date, the
21 approximate date, when this communique was issued?
22 A. It must have been prior to the formation of the government, prior
23 to the coalition government, extended coalition government. It was at the
24 time of efforts made by Mr. Solana and other international representatives
25 to form a coalition government. This communique in the -- at the time of
1 the preliminary talks, when the NLA expressed its opinion.
2 Q. And which was the approximate date, General, if you can remember a
3 year, approximately?
4 A. I don't recall it, I'm sorry.
5 Q. And which month? You cannot recall either?
6 A. It must have been the end of May, but I don't like to put myself
7 in this position, to just to guess. I like to be precise, to speak about
8 what I know. I don't think I can contribute to this trial if I just make
10 Q. Thanks, General. I appreciate that.
11 You just mentioned Mr. Solana briefly. Who was Mr. Solana? Which
12 position he was he holding at that time?
13 A. He was responsible for the security issues in Europe.
14 Q. Thanks.
15 MS. REGUE: Could we move please to 65 ter 682, tab 21.
16 Q. General, this communique is dated 7th of June 2001 and also bears
17 the name of Ali Ahmeti in the lower part of the document.
18 The communique starts reading: "The UCK NLA is following with
19 concern the situation on the ground, where tensions have increased on a
20 daily basis, following the public indication of the Macedonian Academy of
21 Science and Arts proposal for a change to the borders of the Republic of
22 Macedonia and the call by the Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski for open
23 war against the Albanian population in the Republic of Macedonia."
24 And, indeed, you mention just below some talks held by the
25 government of the Macedonia in order to purchase weapons.
1 General, I'd like to ask you about this proposal of the Macedonian
2 Academy of Science and Arts. What was the proposal in particular?
3 A. I try to be brief, because I don't think I with elaborate on it
5 The Academy of Sciences, one fine morning, published a text on the
6 division of Macedonia as a proposal by this academy of the Republic of
7 Macedonia, something which implied the change of the population. It had a
8 very negative impact on the already exacerbated situation; therefore, it
9 had to -- he had to give his own opinion, stating that he was not in
10 favour of partitioning the Republic of Macedonia and reestablishment of
11 the borders.
12 Q. When you refer to "he," who are you talking about? He had to give
13 his opinion?
14 A. The General Staff led by the political representative.
15 Q. General, if we move to the second paragraph, indeed, the General
16 Staff indicated that: "The UCK is in favour of maintaining the integrity
17 and sovereignty of the Republic of Macedonia and condemns any attempts by
18 any institution or group whatsoever which opposes this."
19 Just four lines below, again: "The UCK appeals to all extremists
20 not to redraw borders."
21 And, General, was this the NLA position with regards to this
23 A. No. The documents issued by the NLA and its General Staff, that
24 was the unwavering stand. Even to this day, I stand by this position.
25 MR. REGUE: I believe that, in page 45, line 16, it has been
1 recorded as "No." So I think the witness mentioned all the documents.
2 Q. General, again, in the third paragraph, you are -- the NLA is
3 asking for a bilateral cease-fire, and, again, the constructive dialogue
4 is mentioned. Finally, the NLA actually declares a cease-fire of 24
5 hours, starting on the 7th of June, as long it is not provoked by the
6 military and police forces of the Republic of Macedonia government."
7 General, why did you decide to declare this cease-fire on the 7th
8 of June?
9 A. We did in order to demonstrate our goodwill to stop the war in
10 real terms.
11 Q. Thanks, General.
12 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, I will seek to tender this communique
13 into evidence.
14 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P510 Your Honour.
16 MS. REGUE: If we could move to 65 ter 683, which is tab 22.
17 Just for the record, the proposal that the communique mentioned
18 issued by the Academy of Science can be found in Exhibit P494, pages 12,
19 13, 14.
20 Q. General, we have here a communique dated the 11th of June, 2001,
21 where a cease-fire is declared from 11th of June until the 12th of June.
22 General, why was this cease-fire declared at that time?
23 A. Always as a sign of goodwill, of wanting peace and negotiations.
24 Q. Was the cease-fire compiled with by the NLA, General?
25 A. It is difficult to remember now such -- something that happened on
1 the 11th of June, 2001. Probably, it must have been compiled with, but I
2 can't precisely remember.
3 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, I will seek to tender this document into
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P511, Your Honours.
7 MS. REGUE: Could we please go to 65 ter 685, tab 23.
8 Q. General, this communique, I quote, there mentions: "The NLA is
9 following with particular interest all developments in Macedonia and
10 internationally, related to halting the fightings and especially welcomes
11 in this respect the message of NATO Secretary-General, Mr. George Robinson
12 [sic], and the EU representative for Foreign and Security Policy,
13 Mr. Javier Solana, to calm the situation.
14 "The UCK announces a cease-fire until the 27th of June, 2001 in
15 order to establish conditions for dialogue. The cease-fire will enter
16 into force at 2400 hours on 14th of June 2001."
17 General, why was significant at that time the intervention of
18 George Robinson and Javier Solana?
19 A. I think that the situation was deteriorating and that we needed
20 help of NATO Secretary-General, Lord Robertson, and Javier Solana, and I
21 believe they represented all the opinion of others to help us. As we had
22 already stated, we would welcome any initiative taken by the centres of
23 decision making on a global level; I mean, in the EU, NATO, and the United
24 States. We have issued this communique to give more time.
25 That is the first communique that we proclaimed a cease-fire from
1 this period, from the 14th to the 27th of June, and it is signed by Ali
2 Ahmeti, as you see.
3 Q. Thanks, general.
4 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, I will seek to tender this communique.
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P512, Your Honours.
7 MS. REGUE: Could we move to 65 ter 656, tab 24.
8 It should read 686. 65 ter 686 is not uploaded. Okay. We will
9 work with the hard copies Your Honours.
10 Q. General, are you feeling okay? Are you feeling fine?
11 A. Yes, yes, I am. Thank you.
12 Q. Okay. General, do you have tab 24 in front of you?
13 General, this communique reads, and it also issued by Ali Ahmeti.
14 It states, and I quote: "In view of the fact that the international
15 public needs to be informed of the political aims of the NLA and the
16 factual situation with regard to the Albanian population in Macedonia, the
17 OMP General Staff hereby appoints its political representative and places
18 him under obligation in Turkey and other countries in Middle East,
19 Mr. Mevlud Aliu."
20 General, which was the purpose of this communique? What was the
21 purpose of this communication?
22 A. It is only one example; otherwise, the political representative of
23 the NLA, Mr. Ahmeti, has appointed his representative, his political
24 representatives, to almost all the countries of Europe and to the United
1 This is a communique whereby he is informing the public that he is
2 appointed Mr. Aliu in Turkey as his political representative. This was a
3 form of open communications for the citizens, wherever they lived and in
4 the countries they operate, to know that that person was legally
5 authorised to speak on behalf of Mr. Ali Ahmeti.
6 At the time, the NLA made up in a way for the lack of powers that
7 were otherwise exercised by the government of Macedonia, in its dealings
8 with foreign embassies and other international communications. That is
9 why build Mr. Ali Ahmeti needed to have people who could speak on his
10 behalf to the foreign public, because many rallies, large-scale meetings,
11 were organised in other countries, and they should be properly informed of
12 what going on in the Republic of Macedonia.
13 Q. I don't intend to lead you. You mention that one of the purpose
14 of this -- of having these representatives was to inform the population.
15 Did they have any other role? Did they play any other function,
16 these NLA representatives abroad?
17 A. I think that they did what they could, which otherwise Mr. Ali
18 Ahmeti would have done if he travelled to these countries. He would have
19 contacted with all the counterparts that would agree to meet him, to
20 explain the aims of war and what our alternative to ending it were.
21 Q. And to whom these representatives were reporting to, General?
22 A. Mr. Ali Ahmeti appointed them and selected them.
23 Q. And they --
24 A. They reported directly to him.
25 Q. Thanks.
1 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, I will seek it tendered this communique
2 as well.
3 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P513, Your Honours.
5 MS. REGUE: Could we please call 65 ter 687. It is tab 25.
6 Q. General, this communique is produced by Ali Ahmeti and reads: "As
7 meetings between NATO, the EU, and the UCK NLA in Tetovo area continue,
8 agreement for the withdrawal of UCK forces from the village of Aracinovo
9 was concluded at 1400 hours on 24th June 2001.
10 "All this will be done in cooperation with NATO, the EU, and other
11 international institutions, with a presence in the territory of Macedonia.
12 The meetings are due to continue in days to come."
13 General, which was the purpose of this communique?
14 A. The purpose of this communique was to inform all the citizens of
15 the Republic of Macedonia, and in particular the Albanians, that
16 withdrawal from Aracina was not done as a result of the politary [as
17 interpreted] pressure, but out of our goodwill to come closer to a
18 peaceful solution and peace in the country because of the agreement
19 concluded by the bodies you mentioned here: NATO, the EU, and others.
20 For us, at that time, it was a very good signal, a signal that
21 made us happy, because the NLA and its General Staff won the status of a
22 body, with which NATO and other European institutions could talk to.
23 For us, it was a great pleasure which made us believe that soon we
24 would sit down and talk about the demands of the NLA.
25 Q. General, indeed, the communique mentions that meetings, talks, and
1 agreements were reached between NATO, the EU, and the NLA. Who on behalf
2 of the NLA participated in these negotiations?
3 A. During this time, Ali Ahmeti was required to go to Sipkovica
4 before this meeting was held, to prepare for the meeting there and to hold
5 this meeting with the NATO representatives there.
6 Q. Were you in contact with Ali Ahmeti when the talks were being
7 held, General?
8 A. Of course, I was. I maintained contact through telephone, not
9 direct contact.
10 Q. And which of the parties who participated in the negotiations,
11 General, initiated the contacts? Who approached who in order to engage in
12 this dialogue?
13 A. I think, so it's my impression then and now, that this issue was
14 raised by the now late president of the Republic of Macedonia,
15 Mr. Trajkovski. He raised this issue with NATO representatives; and later
16 on, I learned that on the 14th of June, I think, he sent a letter to NATO
17 to intervene and contribute to finding a solution to the issue in
19 Q. General, after this contact with the international
20 representatives, how was the relation between the NLA and the
21 international representatives, after this Aracinovo agreement was reached?
22 A. Sorry, I didn't quite hear your question. Could you please repeat
24 Q. Sure. After the Aracinovo agreement, how was the relation between
25 the international representatives and the NLA.
1 A. At that time, after the withdrawal from Aracin, after this task
2 was completed, the meetings between Ali Ahmeti and NATO representatives
3 continued, and everything was moving into the direction of initiating
4 negotiations that would facilitate an agreement and solution to the crisis
5 in the Republic of Macedonia.
6 Q. Thanks, General.
7 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, I will seek to tendered this document
8 into evidence.
9 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P514, Your Honours.
11 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, I will call 65 ter 778.11, tab 7. It's
12 three maps. If in e-court we could display the page 3, and we have larger
13 copies for Your Honours and for my colleagues and the witness.
14 Q. General, we will look individually at each of these maps, but just
15 to start, I would like to ask you some general questions.
16 Did you produce these maps, General, or these plans?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. When did you produce them?
19 A. I remember producing them on the 5th of July. In fact, they were
20 in my computer stored much earlier, but I worked concretely on this map
21 and produced it on the 5th of July, 2001.
22 Q. And which was the purpose of these maps? Why did you compile
23 them? Why did you produce them?
24 A. As Mr. Ali Ahmeti reached an agreement with Peter Feith and others
25 that he talked to, an agreement for a cease-fire, that would make room for
1 a dialogue, I then started to talk to certain NATO generals that were in
2 the company of Mr. Feith.
3 They asked me - of course, with the permission of Ali Ahmeti - to
4 provide them with the areas where our brigades had established their
5 authority. The aim of this map was for the EU and NATO monitoring was
6 familiar with the positions of the NLA, and in case they are violated to
7 undertake the necessary measures to re-establish cease-fire.
8 On this occasion, I provided Mr. Peter Feith with all our
9 positions, after discussing this issue with a NATO general who was in the
10 company of Mr. Peter Feith, but, I'm sorry, I don't remember his name.
11 Q. General, was Peter Feith also member of the NATO?
12 A. Which person you refer to? Sorry, I didn't hear your question.
13 Q. Who was Peter Feith, General?
14 A. I believe he was the consular to the NATO Secretary-General, Lord
15 Robertson. But what were his concrete duties, I don't know.
16 Q. General, you mentioned agreement between NATO and Ali Ahmeti about
17 a cease-fire. Can you remember when was there agreement, this cease-fire?
18 When was the agreement reached? When was the cease-fire declared?
19 A. To my knowledge, the agreement was signed on the 5th of July,
20 while it entered into force, so in the early hours of the 6th of July.
21 MR REGUE: In page 62, line 10, I believe it should read 5th of
22 July, instead of 35.
23 Q. General, if we can look to the first -- to actually the page which
24 bears ERN R062-6972.
25 MS. REGUE: It is the third page in e-court. The map he has in
1 front of him. The one which bears the ERN R062-6972. The one which has
2 the heading, "Region of the Brigade of the 113."
3 Q. General, which is the area which we can see in this map?
4 A. The purpose of these maps was not to declare these units, but,
5 rather, the territory that was controlled by NLA units; whereas, the
6 declaration of units followed after the agreement for the handover of
7 weapons during the Essential Harvest operation.
8 Q. General, but if you are aware, which area of Macedonia can we see
9 in this map in front of you, which geographic area?
10 A. In the first one that we're discussing, 1, we have the area of 113
11 Brigade; and, during this time, the 114th Brigade was formed out of this
12 brigade. It included the area of Mali i Zi i Shkupit, including the
13 villages of Lojane, Vaksince, Slupcane, Orizar [phoen], Nikustak, Matejce,
14 Nikustak, down below up to Mojance. These were villages situated up to
15 the border with Kosova.
16 What is significant here is the fact that through the engagement
17 of the NLA and the ARM in this territory, there existed a battery, a
18 combined battery, with cannons and tanks of the ARM in the area from
19 Alashece [phoen], in north. It is marked with red on the map.
20 Q. It's the red dot that we can see near the border with Serbia.
21 Correct, General?
22 A. No. These are the border posts, while this dot is on the north of
23 the flag that marks the 113 Brigade of the NLA.
24 Q. Okay.
25 MS. REGUE: For the record, the dot that the witness is referring
1 is the one just above the flag.
2 Q. General, the area that we can see indicated in this map, which is
3 actually depicted by an intermittent black line boarding Serbia, and then
4 it goes with a blue line from the north-east to the south-west, I believe
5 that you already mentioned it, but, General, which brigade of the NLA was
6 operating in that area?
7 Just to have it in the record and very briefly.
8 A. In this area, marked in this document ending with the figures 972,
9 is the 113 Brigade of the NLA and the newly formed 114th Brigade of the
11 Q. In the centre of this area, more towards the east, we see a flag
12 with Brigade 113. What were you indicating, General, with this flag?
13 A. This flag, based on the regulation on compiling and maintaining
14 maps, it indicates the command of the Brigade 113.
15 Q. And in which location, in which municipality was this command
17 A. During this time, it was in the Otlja village.
18 Q. Thanks.
19 MS. REGUE: If we could move to the next document. In e-court, it
20 will be page 1; and the ERN, it will end with 6970.
21 JUDGE PARKER: I think, before we move to the next document,
22 Ms. Regue, it might be appropriate to have the next break.
23 MS. REGUE: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE PARKER: And we resume at five past 1.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 1.07 p.m.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Regue.
3 MS. REGUE:
4 Q. General, if re look at this second map, we can see that the
5 village, the municipality of Tetovo, is depicted in the centre of the map.
6 Then we see an area which is indicated by an intermittent black
7 line bordering Kosovo, and then a blue line which goes from the north-east
8 towards the south-west.
9 General, what does this area show?
10 A. The northern border with blue colour is the left border of the
11 brigade of the area of responsibility; while the border with interrupted
12 blue line at Bogovina village is the right border of the brigade; while
13 the border on the background is the border with Kosova, and it's marked
14 with a line that shows a state border.
15 This is the area where 112 Brigade had established its authority.
16 Q. Thanks, General. Excuse me.
17 A. NATO did not ask us to show the units under the brigade because it
18 was already cease-fire; while once the peacetime was established, then the
19 other records were to be supplied.
20 Q. General, we see in this area, in the centre, we see, again, a flag
21 which goes out from village of Sipkovica, and we read, "Brigade 112."
22 What were you indicating with this flag, General?
23 A. This flag, according to military rules, depicts the command post,
24 to the area where the brigade command is established, the command of 112
25 Brigade. It is in the village of Sipkovica.
1 Q. Thanks General.
2 Now if we look outside this area, we see three circles on the
3 upper right side of the map, three circles also depicted in blue.
4 General, what were you indicating with these three circles, these
6 A. These three circles, as I wanted to be more precise at that time,
7 depict the territory that is under 115 Brigade. It had a battalion, and
8 it had some parts in the village of Oraste [phoen] and Neraste [phoen], so
9 that the monitors were familiar with the territory that was under the
10 authority of 115th Brigade.
11 Q. With regards to the circle, which is more towards the right,
12 towards the east of the map, we, again, see a flag which goes out from, I
13 believe, Radusa and reads, "Brigade 115."
14 What were you indicating with this flag, General?
15 A. According to rules, it is stated the 1st Battalion of the 115th
16 Brigade. It's number 1/115th Brigade, which means 1st Battalion of 115
17 Brigade, which is situated in Radush.
18 Q. Where were the headquarters of the 115th Brigade. If you don't
19 see it in the map General, just mention the municipality, the location.
20 A. At this particular moment, the 1st Battalion and the headquarters
21 of this brigade are together in Radush; but since the forces do not amount
22 to a brigade force, it is it marked at a level of a battalion. So there
23 is the command of the battalion and the headquarters of the battalion.
24 Q. Thanks.
25 MS. REGUE: If we could move to page in e-court.
1 Q. And now, General, we are going to look at the map, which bears the
2 ERN 6971.
3 General, in this map, we see towards the west, almost near the
4 border with Albania, a circle with an intermittent blue line. What were
5 you indicating, General, with this circle?
6 A. The area, where the 1st Battalion of 116th Brigade is positioned,
7 is a mountainous region, and it is very difficult to encircle the
8 territory under this brigade with just one line.
9 The interrupted line, according to the rules, depicts the possible
10 area that is controlled by the brigade, while the full line is a precise
11 area controlled by the brigade.
12 So, as I said, it wasn't possible to be more determined, due to
13 the relief of the territory. So that's why I depicted it in this form,
14 and it was accepted as such by NATO authorities.
15 Q. And, General, we see inside this intermittent -- within this
16 circle marked with intermittent line, another circle with a full line.
17 What were you indicating?
18 Just briefly, General, what were you indicating with regards to
19 this circle?
20 A. The interrupted line depicts the potential or possible area, while
21 the full line, the actual area, where the brigade, the NLA has authority.
22 Q. And we see, again, General, a flag with the numbers and letters,
23 "1/Brigade 116." What were you indicating, General, with this flag?
24 A. This flag shows that here the 1st Battalion of the 116th Brigade
25 is functioning.
1 Q. And where were the headquarters of this 1st Battalion of the 116th
2 Brigade, General?
3 A. The brigade and battalion headquarters were together at a location
4 called Kuku Zabel [phoen]. This can be seen only if you use the map to
5 see the command post.
6 Q. Thanks, General.
7 A. It is in the area of Tanusevci village and other villages in
8 municipality of Gostivar.
9 Q. Thanks, General.
10 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, I will seek to tender these three maps.
11 JUDGE PARKER: The maps will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As exhibit P515, Your Honours.
13 MS. REGUE: And --
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski.
15 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise for
16 interrupting my colleague. But before the maps are received, on the third
17 map, the witness stated exactly which area was under the control of the
18 116th Brigade.
19 As far as I was able to follow the trial, regarding the first map
20 shown to us, the area around Kumanovo, as well as regarding the area
21 around Tetovo, the witness did not state whether the marked area was under
22 the NLA control. Did the entire area that was marked, was it under the
23 NLA control, so for -- to make it more precise for the transcript.
24 JUDGE PARKER: I understood, Mr. Apostolski, that the third map
25 was different because of the terrain in that area. Because of that, there
1 was difficulty being precise as to the area. So two circles were drawn:
2 One, if I can paraphrase it, about which the witness was absolutely
3 certain, and then the dotted intermittent line about which that may have
4 been the case.
5 So I think it is only the third nap is affected in way.
6 MS. REGUE: That was my understanding, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE PARKER: If you have lingering doubts, they can be followed
8 up in cross-examination.
9 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
10 MS. REGUE: If we could go to 65 ter 778.18, which is tab 12.
11 Q. General, we have in front of us a present statement made by NATO
12 spokesman, Major Barry Johnson, at a press briefing on the 6th of August
13 2001. This document has the heading, the title, "NATO background on the
14 plan Essential Harvest, 6 August 2001. The operation will be conducted in
15 three phases."
16 In the first paragraph of this document, Mr. Johnson mentions
17 that: "Although the details of the plan remain to be discussed by NATO
18 and the Ministry of Defence, the concept has been fully developed and
19 troops from contributing nations are prepared to begin deployment within
20 48 hours.
21 "Within two weeks of receiving an order to deploy, Taskforce
22 Harvest would be fully operational and ready to conduct its 30 day mission
23 for collecting weapons and ammunition."
24 If we move to the third paragraph, it reads: "The plan called
25 operation Essential Harvest could result in the deployment of about 3500
1 soldiers from various NATO members nations."
2 General, are you familiar with the operation or plan Essential
4 A. Yes, I am, on a political level. It was all the NLA political
5 representative, Ali Ahmeti, that discussed these issues; whereas, the
6 issues concerning the collection of weapons, it was me who dealt with this
7 issue, together with NATO officers.
8 Q. General, you partially answered my next question, but what was the
9 significance of the plan, of the operation Essential Harvest? What was
10 the importance?
11 A. It is of great importance because this was conditioned. We were
12 supposed to hand over the weapons, while the parliament was supposed to
13 get ready to carry out the changes based on the Ohrid Agreement. So we
14 were getting ready to carry out this task and fulfil our part of the
16 Q. Thanks, General.
17 If we read below, in the English version, it will be the fifth
18 paragraph in the first page. It reads: "Before the troops can be
19 deployed, certain conditions must, of course, be met. These include an
20 unconditional cease-fire, the signing of a framework document and its
21 annexes by the government's political parties, and a technical agreement
22 with the so-called UCK to voluntarily hand over their weapons."
23 General, with regards to this technical agreement with the NLA,
24 was this agreement -- was this agreement reached to hand over the weapons?
25 A. Yes. It was reached, and it was signed by the NLA political
1 representative, who was at the same time the commander of the NLA.
2 Q. And which other parties signed this agreement, General?
3 A. NATO. The NLA signed this agreement only with NATO.
4 Q. Thanks, General.
5 Which role did you play in the implementation of this agreement?
6 A. I would like to point out that I was committed to planning and
7 implementing this agreement on the voluntary surrender of weapons that
8 were at the disposal of the National Liberation Army, in conformity with
9 the plan and the dates of the agreement between the NLA and NATO.
10 I made all necessary preparations. I maintained continuous
11 contact with NATO officers and monitors who were engaged, involved in the
12 collection of weapons. The areas or locations were designated where which
13 brigade will hand over the weapons and on which date.
14 Before that, there was an assessment made, together with Mr. Ali
15 Ahmeti and NATO representatives, as to the amount of weapons that the NLA
16 was to hand over.
17 May I continue?
18 The NATO, at that time, estimated that the National Liberation
19 Army had to hand over 3.333 weapons. We agreed with this figure, and we
20 started the collection of weapons at positions.
21 Q. Thanks, General. Can I interrupt you there briefly.
22 General, when you were performing your duties in the
23 implementation of this agreement, were you working together with NATO
25 A. By all means, because the handover of weapons was carried out by
1 the NLA, by every soldier in person, while the reception the collection,
2 the transportation of these weapons was carried out by NATO and its
4 At the same time, the security of the location, where this was
5 taking place, was provided by the forces of the Essential Harvest
7 Q. Thanks, General. In the next page in the English version, I think
8 that we are still in the Albanian page, General, page 2 in e-court of the
9 English version, we can see how Major Barry Johnson explains three phases
10 with regards to this operation.
11 Are you familiar with these phases, General, or you want me to
12 read them to you?
13 A. As you wish. I am aware of them, because I was the one who did
14 the work. But if you feel like it, you may.
15 Q. Okay, General. I'll just ask whether the plan was implemented
16 following the stages, the phases that we see in this document, General?
17 A. The plan was implemented as foreseen. It was very difficult for
18 us to implement it because when it was approved, before that happened, we
19 wanted the NLA members to be placed in several barracks.
20 And after the surrender of the weapons finished - I apologise -
21 after 30 days, the members of the NLA should be obliged to wait in their
22 positions for 30 days in order to surrender the weapons.
23 Initially, I was afraid they might go home with the weapons, and
24 it would be very hard for us to collect them; but, apparently, they showed
25 a very high level of moral and a very high sense of responsibility,
1 because the handing over of the weapons was a condition for the political
2 changes to take place later.
3 So, when it happened according to plan that we had drawn in
4 cooperation with Harvest, there were 500 more weapons than the initial
5 number of 3.383 [as interpreted]. So there were 3875 weapons all
6 together, because everyday new volunteers came to the brigades, and they
7 couldn't turn them back, but all the weapon, as I said, were surrendered.
8 Q. Thanks, General.
9 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, I seek to tender this document into
11 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P516, Your Honours.
13 MS. REGUE: Can we go, please, to 65 ter 778.17, which is in tab
15 Q. General, we have in front of us another document, which bears the
16 title, "The National Liberation Army," and then we see in the upper left
17 side the date, 4th August 2001, for the attention of the NLA brigades.
18 The subject of this document is: "Order from the Chief of the General
20 Indeed, we see, at least we see in the second page of the English
21 and in the original, your signature, General.
22 General, did you produce this document?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Just briefly, General, which was the purpose of this document?
25 A. The commander was preparing the demobilisation of the NLA, and his
1 idea was for it to take part in all its segments. Based on this idea, I
2 instructed that the brigades prepare for surrendering their weapons, and
3 the administration to see to regulating this issue with all the members.
4 That is the purpose of this instruction.
5 Q. Thanks, General.
6 Indeed, we can read in the different items of this document.
7 Item 1: "A proof of membership of soldiers and officers of the NLA
8 is to be established for all brigades and other units of the General
10 Then item 2 mentions the creation of a commission at the brigade
11 level, which this commission needs to work together and following the plan
12 drafted with the approval of the brigade command.
13 Then in item 4: "The commission will carry out the following
14 activities," and you, General, mentioned, indicated, and I quote: "It
15 will fill out military discharge forms with all the dates, details. It
16 will photograph all members and place the first and last name of the
17 individual in question on the photo, as well as the number from the
18 military discharge form, and the photographs with the names and numbers of
19 the individuals are to be stored electronically."
20 General, what was the significance of these preparatory
22 A. In the NLA, just like in any other army, there are people who have
23 joined it, who have participated in fighting. First, it is necessary to
24 have accurate data on them; then to set up a commission which I mentioned
25 here, composed of several members, among whom there should be doctors,
1 possibly psychologists, teaches, and lawyers, so that they will take note
2 of the participants in the brigades of the NLA, and verify whether the
3 person who has joined has been injured in the course of the war; then
4 records should be taken of the time he joined, with whom he joined in the
5 NLA, and in what status he has been discharged. If he is in a healthy
6 condition, then that should be noted.
7 So this had to be done upon the signing of the Ohrid Agreement,
8 and then work should start by this commission.
9 Q. Indeed, General, in item 5, we read: "Activities pursuant to this
10 order are to begin on the date of the signing of the political agreement
11 and will end within two weeks."
12 With this politina [sic] agreement that you are mentioning,
13 General, are you referring to the Ohrid Framework Political Agreement?
14 A. Yes. But on that date, I didn't know that it would be called the
15 Ohrid Framework Agreement. For me, it would be a political agreement,
16 then that is the name that they referred to it as, the Ohrid Framework
18 Q. Thanks, General.
19 A. This is what it refers to.
20 Q. Thanks.
21 MS. REGUE: Your Honour, I will tender this document into
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
24 MR. METTRAUX: Simply, we don't object to the admission of the
25 document, to make that point clear. However, we understand that
1 Mr. Ostreni has been careful to describe the document as an instruction.
2 In fact, during proofing, he made it clear to the Prosecution that the
3 translation of that document, from the Albanian to the English as an
4 "order," was inaccurate; and that, in effect, it should read as a
5 "recommendation." I believe that is the sense that the witness wished to
6 give to that document.
7 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, I can clarify this matter. Maybe it is
8 my fault.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
10 MS. REGUE:
11 Q. General, in English, we read "order." Was this document an order,
12 or it has another term?
13 A. I didn't have the right to give orders. I could only give
14 instructions or make recommendations. If the commander ordered me that I
15 should issue an order on his behalf, then I should do that. In this case,
16 it is simply an instruction or a recommendation.
17 Q. Thanks.
18 MS. REGUE: I thank Mr. Mettraux for that.
19 JUDGE PARKER: The document will be received.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P517, Your Honours.
21 MS. REGUE:
22 Q. General, are you aware who were the signatory parties of the Ohrid
23 Agreement? Who signed the Ohrid Agreement basically, General?
24 A. There are many people. The head of the state; I think also the
25 prime minister, if I'm not mistaken, because it happened six years ago;
1 there are the political party representatives; and then the
2 representatives of the European Union; the representative of the United
4 Q. Was the NLA a signatory party of the Ohrid Agreement, General?
5 A. Directly, no.
6 Q. Had the NLA any sort of contact with the parties who signed the
7 Ohrid Agreement during the negotiations, General?
8 A. The political representative of the NLA was in regular contacts
9 with the leaders who signed the Prizren Agreement. The Democratic Party
10 of Albanian, the Party for Democratic Prosperity, sometimes with the party
11 led by Kastriot Haxhirexha - I don't remember the party; it was kind of
12 national party - so he was in contact.
13 Q. And if you have the knowledge, General, which was the content of
14 these discussions, of these contacts?
15 A. The content of these discussions was what was already discussed,
16 finding a solution which actually led to the Ohrid Agreement.
17 Q. Did the NLA support the Ohrid Agreement, General?
18 A. It did, and it still does; as a former member, I'm talking.
19 Q. Did the Ohrid Agreement reproduce the NLA demands, General?
20 A. I think, yes, almost all of them. But when we talk of an
21 agreement, if both parties are not satisfied 100 percent, then it's okay.
22 But if only one side is very content, then it is not a good
23 agreement. I think we supported, and I think it is a good agreement.
24 Q. Thanks.
25 MS. REGUE: Can we please call 65 ter 440, 4-4-0. It's in tab 28.
1 Before that, Your Honours, I didn't try to mislead with the
2 Chamber with omission that, indeed, the witness was correct in proofing.
3 I was more concerned about speeding up the proceedings, so I apologise if
4 I made that omission.
5 MR. METTRAUX: We didn't think that our colleague was trying to
6 mislead you in any way. We simply indicate, I think, that because of our
7 interruption, the document has not yet been admitted, I believe.
8 JUDGE PARKER: I thought it was Exhibit 517.
9 MR. METTRAUX: In that case, I must have missed a few lines of the
10 transcript. I am grateful.
11 MS. REGUE: Yes, I think, you are right.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Please continue, Ms. Regue.
13 MS. REGUE:
14 Q. General, do you have in front of you a document from the Ministry
15 of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia? You can read in the
16 upper left side that this document is submitted by Major Gjorgji Mitrev,
17 and the date is the 22nd ever September, 2001, Skopje.
18 It is submitted to the headquarters of Operative Action, Ramno,
19 DOD, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, sector for security and police
20 station for the security of government facilities and diplomatic consular
21 representations. This document is an Official Note, which bears the
22 title, "Possible violations of the public peace on a larger scale at the
23 police academy, Idrizevo."
24 The first two lines read: "The course for 110 candidates for
25 police trainees of Albanian ethnicity has been announced to start on the
1 24th of September, 2001 at the police academy in Idrizevo."
2 General, are you familiar about the training that was foreseen
3 within the police academy for new recruits of Albanian ethnicity?
4 A. I am aware of the tendency to improve as fast as possible the
5 ethnic composition of the police force in the Republic of Macedonia. That
6 started right after the signing of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, and I do
7 know that efforts were made in this regard, in order to form police --
8 mixed police patrols with Albanians, Macedonians, Turks, and other
9 minorities, but mainly Albanians, in order to build trust and confidence
10 of the population in the police force.
11 Q. This document talks about a meeting which was held the 22nd of
12 September of 2001 at this police academy, and it lists -- it indicates
13 the members of this meeting.
14 And if we read just below the names of the participants: "A
15 single issue was discussed, which is the arrival of the mentioned number
16 of police trainee candidates from security aspect regarding the facility
17 they shall be placed and train."
18 If we go to the second page, I believe that in both languages the
19 documents -- the document indicates that: "At the moment, several units
20 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs are positioned as follows: A
21 battalion for rapid intervention," illegible, "Tigers, and the police
22 reserve force unit, whose number amounts to 800 to 1.000 members.
23 "During the discussion, it is has been pointed out to all
24 participants of the meeting, that there are open threats by members of the
25 aforementioned units, that they will prevent with all means the entering
1 of the mentioned number of candidates, including also the use of fire-arms
2 or explosive materials."
3 General, were you aware with the problems encounter by these new
4 Albanian police recruits in late 2001.
5 A. I may only say that I heard that there were problems.
6 Q. And the document goes on indicating that: "The above mentioned
7 information point to the chance of violation of public peace and order on
8 a larger scale of a heavier incidents, in case the start of the announced
9 course is realised in the mentioned facility."
10 General, which problems did you hear, that these new recruits were
12 A. I heard what you already read to me, that the police forces
13 reacted adversely to that, and that after a time we heard that there were
14 problems with Mr. Pardew who went there for a visit after, I think --
15 because the United States, I think, funded the training, and he went there
16 to check on the -- to see how money was being spent. And it was a
17 critical report published in the media against Mr. Pardew that he been
18 very severe in his stand, but I can't make a comment on that. But I only
19 know that there were problems.
20 Q. Thanks, General.
21 MS. REGUE: Your Honours, I will seek to tendered this document
22 into evidence.
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
24 Mr. Mettraux.
25 MR. METTRAUX: Well, in view of Your Honours ruling, I won't
1 attempt to have it unadmitted. I will simply indicate that if the content
2 of the document had, in fact, been relevant to the Prosecution case, it
3 could and should, in our submissions, have been put through a witness
4 capable of giving information in relation to the content.
5 The witness, Mr. Ostreni, has given information to the extent he
6 was capable about information which he had in his possession. We'll
7 simply indicate that Mr. Galevski, for one, later became the director of
8 the police academy in question.
9 If there had been any question about this particular incident, in
10 our submissions, it should have been put to him.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
12 THE REGISTRAR: The document will become Exhibit P518, Your
14 JUDGE PARKER: We must now adjourn for the day.
15 MS. REGUE: And I have no further questions, Your Honours, so ...
16 JUDGE PARKER: Well I'll let you contemplate that overnight in
17 case, but we resume tomorrow at 2.15.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Friday, the 9th day of
20 November, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.