1 Wednesday, 6 February 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
6 We understand there are one or two matters to be raised before the
7 witness comes in.
8 Mr. Mettraux.
9 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
10 The only matter which we would like to bring to your attention at
11 this stage is not one for which we seek any order or instructions, but
12 simply one we would wish to bring to the attention of the Chamber at this
13 stage. We've indicated already in the past that we were encountering some
14 difficulties with our translations and we wish to indicate first that
15 those are difficulties that are due to the lack of staff and resources
16 with CLSS and not with any sort of unwillingness on their part to assist.
17 But we've been notified that a number of documents which had
18 submitted to CLSS could not be provided to us with the deadline that we
19 had set or with the deadline that would be necessarily meaningful for our
20 purposes. We believe that there approximately 20 documents which appear
21 on our Rule 65 ter list of exhibits which are yet to be fully translated,
22 Your Honour. We also believe that there are between 6 and 8 additional
23 documents for which an application by the Defence to amend its Rule 65 ter
24 list are also still pending.
25 In addition to that, there are a number of documents both Defence
1 exhibits and Prosecution exhibits, for which we have submitted requests
2 for corrections or retranslation of certain terms or phrases.
3 CLSS has also asked us to identify in relation to, I believe, five
4 documents which are multi-pages documents. Those parts which are most
5 relevant to the Defence case and we will try to do that in the coming days
6 having in mind that the entire document may not be available on time for
7 use in the Defence case and even those provisions which we may identify as
8 most relevant to our case may not be brought back to us by CLSS on time,
9 in which case we may have to rely on draft translations.
10 The problems, Your Honour, if any, may arise is twofold as we see
11 it. Expert witness will be coming next week and it may be the case that a
12 couple or a bit more documents may be used with that witness and we would
13 wish, obviously, to have those documents ready for this particular person,
14 for our colleagues from the Prosecution and our ourselves. We will do
15 what we can to obtain those in the form of official translation from CLSS
16 and if not, to try to obtain a draft translation.
17 The other matter and the other reason why we bring that to your
18 attention at this stage, Your Honour, is as indicated there are a number
19 of documents, we believe between ten and fifteen, which may be added to
20 our Rule 65 ter exhibit by way of leave of the Chamber which we would wish
21 to do as soon as possible. At this stage we are waiting for the
22 translation of those documents to be able to do that.
23 Thank you.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Mettraux.
25 Mr. Apostolski.
1 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
2 I would like to inform the Trial Chamber that the Defence of
3 Johan Tarculovski is also facing problems in translation. First, I would
4 like to inform the Court that the CLSS has informed us that the
5 translation of the expert report from the military expert for the Defence
6 of Tarculovski, Mr. Blagoja Markovski, will be finished on the 14th of
7 February although it was initially agreed that it would be ready on the
8 15th of January, and later, the date was prolonged until the 30th of
9 January. This is what the CLSS informed us.
10 Secondly, I would like to inform the Trial Chamber that the CLSS
11 informed us that the chronology of events of 2001, which is part of the
12 expert report, in accordance with 65 ter 2D685 is refusing to translate in
13 entirety because, according to their rules, this service does not
14 translate documents of this size, only parts or certain paragraphs
15 relevant to us which we would use in this trial. This is why I would ask
16 the Trial Chamber to issue an order for full translation of the chronology
17 of events which are also part of the expert report.
18 At the same time, I would like to inform the Court that, in
19 regards to all other documents, there were no other problems with
20 translation and all others have been translated in time.
21 As for chronology of events of 2001, I would like to inform the
22 Court that this chronology of events was sent for translation on the 29th
23 of December. We were informed that the translation would be finished by
24 the 10th of February. However, in the meantime the CLSS informed us that
25 the documents that the Defence had sent were lost in the system, which, it
1 seems, had happened frequently. This is why the Defence submitted a new
2 request for translation on the 4th of February with a deadline of 18th of
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Apostolski, the chronology, we have not seen
5 it. What period of time does it cover?
6 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] This chronology of events covers
7 the time from January 2001 to September 2001.
8 JUDGE PARKER: And what events, what is the nature of the events
9 that it covers?
10 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] This chronology of events covers
11 incidents that happened and were caused by the terrorist NLA groups in
12 that period, as well as the period of the event which is the case of this
13 trial. It encompasses the activities of the Macedonian security forces in
14 this period of time, which parts of the territory was under the alleged
15 control of the NLA.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mm-hm. So it is your submission that all of that
17 chronology is relevant, especially to the issue of whether there is an
18 armed conflict?
19 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. And we believe
20 it would be fair also for the Prosecution to have this document in its
21 entirety in order to facilitate a more comprehensive cross-examination of
22 the expert.
23 JUDGE PARKER: And how -- how long is this chronology, how big?
24 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] 142 pages.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Does it record the birthdays of every participant?
1 It does seem a very long chronology. Not having seen it, it's very
2 difficult to make any useful comment, but I'm sure quite a bit of what is
3 in that chronology is going to be relevant to the issues in this case.
4 But I would have thought that 140 pages was probably very much an
5 excessively detailed chronology.
6 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will -- I will
7 promise this Court that part of this chronology, which is perhaps
8 redundant or superfluous will be taken out and thus reduce the number of
10 JUDGE PARKER: I think that would be a very constructive move,
11 Mr. Apostolski. You will appreciate that we need to know that certain
12 material military type events occurred and some political events; but we
13 don't need a full summary of everything that happened in each military
14 event or in each political event, and there will be some things that
15 occurred that you will see immediately are of virtually no use in the end.
16 If can you look through that carefully and cut down the chronology
17 significantly, I'm sure it will help.
18 The issue is very simple as both you and Mr. Mettraux are aware.
19 Macedonian is not a language which this Tribunal is equipped to deal with
20 fully in either translation or interpretation, and it is therefore
21 difficult to obtain the services of enough people with the required degree
22 of skill and reliability, and that's particularly so in the area of
23 translation; and, therefore, we are simply overtaxing the capacity of the
24 CLSS to deal with what is being put before them by the two Defence teams.
25 We have, in truth, only one person working full time here, and a
1 number of other people working part of their time from outside the
2 Tribunal, trying to help us to get the work done and there's simply too
3 much work to achieve it.
4 So if you can cut down and the same, of course, goes for
5 Mr. Mettraux, and it goes for anything that the Prosecution may be putting
6 before the CLSS. I don't know whether at the moment anything is. But if
7 you can cut it down to what is really important, at least that can then be
8 done as a matter of priority. It may then be possible to have a little
9 more done a little later, but still in time to be used in the case. But
10 if there can be a serious effort made to deal with the work that only is
11 of real important significance to our work, that can be dealt with as a
12 matter of priority and hopefully we'll be able to keep the trial running
13 without delay. Because the other alternative is we simply have to delay
14 until the service can catch up.
15 So thank you for suggesting that you will look at the chronology,
16 Mr. Apostolski.
17 Mr. Saxon.
18 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
19 MR. SAXON: Just one matter, Your Honour, while we're on the
20 subject of translations.
21 Today, it came to my attention that the Book of Rules of the
22 organisation and work of the Ministry of Interior has been admitted into
23 evidence actually in two different versions. The first time it was
24 admitted as P33 with a partial translation. And subsequently to that, it
25 was tendered by the Defence with a full English translation as
1 Exhibit 1D107.
2 In both cases, Your Honour, we have draft translations from CLSS,
3 and the Prosecution, of course, is extremely grateful for the strenuous
4 efforts that CLSS has made and continues to make to keep up with all of
5 the translation demands. But the Prosecution has noticed that, for
6 example, there are some differences in the two English translations. And
7 because there are many, many documents that have been admitted in this
8 trial and the use of language and meaning of language and even the nuances
9 of language may be quite important at the end of the day, we may, with the
10 agreement of the Defence, send this matter back to CLSS for a final
11 English translation so that when it's time to write the judgment there
12 will be absolutely no confusion as to what the document says.
13 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sure they'll be delighted to receive it,
14 Mr. Saxon.
15 MR. SAXON: I hope so, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. Thank you for that.
17 Any other matter?
18 Well, I think we will now have the witness.
19 While the witness comes could I mention that, once again today
20 we're going to try another slight rearrangement of our sitting hours and
21 we will plan to finish by around 6.30 this evening with sitting hours
22 divided almost equally into three. We'll see how that goes. And probably
23 tomorrow night, tomorrow afternoon, that is, we will do something similar,
24 and we will then assess whether any permanent any change ought to be made
25 or we will revert to what had been our normal pattern.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE PARKER: The affirmation you made still applies, of course.
6 Now, Mr. Dobbyn.
7 WITNESS: IGNO STOJKOV [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Dobbyn: [Continued]
10 MR. DOBBYN: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Stojkov.
12 You will remember that when we left off yesterday evening we had
13 just finished looking at a number of files where the working group on war
14 crimes had investigated crimes allegedly committed by ethnic Albanians.
15 And you may recall that in your testimony on Monday you were asked by my
16 learned colleague whether had you any prejudices that influenced your work
17 in the working group, and you described an incident where an Albanian came
18 to you and complained about a theft of tractor batteries and this was
19 investigated and a Macedonian was charged.
20 And for reference this is at transcript page 8890.
21 Do you recall testifying to that effect?
22 A. Yes, I recall this.
23 Q. Well, Mr. Stojkov, do you consider the theft of tractor batteries
24 to be a war crime?
25 A. If you'll allow me to explain. This happened in the village of
1 Aracinovo where some armed activities also took place. This theft was in
2 a warehouse of a person who was forced to leave his home, because this was
3 a place where military activities did take place and this was a
4 substantial case of theft. We felt that this was part of our work.
5 Q. So just to be perfectly clear, Mr. Stojkov, you're saying that
6 this case of theft was actually a war crime.
7 A. In the binder with your documents, there was a complaint about a
8 theft of 116.000 Deutschemarks. This is a theft that happened in a place
9 where military activities took place. I mean to say that this theft
10 befallen upon an ethnic Albanian was carried out by persons of ethnic
11 Macedonians who were then in the reserve police forces. As a result, we
12 felt that this is one of the criminal acts committed in a place of
13 military conflict by uniformed and armed persons.
14 Q. And in that case, do you know what was done to the reservists who
15 had committed this theft?
16 A. The aggrieved party of Albanian ethnicity reported this theft at
17 the police station Petrovac which is under the police station Gazi Baba
18 where I was inspector at that period. After the theft was reported, the
19 inspectors and police officers undertook all necessary measures to find
20 the perpetrators. Among other things, several houses were searched of
21 persons who were suspect of allegedly committed the theft and these items
22 were found. And after the case was documented, it was submitted to the
23 public prosecutor's office, a criminal report was submitted, and these
24 persons were sanctioned.
25 Q. And how were these individuals identified?
1 A. According to operative tactical measures undertaken by inspectors
2 and police officers, information was obtained that they might have been
3 the perpetrators. I think it was three persons in question. I don't know
4 how this information was obtained. Most probably in some of the controls
5 that were carried out, some of the stolen objects were found. After
6 establishing the identity of these persons, additional operative measures
7 were undertaken, including search of houses and other premises, during
8 which part of the stolen goods were found and returned to the aggrieved.
9 Q. And do you know what the outcome of this case was? Do you know
10 whether any -- sorry. Let me rephrase that. Do you know what the outcome
11 of this case was?
12 A. After the criminal report was forwarded to the public prosecutor's
13 office, it was then in their hand, which was then processed in the form of
14 an indictment to the court. I cannot know whether the court found them
15 guilty or not, whether they're in prison or not, whether there was -- they
16 were remanded in custody or not.
17 Q. Do you know whether these individuals were dismissed from the list
18 of reservists for the Ministry of Interior?
19 A. I don't know whether these were dismissed or not. I -- according
20 to me, not only should they have been dismissed from the list of
21 reservists but they should be in jail because they committed a criminal
22 act in uniform and with weapons where military activities took place.
23 They abused the trust given to them as members of the reserve police
24 forces. In my opinion, the punishment should be rigorous in such cases.
25 Q. Now, apart from this case of theft in your time with the working
1 group, how many other allegations of war crimes did you investigate where
2 the perpetrators were members of the Macedonian security forces?
3 A. I cannot say an exact number, but all of the activities we carried
4 out had, as a starting point, the reports of aggrieved parties which we
5 received most probably from the analytics sectors of the police stations.
6 I recall there were a number of cases of theft, of -- destruction of
7 homes, but I cannot be more precise than this. It was a long time ago. I
8 remember this case because I was working on it myself and so I know a
9 little bit more about it.
10 Q. Well, if you can't remember exact numbers of how many you
11 investigated, are you able to remember any specific cases?
12 A. Could you please explain and elaborate a little bit further?
13 Cases of Macedonians having committed theft or other crime in this period?
14 Q. I'm asking if can you recall any other specific cases of war
15 crimes committed by members of the Macedonian security forces.
16 A. I cannot say precisely. I remember there was a case of a physical
17 assault by a police reservist in Tetovo, but I cannot elaborate more on
18 this case, because when we visited Tetovo, and in view of the fact that
19 OVR in Tetovo worked only partially and not in a regular fashion, because
20 of the military activities, and we undertook most of the activities they
21 had to carry out. I know a procedure was carried against this one or two
22 police reservists who had physically assaulted persons on some of the
23 check-points in Tetovo, but I cannot tell you precisely. I know I read
24 the material and it's in the case files of the materials that we took but
25 I cannot precisely explain to you how all of this was finalised.
1 Q. These cases that you speak of, two or more that involved
2 investigations of Macedonian security force members, would these files
3 have been sent to the analytics department for filing in the same manner
4 as all your other files were?
5 A. As I said previously, all of our activities, for example, if I
6 went to official working visit to police units in Tetovo, or other
7 services in Tetovo, upon my return all the materials which we took back in
8 copies were documented in an Official Note about where we went, who we
9 met, and what documents we took. And in all of these cases, and all of
10 this which I have done and I have told you about should be in the
11 analytics department of the MOI.
12 Q. Okay. So there was no difference depending on who the alleged
13 perpetrators were in what you did with these files?
14 A. As a member of the working group, I came in September 2001, when
15 all military activities or when the armed conflict in Macedonia was over;
16 perhaps not fully over, but for the most part, it was. And I said that,
17 for me, there cannot be a difference between a Macedonian Albanian child
18 or a civilian or anyone else from a different ethnicity because this is
19 not only Macedonians or Albanians in question, there was also other mixed
20 populations, Serbs, Romas all ethnic communities living in Macedonia. I'm
21 talking myself personally; I cannot comment about my colleagues or other
23 Q. Well, perhaps I wasn't clear there, Mr. Stojkov. My question was
24 meant to be a little simpler than that and my question was: Did you send
25 all your files to the same place for storage or for filing, regardless of
1 who the perpetrators were?
2 A. Yes. All case files, accompanied by Official Note, were sent to
3 the analytics unit.
4 Q. So can you think of any reason why no files of investigations into
5 members of the Macedonian security forces would be found in a search of
6 the Ministry of Interior archives where the files you have been shown
7 earlier were located?
8 A. I cannot explain why this is so. If a case was processed, then
9 such documents also exist in the basic public prosecution. In the
10 previous case which I spoke about, there should be documents that a
11 criminal report against these person was filed and that further measures
12 were taken. I don't know why these cases are not to be found.
13 Q. Just to move on to a slightly different topic. Do you recall
14 yesterday I asked you about what would happen if a crime was widely known
15 throughout Macedonia, perhaps through media reports, but no complaints
16 came forward and you stated and I quote: "I think if there had been such
17 an event in my country, in the Republic of Macedonia, certainly a way
18 would have been found to investigate the case, to arrive at the basic
19 data, what had happened, and what needs to be undertaken. However, I
20 don't think anything of the sort had happened thus far without it being
22 This is at transcript page 8955.
23 Do you recall saying that, Mr. Stojkov?
24 A. Yes, I recall.
25 Q. I would ask you to turn to tab 12 in your binder, please. And
1 this is Exhibit P00324.
2 Do you have a document in front of you from Human Rights Watch
3 entitled: Letter to Macedonian prime minister Ljubco Georgievski?
4 A. Yes, I see the document.
5 Q. And do you see the date, May 4, 2001?
6 A. Yes, I see it.
7 Q. And do you see in the second paragraph it states: "Reports of the
8 renewed conflict in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia between
9 security forces and armed groups of ethnic Albanians raise concerns
10 relating to adherence to international humanitarian law."
11 Do you see that?
12 A. Yes, I see it.
13 Q. And if you down two paragraphs from there, Mr. Stojkov, I will
14 read what this paragraph states: "This concern is strengthed by our
15 findings following the March 2001 actions by its security forces against
16 armed ethnic Albanian groups in the western part of the country.
17 Available sources suggest that government forces were responsible for the
18 deliberate killing of 16-year-old Omer Shabani on April 3 in the village
19 of Selce. We also received reports that families of ethnic Albanians
20 arrested on suspicion of membership in the so-called National Liberation
21 Army were unable to obtain any information on the whereabouts of the --
22 finally of --"
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
24 A. Yes, I see it.
25 MR. DOBBYN:
1 Q. "Finally our documentation suggests that government forces were
2 responsible for the wanton destruction and looting of villages perceived
3 as being pro-NLA, including the villages of Selce, Gjermo, Gajre,
4 Drenovec, and Kolte. We urge you to make these incidents the subject of
5 prompt, thorough and transparent investigations."
6 Did you follow that, Mr. Stojkov?
7 A. Yes, I see it.
8 Q. Are you aware if your working group investigated the allegations
9 regarding the killing of Omer Shabani in Selce?
10 A. First of all, this is a document that I see for the first time
11 now. This is a document I was not aware of. And secondly, if it was
12 reported to the police stations or to the OVR, it should have been Tetovo,
13 or I think that these villages gravitate to Tetovo. If we had received it
14 among the documents, within the overview of the other cases, then I
15 suppose we had processed it. If we had not received it then we had not
16 processed it.
17 Q. Do you specifically recall having done an investigation into this
19 A. No, I don't recall that.
20 Q. Were you aware of any allegations of wanton destruction and
21 looting by the Macedonian security forces in these villages?
22 A. During the conflict period, as far as I see it, this is an event
23 of March 2001. I don't know where these villages are but I know that they
24 are in the vicinity of Tetovo some where. I know that during that time
25 the Albanian terrorists were in the vicinity of Tetovo, the UCK, the NLA,
1 so I don't know whether the Macedonian police entered these villages.
2 Q. My question was something different. My question was: Were you
3 aware of allegations of wanton destruction and looting by the Macedonian
4 security forces?
5 A. I was not aware.
6 Q. So would it be fair to say that, to the best of your knowledge,
7 there was no investigation into these allegations?
8 MR. DOBBYN: I see that my colleague is standing, Your Honour.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I object because I
10 believe that this question is unfounded. The witness answered the
11 question before that. He was not aware of the event so there is no basis
12 to ask him whether he is aware of any investigation that was carried out.
13 JUDGE PARKER: I think you can get an answer to the question,
14 Mr. Dobbyn.
15 MR. DOBBYN: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Stojkov, I'll repeat the question. Would it be fair to say
17 that, to the best of your knowledge, there was no investigation into these
19 A. I told you, that, first of all, I was not aware of those events.
20 And, secondly, I could not know whether there had been an investigation.
21 So the answer is I don't know.
22 Q. Well, thank you. If you can now turn to tab 14. This is another
23 document from Human Rights Watch. It's dated August 22, 2001. And the
24 heading is: "Police abuse against Albanians continues in Macedonia.
25 Peace agreement doesn't end violence."
1 And if you can go down, it's should be the second-to-last
2 paragraph, starting: "On Monday, August 13, 2001 ..."
3 Do you see that?
4 This should be in the second-to-last paragraph, Mr. Stojkov, I
6 Perhaps if you look at the document on the screen in front of you,
7 Mr. Stojkov, I can see it there, the second-to-last paragraph that appears
8 on the screen in the Macedonian version.
9 A. I see it. Yes, I see it on the screen.
10 Q. And this states: "On Monday, August 13, 2001, police officers
11 guarding Skopje's main hospital arrested four ethnic Albanians who had
12 come to the hospital to pick up an elderly Albanian relative undergoing
13 kidney dialysis treatment. The police searched their car and claimed to
14 find a bullet in the trunk. The police then proceeded to beat the four
15 men in the street."
16 It continues: "The men were then taken on to the hospital grounds
17 and beaten continuously for several hours with heavy metal cables,
18 baseball bats, police truncheons, and gun butts amidst cheering from the
19 civilian crowd that had gathered. Following this, the four men were taken
20 to the Beko 1 police station where they were subjected to more beatings,
21 had urine and burning cigarettes thrown at them, and were threatened with
22 execution. Following interventions from their ethnic Macedonian lawyer
23 and a police officer who knew the men, they were released the next
24 morning. One of the men, 29-year-old Nazmi Aliu, father of a six-year-old
25 and two-year-old, died that day at the hospital from the injuries he
1 received from the police beatings."
2 Now this was in August -- on August 13th, 2001. Were you aware of
3 this incident, Mr. Stojkov?
4 A. No, I was not informed of this incident.
5 Q. So this incident happened on the streets of Skopje involving
6 police apparently with civilians watching and you're saying that this
7 never came to your notice or attention?
8 A. I saw from the text that an attorney was involved, so since an
9 attorney was involved, if he had been an attorney, he would have reported
10 the case to the competent services and that case would have reached our
11 working group. Most probably the case was not reported and I had not
12 received it in my overview and this is why I am not aware of this case.
13 Q. You didn't read about this case at all in the newspapers at the
15 A. That was in August. At that time I was still performing other
16 tasks. I was still not a member of the working group; I was performing
17 other tasks, and this is the first time that I hear about this case.
18 Q. Well, I'd like to move on now specifically into your working
19 group's investigation into the events in Ljuboten.
20 And you will recall that you testified that Apostol Stojanovski
21 asked to you open a file about the events in Ljuboten. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. And do you recall saying that you questioned that decision, as you
24 said there had been no complaint, and he told you that this was a task
25 given by your superiors. Do you recall that?
1 A. I reacted and we received this task from our coordinator of our
2 working group, Apostol Stojanovski, who had a contact with our superior
3 officers because I had not received in the overview of injured parties and
4 of events the Ljuboten event was not included. I was only working on the
5 basis of overview that I received from the police stations, on the basis
6 of the cases that were reported and events reported, and this is why I
7 reacted in this occasion.
8 Q. Well, the question I have is when he told you that this was a task
9 given by your superiors, do you know who these superiors were?
10 A. During that time, superior officers or senior officers in the
11 Ministry of the Interior who were able to give orders through
12 Mr. Apostol Stojanovski were the under-secretary, Mr. Spasen Sofevski, the
13 director of BJB, a public security bureau, Mr. Goran Mitevski.
14 Q. So, would it be fair to say, Mr. Stojkov, that senior officers in
15 the Ministry of Interior had some authority over operative work?
16 A. The operative work is performed by operatives, that is
17 inspectors, of any rank. Our superior officers, I can't really interpret
18 the law what are their obligations or what are their competences but I
19 can't say one way or another whether they could be operatives in
20 the field or are they senior officers with other competences. I can't
21 tell you that. I was an operative and I worked in the field.
22 Q. Well, to your knowledge, and I'll leave this to you to answer,
23 obviously, but are you aware whether Ljube Boskoski had anything to do
24 with the decision to investigate this case?
25 A. So, I'm saying again, I don't remember the exact date. The
1 coordinator, Mr. Apostol Stojanovski came and during a working meeting he
2 explained that the senior officers, he did not mention any names so I
3 don't know who they were, gave us the task to open Ljuboten case file and
4 to start the standard procedures when opening a case file. I don't know
5 whether the then minister, Mr. Ljube Boskoski, was the initiator for the
6 work of that working group or whether he was interested or whether it was
7 Mr. Goran Mitevski or whether it was someone else. I had no way of
8 knowing that myself, since the difference there ranks was such that I was
9 inspector and the gentleman was a minister so I had no direct contact with
10 him, not once during my work in the ministry.
11 Q. Isn't that correct that the order to perform this investigation
12 into the events in Ljuboten came from higher up in the Ministry of
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think this is
15 leading the witness because -- in the wrong way. I don't think the
16 witness ever said that.
17 JUDGE PARKER: That's not my understanding.
18 Carry on, please, Mr. Dobbyn.
19 MR. DOBBYN:
20 Q. So to repeat my question, Mr. Stojkov, isn't that correct that the
21 order to perform this investigation came from higher up in the Ministry of
23 A. Who gave that order to Mr. Apostol Stojanovski, I don't know. But
24 surely that is someone with a higher rank than him, within the ministry.
25 Q. Now, Mr. Stojkov, could you please turn to tab 19 in your binder.
1 And this is Exhibit P00073.
2 And do you see the heading: Decision to establish a commission,
3 and it's dated 13.8.2001. Do you see that? And if I read the first
4 paragraph it states --
5 A. Yes, I see it.
6 Q. Thank you. It states: "Decision to establish a commission, a
7 commission is established to consider the circumstances and analyse the
8 activities undertaken by the security forces of the Ministry of Internal
9 Affairs to repel the armed attacks by terrorist groups on 12.8.2001 in the
10 village of Ljuboten-Skopje."
11 Do you follow that?
12 A. Yes, I see that.
13 Q. And do you see at the bottom that it has the name of the minister
14 of internal affairs, Ljube Boskoski. Do you see that?
15 A. Yes I see that.
16 Q. Now at the time that your working group started its investigation
17 into the Ljuboten events, were you aware that Minister Boskoski had
18 already set up a commission to investigate the same events?
19 A. No. This document is something that I see now for the first time.
20 I don't know whether there was another committee dealing with this. This
21 is what I see for the first time now. I was not informed, so I don't
23 Q. Were you aware of any other bodies within the Ministry of Interior
24 that were also investigating the events in Ljuboten?
25 A. I told you, and I know that the analytics department was working
1 on some information, more comprehensive information around the Ljuboten
2 events. This is what I know. With more detailed information. I know
3 that in one of the meetings Mrs. Sofija Galeva - this is when I met her
4 for the first time - was also interested in part of the work of our
5 working group, possibly the Ljuboten event as well. I can't remember.
6 Those are the things that I encountered during my work. This committee
7 and this document are something that I'm just becoming aware now.
8 Q. Do you know who in the analytics department was working on a
9 similar investigation?
10 A. I don't know. My contacts with the analytics department were
11 limited to several meetings with Mrs. Katica Jovanovska when I was
12 bringing some materials to her; otherwise, I don't know who are the other
13 people in the analytics department. I don't know.
14 Q. And can I just clarify what you meant by stating that "you know
15 that someone -- that the analytics department was working on some
16 information, more comprehensive information, around the Ljuboten events,"
17 are you saying that the information that these people had was more
18 comprehensive than what you had?
19 A. I told you that our documents, I told you that
20 Mrs. Katica Jovanovska was preparing a broader information regarding the
21 event. Since our documents maybe went -- probably went to her because she
22 was in the analytics department. I don't know -- I don't understand your
23 question. What other -- I know that it was Mrs. Katica Jovanovska from
24 the analytics department. I don't even know the other individuals there
25 because she was the only one that I had contacts with on several
2 Q. Well, what I'm interested in is what exactly you meant by the
3 phrase "more comprehensive information around the Ljuboten events."
4 What did you mean by "more comprehensive information"?
5 A. The analytics department receives all materials related to all
6 events on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia. The analytics
7 department of the ministry has access to all and any information,
8 documents. I wanted to say that the information that they have, they
9 don't have the duty to communicate those to us. We forward all
10 information that we have to them. They might have had more information
11 than us because all the other services that were working in the field,
12 police stations, the OVRs, had the task to forward all documents and
13 information to them.
14 Q. Well, did you ask the analytics department for access to the
15 documents that they did have?
16 A. I think that you are failing to understand the competences. We
17 don't have the competence unless a superior officer further up in the
18 hierarchy allows it. We do not have the competence to request any
19 document if this is not ordered or allowed by a superior officer. We did
20 not ask for any documents or at least I personally did not request any
21 documents from the analytics department.
22 Q. Well, don't you think that any additional documents would have
23 helped you in your investigation?
24 A. Maybe now from -- in hindsight, yes. But then I did not think so,
25 and I -- or I had no opportunity to request such documents. I can't
1 really say now.
2 Q. Well, are you saying that you -- you didn't approach any of your
3 superiors to request access to these documents?
4 A. I did not request any of my superiors to grant me access to those
6 Q. Why not?
7 A. I can't answer this. I don't know. I simply didn't.
8 Q. Well, can you turn to tab 20 next, please. And this is
9 Exhibit P00378. And you'll see, Mr. Stojkov, that this the report of the
10 commission that Minister Boskoski had established on 13 August 2001. And
11 this report is dated 4 September 2001. And the subject of this report,
12 you'll see this in the first paragraph is: "An examination of the
13 circumstances and an analysis of the activities undertaken by the security
14 forces for the Ministry of Interior to repulse armed attacks by terrorist
15 groups on 12 August 2001 in the village of Ljuboten-Skopje."
16 Do you see that?
17 A. Yes, I see it.
18 Q. So would you agree that this commission was investigating much the
19 same events as your working group was?
20 A. I could agree, but I am seeing this document for the first time
22 Q. If you could go to the bottom of page 5. This is on page 5. It's
23 the bottom of page 4 in the English version. And you'll see a heading:
25 Do you see that?
1 A. Yes, I see it.
2 Q. And this states: "The activities which were carried out by the
3 security forces of the Ministry of the Interior to repulse the armed
4 attacks of the terrorist groups on 12 August 2001 in the village of
5 Ljuboten, Skopje, were well-founded, justified, and properly undertaken
6 yet there is evidently a slight tolerable degree of individual
7 overstepping of the boundaries of the prescribed powers carried out by a
8 small number of members of the Ministry of the Interior who actively
9 participated in the event."
10 Do you see that?
11 A. Yes, I see it.
12 Q. Did you reach a similar conclusion from your analysis of the
13 documents you had?
14 A. As a member of the working group, I can say that our working group
15 was disbanded earlier, and there were many case files which I had not
16 finished. If I had finished them, perhaps I would have been able to say
17 whether I agree or not. At this moment, I cannot comment what I'm seeing
18 now, because I'm seeing it for the first time, and I cannot give my
20 Q. I'm not asking for your opinion on what this report says so much
21 as to whether you came to the conclusion that this report states in the
22 course of your investigation. Is that what you found in your
24 A. I said already that my investigation was cut short. I had not
25 finished it, and therefore I'm not able to give you my opinion.
1 Q. Okay. Can we go to the -- the last page of the document, please.
2 And there you will see a list, not so much a list but you'll see three
3 names at the bottom of the document. And the first name you'll see is
4 Goran Mitevski. Do you see that?
5 A. Yes, I see it.
6 Q. And you've testified that you met with Goran Mitevski on a number
7 of occasions in the course of your work with the working group, didn't
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you discussed the progress of your investigation into the
11 Ljuboten case?
12 A. I said that we talked about the work on all cases and case files
13 that the working group was charged with. If we talked about all, this
14 means that we were also discussing the Ljuboten case.
15 Q. Did Mr. Mitevski ever mention to you that he had been part of a
16 commission that had performed its own investigation into the case?
17 A. I don't recall anything to that extent.
18 Q. Did Mr. Mitevski ever offer you access to documents that he had,
19 or that this working group, this commission had put together in its
20 investigation into Ljuboten?
21 A. As a director in the ministry, Mr. Goran Mitevski received
22 information from us. He was not obliged to give us feedback information.
23 Therefore, I have not received information or documents about a particular
24 case from him.
25 Q. Mr. Stojkov, did you ever request the assistance of the UBK sector
1 of the MOI to identify any useful information relating to the events in
3 A. We, as a working group, our competencies are not such that we can
4 request any information from the UBK. They can use our information; we
5 could not request information from them.
6 Q. Did you speak to a superior, someone higher up the command in the
7 Ministry of Interior, to see if you could gain access to any information
8 that the UBK might have?
9 A. I did not speak myself. Maybe the coordinator did, but whether
10 this was approved or not, I do not know.
11 Q. And just to move on to the next point. You've testified that in
12 the course of your investigation what you did do was to visit the Mirkovci
13 and Cair police stations, right?
14 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Residovic.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I waited for my
16 learned colleague to finish what he was saying but I'd just like to
17 mention that on page 25, line 5 instead of the words recorded
18 "evidentirano" the word obvious or "ocigledno" was used.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Evidently was used. The word
21 evidently used instead of -- recorded "evidentirano."
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
23 MR. DOBBYN:
24 Q. Mr. Stojkov, do you recall testifying about speaking with the
25 deputy commander of Mirkovci police station?
1 A. Yes, I remember.
2 Q. And do you recall saying that he told you that people and some
3 weapons had been brought into Mirkovci police station?
4 A. Yes, I remember.
5 Q. Did you ask for the names of the people who had been brought in?
6 A. All persons that are brought in the police station have to be
7 recorded in the daily log-book but we were not interested in this. We
8 were interested in written documents in the form of a note, written
9 information whether this -- the process of recording was done in the
10 proper fashion to make a copy of it and to take it with us, which we did
11 later in the police station Cair.
12 Q. And the documents you recovered from police station Cair, did they
13 have the names of the people who had been brought in to Mirkovci police
15 A. I think there is a document with the persons that were brought in
16 from the police station Mirkovci, and I think that we took a copy of this
17 document with us.
18 Q. Did you ask the deputy commander of Mirkovci police station for
19 the names of the police officers who had brought these individuals into
20 the station?
21 A. The deputy commander of the police station said that on the day of
22 the event he was not in the police station. He was out. However, I told
23 you that in -- that our discussions with this persons are on a voluntary
24 basis. Each if we had spoken with some of the police officers, we could
25 not have made this an official document because these persons did not want
1 to give an official statement or an Official Note to that extent.
2 Q. Now, you actually testified several occasions about people in
3 Mirkovci police station and Cair police station who did not want to speak
4 to you. Do you recall that?
5 A. I said that there were police officers in the police station
6 Mirkovci. I remember when we went in the duty officer in police station
7 Mirkovci was not of Macedonian ethnicity. We introduced ourselves. He
8 introduced himself, but I cannot remember the name. I know there were
9 additionally several police officers in the hallway of the police station.
10 I can describe to you this police station and the premises. In our
11 discussions with them in the hallway, I know that one of them introduced
12 himself as Dragan and told him that on that day he was at work and that he
13 submitted a lot of Official Notes which are in the analytics in the police
14 station Cair.
15 Q. That wasn't the specific question I asked you, Mr. Stojkov. The
16 question I asked is: Do you recall testifying that there were people in
17 the Mirkovci police station who did not want to speak to you, at least
19 A. I know that I said that in the police station Mirkovci there were
20 police officers, not people, who did not formally want to give statements
21 regarding the events of that day.
22 Q. So did you speak to Apostol Stojanovski or any of your superiors
23 about their reluctance to speak to you?
24 A. We discussed this on the working meeting but we cannot force
25 anyone to give an official statement.
1 Q. Did you seek an order from any of your superiors for these people
2 to speak to you?
3 A. If we held these people as suspects, or rather, if they were
4 suspects, if someone had reported that these people had committed a crime
5 that we would have reported this to our superiors or with the internal
6 control which would undertaken the remaining measures. And these people,
7 if there was grounds or it was proven that they had committed a crime,
8 then we would have submitted a report to that extent, because there was no
9 report against these people. We had no basis or ground to make these
10 people or police officers give any statements.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Residovic.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] There's an error in the
14 transcript. It is on page 30, line 3, what was recorded was that the
15 witness said these people were suspects; whereas the witness in fact said
16 had these people been suspects or if those people had been suspects and
17 then he carried on with what he was saying.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
19 MR. DOBBYN:
20 Q. Just to follow on that from that, Mr. Stojkov. If I could hear it
21 from you yourself again, were you saying that these people were suspects
22 or in fact did you say had they been suspects?
23 A. I think I was clear. If a person, even police officers, were
24 suspects, then we would have undertaken the remaining measures. We would
25 have informed the internal control or superiors about undertaking further
1 measure to prove whether they committed a crime or not. Because these
2 persons were not suspect under any basis or any grounds, we could not
3 force them to give official statements about this event.
4 Q. Regardless of forcing them to give official statements, did you at
5 least seek some assistance from your superiors to perhaps encourage them
6 to speak to you?
7 A. I had no grounds to ask such a thing.
8 Q. Well, you were investigating the events in Ljuboten, weren't you,
9 and these people may well have had useful information. Wouldn't you say
10 that was grounds?
11 A. My grounds would be that I would unjustifiably accuse them of
12 having committed a crime. I did not therefore have grounds. How could I
13 ask of bodies up in the hierarchy to be examined officially? That means
14 that he is accused or a witness to a certain event. If this was so, then
15 this would have been processed by the public prosecutor's office or the
16 courts and then he would be called in as a witness.
17 Q. So are you saying from that that just speaking to someone
18 effectively means that person is a suspect?
19 A. I told you that I spoke with these persons and that there is no
20 official material about what I spoke to them about. If there is no such
21 official material, that means it is as if I did not speak to them at all.
22 Q. So if it's as if you did not speak to them at all, you effectively
23 haven't gained any information from these people that might help your
24 investigation, have you?
25 A. I establish contact with the police officers in police stations
1 Mirkovci and Cair. I had unofficial conversations with my colleagues
2 because they did not want to speak officially. The information which they
3 told me was used as much as we could as members of the working group. But
4 since there is no official document of this, I could not have processed
5 these materials and used them.
6 Q. To move on, Mr. Stojkov, yesterday my colleague --
7 JUDGE PARKER: Well, before you move on, this may be a convenient
8 time, Mr. Dobbyn.
9 MR. DOBBYN: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume at 4.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 3.32 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Dobbyn.
14 MR. DOBBYN:
15 Q. Mr. Stojkov, you will recall that yesterday when we looked through
16 some of the files of your working group, we saw that in several of them
17 there were medical records and you testified that in these cases the
18 injured persons or their family members had provided those records. Do
19 you recall that?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. And regardless of who provided these medical records, would it be
22 fair to say that obviously they were considered to be useful in the
23 investigations that you performed?
24 A. They could be useful if used to prepare a criminal report, or if
25 they are forwarded to the public prosecutor's office so that they draft
1 the indictment on the basis of that. But for me, as a police officer,
2 other than collecting and gathering them, I do not understand them,
3 because those are medical documents.
4 Q. And you testified yesterday that you did not seek the medical
5 records for Atulla Qaili because it wasn't your job to collect medical
6 information from the hospital. Do you recall that?
7 A. Our task was not to collect medical files from the hospitals
8 because I told you that the injured parties brought them while in the case
9 of the deceased person, because the case was taken from the basic public
10 prosecutor's office and the investigating judge was informed about the
11 case; that is, according to the documents, the official documents that I
12 had seen at that time, all future actions that we would have taken would
13 have been taken upon request from the public prosecutor or the
14 investigating judge.
15 Q. Well, you did perform some actions to investigate that didn't come
16 on request from the public prosecutor, didn't you?
17 A. We undertook measures that we are able to undertake as authorised
18 officers of the Ministry of the Interior. Until the moment when a case is
19 forwarded to the basic public prosecutor's office or to the investigating
20 judge, until then, we take the measures that we are authorised to take
21 under the law. At a moment when the case goes into the hands of the basic
22 public prosecutor or the investigating judge, then we only take measures
23 upon their request.
24 Q. Can you point to any specific rules or regulations that prevented
25 you from seeking these medical records?
1 A. First of all, I'm not a lawyer, so I cannot explain specific laws.
2 However, we were not prevented from seeking them. Those were not our
3 tasks, simply. If we went to take them, I'm certain the hospitals or the
4 medical institutions would have looked for some authorisation to do that
5 because we were not authorised at that time to get the medical documents.
6 If I would go there and introduce myself, I'm a police officer, I
7 need the medical files on that person, I don't think there is such
8 methodology in our work. There is a process on how you obtain the medical
9 files related to a case. It is either the hospital or the medical
10 institution that forwards them to the police institutions or the injured
11 parties, after they leave the hospital or their relatives when reporting
12 the case, bring the files with them and give them to the competent police
14 Q. Could you have spoken to a doctor to ask about what happened to
15 Atulla Qaili?
16 A. I personally would have been able to talk to a doctor, but that
17 would go beyond my competences because that would have meant a private
19 In the case of the person, Atulla Qaili, the public prosecutor's
20 office and the investigating judge were already informed. That would mean
21 me circumventing their powers or abusing my powers. I could not take
22 measures without their knowledge.
23 Q. Did the public prosecutor or the investigating judge have
24 knowledge that you were performing the investigation that you were
1 A. I'm not aware of that, whether they knew that we were operating as
2 a working group or not. I know that we had a contact with the public
3 prosecutor's office, with the public prosecutor of the time, in terms that
4 we were collecting evidence on potential war crimes committed at the
5 territory of Macedonia. And I had two meetings with the gentleman from
6 the public prosecutor's office, I believe I said that. So if I had
7 meetings with them they should have been aware, it seems, that we existed.
8 Q. Did the public prosecutor or investigating judge direct to you go
9 to OVR Cair to collect documentation?
10 A. I don't know. My coordinator sent me there when he received an
11 order from some superior officer. Whether it was the prosecutor's office
12 or the court that requested that, I don't know.
13 Q. So when you went to OVR Cair to collect these documents, you
14 didn't have knowledge of any official authorisation from the public
15 prosecutor or the judge, did you?
16 A. I wasn't aware. Actually, I can't understand the question. We
17 went to document and to find all written documents related to the events
18 in the period related to Ljuboten event. Who authorised this and how, I
19 don't know. I was given the task by my coordinator who had received the
20 task from one of the senior officers and we did it.
21 Q. Yesterday, Mr. Stojkov, you also stated that another reason that
22 you didn't seek out the medical records in relation to Atulla Qaili was
23 because you were not authorised to investigate the cause of death of any
24 individual. This is at transcript page 8930.
25 Do you recall saying that?
1 A. Yes. As an inspector, I am not a homicide inspector. I remember
2 that statement. I was authorised only to collect the documents and
3 documentary evidence, written materials that indicated or were related to
4 some events. And we needed to open a case file to gather evidence and
5 then we forwarded that to the competent bodies.
6 Q. Well, wasn't a major part of the Ljuboten case that you were
7 investigating finding out how certain villagers in Ljuboten had died?
8 A. I specifically saw in the materials until the exhumation. And
9 unfortunately, we were not allowed to be present at the exhumation and we
10 expected to receive the materials from the exhumation but we did not
11 receive them. From the materials that I saw at this Cair police station,
12 when reading the materials, I learned that one person had died only at the
13 city hospital in Skopje and that person was previously taken by a medical
14 team from the Mirkovci police station. So I was aware only of that case,
15 that one person had died. I was not aware of other cases of deceased
17 Q. Didn't you say earlier on in your testimony upon questioning by my
18 colleague Ms. Residovic that when you had spoken to Mr. Krstevski at Cair
19 police station he had mentioned that he had information that people had
20 died in the village. Do you recall that?
21 A. There were persons killed, not dead, in the village. So we're
22 speaking about a difference here, because we are speaking about persons
23 killed in the village that were later buried without the presence and
24 without an investigation, while a deceased person is a person who died at
25 the city hospital.
1 Q. Well, Mr. Stojkov, I'm a little confused and perhaps you can clear
2 this up for me. What exactly were you investigating about Ljuboten? What
3 events were you investigating?
4 A. Our task was to go obtain and file all documents and data related
5 to the Ljuboten event. What exactly happened on that day. Whether there
6 were persons brought the in. What happened to the persons who were
7 brought in. Where were those persons taken and what were their data. We
8 asked whether there were reports coming from injured parties, aggrieved
9 persons, whether they were injured or whether someone was beaten or in
10 other way physically ill-treated.
11 However, at the police station there were no reports, no
12 complainants, persons or their families that some people have been
14 Q. So you're saying that the dead individuals in Ljuboten, that was
15 not part of your investigation?
16 A. At the time when we were reading the documents, apart from the
17 data received from a person from the village that there were bodies of
18 killed persons in the village and that those persons were later buried,
19 certainly on the village cemetery, apart from that data, and the data on
20 the person who had died in the -- at the hospital, we had no other data
21 about what precisely happened to those persons.
22 Our objective was, if possible, to establish contacts with some of
23 the individuals from the village, because, as far as we understood from
24 our conversations, the colleagues made attempts, they had initial data but
25 later they were refused because the population from the village refused to
1 cooperate with the police. It was agreed during one of our meetings that
2 we try again to establish contact with any person from the village who
3 would be able to give us more precise data regarding the events and the
4 murder or the death of those people there.
5 Q. And --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Killing, instead of
8 MR. DOBBYN:
9 Q. And when you testified about the efforts that were made to contact
10 villagers in Ljuboten, you said that Ljube Krstevski told you that no one
11 from Ljuboten was willing to speak to the police. Do you recall that?
12 A. I remember that the chief said that the local population from the
13 Ljuboten village did not want to cooperate and have contacts or interviews
14 with the police bodies. In one of the materials that we later saw at the
15 police station, I found out that they made efforts, they made attempts to
16 establish contacts with some of the people from Ljuboten to learn about
17 the bodies that were there, the bodies of persons killed or dead.
18 However, they failed at that. There were some contacts. The contacts
19 were terminated, and later there was no contact between the police and the
20 population of Ljuboten.
21 Q. And didn't you testify that in fact you made contact yourself with
22 some villagers?
23 A. I know several individuals who still live presently in the village
24 of Ljuboten. I personally attempted and established some contacts with
25 those individuals but I could not receive more specific data because it
1 was still the post-conflict period and the persons refused to discuss that
2 case. Since the contact was established following a line of private
3 friendships, those persons did not want to give official statement,
4 although I could have used those unofficial information, I would have
5 relayed those information to my superior officers and I would have taken
6 further measure. But I'm saying again, I am still in contact with those
7 friends of mine who live in Ljuboten village and they refused to discuss
8 anything that happened there. The post-conflict period was still on in
9 our Republic.
10 Q. What were the names of these individuals that you contacted?
11 A. I can tell you that I got a message from one of my friends who
12 still live at Ljuboten village last night, but I certainly can't divulge
13 their names here.
14 MR. DOBBYN: Your Honours, could we go into private session.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
16 [Private session]
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
7 MR. DOBBYN:
8 Q. And wouldn't you agree, Mr. Stojkov, that because you weren't able
9 to speak to any villagers from Ljuboten you really weren't able to get a
10 full picture of the events that happened in that village?
11 A. I agree with you.
12 Q. But wouldn't you also agree that there were other sources out
13 there besides the villagers that you could have used to build up a better
14 picture of what occurred?
15 A. I can't understand what you're saying. The only source that we
16 were able to use at the moment, pursuant to our operational procedures was
17 the police station. This is where we started and this is where we
18 obtained the initial information and documents.
19 Q. Were you aware that an organisation called Human Rights Watch
20 performed an investigation into the events in Ljuboten?
21 A. I have heard of that organisation, but during that period in
22 Macedonia there were several non-governmental international other
23 organisations, Red Cross and I don't know what else. I don't know what
24 they did and what were they working on. That was not my task to contact
25 them, nor, if they requested, through the police bodies, some information,
1 I'm sure they were given that information, but I was not able and I had no
2 contacts with them so that I could ask for any information.
3 Q. Could you please turn to tab 22, Mr. Stojkov. This is Exhibit
4 P00352. And it's a Human Rights Watch report.
5 And if you could turn to the second page. This is the page with
6 the ERN U000-0099.
7 Do you see a page with a heading: "Crimes against civilians,
8 abuses by Macedonian forces in Ljuboten, August 10 to 12, 2001."
9 This should be the second page in the Macedonian copy that you
10 have, Mr. Stojkov. It's the page which is on the screen at the moment.
11 A. [In English] Okay, I --
12 Q. Thank you. And can you see from that, Mr. Stojkov, that
13 Human Rights Watch conducted an investigation into the events in Ljuboten?
14 A. [Interpretation] Yes.
15 Q. And if we could turn to page U000-0103. And this should be -- in
16 the English version it's the eighth page, it has page number six at the
18 And if we could go to the bottom of the page. I believe that --
19 could we go one page further in the Macedonian version. Thank you.
20 If you look at the bottom of the page there, Mr. Stojkov, you see
21 a number of footnotes. Do you see what I'm talking about?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And can you see that these refer to a number of interviews with
24 individuals from Ljuboten village. Do you see that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And it provides their names?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you agree it might have been useful to contact Human Rights
4 Watch to perhaps get their assistance in seeking the cooperation of the
5 Ljuboten villagers?
6 A. I agree with you. However, this cooperation could not be
7 established by me without informing my superiors of this or without having
8 this come as a proposal from them.
9 Q. Did you suggest it to your superiors?
10 A. I did not propose this because, at this time, I did not know that
11 Human Rights Watch were carrying out their own investigation about the
13 Q. Were you aware that the OSCE had conducted an investigation into
14 the events in Ljuboten?
15 A. I know that the OSCE was there on the day of the events and
16 afterwards. This is all.
17 Q. So was any attempt made by your working group to contact the OSCE
18 for their assistance in establishing contact with the villagers in
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you contact any ethnic Albanian politicians or community
22 leaders to seek their help in getting the cooperation of the villagers?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Why was none of this done?
25 A. Because I'm employed and a member of the MOI. My work procedure
1 is strictly regulated. I'm an employee of the MOI of the Republic of
2 Macedonia. All materials and evidence is received by the ministry, not by
3 other unofficial sources.
4 Q. But would you agree that this -- information perhaps that these
5 organisations may have been able to provide or assistance they may have
6 been able to give would have been useful in your investigation?
7 A. Yes, I agree with you. If I had part of those information at the
8 time, I surely would have used it, if they had been submitted to the
9 ministry, or if I had them in the case that they had been submitted to the
10 ministry as official documents.
11 Q. And if your work procedure was strictly regulated and you could
12 only perform tasks according to those regulations, then why did you go and
13 speak to friends from the village?
14 A. I did not say that I was in the village but that I contacted my
15 friends who live in the village. This is the first thing.
16 Second, I told you how the procedure went. Report by the injured
17 party or members of family in the police station, and an overview which I
18 received, I don't know who prepared this overview, the analytics
19 department or someone else. This is how we received the basic information
20 and this is -- was the starting point for my work onwards. I established
21 contacts from my friends from the village of Ljuboten because I wanted to
22 obtain information that could be helpful in my further work. If the
23 friends I had there pointed to a party that had been injured and said that
24 they -- that he or she wanted to talk to me and wanted to submit an
25 official report about any kind of injury, then I would continue much
1 better and much more effectively to carry out my work.
2 Q. Mr. Stojkov, yesterday and the day before you were shown a number
3 of documents by my colleague Ms. Residovic that came from OVR Cair, and
4 you were asked several times whether these documents confirmed the
5 information that you had. Do you remember that?
6 A. I don't know which documents you were referring to. If the
7 transcript so states, then so it is. I remember.
8 Q. So you do remember being shown documents and agreeing that these
9 corroborated the information that you had?
10 A. I was shown documents that were brought by the analytics
11 department at the police station Cair. From most of them, I had
12 information and I know what those -- what that information contained.
13 Q. Basically, if I could sum up perhaps my understanding of what
14 you've said and what this means, is that the documents that you were shown
15 that were prepared by police officers from those police stations
16 corroborated what police officers from those same stations had told you in
17 person. Is that a fair summary?
18 A. I don't know whether these documents were prepared by the police
19 officers who were working there when I was there - some of them told me
20 that they had been working there - but some of these documents were
21 prepared by authorised police officers who were on duty that day in the
22 police station.
23 Q. And these documents prepared by whichever police officers simply
24 corroborated what you had been told informally by other police officers.
1 A. These documents corroborate only the things which happened those
2 days. By description and in text, the events before, during and after
3 were depicted.
4 Q. Now, you also mentioned that informally off the record some
5 officers at police station had told you that the people who had been
6 brought to Cair had been injured not by police officers but by Macedonian
7 villagers. Do you remember that?
8 A. No, just that -- it's not just that they told me but there were
9 also documents which show that, at one point of time, population of
10 Macedonian ethnicity entered in a situation of conflict between the
11 Macedonians and Albanians, during which the police officers succeeded in
12 extracting the Albanians from the conflict with the Macedonians.
13 Q. Well, let me read to you a section from the transcript and this is
14 at page 8906 and we'll see if you recall this.
15 The question was asked: "Mr. Stojkov, you have just related to us
16 the story of Mr. Krstevski and a number of your colleagues about people
17 attacking villagers and the police trying to save them. Did you find all
18 that plausible, the stories that your colleagues shared with you?"
19 And you answered: "Of course I did believe the stories primarily
20 because they are my colleagues. They are authorised officers and,
21 pursuant to the law, they need to safeguard the law and order."
22 Do you recall that?
23 A. Yes. I remember and then I went on to say that I had the
24 opportunity to see with my own eyes when I was going home on that day, to
25 see lots of people, Macedonian citizens, citizens of Macedonian ethnicity
1 who were in front of the police station and up in the village and
2 settlement of Radisani.
3 Q. Well, can I take it from your statement that: "I did believe the
4 stories primarily because they are my colleagues," that over your long
5 time in the police force you've come to trust and accept the words of your
7 A. First, I would not qualify them as stories because these are not
8 stories; these are events. When joining the ministry, each person knows
9 the legal obligations and the tasks he or she is charged with. In
10 addition to the rules of the ministry, there are also moral rules that a
11 police officer must fulfil, and I trust my colleagues and what they say.
12 Q. All right. So after being told by your colleagues that these
13 villagers from Ljuboten have been injured by Macedonian villagers, would
14 be it be fair to say you're inclined to accept that because you trust the
15 word of policemen, of your colleagues?
16 A. These events, which I later heard from my colleagues, I was also
17 able to read in documents from the police station.
18 Q. And these documents were prepared by policemen, weren't they?
19 A. In a police station, they are prepared by police officers.
20 Q. And you found what they had to say plausible, and you accepted
21 that, didn't you?
22 A. I accepted this because in the police station Cair and Mirkovci,
23 there was no record of anyone having been reported as an injured person.
24 If there had been a case of a person which had in any which way been
25 mistreated, injured, or anything of this kind had been reported by members
1 of this family, if this had been documented, we would have taken these
2 documents and then carried on our work.
3 Q. On that point -- I'm sorry, Mr. Stojkov, do you still have the
4 Defence exhibit binder next to you?
5 MR. DOBBYN: I wonder if a copy could be made available for him.
6 Or perhaps, actually, if we could just put it up on e-court, this might be
7 easier. If we could put up Exhibit P00261.
8 Q. Do you see the document on the screen in front of you,
9 Mr. Stojkov?
10 A. Yes, I see it.
11 Q. And do you remember telling Ms. Residovic that this is a document
12 that you had seen and that you took a copy of this Official Note with you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And if you look the subject, it says: "Report on a deceased
15 person." In the first paragraph, the last line, it states: "An Official
16 Note was taken during the interview, filed under number 535, on 13 August
17 2001, while the said person was able to communicate."
18 Do you see that?
19 A. Yes, I see it.
20 Q. And just to go back to the start of this paragraph, you will see
21 that this relates to Atulla Qaili. Do you see that?
22 A. Yes, I see it.
23 Q. And it continues: "He was held at the Mirkovci police station
24 from 0200 hours on 13 August 2001. On the same day, at about 0430 hours,
25 as his health condition deteriorated, the duty officer at the Mirkovci
1 police station called the ambulance and he was taken to the Skopje city
3 "On 13 August 2001, the Skopje city hospital informed us that the
4 aforementioned person had died during the day."
5 Mr. Stojkov, wouldn't you consider this to be a report of an
6 injured person at the police station?
7 A. No.
8 Q. What would you consider it to be?
9 A. This is information. It says up here "report." Where it is
10 stated that the person Qaili Atulla, against whom a criminal report for
11 the crime of terrorism was filed, it says that an official interview was
12 conducted with him and that he was later taken to the city hospital where
13 he died.
14 Q. Well, weren't you at all curious about what led to this
15 deterioration in his condition while he was at Mirkovci police station?
16 A. If I had not been curious, then I would not have known of this
17 Official Note and the text therein. But I told you, after this report,
18 the public prosecutor's office, it was the duty centre that informed the
19 public prosecutor about this, and then this whole case was forwarded under
20 the public prosecutor's hands. All measures taken further would have to
21 be requested by the public prosecutor or investigating judge. As for me
22 personally, yes.
23 Q. In your mind, didn't this perhaps bring into question what you had
24 been told informally by other police officers at the station?
25 A. At that moment, no.
1 Q. So you took no steps to find out what had happened to Atulla Qaili
2 at the police station?
3 A. Again, I say that any further engagement on my part as an
4 authorised employee would have meant breach of legal regulations. I told
5 you, once the case is taken over by the public prosecutor's office, we can
6 work only upon their request.
7 Q. Do you know when the case was taken over by the public
8 prosecutor's office?
9 A. I think, after the report from the hospital to the police station
10 that the person had died, the rule is that the duty centre must be
11 immediately informed and the public prosecutor's office. So I think this
12 was done on the same day or the following day.
13 Q. The same day or the following day. That would make it around
14 about 13 or 14 August 2001. Correct?
15 A. I think this is how it was done. I'm not sure.
16 Q. But you didn't start your investigation, from my understanding,
17 until approximately six months later?
18 A. Six.
19 Q. Is that correct, sometime early in 2002, you commenced the
20 investigation into Ljuboten?
21 A. I don't exactly remember when we began the investigation.
22 Certainly it was 2002, which means quite some time had elapsed since the
23 death of this person. We did not have any information or requests from
24 any service, neither from the public prosecutor, nor investigating judges,
25 so that we could continue to show interest for the death of the person
1 mentioned in this Official Note.
2 Q. Well, the request for you to commence your investigation in early
3 2002, did that come from the public prosecutor?
4 A. There may be a misunderstanding. The working group was working on
5 cases or reports of injured parties. In this case we have a death of a
6 person. It was immediately taken by the public prosecutor. If the public
7 prosecutor had given us, as a working group, concrete tasks and charged us
8 with carrying out certain investigations, we would have done so, because
9 the public prosecutor, in this concrete case, did not have any requests
10 nor any guidelines. We did not work on this case. We worked on the case
11 file of Ljuboten as a whole, wanting to determine what had happened on
12 that day, whether there are injured parties that reported any kind of
13 injuries. I told you that we wanted to talk with certain persons from the
14 village of Ljuboten, but that we were not successful in this.
15 The case, the dossier, Ljuboten, if this is of interest to you,
16 for me, is not a finished case, because I have not finished all things
17 as -- as it should be. Unfortunately, though, the working group was
18 disbanded. We did not get the official documents from the exhumation,
19 from medical forensics. And after the working group was disbanded, we had
20 the materials which we, until then, had been able to collect.
21 Q. Well, at the point that you were disbanded in 2003, would it be
22 fair to say that the extent of your working group's investigation into the
23 Ljuboten events consisted of collecting documents from OVR Cair and visits
24 to Cair and Mirkovci police stations. Would that be correct?
25 A. Yes. Except our efforts to get in contact with persons, the data
1 which we obtained from the Official Notes, our remaining tasks were to
2 collect and gather information about the events that transpired at that
3 time. We did not succeed in establishing contacts with persons to
4 determine injured parties.
5 Q. Would it also be fair to say that apart from the documents you
6 collected, the already existing documents that you collected, all that you
7 added to the case file was one Official Note about your visits to Cair and
8 Mirkovci police stations?
9 A. I don't know whether it was one note about the visits or if there
10 was an Official Note about the activities we undertook or planned to
11 undertake, but, in essence, it is how you say.
12 Q. And beyond the documents you collected from OVR Cair, wouldn't you
13 agree that the only other information that you've provided to this
14 Tribunal comes from unrecorded, informal conversations you had with police
15 officers in the stations?
16 A. Our efforts to talk to persons from the village of Ljuboten, as I
17 said, ended unsuccessfully because it was a post-conflict situation.
18 Also, we had unsuccessful conversations with our colleagues, police
19 officers, with whom we obtained information but we could not record them
20 as official because they would not agree to having an official
21 conversation with us.
22 Q. So, overall, wouldn't you agree that this was a pretty
23 unsuccessful investigation. It really didn't achieve much, did it?
24 A. As for me, any investigation has the aim to clarify certain
25 situation, and it's successful because efforts are made to try to clarify
1 the situation. If you ask me about this particular case file and how it
2 ended, I told you, personally, I'm not satisfied with the end because the
3 group was disbanded. We were withdrawn from the working group and we were
4 not able to finish what I wanted to finish, to have a complete case file
5 after which activities could be taken.
6 Q. And you were unable to speak to anyone who had actually been in
7 the village on 12th August 2001, were you?
8 A. I did not understand the question.
9 Q. In the course of your investigations, you did not manage to speak
10 to a single person who had been inside Ljuboten on 13 August 2001, did
11 you -- sorry, 12 August, 2001.
12 A. I stated not during our work. I stated that from the moment when
13 I myself opened the Ljuboten case file, and until the disbandment of the
14 group or until before the exhumation, we did not succeed in establishing
15 contacts with any of the persons mentioned or their relatives, those
16 indicated in the official documents. And, at the same time, we did not
17 find any documents where an aggrieved person or an injured party was
19 Q. And you were not able to obtain statements from any police
20 officers either, were you?
21 A. Yes, I already stated that.
22 Q. When the working group disbanded, do you know where its cases file
23 relating to Ljuboten went?
24 A. From the moment we were withdrawn from those tasks, there were
25 still many materials remaining, not all of them were surrendered because
1 there were closed case files and case files that were not closed. All
2 documents were produced, as I said, in two copies and they were all
3 organised in binders and they were transferred to the analytics
5 Q. Now, is it the case that the working group was required to hand
6 all the documentation relating to the Ljuboten investigation directly to
7 the minister Ljube Boskoski?
8 A. I told you that all our documents related to the entire work of
9 the group. After a certain number of interrelated case files or
10 individual case files were completed, closed, we transferred them to the
11 analytics department. Where they went from there onwards, I don't know.
12 Q. So if someone were to come before this Tribunal and say that your
13 working group handed all its documentation directly to Minister Boskoski,
14 they would be wrong?
15 A. If they knew it was like that, I can't comment that. I know that
16 we transferred, handed over the materials to the analytics department.
17 MR. DOBBYN: Your Honours, just for the record, I'm referring to
18 the testimony of Sofija Galeva-Petrovska at page 8827.
19 Q. If you could turn to tab 21, please, Mr. Stojkov.
20 MR. DOBBYN: Actually, Mr. Stojkov and Your Honours, I'm going to
21 skip that.
22 Q. Mr. Stojkov, I'm going to put it to you now that isn't it true
23 that your investigation simply consisted of collecting those documents
24 that were already held by the Ministry of Interior at Cair police
1 A. With regards to the Ljuboten case file, at that moment, yes.
2 Q. And isn't it true that your working group made no real efforts to
3 speak to any of the villagers from Ljuboten?
4 A. We made efforts to establish contacts, but we did not succeed in
6 Q. Well, isn't it true that your working group conducted no
7 interviews with either police or aggrieved persons from Ljuboten?
8 A. It is correct.
9 Q. And isn't it true that the ultimate purpose of your working group
10 was to collect information that corroborated what you had been told by
11 police officers from police stations Cair and Mirkovci?
12 A. I did not understand your question.
13 Q. Sorry, I'll try to rephrase that.
14 Isn't it true that the ultimate aim of what your working group was
15 doing was simply to back up the story or the version of events you had
16 been told by your fellow police officers?
17 A. It is not true.
18 MR. DOBBYN: Your Honours, at this time, I have no further
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Dobbyn.
21 I think this is a convenient time, then, for the second break, and
22 we'll resume at half past 5.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 5.01 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 5.32 p.m.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Residovic.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Re-examination by Ms. Residovic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good evening, Mr. Stojkov.
4 Mr. Stojkov, do you remember having been asked by the Prosecutor
5 when the work of your working group stopped, and your answer was that that
6 was at the beginning of 2003. That's right, isn't it?
7 A. Yes, it was so.
8 Q. And I'm sure you'll also recall that your answer was that at the
9 point in time when the work of your group ceased that there were quite a
10 few cases that had not been completed. Do you remember saying that?
11 A. I recall that.
12 Q. Now tell me, please, Mr. Stojkov, among those unfinished cases,
13 was the Ljuboten case unfinished, the one that you worked on?
14 A. Yes, that one remained unfinished.
15 Q. And tell me, please, whether, among those unfinished cases, there
16 were cases where the Macedonians were the injured party?
17 A. Yes. There were many such cases unfinished.
18 Q. And when the work of your working group ceased, and that was at
19 the beginning of 2003, do you remember who was the minister of the
20 interior at that time?
21 A. I know that there was a change in power. I believe that it was
22 Mr. Hari Kostov, who was the minister. I'm not sure.
23 Q. Mr. Boskoski, for several months, was not the minister at the
24 time, nor was he in the ministry. Isn't that right?
25 A. I know that he was not the minister any longer, so he was not with
1 the ministry.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, do you remember, Mr. Stojkov, that my learned
3 friend asked you on a number of occasions whether had you seen any reports
4 from Human Rights Watch.
5 A. Yes, I remember that.
6 Q. And that he also asked you whether, in order to check out some
7 information, you contacted and asked for assistance from Human Rights
8 Watch. Do you remember that?
9 A. Yes, I remember that.
10 Q. And that your answer was that at the time you didn't know that
11 Human Rights Watch was conducting its own private investigation.
12 A. I stated that I was not aware that some organisation or
13 Human Rights Watch was conducting an investigation.
14 Q. Mr. Stojkov, even if you had had some information coming to you
15 from the press or from NGOs or anything of that kind, tell me, would you
16 have checked out that information too, in order to see whether the
17 information was correct or not, true or not?
18 A. Well, we would not have verified them. We had an overview, as I
19 stated, one that we received from the analytics services and that
20 contained all information on persons and events.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] May the witness now be shown
22 65 ter 1D378.
23 Q. Mr. Stojkov, this is a letter addressed to the editor of the
24 International Herald Tribune by the anti-defamation league or the league
25 against defamation of character, libel.
1 Now I'm going to read that text out to you:
2 "[In English] Letters to the editor, in this rush to cast
3 aspersions on Israel's actions in the conflict in Lebanon, Peter Bouckaert
4 accuses Israel of indiscriminately attacking Lebanese civilians (for
5 Israel, innocent civilians are fair game, August 4). Yet he is hardly an
6 objective observer."
7 "Bouckaert ignores the defensive context of Israel's military
8 activity and is blind to the threat posed by Hezbollah. His skewed
9 reporting for Human Rights Watch ignores the unprovoked attack that
10 sparked the current conflict, along with Hezbollah's cynical strategy of
11 using the Lebanese population as a human shield. Hezbollah fighters have
12 been so successful in the current conflict by hiding among civilians."
13 "There is great value in the work of objective witnesses in
14 Lebanon. But Bouckaert's history of subjective and biased observation,
15 especially when it comes to conflicts involving Israel, taints his
16 analysis. Sincerely, Michael Salberg, Director, International Affairs."
17 [Interpretation] Now, Mr. Stojkov, would it be fair to say that
18 international organisations as well as individuals within them also had to
19 have reliable --
20 MR. DOBBYN: Objection, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Dobbyn.
22 MR. DOBBYN: It appears that this question is leading,
23 Your Honour. I ask that it be rephrased.
24 JUDGE PARKER: It is re-examination, Ms. Residovic. If you could
25 avoid leading, please.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: Thank you.
2 Q. [Interpretation], Mr. Stojkov, what is your understanding of the
3 work of international organisations? Tell me, having heard this article
4 read out, to what extent do you consider that information of this kind
5 must be checked out?
6 A. During that time, there were many non-governmental organisations
7 in Macedonia and all media that existed in Macedonia at that time but also
8 the international and foreign media, as far as I could see at that period,
9 had different articles. But I think that anyone who wrote an article and
10 signed it, should stand behind or should be guarantee for the veracity of
11 it. I believe that the source should be protected but there should be
12 evidence for what is written in the text. So I believe the same goes for
13 this text.
14 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Stojkov, do you remember that the Prosecutor
15 asked you that if you were to read something in the papers in your
16 country, that would you check that out?
17 A. I remember and I stated if there had been an event, that would
18 cause our services that means the police, the Ministry of Interior, public
19 prosecutor's office, if they had any reason to suspect that a crime had
20 been committed, then they would verify the accuracy of the allegation. If
21 there were any suspicions that a crime has been committed, then I am sure
22 the services would have taken some action.
23 Q. So as a policemen, tell me whether you must first establish that
24 an act had been committed in the first place for you to be able to
1 A. If a person reports -- if a person comes to a police station and
2 reports that any crime had been committed, then a minute is taken in order
3 to prepare a criminal report and then those allegations are entered as
4 data in the criminal report. If there is no complaint, then we cannot
6 Q. But as the Prosecutor suggested and put to you, if you just had
7 some news in the media about something, for a policeman would that be
8 enough? Would it be sufficient for him to say that the event was true and
9 correct and that there were grounds to suspect that a crime had been
11 A. Surely not.
12 Q. Now, do you remember, Mr. Stojkov, that the Prosecutor also asked
13 you the following: He asked you whether you had contacted the OSCE in
14 Macedonia to help you to conduct an investigation into the case and that
15 you said that you didn't have the power to do that, that it wasn't within
16 your competence. Do you remember that?
17 A. Yes, I remember that.
18 Q. And do you also remember that the Prosecutor asked you whether you
19 had contacted any Albanian politicians, for example, and that your answer
20 was that that wasn't within your powers and that, therefore, you did not
21 do so. Do you remember saying that?
22 A. Yes, I remember saying that.
23 Q. Mr. Stojkov, if a general of the police, for example, who was the
24 under-secretary in the ministry for the uniformed police, and if he were
25 to contact the OSCE or EU or NATO or the Albanian politicians or anything
1 like that, then would that be an individual who would be in a position to
2 contact them and not just an inspector like you? Would they be best
4 A. I know that from my position based on the competences entrusted to
5 us then, but also now, I should not be able to establish such contacts. A
6 person should be authorised to have such contacts. What would that
7 person's rank be and position within the ministry, I can't say. I don't
9 Q. But what I'm asking is this. If somebody at that position did
10 that -- did that, would that be all right, or don't you have a position in
11 the matter?
12 A. If the needs or the interests of the ministry so require or the
13 needs or the interest of the state, the Republic of Macedonia, I wouldn't
14 have anything against that.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd like to draw
16 your attention to the testimony of General Risto Galevski on page 3770 to
17 71 of the transcript.
18 Q. Do you remember that yesterday the Prosecutor asked you about your
19 professional experience and the way in which you performed your duties and
20 that you gave him precise answers to those questions and said that you
21 were commended a number of times for your work. Do you remember having
22 said that?
23 A. Yes, I remember that.
24 Q. Now, tell me, please, in view of this professional experience of
25 yours and the way in which you worked, did your -- were your superiors
1 able to rely on you and the work did you, the work you were assigned to
3 A. Well, I'm sure they relied on my personal work and the work of the
4 group because we were appointed. And knowing our prior background, I
5 believe they had faith in us and they relied on what we were doing.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, the Prosecutor also asked you yesterday something
7 about what your understanding on -- was of the Law on Amnesty, governing
8 amnesty and you said that you weren't a lawyer but that you knew that the
9 Law on Amnesty was enacted. Do you remember that?
10 A. Yes, I remember that.
11 Q. Now, did you know that certain acts were exempt from amnesty and
12 what organs are there to assess as to whether an act or event can be
13 amnestied or not comes under the Law of Amnesty or not?
14 A. Well, I can't say with certainty that I was aware that some events
15 were exempt from amnesty, but that assessment was made by the public
16 prosecutor's office and the court in the Republic of Macedonia or at least
17 I think so, I'm not sure. I believe that they should be the ones to
18 assess whether there is a possibility for a deed to be exempt from that or
20 Q. Mr. Stojkov, would you look at your binder, the one that the
21 Prosecutor gave you, and take a look at a document after page 21 -- or
22 partition 21. And it is 65 ter 1D594, after tab 21.
23 Do you have the document?
24 A. Yes, I see it on the screen.
25 Q. But you can also find it after tab 21. You have the English
1 version first, followed by the text in Macedonian.
2 A. Yes, I have it here.
3 Q. You can see here that the sector for analytics and research sent
4 the crime department of the police, through Mr. Sofevski, a request to
5 provide a report. Can you see that?
6 A. Yes, I see that.
7 Q. And Spasen Sofevski was in fact the under-secretary in charge of
8 the crime police, and he was at the top of the chain of command, was he
10 A. Yes, that is correct.
11 Q. And as you said that at the beginning of 2002 sometime, you were
12 given the assignment of opening up the case of Ljuboten, but that you
13 didn't know what period of time this was precisely, you couldn't be more
14 precise. You said it might have been February or March, but at all events
15 it was at the beginning of 2002. Isn't that right?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. I'm going to ask you now to take a look at paragraph 1 where it
18 says that: "The Ministry of Justice, with written communication of
19 the 14th of February 2002, to the minister of the interior,
20 Mr. Ljube Boskoski, requested from this ministry the dispatch as soon as
21 possible of information requested in Prosecutor Mr. Andrew Cayley's letter
22 of the 30th of January, 2002, to the government of the Republic of
24 Mr. Stojkov, in view of this first paragraph, could -- or, rather,
25 how do you understand this paragraph? What would your conclusions be? Is
1 it the minister who received this request, was he the individual who in
2 fact sent on the request to the competent authorities, his superiors?
3 Would that be your understanding?
4 A. This is a letter -- or, rather, a request to provide certain
5 reports and documents sent by the Ministry of Justice and then through
6 analytics sector through the then under-secretary should be forwarded to
7 the minister at the time, Mr. Ljube Boskoski.
8 Q. In the second paragraph at the end of that paragraph you can see
9 that this request was linked to two events, Neprosteno and Ljuboten. Can
10 you see that?
11 A. Yes, I see that.
12 Q. And in the last paragraph it says: "We kindly ask you to dispatch
13 the following to this sector as soon as possible in order that we may
14 respond to the aforementioned requests."
15 "Copies of police dossiers, if they are complete, on the
16 investigation undertaken into the events in the village of Neprosteno; and
17 if they are not complete, then a detailed report on the current situation
18 with regard to the investigation, including copies of witness statements,
19 if they exist."
20 "Report on the current situation with regard to the police
21 investigation into the events in the village of Ljuboten (if there is such
22 an investigation), including witness statements, if there are such
24 "Copies of any other official reports or other documentation which
25 relate to the events in the villages of Neprosteno and Ljuboten, or refer
1 to the aforementioned investigation."
2 Mr. Stojkov, would you agree with me that this document speaks
3 about the need to gather certain documents?
4 MR. DOBBYN: Objection, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Dobbyn.
6 MR. DOBBYN: Actually, sorry, I'll withdraw that, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
8 Please carry on.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Q. Mr. Stojkov, in answering the questions put to you, do you
11 remember having said that your working group did not have the task of
12 replacing the competent organs. Do you remember saying that?
13 A. Yes. Yes, I remember.
14 Q. And do you also remember that when the Prosecutor asked you, you
15 repeated the method of work you applied, and you repeated that several
17 A. Yes. It was not up to us to replace the police stations and the
18 OVRs that were active at a given territory. Our work and our gathering of
19 evidence had its own purposes and aims, but I believe that if we arrived
20 at some data and if we arrived at witnesses or witness statements or any
21 other document based on which we would have grounds to suspect that a
22 crime had been committed, then we would have informed the sector and the
23 department for analytics that then forward the documents to the OVRs,
24 departments of internal affairs that prepare the documents and then
25 forward them to the basic public prosecutor's office and then they prepare
1 an indictment.
2 Q. Do you also remember, Mr. Stojkov, that today the Prosecutor
3 repeated the example that you gave from the village of Aracinovo, when you
4 showed that for certain theft that had taken place, significant theft of
5 Albanian property, Macedonian policemen were reported. Do you remember
6 the Prosecutor asking you that?
7 A. Members from the reserve police forces, not active police officers.
8 Q. Yes. And the Prosecutor asked you whether this sort of theft
9 would be considered a war crime. Do you remember him asking you that?
10 A. Yes, I remember.
11 Q. Mr. Stojkov, do you know that a legal evaluation and assessment of
12 an event -- well, let me put it this way. Do you know who makes the legal
13 assessment, whether it is the police, the prosecutor, the Court? Who is
14 it that does that?
15 A. The police can give the grounds or to interpret a criminal act.
16 However, it is the prosecutor, in preparing the indictment, who provides
17 the law, or rather, the article of the Macedonian law pursuant to which
18 the crime will be prosecuted.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] May the witness now be shown the
20 following document, please, P81. And that is the Criminal Law of the
21 Republic of Macedonia, Article 404. The Macedonian version is ERN number
22 26927, the Macedonian version, and the English version is ERN 005544. And
23 as I said, it's Article 404.
24 Q. I'm sure you recognise the title page of the Criminal Code of the
25 Republic of Macedonia.
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Now, in Article 404, we have a series of crimes against the
3 civilian population listed. And in the first part, paragraph 1, it is an
4 instance in war, during a war, armed conflict or occupation. Do you agree
5 with me that that's what it says at the beginning of paragraph 1?
6 A. Yes, I agree with.
7 Q. Now, let's look at line 7 from the bottom of that paragraph. I'm
8 going to read it out. I'm going to read out what acts could be considered
9 war crimes against the civilian population. It is looting, pilfering of
10 property of the population, illegal and [indiscernible] destruction, or
11 usurpation of a large extent of properties which is not justified by
12 military needs.
13 Now, tell me, Mr. Stojkov, do you agree with me when I say that
14 within the frameworks of that Article we have different types of theft and
15 looting, which is incorporated into this paragraph 1 of the Article?
16 A. Yes, I agree.
17 Q. And whether something is considered theft or not, it is the organs
18 of law and authority that are going to decide about it, right?
19 A. Yes, this is true. It is the courts that decide.
20 Q. I'd now like to ask you -- or, rather, let me put it this way.
21 You said that you would always go to the police station or internal
22 affairs organ where the act has been reported to take some documents from
23 them which would help you in your work, which would be important to you in
24 your work. Right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I'm now going to ask to you take a look at the next document after
2 tab 5, which is P565. The document is under seal. And on page N006-7661,
3 ERN number. That's the English version. N006-7652, N006-7673. It's page
4 7 of eleven pages.
5 Yes, the English is fine then. And we need the Macedonian
6 version, please. Thank you.
7 Q. Mr. Stojkov, you saw this document when it was put to you by the
8 Prosecutor, right?
9 A. Yes, this is correct.
10 Q. And at the top of the document it says that it's an organ of the
11 Ministry of Interior in Tetovo, right?
12 A. Yes, this is so.
13 Q. And this is a record compiled by some authorised person when the
14 injured party himself personally came to report the incident, right?
15 A. Yes, this is so.
16 Q. And at the end of this record, attached to it is the documentation
17 that the injured party brought to back up his claims, right?
18 A. Yes, yes, this is so.
19 Q. Now, on page 006-765661, ERN number, that is. No, I apologise.
20 N006-7658; that's the Macedonian version. And the English version is
21 number N006-7658.
22 And you have also seen this document, have you not? It is also,
23 I'm sure you'll agree with me, that it was also taken over by the organs
24 of the interior in Tetovo. This is to say, the authority in Tetovo,
1 A. Yes, this is right.
2 Q. Much earlier on, before the injured party, that is to say at the
3 time when this happened, and that was the 6th of July, 2001. Is that what
4 it says in this Official Note?
5 A. Yes. It says the 6th and the 7th of July, 2001.
6 Q. And if I understood your explanations, how you explained it to me,
7 and how you explained it to the Prosecutor, when he put a number of
8 questions to you about this, your method of work was the following: You
9 went to the police station, and then you would take the documents that you
10 would find there, right?
11 A. Yes, this is correct.
12 Q. And at the police station, in this particular police station, you
13 found this report and some of the activities that the police station
14 undertook within its remitt and authority, right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you also went on to explain your method of work, and said that
17 you tried on that occasion to talk to the injured party or members of his
18 family, and once you managed to do that on a voluntary basis, you talked
19 to them, interviewed them and compiled an official report, right?
20 A. Yes, this was our way of work.
21 Q. Now, tell me this, please, I'm going to ask you how you worked in
23 When the Prosecutor asked you, you said that you went to the
24 police station Mirkovci and then to the one in Cair, right?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Tell me now, please, is there any difference in that and in what
2 you did when you went to the Tetovo organ of the Ministry of the Interior
3 in the previous case?
4 A. There is no difference. This is our principle of work. We always
5 began with the police stations.
6 Q. And when you arrived at the police station in Cair, you asked to
7 see the documents, right?
8 A. Yes. We requested documents about the event in the village of
9 Ljuboten with the dates I mentioned previously, somewhat before and
10 somewhat after the event itself.
11 Q. Was there any difference in your method of work there and in the
12 previous case and when you went to Tetovo looking for documents which the
13 police station had in its possession?
14 A. The manner is identical.
15 Q. In answering the questions put to you, you said that you managed
16 to gain information about certain individuals whom could have been injured
17 parties themselves and that, first, from your colleagues and then through
18 your own personal efforts, you tried to reach those injured parties
19 themselves. Do you remember saying that and telling the Prosecutor that?
20 A. Yes. And this is part of the procedure which we followed.
21 Q. So is that any different than the way you went about this in
22 Tetovo when you learnt about the event described in this document or
23 dossier 565, file 565? Did you try to reach the injured party there too?
24 A. Yes, this is correct, the same.
25 Q. And the only difference being -- or, rather, did you find the
1 injured party there and did you find the injured party in Ljuboten?
2 A. In Ljuboten, as I said, we were not able to establish contact with
3 a person who would come forth as injured parties or their close relatives.
4 Q. Would you now take a look at the next document, which comes after
5 tab 11. And to refresh your memory that was one of the documents that the
6 Prosecutor showed you as well, right? It is Exhibit P569 and the first
7 page in English is N006-781. And it says that it is photo documentation
8 and then we have page N006-7881. That's the first page of this document
9 in Macedonian.
10 Have you found the document?
11 A. Yes, I have the document in front of me.
12 Q. If you remember, you covered a number of -- you looked at a number
13 of photographs from this photo documentation set with the Prosecutor, they
14 were shown to you.
15 A. Yes, this is correct.
16 Q. And you observed that the individual who was shown here as being
17 the individuals providing information -- the individual providing
18 information was in fact an Albanian, right?
19 A. Yes, this is correct.
20 Q. As an inspector with many years of experience, and as a member of
21 the working group as well, can you tell me whether it is important to
22 conduct an on-site investigation and gather photo documentation about the
23 event, about the event that -- or incident that took place?
24 A. It is very important immediately after any kind of crime to have
25 on-site investigation. Records are made of this on-site investigation,
1 evidence is marked, photo documentation is prepared. This is one of the
2 basic rules of investigation. The basic rules that allow the
3 investigations to go on. Without an on-site investigation, we cannot
4 document the event.
5 Q. And would you agree with me that this on-site investigation and
6 the photo documentation and the other documents contained in this file was
7 compiled by the competent authority within the Ministry of the Interior
8 who, by law, is duty-bound to act in this way and uncover the -- uncover
9 crimes and the perpetrators of crimes?
10 A. As I said, as in the other cases, the police station or the OVR,
11 the territory in which the crime had happened, is in charge for
12 undertaking all measures to investigate or to proceed with measure
13 prescribed by law to elucidate this crime.
14 Q. As you've already explained this to us, is my understanding of the
15 matter correct, that you were not able to replace the work of those
16 organs, nor was it your task for you to be the investigators of all these
18 A. We could not have replaced the work of the police station or the
19 OVR in any case. These are tasks, works regulated by law that have to be
20 carried out by the police station or the OVR.
21 Q. And if this case shown to you by the Prosecutor, if I were to
22 compare that or if we were to compare that with your efforts to learn
23 something about what had happened in and around Ljuboten, then, tell me
24 this: Did you have an opportunity in the documents from the Mirkovci
25 police station or the Cair police station to find material related to the
1 on-site investigation along with all the photo documentation and
2 everything necessary for a case to be documented or an incident which had
3 happened to be documented?
4 A. We did not find anything.
5 Q. Did you find any documents at all which would show whether any
6 attempts had been made to enter the village, for instance?
7 A. Yes. This is what the chief Krstevski at the time told me in our
8 discussions also. Later I found it in an information or Official Note, I
9 can't recall now, where it is listed that on two occasions on-site
10 investigations teams were formed with medical teams, with certainly a
11 public prosecutor or a judge or other colleagues from the MOI to carry on
12 an on-site investigation in the village.
13 Q. If we were to compare this to the previous instance, the fact that
14 there was no investigation -- or, rather, on-site investigation, to what
15 extent could this influence help you throw light on the case? How would
16 that help you?
17 A. First, there was no reported case. And, secondly, if an on-site
18 investigation had been carried out, if the on-site investigation teams of
19 SVR Skopje, inspectors from OVR Cair and the other responsible bodies had
20 gone to the site and if had been documented as the other example, then,
21 the possibilities would be much better to complete and to bring all things
22 to an end.
23 Q. Do you remember your answer to a question from the Prosecutor,
24 Mr. Stojkov, when you said that you hoped that the results of the
25 exhumation and post-mortem could provide you with new information to
1 enable you to continue with your work and investigation. Do you remember
3 A. Yes. Because as I said there was no on-site investigation
4 immediately after the events in Ljuboten. We expected, first of all, that
5 we, too, as a working group would be present at the exhumation but we were
6 not allowed to do so. Later, we expected the results of the exhumation
7 and the results of forensic medicine. This would have meant some official
8 which would allow us to undertake further measures.
9 Q. And my last question to you is this: As an inspector with a lot
10 of experience, can you tell me, to what extent an autopsy can help the
11 police in establishing the cause of death, the way in which death occurred
12 and to clear up the question of whether it was a killing, a suicide or how
13 a death occurred. Can an autopsy help an inspector to arrive at any
14 conclusions in that respect?
15 A. As I said, for a period of time, I worked as an assistant to my
16 colleague at the homicide unit. But having seen how things are -- and
17 work is conducted there that the autopsy and the reports of forensic
18 medicine which provide these autopsies are very useful to throwing light
19 on a crime where death has occurred, regardless of how this death has
20 occurred. As we know the time of death is given, the cause of death, the
21 manner in which the death occurred, and I believe this is very useful.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stojkov, for answering my questions.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that completes my
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Ms. Residovic.
1 Mr. Stojkov, you will be pleased to know that concludes the
2 questioning of you. The Chamber would thank you for your assistance and
3 for your attendance here in The Hague and you are now, of course, free to
4 return to your home and your ordinary activities. And the court officer
5 will show you out.
6 Thank you, sir.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, for this
8 possibility to be here at the Tribunal and to share my experiences of this
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Earlier this afternoon the Chamber received
12 information that the intended next witness was in considerable pain
13 despite medical attention and needed to go to his bed and rest so that we
14 have no prospect of continuing now. In any event, our time effectively
15 has been almost completely exhausted.
16 The experience of the last couple of days suggest to us that it
17 may be better, in view of the reported problems with the next witness's
18 back, if we sit for only two sessions, each of about an hour and a half,
19 tomorrow and Friday in the hope that this will enable the witness to be
20 with us at least for three effective hours of evidence during the day.
21 It's possible that that may prove too much, but we will attempt that.
22 If there's no other matter -- oh, Mr. Saxon.
23 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, have I received strict instructions from
24 my case manager and from the registry officer to place the following
25 information on the record, that we will be replacing a draft English
1 translation of Exhibit P00063 with a final translation, and we will be
2 linking an additional translation to Exhibit P00533. I have just been
3 asked to put that on the record.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Saxon.
5 We will adjourn now and we resume at 2.15 tomorrow.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.25 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 7th day of
8 February, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.