1 Thursday, 18 June 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
7 THE WITNESS: Morning.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please read aloud the affirmation that
9 is shown to you now.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
11 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 WITNESS: BATON HAXHIU
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
15 Mr. Neuner has some questions for you.
16 Mr. Neuner.
17 MR. NEUNER: Good morning.
18 Examination by Mr. Neuner:
19 Q. Witness, your name a Baton Haxhiu?
20 A. Yes, my name is Baton Haxhiu.
21 Q. And you were born on the 24th of February, 1966, in Pristina in
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you are a journalist by profession?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Mr. Haxhiu, is it correct that you gave a statement in
2 August 2001 to the investigators of the ICTY?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And when you came here for the Milosevic trial in May 2002, you
5 made some corrections to this statement?
6 A. Yes. There were some minor mistakes.
7 Q. And after you did these corrections, you confirmed the
8 corrections and the statement in front of a Registry officer and stated
9 that both the statements are true and correct to the best of your
10 knowledge and belief?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And before you came here today, earlier this week, we in the
13 Prosecution -- we communicated your statement and your transcript of
14 testimonies to you before you travelled to come here?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. So you had an opportunity to read all this material before you
17 came here today, is it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you testified on the 23rd of May, 2002, in the Milosevic
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. And you testified a second time on the 8th of November, 2006,
23 this time in the Milutinovic case?
24 A. Yes, correct.
25 Q. So together does the corrected statement and both transcripts of
1 testimony truly and accurately reflect what you would say if you gave
2 your testimony orally before this court today?
3 A. Yes, I'll say the same things today.
4 MR. NEUNER: Your Honours, I'm referring to the statements, this
5 is the 92 bis package, 65 ter number 2478. I'm also referring to the
6 testimony in the Milosevic case, which is 02479. As well as to the
7 testimony in the Milutinovic case, 05053. And I would like to tender all
8 three items.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Each of those will be received as three separate
11 THE REGISTRAR: These would be Exhibits P992, P993, and P994,
12 Your Honours.
13 MR. NEUNER: I just wanted to make a clarification, in accordance
14 with your decision on the 10th of February this year, the Prosecution has
15 redacted parts of the statement and of the testimony of Mr. Haxhiu.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
17 MR. NEUNER: And these are the parts relating to the meeting, and
18 I will ask Mr. Haxhiu a short while about it.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
20 MR. NEUNER:
21 Q. Mr. Haxhiu, I wanted to read out a summary for the Court and for
22 the people listening to us, a summary of what you have testified and to
23 what you have stated in your statement.
24 Mr. Haxhiu is a journalist and the founding member of the
25 newspaper Koha Ditore. His evidence relates to the buildup of the
1 conflict in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999. He describes that the conflict in
2 Kosovo was closely linked to the issue using the Albanian language in
4 In 1991, the Serbian government forced a more Serbian oriented
5 curriculum in Kosovo schools. The parallel Albanian school system
6 developed. The Serbian state did not recognise the diplomas. This led
7 to non-violent student demonstrations.
8 Baton Haxhiu was present and translated at meetings between
9 Ambassador Petritsch, Jan Kickert, and Albert Rohan with KLA members in
10 the summer of 1998.
11 On the 2nd of October, 1998, the police broke into the offices of
12 Koha Ditore and beat the witness and some of his colleagues. The witness
13 was arrested and interrogated by the police.
14 On 5 or 6 December, 1998, Stanisic stated at a meeting that
15 Sreten Lukic had convinced Milosevic to break up the demonstration by
16 force. Stanisic stated he could not decide anything on his own and that
17 the proposal for a Kosovo republic would not be accepted.
18 Such a proposal would not be acceptable to the nationalistic
19 circle around Milosevic. Stanisic said that he would meet Milosevic the
20 following day.
21 Baton Haxhiu was in Pristina in March 1999. Leaving the town, he
22 saw men in green uniforms wearing masks. The witness's father was beaten
23 up in the streets of Pristina. Mr. Baton Haxhiu saw thousands of people
24 in Pristina being expelled the day he left.
25 He travelled through the mountains to the Macedonian border.
1 There he saw more than 15 kilometres long line of refugees trying to
2 cross into Macedonia. Baton Haxhiu reached Tetovo on the
3 7th of April, 1999.
4 This witness's evidence is relevant to paragraphs 26, 72(g), 77,
5 80 to 102 of the indictment and counts 1, 2, and 5 of this indictment.
6 End of the summary.
7 Q. I'm going to put now a few questions, Mr. Haxhiu, to you,
8 relating to two topics. The first topic is a meeting at Mr. Bakalli's
9 apartment. And my first question would be when about did this meeting at
10 Mr. Bakalli's apartment take place?
11 A. This meeting took place on the 13th or 14th of November. I had
12 it written somewhere in a notebook, but I don't have it now. But I
13 believe it was either the 14th -- 13th or 14th, 1997.
14 Q. Thank you. And how was this meeting initiated?
15 A. When I was arrested on the 2nd of October, I was interrogated for
16 two and a half hours. And since it was an atmosphere of conflict and a
17 war situation, I said that the best thing would be to stop the conflict
18 and have the Albanians and the Serbs meet in order to talk on how to find
19 a way out of this crisis and conflict situation.
20 I indicated to them that you have the example of
21 Bosnia and Croatia which would be the best way why we shouldn't use
22 hard-line regarding the Kosova situation. And that was how this
23 initiative emerged.
24 Later, I received a phone call by Mr. Stijovic; I think it was
25 the 13th of November when I got that phone call, 1997. And that was how
1 the meeting was organised in the office of Mr. Bakalli.
2 Q. Thank you. Two questions. First of all, you said you were
3 arrested on the 2nd of October. Which year?
4 A. 1997.
5 Q. Thank you. Then you mentioned a gentleman, Mr. Stijovic. Could
6 you explain to the Court who was Mr. Stijovic and what position did he
7 hold in November 1997 when he called you?
8 A. To my recollection, Stijovic used to be chairman of the youth --
9 socialist youth league of Prishtina, a Serb citizen who was in good
10 relations with Albanians in normal circumstances. But I didn't know that
11 Zoran Stijovic was a high-ranking official of the Serbian state and its
12 service until the moment when I received his phone call.
13 Q. Could you explain to the Court what you mean by he "was a
14 high-ranking official of the Serbian state and its service." Which
15 service are you referring to?
16 A. In the meeting we were having in Bakalli's office, I realised
17 that that person was a high-ranking official in the secret service
18 because he was in the company of two main persons, officials, Mr. Hadjic
19 and Mr. Gajic. In that meeting, I knew that Mr. Gajic was working there,
20 but I didn't know that that was his true name.
21 Q. I take it one by one. You said you didn't know that Mr. Gajic
22 was working there. Where was Mr. Gajic working in November 1997?
23 A. Mr. Gajic was chief responsible for security issues, or as we
24 call it in our daily speech, he was chief of secret service for Kosova.
25 And he was in Kosova for a long time.
1 Q. Okay. Then you mentioned a second -- or another gentleman next
2 to Mr. Gajic, could you give us the name of this person, could you spell
4 A. I don't know his name, but he introduced himself as Mr. Hadjic
5 and as the assistance of Mr. Jovica Stankovic [as interpreted]. During
6 the meeting he said that soon he would replace Mr. Gajic and that he
7 would come in to Prishtina. That was what he stated at that meeting.
8 Q. So what did you conclude for which service if any was Mr. Hadjic
10 A. Because he was probably the main person, the key figure of the
11 secret service of Serbia then --
12 Q. Thank you.
13 A. -- or Yugoslavia. He was the main figure after Stanisic.
14 Q. And can you give us the full name of Mr. Stanisic, please?
15 A. Jovica Stanisic.
16 Q. Mr. Stanisic in November 1997, what office, if any, was he
18 A. He was chief of Yugoslavian Secret Service. I think they had
19 just changed the name at that time and I don't recall the exact
20 nomination of that service.
21 Q. Okay. Can you tell us that secret service and
22 Mr. Jovica Stanisic, to which minister, if any, did Mr. Stanisic report
24 A. I don't know. But the way I perceived it as a journalist, he had
25 direct links with Milosevic. At least he didn't mention or refer to any
1 minister with whom he had links or connections or to whom he reported.
2 At least that was my impression from the meeting we had in 1997, which
3 was the only meeting actually.
4 Q. I wanted to ask you, the three gentlemen did come to
5 Mr. Bakalli's apartment for this meeting. Did they say on whose behalf
6 they were coming? Or whom they represented at this meeting?
7 A. They came there on behalf of their chief and said that even
8 Mr. Milosevic was informed of that meeting.
9 Q. And who was their chief?
10 A. I would presume that the chief would be Mr. Stanisic.
11 Jovica Stanisic.
12 Q. I wanted to ask you what, in one sentence, was the Albanian
13 position promoted at the meeting in Mr. Bakalli's apartment?
14 A. We knew that Serbia was a strong state and that it had a strong
15 army and that it was impossible politically to deal with it. Therefore,
16 since Yugoslavia was being demolished, was in a process of
17 disintegration, that's why we proposed the establishment of an
18 independent republic in an eventual confederation including Serbia and
20 Q. Do I understand correctly that the proposal was to have an
21 independent republic of Kosovo but within the Federal Republic of
23 A. It was a confederation. I wouldn't describe it as Yugoslav
24 confederation. We proposed that the name be changed. We proposed a
25 confederation comprising Montenegro and Serbia because they formed the
1 rest of former Yugoslavia, or they constituted the artificial patrimony
2 to the former Yugoslavia.
3 Q. Can you explain to the Judges what position Mr. Bakalli was
4 holding at the time he was engaging in these proposals in November 1997?
5 A. The movement of Albanians of Kosova didn't have positions or
6 pass. In fact, we all -- Bakalli had a very strong political background.
7 He was one of the key figures in the former Yugoslavia, and the man who
8 in real terms established or built the concept of the former state that
9 Milosevic and others inherited. He was the man who knew better than
10 anyone the Serb mentality, better than anyone the Serbian political
11 figures, better than anyone he knew what was called the political rear of
12 Serbia because he had during that time built that concept for Kosova. He
13 was one of the main persons in Kosova.
14 Q. Did he told an office in November 1997?
15 A. There were, as I said, no offices or posts in Kosova because
16 people were dismissed or laid off from their work, jobs.
17 Q. So you tell us that a proposal was promoted at the meeting by the
18 Albanian side. Can you explain to the Court what the Serb reaction to
19 that proposal was?
20 A. The Serb reaction was furious. It was down-right refusal of that
21 proposal. Their immediate response was this proposal will lead to war.
22 Q. Who said so, that it would lead to war?
23 A. Both, Gajic and Hadjic. The first to say it was Hadjic. Gajic
24 simply nodded, confirmed it, what Hadjic said.
25 Q. What else was responded to that proposal?
1 A. It was a lengthy meeting which lasted about three hours, but the
2 most important part of that meeting, I would say, was the threats we
3 received up to blackmail from our interlocutors. At the moment it was
4 said that, Do you know that there are 443 ethnically pure villages in
5 Kosova? We said, Yes, we know and then what. They said, You know that
6 these -- the population of these villages can be driven out of these
7 villages within 24 hours given the strength of Serbia. We said, Yes, we
8 think it can be done but it would mark the end, if you like, to a concept
9 of peace or peaceful concept. And this would lead to a constant war.
10 And they promptly said, Have you heard of the project scorched earth?
11 Q. I'll stop you here for a second. Before we come to scorched
12 earth, I want to clarify. These 443 ethnical pure villages in Kosovo
13 referred to by these three gentlemen, which ethnicity was living in these
14 443 villages, Albanians or Serbs or others, could you clarify? How did
15 you understand it?
16 A. To tell you the truth, it was the first time for me to hear that
17 there are 443 villages in Kosova inhabited by Albanians. They didn't
18 refer to them as villages, they referred to them as settlements. So that
19 was when I learned the number of villages, and that they had a very clear
20 idea of what Kosova was like, how it functioned, and how many Albanians
21 lived there.
22 Q. So they envisaged Albanian villages in Kosovo, and then you
23 mentioned scorched earth. Could you explain what was said by the
24 gentlemen in relation to scorched earth at the meeting?
25 A. As I said earlier, they referred to them as settlements. They
1 knew what they meant by that word. And it was also the first time for me
2 to hear the concept of scorched earth. I was young then, and I hadn't
3 any idea of such conflicts of such genocidal dimension. The very -- the
4 mere fact of using these words scorched land or earth was shocking to me.
5 But for Bakalli, this was not new, he had already heard of it.
6 And by this concept, this scorched land or earth, as they put it,
7 it was a military police project which was in place ready to be activated
8 at any moment, and for me this seemed the greatest threat. It was
10 Q. Do you remember who from these three gentlemen was mentioning the
11 scorched earth concept?
12 A. Hadjic, but the others seemed to be familiar with that. So the
13 conversation about the scorched earth went on for a couple of minutes.
14 The two others didn't react, they were well aware of what it meant.
15 Q. And they were well aware but did they oppose at some point in
16 time the concept of scorched earth? What was your impression?
17 A. No, no. They were discussing about it as if it was the most
18 normal thing. As a military option that might be activated or put in
19 place in case the Albanians failed to obey the instructions of Serbia.
20 They were clear about that.
21 Q. What was the reaction by the Albanian side to the mentioning of
22 scorched earth concept?
23 A. There was nothing to be said other than, You are not the only
24 ones living on this planet. And that the international community would
25 certainly react to it because we are at the dawn of the 21st century, and
1 you cannot come up with such concepts. Even if you were the only one
2 living in this world, the implementation of such a project would be hard
3 let alone that we are living in a world where there is an international
4 law, where there are so many media outlets, and where it won't be easy
5 for you to act. And they said, We will see.
6 Q. Did this response lead to more moderate response from the Serbian
8 A. No. Immediately after this they said to us, This is our mandate,
9 we cannot elaborate any more on this. We will go back to Belgrade and
10 present the Belgrade officials with our impressions.
11 They said that it would be possible for us to meet Milosevic. We
12 refused that. And then they said that there is a likelihood for another
13 meeting between us to be held. And that's how this meeting was concluded
14 that night.
15 Q. Was there, following this meeting in the apartment of
16 Mr. Bakalli, another meeting, a follow-up meeting?
17 A. With these gentlemen you mean?
18 Q. With these gentlemen or with any Serbian representative who
19 wanted to speak to Mr. Bakalli or you?
20 A. The following meeting was held sometime in December. I don't
21 know the exact date. It was a meeting with Mr. Jovica Stankovic.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Correction: Stanisic.
23 Q. And you say the meeting was in December, which year, please?
24 A. 1997.
25 Q. At this meeting with Mr. Stanisic, was the concept of scorched
1 earth mentioned?
2 A. No. Stanisic had come there with a political stance. He was
3 presenting surprising offers to us, surprising in a sense that we knew
4 that we were not going to accept them. He had a stronger mandate than
5 the people from the previous group.
6 Q. Okay. Can you tell us briefly what the surprise was, or the
7 surprising offer?
8 A. He offered Bakalli the post of Yugoslavia's vice-president. To
9 my knowledge, Yugoslavia was not functioning at the time, so this post
10 didn't make any sense. But Bakalli replied by saying that he has
11 finished with his mandate in former Yugoslavia and that his efforts were
12 towards finding solution to the problem of Kosova the way he had put the
13 proposals forward to the Serb party.
14 Q. In terms of threats for violence, as one may interpret the
15 mentioning of scorched earth at the previous meeting, at the follow-up
16 meeting, was there any threat about violence mentioned?
17 A. Stanisic used another language, a language of sophisticated
18 threats. It wasn't a brutal language that the others used. He said that
19 there were many nationalists and radicals around Milosevic that would
20 never accept our proposal, and he said, My friends - this is what he
21 used, the word - we are going towards a war.
22 My impression was that this person had gained experience from the
23 previous wars in Bosnia and Croatia, and he wanted to win the battle; but
24 it seemed that his mandate was also limited. He offered us to meet
25 Milosevic, which we refused. Then he said to us that he was going to
1 meet Mr. Milosevic the following morning to present him with our
2 proposals, but he told us that he was sure Milosevic was not going to
3 accept our proposals. To what I know, after this meeting and after
4 several months, Mr. Stanisic was removed from the post he held.
5 I'm not quite sure how long after this meeting he was removed,
6 maybe a month or so. There was a public resignation on his part, and I'm
7 trying to para-phrase it: All my responsibilities are dedicated to my
8 boss and the president, Mr. Milosevic. I haven't done anything that has
9 been, to my knowledge, ordered by him.
10 This is, as far as I remember, the statement he gave when he
11 resigned. This is a long time ago, but this is approximately what the
12 wording was in that statement.
13 Q. Thank you, I want to have a very brief answer to my following
14 question. From the Serbian side, did you ever hear again the words
15 scorched earth uttered in the following weeks and months?
16 A. Officially or publicly, never; but at meetings with colleagues,
17 journalist, of course they were aware of this. The story of scorched
18 earth or land became public later on in the end of 1998 or beginning of
19 1999; I don't know the exact time.
20 Q. Am I right in putting to you that from an official representative
21 of the Serb regime, you didn't hear scorched earth being uttered after
22 the first meeting in Mr. Bakalli's apartment and the following months?
23 A. No, I didn't hear.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. NEUNER: Your Honours, I want to move to my second topic. I
1 want to leave it aside. I want to move to Pristina now, the events in
2 March and early April 1999.
3 Mr. Bakalli [sic] -- Mr. Haxhiu, excuse me, you lived in Pristina
4 all your life, did you?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. And in early March 1999, where did you live?
7 A. I was living in Kodra e Diellit neighbourhood.
8 MR. NEUNER: Could we have 65 ter number 13 being displayed to
9 this witness, please. Or actually, I have a hard copy. Maybe it's
10 easier, because I want to introduce a document, to show him the hard copy
11 on the ELMO, please.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Page 14, line 1
13 should read "that has not been, to his knowledge, or ordered by him."
14 MR. NEUNER: First of all, I wanted -- we don't have an image
15 yet. Okay. Sorry, it's on e-court. The best would be actually if we
16 use the ELMO image because I want to later on introduce through e-court
17 another document. Can we zoom out a little bit because -- if I can ask
18 the usher to zoom out a little bit, yeah. And turn the map a little bit
19 around, right now it lies -- not upside down. Could we just turn the
20 map, rotate the map a little bit. Yes. Thank you. Yes, perfect. And
21 zoom out a little bit so that the Judges can see everything.
22 Q. First I would like to ask you. If it is displayed here - and
23 Mr. Haxhiu, please look at the ELMO next to you, to your right-hand side.
24 Could I ask you to encircle, if you find it, the place or the apartment
25 of Mr. Bakalli was, or the meeting in November 1997.
1 A. It should be somewhere here.
2 Q. Yes, you've encircled a building. Can you mark a number 1 below
3 it or somewhere. Yes. I can't read this number 1, can you make the
4 number 1 below the circle maybe, or somewhere where there is a white --
5 A. Below the circle, all right.
6 Q. Then I wanted to ask you, where were you living in March 1999?
7 You mentioned in Kodra e Diellit?
8 A. This part here should be Kodra e Diellit. This part here is the
9 whole Kodra e Diellit neighbourhood, and I should be here somewhere, that
10 is my apartment.
11 Q. You marked a number 2 next to the circle, which you've drawn.
12 Can you tell us the security situation in March 1999? How did it develop
13 in Pristina?
14 A. From October 1998 up until the 23rd of March, 1999, the situation
15 was tense with concentration of police forces, Arkan forces, and
16 paramilitary forces in uniforms. They were present in the whole
17 territory of Kosova, especially in Prishtina. I'm talking about the
18 time-frame when Mr. Holbrooke and Mr. Milosevic were trying to reach an
19 agreement to end the crisis in Kosova. I'm talking about the period of
20 the October or so agreement.
21 Q. Okay. Taking you to Pristina, and I'm only asking you now about
22 Pristina. Can you tell us, once the NATO air-strikes had started on the
23 24th of March, 1999, how did the security situation in Pristina develop?
24 A. When the Rambouillet talks failed on the 21st, we have the first
25 real killing in the town. Arianit Kelmendi was killed and another person
1 was wounded. Forces started to shoot at facilities. These were not
2 police forces; these were other people who had been armed in the meantime
3 and who were walking and driving around freely in the town.
4 Q. Can I stop you here for a second, because I want to clarify a few
5 things of what you said. You say on the 21st Kelmendi was killed. Which
6 month and year are you referring to?
7 A. That is 21st of March, 1999. Life in Prishtina at this time
8 would end at 5 p.m. People were trying to avoid being on the streets
9 after 5.00. Everybody would stay at home with the exception of Serbs, of
11 Personally, as I had to work in the newspaper, I had to finish
12 all my work earlier in late afternoon instead of doing it as usually in
13 the evening. People who were working in the printing house, they would
14 remain there the whole night because they were scared to go out in the
15 dark because darkness was a synonym of killings, of fear.
16 Q. Can I ask you again about Mr. Kelmendi. You said he was killed
17 on the 21st of March, 1999. What role, if any, did Mr. Kelmendi have, at
18 that time?
19 A. We are talking about Arianit Kelmendi who was killed on the 21st
20 of March, he was a waiter, a civilian, who was killed in front of the
21 cafe where he was working. This happened on the 21st, three days prior
22 to the bombing.
23 Q. Okay. And do you know anything about the perpetrators?
24 A. The power to instate fear and to draft such actions came from the
25 Serbs --
1 Q. Okay. But --
2 A. -- from the Serbian state.
3 Q. -- in fact, you don't know who perpetrated this crime?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Okay. After the 24th of March, 1999, you mention here on your
6 map that you were generally living at the house you encircled as number 2
7 on the map. Did you stay to live at that house after the beginning of
8 the air-strikes?
9 A. No, I didn't. A friend of mine, a British diplomat, suggested to
10 me that it would be better that I didn't spend the night in my own house.
11 On the first night of the bombing, I slept in a house somewhere in the
12 centre of the town. We were told that the centre of the town was always
13 safer during the bombing because it was very difficult to bomb it. So we
14 were advised to avoid the peripheral areas, because it was more dangerous
15 for us to stay there.
16 Q. So you then stayed in the centre of the town. Did you stay there
17 until you left Pristina, or could you explain?
18 A. No. I honestly didn't expect that it would be that terrifying
19 immediately after the first night of the bombing. We could see through
20 the window terrible things out there. I spent that night there, and the
21 following morning at 9.00, I had organised a meeting with a journalist of
22 Koha e Ditore; but when I arrived there, the guard of Koha Ditore was
23 killed, all the computers were stolen, everything was emptied, and there
24 I saw uniformed policemen.
25 I asked him, Who was killed here? And they replied, Unidentified
1 forces killed a person who was guarding this company. And that same
2 night, the printing shop of our newspaper was burnt.
3 Q. Can I ask you for --
4 A. I just wanted to say that the bombing would lead to peaceful
5 negotiations shortly after. We didn't expect at all that this would
7 Q. I want to go back to what happened to your newspaper and its
8 staff. Could you give us the name of the guard who was killed?
9 A. No, I can't.
10 Q. No problem.
11 A. We refer to him with another name, uncle something, but I don't
12 remember his name right now.
13 Q. Do you know his ethnicity?
14 A. He was an Albanian, 57 or 58 years old. He had been working with
15 Koha Ditore as a guard from the time it was formed.
16 Q. Then you mentioned here:
17 "I asked, Who was killed here? And they replied, Unidentified
18 forces killed a person who was guarding this company."
19 Can you tell me, who replied to you?
20 A. There were policemen right at the entrance. They smelled of
21 rakija of alcohol. I guess they had finished up the alcohol we had in
22 our office for special occasions. I could see traces of blood. I guess
23 they had dragged the body of the guard; and I could see the traces of
25 Q. Okay. First of all, looking at this map again, could you
1 encircle the building where Koha Ditore was and where this killing
2 occurred, please.
3 MR. NEUNER: Can we a better marker for the witness? Yes,
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. And you marked a number 3 next to this. Thank you. To help us,
7 on what day did the crime of killing the guard and the destruction or
8 looting of the premises of Koha Ditore occur?
9 A. That would be between the 24th and 25th of March, sometime after
11 Q. Okay. Then you mentioned that you were moving around a little
12 bit. First you were in a house in the centre and then you moved further.
13 Could you, by marking the location in the centre with number 4, say where
14 you were first, after the war started?
15 A. This stall building here should be the one. I will mark it
16 with 4.
17 Q. And when did you leave that location to live somewhere else in
19 A. On the 27th. I spent two days there and returned to
20 Kodra e Diellit on the 27th, I think, though I cannot be accurate. I
21 returned to Kodra e Diellit here somewhere in this part at about 250
22 metres away from my home. I was staying with a friend of mine, a writer.
23 Q. You marked this location with a number 5.
24 When did you leave, finally, that location to go and leave the
25 town? I understand from your testimony.
1 A. This should be between the 29th, and I didn't leave but we were
2 staying in a basement. During the day we would stay in the apartment,
3 and during nights we would stay in basements because darkness was
5 On the 29th, I saw for the first time armed forces masked with
6 green overalls. This was the first time I saw numbers forces dressed in
7 green overalls. They were in the company of local policemen who were
8 familiar with the terrain and knew exactly who was what and which part of
9 the town was where. So these forces were in the company of a smaller
10 group of local policemen. The policemen were not wearing masks.
11 Q. And can you describe the uniforms worn by these policemen?
12 A. It was kind of a unique uniform. An overall, not on buttons, but
13 with a zipper from here to here. Then there was the green mask; you
14 could only see the eyes. And they moved in two lines. And at the end of
15 each line there were uniformed policemen. And they would usually stay 10
16 metres or so behind the people they were expelling.
17 Q. Okay. The overall was worn by policemen or was worn by the
18 paramilitaries? I'm a little bit unclear, I just want to clarify.
19 A. No, the policemen were wearing police uniforms, but they were few
20 in numbers. Whereas these other forces were wearing automatic -- another
21 form of automatic rifle. They were stouter. They were not of the
22 appearance of the usual police. They had round potted bellies. Not the
23 usual police, you know, figures.
24 Q. They had green overall -- they had green uniforms or whatever,
1 A. Yes, yes, one solid colour green.
2 Q. Okay. But I was asking you for the dress worn by the policemen
3 who were a few metres behind. Can you describe why you believe these
4 persons were policemen?
5 A. These persons were wearing blue uniforms, but in that case they
6 were wearing shirts, blue shirts, and a jacket. The usual police
7 uniforms you could see in police patrols in the city. They were
8 escorting these other forces that I mentioned wearing green uniform, but
9 they weren't giving any orders.
10 Q. Okay. What I'm interested in is looking at the clothes for a
11 second again. Are we talking about plain or camouflage police uniforms?
12 Are we talking -- about which colour are we talking?
13 A. We are talking of the usual police uniform that is one colour,
14 solid colour. Not camouflage. But I think they were very few in
15 numbers, maybe five.
16 Q. Which is the colour of the uniform they had, the plain uniform?
17 A. Dark blue.
18 Q. Okay. I want to show you now one document and then conclude.
19 I'm still leaving the map on the screen because I will use it in a moment
21 MR. NEUNER: Can we have, please, 65 ter number 407 on our
22 screens, and I need the second page right away, please.
23 Q. For your information, these are excerpts which have been taken
24 out of the so-called Blue Book from the Kosovo Verification Mission of
25 the OSCE and they all relate to Pristina.
1 MR. NEUNER: I may have given the wrong 65 ter number. It is
2 041 -- sorry, 0407.01. This is the wrong item here on our screens.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
4 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] The Defence will object to this
5 whole discussion about this evidence. First of all, we don't have the
6 source of the information presented in that book. Rather, there are some
7 numbers such as C08, C25, and so on and so forth. But I think one might
8 even debate the format of this Blue Book; therefore, we will be lodging
9 an objection in terms of this being admitted into evidence at this point,
10 unless, of course, the OTP can reveal the source of their information to
11 us which in turn might effect our own position. Thank you.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
13 Mr. Neuner.
14 MR. NEUNER: Yes, I am aware about this point, and all I can say
15 is that a witness who is coming next week, I don't know his exact name, I
16 think Drewienkiewicz.
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: DZ.
18 MR. NEUNER: General DZ, yes. He is in a perfect position to
19 explain how the information was assembled and put together. All I wanted
20 to do now is to show this witness some of the information gathered in the
21 time-period in which this witness was in Pristina. And since he was also
22 moving around, I thought that he may be in a position to confirm or
23 dismiss some of the information or make a general comments and add some
24 of his own observations to it.
25 I'm not -- I'm not intending to have this witness giving any
1 background about how this document was produced and so on. This would be
2 General Drewienkiewicz who is coming next week who could explain that in
3 more detail, Your Honours.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
7 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I apologize. Just very
8 briefly, Your Honours. I do believe that my learned friend Mr. Neuner
9 could ask his questions in relation to any information he wishes to
10 retrieve from the witness. Subjects that have not been raised in the
11 statement or in the witness's testimony before this Tribunal, if he can
12 obtain that from the witness then he doesn't even have to do what he has
13 been trying to do. Nevertheless, I gave you my reasons, and I think they
14 are valid reasons when it comes to documents such adds these when sources
15 are specifically stated.
16 Secondly, we are not sure about General Drewienkiewicz - I think
17 that's his real name - and he should be one of the next witnesses to
18 appear here in this court, that he will be able to confirm many things
19 before this Tribunal in terms of the source of the information in
20 relation to the documents that my learned friend has every intention of
21 sharing to the witness.
22 Thank you.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Neuner, what you propose is not altogether
24 clear to us, but presents some difficulties. It's one thing to have the
25 witness describe what he saw and perhaps then have it confirmed that
1 that's the same sort of thing that you find in this book. It's another
2 thing for this witness to be shown the book and say whether he can say
3 something like that occurred or not because that's clearly prompting the
4 witness to speak of things rather than he working on his recollection.
5 MR. NEUNER: Okay.
6 JUDGE PARKER: The book itself could not be admitted in evidence
7 until such time as somebody can speak about it making and reliability.
8 You anticipate that could be a witness next week.
9 MR. NEUNER: Yes, there will be. Simply --
10 JUDGE PARKER: It's not clear to us why you need to use the book
11 at this point.
12 MR. NEUNER: I wanted to use the book because this witness was in
13 Pristina himself and has moved around in this time-period after the war
14 broke out and has made certain observations. And he has already stated
15 to Your Honours that he saw, for example, that his own officers in
16 Kodra Ditore had been looted. And in this Blue Book, there's such
17 entries which refer to looting against the Albanian population or of
18 businesses of the Albanian population. And I just wanted to show that to
19 the witness to elicit whether he could confirm that or could dismiss it.
20 I thought I'm first giving him an opportunity to state what he
21 has observed, and after I laid this foundation that then the appropriate
22 time has come to show him a few of these more abstract entries.
23 One other entry also relates to the expulsion of the population
24 from an area where this witness has lived and where he has indicated on
25 the map that he was twice there in the relevant time-period from where he
1 finally left Pristina to go to Tetovo, so there is a direct connection
2 between the entries which I have selected and what the witness has
3 personally experienced. Maybe as a -- because he --
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Neuner, I think you are missing the point.
5 Why is it that the witness is not able to simply describe what he saw,
6 what he observed?
7 MR. NEUNER: Your Honours, I'm prepared not to show the book and
8 not to show the excerpts. An alternative could have been I'm showing him
9 the excerpts and wait for the entire book to be tendered next week, so we
10 have some comments now on the record. I don't need to mark it even for
11 identification, the excerpt, I could, but I don't have to. I can also
12 just go on, elicit a few more questions about what the witness
13 experienced, and then leave it there.
14 JUDGE PARKER: I think that might --
15 MR. NEUNER: It's an agreeable course.
16 JUDGE PARKER: -- be the best course --
17 MR. NEUNER: No problem.
18 JUDGE PARKER: -- and we'll hear from the witness what he
19 observed, what he understood, rather than him merely commenting on
20 somebody else's book.
21 MR. NEUNER: I'm, Your Honours, saying I will proceed as
22 suggested. Thank you.
23 Q. Mr. Haxhiu, I wanted to ask you a little bit about when did you
24 have to move from one place to another after the 24th of March, 1999, did
25 you move during the day, or did you move at other times?
1 JUDGE PARKER: This should be removed from the screen.
2 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Yes, that was my objection.
3 MR. NEUNER:
4 Q. Can you now answer the question, please.
5 A. At 9.30, after I found out about the murder of the guard of
6 Koha Ditore seeing that the situation was risky, that the war was
7 different from what we had thought about it, we left the centre. And as
8 we were instructed, we -- not to stay in one place, we kept moving from
9 one apartment to the other in Dardanija neighbourhood. On the 24th, we
10 stayed until the 26th when again I left for Kodra e Diellit to my
11 friend's house Taki Dervishi. So I stayed in Kodra e Diellit in another
12 part from where my house was.
13 Q. Who was the reason that you adopted this, if I may call it,
14 "policy" of not staying at one place but rather moving around constantly,
15 staying at different places over night?
16 A. Between the 24th and 25th, my lawyer was killed, his name was
17 Bajram Kelmendi, together with his sons, one under 18, and the other a
18 grownup. Lawyer Bajram Kelmendi was my attorney in respect to an article
19 in the newspaper on the -- a trial was held on the 21st, even though it
20 was a Sunday, but that was how it was done then. The fact that he was
21 killed and also the fact that our foreign diplomat friends advised us not
22 to remain in one place made us move from one place to another.
23 Q. Okay. Can I first of all clarify, the 21st, you said, when the
24 trial was. Are we talking about which month and year, please?
25 A. Three days before the bombing. It was in that extraordinary
1 trial which was held on Sunday, I was sentenced to a fine of
2 300.000 dinars which was quite a huge amount of money then. I don't know
3 what it would be like now.
4 Q. For what crime or offence, if I may ask?
5 A. For publishing an article in the newspaper, a communique or a
6 normal communique. We had been publishing them regularly until then,
7 which we received from the KLA. A communique was an official one, it was
8 published also by the Serb media outlets. I think that was not the real
9 reason, because we had been doing that for months. But that was a
10 pretext in order to strike at us.
11 And the trial was held at 4.00 in the afternoon of a Sunday. It
12 was hard for them to find an interpreter, to find a Serb judge, to find
13 the investigating judge, so they had it ready, the trial was ready to
14 start at 4.00. And we had to remain in the court building all day,
15 together with Bajram Kelmendi and the managing director, Luan Dubroshi.
16 Q. So Mr. Kelmendi was defending you on that occasion?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you tell us in front of which court he was defending you?
19 A. In the communal court of Prishtina, municipal court.
20 Q. And you say three days after that trial he was killed. Can you,
21 by looking at the map next to you, indicate where the location of his
22 killing was?
23 A. I know where he was -- a place where he was taken from, but I
24 don't know exactly the place where he was killed.
25 Q. Then if you could encircle the place where he was taken from, and
1 mark a 6 next to this, please.
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. Thank you. Did you learn about the perpetrators who did this?
4 A. After many years now, it is a known fact who the perpetrators
5 were. They were police and the secret service people who took him and
6 killed him in the middle of the road. Now, in this place, there is a gas
7 station, and there is also a monument erected to them at the exit of
9 Q. And why do you say it's a known fact that the police and secret
10 service people did it?
11 A. Because this was certified also by the counsel for the protection
12 of human rights and freedom, also the organisation led by Natasha Kandic
13 in Belgrade, and his spouse who carried on a kind of investigation of the
14 people who committed that crime.
15 Q. Was there an official confirmation?
16 A. Of course there will never be any official confirmation, but
17 researchers showed who the perpetrators were both for Mr. Agani and
18 Kelmendi. Mr. Kelmendi was also --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Correction.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- Mr. Agani was also the drafter
21 of the file for genocide against Mr. Milosevic and the Serbian state,
22 which, I think, has been submitted also to the Tribunal here in
23 The Hague.
24 Q. Can you tell us, when was Mr. Agani killed?
25 A. Mr. Agani was killed in May, at the end of April or beginning of
1 May 1999. He was made to get off the train towards Macedonia, was taken
2 to a police station, and was killed -- was shot with two bullets.
3 Q. But you yourself didn't see this, you have heard this?
4 A. No. At the time I was in Macedonia, and I went there about a
5 month before he was killed.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. But it is a common fact that in the case of Agani it was
8 acknowledged that his murder was something done by people who did not
9 belong to an institution.
10 Q. You say "it was acknowledged." Who acknowledged anything?
11 A. It was acknowledged in a way, let's say, to his family, to the
12 officials; and I believe that soon there will be a trial regarding that
13 murder. But for the moment, there isn't any official statement on the
14 murder. The name is not public knowledge, but people more or less --
15 there is a guess, not a guess but it's a fact who is known who murder is,
16 but it's not acknowledged publicly.
17 Q. Was there an indictment issued already?
18 A. There is an ongoing process underway because it is known who the
19 murderer was now after so many years have passed.
20 Q. So are you sure there was an indictment or not?
21 A. No, there isn't until this moment, but it exists.
22 Q. I want to take you a little bit to the reasons why you finally
23 left Pristina at the end of March 1999. Could you tell me, what was the
24 main reason that you left your hiding place, if I may call it, at the end
25 of March and proceeded with the car, as you have testified, to leave
2 A. In Kodra e Diellit neighbourhood, there are about 120.000
3 inhabitants and there are three parts in this neighbourhood. At least at
4 that time there were three sections or parts in the neighbourhood because
5 now it's become greater. At the end of this neighbourhood where there
6 are white coloured buildings, the first deportation started. And when
7 people were coming from the other parts, they came to the
8 Kodra e Diellit -- to the centre of Kodra e Diellit or the middle part of
9 it. There is a parking-lot, a large parking-lot there, and people were
10 walking, and behind them were uniformed people, the ones I mentioned
11 earlier, those wearing green uniforms.
12 When they came to our buildings, they gave the order that within
13 five minutes all the people, the inhabitants, should leave their
14 apartments. And we went down and joined that large group of people. And
15 they also ordered a policeman and one of those persons wearing green
16 uniforms to see if there was any inhabitants left.
17 After that, they also ordered that the people who owned cars
18 should get their cars and leave in the direction of Macedonia. Those who
19 didn't, should go in the direction of the train station in Fushe Kosova.
20 And they allowed us to go in two different directions: to Macedonia and
21 to Albania.
22 On the road in every check-point there was an armoured car manned
23 by soldiers who didn't allow us to go in another direction but only in
24 the indicated direction until the main road leading towards Macedonia.
25 Along the main road in every check-point there were also policemen and
1 armoured cars and the road was checked up to the border with Macedonia,
2 it was under their control.
3 Q. A few final questions before we break. Did you see the persons
4 who were ordering the building where you were at the time in Pristina,
5 did you see these persons ordering that people had to leave? Did you
6 hear them ordering?
7 A. The policemen didn't speak, they simply were escorting us. This
8 was one, a pot bellied one, who ordered in a loud voice -- gave this
9 order in a loud voice that all people should leave their houses. And he
10 was wearing a mask and he was wearing a uniform. I saw them with my own
11 eyes because they were not far from where I was. You could see that
12 their accent was not the usual Serb accent from Kosova.
13 Q. The person you were just describing who has ordered, was he a
14 policemen or was he rather a member of this green uniform group with
16 A. He was one of these green uniform group.
17 Q. Then you mentioned that everybody had to assemble at a
18 parking-lot. Would you find the parking-lot here on your map which you
19 have drawn?
20 A. No. They didn't give the order for us to gather to this
21 parking-lot, but the people simply got there, assembled there, because it
22 was a clean area, open area. Then they gave the order for us to leave
23 either in cars or to walk. This must be the parking-lot that I
25 Q. Thank you. You've marked a number 7 next to the bigger circle.
1 And then you were proceeding -- okay, first of all, how many people did
2 you see at this parking-lot marked with number 7?
3 A. Many. There were many people. Maybe about 20.000. I couldn't
4 give you an accurate figure. But while we were staying in that
5 parking-lot, we saw people walking in a street higher up leaving the
6 city. They had also been ordered to leave, and we could see them walking
7 above us. But the convoy of cars was kilometres long. Many kilometres
9 Q. Who gave the persons gathering at the parking-lot the order to
11 A. The same person. He simply said, Leave now. That was all he
13 Q. And along the way in Pristina, what was your impression -- who
14 controlled the traffic that day at the end of March 1999 when you were
15 leaving Pristina?
16 A. Inside the city there were police armoured vehicles. Outside the
17 city there were military armoured vehicles and other vehicles.
18 Q. Did you come across, leaving Pristina that day, any police
20 A. All the cars were -- most of them were stopped by the policemen
21 who were stationed all over the road at everyone check-point. There were
22 police and soldiers. They were, for example, telling the cars that you
23 could drive only 20, 30, kilometres per hour. And they stopped the cars
24 and asked them about the money they had on them. And if they had
25 300 marks. In my case, I gave about 200 marks to them because I was with
1 my -- with another family I got on the way, we were five of us in our
3 MR. NEUNER: Your Honours, I note the time, I would seek to
4 tender that annotated map, 65 ter number 13. And then the Prosecution
5 would have no further questions at this point.
6 JUDGE PARKER: The map will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P995, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE PARKER: We must now have our first break. We will resume
9 at 5 minutes past 11.00 to continue your evidence. A court officer will
10 assist you on the break.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
14 [The witness takes the stand]
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic has some questions for you now.
16 THE WITNESS: Okay.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Djordjevic:
18 Q. Mr. Haxhiu, good morning.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. My name is Dragoljub Djordjevic. I appear on behalf of the
21 accused in this case. I will have some questions of you, as you were
22 told by the presiding Judge, in order to try and clarify some important
23 issues having to do with the events you testified to today as well as in
24 some related cases. I will see to it that my examination develops in
25 such a way so as to have it completed today in order for you not to have
1 to stay until tomorrow.
2 What is your formal educational background, Mr. Haxhiu? Which
3 schools did you complete?
4 A. Faculty of law.
5 Q. In your statement from 2001 you said that you had a law degree
6 and that at the state university that was your core subject in 1991;
7 however, your diploma was issued by a parallel university in 1992. Am I
8 correct in saying that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you. I wanted to caution you about the breaks since we
11 speak different languages.
12 A. Do you want me to speak Serbian?
13 Q. No, you can go on in Albanian. I just wanted to warn you about
14 the pauses that I make. Mr. Haxhiu, let's clear up another thing which
15 was unclear from your statement. I believe it was paragraph 7 of your
16 statement, both pages 2 and 3, wherein you say that the first diplomas of
17 the parallel university were being issued in 1996 and 1997 for the first
18 time to their students. You said that you received your law degree or
19 law diploma in 1992 at the parallel university. Can you explain what it
20 was all about since the first diplomas apparently were being issued as
21 early as 1996?
22 A. When I started my studies -- I started my studies in the public
23 university, the state-owned university. And the regular lectures, I
24 completed them in 1989. There were some exams to go through of the
25 fourth year. After that, the so-called process of the breaking up of the
1 Kosova education system started, and we were evicted, as it were, from
2 the state system and we started the parallel university, and the parallel
4 So there were a number of exams, outstanding exams, which were to
5 be completed and were completed in the private parallel university. So
6 the first degrees were issued in 1992. The first generation of students
7 in the parallel system started in 1992. It was then called the parallel
8 educational system in Kosova. That's the situation.
9 Q. You will agree with me, therefore, that the parallel university
10 from which your degree comes, in a way honoured all of your exams
11 previously taken at the state university, you only had to make up for the
12 exams you never took, that is to say, the final year?
13 A. Yes, that's correct. Because all the professorship and the
14 administration, the Albanian stuff, moved to the administration of the
15 parallel university.
16 Q. Mr. Haxhiu, one other question on that topic. Since you studied
17 at this state university, were you in a position to have your lectures in
18 the Albanian language as well as to take exams in that same language?
19 Were you entitled to that?
20 A. Yes, of course. I was a regular student, and I took my exams in
22 Q. Thank you. From the numerous statements you gave, be it to the
23 Tribunal or its investigators, I gathered that you understand and speak
24 the English language very well. My question for you is, where did you
25 learn the English language so well?
1 A. At school where we were taught English, but we also -- we also
2 had the books and tapes which I bought, part in Belgrade and part in
3 Zagreb. That was an English teaching method. There were no Albanian
4 textbooks for this purpose. There were different ways of learning
5 English, but mainly we bought those books either in Belgrade or in
7 Q. Based on everything I could see in your statements, I also
8 concluded that while you were a journalist and activist fighting for the
9 rights of the Albanian population in Kosovo, you frequently had contacts
10 with diplomatic representatives. They were primarily focused on
11 establishing liaison with the KLA. First of all, in the course of such
12 contacts, were you known under a certain nickname or a code-name?
13 A. I don't know what you are talking about.
14 Q. I mean a nickname.
15 A. No.
16 Q. I will explain why I asked you that. There is a mention of a
17 journalist in international journalistic circles, his name was Lum or
18 Liu Haxhiu. I wanted know whether that person might not be you?
19 A. No, no. Lum Haxhiu was a fighter of the KLA and has no
20 connection to myself or my family. And he lived and still lives in the
21 Ferizaj area. He has never been a journalist. He came from Switzerland,
22 and he became a KLA fighter. I don't know what his name is. I can't
23 remember his name at the moment, but as far as I know, if I'm not
24 mistaken, he is an MP in the Kosova parliament.
25 Q. Since it is not the same person as you, then it no longer
2 My next question on the general topics is this: Did you
3 participate together with Mr. Haradinaj in the founding of the Albanian
4 movement in Macedonia called "Ana"?
5 A. Never, never in my life have I taken part in the foundation of
6 any organisation. My only profession has been and is journalism. I've
7 never been part of any political party or organisation and have never
8 taken part in the formation of any organisation, not a single one.
9 Q. I'm glad to have cleared that up, therefore I will no longer put
10 questions to you in that regard.
11 Mr. Haxhiu, you are a journalist, but you are also a fellow
12 lawyer. I'm not going to ask you about law since obviously your life
13 developed in a different direction, but I wanted to ask you something
14 about your 2001 statement. Do you recall having given that statement to
15 a certain gentleman by the name of Fred Abrahams, the other person was
16 Jonathan Sutch they told you they were investigators of
17 The Hague Tribunal. I refer to your 2001 statement.
18 A. Yes, I gave the statement in my house for only one reason because
19 I trusted Fred Abrahams because I knew him before and I've known him for
20 a long time.
21 Q. He was there as an investigator of this Tribunal, although you
22 are telling us that you had known him from before. Can you explain to us
23 the background of your relationship, of your acquaintance with
24 Mr. Abrahams?
25 A. In fact, as an investigator, it was Mr. Sutch who presented
1 himself as an investigator. I knew Fred Abrahams for years from his
2 activity in the Balkans. He was a representative of Human Rights Watch
3 starting from 1994/1995 when I first knew him during his visit to
4 Prishtina. Whenever he came to Prishtina, he was a guest of the Koha
6 Q. You say that you provided that statement in your house; is that
7 correct? In 2001?
8 A. Yes. We established contact in my office, but then we -- I gave
9 my statement in the calm of my own house.
10 Q. As far as I recall, the interview was, A, tape recorded, and, B,
11 conducted in English; am I correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. In the days following the day of your statement, the witness was
14 brought -- the statement was brought back to you for you to review it and
15 sign it. Who brought it to you?
16 A. The statement was recorded, then it was transcribed; and I read
17 the transcript, and I confirmed that it was my statement.
18 Q. Thank you. Briefly we'll have to go back to 1991 since you
19 referred to that year on a number of occasions in your statements. You
20 also mentioned the fact that the Serb authorities abolished all Albanian
21 language instruction. This is a general assertion that one comes across
22 in several of your statements, eventually leading in different
24 My question is this: 1991 was the year following the new Serbian
25 constitution which was passed in 1990. The constitution mentions the use
1 of minority languages, but that year and in the years preceding that, a
2 law was passed on the official use of language. There were also laws on
3 the elementary, secondary, and higher degree education, which also
4 partially referred to the rights of the minorities living in the
5 territory of the FRY and Serbia, as well as the autonomous province of
6 Kosovo and Metohija, as it is called, in the 1990 constitution.
7 Having in mind all of those legal documents, would you agree with
8 me that the use of minority languages is allowed in education, if you can
9 answer that question of mine?
10 If so, perhaps I can put an additional question right away, since
11 I can see that you are following quite well what I'm saying, and it
12 directly relates to the first question. It has to do with the curricula
13 in use in the educational system.
14 Was the curriculum the basic point of contention between the
15 Serbs and Albanians in your view?
16 A. One sentence I'd like to answer, the whole problem started with
17 the constitutional changes in 1989. The main problem in Kosova bears the
18 date of 23rd of March, 1989, when the constitution was changed.
19 To return to your question, what you are presenting and the
20 reality in Kosova, there is a discrepancy between the two. A population
21 which had the Albanian language as the official one, the official
22 language of teaching, becomes a language of a province. It was being
23 dictated to the population as a second or third language, unimportant.
24 On the basis of this principle, in 1991, the reality was
25 different. The schools were divided into schools for the Serbs and
1 schools for the Albanians; and this created a reality of division which
2 was painful, which was brutal, because -- because the elementary school
3 pupils were divided by a wall. There was no communication between them.
4 The fact that it happened showed that the reality on paper and the
5 reality on the ground were two completely different things. And you who
6 have been away from Kosova in Belgrade, you did not -- you do not know
7 the reality on the ground in Kosova.
8 That is why we cannot talk about papers, the reality on paper.
9 And the constitutional changes then. We can speak about a reality which
10 was completely different from what was approved of in the constitution.
11 But the key to all -- everything that followed is the changes in the
12 constitution. It wasn't a semantical problem, but it was an issue of the
13 brutally intervention -- brutal intervention in the life of the Kosovars.
14 If I may say, the feeling among the population of Kosova after
15 these changes, it was -- it was the feeling created among the population
16 of the brutality of the police and the military, and that was also
17 deduced from how they had behaved in Croatia and Bosnia. There was no
18 need for brutality because the divisions that were created were a bit
19 strange and unacceptable for a state, for a country, which wants to
20 develop as one.
21 The arrogance of the Serbian state was expressed on the kids, on
22 schools, on the institutions. And the bottom line is that the difference
23 between the reality on paper and the reality on the ground was huge. And
24 if I could tell you that if anyone deserves credit for the independence
25 of Kosova, it's not the Albanians who deserve it, it's the arrogance and
1 the brutality of the Serbs. The independence was a product of the
2 toughness and brutality of the Serbian regime. It was a product of the
3 state which did not consider the Albanians as its own citizens.
4 And the person who was sitting behind you, Mr. Djordjevic, should
5 know better this situation because the independence of Kosova is also
6 partly due to his behaviour because they considered the Albanians not as
7 their own citizens, the authorities in Serbia, I mean.
8 Q. I believe I have to surprise you by saying that I agree with a
9 great deal of what you said, the only thing I would hold against you is
10 mentioning my client, since as a lawyer, you know of the principle of
11 presumption of innocence. Hence, Mr. Djordjevic is here to see whether
12 he is guilty or not. Therefore, I will not develop that topic further.
13 A. Because I do not know Mr. Djordjevic or I never heard of him
14 before, but simply because he was part of the state structures.
15 Q. There will be questions to that effect as well, but let's go back
16 to the point concerning which I agree with you. The 1989 constitutional
17 changes was the thing which in the minds of most intellectuals in Kosovo
18 was what changed the situation on the grounds. Basically the situation
19 was changed de facto and de jure. It wasn't different to what was in the
20 constitution. It did do away with a certain degree of autonomy in Kosovo
21 which had existed in the previous constitution often referred to the 1974
22 constitution, the communist one.
23 We would agree that the Albanian population was not happy even
24 with that constitution, but under that constitution, it enjoyed greater
25 rights than under the 1989 constitution, which when implemented, provoked
1 the reaction. That's why I said we agree on that.
2 My next question has to do with the school curriculum which is
3 something that you failed to mention. I don't remember any longer
4 whether it was 1990 or 1991 but --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 1991 or 1992.
6 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. -- when there was some discussion of the textbooks purchased in
8 Albania proper in the bilingual schools. The Serb authorities had
9 nothing to do with the way natural sciences or math was dealt with in
10 those textbooks, these are objective sciences much as physics or biology.
11 But when it comes to history and geography, one could come across certain
12 maps showing greater Albania. Do you recall that? Do you recall the
13 textbooks and the discussion which ensued indicating the existence of
14 such maps that was carried by certain electronic media?
15 A. It is difficult for me to interpret -- translate in my head in
16 the different languages, let's speed things up. First of all, you know
17 the declaration of the Albanian parties in 1990 and the principle of
18 Kosovo republic within a federation or confederation. As for the
19 textbooks, perhaps there may have been certain incidences or occurrences.
20 But to take textbooks from Albania at that time would have been a crazy
21 thing. It was no -- it was not necessary.
22 In the 1990s, we had staff, we had people who could produce sound
23 textbooks. The problem is not the curriculum, but the problem was in the
24 population. What was it that the Republic of Serbia and Milosevic were
25 trying to do? The fact is that they did not see the Albanians as their
1 citizens. That was the core of the problem. The school curriculum and
2 curricula in general were not at that core of that problem. The problem
3 was that the state abolished certain freedoms in 1989 and 1990 and that
4 was done by virtue of taxes.
5 As Derida [phoen] would say, you never know when one ends up
6 because you start with something and it keeps rolling. That was the main
7 problem in the eyes of the citizens of Kosovo.
8 You said that some people wanted more. Of course in Serbia there
9 were people like that. In Croatia as well. There are always people who
10 want more. But there was the political party agenda or platform which
11 was in existence in 1990, and that platform was against confederation, or
12 in the state destroyed the idea of a civic state. That is the nucleus of
13 the problem that that political system had.
14 I'm positive that that group -- that group is something that
15 caused everything that followed resulting in the eventual independence of
16 Kosova. That was basically the gist of the problem. It's not the
17 education or the curricula, it's the civil rights that were at hand.
18 Q. I'm ready to accept that. What I believe is important to say at
19 this point is that the Albanian political programs and, to use your own
20 wording when you say some people wanted something or more, i.e., they
21 wanted a republic of Kosovo or an independent Kosovo, that request has
22 been with us as of 1980s?
23 A. So what?
24 Q. So nothing. I'm just saying it's been with us since the 1980s.
25 A. Does one have to wage a war over that?
1 Q. You will agree with me that that request was in place as of the
2 1980s. My question concerning that is: Did any representatives or the
3 Albanian population in general - in the course of their demonstrations in
4 the 1980s or say, 1997, in the course of the student demonstrations or
5 civil demonstrations, any demonstrations for that matter in Kosovo - did
6 they ever want to go below the bench-mark they set? And you mentioned on
7 that afternoon when you sat down with the representatives of the security
8 service, the request being a republic of Kosovo or an independent Kosovo.
9 A. Believe me, that was back in 1989 and 1990, none of the Albanian
10 parties - and I mean those who knew what powers the Republic of Serbia or
11 the army of the Republic of Yugoslavia had - did not go for the maximum.
12 It was clear what it would mean to have independent Kosova. Independent
13 Kosova would mean splitting Kosova down the middle losing everything that
14 you had previously created. Therefore, we knew what had the maximum
15 claims might be. Nevertheless, there were people in Belgrade who thought
16 differently and this is what happened.
17 Q. My next question, your principle statement in 2001 -- that's the
18 one I'm talking about when your friend Abrahams, your acquaintance, came
19 to see you as well as Mr. Jonathan Sutch. Did he express any misgivings
20 concerning the policy pursued by the DSK party headed from the Serbian
21 viewpoints at the time by Mr. Ibrahim Rugova, he was the party president,
22 wasn't he. As far as I know, you said that his political goals were to
23 achieve everything by peaceful means without a war, almost Gandhi-like.
24 And that was his method of achieving the political goals of the
25 Albanian people. I don't agree with that, but I'd still like to know
1 what exactly you wanted to say.
2 A. Let's put it this way, after Dayton, Serbia displayed such a
3 degree of arrogance towards Kosovo and the Albanians in Kosova that they
4 failed to mention Kosova as a problem at all, they ignored the whole
5 situation as much as they could. And that is why Rugova was entirely
6 powerless following Dayton.
7 In Serbia, they weren't willing to have a peaceful process to try
8 and achieve peace. They all believed they were fully in control over the
9 Albanians, they were controlling all the businesses and everything. One
10 thing they forgot was people needed jobs, people needed employment.
11 In 1997, when the first generation of university students
12 graduated in the parallel system, Serbia refused to recognise their
13 diplomas, so what were those people supposed to do? Go abroad or wage
14 war; there was no other choice. Life was far too dynamic for those young
15 people to be able to afford to stand there and then listen to someone
16 from Belgrade.
17 The police, the Serbian services in Kosovo, were entirely
18 corrupted. Those who were sitting there in some virtual way held sway
19 over Kosovo, but the reality on the ground was brutal. That is why the
20 president, Ibrahim Rugova, after Dayton was politically dead. It was
21 only a matter of time when something would start happening.
22 Why had nothing happened up to Dayton? Everything had been fully
23 under control. The expectations were that Serbia would come to its wits,
24 after Bosnia and after Croatia in a political sense and that an opening
25 would be found for peace. Stanisic himself said it. I don't have the
1 power, someone else has the power to restore peace. Milosevic is the
2 man, with his wife and another person whose name I can't remember.
3 Hence, in 1997 we knew where the red line was. There was no way anyone
4 could try and artificially affect the situation in Kosovo any more.
5 In 1996 there was the intermediation effort, meaning San Egidio,
6 they wanted to sign an agreement for people to go back to their
7 buildings, the schools. But they didn't. They opened a single institute
8 yet all of the other buildings remained closed.
9 What you say -- what there was on paper and the actual brutal
10 reality the brutality on the ground were two different things. And
11 that's why the war came about. And that's why what happened after 1997
12 eventually materialised.
13 Q. Speaking of persons who had a role to play, you mentioned
14 Milosevic, you mentioned the late president of Kosovo, Rugova. I would
15 like to make a reference here to probably the richest Albanian
16 Mr. Bakalli do you not believe that he too was a man who indirectly,
17 through the Russians, joined forces with the Serbs against Albanian
18 interests? Can you please briefly explain.
19 A. Pacolli came from Moscow via Milosevic to make an offer, and he
20 offered something that was not feasible. He was offering the same thing
21 that Serbia had actually abolished back in 1989. This wasn't a realistic
22 thing. Bakalli himself met Milosevic in February 1998 in his own home,
23 as a matter of fact, in Belgrade.
24 Q. Let us go back to Bakalli; that is what I'm trying to get you to
25 tell me about. What he was offering was a return to the level of
1 autonomy prior to 1998 and 1999, wasn't it?
2 A. No. Listen, as far as the political project was concerned, it
3 was about details. He was offering something that was unacceptable. In
4 1998 it was too late. There were people there. The KLA were already in
5 the woods. There were over 25.000 persons who were armed. It was too
6 late for an effort like that.
7 Q. Indeed. Nevertheless, it wasn't the KLA that were in charge of
8 everything. The KLA and its political leaders, not the military leaders,
9 were not involved in that.
10 A. It was impossible, no one really accepted them as leaders. The
11 first contacts came as late as May 1998. It was too late. It was too
12 late for any agreements. We were tabling an offer for a peace project.
13 We -- they even wanted today second some of our even people, six of them
14 as a matter of fact, we offered intermediaries. We had it all out on the
15 table and they threw it all away.
16 Q. I'm not going into that. I know what Serbia's position was at
17 the time, and you are entirely right. The mediators were unacceptable in
18 view of Serbia's policy at the time. Those were diplomats who Serbia saw
19 as being in the service of the Kosovar and Albanian interest alone. So
20 that was the reason for their refusal.
21 A. It wasn't about Albanian interest, it was about violations of
22 human rights. What does that have to do with Albanian interests?
23 Q. Call it what you like, I know they weren't acceptable candidates.
24 I'm trying not to waste any time, and I'm trying to avoid you having to
25 stay here tomorrow.
1 A. Fair enough.
2 Q. My next question. Mr. Bujar Bukoshi, he was frequently in touch
3 with you and you often went to see him in Germany, Switzerland, something
4 like that?
5 A. Yes, a total of three meetings.
6 Q. Who is Bujar Bukosi and why Bujar Bukosi?
7 A. What do you mean "why"?
8 Q. With you.
9 A. Oh why, with me. Oh yes. At the time, he was Kosovar's
10 prime minister in exile. As far as an illegal points of concern, you
11 should ask him.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: One speaker at a time,
13 please. Thank you.
14 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. You say you were arrested today, but you say --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: One speaker at a time,
17 please, thank you.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic and Mr. Haxhiu, we are translating
19 into a number of languages and you are speaking together in direct
20 conversation and not allowing time for the process to catch up to you.
21 Therefore, we are not getting down on the transcript all that should be.
22 If you could each try to pause before you come in --
23 MR. DJORDJEVIC: I have a suggestion, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: You should take your ear phone and listen in
1 English and when it stop, we can continue.
2 JUDGE PARKER: That might work, yes, but I think both of you need
3 to be aware of the problem.
4 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Can we continue in B/C/S then? Bujar Bukoshi.
6 You invited him after, as you said, several interviews; you were called
7 for interviews, they would hold you for two hours, then you would go
8 away. You said [indiscernible] today, I don't think there was any ill
9 intent on your part, maybe it was just the way it felt for you at the
10 time. Why did you call Bujar Bukoshi and not, for example, Kosovar's
11 president Mr. Rugova or both?
12 A. If you read my statement properly, I sent the letter to
13 Mr. Rugova but not to Mr. Bukoshi because it was dangerous, risky, to
14 send letters; therefore, I contacted him personally in Switzerland. In
15 the letter, I explained in detail the problem to Mr. Rugova. But I felt
16 more confident, I mean, I had great ties with Mr. Bukoshi and Mr. Agani
17 because of past relations.
18 Q. Why were you the choice of the Serb security forces? Why not
19 president Rugova or Mr. Bukoshi for that matter? Why did they choose
20 you? What did you mean to them at the time? What was the reason that
21 the leadership of the security service or the security agency, BIA - that
22 was what they were called at the time - contacted you as opposed to any
23 officials, if obviously they were after negotiations? What was it that
24 they knew about you that made you a good choice in their eyes, a good
25 source of information, and why did they ask to meet you?
1 A. They didn't choose me; but when I was arrested, it was me who
2 said the time has come for us to engage in a dialogue, and that the way
3 you have chosen would lead us to war. They said, Who can build this
4 dialogue? And I mentioned some names. And they said, Can we have a
5 meeting so that we start this thing? I said, Yes, but we are rather
6 late, I said. I'm an open-minded person, I don't have -- I don't suffer
7 from the idea of Balkan conspiracy. Therefore it was a very
8 straightforward dialogue.
9 When I was arrested, I said, Today you maltreated me, but I think
10 this course will lead to war and that it is high time we engage in
11 dialogue to discuss concrete political issues. Because even as it is, we
12 are rather late. It was not they who chose me, but it was me who came up
13 with this idea curing my arrest.
14 And they asked me, Can you do this? And I proposed Bakalli and
15 Mr. Agani; it is as simple as that. And so two meetings took place, and
16 that was it. I didn't contact them again, neither did they contact me
18 The situation was a dramatic one, a settlement had to be found,
19 when the Serbs saw that they erred with the students, when they
20 maltreated them, the situation developed in a dramatic way. So they were
21 after a rapid solution. They saw that they no longer controlled the
22 situation so there is no conspiracy at stake at all.
23 Q. That's not what I had in mind. What I meant was any political
24 status that you may have enjoyed at the time, any relations that you may
25 have and obtained with certain persons. Perhaps something that I haven't
1 brought up so far. That's what I was asking about. But now you've
2 explained that.
3 My next question. The first meeting that came about, you said
4 Mr. Gajic was there, Mr. Hadjic too, you were there, Mr. Bakalli. Are
5 you certain, personally, about the identities of those persons that their
6 names were Hadjic, Gajic, that they held the positions that they said
7 they held? Were you certain about their identities under those people
8 were legal and authorised representatives of that service or agency? Did
9 you perhaps ask any additional questions later on in order to find out
10 who it was that you had been talking to?
11 A. I thought that they were who they were because Zoran Stijovic was
12 also present at the meeting. And I saw Mr. Gajic in a photo later or
13 newspapers when he gave interviews on the situation of Kosova. But I
14 never saw Mr. Hadjic again after that. Therefore, I cannot say whether
15 that was his true identity. But that was how he introduced himself, and
16 I took note of his name in my notebook. Because I wanted to be accurate
17 in what was going on. I didn't want any misinterpretation. I took down
18 everything single word they said. They didn't take any notes.
19 I may suppose as Mr. Bakalli said later, maybe they had
20 microphones and maybe they recorded everything, but I personally wrote
21 down every single word that was said at that meeting.
22 Q. Up until the moment you were interviewed and then you said "its
23 high time we engage in a dialogue," in negotiations, and some time
24 elapsed before the meeting occurred, quite some time in fact. At that
25 point in time, did you get in touch with anyone or try to get anyone
1 organised, apart from Bakalli, in order to agree what the platform, what
2 the position would be should it ever come to a meeting like that? Or was
3 it more of an improvised thing going on that night?
4 A. The proposal I made during my arrest, I never thought it would be
5 taken seriously, to be frank with you. And I didn't think they would
6 summon us, but they called us after a long time when the -- probably when
7 the situation grew very exacerbated and they wanted to find a way out of
8 it. We didn't have any contacts, I didn't receive any calls from them,
10 Q. We'll be going back to that at a later stage. Which dates do you
11 see as the date the KLA came into existence?
12 A. Do you want it in the context of historical development or the
13 patriotic context? Because we had to do with different realities. A
14 wishful reality and the factual reality.
15 Q. I want to know about the KLA.
16 A. In real terms, the KLA came into existence after the events of
17 the 1st of October. And the brutal approach used against the students.
18 1st of October, 1997. Everything that happened before consisted of
19 individual efforts, but the armed resistance which was related to the KLA
20 because due to absence of any other solutions came after the
21 intervention, brutal intervention, by the police of the 1st of October.
22 But it became more massive after the killing of the Jashari family in
23 March 1992 --
24 THE INTERPRETER: 1998. Correction.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- when everybody wanted to take up
1 arms because they could take it no longer.
2 Q. Nevertheless, if we look at these statements, we find you saying
3 this: You were aware of the entire negative aspect of the story
4 involving the establishment of KLA and their actives in the area. And
5 you even went as far as to say that you deliberately misinterpreted some
6 bits at some meetings in Malisevo, perhaps they talked about the idea of
7 a greater Albania and you left that out because you knew that that would
8 cause a lot of negative commotion among the international players.
9 I understand your position, you're a Kosovar Albanian and a
10 patriot. Nevertheless, what I would like you to share with us is this.
11 I'm not talking about your perspective, I'm talking about you in your
12 capacity as a journalist. What was this negative context in which the
13 KLA was involved among the international players present there at the
14 beginning? Could you please comments on that.
15 A. They were entirely unknown, nobody knew who they were. At the
16 beginning, we really thought they were ex-military from the
17 Yugoslav Army. But when we realised that they were young people, young
18 boys who had just graduated from the parallel universities, we realised
19 that the situation was out of control, that it was a matter of venting
20 out their pent-up hatred against what the Serbs had done to them in the
21 last years. And all these young people, when I saw them, personally saw
22 them, I was really taken aback at what I saw. That's why when I
23 interpreted, I tried to be rational and not be effected by the
24 irrationality of the time.
25 Imagine if I interpreted to the international representatives the
1 concept of the greater Albania. How to explain it to someone from the
2 KLA. At that time, I wrote an article, a very strong article, against
3 such an idea which I considered dangerous. For us, it was a matter of
4 survival, and not of grand political projects that for the moment were
5 more than an illusion.
6 I'm telling you that there were people who "helped" us, assisted
7 us, with their arrogance; and what is described, if I might say,
8 dishonest policy which originated in Belgrade. The best way to put it
9 would be: Look, people, they know not what they do.
10 And I think that they didn't know what they were doing.
11 Q. You were a journalist with the Bota e Re; right?
12 A. In 1988 I started my internship in Bota e Re newspaper, a student
13 newspaper. That is where I started to learn journalism.
14 Q. What about 1997 and 1998, working as editor in Koha e Ditore?
15 A. In 1997 we founded the Koha Ditore newspaper. At that time it
16 was called Koha Javore, weekly time.
17 Q. I assume that in your capacity at editor you're monitoring all
18 the electronic and the printed media in Kosovo at the time including
19 Bota e Re.
20 A. At the time, Bota e Re didn't exist as a newspaper. It was
21 closed down in 1990 by Rrahman Morina and the former regime. Also the
22 front cover page which showed three overturned chairs when we asked the
23 resignation of these three persons. Kole Shiroka, Rrahman Morina --
24 THE INTERPRETER: And the third, I didn't get the name. The
25 interpreter did not understand the name of the third person you
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ali Shukrije.
3 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Sir, Adrian Krasniqi, does that name ring a bell?
5 A. I knew his name because I published it in my newspaper, it is
6 said that he organised an action somewhere in the vicinity of Decan, but
7 I never met him in person, and I don't know who he is. I only know that
8 as the people say now, he was one of the first members of the armed
9 group. If I recall right, his action was organised in 1993 or 1994.
10 I couldn't be accurate.
11 Q. Are you aware of the fact that his photograph was published in a
12 magazine wearing a military uniform with KLA insignia? It couldn't
13 possibly have been in 1993, there was no KLA around in 1993. The
14 magazine published his photograph carrying a hand-held rocket launcher,
15 automatic weapons. And the caption underneath that photo read
16 "Adrian in action" do you remember that? Yes or no, please.
17 A. Do you want to talk about wishful Balkan wishes or facts? In
18 fact, there are individuals who in reality --
19 Q. Facts here.
20 A. I don't think he was a member of the KLA. There were many
21 individuals in exile who had similar wishes, and they bought uniforms for
22 100 francs, but there was no military formation as such. In Germany and
23 Switzerland for example, they managed to -- they managed to form a
24 wishful military formation, but there was no active military formation.
25 The military elements were imbued in members -- former members of
1 the police or the army, but they were imprisoned, and in the period after
2 1992 that was.
3 Q. Are you aware of the fact that this man Adrian Krasniqi was
4 killed in 1997? Are you aware of the fact that the electronic media in
5 the Albanian language, in the printed media, he was made out to be a
6 victim of the Serbian policy and a young student who was killed amid
7 student rallies? Were you aware of that?
8 A. I said that his picture was published in a newspaper
9 Zeri i Kosoves in Switzerland. And it wasn't published in the newspapers
10 in Kosovo. But as regards the action that he undertook, that was
11 published in our newspaper, but we published the official version. That
12 according to the police he had attacked a police station. So let's not
13 talk about imaginary military formations.
14 I'd like to say that the real KLA is a product of after the
15 1st of October. As it to what people wrote on paper in Switzerland or
16 Germany, that's another issue. Completely different matter. If we start
17 exploring that avenue, then we may think that -- we may come to a
18 conclusion that the KLA was formed even before 1989. But the real facts
19 are a different thing. The KLA is a product of the Serb repression and
20 of these people, it's a product of the post-Dayton peaceful policies of
21 Ibrahim Rugova.
22 Q. As a journalist, did you know that KLA members carried out
23 kidnappings of Albanian civilians and civilians of other ethnic groups?
24 Do you know of the existence of any detention camps? And did you know
25 that throughout the period they kept attacking Serbian police and
1 military forces in the guerilla type actions? They blocked roads, set up
3 A. Yes, they did that after 1998. After the Jashari family was
4 attacked, people came out into the streets. They set up check-points,
5 and it was a state of war. That's accurate. And we are speaking about
6 the period after the first attack on the Jasharis, in January. And that
7 was especially so when people came out onto the roads in the Drenica
8 region. That's KLA members that is. And I'm saying it again that this
9 was the consequence of the Serb brutality.
10 Q. The 18th of June, 1998, the road between Pristina and Pec, you
11 say that in the summer of 1998 you used that road to get to Malisevo, and
12 that in Drenica and Orahovac, you saw the destruction caused by the Serb
13 forces. Did you know that on that date, on that road, a civilian and
14 police convoy was attacked in Iglarevo? Are you familiar with that?
15 A. On the 16th, no. There were incidents after the 1998, after
16 May 1998. I do not recall any names, but there was fighting. There was
17 fighting, yes. And sporadic attacks.
18 Q. Thank you. Did you know that the KLA blocked the road between
19 Pristina and Pec at Lapusnik when going from the direction of Pristina
20 and at Dolac when one goes from Pec? They set up barricades of stones,
21 tree trunks, car tires, and mined them. You apparently used some of
22 those roads wherein travelling with the diplomat, as you said yourself.
23 A. Yes, after the road was blocked, then the famous sentence came
24 into being that the peace and war in Kosovo is named Lapusnik. If you
25 remember, Mr. Holbrooke said that. Then you may know that the notorious
1 offensive of the Serb forces took place after which -- following which
2 there were so many killings. There I saw terrifying things. I went
3 around those mountains with David Slinn, a diplomat, and I could not
4 believe where brutality could go at what stage, at what level it could
5 go. I never thought what I saw.
6 Whole villages, following the June offensive, were burned to the
7 ground. There was not a single house which was not unburned. In the
8 Rahovec region, in Malishevo region, in the Komorane/Prishtina region,
9 all houses were burned to the ground, and I saw it with my own eyes. On
10 the way to -- that was to go on the way to persuading the KLA to set up a
11 team to negotiate a way out of this conflict. And we went to a village
12 in the Malishevo region and we when to Drenica to talk to the other part
13 of the KLA, Veton Surroi went there and Chris Hill went there. It was a
15 Q. We know that, and that is not in dispute. We found that in your
16 statement. Am I right in saying that in June 1998 the traffic between
17 Pristina and Prizren was made impossible, it was interrupted by the KLA
18 and one had to go the round about way to get to Pristina from Prizren, in
19 June 1998?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. I received no interpretation.
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Very well. I just wanted to have that for the transcript.
24 Am I right in saying that the village of Kijevo was blocked for a
1 A. Yes, that's where the battle of Lapusnik took place. They are
2 very close. And from there, the road was blocked.
3 Q. While there were blocks on the road between Pec and Pristina, one
4 could move between the two places only via Roxhaje and Kulla; am I
5 correct? And I have in mind that Serbs could not use it.
6 A. You could go by Brezovica, you could go via Prizren-Gjakove road,
7 and also via Istoq. There were ways outs. Buy, in fact, the Serbs of
8 Peje did not need to go to Prishtina because the situation was very
9 grave. The Serbs did not move along the main road at the time. Serbs of
10 Kijevo either went to Peje or they followed the Prizren-Gjakove road to
11 go to Prishtina.
12 Q. Lapusnik, did you know that there was a KLA prison in Lapusnik?
13 A. No, I've never visited a KLA prison there. I never thought that
14 there could be prisons. I learned that when the accusations started
15 against the KLA.
16 Q. Did you know that many corpses of non-Albanians as well as
17 Albanians were discovered in Lapusnik? Do you have any knowledge of
19 A. I remember a press conference of the then-Prosecutor who was a
20 Serb. She was so untrustful. I've never trusted her. I'm saying that
21 if there was a shred of truth, she was the person who made the whole
22 thing unbelievable. She had no credibility. She was the worst
23 personality of the time.
24 Q. Do you mean Ms. Danica Maksimovic [phoen]?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Am I right in saying that in July 1998, the KLA attacked and
2 occupied Orahovac, Velika Hoca, Zociste [phoen], and Retimlje?
3 A. I was there personally with journalists of the BBC. No, it's not
4 correct. I visited that place and there were 250 metres distance between
5 the check-points. KLA and Serb forces. This was a day before the
6 offensive when we visited the place. I visited Rahovec a day before the
7 offensive. And there was no indication as to who was attacking.
8 In my book I described in general the fighting in Rahovec, and
9 I -- the strategy was that through Rahovec they could attack Malishevo
10 and go towards Drenica, and the attack was planned because it was carried
11 out within 24 hours. Because the tanks, a day before the interpretation
12 that the KLA attacked Rahovec, the tanks left Prishtina and surrounded
13 all the area in Malishevo from the other side.
14 And the action was planned. For us who lived in Prishtina and
15 who had access to information, and Mr. Agani I remember called me to his
16 office, and he was informed by a captain of the army a day before the
17 attacks started, and he had been told that the attack would start to
18 destroy Rahovec. But this happened after the meeting between Bakalli,
19 Surroi, Agani, in the Milosevic office, and then it finished in the white
21 It wasn't that the KLA was attacked, but every single house was
22 attacked and burned. It was civilian families who were killed. And
23 there was a counter-effect of the whole thing that they had planned.
24 And it's not true that -- there was fighting in Rahovec, but the
25 attack was well planned.
1 Q. Briefly then, your answer is no?
2 A. Yes, and I'm positive about that.
3 Q. You are positive in the "no," or are you positive about the
4 things that you were saying?
5 A. Positive that the planning of such a large-scale military action
6 was an earlier one. And I think that the signal was sounded by the
7 international community in order to weaken the role of the KLA. And in
8 real terms it was Mr. Holbrooke who did that. You may not recall the
9 meeting of the 26th of May in the office of Milosevic of the group of
10 Kosova in 1998 and then Mr. Clinton state secretary in Washington.
11 Q. Malisevo, did you know that there was a KLA prison in Malisevo?
12 A. If you lived in the circumstances I lived, you don't have
13 believed that, because in fact Kosova itself was a large prison. There
14 were 2 million people who were imprisoned in that prison.
15 Q. For Albanians? What prison in Kosovo? I'm asking about
17 A. The whole of Kosova was a prison.
18 Q. Very well. But do you know where a small prison in Malisevo were
19 Serbs from Orahovac were kept? It was small and run by the KLA.
20 A. No, there are many reasons why I don't know. It was a minor
21 event in the context of a horrible situation. That's what I'm saying.
22 Q. Did you know that the KLA in 1998 kidnapped a full busload of
23 workers and miners from the mines of Belacevac, and they were all
24 subsequently killed, they also worked at the --
25 A. The KLA people.
1 Q. -- of Obilic?
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The witnesses are
3 overlapping yet again.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They entered this thermo-electron
5 plant, but as you are putting to me, they kidnapped a busload of workers
6 and miners, this is not true. They entered there, I don't know if there
7 were any casualties, because it was daily phenomenon to hear of killings
8 and murders, so it didn't make news, so to say. It was -- it happened in
9 1998, this, it was something that happens in every war. People are
11 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Yes, that's what I was asking you. Concerning the methods of
13 waging the war by the KLA, first of all, was it a guerilla type of
14 warfare? And second of all, that KLA members took to the forests often
15 with civilians changing their military uniforms for civilian clothes as
16 Mr. Zyrapi described in one of his testimonies?
17 A. I wasn't present in any such situation when they may have changed
18 their uniforms. But that they waged a guerilla warfare, that's true.
19 They were not a military -- regular military formation, but the Serb army
20 was so strong that it was hardly likely for any KLA groups to face up to
22 But the worse of all this was that the Serb military and army and
23 police didn't fight with the KLA, but with the civilians, and their
24 brutality was directed against the civilians. That's why the war -- they
25 lost the war. They won the war against the KLA, but they lost their
1 battle of the war against the human being. The problem is that they
2 didn't reckon with the people of the population of the 21st century. We
3 have two different philosophical notions. They won the war against the
4 KLA, but they lost it to the people of Kosova. That's why they are here
5 at The Hague Tribunal. That's why we have the independence of Kosova
7 Q. It is almost time for our break, just before that, I have one
8 more question. Let's go back to the afternoon when you were in the house
9 together with the representatives of the Serb security forces and
10 Mr. Bakalli. You and Bakalli were the only Albanians who talked to them
11 on that occasion. What legitimacy did you hold, you and Mr. Bakalli have
12 in order to appear as the representatives of the Albanian population?
13 Did you have any, as a matter of fact?
14 A. The time context or frame is something else. I want to explain
15 to you that every public person in Kosova had a kind of role to play. I
16 was the editor in chief of a newspaper, Mr. Bakalli was a public figure.
17 Each of us tried to fight -- to find a peaceful way to the situation.
18 I think that Mr. Rugova, Mr. Agani, and other gentlemen had their
19 own channels of communication; but none of us had the courage to talk
20 with the Serbs face to face. They did this either through mediations
21 which sometimes create confusion and unclarity because they want to -- by
22 all means to have positive results for themselves or for the others. But
23 my experience is that direct contact is the best way to start
24 negotiations for peace, but I think Serbia was not ready. We proposed
25 six persons to them to start these negotiations, but we never received
1 any feedback from them as to why these negotiations never became a
2 reality. We proposed Mr. Ibrahim Rugova, Bakalli, Fehmi Agani,
3 Veton Surroi, Bujar Bukoshi, and a second one whose name I don't
4 remember; they asked who -- which of the Serbs can be of the negotiation
5 table? We said to them, It's not us that will decide which of you will
6 be there. They didn't agree that Bob Norman and Nick Hill be the
7 intermediators in these talks. They considered Bob Norman as a US
8 diplomat being an anti-Serb one. I don't know for what reason.
9 It was not a question of legitimacy, it was a question of taking
10 an initiative when one hopes to find a peaceful solution, he tries. Now,
11 this question may have a meaning, but not your question. But not -- your
12 question. But not at that time.
13 Q. Just before the break, you and Mr. Bakalli put forth the maximum
14 of the requests of the Albanian community in Kosovo, had those people
15 there told you, Yes we would accept that and let's start with the
16 negotiations as of tomorrow and we will create a confederation, would you
17 have been able to accept such a proposal? I agree that these people
18 representing the Serb side were Serb representatives, mediators of sorts,
19 but what if they had the authority, the power, to approve your request
20 and say, As of tomorrow we start the negotiation process. What would you
21 have said?
22 A. We knew what the situation was like on the ground. We knew what
23 the real possibilities were for us. We knew the stand of the
24 international community. There was no one among the internationals that
25 ever mentioned the independence of Kosova. We knew that the process
1 couldn't be complete without the participation of the international
2 community. The fact that we made a proposal and proposed some names who
3 would be involved in these negotiations, six names actually, that was
4 where our work ended.
5 That was our initiative. You may not understand what this -- how
6 seriously we were taken by the Serbs, how scornfully we were looked upon
7 by them. They felt very powerful vis-a-vis a small and unarmed
8 population. The main problem in this generation of politicians was total
9 disrespect for the human being. They never regarded the human being as a
10 real being. That was, in my opinion, the problem with this generation of
12 Q. Thank you. We will continue after the break hoping that we would
13 be able to conclude your testimony today.
14 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is time for
15 our break.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. We will have our second break now. The
17 Chamber would point out that we've been silent, allowing each of you full
18 rein. Now, we hope that that will bear the fruit of a conclusion today.
19 We adjourn now and resume at 5 minutes past 1.00.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 --- Recess taken at 12.36 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 1.05 p.m.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The
1 witness and I have just entered a very comprehensive debate. Please
2 interrupt me if you think I'm going too far, getting carried away.
3 Q. I will try to wrap up this set of questions about the attempted
4 negotiations, about Brezovica, let's move on to that.
5 It was only you and Mr. Bakalli that went to Brezovica. Why
6 didn't none of the other prominent Kosovar Albanian leaders join you
7 given the fact that the meeting was attended by Jovica Stanisic as well?
8 There had been request by the Serb side perhaps or something else, could
9 you enlighten us on that, sir?
10 A. In fact, that request was presented to Mr. Bakalli. They said
11 they wanted to continue what we started but with Mr. Stanisic; and when
12 Mr. Stanisic arrived that day, he offered us a meeting with
13 Mr. Milosevic, but we refused that. It appeared -- it would appear that
14 he did not have a mandate to negotiate. He had a limited mandate.
15 Although, I believe that I saw him for the first time when he was sent to
16 Bosnia during an assembly in Bosnia, and I heard his name in 1995 during
17 a Serb conference.
18 He had gone to mediate there, and it had stuck on my mind, the
19 name, and I considered him as an important person. But later on, I
20 didn't hear any more about him. I didn't know much about him. But
21 during his political interpretation, it was correct, he had a rationale
22 behind what he was saying; but he was limited in what he wanted to
23 achieve, and the outcome was rather bad, very grave, I would say.
24 Q. Another brief question, very brief. The focus of the talk was
25 between Mr. Bakalli and Mr. Stanisic; right?
1 A. During the first half of the meeting, he wanted to have a
2 tête-à-tête with Mr. Bakalli. It appeared that he wanted to reassure
3 himself in that meeting, he didn't find that during that part of the
4 meeting, so he then came together with Mr. Bakalli to a joint meeting.
5 I heard from Mr. Bakalli what they discussed during the first
6 half of meeting, and obviously he had told him the same thing that we had
7 proposed during the first meeting in his flat.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... that in your statement later
9 on, we know that. We know that.
10 Can you please just clarify another sentence that I came across
11 in your statement. When you were driving back to Pristina, Bakalli and
12 you, you were shaking with fear. That is precisely what you said. What
13 sort of fear? Had any threats been made? What was all that about?
14 A. In fact, in Bakalli's flat, Mr. Hadjic pointed his finger at me
15 and said, If anyone knows about this meeting - and he was pointing his
16 finger at me - you won't be the same person that you are. This was not
17 reminded to me again, but the atmosphere of the place where the meeting
18 took place was not nice.
19 So he used the metaphor of going to war rather badly. And that
20 influenced the atmosphere of the meeting.
21 Q. Clear enough. Clear enough. My next question, it's about the
22 fact that you were sentenced and there was a fine to pay, you never paid
23 the fine, but I want to ask you about something else. You said the trial
24 took place in 22nd March, 1992. You know, we lawyers try to work
25 according to rules. On the calendar it was a Monday, but let's not make
1 any mistakes about that, it may have been a Sunday. Was that perhaps the
2 21st of March, 1999, when you were standing before a judge? And not the
3 22nd as the statement reflects. That's what my question is about. So it
4 was a Sunday, that much is certain; right? Because your statement says
5 it was the 22nd of March.
6 A. It was the 21st, the 21st as I said a while ago.
7 Q. That's fine, that's fine then. All right. Let's move on to my
8 next question. Your statement says 200.000 German marks. That was his
9 punishment and yours was 25.000 German marks. Could we agree that you
10 were wrong? You said about 300.000 German marks. It was a lot. I'm
11 telling you it was more, it was 420.000 for the magazine and for you
12 personally it was 110.000. Can we agree on that? And for the magazine
13 it would have amounted to 26.000 dollars and 7.200 dollars for you.
14 Those were the figures reported in the foreign press about the
15 dollars, and this was all pursuant to Article 67 of the Law on
16 Information, the famous law apparently designed or devised by
17 Minister Vujacic who was then a member of the Serb radical party.
18 Can we first of all agree on these basic facts just in order to
19 have some degree objectivity here? 420.000 for the magazine and --
20 A. If you remember, at the time there was a huge inflation with
21 regard to the dinar, and the amount, the amount that was assigned one
22 day, the value fell by 50 per cent the following day. But the law you
23 were referring to was not implemented towards me, but also it was
24 implemented in the case of Blic.
25 Q. That was my next question as a matter of fact. It wasn't just
1 about Blic, there was the Kikinda paper, Pancevac, many from Novi Sad,
2 many newspapers in electronic media that were blamed on the same law?
3 A. This was a series of sentences during that month.
4 Q. There's another detail in relation to this. That's right, and
5 we 're about to wrap up. It wasn't just against Albanian media, but also
6 Serb media. The daily telegraph from Serbia was also fined.
7 All right. I'm moving on to my next topic. Can we agree that
8 you were made to answer under the provisions of the misdemeanours law
9 because that's what it. It was a misdemeanours court; it wasn't a
10 textbook court of law?
11 A. The law was a catastrophe. According to the law, they found an
12 excuse. The law was voted in the most brutal way in Serbia. It was a
13 fast-track procedure, and the law was passed within a week and the --
14 Q. I know. Thank you, thank you. Thank you for that. Let us just
15 try to agree on this: The charge you were facing causing interethnic
16 hatred, under that law, they took into account the magazine that
17 published your piece entitled, I think, "Kosovo Awaiting a Dispatch from
18 NATO," something along these lines. But other thing that was typical, I
19 want to know if you remember that, you had to put up a defence within 24
20 hours of the misdemeanours, proceedings request? I don't know if you
21 remember that. It literally had to be done within 24 hours, you had to
22 mount a defence within 24 hours? If you don't remember, that's fine.
23 A. No, no, I do remember.
24 Q. It's fine.
25 A. Friday we published the article on the second page of the
1 newspaper. On Saturday the fast-track procedure was sent to us that I
2 had to report to court and that was -- I had to report to court urgently
3 on Sunday.
4 Q. It was a Sunday; right? That's right. And it was the duty
5 misdemeanours judge who was there, this was perfectly normal institution
6 at the time - I have to tell you, in case you don't remember, because I
7 see that you were slightly surprised by the fact - that the trial -- the
8 hearing took place on the Sunday. But this was a duty judge.
9 That's right. Thank you very much. I'm not asking you any
10 further questions about this. We need to leave some time for my learned
11 friend Mr. Neuner to ask additional questions on his part should he have
12 any prompted by my own cross-examination?
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have Exhibit
14 D003-3235 pulled up on our screens.
15 Q. What is this about? This is an additional statement or an
16 addendum to a statement made in the November 2006 by Mr. Haxhiu to the
18 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go to page 2. The
19 next one, please. Thank you. Could we please have the Albanian too, if
20 available. If not, I understand the witness speaks very good English.
21 No Albanian. All right. I will just press on in that case.
22 Q. Can you please look at what you said there, this is in the
23 supplement, the 24th of March period to the 2nd of April. Let's try to
24 translate that. From the 24th of March to 2nd of April 1999 you were in
25 the basement so you did not see what was going on in Pristina.
1 When you left Pristina on the 2nd of April, 1999, he saw older
2 fat men in green uniforms wearing masks and so on and so forth. This is
3 not the point because you keep talking about that in your earlier
4 statements and the evidence you gave, you realised at one point there was
5 most probably paramilitaries.
6 But there's something else I'd like to ask you about where you
7 said about the 24th of March to 2nd of April they really had no knowledge
8 of what was going on in Pristina. Today you spoke a great deal about
9 precisely this period, including the murder of one of your guards on the
10 premises of your publishing house. And then you talked about the fact
11 that you went from your house to that writer's house. And why is it
12 phrased this way in the statement, since today you told us something else
13 altogether? Can you tell us about that? What does this mean?
14 A. What is it you're unclear about? Which part?
15 Q. One thing that I'm unclear about: You were telling us today that
16 you were walking around Pristina, you even went to the newspaper
17 headquarters. At the time, your guard was killed, body-guard was killed.
18 It says here that in the period between 24th of March and the
19 2nd of April, you were hiding in the became therefore you were not able
20 to see what was going on in Pristina until you left the basement on the
21 2nd of April, and we know that you left for Macedonia. I'm asking you
22 this: Do you see that the discrepancy there? That's all I'm asking.
23 A. There's into discrepancy. Look at the dates. On the 24th when
24 the bombing started, let me clarify. I thought that when bombing was
25 start there will be freedom of movement, so I had left to meet my
1 journalists at the Koha Ditore offices. And at 9.30 on the 25th, I had
2 planned to get out and go to the offices of the newspaper.
3 On the 25th, I went from where I stayed the night to the
4 Dardanija neighbourhood. Then I stayed two other days and the following
5 day I went to Kodra e Diellit. I never said that I went out in town
6 because it was not possible.
7 On the 25th in the evening, 9.30 p.m., at about 9.00 p.m., some
8 young men broke into shops and businesses, and we could see from the
9 windows of where we were staying because all the lights were off, and we
10 could see -- we could see what was going on in the street. And I said
11 that we could see that the businesses were being broken into and looted
12 and so on. But I never said for a moment that I went out in town to take
13 a walk.
14 If you consider it a walk or an outing from when I left from one
15 flat to another, then that's what it is. But a walk has a different
16 meaning, or going out to town has got another meaning, and what the
17 situation was another.
18 Q. I do apologise, I misworded my previous statement. What I had in
19 mind was you moving about town because the paragraph suggests that you
20 spent all this time in a single room in this flat. Therefore, you did
21 not know at the time what was going on in Pristina. And that is the
22 difference that I'm trying to highlight. You spoke a lot about
23 Julian Braithwaite [indiscernible]. Ambassador Wolfgang Petritsch, he
24 was the Ambassador at the time, we don't have that much time, and I would
25 not like to ask any further questions about this because it was dealt
1 with in the addendum, I would like to appeal to the Chamber.
2 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Briefly I would like to ask the
3 Chamber just in order to make sure I don't take up the next 15 or 20
4 minutes, to have this addendum admitted into evidence because of the
5 substance of the addendum and what the witness said about it. D003-3235.
6 He speaks about Abe Satotsi [as interpreted] Julian Braithwaite --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please repeat the names that he
8 just mentioned. Thank you.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Could you repeat those names, please,
10 Mr. Djordjevic.
11 MR. DJORDJEVIC: The microphone is not on.
12 JUDGE PARKER: I repeat, could you please repeat the names that
13 you just mentioned.
14 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Indeed, Your Honour. The
15 university [indiscernible] is mentioned here in this addendum; the
16 Pale university; Julian Braithwaite; David Slinn; Jonathan Weiss;
17 Jan Kickert, a witness who appeared here; Albert Rohan; and Ambassador
18 Wolfgang Petritsch.
19 I could cut the time short and not ask the questions that will
20 clarify this. I won't be asking those questions, but I would like to
21 have this addendum exhibited instead, the date is the 7th of November,
22 1996. It was 2006. It was given by this witness, and may that please be
24 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D227, Your Honours.
1 MR. NEUNER: I just wanted to say to ease the burden for my
2 learned colleague. At this point in time, the Prosecution has probably
3 one question only, so you are please going on as much as you wish to.
4 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, thank you, my
5 learned friend. As the addendum has just been admitted, we are probably
6 gaining at least 20 minutes. I will have another brief question to ask
7 most probably.
8 Q. Witness, do you have any information indicating how many Serbs
9 left Kosovo after the Kumanovo Agreement, Serbs and other non-Albanians?
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all the other
11 microphones be switched off, please, thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot be firm about the number,
13 but I know that there was such movement, especially in Central Kosova and
14 Northern Kosova, so please don't ask me about the exact figure because I
15 don't have it. I know that there was a movement immediately following
16 the Kumanovo Agreement, especially after the 14th or the 15th. There was
17 movement on tractors from Northern Kosova in the direction of Serbia;
18 however, part of them, the Serbs, even before that during the Milosevic
19 regime had already bought some houses in Serbia.
20 So for some it was surprising that they were leaving, but for
21 some it was clear that they were fleeing because of corruption, fear of
22 prosecution, and so on, and because of guilt.
23 Q. My last question for you today: You still work as a journalist I
24 assume, don't you? Do you have any information on the number of Serbs
25 and other non-Albanians who returned to Kosovo after this?
1 A. Not many. Kosova is not a pleasant place to live in, even for
2 Albanians themselves, let alone the Serbs. It is a very poor country
3 facing serious problems for all of its inhabitants. In my opinion, the
4 Balkans is still a primitive concept of living. People do not have many
5 options and opportunities in the Balkans.
6 What would my suggestion to the Serbs be in real terms. My
7 answer would be, Kosova has no meaning without the Serbs. However, it is
8 very difficult to live in a poor country with little prospective,
9 especially for the young people. In my opinion, people who have lived in
10 Kosova with Serbs know of the charm of cohabitation, but this charm is
11 lost due to this economic, political, and so on problems. So Serbia
12 would be the prospective for the young people.
13 Q. Mr. Haxhiu, thank you for your evidence. I wish I could say that
14 many of the things that you talked about today were possible and that
15 there might be better times ahead; nevertheless, if we want to start
16 seeking answers to a lot of other questions, that would merely prolong
17 our debate which would then take days.
18 We have heard from you today everything that has any relevance to
19 this case.
20 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Therefore, I complete my
21 cross-examination of this witness, Your Honours. I have no further
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you Mr. Djordjevic.
24 Mr. Neuner.
25 Re-examination by Mr. Neuner:
1 Q. Just briefly, Mr. Haxhiu, you were asked by my learned colleague
2 just a moment ago about your period while you were hiding in houses or
3 various houses or basements in Pristina. Could you just explain again,
4 what was the reason for you going a little bit undercover, if I may call
6 A. The first reason would be that we were exposed as workers in the
7 newspaper. Second reason would be the fact that my lawyer was killed.
8 And the third reason was the war itself. Another reason would be the
9 advice that we received from our international friends. I was amongst
10 those who was at risk. I always led a public, open life. Whatever my
11 views were, I published them in my newspaper. And on the 22nd, I
12 published on the front page of a newspaper "NATO Air: Just Do It."
13 So a friend of mine advised me, said, Listen, this is not a good
14 message that you are sending to the people of the Milosevic regime, so I
15 would suggest that you better go into hiding and look after your life.
16 So these would be the reasons, minus the main one, that of the
17 war situation.
18 Q. Okay. I tried to understand this answer. You say you were
19 exposed as workers of the newspaper. Exposed to whom?
20 A. Koha Ditore always had a clear-cut stance against the Milosevic
21 regime and the brutal acts of the authorities for years. Therefore, this
22 course of criticism, in a sense that we never went out of the boundaries
23 of the lawful, instead we discussed in our newspaper cases of violation
24 of human rights, police brutality against civilians, and so on; and we
25 promoted the idea of respecting human rights, Albanians, and whatever --
1 whoever lived in Kosova. So in this way, we were exposed to the views of
2 the authorities.
3 I was the one who designed the policy in the editorial office,
4 and that's why in a way, I take the blame on myself for this. Those who
5 made public their views against the Milosevic regime existed even in
6 Belgrade. An editor in chief there was also killed.
7 So fear comes first, braveness comes second. So that's why I was
8 forced to move from one house to another in order to convince myself
9 psychologically that they may not find me. Because in a way, we were all
10 killed. They could kill us whenever they wanted, but this fear, fleeing
11 from one apartment to another, in a way created a sense of security in
12 the people.
13 So as I said, fear was the one that was dominating at the time.
14 Not only with me, but with everybody in Kosova at the time. There were a
15 few political figures, public figures in Kosova, that openly expressed
16 their views against the Milosevic regime. I'm not speaking about the
17 Serbian people, about the Serbian civilians, but about the regime, the
18 Milosevic regime.
19 Q. Is it correct that at some point in time, your -- the fact that
20 you are still living was disputed?
21 A. I later learned, now maybe this is not the place to say, but I
22 realised later that I was amongst names of those in a list of people who
23 were wanted dead. My name was also on this list. I don't want to deal
24 with this part because I don't think it's relevant for the Trial Chamber
25 and for this specific case.
1 Q. Then I maybe misunderstood you. I thought you had told me this
2 morning, before we met briefly before you went to court, that at some
3 point in time at the beginning of the war after the 24th of March, 1999,
4 somebody had made an announcement that you were dead?
5 A. Yes. On the 29th of March at 3.30 I was announced dead by
6 Jamie Shea and Welby [phoen] at a NATO press conference held in Brussels.
7 The statement said the following: Yesterday four intellectuals,
8 Kosovan intellectuals were killed, Fehmi Agani, Baton Haxhiu, and two
9 others. This happened after the funeral of Bajram Kelmendi, a well-known
10 lawyer and humanist from Kosovo. So the so-called death, my death
11 situation, went on until the 2nd of April when I crossed into Macedonia.
12 If you asked me what death means, I can tell you that I know that
13 there is spiritual death and physical death. I personally was
14 spiritually dead. A civilian like me and like others was spiritually
15 dead. The way we lived in those difficult conditions, we had this
16 feeling of being dead, not alive. We didn't have the opportunity to
17 inform families that we were still alive or that we were well. People
18 would go to my parents, to my family for condolences, to express their
19 condolences for my death.
20 So this is what war brings, things that should better be
21 forgotten. So at this time I realise that there are two types of death,
22 spiritual and physical death. In our case, we were alive, figuratively
23 speaking, but that's when I realised that spirit is part of every human
24 body that keeps you alive.
25 Q. The declaration from NATO was issued in which year, please? You
1 said 29th of March.
2 A. 1999.
3 Q. Obviously the declaration was wrong in relation to the death of
4 your person, but what about the other man you mentioned, Fehmi Agani and
5 two others?
6 A. It wasn't true for Mr. Agani at the time too. Mr. Agani was
7 killed a month later. Whereas, I left Kosova in hiding, I left in
8 disguise. I left the basement. I moved in disguise, not as
9 Baton Haxhiu. I tried to go into houses under this disguise and ask for
10 shelter, but nobody would take me in.
11 When I would knock at someone's door and tell people I'm
12 Baton Haxhiu, they would just say to me, How dare you, you should be
13 ashamed of yourself, he is dead. It was a very difficult period. These
14 two days were very difficult for me. Nobody believed me. They didn't
15 believe I was alive. They believed more in the NATO statement than they
16 believed me, whom they saw.
17 Q. As a journalist, you are familiar with investigative practices.
18 Did you ever approach NATO to ask them what the source of their
19 misinformation was?
20 A. Precisely. That list that NATO got from its sources, the list of
21 people that had to be executed, this list was in the possession of
22 Mr. Sainovic. That's what we learned later. The list of so-called
23 enemies. Many of the people whose names appeared on that list were
24 killed, even Mr. Surroi, Alush Gashi, myself, and some others were
25 announced dead, although we were still alive.
1 Q. Have you seen this list yourself?
2 A. I cannot give you an answer for that. I don't have one.
3 Q. I know, but is have you seen it, a copy of it?
4 A. I already told you, I don't have an answer to this question.
5 Q. My last question is, on what basis do you claim that this list
6 was in the possession of Mr. Sainovic?
7 A. Ten years have passed since the war in Kosova. I investigated my
8 personal circumstances under which I was announced dead. I asked family
9 members, friends about the circumstances of Mr. Welby and Mr. Shea
10 declaring me dead. I asked Mr. Shea in person about this. I asked other
11 UK diplomats about this. That's why I'm telling you I'm familiar with
12 what that list was about.
13 Q. I understand. But my question is who told you that Mr. Sainovic
14 had possession of that list, at the time?
15 A. I told you, I don't have an answer to that, and I'm not going to
16 answer it.
17 MR. NEUNER: The Prosecution has no further questions,
18 Your Honour.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Haxhiu, you'll be pleased to know that that
20 concludes the questions for you. We have managed it in the time. We
21 would like to thank you for your attendance here, for the assistance that
22 you've given, and for the interest in the discussion between yourself and
23 counsel. You are, of course, now free to go back to your normal
24 activities. We must now adjourn for the day. We thank you again.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.
3 to be reconvened on Friday, the 19th day of June,
4 2009, at 9.00 a.m.